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Category Archives: Pugh Family History

Who was Margaret Pugh Croy’s father?

Detail of page of marriage record: Margaret Pugh and Jacob Croy

Detail of page of marriage record: Margaret Pugh and Jacob Croy

If your eyes are glazing just looking at this diatribe then read the bolded items and move on. Believe me, I understand. My hope was to reveal the thought and effort I put into my research.

I last wrote regarding assumptions concerning the ancestry of Margaret Pugh who married my great, great grandfather Jacob Croy that were incorrect. At the time I wasn’t even positive of her last name. I’ve done additional research and here is where I stand currently (and where I will leave her lineage for now.)

While I had seen dates for Margaret’s marriage to Jacob Croy, I had no solid evidence. I do now. Rummaging through Family Search for the hundredth time, I discovered a digital copy of the document confirming the marriage of Margaret Pugh to Jacob Croy, April 5, 1830.[i] I got all “jump up and down” excited, but it seems the document had been sitting in a number of genealogies for some time. Still…now it is:

  • Fact number 1: Margaret with the last name PUGH married Jacob Croy in Stark County on April 5, 1830

I now knew with some certainty Margaret’s last name of “Pugh” and not one of the other names bantered about in family lore. (Yes, it could be a second name taken before she married Jacob at 17 but not likely.)

I started looking much more closely at records. I analyzed the records of all “Pugh” names in the 1820 and 1830 census data. I had previously reviewed tax and land records for Rose Township in Stark County and neighboring townships as well. From this information I extracted the following.

  • Fact number 2: Aaron Pugh and John Pugh purchased sections in Township 15, range 6 only 3 sections (in Aaron Pugh’s case) from Andrew Croy and Jacob Oswalt in Township 16, Range 7 of then Stark County, Ohio[ii]
  • Fact number 3: Aaron, John, and Daniel Pugh lived in Rose Township, Stark County, Ohio in 1820 based on the 1820 census.[iii]
  • Fact number 4: In that same 1820 census, only Daniel and John had a female child aged appropriately to have been Margaret.[iv]
  • Facts number 5, 6, 7: Based on the 1830 census, John was, by then, the only Pugh left living in the in Rose Township. There was a female, not shown on the 1820 census, between 30-39. John lived next to Jacob Croy and Mathias Croy, both who married Pughs. [v]

While not definitive, by inference it seems likely that Margaret was the daughter of John Pugh whose wife had died by 1820 and had remarried by 1830. This would fit vaguely into the lore from family stories that Margaret was somehow connected to a Smith, Woods, or Scott. But that story indicates that her father was killed coming home from a war and her mother remarried. Nothing I find (and I investigated all the Smith, Woods, and Scott names for Carroll and Stark Counties, plus West Virginia records on line) indicates that this story has any validity.

It is still possible that Daniel Pugh was her father as he had a girl child of the same age range in 1820. It is also possible that the records for John Pugh in 1820 were inaccurate and the 16-18 year old girl is the same woman in 1830 listed as 30-39. It is also possible that the neighbor relationships were coincidental. Nothing I found is unarguable except her marriage to Jacob, but I think my inference is the most likely. She remains a mystery, for now.[vi] Not a mystery: she raised 3 daughters and 7 sons who all served the Union in the Civil War. That, by inference, takes an amazing woman. Those boys and their service will be the focus of the next few entries.

[i] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-1997,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-17790-60550-48?cc=1614804 : accessed 05 Sep 2014), Stark > Marriage records 1809-1836 vol A > image 132 of 201.
[ii] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Township Plats of Selected States; Series #: T1234; Roll: 50.Source Information: U.S., Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats, 1785-1898 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.Original data:Public Land Survey Township Plats, compiled 1789–1946, documenting the period 1785–1946. NARA microfilm publication T1234, 67 rolls. Records of the Bureau of Land Management, 1685–2006, Record Group 49. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
[iii] 1820 U.S. census, Rose, Stark County, Ohio population schedule, p.192: digital images, Ancestry (http://www.ancestry.com: accessedSept. 9, 2014); from National Archives microfilm publication M33, roll 94, image 229.
[iv] ibid
[v] 1830 U.S. Census, Rose, Stark, Ohio, population schedule, p. 207 FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 06 Sep 2014); citing “1830 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com;, NARA microfilm publication M19, roll 140
[vi] As an aside, John Pugh is listed as the son of Aaron Pugh in most genealogies, documentation not confirmed

I was wrong, or “Admit your weaknesses; foster your strengths.”

Jacob Croy and wife, Margaret, a woman still a mystery.

Jacob Croy and wife, Margaret, a woman still a mystery.

Sometimes you just have to pull back and admit to making a leap of faith where none was warranted. Seeing things clearly through a blindfold of belief or hope or desire isn’t always easy. Warnings abound in genealogy to double check sources, to look at a problem from a number of angles before coming to conclusions. It’s good advice in any pursuit.

There’s an old adage, “Wishin’ don’t make it so.” Well, neither does putting it in print. Written history is fraught with errors. Historians correct them with time and thoughtful analysis. Knowledge is always what we know so far. It is no different with genealogy; errors are out there. So, double-check everything. I am, and this post is my mea culpa. I learned, maybe a little later in life the than some, to admit mistakes.

Some mistakes are small. After a load of detective work, I found little regarding Andrew Croy’s sons, Samuel, Matthew, and Richard. I do know that Samuel married Catherine McClish. I found their marriage certificate from Carroll County, and the McClishs were family friends from Pennsylvania days. But by 1850 Samuel had vanished and by 1880 Catherine was listed as divorced on the census records. And Matthew? The name comes from information posted on “find-a-grave” for Andrew Croy who is buried at St Luke’s Cemetery in Carroll County, but there are no actual records for Matthew anywhere. Was that the boy’s name? There was a seventh boy based on 1820 census records. I would love to know, but I don’t.

Some mistakes are a little bigger. I had Andrew’s son Richard with wife family and all. But he lived in an Ohio county that didn’t make sense. I couldn’t connecting dots. A Richard Croy appears on the 1840 census for Rose Township but no other record exists. Could he be the Richard Cray (consistently Richard Cray) in the same Coshocton County as the rest of the brothers? I don’t know.

Some mistakes are huge. In my original efforts I had my GGgrandmother Margaret who married GGgrandfather Jacob Croy all figured out. Her history went back to interesting and well-documented individuals. I loved them (still do.) But something was wrong. How could she come from the Montgomery County, Ohio Pughs when the family clearly had roots in Stark County, Ohio? Then there was this from a wonderful recollection I inherited, “Margaret’s mother was married twice. I am told her father’s name was Pugh, but am not certain whether Pugh was her father’s or step-father’s name. …Two other names-Scott and Woods-are connected as being her father’s or stepfather’s names.” Another family history from a source I respect gives her name as Margaret Pugh Smith. So, I don’t know and, in good conscience, I must cut her tree at the trunk.

Still, fixing a mistake on paper is a lot easier than fixing a mistake of the heart. So I take heart in the fact that I only need to delete a page, revise a family sheet, and continue to search.

The revised family sheets for Ohio: Ohio family sheets 8-24-2014

The Margaret Croy Weber recollections:Margaret Croy Weber stories Margaret Croy Weber stories pg 2