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The Jolley, Russel, and Croy Families in Union County

It’s cleanup time for the family of Jacob and Mary Huston Croy.

Watkins Margaret Jolly

Picture by author: Mitchell Cemetery, Union County, Ohio, May 2016

First, the last of my cemetery visits while in Ohio. I enjoyed the trip and discovered so much. On my first morning there, I bravely set out to find three cemeteries. I was a novice at this but managed the first two, Union and Watkins, well enough, but by the time I found the last of them, Mitchell Cemetery, I was tired and feeling rushed, not a good combination for detective work. I sometimes wish I lived closer!

Mary (Croy) Roberts moved to Union County with George Roberts after their marriage in 1807.[i] George died some time between 1815 and 1819. [ii]Mary lived near her daughters Elizabeth Croy Russel (husband James Russel) and Eleanor Croy Marquis (husband John Marquis) in 1820 Darby Township. With Mary were two children; based on their ages they are likely Margaret Croy born 31 January 1805 and David H. Croy born 1 June 1801. [iii]

Margaret, the youngest of Mary Huston Croy (Roberts) and Jacob Croy’s children is buried in Mitchell cemetery, one of the oldest in Union County. A number of her descendants and her husband’s previous wife are buried there as well. I was able to find those gravesites, slowly dissolving under a lichen cover. Margaret married John Jolley (his second marriage) early in 1827-1830.[iv] (A fun fact: John Jolley indicated in his will that no more than $20 should be spent on his granite headstone.[v])

Watkins John Jolley

Picture by author: Mitchell Cemetery, Union County, OH, May 2016

At Watkins Cemetery, also dissolving under lichen, I found David H Croy and Sarah (Sally) Wasson Croy. They had married in Franklin County, OH on 14 December 1828.[vi]

9 David H Croy

Picture by author: Watkins Cemetery, Union Cty, OH

In the process of reviewing this information, I discovered more.

First regarding Elizabeth, whose life was a mystery to me after her husband died on 28 August 1828. [vii] I now know she married Christian Sager on 8 November 1835[viii] but divorced him before 1847 when Christian remarried. Knowing her new surname, I found the 1850 Federal Census Mortality Schedule showing she died March 1850 of an inflammation of the lungs, being ill seven days.[ix]

Next, I saw reference to a Union County History so went searching. It unveiled some information about the men these Croy women married. I’ve quoted the information here.[x]

“James Russel, from Loudoun County, Va., was a comparatively early settler on the J.S. Smith place near the southern line of the township. He continued his residence here to the time of his death. Amasa Payne owned and occupied the E.D. Smith place in the southeastern part of the township.” (An aside: Amasa Payne is the brother of Sephronia Payne, my great-great grandmother, however, I have discovered no other connections between these families.)

“John Jolly was a North Carolinian. His family was of the Quaker persuasion and he, imbued with the principles of that sect, left his native State from an abhorrence of the institution of slavery and sought a home in Ohio. In 1818, with his wife, Hannah (Cook), and three children, he settled upon a tract of wild land he had purchased in the southern part of Survey 7,218, now the home of Charles Nicol. Here he cleared the land and tilled the soil, engaging also, to some extent, in shoe-making. He was an earnest supporter of the Methodist Church. His children by his first marriage were Elias, who removed to Kansas; Michel, who married Fredrick Sager; Rachel; Joel; Mary, who married Adam Brown; John; Jeremiah, of Kansas; and Lewis, of Iowa. His second wife was Margaret Croy, who still lives with her daughter Eleanor, wife of A.J. Ferguson. By this marriage there were six children—Betsy, who married David and is now deceased; Eli, Eleanor, Margaret and two who died young. Mr. Jolly died July 31, 1860, at Unionville, aged seventy-eight years.” (Note: This and cemetery information gives Hannah as Lewis’ mother, however according to cemetery records, Hannah died in January of 1827 and Lewis was born in December of 1827, either indicating an error in dates or making Margaret his mother and 1827 the likely marriage date unless there is an error on the cemetery records.[xi])

On another note, I will limit my posts in complexity and quantity for a while because of a number of projects.

  1. I am attempting to document the family for the Ohio Genealogical Society beyond the Civil War brothers through their original entry into Ohio before 1830, including Alexander Huston’s entry while Ohio was still part of the Northwestern Territory.
  2. I hope to write my first genealogy article for a journal.
  3. I am working with my editor to take my first book from manuscript to print sometime next year.

Oh, one other thing: To all my readers, for your interest, information, and encouragement, THANK YOU!

[i] “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” Database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 June 2015), Columbiana > Marriage records 1803-1818 vol 1 > image 15 of 166; county courthouses, Ohio.
[ii] John Huston vs. Henry McGrath, Chancery Records; Records Center and Archives, Montgomery County Reibold Building 117 South Main Street, 6th floor, P.O. Box 972, Dayton, Ohio 45422-1110
1820 U.S. Census; Darby Township, Union, Ohio; Page: 208; NARA Roll: M33_94; Image:256. [database on-line accessed 16 April 2014]
[iii] Ibid
[iv] Lewis Jolley, Oakdale Cemetery, Adel, Dallas County, Iowa; Find A Grave. Find A Grave.
Hannah Jolley, Mitchell Cemetery, Union County, Ohio.
[v] Will Records, 1852-1908; Probate Place: Union, Ohio Ohio, Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Ohio County, District and Probate Courts.[accessed 12 August]
[vi] Ohio Marriages, 1789-1898 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2012. Smith, Marjorie, ed. Ohio Marriages. Extracted from The Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly. 1977. Reprint, Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1986.
[vii] Bigelow Pioneer Cemetery, Madison County, OH; Find A Grave. Find A Grave.
[viii] Copy of Marriage Certificate George Sager biographical sketch. Published by the Union County History Book Committee in “Family Heritage-Union County, Ohio; 1985. From entry of 01 Jan 2011 [accessed 16 Aug 2016]
[ix] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Non-population Census Schedules for Ohio, 1850-1880; Archive Collection: T1159; Archive Roll Number: 15; Census Year: 1850; Census Place: Subdivision 146, Union, Ohio U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885 [database on-line accessed 16 August 2016]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.
[x] Durant, Pliny, The History of Union County Ohio (Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co. 1883) Library of Congress: Open Library pg 227
[xi] see iv

Jacob and Mary Huston Croy and Progeny in Ohio-Part 1

My most recent acquisition...a little blurry but confirms Richard Croy's life in Portage County, OH

My most recent acquisition…a little blurry but confirms Richard Croy’s life in Portage County, OH. “In Hudson Feb 9th, Mr. Richard Croy, aged 66, after a lingering sickness of several weeks. He came to Hudson in the spring of 1806, he lived a moral, peaceable and industrious life worthy of imitation by all. He left a widow and children, and a large circle of friends to mourn their loss. On the 1st day of March, Richard Croy, son of the deceased, very suddenly of bilious colic, aged 16 years.”

Anticipating my trip to Ohio at the end of April 2016, I decided to review and dig deeper into the Ohio families, beginning with my 4x great-grandparents Jacob Croy, Mary Huston Croy, and their children. (I am focusing only on Jacob, not the other brothers but a little on brothers Richard and Mathias can be found here.)

Here is the first stage of my chronologically review, covering the first two decades in Ohio. Our family is extremely lucky to have a Chancery Record that names each of Mary Huston Croy Roberts’ children (all surnamed Croy) and their places of residence. They are 1. Jacob Jr., 2. Andrew (3x great-grandfather), 3. Elizabeth, 4. Sarah, 5. Richard, 6. Rebecca, 7. Mathias, 8. Eleanor, 9. David, 10. Margaret.(see Summary from the Chancery Record of Alexander Huston filed 7 March 1830)

Here is a timeline of records for the family in the first two decades in Ohio (+ 6 years.)

  • 1798 (The first known presence of the family in Ohio) Elizabeth Croy marries David DeVore (a prominent name in Londonderry Township, Bedford Cty, PA, from which they came) in Jefferson County, Dec. 31(Records indicate a pioneer, David Devore, in Muskingum County from 1798 to 1810)[i]
  • 1803 Ohio becomes a state, March 1 and Columbiana County forms out of Jefferson County
  • 1803 Jacob Croy Jr. marries Sarah Stoner in Jefferson County, Oct. 5[ii]
  • 1805 Jacob Croy (father of all mentioned) files land grant, Columbiana County residence, Aug. 2[iii]
  • 1806 Richard Croy becomes resident of Portage County based on obituary[iv]
  • 1807 Sarah Croy marries John Delong in Columbiana County, Sept. 4[v]
  • 1807 Mary Huston Croy (mother of all mentioned) marries George Roberts in Columbiana County, Oct. 6[vi]
  • 1808 Stark County forms out of Columbiana County, Feb. 13
  • 1816 Mathias Croy marries Susan Pugh in Stark County, Jan. 2[vii]
  • 1816 Elinor (Eleanor) Croy marries John Marquis in Madison County, May 1816[viii]
  • 1816 Richard Croy marries Luna Kellogg in Portage County, Sept. 9[ix]
  • 1820 Union County forms out of Madison County, April 1
  • 1820 Mary Roberts appears on Union and Madison County, OH Federal census with two children (aged coinciding with David and Margaret) and no male head of household[x]
  • 1820 John Marquis and James Russel (Elizabeth’s 2nd marriage based on Chancery Records) appear on Madison County, OH Federal census[xi]
  • 1820 Richard Croy appears on Portage County, OH Federal census[xii]
  • 1820 John Delong (of Sarah Croy) appears on Tuscarawas County, OH Federal census[xiii]
  • 1824 Mary Huston Croy dies Aug. 9, buried in Plain City, Madison County, find-a-grave information[xiv] Note: Mary Huston Croy was married to Jacob Croy, NOT Andrew, a rampantly reproduced error on many genealogies! Mary’s grave marker in the Darby Township Cemetery in Plain City, Madison County, states her death as August 9, 1824, matching with information in the Chancery records regarding residence and death before 1830. She or her children chose to mark her name as Mary Croy on that stone, giving her husband’s name as Jacob, which intersects with Pennsylvania records.

So, reading between the lines, when did they get here and where did they go? The family likely arrived sometime between 1796 and 1798 based on the last known record of Jacob in Pennsylvania and the marriage of his daughter in Jefferson County, Ohio. Jacob died between the fall of 1805 and 1807. Up to that point they lived in Stark/Columbiana/Jefferson County (all the same place,) most likely what is now Pike Township, Stark County, the site of the land grant.

But families grow apart, and Jacob’s death and Mary’s remarriage likely accelerated the process. Richard moved to Portage County, at some point in 1806. Sometime before 1816, Mary and George had moved to Darby Township in Madison County, along with David, Margaret, Eleanor, and Elizabeth whose husband had died. By 1820, George had died and Mary lived as head of household with David and Margaret. Eleanor had married John Marquis and lived by mother in Madison County. Elizabeth had remarried to James Russel and lived by mother. Mathias stayed in Stark County based on his 1816 marriage and Sarah along with her husband, John Delong, lived in Tuscarawas County.

What questions surface from the timeline?

  • Where was Andrew from the families arrival until his mother’s death?
  • What about Rebecca Croy during this time?
  • What happened to Jacob Jr and Sarah Stoner Croy?

I’ll delve deeper into those questions and explore the next two decades in Part 2.

[i] Ohio Marriage Index 1789-1830, Ohio Genealogical Society [ member data base accessed January 2016]

[ii] ibid

[iii] Early Ohioans’ residences from the land grant records [accessed 2013] Mansfield, Ohio: Ohio Genealogical Society, 1976.

[iv] Richard Croy Obituary Summit Beacon 17 March 1852, page 2 column 6, housed at Akron-Summit Public Library, acquired December 2015.

[v] See i

[vi] ibid

[vii] ibid

[viii] ibid

[ix] ibid

[x] 1820 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.Original data: (NARA microfilm publication M704, 580 rolls). Records of the Bureau of the Census, Record Group 29. National Archives, Washington, D.C.

[xi] ibid

[xii] ibid

[xiii] ibid

[xiv] Find A Grave. Find A Grave. Plain City Cemetery, Union County, Ohio


“The family became widely scattered.” Part 5

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The Huston Sisters’ Journey: Rachel and Sarah [i]

Rose Township, Section 17, Site of Morges, Ohio

Rose Township, Section 17, Site of Morges, Ohio from US Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats

As I mentioned in the previous post, by 1800 three Huston sisters had migrated with their husbands to what would be Rose Township, Stark County, Ohio. Mary and Rachel would lean heavily on Sarah when, within a ten year period, they both lost their husbands.  One remarried and the other maintained her independence, but both would need a comforting hand and thoughtful heart. Mary’s husband, Jacob Croy died soon after recording his land grant at the Stubenville Land Office on August 2, 1805. He may have made the trip to Stubenville once again, this time with Sarah’s husband, Jacob Oswalt. Their friendship had flourished in Pennsylvania, and their families were close, very close. Perhaps their adult sons, Andrew Croy, young Jacob Croy, and Samuel Oswalt, joined them on the fifty-mile journey. For sure though, Jacob laid claim to Section 12, Township 16, Range 7 in Stubenville on September 24, 1805, barely two months after Jacob Croy. [ii] Meanwhile, Rachel’s husband, Isaiah McClish, never appears on any records for Rose Township. He, like Jacob Croy, died early, before 1818. [iii] By 1820 Rachael McClish appears independently on the census records, a sure indication that she was widowed or abandoned. The US census only began recording the names of women and children in 1850. She was still widowed and living in Rose Township in 1840, not far from Sarah. Andrew Croy, son of Sarah’s sister Mary, had married Sarah’s daughter Susanna and stayed close to the family. He purchased the southeast quarter of section 17, Township 16, Range 7 on April 2, 1829.[iv] By this time, Jacob and Sarah Oswalt were over sixty years of age.[v] They began thinking of their families’ futures. Meanwhile, the American Dream dangled before every eye. Land was plentiful, undeveloped, and in demand. The new settlers both required goods and longed to profit from producing, selling, and transporting them. The canal system connecting the Great Lakes was conceived as the two Jacobs registered their land grants. By 1817 construction on the Erie Canal began and was completed in 1825. Ohio men of vision, including Jacob Oswalt’s brother Michael[vi], began planning canals to connect the Erie and the Ohio River. Towns sprang up everywhere out of both necessity and hope. The town of Morges in Rose Township grew from the dreams of Samuel Oswalt and John Wagonner.[vii]  By 1828 Wagonner had purchase Jacob Oswalt’s section, the one he claimed in 1805. The funds from that purchase probably financed the Oswalt portion of the gamble called Morges, platted in 1831. The two men relied heavily on family to further the project, but the direction of commerce can shine or tarnish a dream.  Ohio’s star would shine elsewhere in the state.Morges Marker


[i] Direct Ancestors: Jacob Oswalt and Sarah Huston Oswalt (child- Susanna), 7th gen. Jacob Croy and Mary Huston Croy (child-Andrew), 7th gen. Andrew Croy and Susanna Oswalt Croy 6th gen.
[ii] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Township Plats of Selected States; Series#; T1234; Roll: 50 from Public Land Survey Township Plats, compiled 1789-1946 Records of Bureau of Land Management (Ancestry. Com. U.S., Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats, 1785-1898 (database on-line). Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.)
[iii] Will and Probate Dispute ADD
[iv] U.S. General Land Office Records, 1796-1907[database on-line] Provo, UT, Operations Inc, 2008 Original data: United States. Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records. Automated Records Project: Federal Land Patents, State Volumes. Springfield, Virginia: Bureau of Land Management, Eastern States, 2007
[v] 1830 US Census: Census Place: Rose, Stark, Ohio: Page: 206; NARA Series: M19; Roll Number: 140; Family History Film: 0337951 Source Info: 1830 United States Federal  Census NOTE: by error recorded as Lexington Township.
[vi] Letter to Thomas Rotch from Michael Oswalt dated Jan. 9, 1818 re: canal connecting the Eerie to “the hed waters of the Tuscaraurs branch of muskingum River…” Archive # B-133-1, records of P McHenry, private holding
[vii] Karen Gray, Rose Township, Carroll county, Ohio (September 2008) pg. 4,

“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] Pennsylvania, Land Warrants and Applications, 1733-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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] 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. Eagle Cemetery, LaGrange County, Indiana and Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Marion County, Ohio
[vi] Chancery Records Alexander Huston wills 1840, 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: 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. Plain City Cemetery, Union County, Ohio