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Tag Archives: Duncan Croy

I’m My Own Grandpa

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marriage of E Croy and J HustonA helpful reminder right up front: When researching women who seem to fall off the edge of the world, always check for marriages using their married name. Most often subsequent marriages after a spouse’s death are recorded under the woman’s married name, not her maiden name.

Because my fiction series, The Maggie Chronicles, is lifted, much altered, from my genealogy research, I find I often dig deep and discover details that help break down a brick wall or two. Such was the case as I research the fourth of my Maggie Chronicles (number three—The Legacy of Payne—comes out next year).

The ancestor in question is Duncan Croy, first-born son of Andrew Croy and Susannah Oswalt Croy—birth year approximately 1804.[i] He is brother to Jacob Croy, my great-great-grandfather. Until recently, I knew only that he married in 1827[ii]to Sally Morrison, had a boy and girl under five by 1830,[iii] was living in 1840 with Andrew Croy in White Eyes Township, Coshocton County, Ohio.[iv] From this information, I reasoned that Sally Morrison had died. The fact that he remarried in 1840 to Elizabeth Chipliver[v] confirmed this assumption.

But by 1850, Duncan Croy had disappeared, as had Elizabeth. Andrew and Susannah had two young children living with them, Susannah, age 11, and Margaret, age 5. David Croy, Duncan’s brother, had a boy named Andrew residing with him, age 19, too old to be one of David’s children. It seemed likely Duncan had died. Yet, looking back on the 1830 and 1840 census, these records account for only some of his children. What happened to the rest? And what happened to Elizabeth, his second wife.

Remember the hint at the beginning of the blog? I applied it and looked for Elizabeth CROY. Sure enough, a marriage record showed up. And what a surprise! Hence, the title of this blog: I’m My Own Grandpa. It was one of my father’s favorite songs. After a convoluted and humorous explanation, it concludes: “It seems funny I know, but it really is so, I’m my own Grandpa.”

So follow along—and I won’t try to confuse this with references, all of which can be found on Ancestry. Duncan’s mother was Susannah OSWALT before marrying Andrew Croy; Susannah’s mother was Sarah HUSTON who had a brother David HUSTON who married Susannah’s sister Rebecca OSWALT; David and Rebecca had, among other children, a son named John HUSTON. Elizabeth Chipliver Croy married him after Duncan died. The 1850 census for Elizabeth and John lists more of Duncan’s children by her and Sally. Look below for an accounting.[vi] I’ll update the family sheet later.

Hang in there—because I’m not done yet. Elizabeth died before 1860 and who should John marry?[vii] Susannah Croy, Duncan’s child by Sally Morrison, who cared for the children John had with Elizabeth, along with four more of her own. In other words, John married his nephew’s daughter, taking after his father, who had married his niece.

I’ve often mentioned the close connections between the Croy, Oswalt, and Huston families. They were very close! As an aside, I discovered the name of another of Duncan’s children by Sally: the older boy, Samuel. And he married David Huston’s daughter Margaret.

I will confuse no further. I’ve delved deeper into each of Duncan’s children and those of John Huston. If you are interested, I’d love to hear from you.

A graphic for your pleasure:Alexander Huston Mary Ann Johnson

[i]based on the Federal Census for 1830, Rose Township, Carroll County, Ohio, marriage certificate, Carroll County, and Federal Census for 1840, White Eyes, Coshocton County, Ohio including that of mother, Susannah’s birth date
[ii]14 September 1827 based on Carroll County, Ohio marriage records, FamilySearch.com
[iii]Federal Census 1830, Rose Township, Stark County, Ohio for Duncan Croy
[iv]Federal Census 1840, White Eyes Township, Coshocton, Ohio—also, through deduction, I determined a boy, born 1830-1835, and two girls, born 1835-1840.
[v]18 October 1840, based on Coshocton County, Ohio marriage records, FamilySearch.com
[vi]Children of Duncan (about 1804-1845) and Sally Morrison(about 1807-1839): Unknown female, Samuel, Andrew, Susannah
Children of Duncan and Elizabeth Chipliver (about 1812-1857): Eliza, Catherine, Margaret.
[vii]17 June 1858 based on Coshocton County, Ohio marriage records, Ancestry.com

Richer Still: 4 (or 5) Reasons You Need Your Ancestor’s Civil War Records

Nathan sign williams sign Duncan signPreviously I examined the wonders found in Civil War Pension Records. Well, I just received the next and, for now, the last batch of records for the seven brothers I am documenting. My application to honor them through the Ohio Genealogical Society is in the mail. So with that monumental task complete, I want to review the reasons for anyone interested in family history to get those records right away!

Again, they proved to be a genealogy detective’s Mecca. Oh, you’ll fine the dates and some essential records like marriage and death certificates. In fact, I recommend getting pension records first. It might save a lot of unnecessary time and research. But the glory comes from the details, bringing these people to life: their appearance, their health, their service, and their struggles and temperaments. All good reasons to obtain your ancestor’s Civil War Pension Records; let’s look at these four aspects from the perspective of my own family.

  1. Appearance: Not only does a detail regarding the appearance of an ancestor allow you to picture him, (in this case, all ‘hims’) it also gives a little genetic insight. I know that William, Duncan, Robert, Calvin, and David all were at least six foot tall (well above average height for the time) with light hair and blue eyes. Greer was shortest at 5’8” with brown hair and blue eyes, while Nathan had grey eyes, light hair, and stood 5’10”. I witness these same traits popping up in my own family.
  2. Health: Medical information can also provide individual and genetic insights. William, Nathan, Robert, and Calvin all suffered from heart disease. And while it is difficult to separate out their service related ailments from those of old age, rheumatism (and lumbago, what a lovely old word) was a malady common to all the brothers. Service illnesses were also documented in the files. William had typhoid in April of 1863. Duncan suffered from Malaria for most of 1863. Contracted “near the Cumberland River in Tenn.”, the symptoms would plagued him his whole life, debilitating him by 56.
  3. Service: Details of their service experience, when they were sick or detached from their regiment, can help determine in which battles they participated. I provided some sense of four of the brothers’ service in my last blog. Now I know that William’s illnesses did not impact any battle dates but he was “absent detached with Div. train since May 20, 1864”. What does that mean, ‘with division training’ or ‘with division train’? I am not sure, so if you know please respond! I do know it means he likely did not participate in Sherman’s March to the Sea.
  4. Struggles and Temperaments: The government wanted to know whether any habits contributed to claimants’ conditions so documentation was required and sometimes family squabbles erupted in the claims. I know that Nathan had “no evidence of vicious habits,” that William was “a duly sober man of very temperate habits,” and that Duncan “never drank, used tobacco, and had only the best habits”. Then there is the huge argument that played out on the claims pages between Robert Croy and his second wife, Mary E. Atkins Nelson Croy. Robert left Mary twice claiming that she allowed her daughter (his step-daughter) to entertain men in an inappropriate fashion in their home. Both his brother William and sister Francis testified on his behalf, claiming she was unusually cruel to him because he couldn’t work, being deaf and lame. Mary claimed he tried to farm and failed, that they then packed up and moved so he could work as a wagon maker and failed at that, stole things from her when he left so he could sell them, and was one of the “most contrary and disagreeable Persons I know of.” Without resources, because Mary claimed half of his pension, he had his attorney write her begging her to let him “come back to live with you.” She never responded, and Robert died at the home of his sister Francis. A regular soap opera!

I haven’t even mentioned how following post office boxes for each claim found in the records (they were required to reapply often through the years) gives you a very good idea of where that ancestor lived over time. So I have given you FIVE reasons to get those pension records. Can anyone share some more?

All information from Soldier’s Certificates # 928135 (Calvin Croy), #695593 (William P. Croy), #679496 (Robert Croy), #200993 (David Croy), #825314 (Nathan Croy)#779773 (Duncan Croy), and #237291 (Greer Croy)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, 1861-1934; Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs. National Archives, Washington, DC

Seven Brothers and the War of Rebellion: Part Three

Transport on the Tennessee River Taylor & Huntington

Transport on the Tennessee River
Taylor & Huntington

Imagine your 16-year-old son telling you that he is going to war. He can stand aside no longer, not while his brother fights in a war consuming the Nation. What do you say or do? If you are Jacob and Margaret Croy, it seems, you send your eldest son along to protect him. You are family. Duncan Croy, age 16, signed up for the war on the same day as his brother Robert, age 28. They volunteered for a three-year term in the 92nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company G, on August 5, 1862. Greer gave his age as 18. All death, census, and supporting data show his age to be sixteen at the time.[i] Robert, who would muster out as corporal, now had three children between the ages of six and two.

Now imagine these two are your brothers who are joining with another brother already serving in this historic conflict. Do you stay behind? You are young, idealistic, and you are family. William Croy, aged 25, enlisted with the same company in the 92nd only four days later, August 9, 1862. Like brothers Robert and Greer, he would muster out as a corporal. David Croy joined, at 20 years of age, on August 15, 1862. Within a ten-day period, they had all joined the war. Now only Calvin and Nathan stayed home to help their parents and watch after the families of William and Robert. [ii]

The 92nd proceeded to Gallipolis, Ohio for training with Austrian rifled muskets. By October they moved into the Kanawha Valley and into the brigade of General George Crook. With him was Greer Croy, serving in the 36th OVI.

Now the story of five brothers joins, briefly and dramatically. All five brothers now were serving in the war under the same General but in different regiments. They were dispatched by Ohio River transport to Nashville, Tennessee and then on to Carthage. In the two months spent in Carthage, they buried more than 90 men to disease.

In June they headed through endless rain to Big Springs, Tennessee. Here General John Turchin took command. A colorful and portly immigrant from Hungary, he would lead the brothers successfully through the next infamous campaign. First, though he would secure “green corn, blackberries, and fresh vegetables, speedily [eradicate] all traces of scurvy and disease contracted at Carthage…” [iii] His wife, Nadine, who followed him in battle, supported his efforts.

by Alfred Edwards Mathews

by Alfred Edwards Mathews

By September of 1863 the Army of the Cumberland had arrived in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The battles along the Georgia/Tennessee line loomed before them, ones that would tip the scale of the war.

Note: Copyright free photos from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs www.loc.gov/pictures

Next: the 36th OVI and the 92nd OVI in the Battle of Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge.

[i] 1860 U.S. census, Fairfield, Washington, Ohio; Roll: M653_1048; Page: 124 Image: 251; Family History Library Film: 805048 from NARA microfilm publication accessed through ancestry.com also 1850, 1870, 1880, 1900. 1910, and death cert.
[ii] Roster Commission by authority of General Assembly, Official roster of the soldiers of the state of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866, Volume 9 (Cincinnati: The Ohio Valley Pub. & Mfg. Co., 141 and 143 Race St., 1886) Books. Google.com
[iii] Martin R. Andrews, edited and compiled, History of Marietta and Washington county, Ohio and representative citizens, Vol. 1 (Biographical Pub. Co., Chicago, 1902) pg 692 https://openlibrary.org/books/OL6573096M
Includes interesting accounts of each Ohio regiments service from the perspective of the late 1800’s.

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