William and Unknown Crawford


William Crawford



Born: 1760s/1770s USA?

Born: 1760s USA? (maybe NC)

Married: ~1790-1795 William Crawford

Married: 1-~1790-1795 Unknown, 2-8/26/1814 Mary Jones

Died: 1797-1814 KY/IN

Died: 1830s Saluda, IN


Interred: Saluda, IN


Occupation: Farmer

Genealogist William Perry Hay (1871-1947) only knew that David Crawford was born in Oldham County KY and that David's father was named William. He did not know of any siblings for David, and thought he might be an only child. He knew nothing of David Crawford's mother. He thought David's parents were both born in Ireland, and lived first in North Carolina before moving to Kentucky. The census data for 1820-1870 in Jefferson county, Indiana confirms that David was born in Kentucky, and that his father's name was William. However, the census data and family histories of other Crawford branches indicate that David had two full siblings in additon to seven half-siblings from his father's second marriage. The census data also suggest that William was born in America and that it is more likely to be David's grandparents who immigrated; it is assumed that the story of Ireland is correct for the earlier generation, and the Crawfords were of Irish ancestry. No records have been found in North Carolina to substantiate; if William were born in America, he would likely be listed on the 1790 census either under his own name (if already married) or his father's name (unknown, but John and David are likely possibilities, based on common naming traditions), either in NC (census available) or KY (census unavailable). Note that Oldham county, Kentucky was formed from parts of Jefferson, Shelby and Henry counties on February 1, 1824, so that historical records from the 1790s (as well as the possible Crawford records of 1800-1810) would be found in Jefferson, Shelby, or Henry counties, complicating searching. Furthermore, given the commonness of the names William and Crawford, it is difficult to be certain that any records found are a match.

Records from the 18th century in America are very incomplete, especially in frontier country, such as Kentucky in the 1790s. There was no early (1790-1810) census held in these states, and few early records exit -- few marriage records or wills, and even less birth, death or cemetery records. Primarily it is land, court, and tax records that were maintained and survived in Kentucky from the 1790s. However, it is important in research to seek records for the extended family, as families/friends tended to move together to the frontier for protection and support, as they were forging homesteads out of the dangerous wilderness inhabited by Indians. There are only three known records for William: the 1814 marriage record in Clark county, Indiana and the 1820 and 1830 census records in Jefferson county, Indiana. It is inferred from these records, and from those of David, Sarah, and John Crawford, that William was born in the 1760s in America, married by 1795, had three+ children in Kentucky, his wife died 1797-1814 in Kentucky/Indiana and he remarried and started a second family with seven+ children. There was no family story passed down as to whether or not William (or his father) were patriots; it is possible that the family moved to Kentucky due to land grants there, perhaps given as patriot compensation. Curiously, no records at all can be found for the children of William's second wife; they appear to have left Saluda township. I wonder if the Crawfords had some relatives who stayed in Kentucky after they leftóbased on the Kentucky connections of Davidís children Jeremiah and Isabella, and also the fact that the Crawford descendants knew the county was renamed Oldham, and connected to that name from the 1820s, rather than its name from the 1790s.

Census data: 1790, 1800

Census data: 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830

William Perry Hay's "Hay Genealogy" book, and his page on William Crawford



Date of Birth, Place

Date of Death, Place

Married - date and to whom

# children

older unknown children?

1. David Crawford

12/22/1795 Oldham, KY

10/10/1862 Saluda, IN

6/28/1821 Sarah McNeeley


2. Sarah Crawford*

~1796 KY

1850s? MO

~1818 Samuel Snow


3. John Crawford**

~1797 KY

1870s Scott, IN

2/15/1818 Elizabeth Snow Benard**


4. girl

~1815 Clark, IN

5. boy

~1816-1818 IN

6. girl

~1816-1818 Saluda, IN

7. boy

~1819 Saluda, IN

8. girl

~1820-1825 Saluda, IN

9. boy

~1826-1829 Saluda, IN

10. boy

~1826-1829 Saluda, IN


Note: the above list of children is incomplete, and unsubstantiated. There could be more children from the first marriage: especially daughters who married prior to moving to Jefferson county, or older children who may not have moved. As it is known that William was born in the 1760s, he could easily have been married by the 1780s, and had older children who remained in Kentucky when he moved to Indiana with the younger children; perhaps this is even likely given that the Crawfords maintained a connection with Kentucky for several more generations. The seven children from the second family were determined from 1820 and 1830 census data. There could also be more children from the second marriage: especially those born after 1830 and prior to William's death, as well as infants who died. William apparently died some time after the 1830 census, but the family cannot be located on the 1840 or 1850 census. It is likely that his widow remarried with seven+ young children; it seems likely she moved out of Jefferson county, or at least out of Saluda township. It is not clear that if any of the 1840s/1850s marriage records belong to the seven younger half-siblings. Without names, it is hard to determine where they might be on the 1850 census; it is only certain they are not living in Saluda -- in 1850 there are only 10 Crawfords living in Saluda: David and Sarah with their five children plus John and Elizabeth and one child. There are another 49 Crawfords living elsewhere in Jefferson county, who may or may not be relatives.

It is not certain where William Crawford was born; the family story was that he was born in Ireland and came to Kentucky by way of North Carolina. I do not think William was the immigrant, as the 1870 census data for his son John does not list him (on the check box) as being an immigrant. I also suggest that Virginia should be considered as a possible birthplace, as patriots in both Virginia and North Carolina received land grants in Kentucky for their service; but it should be pointed out that it is not known if William was a patriot. The Crawfords lived in Jefferson/Shelby/Henry county in Kentucky (the part that become Oldham in 1824) at least in 1795-1797. They moved to Indiana, first Clark county by at least 1814 and then Jefferson county Saluda township after 1817. Crawford is a rather common name and it would be a mistake to wantonly ascribe records based on given name alone. It should be pointed out there are only three Crawford families in Saluda on the 1820 census -- David and John of the same age, and an older William. It is certain that David's father was named William. The William in Saluda has a much younger wife, with children being born consistent with the marriage record from Clark county -- in 1830, he is in his 60s and his wife is in her 40s; she clearly is not the mother of David and John, but a second wife. The young children on both the 1820 and 1830 census are consistent with the 8/26/1814 marriage record for William Crawford and Mary Jones in Clark county. Clark abuts Jefferson county. And most importantly, while there are marriages for both William and John in Clark in 1814-1818, there is no William or John in Clark county on the 1820 census. It is a virtual certainty that these are a match.

It is pure speculation, but I did happen upon a marriage record of a William Crawford to Isabella McClure on January 16, 1788 in Franklin County, Virginia. This particularly caught my eye since David named a daughter Isabella. But there was also a Nancy Crawford in Franklin (perhaps Williamís sister?) who married John Radford on May 25, 1799, and we know our Crawfords were in KY by then, so perhaps this is not even a possibility (although William could have moved after his marriage, without his parents or siblings). I suggest Virginia as a possible place of birth (as well as NC) because VA patriots were awarded KY land grants, and since KY was formed out of VA. Probably the best avenue for further research is land grant records in NC/VA for land in Kentucky. However, if it were a land grant for patriot service, the grant could be in the name of William's father (unknown) rather than in William's name.

*Sarah Crawford was added to the list in 2007 when another genealogist (Marilyn Richardson -- see notes) brought her to my attention. She lives next door to John Crawford in 1820 and 1830 (the same first two censuses when the Crawfords were in Jefferson county), but by 1840 the Samuel Snow family moved to Missouri. She named her first three sons William, David and John, and most definitively, her daughter's death certificate states mother was born in Kentucky and her maiden name was Crawford -- see notes). However, I still have no explanation (other than enumerator error) for why Sarah herself said she was born in Ohio on the 1850 census. This is a major concern, as the Crawford family is not known to have any ties to Ohio. The responses of her children on the 1880+ census are as follows: David-Kentucky(1 time), John-Kentucky(3), Elizabeth-Kentucky(2)-Indiana(1), Margaret-Kentucky(2) -- this suggests the 1850 census response of "Ohio" was in error. Note that it is also curious that no marriage record was found for Sarah Crawford and Samuel Snow -- there are Crawford marriage records in Clark,IN in 1814-1818 and in Jefferson,IN for 1821. It is thought that while Sarah was from Kentucky, Samuel may not have been, and secondly that Sarah moved to Indiana at least by 1814, so they were more likely to have been married in Indiana than in another state. Marriages were often performed by traveling ministers, and record-keeping was sporadic, so the lack of record is not definitive -- for example, even though there exits today a marriage record for David Crawford-Sarah McNeeley in 1821, there is no record for the marriage of Thomas Hay-Sarah Maiden in 1820 also in Jefferson county.

**John is assumed to be a brother, as both he and David were born in KY just a couple years apart (and so stated on all their census data), and more substantiatingly, they bought land jointly in Saluda in 1817. Additionally, they are the only Crawfords in Saluda township in 1820 and 1830, together with their father. John is known to be married to an Elizabeth on the 1850 census (the first enumerated census), which is consistent with the 2/15/1818 marriage record in Clark to Elizabeth Benard. However, descendants (see book referenced below) have said that this John's wife was Elizabeth Snow, not Elizabeth Benard. While it is theoretically possible that John married a Benard on 8/26/1818 and she precipitously died and he then married a Snow by 2/8/1819 (for whom no record is found), I think it more likely that Elizabeth Benard and Elizabeth Snow are one and the same. I assume she was Elizabeth Snow with a brief first marriage to an unknown Benard that produced no issue, and her first husband then died, and she married John in 1818. The fact that Elizabeth is six years older than John supports the idea that he may have married an older widow. Again it should be noted that they live next door to Samuel Snow and Sarah Crawford in both 1820 and 1830 on the census. However, Elizabeth's stated birthplace casts doubt.

While the book below states Elizabeth Snow was born in New Hampshire, she stated Virginia on her 1850-1870 census (e.g., 1870), Samuel stated Ohio on his (only) 1850 census, but his daughter's death certificate said he was born in Indiana. His children answered mostly Kentucky, but one Virginia, on their census data for 1880+. Her children answer Indiana, Ohio and Virginia, with the younger children consistently answering Virginia. There are transcription errors on the census, and faulty memories of family members so long after the fact, especially when families moved so much. It is not clear where the errors crept in, or where Elizabeth and Samuel Snow were actually born. I feel it is most likely that Elizabeth Snow was born in Virginia, as she herself stated (since I am assuming the 1850-1870 Elizabeth Crawford entries are for Elizabeth Snow Crawford); I feel that it was likely that Samuel was born in Kentucky, not only because of his children's census answers but also because I found an 1800 tax list in Kentucky for Prince Snow, thought to be his father. I have no idea why the New Hampshire reference; perhaps Samuel and Elizabeth's parents or grandparents were from New England. Note that Elizabeth is five years older than Samuel, so they could easily have been born in different states en route to Indiana; the idea of Elizabeth being born in Virginia does not preclude her being Elizabeth Snow sister to Samuel, unless the Snow family could not have been in Virginia in 1792.

John Crawford (b. 12 Feb 1799 KY) married circa 1817 to Elizabeth Snow (b. 23 Dec 1792 NH); children: 1. Frederick August Crawford (b. 8 Dec 1819 Clark,IN), 2. Margaret Crawford (b. 17 Mar 1820 Jefferson,IN), 3. Rebecca Crawford (b. 14 Oct 1822 Jefferson,IN), 4. Mary Crawford (b. 16 Jan 1825 Jefferson,IN), 5. Elizabeth Crawford (b. 15 May 1829 Jefferson,IN), 6. William B. Crawford (b.12 Jan 1831 Jefferson,IN), 7. Christina Crawford (b. 20 Aug 1838 Jefferson,IN). -- Source: Title: John Crawford & Elizabeth Snow Repository: Call Number: Media: Book Text: All early information through 1953 was obtained from a published book by the Morgan Messenger Print Co. The title of the book Crawford Family Record with the following dedication; this record book is compiled and printed as a dedication to all pioneer members of the John and Elizabeth Crawford Family and as a greet- ing to their living Descendants, is in the possession of Larry E. Kay. Foreward: This brief record of the lives and descendants of John Crawford, who was born 2-12-1799, and his wife, Elizabeth Snow Crawford, was undertaken in order to organize and preserve all known records for the present and future generations of Crawfords. we are especially indebted to Lambert S. Crawford for early records and to Sybil Crawford and Hallie Crawford for preserving these records and turning them over for this use.

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