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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.

[i]
  • 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.

ON THE ROAD (Part 2) Coshocton County

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DSCN0203I stand at the remnants of the Ohio-Erie Canal in Coshocton County, Ohio near the restored old Roscoe Village, a dogwood and redbud dotted treasure through which the Walhonding and Tuscarawas rivers flow and join to become the Muskingum. Coshocton County was home, at one time or another between the 1820’s and 1880’s, to my great grandfather and his parents and grandparents, my great grandmother and her parents and grandparents, AND my great grandmother’s husband’s family. Wow!

So yesterday I spent the day at the Coshocton County Library in Coshocton, Ohio. The library spawned library-envy in me, as it would in all my Friends of the Auberry Library family. A long span of oak pillared, carved oak trimmed alcoves with a naturally lit reading corner at one end and a great family history collection at the other greeted me, as did a fabulous staff.

After seven hours, I had found clues to a brick wall (begging research when I return), excellent books for each township mapping the graveyards, and a reminder of how much I dislike microfilm. But in one of the graveyard books someone threw in a treasure.[i] Here is an excerpt, and there is more…this is just a piece.

“The first [mill] 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… Its two stories towered above the wooded slopes of historic White Eyes creek and stood on a foundation 32 x 40 feet…The mill was purchased by Andy Croy, father of the late David Croy in 1839 and operated by him for 16 years.”

My finds will require some contemplation and additional research, but I will write about them when I can find time for both. Meanwhile, after a last bit of Coshocton grave and land hopping, I take what I’ve learned and drive back in time to Stark and Carroll County where the first known Jacob Croy and his wife, Mary Huston Croy arrived, probably by 1798.

[i] White Eyes Township, Coshocton County: Cemeteries…, Coshocton County Chapter, OGS, P.O. Box 128, Coshocton, Ohio, Pg 174: housed at the Coshocton County Library, Family History Collection.

You just never know!

Approximate place of Andrew Croy's Grist and Saw Mills Imagery: Google Earth (imagery date: 10/8/2013)

Approximate place of Andrew Croy’s Grist and Saw Mills
Imagery: Google Earth (imagery date: 10/8/2013)

Well, you just never know when or where a grand clue might appear! While doing some fine-tuned searching for Civil War records of the seven great uncles who fought for the Union, I discovered this totally unrelated newspaper article from the Coshocton Tribune.[i] Printed December 16, 23, and 30, 1863, [ii] the article reads (with impact to the Croy line highlighted by me):

Sale of Real Estate by Order of Court
On the 16th day of January A.D. 1864 at 9 o’clock in the afternoon, will be sold on the premises in White Eyes township, Coshocton County, Ohio, to the highest bidder, the following real estate as the property of David Reed, deceased, to wit: two small tracts of land containing together seven acres and twenty three hundredths; part of lot 9 in the first quarter, of the sixth Township and fifth Range U.S. Military lands, in White Eyes Township, Coshocton County, Ohio, being the same tracts of land purchased by said David Reed in his life time of Andrew Croy, with the grist and saw mill thereon, and conveyed by said Andrew Croy and his wife to said David Reed, by deed dated March 25th, A.D. 1856, reference to which deed now recorded in the Recorder’s office of Coshocton County, Ohio, is hereby made for a more perfect and complete description of said premises. Terms of sale, one third of purchase money to be paid in hand on the day of sale, one third in one year and the residue in two years from the day of sale, the deferred payments to bear interest from the day of sale and be secured by bond and mortgage. Sold unencumbered of dower.
            John Mackey, Adm’r of David Reed, deceased.
            December 14, 1863

From it we know exactly where great, great, great grandfather Andrew Croy lived and when he “retired” from millwork and ownership. He died December 20, 1859, three and a half years after the sale, and was buried at St. Luke’s Cemetery in Monroe Township, Carroll County, Ohio, the same cemetery of his two daughters, Mary and Margaret, both who married Russell men. Did they care for him in his final years? Likely, but his wife Susannah (Susan) Oswalt Croy died October 26, 1864 (buried in the same cemetery) and I found no census data indicating her residence after the sale of the land so we do not know for sure.

[i] Ancestry.com Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio). Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original Data: Coshocton Tribune. Coshocton, Ohio, USA Database created from microfilm copies of the newspaper. Wednesday, December 23, 1863

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

A Story Delivered Between the Lines

Detail of Map of State of Ohio: 1850

Detail of Map of State of Ohio: 1850

1836-1855 Coshocton County, Ohio Andrew Croy (son of Jacob) and Susanna Croy (daughter of Jacob Oswalt)with their family, including Jacob Croy, my GGgrandfather


By the late 1830’s, the canal system in Ohio was fully operational It connected Lake Eerie and the Ohio River. Barges carrying farm produce and local products to market were making Ohio one of the most prosperous states in the nation. The state’s population had reached a half million by 1820 and was rushing to a million. Men and their families moved to where work was plentiful all along the Ohio-Eerie Canal. For more http://www.canalsocietyohio.org

           The canal system cut directly through the middle of Coshocton County. Around 1836, Andrew Croy’s oldest sons (Michael, Jacob, and, likely, Duncan) headed to Coshocton County. They moved to provide a more prosperous life for their families.

          Grandparents, Andrew and Susanna, followed an equally primal urging. There is something deep-felt and internal that takes hold like a vice grip when grandchildren are in need. Andrew and Susanna’s daughters, Margaret and Mary, had married the Russell boys, pioneers of Monroe Township in Carroll County, and were beginning lives of their own. In 1839 their parents decided to move to Coshocton County. They likely moved to help Duncan.

          That story revealed itself by following scant bits of loosely connected information surrounding Duncan Croy. He seems to have lost his wife soon after moving to Coshocton County, about the same time as the birth of a daughter, Susannah, in 1837. His parents came to help with his 5 children. By 1845 he had married again, to an Elizabeth Chipliver. They had a child named Mary. But by 1850, he and his wife were dead. Andrew and Susanna Croy continued to care for his children. Jacob Croy named his son, born in 1846, Duncan. The family pulled together.

          They lived simple working class lives with limited schooling that kept them on the edge of literacy. The men worked as wagon makers (Jacob), sawyers (David), and millers (Andrew.) Michael worked a farm. The women, while cooking over open hearths, spinning, weaving, and managing their households, produced prodigious numbers of children that tended toward twice as many boys as girls. They held family close and had a web of connections that spanned the state and often dated back to their move from Pennsylvania. As their children grew, they often worked along side aunts, uncles, fathers and mothers who passed on the skills and vocations that ensured their survival.

          The story, delivered between lines of data, carries a theme: one of protective determination. Andrew lost his father by 25 and watched his mother move to Western Ohio with a new, and possibly questionable husband. They took a brother and sisters with them. The experience motivated him to create a refuge built upon family and hard work. It resonated through the generations.

Note: I have struggled to find a balance between the story and the research in my blog and continue to experiment with the right mix and feel. This is my latest attempt. The information from this post is gleaned from the following. You are welcome to e-mail for additional details or with your own information.
  • US census records from 1820 (Andrew Croy in Rose Township, Stark County OH,) 1830 (Andrew, Jacob, Duncan Croy in Rose Township,)1840 (Michael and Andrew Croy in White Eyes Township, Coshocton County OH, Samuel Croy in Hocking County, OH) 1850 (Michael Croy in White Eyes Township; Andrew in Mill Creek Township, Catherine Croy in Hocking County)
  • Marriage certificate for Catherine McClish and Samuel Croy
  • Coshocton County marriage listings 1811-1930
  • Find-a-grave: Andrew Croy 1780-1859-St. Luke’s Cemetery (one of the first in Carroll County used by all faiths)
  • A spread sheet of dates of birth etc. to track family
  • Map a public domain work of art from Wikimedia Commons as part of a cooperation project with Geographicus Rare Antique Maps

“The family became widely scattered.” Part 4

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The grave of Mary Huston

The grave of Mary Huston

The Huston Sisters’ Journeys: Mary Huston

For twenty-eight years Mary Huston Croy called the enclave at Will’s Creek home. Now, in 1789, her husband Jacob packed up his family and moved on. Did the politics of the day play a part? The new Constitution, Bill of Rights, and President Washington’s election put the new nation on the beginnings of stable footing. Was it simple wanderlust and a sense of adventure? Jacob had served the local militia for nearly ten years and likely enjoyed the regular scouting missions. Did the need to provide for a growing family make the difference? By 1789 Mary was likely pregnant with their sixth child, and no evidence exists of any attempt by Jacob to warrant their Londonderry home. Only Jacob, and maybe Mary, can know; but after 1789 the family disappears from the records of Londonderry Township.

They probably moved to the Raystown Branch of the Juniata River in what would be part of Hopewell Township in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. There, on February 10, 1794, Jacob applied jointly for 100 acres of land with his father-in-law, Alexander Huston. It was his first land warrant and indicated improvements and “Interest to commence from the first day of March 1775,” an indication of its use for 19 years before applying for the warrant.[i]

I postulate that the family, with Alexander’s support, moved to the waters of the Raystown Branch to run a saw or gristmill. The profession seems to have run in the family. Brother Mathias Croy operated a saw and gristmill in Londonderry Township in 1792.[ii] Jacob’s son Andrew, no more than six when they likely moved to the Raystown Branch property, owned a saw and gristmill in Ohio as an adult, and Andrew’s son took over his business.[iii]

The whole Raystown experiment lasted, at most, 10 years. No doubt Mary was lonely. Part of a family of twelve children, the first five no more than five years apart, she would likely yearn for companionship. Perhaps Jacob was restless. Regardless, by 1800, their family, which now included eight children between twenty and three years of age, packed up for the Northwest Territory. Included in the procession were the families of Mary’s sisters, Rachel McClish and Sarah Oswalt, and her brother, David Huston who had married Rebecca Oswalt.iii At least 25 men, women, and children, together or in small family groups, made the journey.

Did they wander for a while looking for a likely home; one abundant with cool, flowing water for mills, livestock, and farming; one with hardwood forests giving off the musky scent of home? Likely. Certainly, during the time it took to finalize surveys, name Ohio the 17th state in the Union (1803,) and designate, the land in which they settled as Columbiana County, Jacob and Mary had created a home.

On a muggy day on August 2nd of 1805, Jacob walked into the Stubenville Land Office to claim Section 29 (a section set aside for Revolutionary War Veterans,) Township 9, Range 8 as his own.[iv] By the time he registered the warrant for his 160 acre plot, part of what would one day be Pike Township, Stark County, Ohio, a great deal had happened in his and Mary’s life. Little David (named after David Huston?) and Margaret were born; his two first-born sons had married and given them their first grandchildren. Their life together, I imagine, bore a joy that only comes from such an increase.

Then, sometime between 1805 and about 1810, Jacob died. Whether it was from the yellow fever that ran rampant at the time, an accident in a harsh land, or a hard life early taken, we can never know. But Mary, left with at least 6 children in her care, needed to stand strong and, in these times, required a man’s help. She soon married a George D. Roberts. No record of him exists beyond the court records filed after alexander Huston’s death in 1814, and, by 1820, she was living independently with her two youngest children in Darby Township, Union County, Ohio, far from the land Jacob had claimed.

From my perspective, there is no evidence of warmth in the brief union of George Roberts and Mary Croy. The boys in the family found solace and support in the families of their spouses. Jacob Croy connected with the Stoner family and, even after his wife died in 1825, joined with Rachael Croy Stoner and John Stoner in Indiana.[v] Richard Croy found work in the burgeoning canal economy of Portage County and moved away completely.[vi] Mathias went with brother Andrew to joined Jacob Oswalt and their Aunt, Rebecca Huston Oswalt, in Rose Township, Stark County.iii This was a logical move since Andrew had married Susannah Oswalt, his “kissing cousin,” and my 3x great grandmother.

Meanwhile the youngest children and Elizabeth, her oldest daughter, rallied round their mother in Union County. They made the county their home and lived by her until she died on August 9, 1824, [vii]19 years and 6 days after Jacob walked into the Stubenville Land Office to make his claim. My her request or from their own understanding, they had these words carved into her gravestone, “In Memory of Mary Croy, Wife of Jacob Croy, Forever in Our Hearts.”

[i] Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Land Warrants and Applications, 1733-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.Original data: Warrant Applications, 1733-1952. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania State Archives. Land Warrants. Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, PA.
[ii] Londonderry Township Tax Record, 1792 Bedford County Historical Society, Pioneer Library, 6441 Lincoln Highway, Bedford, PA 15522, (814)623-2011.
[iii] Additional information and documentation to follow in a later post.
[iv]Ancestry.com. Early Ohioans’ residences from the land grant records [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: Riegel, Mayburt Stephenson,. Early Ohioans’ residences from the land grant records. Mansfield, Ohio: Ohio Genealogical Society, 1976.
[v] Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi. Eagle Cemetery, LaGrange County, Indiana and Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Marion County, Ohio
[vi] Chancery Records Alexander Huston wills Ancestry.com. 1840, 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data: Sixth Census of the United States, 1840. (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
[vii] Find A Grave. Find A Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi. Plain City Cemetery, Union County, Ohio