John and Sarah Craig VanDolah

Sarah Craig

John VanDolah

Parents: John Craig and Unknown Hogg?

Parents: Hester (Dalrymple?) and Peter VanDolah

Born: May 7, 1767 PA

Born: ~1765 Hunterdon, NJ

Married: ~1786 John VanDolah in Fayette, PA

Married: ~1786 Sarah Craig in Fayette, PA

Died: October 14, 1860 in Fayette County, OH

Died: 1814 in Fayette County, OH (court record)

Interred: Waterloo Cemetery in Pancoastburg, OH (tombstone)

Interred: unknown (maybe Waterloo Cemetery)*

Occupation: Farming

Sarah's father is believed to be the immigrant, a Scotch-Irish. While son James said he was of German heritage, it is thought that this is likely to be a mistake: the VanDolah side is thought to be Dutch-Scotch and the Craig side is Scotch-Irish. In 1818, Sarah purchased 50 acres for $1. Her will (dated August 16, 1854) bequeathed this land and all her chattel to her daughter Mary Davis and to Mary's son James Stout; Sarah had lived for the last 20 years of her life with this daughter. Sarah lived to age 93, half of her life as a widow. Although she was the mother of 13 children, half died in the 1820s and all the rest but Mary moved to Illinois in the 1830s, taking virtually all of her grandchildren. There were no phones then, but they did write. Perhaps there were Craig/Hogg/Stephens relatives who lived nearby in Fayette Ohio, but the VanDolah relatives were all in Greene and other counties.

John moved to western Pennsylvania at about age 6 shortly before the Revolution (circa 1771); his father was one of five brothers, and the only one to leave New Jersey. John's grandfather Hendrick VanDolah was the immigrant, and was Dutch, but John's mother was Scottish. John and two of his brothers (Joseph and Peter, Jr) with their father Peter ("Vandolar") were signers of the 1776-1780 petitions for the new state of Ohio, although they did not move there for 30 years. In 1791 John and Sarah were founders of the Baptist Church Enon in Fayette, PA. In about 1810, just four years before he dies, John and Sarah move to Fayette County Ohio -- although they are not on the 1810 tax list, they are on the 1814 one -- the year John dies. John's father and siblings are in Greene County; although these counties abut, they lived on opposite sides of the county from each other, and not next door. It is assumed that John's death was unexpected, at age 48, as he did not leave a will.

Census data: 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860

Census data: 1790, 1800, 1810



Date of Birth, Place

Date of Death, Place

Married - date and to whom

# children

1. Peter

8/26/1787 Fayette, PA

10/4/1823 Cadiz, Harrison, OH

9/28/1815 Nancy Shotwell


2. Elizabeth

3/6/1790 Fayette, PA

5/9/1868 McLean, IL

~1805 Jesse Stretch


3. Sarah

~1793 Fayette, PA

2/1824 Fayette, OH

6/9/1816 Jehiel Gregory Jr.


4. Adah

1/1/1795 Fayette, PA

11/4/1822 Fayette, OH

6/15/1815 William Gilmore


5. Mary Jane

11/9/1797 Fayette, PA

12/2/1879 Fayette, OH

1- 9/27/1812 William Stout
2- 1824 James Davis


6. Rebecca

~1800 Fayette, PA

~1824 Fayette, OH

7/16/1822 John Gilmore


7. Jesse

12/19/1801 Fayette, PA

8/31/1866 Jackson, IA

1842 Mary Ann Hadley


8. John

~1804 Fayette, PA

~Aug 1823 LA

(never married)


9. James

9/23/1807 Fayette, PA

3/8/1871 McLean, IL

2/13/1832 Nancy Nutt


10. Nancy

4/9/1810 Fayette, PA

7/8/1884 McLean, IL

11/12/1829 Samuel Ogden


11. Esther**

? ~1790s? Fayette


James Burton/Britton


12. Irene**

? ~1800s? Fayette




13. girl**

? ~1810s? Fayette





William Perry Hay's 1930s/1940s Howsmon book pages for: John VanDolah, Sarah Craig's tombstone and their daughter Sarah VanDolah.

*John VanDolah's tombstone has never been located in Waterloo Cemetery - not in 1937 by William Perry Hay or in subsequent years. The earliest tombstone found there is for the year 1842; it is possible that earlier tombstones were of more organic material (such as wood, and simply decayed in the next 100 years). Or perhaps John was buried elsewhere, such as on the farm, and somehow Sarah did not have access to that gravesite; she did purchase land in 1818 and perhaps at the time of her 1860 burial the family could no longer access the 1814 property where John may have been buried.

**Genealogist William Perry Hay (1871-1947) has 13 children listed for John and Sarah Craig VanDolah -- the first ten above (which virtually all VanDolah genealogists have) plus three children found no where else -- Esther who married James Burton (looks like James Burton on the page), Irene with no husband listed and an unnamed infant daughter. He specified that the information was supplied by his second-cousin Minnie Moon Mace (Minnie was Sarah Craig Vandolah's great-great-granddaughter: Sarah Craig-Sarah Vandolah-John Gregory-Margaret Gregory-Minnie Moon. Minnie lived in IL amidst the majority of Sarah's descendants. William Perry Hay had moved to Florida in the early 1930s, and Minnie also moved to Florida parttime in the 1930s; clearly she collaborated with William Hay on researching this branch of the family.). These latter three women are not found on anyone else's ancestry trees probably because no records can be found for them, not even census data (largely due to the lack of individual enumeration). I cannot find 1850 census data that would confirm an Esther married to something like Burton, and cannot be certain of even 1820-1830-1840 data either. These three extra daughters are indeed possible as the 1820 census data has six extra people in the home than I can be certain of. Note that they were added at the end of my list above as their birthdates are not known, but it is certain that at least Esther and Irene were born much earlier -- although William Perry Hay's list is not in order, it suggests that Esther is about Rebecca's age, and Irene about James' age, and even the baby girl prior to Nancy. I would guess that all three daughters died young without issue, as they are not remembered by descendants several genrations later. In any case, the three daughters would either have married or died young to not be living with their mother as of 1850, and of particular significance they do not seem to be there in 1830 either. Note that it is likely that with so many daughters born, one would be named after John's mother whose name is thought to be Hester/Esther, and this would be one of the first daughters born.

Although William Perry Hay had not seemed certain of Sarah's maiden name in his original notes, his final published work did not list any doubt. The only reference he gives is the credit to his second-cousin Minnie Moon Mace; I assume she found other great and great-great-grandchildren of Sarah's who remembered the names, or had old family bibles. There appear to be two other sources for verification of Craig: 1912 Boston Transcript (Query printed 17 Jan 1912, #2399-5. "Jesse Stretch ... his mother's name was Blatchford. Jesse Stretch married Betsey Van Dolah, whose mother's name was Craig ...") and decendant Jon Pirtle (a descendant of Nancy VanDolah, who confirmed "Cragg" (or Cragge or Craig) from a family Bible in 1994). Note that the family bible referenced by Jon could have been Minnie's source too; this particularly came to my mind as Minnie and Jon each listed the same alternative spellings. The Boston transcript and the family bible seem likely to be two separate sources as they come from two different VanDolahs -- Betsey (1790-1868 McLean, IL) and her younger sister Nancy (1810-1884 McLean, IL).

Genealogist Chris Hankins (website) asserts that Sarah's parents were John Craig and Rebecca Stephens. He has John born ~1750 in Ireland and his death before 1800, with Rebecca Stephens aslo born ~1750 and death in PA, Washington Co, West Alexander. While it appears that this John Craig is likely to have been Sarah's father, he was likely older than this and previously married; I think his first wife's (Sarah's mother's) maiden name was Hogg (see more information), as espoused by William Perry Hay in the 1930s/1940s. Assuming that John is Sarah's father, and Roland is John's brother, it is disconcerting not to find the name Roland given to any of Sarah's four sons (although there could have been a Roland child who died young).

The VanDolah family were members of the Enan Baptist Church in Washington county, PA in 1791 -- Jesse, John, Sarah, Esther, and Anna (source). The Baptist Society was organized by John W. Loofbourrow at Isaac Pancoast's house one half mile south of the present site of Waterloo.

Fayette OH deposition dated September 1, 1823 stating that Jesse Stretch and William Gilmore swore that Sarah Vandolah of said Fayette County and relict of John Vandolah, deceased, is mother of John Vandolah who lately died in northern Louisiana, and John Vandolah, Senior, husband of Sarah and father of John, deceased, died in 1814 in Fayette County.

On June 15, 1818, Sarah VanDolah purchased 50 acres for $1 from Jesse Woodson of Powhaten Co, VA. Jesse Woodson, along with Isaiah Pancoast, was one of the original platters of the town of Waterloo, in the southeastern corner of Madison township, Fayette County, OH. In her last will and testament, August 16, 1854, Sarah lists her grandson James Stout to whom she leaves 50 acres of land, part of Richard James survey #470 and bounded on the north and south by the lands of Shreve Gaskill, on the west by the lands of Stephen Boston and Samuel Davis, and on the east by the Urbanna road. To daughter Mary Davis, half of the above land and all her remaining chattel propery.

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