Here I stand, next to the stone marker of Margaret Pugh Croy and her husband, Jacob Croy. In Jacob’s obituary, he is honored as a “true lover of his country” having had “seven sons in the Civil War at one time.” But on this Mother’s Day, I especially wanted to honor Margaret. Imagine her angst and worry, unable to read or write any letter–if one came at all. She bore them and raised them and watched them march away. Each one came back–with hearing loss, tuberculosis, a crippled leg, torn muscles, and torn hearts. But they all came back, though two would die before her, late casualties of the conflict. My heart goes out to her this day. And to the protective arms of mothers everywhere.[i]
Tag Archives: Margaret Pugh Croy
Today I begin the tale of my family in the Civil War. I consider it dangerous territory. Many historians, both amateur and professional, have devoted years to understanding even a single battle. Information abounds regarding the Civil War and I claim no expertise in its history. With that disclaimer, I begin a story of seven brothers. All served, as Jacob’s obituary shown above states, in the Civil War at one time. In point of fact, they all served together for only 100 days from May 2, 1864 to September 14, 1864. The story is no less amazing. And it begins with what the family seemed to do regularly. It begins with a move.
By 1860 Jacob Croy, wagon maker, and Margaret Pugh Croy, my great, great grandparents, had moved from Coshocton County, Ohio to Fairfield Township, Washington County, Ohio. They settled not far from Marietta, a booming port on the Ohio River. Seven sons and 3 daughters traveled with them. Sons Robert and William brought families. Robert and wife, Emily, had two children, Stanton, age 4, and Joseanna, age 2. William and his wife, Rebecca, had a 5-year-old son, Anderson. The three families lived side-by-side working a farm in Fairfield Township.[i]
It was a turbulent time. Lincoln narrowly won the presidency within months of the 1860 census. One by one, southern states seceded from the Union. At 4 am, April 12, 1861 cannon shots erupted over Fort Sumter in South Carolina and the Civil War began. Marietta became a major staging site to protect the important supply line of the Ohio River, its canals and railways, and for recruitment of Ohio Volunteers. On July 21, 1861, the Union Army suffered a devastating loss at The Battle of Bull Run, and President Lincoln, facing the reality of that loss, called for a half million volunteers.
On October 12, 1861, young Greer (Grier/Grear) Croy volunteered for a three-year term. Single and 23 years old,[ii] he joined the 36th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, a regiment that would fight on both the western and eastern fronts of the war and participate in many of its major battles. He would be wounded three times while carrying the colors of his regiment and the Nation, reaching the rank of “color” corporal.[iii]
[i] 1860 Census: Fairfield, Washington, Ohio: Roll: M653_1048; Page: 124; Image: 251; Family History Library Film: 805048 Ancestry.com. 1860 United States Federal Census: http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=1860usfedcenancestry&h=42575018
[ii] Note: no birth certificate as yet found and date of birth fluctuates from 1842 grave marker, 1836 approx. date given at enlistment, and 1839 dates for census of 1850, 1860, and 1840 date from census of 1870
[iii] Martin R. Andrews, edited and compiled, History of Marietta and Washington county, Ohio and representative citizens, Vol. 1 (Biographical Pub. Co., Chicago, 1902) Pgs 755-756 https://openlibrary.org/books/OL6573096M Includes interesting accounts of each Ohio regiments service from the perspective of the late 1800’s.
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