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Tag Archives: Croy Family History

Ohio Genealogical Society Thank You

My article—The Croy Boys:Seven Sons Serving in the Civil War—is in the just-published OGSQ. Have ancestors from Ohio? Join the Ohio Genealogical Society! It is a fabulous organization, and you get access to so much—including all the Quarterly publications. Go to “Civil War” in blog categories in the right-hand column and find out more about these boys.

Treat #2 for a New Year: The Croy Boys

The Croy Boys

The Croy Boys

This photograph includes all six of Calvin and Sarah Payne Smith Croy’s sons. My best guess as to which is which is (back row) Albert Lloyd, Gardner Lester, Justus Leonice, David Harrison, (front row) Charles Henry, and William Duncan. I based this on World War I draft information and approximate ages along with comparisons of the few other photos available. World War I draft cards are a wealth of information extremely useful for identification purposes, residency, and family relationships. The cards described Justus as tall with blue eyes and light hair, William as medium build with blue eyes and dark hair, Lloyd as short and stout with grey eyes and light hair, Gardner as of medium build and height with blue eyes and brown hair, and David as short and stout with blue eyes and light brown hair. I used a picture of David and some of my grandfather, Justus, to help fine tune my “guesses.” And the date? Most likely about 1917 just before Lloyd, who died at the Battle of Argonne in WWI in 1918, entered the army. It is this detective work with its constant questioning, wondering, and discovery that I relish.

Finding Jacob Croy in Pennsylvania

St. David's (Sherman) Church

St. David’s (Sherman) Church

I went to Pennsylvania hoping to find the origins of the Croy family in the United States. I did not. I know nothing more than when I started but, if such a thing is possible, I know it with greater clarity. Does that mean I know nothing with great clarity? In a word, yes.

I thought I found reference to Jacob Croy in the records of those arriving from the Palatinates in 1740’s Philadelphia. As noted in a previous blog, another researcher thought this was true. After careful handwriting analysis and some research regarding the script of that period, I am no longer sure. In fact, based on information from a German speaker, it is unlikely that the name Croy comes from the Palatinates since surnames from Germanic heritage rarely begin with “C.” (Perhaps, French speaking areas of what is now Belgium where Croy Castle is found?)

What do we know regarding “Croy” in the Americas? To the best of my knowledge, in chronological order, I have discovered the following:

  1. The Walloon, Jan De Croy, arrived in Virginia in the early 1600’s.
  2. A Winifred Croy (likely male) owned land in Virginia in the early 1600’s.
  3. A Peter Croy is noted in Massachusetts’s court records in the 1620’s.
  4. A Michael Croy with wife Anna Marie participated in a christening in 1767 York County, PA. (see photo)
  5. An Esther Croy , born about 1745, is listed as the wife of Adam Romberger  with a Jacob Croy managing the estate in Annville, Lebanon County, PA in 1800. There was a Jacob Croy in the area at the time. This could be our Jacob, but our patriarch was definitely in Bedford County from 1775 to 1790 with record of a land purchase in the neighboring county in 1794. By 1804 the family had moved to Ohio.
Wills Mountain with Cook Homestead

Wills Mountain with Cook Homestead

View near Wills Creek

View near Wills Creek

Without doubt though, our family lived in Londonderry Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania at the time of the Revolutionary War. They settled with the Huston and Oswalt families not far from the Mason-Dixon line between Wills Mountain and Wills Creek neighboring the Cook homestead. With a little help from some wonderful people at the library in Hyndman, my (very patient) husband and I found the spot. I stood silently absorbing the rustle of leaves falling like rain from the trees, an unending chorus of frogs and crickets, the fecund scent of rotting leaves and fungi, and the embrace of the past. Can’t you feel them?