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Category Archives: Ohio

Organizing Genealogical Records: the HOW and the WHAT


gold fields

And when you notice that men have disappeared in the 1850 census—right after the California ‘49er Gold Rush? They just might be there! In 1850 I missed David Markley and Samuel Croy. Samuel deserted his wife, Catherine Pugh Croy. David returned. Could be they headed to the goldfields like David’s brother, John. From Coshocton Tribune, Nov. 1924

Time to clean house—my genealogical house, that is. My goal:


  • Research brick walls
  • Review and update family sheets
  • Organize related files, both computer and paper

NO SMALL TASK! So I decided to take one grouping at a time.

First ones to tackle: the Ohio clan. Why? They had not been updated since 2015!

Also, the fourth of my historical fiction series, The Maggie Chronicles, delves deep into their nineteenth-century Ohio lives. The book deviates significantly from the Andrew Croy family’s real life, but my research of them revealed so much that was new or corrected that I thought I should take a closer look.

Deep in the weeds, a genealogist’s disease, I discovered much and, boy, did I organize!

Here is how:

  1. I printed out the family tree and sheets from my genealogy program to work from, numbering each of the children in birth order.
  2. All information on the children used that numbering system. i.e. In my paper files, I numbered each page of info. and paper clipped it together by date. In my computer files, I numbered each item followed by a year for each item in the parent folder. Here is an example of what that looked like. Screen Shot 2019-09-23 at 8.10.31 AM
  3. Then I set to work filling in blanks. Mind you, I’ve worked on this for ten years now and applied to a number of societies requiring detailed support so I have bunches of data. Nuts, I know. SO, HOW DO YOU ORGANIZE?

Just in case you want to get right to the chase, I’ve updated all my Ohio records. You can find them here. Ohio family sheets 9-15-2019

What I discovered—and didn’t.

  1. Two brick walls for these families are still unclimbed. HELP ANYONE?
  • HENRY SMITH: I think he is probably the brother of EVERHART SMITH (who married Selena Payne, sister of Henry’s wife Sephronia Payne…so you’d figure) BUT I can’t find a direct link yet.
  • MARGARET PUGH: wife of Jacob Croy. I made up a family in my next book, just ‘cause, but I cannot verify my guess that she is the daughter of John Pugh, likely son of Aaron.
  1. The MARKLEY family (David, Selena, and Catherine) that married into the ZERAH PAYNE family (Selena, Samuel, and Michael), always fascinated me. Another disease of a genealogist is digging deep where you don’t belong. But, hey, if you are a Markley descendent you might be interested. So I wondered:
  • Who was/were their ancestors, and—Jackpot! I found an article on an ADAM MARKLEY who had a very large family and settled in Bethlehem Township, Coshocton County, Ohio. After some digging, I found the probate records (both available on Ancestry) of Adam and his son, father of those children, FREDRICK MARKLEY.
  • Also, the aftermath of the Knox County, Indiana tragedy where I estimate at least seven Markley/Payne children died in a ten-year period after their arrival. The children of SAMUEL AND SELENA MARKLEY PAYNE were distributed: CATHERINE MARKLEY PAYNE, whose husband Michael also died, took in Amy. Daughter Rachel, then nineteen, returned to Coshocton County with Eliza and Burd. Their eldest James was already married and established in Knox County.
  1. Again digging way too deep, I clarified (or complicated) the lives of the children of Calvin and Sarah Angeline (Payne) Smith Croy.
  • A correction for CHARLES HENRY CROY that eliminated a wife (Watch out! There are more souls out there with the same name and similar birthdates that you might think!)
  • The addition of a second wife for WILLIAM DUNCAN CROY (DELLA SLAUGHTER) She eventually married William’s mother Sarah’s sister Selena’s son, EARLE UFFNER.
  • A little more information on DAVID HARRISON CROY and his complicated marriage history, including a new birth certificate for his son Daniel, which gives his father as an Everett McCoy. David always claimed this boy as his and Louise Marie, aka Billie Lou Moody (among other names) gave a lot of different/questionable versions of information on her documents.

Check out this post for more of the convoluted.

So, I’m brain dead, cross-eyed, and exhausted. Tomorrow—I return an Ohio in the 1800s and the imaginary world of my making.

A Scattering of Songs: Playlist for THE SCATTERING OF STONES

The Scattering of Stones Playlist JPEG

A story, at its best, pulls your feeling-self along on a journey, plucking at your heartstrings—like a song. That said, I never listen to music while I write. It is my time for silence and words on a page. But before, between, and after—it transports me to the story’s world. The present day heroine of my story, Maggie Carter Smith, is an amateur genealogist searching the 18th century frontier for a female ancestor, not an easy task in a world where women count for so little that official records, other than church and probate, rarely named them.

If Maggie listened to music that carried her into Mary Hutton’s story, the following would be her playlist. Anyway, it’s my playlist, and I want to share it. I hope you search out these artists, buy their songs, and enter what, for me, was the feeling-world of The Scattering of Stones. Better yet, buy their albums, because each album holds may more heartfelt songs. All are available on i-tunes, Amazon, or where ever you purchase your music. And PLEASE, don’t just listen to stations like Pandora. I’m not knocking them. I discover artists by listening on those sites, but they skip over so much these artists have to offer. I believe in supporting artistry with my pocketbook.

Song Bird by Eva Cassidy Eva Cassidy is an old soul. She left our world a long time ago, but her songs and gorgeous voice live on. I find the feeling of love, especially the innocence of a first love, unscathed by time, difficult to capture. The songs come off as saccharine and silly. Not Song Bird. It expresses beautifully the belief that one person can transform your world—though that belief may be short lived.

Second Chances by Gregory Alan Isakov My favorite, favorite new songwriter! He infuses words with the feeling of place. The Scattering of Stones speaks to the crossroad between place and feeling. Second Chances speaks to the forgiveness we find there.

Storm Comin’ by The Wailin’ Jennys The Jennys are harmony at its best, like being transported to a church in the wildwoods long ago. Storm Comin’ sings to facing the storms in your life straight on and finding the gifts therein.

Ghosts That We Knew by Mumford & Sons One of the more popular bands on my list and I love them. Every album contains a wealth of songs with words spun like silk. Ghosts informs what real love is about, beyond first blush, when the ache of living intervenes.

The Stable Song by Gregory Alan Isakov (different album) This songwriter weaves words into worlds. The Stable Song sings of the pull of Ohio and what it holds. I feel it, Maggie feels it, and so did Mary. Beautiful lyrics, and I do so love soft-spoken banjo pickin’ with feeling.

Sand and Water by Beth Nielsen Chapman No words come when I think of this song. I discovered it long after the book was written. Anything I say would be a spoiler. Chapman’s voice and the words create an atmosphere that… Like I said, no words. Listen, and if you don’t cry—what’s wrong with you?

Long Time Traveller by The Wailin’ Jennys (different album) A cappella harmony—I want it played at my wake. Oops, is that a spoiler?

Build a Levee by Natalie Merchant I lean toward alternative, blue grassy, folk-style music with transformational lyrics. This comes from my husband’s blues-rock leanings, and it is perfect. Ever needed a song to keep you strong against a seduction? This is a woman’s song. And the instrumental is great.

Take Me Back by Sarah Jarosz My most contemporary find, her new album came out after my book was written. This song is an anthem for my book.

Transcendental Reunion by Mary Chapin Carpenter Mary’s words are always gorgeous. I recommend her everything. She has been a long time favorite of mine, and this song captures perfectly the intersect between Maggie and Mary’s worlds.

The Things I’ve Gone and Done by Carrie Newcomer A message spoken through song is Carrie Newcomer’s thing. Her messages are hopeful, spiritual, and instructive. I ran across this song after the book was finished, though I’d listened to it many times in the past. If I could point to one song that was the theme of my book it would be this one and…

String of Pearls by Rhiannon Gidden A song of life—what struck me was that I found this song and a science special about string theory’s definition of time within the same week. My left brain/right brain absorbed them, twisted the two representations around and became a manifesto that morphed, and morphed again, into the first pages of my book.

The Scattering of Stones is at the publisher now. I had to let go, and letting go is like pushing a child from the nest. You know you could have done better if you knew then what you know now, but you love her. You think she’s pretty damn special, and she will do just fine out there. Besides, other children need your attention now. You have pictures (or a playlist) to visit whenever you like, a place to relive that world, so long ago.

“It had never occurred to me before that music and thinking are so much alike. In fact you could say music is another way of thinking, or maybe thinking is another kind of music.”  in honor of Ursula K. Le Guin—a pearl resting in peace

Which songs and artists make you think?




The Scattering of Stones: Treaty after Indian Treaty



Showing the Lewistown, Hog Creek, and Wapakoneta Reservations of Shawnee: much more on their history, as well as current information at the Shawnee Tribe Official Website

During the eighteenth century, America’s indigenous tribes lived on Pennsylvania’s western frontier—no debate. But when I began writing my novel, The Scattering of Stones, I made every attempt to ignore them. It was denial at the highest level—born of respect and a profound sense of inadequacy to the task of representing them. But how can you write the story of a man and woman who settled on that frontier in the 1770’s and migrated into Ohio in the 1800’s without addressing a simple fact: western migration happened because of treaties the US government made with tribes. Expressed more accurately, the treaties happened because settlers wanted (and squatted) on the desired land.

I live in a community with three reservations. In California we call them Rancherias. As an elementary school principal, I was intimately involved in the lives of people living on those Rancherias. I unearthed the old mascot t-shirts featuring a bigheaded, big-nosed cartoon “warrior” wielding a tomahawk. I made my little version of progress by replacing the image with a feather as the graphic (though the warrior mascot remained and returned, in more acceptable ways, as soon as I retired). I made trips to the Rancheria with a teacher whose family came from the Rancheria. And I’ll admit, I was nervous—even with her standing by.

I regret my fears. I met a wealth of wonderful people whose history had created some serious problems and who deservedly mistrusted people like me. So who was I to give voice to these original settlers in a fiction based on my infiltrating ancestors?

Historical fiction is a version of a world that once lived, with a nod to the worldview of the time. I needed to understand that world. My research spoke to the flashpoint between two competing cultures—scalpings on both sides, pleas for protection and records of attacks on both sides, one-sided trials, and treaties, lots and lots of treaties.

My story gave notice—these peoples, particularly the Shawnee, would not be ignored. They became a thread in my story line, integral to the plot.

Of all my research, the records of treaties made provided the most unbiased evidence of—no polite way to say this—abuse. Check out this site, aptly called the Indian Land Cessions in the United States, 1784-1894. As they explain, the schedule “comprises 709 entries with links to the related map or maps for each entry.” (My bolding.) The records do not include any treaties negotiated before the United States formed, of which the number is substantial.

So, treaty after treaty we moved west. How could I in good faith ignore that? And how could I NOT wash my story with my own perspective?

Speaking of perspectives, the Washington Post reviewed an exhibit of the National Museum of the American Indian exhibit. It addresses the lies and romance surrounding the image of the Indian, a perspective of which we should all be aware. Check it out here.

  • The Scattering of Stones , available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, comes out February 15, 2018.
  • A Bookbarn located in Clovis, CA, a business supporting all things books, new and used, is hosting a signing celebration February 28th from 6 to 9.

Be Open to What You Don’t Know…in Genealogy, in Writing, in Life.

gear-butterfly-1447330_1280I haven’t posted anything for a while, but not for lack of research or ideas…just busy with it all. Over the past month I have been both working with Huston family researcher, RBryant, and the chair of the First Families of Ohio, Margaret Cheney. Each communication with these two women required many hours in which to analyze and reassess my work. Both women challenged my thinking, heightened my efforts, and became the catalyst to this post and my New Year’s resolution:

Be open to what I don’t know, accept when I don’t know it, and make sure I admit it; what I don’t know opens me to discovery and growth.

Okay, it’s much too long for a resolution…so let’s go for four.

  1. Be open to what I don’t know. My writing may not hit the mark; my understanding of a life circumstance may be circumspect, or research information unknown to me before might appear.

For example, RBryant approached her research from a different family line; she used surname analysis and DNA information to build her conclusions. The collision of my research and hers put new light on old assumptions. Please, if you are in any way interested in the Huston line, read her compelling argument here, It outlines why the old assumptions regarding Andrew Huston Sr., Bedford, PA may be incorrect. And if you are a male descendant of Alexander, Edward, or Robert Huston please contact her and get that DNA test. It will help in her research. Her argument led to some changes in my family tree, so check it out! (Remember, it is a compelling and well-constructed argument, not fact. Unfortunately the dearth of 18th century and earlier documentation make undisputable proof highly unlikely.)

The very construct of a family tree makes it dangerously susceptible to assumptions. A blank or the word “unknown” screams for closure. We want to put something on the line for parent or birth or death or place. We want to provide the familial connection of all those same surnamed individuals living in one place. It is human nature. We like our world packaged and tied with a bow.

While I worked with RBryant on the Huston family line in Bedford County, and with Margaret Cheney, I came across some familial assumptions in my family tree passed from other researchers. I knew they were assumptions particularly regarding female relationships, but I stuck them there without explanation. In the process I also noticed some casual calculations (ie average rather than range) and calculated dates not marked as such or referenced. This year I will update my family trees to reflect what I know (and DON’T KNOW) more accurately and, as I do, I will post a link to the new pages with an explanation of my corrections. I have also put this disclaimer on each of my family pages:

“This material is constantly under construction and errors may exist. Please, search my postings and always research beyond them to confirm and verify information, PARTICULARLY anything before 1790 because with ever greater distance in time less information of a more tenuous nature exists.”

Why? Because no one is perfect (big surprise)—a segue to the next part of my resolution.

  1. Accept when I don’t know. It’s okay not to know, either what is true, what to do, what is best, how to help, or how to proceed—in life, in writing, in genealogy. Facts are unforgiving; theory is more forgiving; conjecture and assumptions…well…then you just don’t know.

I can happily announce nine Huston/Oswalt/Croy/Pugh ancestors have been approved for First Families of Ohio. They are Alexander Huston (confirmed entry to Ohio 1799 before Ohio became a state), Jacob Croy, Sr (1805), Mary Huston Croy Roberts (1807), Jacob Oswalt (1805), Sarah Huston Oswalt (1805), Andrew Croy (1810), Susannah Oswalt Croy (1810), Jacob Croy, Jr (1810), and Margaret Pugh Croy (1813). This was no small feat. A number of triangulated proofs were required. I was sure my application was perfect…and it was rejected. My hackles went up; I knew my research was right, and my knowing threw up a barrier to my learning.

Oh, what I didn’t know! Luckily, my resolution already glimmered inside me. I stepped back and considered that I might not KNOW everything, got humble, and learned. (Boy, this sounds pretty deplorable in print but…skip to “make sure I admit it…”) I read the instructions incorrectly, and without going into detail, my application was a mess. Thankfully, Margaret Cheney, the chairperson, worked through everything with me, took it upon herself to check this web site, and with some effort on my part, gave her stamp of approval. So, that leads to the next point in my resolution.

  1. Make sure I admit what I don’t know. Have you ever not known something and, rather than admit it, stood back and watched until you got the gist of it? Or did you ever want so much for something to be true that you adjusted your “facts” or “truths” to make it fit your desire? Maybe you are better than all that…but I’ve caught myself a few times! So, I resolve to gift others and myself by admitting my weaknesses right off. As my husband has taught me, it’s the way of a quality apprentice. So, while an argument for or against a proposition may ring true, I will attempt to present the argument to which I lean, but not present it as fact. I will ask for help when I just don’t know. I will listen.
  2. Finally, why is it important? Because what I don’t know opens me to discovery and growth. Every time I take a breath, lower my barriers, and exposed myself to the possibility of NOT knowing, doors of wonder open. I grow as a human being, become more tolerant and understanding— and I learn things.

So, bless you all in this New Year. I don’t know what the year will bring, but I am ready. I will be open to what I don’t know, accept that I don’t know, admit out loud (or in print) that I don’t know, and embrace the knowledge and discovery that comes from doing so. Because a year of grow is in the wind—whether I know it or not.

Why Apply to Lineage Societies? Five Good Reasons

Richard Croy marriage 1839

An outcome of applying to lineage societies was discovering what happened to Richard Croy and Rachel Crist after their marriage.

I completed my applications to two lineage societies of the Ohio Genealogy Society yesterday (well, almost). The Societies are the First Families of Ohio and the Families of the Old Northwest Territory. Last year I waded into this world by applying and being accepted into The Society of Civil War Families of Ohio. The process is rigorous, requires extensive documentation, costs money, and carries with it only the honor of membership, along with a pin and certificate. Now, I am neither a big joiner nor spendthrift. Nor do I collect pins, plaques, or certificates. So why bother? Let me count the ways.

  1. I am documenting, with certification of my work, an accurate history of family.
  2. The record is stored securely where it is available to all researchers to use for their specific current and future purposes.[i]
  3. The process hones my skills and the depth and accuracy of my propositions.
  4. I feel accomplished upon completion—a job well done (I hope).

And—bells chime and trumpet sounds…

  1. New discoveries present themselves. Doors, never seen before, open to sources yet untapped!

Here is an example from my recent venture.

I had never traced Richard Croy, son of Andrew Croy, beyond his appearance on an 1840 Federal Census for Rose Twp, Carroll Cty, OH[ii] with wife Rachel Crist[iii] and a male under 5. Then, while doing other research, I saw a family page with an interesting tree for Richard.

I delved into it and discovered a little treasure trove in Delaware County, Ohio. It seems Richard and family moved there after 1840, or Rachel traveled there after his death before 25 March 1847 when she remarried David Hodgden.[iv]

Why she only kept her daughter, Emily Jane Croy, then age 6,[v] and farmed out son John, then age 11,[vi] to the Hinkle family, and Mathias, then age 8,[vii] to the Bush family, both in Troy Township, Delaware County, we can never know. Perhaps Rachel had limited resources after Richard died, and the boys boarded as laborers for the families.

At any rate, their lives were hard and ended in the Civil War. Mathias, who served with Company F of the 96th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, died of chronic diarrhea in Louisiana on 12 June 1863.[viii] John died of scarlet fever on 9 August 1864 at Andersonville Prison. Emily Jane, who married a Wesley Overturf, lived on, and moved from Illinois, to Missouri, to Indian Territory (Oklahoma.)[ix]

Still a mystery: the exact time, place, and cause of Richard’s death. Some mysteries are never solved; but maybe when I least expect it.

[i] The Ohio Genealogical Society keeps these records on file and provides a searchable list of their names. The information is available upon request. You can even join a society by using the member # and provide documentation connecting you to any verified ancestor, thus entering your family’s documentation into the database.
[ii] Richard Croy; 1840; Census Place: Rose, Carroll, Ohio; Roll: 381; Page: 248; Image: 504; Family History Library Film: 0020160 1840 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.
[iii] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 15 July 2014), Carroll > Marriage records 1833-1849 vol 1 > image 95 of 203; county courthouses, Ohio.
[iv] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 15 July 2014), Delaware > Marriage records 1846-1858 vol 2 > image 33 of 316; county courthouses, Ohio.
[v] Emily Jane Croy and Rachel; 1850; Census Place: Brown, Delaware, Ohio; Roll: M432_675; Page: 300A; Image: 412 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
[vi] John Croy; 1850; Census Place: Troy, Delaware, Ohio; Roll: M432_675; Page: 287; Image: 384 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
[vii] Mathias Croy; 1850; Census Place: Troy, Delaware, Ohio; Roll: M432_675; Page: 286A; Image: 384 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.
[viii] Mathias Croy; U.S., Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012.Registers of Deaths of Volunteers, compiled 1861–1865. ARC ID: 656639. Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s–1917. Record Group 94. National Archives at Washington, D.C.
[ix] based on 1870, 80, and 1900 Federal Census information

The Jolley, Russel, and Croy Families in Union County

It’s cleanup time for the family of Jacob and Mary Huston Croy.

Watkins Margaret Jolly

Picture by author: Mitchell Cemetery, Union County, Ohio, May 2016

First, the last of my cemetery visits while in Ohio. I enjoyed the trip and discovered so much. On my first morning there, I bravely set out to find three cemeteries. I was a novice at this but managed the first two, Union and Watkins, well enough, but by the time I found the last of them, Mitchell Cemetery, I was tired and feeling rushed, not a good combination for detective work. I sometimes wish I lived closer!

Mary (Croy) Roberts moved to Union County with George Roberts after their marriage in 1807.[i] George died some time between 1815 and 1819. [ii]Mary lived near her daughters Elizabeth Croy Russel (husband James Russel) and Eleanor Croy Marquis (husband John Marquis) in 1820 Darby Township. With Mary were two children; based on their ages they are likely Margaret Croy born 31 January 1805 and David H. Croy born 1 June 1801. [iii]

Margaret, the youngest of Mary Huston Croy (Roberts) and Jacob Croy’s children is buried in Mitchell cemetery, one of the oldest in Union County. A number of her descendants and her husband’s previous wife are buried there as well. I was able to find those gravesites, slowly dissolving under a lichen cover. Margaret married John Jolley (his second marriage) early in 1827-1830.[iv] (A fun fact: John Jolley indicated in his will that no more than $20 should be spent on his granite headstone.[v])

Watkins John Jolley

Picture by author: Mitchell Cemetery, Union County, OH, May 2016

At Watkins Cemetery, also dissolving under lichen, I found David H Croy and Sarah (Sally) Wasson Croy. They had married in Franklin County, OH on 14 December 1828.[vi]

9 David H Croy

Picture by author: Watkins Cemetery, Union Cty, OH

In the process of reviewing this information, I discovered more.

First regarding Elizabeth, whose life was a mystery to me after her husband died on 28 August 1828. [vii] I now know she married Christian Sager on 8 November 1835[viii] but divorced him before 1847 when Christian remarried. Knowing her new surname, I found the 1850 Federal Census Mortality Schedule showing she died March 1850 of an inflammation of the lungs, being ill seven days.[ix]

Next, I saw reference to a Union County History so went searching. It unveiled some information about the men these Croy women married. I’ve quoted the information here.[x]

“James Russel, from Loudoun County, Va., was a comparatively early settler on the J.S. Smith place near the southern line of the township. He continued his residence here to the time of his death. Amasa Payne owned and occupied the E.D. Smith place in the southeastern part of the township.” (An aside: Amasa Payne is the brother of Sephronia Payne, my great-great grandmother, however, I have discovered no other connections between these families.)

“John Jolly was a North Carolinian. His family was of the Quaker persuasion and he, imbued with the principles of that sect, left his native State from an abhorrence of the institution of slavery and sought a home in Ohio. In 1818, with his wife, Hannah (Cook), and three children, he settled upon a tract of wild land he had purchased in the southern part of Survey 7,218, now the home of Charles Nicol. Here he cleared the land and tilled the soil, engaging also, to some extent, in shoe-making. He was an earnest supporter of the Methodist Church. His children by his first marriage were Elias, who removed to Kansas; Michel, who married Fredrick Sager; Rachel; Joel; Mary, who married Adam Brown; John; Jeremiah, of Kansas; and Lewis, of Iowa. His second wife was Margaret Croy, who still lives with her daughter Eleanor, wife of A.J. Ferguson. By this marriage there were six children—Betsy, who married David and is now deceased; Eli, Eleanor, Margaret and two who died young. Mr. Jolly died July 31, 1860, at Unionville, aged seventy-eight years.” (Note: This and cemetery information gives Hannah as Lewis’ mother, however according to cemetery records, Hannah died in January of 1827 and Lewis was born in December of 1827, either indicating an error in dates or making Margaret his mother and 1827 the likely marriage date unless there is an error on the cemetery records.[xi])

On another note, I will limit my posts in complexity and quantity for a while because of a number of projects.

  1. I am attempting to document the family for the Ohio Genealogical Society beyond the Civil War brothers through their original entry into Ohio before 1830, including Alexander Huston’s entry while Ohio was still part of the Northwestern Territory.
  2. I hope to write my first genealogy article for a journal.
  3. I am working with my editor to take my first book from manuscript to print sometime next year.

Oh, one other thing: To all my readers, for your interest, information, and encouragement, THANK YOU!

[i] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 June 2015), Columbiana > Marriage records 1803-1818 vol 1 > image 15 of 166; county courthouses, Ohio.
[ii] John Huston vs. Henry McGrath, Chancery Records; Records Center and Archives, Montgomery County Reibold Building 117 South Main Street, 6th floor, P.O. Box 972, Dayton, Ohio 45422-1110
1820 U.S. Census; Darby Township, Union, Ohio; Page: 208; NARA Roll: M33_94; Image:256. [database on-line accessed 16 April 2014]
[iii] Ibid
[iv] Lewis Jolley, Oakdale Cemetery, Adel, Dallas County, Iowa; Find A Grave. Find A Grave.
Hannah Jolley, Mitchell Cemetery, Union County, Ohio.
[v] Will Records, 1852-1908; Probate Place: Union, Ohio Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Ohio County, District and Probate Courts.[accessed 12 August]
[vi] Ohio Marriages, 1789-1898 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Smith, Marjorie, ed. Ohio Marriages. Extracted from The Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly. 1977. Reprint, Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1986.
[vii] Bigelow Pioneer Cemetery, Madison County, OH; Find A Grave. Find A Grave.
[viii] Copy of Marriage Certificate George Sager biographical sketch. Published by the Union County History Book Committee in “Family Heritage-Union County, Ohio; 1985. From entry of 01 Jan 2011 [accessed 16 Aug 2016]
[ix] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Non-population Census Schedules for Ohio, 1850-1880; Archive Collection: T1159; Archive Roll Number: 15; Census Year: 1850; Census Place: Subdivision 146, Union, Ohio U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885 [database on-line accessed 16 August 2016]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.
[x] Durant, Pliny, The History of Union County Ohio (Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co. 1883) Library of Congress: Open Library pg 227
[xi] see iv

Early 19th Century Croy Occupations: Mill Workers and Carpenters

Posted on

Andrew Croy Died Dec 20, 1859 Aged 72y 1m  18d St. Luke Cemetery, Monroe Township, Carroll County, Ohio (For more on Andrew use the site search engine.)

Often we assume that occupations are a family thing, passed from generation to generation. To a certain extent it is true. There are families of teachers, construction workers, even musicians. But the economics of the time and the needs of those inhabitants living in that time play a large role in determining how a family makes a living. I say family because, in the time of Andrew Croy, family usually worked together in the same livelihood. For this family, from at least 1830 to 1869, the profession of wood and mill worker was dominant.

In the early days of our nation, especially on the frontier edge, the inhabitants primary needed housing, food, and a means of transport. Those needs required, first, mills to cut lumber and grind grain (among other things, a nice overview here). Secondly, carpenters and wagon makers skilled in building were in demand. Our family served those needs.

Andrew Croy ran saw and gristmills. He purchased land for a mill on 22 April 1829 in Stark (later Carroll) County, Ohio. He ran that mill until between 20 January 1838 (when he sold 20 acres of that land to Akey Worley) and 27 July 1839 (when he sold the rest to the same).

andrew bark st mill

Site of first of Andrew Croy’s mill, halfway along Bark St, in Carroll County, Ohio

By 20 December 1829, he had moved to White Eyes Township, Coshocton County and purchased a mill from John Gardner, original land grant to John Graham. On 25 March 1856, likely in poor health, he sold the land to David Reed.

andrew mill site

Site of second of Andrew Croy’s mills, one mile NW of Fresno, Ohio in White Eyes Township, Coshocton County, Ohio 

white eyes

White Eyes Creek–The Carroll County site and Coshocton site were similar in that they both had a rise for the mill above a low lying creek to provide power.

Here is a newspaper account of the mill’s history.

“All three (3) mills stood along the creek banks in White Eyes Township and there was a bustle of rural community activity for weeks out of each year.

The first was located on the Ed Steiner farm, one mile north of Avondale, now Fresno. It was built in 1832 by Thomas Diehl and had an undershot wheel sixteen (16) feet in diameter and about three (3) feet wide.

Two runs of burrs, elevators, a bolting chest and other necessary appliances completed the mechanical equipment for the picturesque affair.

Its two stories towered above the wooded slopes of historic White Eyes creek and stood on a foundation 32 x 40 feet. It was enclosed by lap siding and shaved oak shingles and its capacity was seven to eight bushels of wheat an hour.

The mill was purchased by Andy Croy, father of the late David Croy in 1839 and operated by him for 16 years. [until 1855] Thomas Moore then ran the mill for several years after which David took possession. Two years later David Reed acquired it. [Does not jive with deed date of sale.] When Mr. Reed fell at the battle of Winchester in the Civil War, the mill’s years of service came to an end.”

David Croy lived in Coshocton until his death and continued in the occupation his father taught him.

OKC david croy

Photo from Oak Grove Cemetery, David married Eunice Frazee, 2 April 1846, with whom he had Robert, William, Matthew, Margaret, Mary, Eliza Jane, and Jacob. He later married Hannah McPherson. 

“Several decades ago, the second mill was still in operation. It stood at Boyd’s mills and it was operated for years by its builders, brothers William and Journal Boyd. Today the site is part of Rev. C.D. Firster’s farm.

Later the mill was sold to Robert Doak, who sold it to Robert Boyd, who in turn sold it to Adam Gardner in 1864. Mr. Gardner died in 1872 and the property was sold to Thomas Elliot and he later sold it to J.P. Benjamin in 1881. In 1883 it was again sold, this time to Mr. [David] Croy.

A third mill had stood along White Eyes Creek one mile up stream, it was operated successively by Mr. Headley, Wm Frazy,[Andrew’s sons David and Michael married Frazy/Frazee’s] Andrew Croy and David Reed. It suspended operation in 1860.”

Meanwhile, Andrew’s son Jacob who joined him in Coshocton became a wagon maker, wagons being in demand during the canal days of Coshocton County. Jacob brought his family to Washington County, perhaps floating down the Muskingum River canal improvement where he continued to work as a wagon maker. Jacob’s son, William, briefly owned a sawmill bought in 1869, and son Robert worked as a carpenter.

But times were changing. The steam engine and the movement of civilization into the far west, impacted the needs of the nation and its people. Small local mills slowly faded away. Water as an energy source was replaced by coal. The war spread families apart. We were a nation transformed.

The “good old days” were gone. When I visited David Croy’s gravesite, I met the man who lived there and maintained the cemetery. He told tales of how the lumbermen lived in tents on the Tuscarawas River a small distance south where a dance hall entertained. Across from the gravesite was a small church that had “socials” for the men. The men working lumber might have their “fun” down on the Tuscarawas but usually found their wives at the church socials. Here is how the article explained it.

“Settlers in Coshocton county nearly a century ago [now a century and a half] came many miles to patronize the grist mills, at first on horseback and later in wagons. Each customer waited his turn. During the interval many would unlimber their fishing equipment and combine business with pleasure.

Others spent the time in games and many told of the stories that were related. Evening parties were arranged and old time songs mingled with the beat of dancing feet on the broad beamed floors of the Grist Mill.”

Article printed in the Cemetery History: White Eyes Township Vol XV by the Coshocton County Chapter OGS, pg 174: from an aged newspaper clipping owned by Ed Norris of Fresno, Ohio.
Additional documentation available upon request: Census, Marriage, Land Records


Thursday Throwback: Nathan Croy

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side Nathan Ida

Decatur Presbyterian Cemetery, Fairfield Township, Washington County, Ohio

Nathan Croy, the sixth child of Jacob and Margaret Croy, was born in Coshocton County, Ohio, April 1, 1844.[i] He moved with his parents from Coshocton County to his brother William’s land near Cutler, Washington County, Ohio around 1860.[ii] He was sixteen. By August 1862, all his brothers except the youngest, Calvin, then not quite 15, had enlisted in the Union Army. He stayed to work the farm. But by May of 1864, Calvin was turning 18 and decided to join as well. Nathan enlisted with him. It was a short tour of duty, 100 days.[iii]

Here is the account from the rolls compiled right after the war by Reverend David C. Perry.

“Nathan Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy was born in Coshocton in 1843 [corrected to 1 Apr. 1844] Went from Fairfield in Co. G 148 O.V.I. Continued on duty through the term of service. At the expiration of which he returned & was discharged with the Regiment. [added…at Camp Marietta, Ohio, 14 Sep. 1864]”

While Calvin reenlisted after their return home, Nathan stayed at the farm. On March 1, 1868, he bought two 50-acre lots from his brother, Greer Croy, who was suffering from consumption.[iv] The land was near Vincent, Ohio, a stones through from Cutler, where his brother lived. His father and mother lived with Nathan until their deaths in 1872 and 1884 respectively.

Nathan married Ida Jane Nelson on January 16, 1875.[v] They had two children: Mary Ethel Croy (born 1881) and Wilford Nathan Croy (born 1888.)[vi] Ida died of heart disease on May 9, 1890[vii] when Wilfred was four and Mary was almost nine. Nathan never remarried. He cared for his children and worked his farm until his death from heart disease at 73 on the 17th of May 1817.[viii] His story is one of simple commitment, to a place and his family.

[i] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” Database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 June 2015), 1917 > 34201-37120 > image 2979 of 3299.
[ii] Grantee William Croy/Grantor Ales., Sarah Johnson; Washington County Courthouse; Deed Book Vol.46 pg. 332 and census records, 1860
[iii] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH.
[iv] Grantee Nathan Croy/Grantor Greer, Melona Croy; Washington County Courthouse; Deed Book Vol.69 pg. 94
[v] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 July 2015), Washington > Marriage records 1864-1880 vol 6 > image 155 of 400; county courthouses, Ohio.
[vi] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” Database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 June 2015), 1917 > 34201-37120 > image 2979 of 3299.
[vii] “Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 July 2015), Washington > Death records, 1867-1908 > image 309 of 494; county courthouses, Ohio.
[viii] “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1953,” Database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 June 2015), 1917 > 34201-37120 > image 2979 of 3299.


Throw Back Thursday: Greer Croy (1838-1872)

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Greer Croy 1

This is the first of a series of “Throw Back Thursday” posts highlighting individuals whose grave markers I found on my trip to Ohio. Because Memorial Day is near, I decided to begin the series with a veteran of the Civil War, Greer (Grier) Croy, buried in Decatur Presbyterian Cemetery in Washington County, Ohio.

While in Ohio, I met Deb Root Shell, a historian with deep connections to Washington County. She told me about an original, hand-written document from 1865 tucked away in the Washington County Library Local History and Genealogical Archives. She plans to transcribe these precious records, but until then I am lucky enough to have the pages referencing my family.

Here is the entry for Greer Croy.

“Greer Croy, son of Jacob & Margaret Croy was born in Coshocton Co. O. January 8th 1838. Enlisted from Fairfield in Co F 36th O.V.I. Oct. 12th 1861, & was made “color corporal.” Never disabled from duty by sickness. Was wounded (1st) in the foot, at Antietam, by a fragment of shell. Was in Hosp three months, & on recovery rejoined his Regt at Charleston W.Va. Wounded (2nd) at Chicamauga by a minie ball glancing on the back of his head, stunning him so that he fell, dead, or was supposed. He rejoined the Regt in a day or two. Was wounded (3rd) at Cedar Creek Va., Oct 18th 1864, by a minie ball passing through his hip near the joint, shattering the bone, & was sent to the “Cameron St Gen. Hosp.”, Baltimore, Md. Coming home on a month’s furlough, as soon as his wound would allow. On his return to Baltimore he received his discharge, Feb. 1865, as a disabled veteran being badly lame for life. He was shot while carrying the colors.”[i]

He never fully returned to active life though he purchased land[ii] in Decatur Township below Cutler along the West Branch of the Little Hocking River during the late 1860’s and attempted to farm it. As his brother William noted in a pension deposition:

“Greer Croy was very ambitious & I suppose he thought circumstances compelled him to work & frequently tried to work and did work more or less …when I am satisfied he ought not to have worked at all.”[iii]

Greer had three sons, Sheridan (1868-1953–named after the General who led him) and Jacob Sylvine (1869-1937) who settled in Oregon, and Joseph Ellsworth, (1871-1872–died of consumption at four months old). His wife Malona Basim Croy Place (1839-1916), is buried near Greer’s brother, William Croy, in Centennial Cemetery[iv] not far away. Two markers carry Greer’s name; one is old and worn, the other newer. Greer died of consumption, at the age of 34.Greer Croy 2

[i] Handwritten Roll of Honor document, compiled by Charles Strong Perry, 1865, Washington County Public Library, History and Genealogical Archive, 418 Washington St., Marietta, OH.

[ii] Croy, Greer from Dunsmore, Alson V60, Pg 389; same from Fairbank, Elijah V 65, pg 94; same from Ballard PE V 70, pg 636. Records Office, Washington County Court House, Marietta, OH

[iii] Soldier’s Certificate No. 237291, Greer Croy, Corporal, Company F, 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry; Case Files of Approved Pension applications of Veterans Who Served in the Army and Navy Mainly in the Civil War and the War with Spain (Civil War and Later Survivors’ Certificates), 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, p 20-21 National Archives, Washington, DC

[iv] find-a-grave


YES! Jacob Croy is the son of Andrew Croy

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signatures of Parent and son

Together on a legal transaction with information on their literacy. (On another document it shows Susanna signing with her mark.) I was pretty excited to see this!

Parents and children care for each other. They support each other. They help each other in their undertakings. Long ago they worked together and lived with each other far into adulthood. As now, when things were tough grandparents cared for grandchildren, and they often bought and sold property together. Love and support (and, yes, its opposite) are human qualities, past and present.

I went to Ohio hoping to find evidence that Jacob Croy was the son of Andrew Croy. Mind you, I knew it was true. But, for genealogists, proximity, as in living in the same place and even the same house, is not definitive proof of a familial relationship. Still, at some point, can’t all that coinciding evidence be considered “proof?”

I knew a great deal before my trip. (Rehashed below.[i]) From this information, I surmised that Duncan, Michael, Richard, Samuel, and my great-great grandfather Jacob were sons of Andrew. Various age estimates fit the 1820 census information. Referencing only my source information, the names of two sons, one born 1811-1820 and another born 1826-1830 were unknown. The names of two daughters born 1811-1815 and 1821-1825 were also unknown. Now all but one of those names can be confirmed through evidence.

So, what new documentation did I find?

  • Mary Croy married Robert Russell on 14 February 1835 in Carroll County.[ii]
  • Mary died in Carroll County of consumption 11 June 1871. She was born in Jefferson County to “parents Andrew and Susannah Croy.”[iii]
  • Then there was this lovely obituary.[iv] “Matthew Russell who died at the dawning of the 29th day of August 1881 was born May 27th 1818, on the farm on which he died­–his father having entered that piece in 1812…Mr. Russell was united in marriage to Miss Margaret Croy on the 18th of August, 1840, and leaves his widow and six children (we believe all the family) to morn his departure…”
  • And this gem from a synopsis of an “aged newspaper clipping owned by Ed Norris of Fresno [Ohio]…The mill was purchased by Andy Croy, father of the late David Croy in 1839 and operated by him for 16 years.”[v] I found the deed in which Andrew sells that land on the 25th of March 1856. It outlines the history of the property including the previous date of purchase and ownership.[vi]
  • Finally, how about two couples named Croy selling, together, a piece of land in Coshocton County? The document includes the names of both Andrew and Jacob and their wives. And the land is adjacent to, and in the same White Eyes Township and same section and range, S6 R 5, as the land with the mill.[vii] (See photo above)

I think I have a vast body of proof to substantiate my claim. The two daughters are Mary and Margaret whom Andrew and Susannah went to live with after selling the mill. The youngest son is David, who stayed in Coshocton County all his life. The last son…well there is always more history to discover.

What I do know is close to heart. Family takes care of each other, supports each other…or not. The choice matters. Andrew and Susannah chose to foster that connection. And Jacob was their son.

  • Mathias Croy married Susan Pugh on 4 January 1816 in Brown Township, Stark/Carroll County[i], Ohio (He and Andrew are the only Croy males of age to be Jacob’s father in Stark/Carroll County. Jacob was born 6 March 1810.)
  • Mathias Croy, according to Stark County Tax Records from 1826-1830, lived continuously in Rose Township
  • On the 1820 census, Andrew Croy and a female, born 1776-1794, lived in Brown Township, Stark/Carroll County with 2 boys born 1801-1810 and 4 boys and 1 girl born 1811-1820.
  • Andrew and family, according to the Stark County Tax Records from 1826-1830, continued living in Brown Township through 1828.
  • Andrew bought land in Rose Township, Stark/Carroll County, Ohio on 2 April 1829.
  • Jacob Croy married Margaret Pugh in Stark/Carroll County, Ohio on 5 April 1830.
  • On the 1830 census, four Croy families lived in Rose Township (one township away from Brown), Stark/Carroll County, Ohio:
    • Andrew and a female, born 1776-1794, with one boy, born 1801-1810, 1 boy and 1 girl, born 1811-1815, 1 girl, born 1821-1825 and 1 son, born 1826-1830
    • Duncan and a female, born 1801-1810, with 1 boy and 1 girl, born 1826-1830
    • Jacob and a female, born 1801-1810
    • Mathias and a female, born 1776-1794, 1 boy and 1 girl born 1816-1820, 1 boy and 1 girl born 1821-1825, 1 boy and 1 girl born 1826-1830
  • Andrew Croy paid taxes on lot 18 in Morges, Rose Township Ohio from 1833-1838.
  • Jacob Croy paid taxes on a lot 17 in Morges, Rose Township from 1833-1835
  • Michael Croy paid taxes on lot 24 in Morges, Rose Township from 1833-1835.
  • On the 1840 census, two Croy families lived in White eyes Township, Coshocton County, Oh
    • Andrew Croy born 1871-1880, lived with a female born 1781-1790, 1 male born 1801-1810, 1 boy and 1 girl born 1821-1825, 1 boy born 1831-1835, and 1 girl born 1836-1840.
    • Michael Croy born 1801-1810 with a female born 1811-1820, a girl born 1831-1835, and a boy born 1836-1840.
  • On the 1840 census, two Croy families with the head of household named Jacob lived in Coshocton County
    • Jacob of Washington County who had lived in the township and county on previous census records since 1820 at least…so not our Jacob.
    • Jacob Croy born 1801-1810 lived in Mill Creek Township, Coshocton County with a female and male born 1811-1820, 1 boy and 1 girl born 1831-1835, and 1 boy born 1836-1840.
  • One Croy, Richard, born 1811-1820 with a female born 1815-1821 and a boy under 5.
  • Samuel Croy married Catherine McClish 10 February 1837.
[ii] Robert Russell and Mary Croy marriage record, 14 February 1835; Carroll county Genealogical Library, 24 2nd St NE, Carrollton, Ohio; V I Marriage Records, pg 38.
[iii] Mary Russell death record, 11 June 1871; Carroll County Genealogical Library,24 2nd St NE, Carrollton, Ohio; Record of Deaths, Probate Court, pg 36-38, # 98.
[iv] Matthew Russell obituary; Carroll Chronicle, Carrollton, Ohio, 2 September 1881; Carroll County Genealogical Library, pg 35.
[v] Coshocton County Chapter of OGS, White Eyes Township, Coshocton County: Cemeteries…Brief History… Vol. XV: “The First Grist Mill 1832 on White Eyes Creek pg 174.
[vi] Deed: Andrew Croy to David Reed; Coshocton County Deed Book, V 31, Pg 754; Coshocton County Records Office, Coshocton, OH.
[vii] Deed: Jacob & Andrew Croy to William Adams; Coshocton County Deed Book, V 23, Pg 421; Coshocton County Records Office, Coshocton, OH.