Sketches of William Hicks, Abner Hicks, Jasper Hicks, George Harris, James Crews, John Earl – and something of their descendants

The following is a partial transcription (included content, unedited) of the pamphlet “Sketches of William Hicks, Abner Hicks, Jasper Hicks, George Harris, James Crews, John Earl – and something of their descendants”, written by Thurston Titus Hicks of Henderson, North Carolina, in 1926. I believe the transcription is a near-perfect copy of the original material, however any errors that appear in contradiction with the original text, are unintentional and the fault of myself, not the original author.

This transcription includes pages 1 and 2 and pages 29 – 48. Content transcribed includes:
Title page and Introduction
The Crews Family of Salem (from Gideon Crews Sr., through to the early 20th century generations.)
The Residences of Our Two Grandfathers (descriptions and mode of living in the 19th century homeplaces of Abner Hicks and James Crews.)
Three Daughters of John Earl (Detailed descendants list of of Sara Earl and James Crews, Mary Earl and Robert Jones, and Patsie Earl and William Kittrell.)

Thurston Titus Hicks, who wrote this pamphlet in 1926, was born on October 14, 1847, and died July 28, 1927 – eleven months and one day after he completed writing “Sketches.”

This document was written in an earlier era. The style, vernacular, punctuation, and consistency are clearly of another time. The man himself was a creature from the distant past, already, when he began writing this history of his ancestry. For this reason, the foregoing document may be very difficult for contemporary readers to comprehend. For that reason, I have taken the liberty of adding a section at the end of this document that includes:
– the family lineage in an easier to digest format,
– noting inconsistencies in the prose that might confuse contemporary readers, not familiar with the subject matter,
– noting and correcting errors in the original, where I was able to detect them.
– including editorial notes, where I felt I could clarify or contribute to the content.

In regards to the transcription, I have made as perfect a copy of the original as I was able. My notes and additions follow the transcribed version.

 

Sketches of William Hicks, Abner Hicks, Jasper Hicks, George Harris, James Crews, John Earl

And Something of Their Descendants, With comparisons of present conditions of living with those of sixty years ago.

By Thurston Titus Hicks

Privately printed, Henderson, North Carolina, September, 1926
(A revised and updated edition was printed in 1954.)
(Edits and comments as noted by Constance Hall Jones, 2013)

[Pages 1 and 2]

“People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”
— Edmund Burke

The facts and incidents herein contained were related to me by my parents in my childhood; and repeated to me by them and by my Uncle Edward N. Crews, reduced to writing and verified by them after I became a man. My brother Archibald A. Hicks found and verified the record references. His and my acquaintance with our large family connection enabled us to gather and preserve the incidents and stories. All the family to whom we applied contributed cheerfully whatever information they possessed of the persons and occurrences of which we write.

The records in the office of the Secretary of State at Raleigh show who were the original grantees of the lands of the Colony. Those in Oxford begin in the year 1742, when Granville County was formed.

I have seen the lists of soldiers of the Revolution from Granville County as published in the (Oxford) Public Ledger lately, and was surprised to read so many family names I have never heard; showing how people have departed and others have come and taken their places. The will of my great grandfather, William Hicks, made May 14th, 1796 probated at August Court, 1799 of Granville County, names as his devisees and legatees, in addition to his two sons, my grandfather Abner Hicks, to whom the lands were devised, and William Hicks, Jr., the following daughters: Mary Debrula, Anne Mathews, Martha Tatum, Priscilla Duncan, and Susanna Wilkins. None of these daughters or their descendants were known to my father who was born October 15th, 1828, nor are any of them known to me. This will was attested by Reuben Tally, John Hicks and Samuel Allen, Jr. Who were they?

The Earl of Granville granted to the said William Hicks on March 5th, 1749, two tracts of land aggregating 502 acres, “Situated on the waters” of Tabbs Creek. In those days all lands that composed a part of a watershed of a stream were described as located on said stream. Said lands were retained by William Hicks fifty years and devised as above stated to his son Abner. Abner retained the same fifty-five years and conveyed them to his youngest son, my father, Benjamin Willis Hicks, who thereafter owned and lived on the place for forty-four years, dying December 30th, 1899, leaving same to my mother for life and in remainder to his children. The place is now occupied and owned by my double ex-brother-in-law James T. Cozart and his two children, James T. Cozart, Jr., and Helen Cozart.

[Pages 3- 28 missing in my copy.]
[Pages 29 – 48]

The Crews Family of Salem

There was a Gideon Crews. We have not heard of his antecedents. He married Jemima Wicker. Their children were: Gideon Crews, Jr., Littlebury Crews, James Crews, Elizabeth Crews, wife of Lemuel Currin, Abigail Crews married William Daniel, and Mildred Crews married Hester or Easter and moved to Stokes County.

Gideon Crews, Jr. married Temperance LeMay. Their children were: 1. Franklin Crews, who married first _______ Ellis, sister of John Ellis, who bore him Alex Crews, James B. Crews, _______ wife of Thomas Norwood, William or Buck Crews. She dying, Franklin Crews married Hannah Hunt. Of this marriage were born Robert Crews, Wesley Crews and Eugene T. Crews. Robert and Wesley only died without issue. The other children of Gideon Crews, Jr., were Henry Crews, Patsy Breedlove, Harriet Sears, Lucy, wife of Solomon Cottrell.

Gid, Jr., in those days at times liked a timely dram. Our mother used to tell us that he would come to her father’s in a condition which made him merry and full of fun. The children would surround him when he was thus tipsey and ask him to tell them a story. Then he would tell them the story of the Irishman’s dog, viz.: “One day there was an Irishman in the woods hewing with a broad axe. His dog chased a rabbit. The rabbit came running right by where the man was hewing, and the dog in hot pursuit. The dog passed under the axe just as the man brought it down. It split the dog open from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail. The man was distressed at the accident, but being an Irishman and quick witted, he snatched up both halves of the dog and slapped them back together. The operation was so quick and the dogs blood so hot, that the two parts stuck together and grew, and the dog jumped out of his master’s hand and renewed the chase and soon caught the rabbit. But the man in his haste to save the dog had made the mistake to turn two feet up and two feet down, and the dog found that he could run on two feet until they got tired and then whirl over and run on the other two, and so he could catch anything in the woods, and could run forever.”

John Earl married Zebiah Watts. Their children: 1. Martha or Patsy, wife of William Kittrell. 2. Mary, wife of Robert Jones. 3. Sarah or Sally, wife of James Crews. 4. Jack Earl married Fanny Rice and removed to Tennessee. Sims died young.

John Earl’s sister Keziah married George Harris. Their descendants are listed herein. A little story has come down from the days of John Earl and George Harris. John was asked by George Harris on one occasion to send Jacks and Sims, his two sons, to help him to get up and shock his wheat, “All right,” said John and he sent them over early the next morning. They worked hard and finished just at dinner time, thinking the while what a good dinner they would have in Aunt Kizzie’s kitchen. Just then old man George said: “Boys, my wife always cooks to a mouthful and your mother cooks bountifully. Run home and get your dinners.” Their hearts sank within them, but they started home. After a few steps one said: “Uncle George, may we go by the orchard and get some apples?” Uncle George hesitated a moment and replied: “Eat as many as you want, but pocket none.” The boys went to the orchard, ate all the apples they could, took off their trousers, tied knots in their legs and filled them up with apples which they carried home. This story came to me from the Earle side of the house. Perhaps reading it here will be the first any living Harris ever heard of it.

To go back to the family of James Crews: James Crews, son of Gideon the first, born July, 1785, married Sarah, third daughter of John Earl.

The best impression we can obtain from the deeds is that the Gideon Crews, Sr., lands and the John Earl lands adjoined, around and just east, north and northwest of where Salem Church now is, three miles east and northeast of Oxford; and that grandfather James Crews bought them and more, comprising more than a thousand acres, and lived there until his death in 1875. His wife Sarah, was born in 1791, and died in 1863. Their first child, Allen Spencer, was born February 16, 1811, and died in infancy. Their next child was born May 15th, 1813, and was James A. Crews. He was called “Little Jimmie” or “Tar River Jimmie.” He married Martha Hunt, not a sister, but of the same family of which two sons, Joseph and George married his two sisters Martha and Susan. “Little Jimmie”, as he was called, was much of a man. He soon bought a fine farm on the south side of the Tar River near Minor’s mill and lived there until he was nearly 90, rearing the following children: 1. David G. Crews married Flemming, reared a large family and lived to be old. 2. Sarah A. Crews married William Lyon. They had three children: Kate who married James T. Cozart and died young, Ira who married James T. Cozart’s sister. Ira Lyon and wife have several children and are both living. 3. Lorena, who married Rogers, and afterwards R.G. Bobbitt, and is now a widow. She has two sons, Ira Rogers and Glenn Bobbitt. Sara A. Crews Lyon later married Rev. Thomas J. Horner of Henderson. They both lived to be nearly 80. He died first. 4. Robert T. Crews married a daughter of Kizaeh Stark. Robert lived to be old. They had no children. 5. Louisa Crews married William D. Mitchell, of Wake. About 1880 they removed to near Middleburg, in Vance County. Mr. Mitchell died at a good old age, about 1920. His wife still lives. They have the following children: Ed. D. Mitchell, W.G. Mitchell, Bunn Mitchell, Marvin Mitchell, and one who went to California and died leaving children there. 6. Edward H. Crews married Laura, daughter of Rev. Thomas J. Horner. She died. He removed to Rocky Mount, N.C. and there married again many years later. He is dead. No children survive him. 7. Caroline Crews, called “Callie”, married John Smith. They had three children: Lonnie Smith, who long lived and does yet, in Oxford, N.C., Lennie Smith of Oxford, Maude married Mr. Jackson. They all have families. 8. Leroy Crews, married, lives at Thelma, in Halifax, members of his family unknown to me. 9. Flora Crews married Best; lived near Goldsboro, died, children unknown to me. 10. Albert A. Crews, youngest son of James A. and Martha Crews, married Miss Stark, no children. Lives in Oxford. 11. Rebecca Crews. Now living, never married.

James A. Crews was a good man, a Christian. He loved the church and worked much in its ranks. I have never heard anyone speak evil of him. He prospered in business. He farmed on a large scale, and made his boys work. Archibald Hicks tells a good story that Uncle Jimmy told him. One night a youngster of the neighborhood went to Uncle Jimmy’s visiting, and stayed and stayed. Probably he wished to look at, if not say something to the handsome girls of the family. Finally his visit became somewhat annoying by its length and bedtime approaching, Uncle Jimmie said: “well Johnnie, I reckon you had better go on home now; it’s getting late.” Johnnie left. The next time Uncle Jimmie saw Johnnie it was at a neighborhood mill. Uncle Jimmie: “Howdy Johnnie.”  Johnnie: “I wish I had a bengal of powder; I’d blow you to hell in two minutes.”

The second child of James and Sara Earl Crews was Mary E. Crews, born December 2nd, 1815. She married William O. Wright, a brother of John W. Wright and uncle of Mr. George W. Wright. They removed to Tennessee and had children there, who, in 1875, received their share of the estate of James Crews.

Rebecca A. Crews, third child of James and Sarah Earl Crews, born April, 1817. She married James Cheatham. They lived about five miles southeast of Oxford, where their grandson, Hamlin Cheatham now lives. James Cheatham died in 1865, heart broken over the result of the war. His wife Rebecca died in August 1888. Their children and descendants were: 1. William A. Cheatham, who married Asenath F., daughter of Lewis Parham.  Their children were Elizabeth, who married J.H. Goodrich, of Henderson, and died leaving a son Ben and a daughter Lily. Benjamin H. Cheatham, who died of typoid fever at the age of 22, unmarried, about the year 1880. Ernest Lee Cheatham, who died without issue. Adolphus Whitfield Cheatham, an Episcopal minister of Southern Pines or Pinehurst, N.C.

The second child of James and Rebecca Cheatham was Sarah, who married Albert C. Parham, son of Lewis Parham. She died in August 1875, of typhoid fever, leaving seven small children, Alonzo W., Edwin T., Cornelius H., Percy C., who was shot by accident on Thanksgiving Day, 1906, leaving a wife and several children, Mary Tazwell Parham, who married ________ Watson and died young, leaving children, James, who married Miss Hood and has several children, and Frank Earle, who is a lawyer and lives in New York and has been twice married.

The third child of James and Rebecca Cheatham was David Thomas Cheatham. He went through the Civil War with my father. They were each other’s nearest neighbor many years and were ever good friends. He married Annie, daughter of Thomas Reavis, of near Henderson. He owned the Cheatham Mill for a generation until it was thought gold was found near it. Then he sold it and the farm for a good price and bought the Memucan H. Hester farm near Oxford, and lived there until his death at more than eighty in 1915. His wife survived him several years.

The children and descendants of D.T. and Annie Cheatham were: 1. Claudius Cecil Cheatham, a tobacconist of Youngsville, N.C. He married Cora W. Winston, of Youngsville. Their children are: Claude C., Jr., Winston Thomas, Clarence Burton, Robert E. Susan Caroline and Lurline Cheatham, deceased. Claude C. Cheatham died in July, 1921. 2. Fred A. Cheatham, a tobacconist, of Youngsville, N.C., married Maude Freeman. Their children are: Jessamine, Elizabeth, Maude and two who died in infancy. 3. Thomas Flavius Cheatham, tobacconist, Louisburg, N.C., married Bessie Staley. Their children: William Staley Cheatham, Thomas Harvey Cheatham, deceased, and Florence Cheatham, deceased. 4. Robert Hubert Cheatham married Anne Meeder, deceased, left one child, David Thomas Cheatham. 6. James Amis Cheatham married Rosa Lee Parish, Richmond, Virginia; no children. 7. Joseph Gibbs Cheatham, deceased, unmarried. 8. Lucy Catherine Cheatham, deceased. 9. Eva Rebecca Cheatham married William B. Smoot. They have two children, William B. Smoot, Eva Cheatham Smoot. 10. Annie Belle Cheatham married Thomas Crawford. They have three children, Thomas B. Crawford, Jr., James Walker Crawford, and Annie Caroline Crawford. 11. Mattie Roberta Cheatham married Luther S. Farabow. Two children, Lucy Catherine and Pearl Elizabeth. 12. Pearl Elizabeth Cheatham married Sidney R. Abernathy; two children, Birdie Eloise and Lucy Catherine.

The fourth child of James and Rebecca Crews Cheatham was James Theodore Cheatham. He, as his brothers William and D. T., fought through the War of the Confederacy. He was captured with his two nearest neighbors I.C. Bobbittt and Fred Hamme, near the end of the war and kept a long time in Elmira, N.Y., military prison. James Theodore Cheatham acquired his father’s farm, married Elizabeth Hamlin, of Petersburg, Virginia. Her sister had married Augustine Landis, a merchant of Oxford. “Thee” Cheatham and wife reared a large family as follows: 1. Virginius T. Cheatham married Elizabeth Leach. Their children: Leonard, Grace, Virginius, Bessie, Albert, Lucile, Edna, John and Burton. 2. Clifton B. Cheatham married Lala Rainey Kittrell. Their children: Sallie, Charles, Elizabeth, Lucy Crudup, C.B., Jr., Charles Hamline, George Kittrell, William and Mary Cheatham. 3. Sarah C. Cheatham married Percy Parham. He is dead. Their children: James Theodore, Carroll, deceased, Paul Cullum, deceased, Earl, Dorothy. 4. Charles Hamlin Cheatham married Hettie Osborne, who died; later married Lucy Roberts. Children: Bettie Maie, Hamlin, Jr., Graham and Gordon, twins. 5. Rebecca Cheatham married S.W. Ferebee. Their children: Alice, S.W., Jr., Elizabeth, James Theodore, Rebecca, Willoughby, Hamlin, Emmit, Francis, Billy Edward. 6. Mary Louise Cheatham married R.A. Shirley. No children.  7. Olivia Burton Cheatham married J.H.B. Tomlinson. No children. 8. James Theodore Cheatham married Mary Johns. Their children: Mary Johns, dead, James Theodore, Jr., Mary Eccles, Martha Elizabeth. 9. Bessie Gibbons Cheatham married John R. Allen. One child: John R. Allen Jr., 10. Tazzie Cheatham married L.S. Baker. Their children: Shirley, Samuel, and James Cheatham Baker.

Martha M., the fourth child of James and Sarah Earl Crews, was born June, 1820, and married Joseph Penn Hunt. The name Penn appears often in the Hunt family. The most reliable information on its origin here is: John Hunt came to Granville from Virginia. His son John Hunt married Francis Penn, a sister of the signer of the immortal Declaration of Independence. A son of John and Frances Penn Hunt married Sarah Longmire. Joseph Penn Hunt was one of their sons. He married Martha Crews. David, a brother of John Penn Hunt, had two daughters, Martha, who married Little Jimmie Crews, and Charity, who married Reavis and lived near Henderson.

The children of Joseph Penn Hunt and Martha Crews Hunt were: 1. Sally, wife of James B. Crews, who had several children: Cora Ellis, Mrs. N.W. Hicks, C.F. Crews, Fred Crews. 2. James, who died in the Confederate Army. 3. Susan, wife of John H. Breedlove. Their children: Laurie G., who married Rebecca Rice. They have two children, Mildred and Evelyn; Joseph Penn Breedlove married first Bessie Bassett, and second, Lucile Aiken, and had two children, Joseph and Caroline. He has long been librarian of Duke University. Ethyl Breedlove unmarried. 4. Celestia Hunt married I.H. Breedlove. Their children: Oscar Breedlove married Sadie Harris, Calvin Breedlove, who married Lena Patterson. Their children: Joseph, Roy, Neely. Clarence Breedlove married Maggie Baily. Eula Breedlove who married Robert Hart. He died. Their children: Frank, Robert, Alley, Cooper, Mabel, Selma, James. Ada Breedlove, unmarried. May Breedlove married Samuel Holman. Alene Breedlove married Carl Hester. Their children: Josephine, Carl T., Marion and Dorothy Hester.

  1. The fifth child of Joseph P. and Martha Crews Hunt was John L. Hunt. He was a merchant at Kittrell; married Cora Rainey. Three children were born to them: John Leigh, Cora and Rosa Beverly Hunt. Cora Rainy Hunt died and John L. Hunt married her sister Rosa Raney. John L. Hunt soon died. 6. Ira T. Hunt, son of Joseph P. and Martha Hunt, was a partner of John L. Hunt and married his widow, Rosa Hunt. They had one child, Thomas. 7. Ella was the seventh child of Joseph P. and Martha Hunt. She married Dr. Fuller, of Person County. Their children: Elbert Earl, Cora Lee, Carrie and Willie and W. Fuller. 8. David N. Hunt, the eighth child of Joseph P. and Martha Hunt, married his first cousin Adelaide Hester. They live in Oxford, N.C. He is a great lover of the services of the sanctuary and was a R.F.D carrier on route five from Oxford for about 25 years. Their children: Joseph Penn, William Gibbs, Raymond, Otis Kilgo, Earl F. and Lula Hunt. Joseph P. Hunt’s principal business was farming, but he was an expert carpenter and assisted in building the State Capital at Raleigh. He and his wife lived to be old, dying in 1880 and 1881.
  2. The fifth child of James and Sarah Earl Crews was Elijah Thomas Crews. He married Mary, daughter of Asa Parham, when she was less than fifteen years of age. He died at 55 in the spring of 1881. She lived to be 83. They had many children: 1. Haden W. Crews, who married Elizabeth, daughter of John B. Hicks, and he and his brother Norfleet Crews made more clear money farming than any farmers I know. He died in March, 1924, age 76, leaving one child, Dr. N. H. Crews of High Point, N.C. 2. Herbert E. Crews, who married first Laura Fullerton, who bore him several children. 2. Miss Weaver Wester, no issue. 3. Miss Howell, no issue. 3. Miss Delia A. Crews, unmarried. 4. Rufus T. Crews, who died in 1899, unmarried. He was a graduate of Trinity College under Dr. Craven’s Regime. 5. Mary Crews, called Mollie, who died in her youth, unmarried. 6. Norfleet G. Crews, who was adopted by his uncle Edward N. Crews, married first, Victoria Burroughs, daughter of J.E. Burroughs. She dying, he married Charlotte Marrow, daughter of Drewry Marrow. They had nine children. Norfleet died in 1919. He was sole devisee of his uncle Edward N. Crews and his wife and added largely to the same by thrift and diligence. The children of Norfleet and Charlotte are: Eloise, widow of T.L. Fishel. 2. Edward N. Crews. 3. N. G. Crews. 4. Samuel B. Crews. 5. Mary Delia Crews. 6. Martha Eugenia Crews. 7. Daniel M. Crews. 8. Lottie M. Crews. 9. R.T. Crews. Samuel F. Crews, seventh child of E.T. and Mary Crews, married Elizabeth Burroughs. Children: Fletcher, Elizabeth, wife of Julian Glover, Harold, Dorothy and Geraldine Marguerite.
  3. The sixth child of James and Sarah Earl Crews was Edward N. Crews, born September 19th, 1824. He married Martha, daughter of Asa Parham, and lived a mile west from Dabney and three quarters of a mile northeast from his father. He bought one of the poorest farms in the country and improved it until it became one of the best. Edward N. Crews was a “hustler”, an enthusiast. He specialized in being a good farmer, a good Democrat, a good churchman, and a good liver. If one went to his house to get something good to eat, “he didn’t miss it.” If he depended on him for a church or a party contribution, he was not disappointed. He was almost sure to attend church or party conventions and notable occasions. Though my father’s man Bill was overpersuaded by his wife to go to E.T. Crewses at once after Lee’s surrender he went to Uncle Ed’s next year and stayed about 25 years. Bill’s son lives there now. E.N. Crews was one of the first of his section to start the making of flue-cured tobacco and one of the first to introduce Jersey cattle. He went to Raleigh when the best fresh about Oxford and Henderson sold for $20.00 and paid $100.00 for a Jersey heifer. When she began to give milk she was the talk of the neighborhood. Uncle Ed invited his Brother Jeems” to come down. That night at the table Uncle Ed said: “Brother Jeems, how do you like that milk?” Uncle Jimmie: “Very good, but I think I’ve drank as good at home many a time. “Uncle Ed was somewhat set back, and next morning at breakfast he had Aunt Martha provide a glass of pure Jersey cream for Brother Jeems. As the breakfast proceeded, Uncle Ed: “Brother Jeems, how do you like that milk?” Little Jimmie: “Very well, but I think I’ve seen it as rich at my house many a time.” Uncle Ed: “It ain’t so! It ain’t so! It’s every bit pure cream!” and then he laughed at having caught “Brother Jeems”. This joke is all the better to those who remember the immense voice of Uncle Ed and the zest with which he talked and laughed. Uncle Ed enjoyed the companionship of his friends. He was well known in Vance and Granville, and many good stories were told of him, by him and some at his expense. He acquired a thousand acres of land, more than thirty-thousand dollars in money and never lost any. His estate he left to his wife with the understanding that she should leave it to their dearly beloved adopted son and nephew, Norfleet G. Crews. This Aunt Martha did soon after. They both died in the fall and winter of 1899. Norfleet more than doubled the estate in value in the following twenty years, dying in middle life in the year 1919. Edward N. Crews was a man of strong prejudices and an emotional nature, but he had the respect of all and was beyond question a fine and notable man.
  4. The seventh child of James and Sarah Earl Crews was Isabella Jane Crews, born August 24th, 1829, married Benjamin W., youngest son of Abner and Elizabeth Harris Hicks, and died September 4th, 1913. Her descendants under name of my father. She was on good terms with all her neighbors. Nobody ever heard anything she told or repeated to the discredit of others. She never crossed or quarreled with my father. I never heard of her asking him for money or having a pocketbook. He did the buying and paying of bills. She was entirely loyal to the Crewses, yet she was on the best terms with all of the Hickses. In the establishment and maintenance of a home and rearing a family she did her part nobly and well. She survived my father nearly 14 years. Her body is lying by the side of his. If any one ever had better parents than the children of my parents he was indeed fortunate.
  5. Susan, eighth child of James and Sarah Crews, born January 7th, 1832, married George W. Hunt, brother of Joseph Penn Hunt. She outlived her parents and all her brothers and sisters, dying in April 1918, aged 86. Her husband was a substantial citizen and was executor of the will of his good friend and neighbor Col. Richard P. Taylor, who died in 1870. George W. Hunt died in the prime of his life in 1876, leaving a large family. His widow survived him 42 years. Their youngest son, Edward A. Hunt, still owns the family home and keeps alive the best traditions of the family.

The children of George W. and Susan Hunt were: 1. Emma, married Joseph B. Parham. They owned and lived at the place from which Robert T. Taylor sold a hundred slaves at one time to Judge Rux of Mississippi. Children of Joseph and Emma: Hattie, who married Thomas V. Rowland and later J.K. Plummer, Thad B. died leaving several children, Mamie, who never married, Cary, who has several children, Mattie married Hobgood. They have several children. Blanche Parham married Junius M. Rowland. [Children:] George W. Parham and Elvin Parham. 2. Walter L. Hunt, second child of George W. and Susan, married Jane Haliburton, of Durham. They moved to Asheville. Both died leaving several children, all deceased. 3. Lelia Hunt married Junius W. Young and died without issue. 4. Junius Penn Hunt married Julia Russell of Virginia. Their children: Florence, Lillian, Helen, wife of Theodore Parham, Dorothy, wife of E.S. Merritt, George Penn, and Elizabeth. Junius Penn Hunt has long been one of the most intelligent men of Granville, a lover of his church, a good citizen. His daughter Lillian lives in the Adirondacks. Dorothy and husband are in the Philippine Islands. George Penn Hunt, a graduate of the State University, is employed in commerce in China. 5. Sarah Hunt, unmarried, lived for some time in Cuba. 6. Florence Hunt married Edwin G. Barnes. They died leaving a daughter, Lottie, wife of Rev. R.J. Parker. She has been a foreign missionary and has lived on the Mexican border. They now live in Memphis and have several children. 7. Carrie Hunt married Charles F. Crews. He died of typhoid fever while Clerk of the Superior Court of Granville County. They have one son Roy, and four daughters. 8. Susan (C.) married Joseph H. Gooch. She died, leaving one child, Janie, who graduated from college in 1926. 9. Edward A. Hunt married Elizabeth Moyer, who died leaving two sons. Edward A Hunt later married Lennie Ward, of Greensboro.

Susan C. Hunt possessed all the striking characteristics of the Crews family. From childhood until death she was a devoted member of Salem Church. She loved her family, and they were drawn to her by the tenderest affection. Hers was a long life of peace and reasonable happiness. Her memory is blessed.

  1. The ninth and last child of James and Sarah Earl Crews was Melissa F. Crews, born January 3rd, 1835, married Rev. William S. Hester, and died in his arms while alighting from the train at Huntsboro, near Salem Church, November 1897. There were born of this marriage: 1. Nora, who married Rufus J. Aiken. This couple had many children, now living. Both parents are dead. 2. Adelaide, who married her first cousin David. N. Hunt in December, 1883. 3. Lula, who married Rev. J.M. Rhodes. No children. The other children of Rev. W.S. and Melissa F. Crews Hester were: Benjamin Otis Hester, who lives in Texas, and Marvin, a Methodist Episcopal minister. I do not know their descendants. Mrs. Melissa Hester was a merry, happy, laughing woman, a lover of the church and everybody. She was largely influential in inducing her father to buy the organ at Salem Church, and she was for a generation its organist and the church’s principal chorister. She was a whole-souled enthusiast in religious and domestic life. She came from the Methodist Episcopal Annual Conference at Raleigh with her husband. I talked with her on the train from Youngsville to Henderson. An hour later, at Huntsboro, her spirit left the scenes and friends she loved so well for the life eternal.

James Crews, the father and head of his large and honorable family, lived to be 90 years of age, dying in September, 1875. I have heard my mother say he started life in a house with a dirt floor. Grandpa Crews could read the Bible a little and write his name, but he had no education in books. In his long life he became a very well informed man. No one ever thought him conceited or proud, but he enjoyed the prosperity he wrenched from nature. A few acres at a time, he acquired more than a thousand acres. At the time of the Civil War he owned more than fifty slaves. I never heard of his mistreating or abusing one. He was born poor and lived to be rich, but he never spent a quarter without first considering whether what he would get would be worth a quarter. A photo taken some years before his death shows him holding in one hand, barely perceptible, a quid which he intended to chew some more. My mother showed it to me. A good story of his thrift and enthusiasm for work is remembered in the family. The first day of the year he waked Tom and Ed and two of his stoutest slaves, before day, telling them to go over to the “new ground” and cut down that largest oak tree by sunrise and wake up the neighborhood, and start the year right. I can see him standing on the porch as the day dawned listening to the ring of the axes of those stout fellows through the frosty air; and what a thrill he felt as he imagined it would wake up Abner Hickses crowd to the east, Bob Taylor’s to the South and Sam Moss and Cooper’s quarter to the north. Soon the tree fell and such a noise it made! But the four men who felled it just as the sun was rising set up yells that could be heard as far as the fall of the tree. They then went home to breakfast, expecting to receive the congratulations and smiles of a father and master; but he was “mad as a hornet.” “What in the world did you holler for? They will think you were coon hunting or were bragging on what you had done.” His grandson, Hayden Crews told me of selling a fine horse to a prominent citizen, who became dissatisfied and sent for Hayden to come and trade back. Hayden went by Grandpa’s, told him all the treaty and trade and asked him for advice. Grandpa: “Tell him you don’t make children’s bargains.” At his funeral Rev. Lewis K. Willie told of his last words. He had been given some medicine in which some of the sugar, not having dissolved, lodged on his tongue. He wiped it off with his finger and said to a child standing by: “Did you ever see anybody spit out sugar before?” Then he died. Thousands of times since have his children and grandchildren and neighbors thought and talked pleasantly of the things he did and of the long and successful life he lived.

THE RESIDENCES OF OUR TWO GRANDFATHERS

Think of the number of dwellings in Durham and Granville and Vance costing ten thousand dollars or more! My father used to say it wasn’t worth while to build much of a house for the little time we had here, and that “the Father of the Faithful” thought a tent sufficient. As I recollect them, the dwellings in which my two grandfathers, Abner Hicks and James Crews, lived and reared their large familes were much alike. Bouth fronted the southeast. The westerly end of each, a story and a jump, with a second shed room in the rear was built first. As more room was needed for the growing family, lower and upper rooms were added on the northeast ends connected with the attic and shed room in the rear. Then a long porch was built all across the front of the Crews house, but only in front of the old part of the Hicks house. Neither one was ever painted. In my opinion, at prices prevailing from about 1800 until just before the world war, either one of those houses could have been built for about $600.00. There was a current opinion in that day that painted houses were taxed much higher than those unpainted. One wonders if that had anything to do with the unpainted condition of these two ancestral homes. The girls and their guests, if any, were packed away in the shed rooms downstairs, the boys in the attics. One of the big rooms was the parlor and the other the living room occupied by all the old folks. The windows! They were so little! I doubt if they were ever raised. And the doors were seldom closed in the daytime. And such fireplaces! Wood about five or six feet long could be burned in them. In those days people stayed in the house but little in the day. I’ve heard my mother say that many a time on Monday mornings her mother would poke her head in the shed room, quote an old saying: “Get up girls! Get up! Here it is Monday morning, tomorrow Tuesday and next day Wednesday! Half the week gone and nothing done!” My mother said when grandfather saw one of them reading a novel and was told what it was he would say, “A made tale.”

These old houses stood and served large families for near a hundred years. My father pulled his down in 1868 and moved into the oak woods where the soil is gray and the shade is good. He used the shingled on the old house to cover the stables and the outhouses at the new place. They were drawn shingles, of heart pine, put on with wrought nails, the exposed parts worn half in two. We just turned them over and they were better than any we could get, but in about forty years they were worn so on the other side that they had to be discarded. There was a great big cellar under the whole of the Crews house, entered by a door and stone steps from the north end. In that cellar the family eating was done. They had to go there and carry the dishes and food there via out of doors, three times a day. The kitchen was at least 50 yards away. At Grandpa Hicks’s they ate in the west room, which was indeed a roomy room, larger, I suppose, than any two house rooms in Henderson. All the water used at both places for nearly a hundred years, was brought about 250 yards from the springs. Just before the war wells were digged. My brother Archibald said he was at Grandpa Crews’s one morning preparing to wash his face. He put about two small gourds of water in the pan, when Grandpa said: “Boy, you’ve got enough water there to wash a shirt.” Grandfather Abner died in December, 1857, when I was two months old. Grandfather Crews was 72 when I was born and 90 when he died. His speech was all kindly and gentle, but I cannot remember that I ever saw him smile.

THREE DAUGHTERS OF JOHN EARL

Sarah Earl, as we have said, married James Crews. Mary Earl married Robert Jones. Patsie Earl married William Kittrell.

Mary and Patsie have 272 descendants, viz: Children of Mary and Robert Jones: 1. Jane Jones married Robert Gill. 2. Sally Jones married Peter Gill. Children of Jane Jones and Robert Gill: 1. Dr. Robert J. Gill married Annie Fuller. 2. William P. Gill married killed at Battle of Malvern Hill. 3. Emily Gill married E.A. Fuller. Children of Dr. Robert J. Gill: 1. William Francis Gill, professor Trinity College, died. 2. Celestia Gill married I.J. Young, Children of Celestia Gill and I.J. Young: 1. I.J. Young, Jr. 2. Robert G Young. 3. Rebecca Jane Young. 4. Annie Fuller Young. Children of Emily Gill Fuller: Emily Fuller married J.C. Thompson. Their children: 1. Ralph Fuller Thompson married Lois Coghill; children, Jane and Fuller Thompson. 2. Alpheus Thompson married Lucy Hays; no children. 3. Lucy Thompson and Helen Thompson 5. Robert and Jones Thompson.

Children of Sally and Peter Gill: 1. John Gill died of typhoid fever. 2. Ben L. Gill died in army. 3. Pattie Gill married Sam Brummitt. 4. Mary Gill married John H. Rowland. 5. Parmelia J. Gill married D.S. Allen. 6. Robert Frank Gill married Debnam Allen. 7. Joseph Thomas Gill married Bettie Price. 8. David H. Gill married Pattie Hight. 9. James A. Gill married Evelyn O. Allen.

  1. Children of Pattie Gill and Sam Brummitt: 1. Sa Peter Brummitt married. 2. Rosa Gill. 3. Nettied Ellington. 4. Meta Earl Brummitt married Ed. W. Harris. 5. Pettie Brummitt married Ernest L. Fuller. Children of Sam and Peter Brummitt’s first wife: 1. James Russell Brummitt married Blanche Eakes; one child Margaret. 2. Garland married Isabel Ward. 3. S. Brooks Brummitt married Beth Fuller; two children Rosalie and Wallace. 4. Harold Brummitt.
  2. Children of Meta Earl Brummitt and Ed.W. Harris: 1. Talton Harris married Ethel Barbera Neef. 2. Norwood Harris married Mabel Richardson. Their children: Barbera Harris and N.W. Harris, Jr. 3. Cedric Harris killed in World War. 4. Claxton Harris. 5. Frank Harris. 6. Elizabeth Groves Harris.
  3. Children of Pattie Brummitt and Ernest L. Fuller: 1. Thelbert Fuller married Lizzie Hays; one child, Thelbert, Jr. 2. Fletcher B. Fuller married Nora Eaves; one child, Fletcher B., Jr. 3. Clifton Fuller. 4. Edgar Fuller. 5. Lula Fuller. 6. Charlie Fuller. 7. Minnie Fuller. 8. Sam Fuller. 9. Jack Fuller.
  4. Children of Mary Gill and John H. Rowland: 1. Plummer G. Rowland. 2. Hubert L. Rowland. 3. Della married R.K. Young. 4 John L. Rowland married Belle Fuller. 5. Dr. D.S. Rowland married Fanny Fuller; one child, Austin; then married Lily Strange. 6. Emma Rowland married A.K. Rogers. 7. Peter L. Rowland married Hester Kennedy. Plummer G. Rowland never married.

Children of Della Rowland and R.K. Young: 1. Addie Young. 2. Carl Young married Pearl Johnson. Children: Alice, Vesper, Samuel J., and Wesley. 3. Ethel married John Woodlief. Children: Leona, Christine, Viola, Ashby. 4. Clara Young married U.B. Alexander. Children: Waldo, Vernon D., and Vivian.

Children of Hubert Rowland and Geneva Hight, his wife: 1. Joe Rowland married Clara Smith: one child Joe, Jr. 2. Emma Rowland married Lewis W. Huff; one child Myra. 3. Neva Rowland married Festus Fuller; one child Jane. 4. Nannie Rowland married James Ellington. Children: Annie, Margaret, Madeline, Edwin, Kimball, Rowland. 5. Wilber A. Rowland married Nina Bradwell: one child Alba. 6. John P. Rowland married Bessie Harris. Children: Rudolph, Dwight, Elizabeth, Mary, Paul. 7. Pearl Rowland married Allen Harris. Two children: Bella A. and Herbert H. 8. Fannie Rowland, single.

Children of John L. Rowland and Belle Fuller: 1. Roy A. Rowland married Maude Andrews. Children: Phillip, Leroy, Radford. 2. H. Benton Rowland married Roth Conyers. Children: Frances, Louise, and H.B. Jr.

Children of Peter Rowland and Hester Kennedy: Haywood. Bessie, Della and George.

Children of David S. Rowland and Fannie Fuller: Austin Rowland, dead. Lily Strange bore no children.

Children of Emma Rowland and A.K. Rogers: 1. Lowell Rogers. 2. John Willis Rogers. 3. Mary Rogers. 4. Maurice Rogers. 5. Alice Rogers married Rudolph Montgomery and had one child Emma Gray.

Children of Parmelia Gill and D.S. Allen: 1. Olive Allen, dead. 2. Nettie Allen married A.B. Deans. 3. James Bayard Allen married Minnie Kimball. Children: Susan and Francis. 4. Jessie Allen married Rufus M. Person, dead. Children: Alice married E,C. Sparrow, James A Person, Allen Person, R.M. Person, Jr. 5. Dr. Ben G. Allen married Nieta W. Watson. Their children: Virginia, Mary Jane, Nieta, and Ben G., Jr.

Children of Robert Frank Gill and Debnam Allen: 1. Thomas C. Gill married Charlotte Cline. Children: Ruth, Sarah, Thomas Cline Gill. 2. Lois Gill married Henry T. Mitchell. Children: Frank, Donald, Roger, Myrtle, Sallie, Evelyn.

Children of Joseph Thomas Gill and Bettie Price: 1. Lula Gill married K.W. Edwards. Their children: R. Reynolds Edwards married Ella Jefferson. 2. Pauline Edwards. 3. Annie Belle Edwards married A.L. Hobgood; one child A.L. Hobgood, Jr. 4. Sallie Gill Edwards married Lem Wilson. Their children: Ruth Elsie and Thomas Gill Wilson. 5. Janie Gill Edwards married Thomas J. Sykes. Child: Thomas Gill Sykes, Jr. 6. Frank Gill married Donnie Hux. Children: James Thomas Gill, Jr., Gladys, Leon and Russell

Children of David H. Gill and Pattie Hight: 1. Sally died of typhoid fever. 2. Peter H. Gill married Pattie Baker. Two children: John David and Julia. 3. Pattie Baker Gill, died. Peter H. Gill married Willie Montgomery. Their children: Harold A. and Elizabeth Gill. 3. Pattie Gill married Ed. Stone and bore children, Thelma and Julian. 4. Mabel Gill married Harrison B. Williams. Their children: Crayton, Veritas, Hal. B. Jr., and Marshal. 5. Janie Gill married Robert Edwards. Their children: Margaret, Annie, Elsie and Ida. 6. Josie Gill married Sam F. Coghill. Their children: Pattie, Morris, Clarence, Peter, Mabel, Conrad, Dalton. He married Edith Edwards.

Children of James A. Gill and Evelyn O. Allen: 1. Mary Jones Gill, dead. 2. Rosa Gill married S.B. Brummitt. Their children given under his name. 3. John Earl Gill married Mattie Taylor. Their children: Clare, Evelyn, Edward and Earl. 4. Carrie Gill married John Broughton. Their child: Elizabeth. 5. Clarence Lee Gill married __________ Edwards. Their children: James, Allen, Alma, Ora, William.

Children of Patsy Earl and William Kittrell:

  1. John W. Kittrell married Mary Fuller. Their children: 1. Annie married E.O. Perdue. 2. Florence married Hugh M. Hight. Their children: Paul, Marion, Harry, Mary H. and Geneva. Mary H. Hight married Ira Finch. Their children: Reese, Rachel, Alex. Geneva Hight married Melvin S. Fowler and had one child: Sterling. 3. R.L. Kittrell married Fanny Parham. Children: Annie married Bennie Rowland. Their children: Annie, Robert, and Macy. Mary Kittrell married Henry J. Parks. Their children: James and Reynold. Willie A. Kittrell married Ethel Hayes. Their children: Elizabeth and W.A. Kittrell, Jr., Alice Kittrell. Egbert Kittrell married Agnes Woodlief. Their children: James and Asa. Charlie Kittrell. 4. John J. Kittrell married Lizzie Edwards. Their children: Lois, Clyde and Alene. 5. Jessie Kittrell married Lena Duke. Their child: Jessie Bell. Willie Kittrell married Ada Perdue. Their children: Florrie married Clarence E. Page. Children: Clarence and Ada. Mary Kittrell.
  2. Tabita Kittrell, daughter of Patsy and William, married Buck White. Their children: Eugene and Hugh White and Rebecca, who married _______ White and removed to Tennessee. Names of their children I do not know.

III. Mary Kittrell married John Wesley Young. Their children: (a) Junius W. Young, who married twice; _______ Hunt, one child E.O. Young, and Lelia Hunt, no child. (b) Rufus K. Young married Della Rowland, see under her name. (c)Olivia and Ophelia Young, twins, no issue. (d) O.O. Young married Nannie Powell. Children: Thomas, Henry, Mary, Alley Ball, and Eleanor Young.

  1. Martha Kittrell married Willis Rogers. No issue.
  2. Maria Kittrell married Willis Rogers. Their children: Ella married George Davis, Pattie, A.K. (see under Mary Rowland), Cecil, June, Samuel E., children not known. Roberta married James P. Satterwhite. Children: Samuel J. Satterwhite married Madeline Warren, Fletcher, John W., Clyde E., Louise married Will Reavis, Dora married Frank Rose. Their children: Clarice Rose, Frank Rose married Mary Turner, James L. Rose and George W. Rose.
  3. Jennie Kittrell unmarried.

Nearly all the above descendes of Patsy and Mary Earl live and have lived in the Kittrell Twonship, Vance County. For fifty years or more Dr. Robert Gill, an active physician and farmer, has been their guide, physician and friend, to whom they have looked.

Now, for some years, Dr. Benjamin G. Allen has been and is acting in the same capacity. David H. Gill did much to educate and obtain homes for this large family connection.

James A. Gill and D.S. Allen were also men of force and activity.

Just think! When William, Thomas, and Robert Hicks, George Harris, John Earl and Gideon Crews came and settled those places at or before the year 1750, not a brick nor a nail nor a piece of wood had been assembled to build any house in Oxford or Raleigh. It was about 100 years thereafter before anything was done toward building Henderson or Durham. Hillsboro had been started and a road ran through this country from Petersburg to it and from Edenton and Newbern and Halifax to Hillsboro and on to Salisbury. Not a railroad was in North Carolina until the Raleigh and Gaston was built, reaching in 1837, the place “a mile west of Chalk Level” where Henderson now is. I have never heard when either of the country roads from Henderson to Oxford was built, but suppose they were built after 1811 when Oxford was chartered. Williamsboro and that old church were there, the center of Granville’s eighteenth century culture. Williamsboro had fine schools from 1800 to 1850. Some Eatons and Somervilles and Hawkinses and Hendersons began to come about 1750. How people traveled in those days with such roads as they had, we cannot understand. Mostly on horseback, we suppose. Nothing remains to inform us what connection William Hicks and brothers, or George Harris or Gideon Crews or John Earl had with the outside world for fifty years after they settled upon the headwaters of Tabbs and Harrisburg and Flat Creeks. Mr. L. G. Breedlove, a great grandson of John Hunt and James Crews, is of the opinion that John Earl met Zebiah Watts when she landed from the ship and married her and brought her to this section. Another account is that John Harris, the father of George Harris, married Elizabeth, the sister of Isaac Watts, and that their children were George Harris and the first wife of William Hicks and the wife of Valentine Mayfield. I cannot decide which story is true. The reference books say Isaac Watts was born in 1674 and died in 1748. It is, therefore, more likely, that the fiancés  of John Earl and John Harris were Isaac’s nieces. If our kinship to him cannot be proven, we can look for the resemblances in his and our mental and spiritual attitudes, by reading his fifty odd hymns still sung in our own churches. His last 37 years were spent in the home of Thomas Abney, a London Alderman. How could they so…

“Mingle and mix, piety and politics?”

[Excluded one paragraph of extraneous content about unsubstantiated connections to the 14th century Hickses of England.]

These lands, when taken up from John of Carteret, alias Lord Granville, cost our ancestors less than a dollar an acre. In reconstruction days, 1868-70, I heard my father talking about his taxes. He said they were $15.00 that year and was complaining of how they had gone up. Just think of the tax on about 500 acres of land and the ordinary personality being $15.00. My brother Hewitt told me last fall that his school tax alone for 1925 on 120 acres, within a mile of White Oak Villa, and no better land or improvements, was $95.00.

I have my father’s store account from June, 1873, to July, 1874: Amount $174.00. Kerosene was 50c per gallon, nails 10c per pound, Rio coffee 40c, cotton cloth 12 1/2c, with a credit of two bales of cotton and 14 1/2 c per pound. I also have a receipt for the price of a coffin in which the body of my grandfather Abner Hicks was buried: “The estate of Abner Hicks, deceased, to Elba L. Parrish, Dr., December 28th, 1857. To making one raised top coffin, $5.50. Received the above amount in full of Samuel S. Hicks. Elba L. Parrish.”

Let us now look from the past to the future.

May this pamphlet serve to introduce those of the Hickses and Crewses and Harrises and Earls and their descendants who do not know each other. Let us claim kin and be kin, and be such good and true and friendly men and women as will bring honor to our family name and fit us to associate with our worthy ancestors and all the good when we meet them hereafter.

  • Henderson, N.C., August 27th, 1926

[Excluded Appendix. Further information on the unsubstantiated Hicks connections to England, some information on the Hicks original connections to Plymouth, etc.

Excluded “Changes in the Mode of Living”, which was a moderately lengthy section that is essentially out of date, and Mr. Thurston Titus Hicks descriptions of “Modern” conveniences would strike most of today as almost “camping”.

Pages 50 and further are missing in my copy.]

———————————————————————————————————

[The following is a revised and edited version of “Scketches”, for easier reading.]

Sketches of William Hicks, Abner Hicks, Jasper Hicks, George Harris, James Crews, John Earl

And Something of Their Descendants, With comparisons of present conditions of living with those of sixty years ago.

By Thurston Titus Hicks

Privately printed, Henderson, North Carolina, September, 1926
(A revised and updated edition was printed in 1954.)

[Pages 1 and 2]

“People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”
— Edmund Burke

The facts and incidents herein contained were related to me by my parents [Isabella Jane Crews and  Benjamin Willis Hicks] in my childhood; and repeated to me by them and by my Uncle Edward N. Crews, reduced to writing and verified by them after I became a man. My brother Archibald A. Hicks found and verified the record references. His and my acquaintance with our large family connection enabled us to gather and preserve the incidents and stories. All the family to whom we applied contributed cheerfully whatever information they possessed of the persons and occurrences of which we write.

The records in the office of the Secretary of State at Raleigh show who were the original grantees of the lands of the Colony. Those in Oxford begin in the year 1742, when Granville County was formed.

I have seen the lists of soldiers of the Revolution from Granville County as published in the (Oxford) Public Ledger lately, and was surprised to read so many family names I have never heard; showing how people have departed and others have come and taken their places. The will of my great grandfather, William Hicks, made May 14th, 1796 probated at August Court, 1799 of Granville County, names as his devisees and legatees, in addition to his two sons, my grandfather Abner Hicks, to whom the lands were devised, and William Hicks, Jr., the following daughters: Mary Debrula, Anne Mathews, Martha Tatum, Priscilla Duncan, and Susanna Wilkins. None of these daughters or their descendants were known to my father who was born October 15th, 1828, nor are any of them known to me. This will was attested by Reuben Tally, John Hicks and Samuel Allen, Jr. Who were they?

The Earl of Granville granted to the said William Hicks on March 5th, 1749, two tracts of land aggregating 502 acres, “Situated on the waters” of Tabbs Creek. In those days all lands that composed a part of a watershed of a stream were described as located on said stream. Said lands were retained by William Hicks fifty years and devised as above stated to his son Abner. Abner retained the same fifty-five years and conveyed them to his youngest son, my father, Benjamin Willis Hicks, who thereafter owned and lived on the place for forty-four years, dying December 30th, 1899, leaving same to my mother for life and in remainder to his children. The place is now occupied and owned by my double ex-brother-in-law James T. Cozart and his two children, James T. Cozart, Jr., and Helen Cozart.

[Pages 3- 28 missing in my copy.]
[Pages 29 – 48]

The Crews Family of Salem

There was a Gideon Crews. We have not heard of his antecedents.

[For antecedents of Gideon Crews, Sr., see The Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, 1750-1930, Vol VI, Henrico Monthly Meeting, by William Wade Hinshaw, page 164, which shows Joseph Crew, b. 1704 in Charles City, VA (son of John Crew and Sarah Gatley) – married (on June 12, 1725 – Massey Johnson, b. Feb 5, 1703 in Hanover, VA (daughter of John Johnson and Lucretia Massey).]

  1. Gideon Crews, Sr. married Jemima Wicker. Their children were:
    1. Gideon Crews, Jr.
    2. Littlebury Crews
    3. James Crews
    4. Elizabeth Crews (married) Lemuel Currin
    5. Abigail Crews (married) William Daniel
    6. Mildred Crews (married) ________ Hester or Easter. They moved to Stokes County.
  2. Gideon Crews, Jr. married Temperance LeMay. Their children were:
    A. Franklin Crews (married first) _______ Ellis, sister of John Ellis. They had the following children:
    1. Alex Crews
    2. James B. Crews
    3.   _______  Crews (married) Thomas Norwood
    4. William (“Buck”) Crews.
  3. Franklin Crews (married next) Hannah Hunt. Their children were:
    1. Robert Crews (died without issue.)
    2. Wesley Crews (died without issue.)
    3. Eugene T. Crews

    B. Henry Crews
    C. Patsy Crews (married) Manson Breedlove
    D. Harriet Crews (married) John Sears
    E. Lucy Crews (married) Solomon Cottrell

Gid, Jr., in those days at times liked a timely dram. Our mother used to tell us that he would come to her father’s in a condition which made him merry and full of fun. The children would surround him when he was thus tipsy and ask him to tell them a story. Then he would tell them the story of the Irishman’s dog, viz.: “One day there was an Irishman in the woods hewing with a broad axe. His dog chased a rabbit. The rabbit came running right by where the man was hewing, and the dog in hot pursuit. The dog passed under the axe just as the man brought it down. It split the dog open from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail. The man was distressed at the accident, but being an Irishman and quick witted, he snatched up both halves of the dog and slapped them back together. The operation was so quick and the dogs blood so hot, that the two parts stuck together and grew, and the dog jumped out of his master’s hand and renewed the chase and soon caught the rabbit. But the man in his haste to save the dog had made the mistake to turn two feet up and two feet down, and the dog found that he could run on two feet until they got tired and then whirl over and run on the other two, and so he could catch anything in the woods, and could run forever.”

—-

II. John Earl (married)  Zebiah Watts. Their children were:
1. Martha Earl (“Patsy”?) (married) William Kittrell
2. Mary Earl (married) Robert Jones
3. Sarah Earl (“Sally”?) (married) James Crews [3rd son of Gideon Crews, Sr. described above.]
4. Jack Earl married Fanny Rice and removed to Tennessee.
5. Sims died young, with no issue.

  1. John Earl’s sister Keziah Earl married George Harris. Their descendants are listed herein.

A little story has come down from the days of John Earl and George Harris. John was asked by George Harris on one occasion to send Jack and Sims, his two sons, to help him to get up and shock his wheat, “All right,” said John and he sent them over early the next morning. They worked hard and finished just at dinner time [lunch time], thinking the while what a good dinner [lunch]they would have in Aunt Kizzie’s kitchen. Just then old man George said: “Boys, my wife always cooks to a mouthful and your mother cooks bountifully. Run home and get your dinners.” Their hearts sank within them, but they started home. After a few steps one said: “Uncle George, may we go by the orchard and get some apples?” Uncle George hesitated a moment and replied: “Eat as many as you want, but pocket none.” The boys went to the orchard, ate all the apples they could, took off their trousers, tied knots in their legs and filled them up with apples which they carried home. This story came to me from the Earle side of the house. Perhaps reading it here will be the first any living Harris ever heard of it.

To go back to the family of James Crews: James Crews, son of Gideon the first, born July, 1785, married Sarah Earl, third daughter of John Earl.

The best impression we can obtain from the deeds is that the Gideon Crews, Sr., lands and the John Earl lands adjoined, around and just east, north and northwest of where Salem Church now is, three miles east and northeast of Oxford; and that grandfather James Crews bought them and more, comprising more than a thousand acres, and lived there until his death in 1875.

  1. James Crews, b. July 20, 1785 – d. Sept. 28, 1875 (married) Sarah Earl, b. May 4, 1791 – d. March 3, 1863. Their children are:,
    A. Allen Spencer, b. Feb. 16, 1811 – d. 1811. and was
    B. James A. Crews, b. May 15th, 1813 – d. Aug. 10, 1892 (married) Martha Hunt, b. Dec. 5, 1815 – d. Jan. 6, 1892. Their children are:
    1. David G. Crews (married) _______ Flemming; reared a large family and lived to be old.
    2. Sarah A. Crews (married, first) William Lyon. Their children are:
    a. Kate Lyon (married) James T. Cozart
    b. Ira Lyon (married) _______ Cozart (James T. Cozart’s, above, sister.)

Sara A. Crews Lyon (married, next) Rev. Thomas J. Horner, of Henderson. They both lived to be
nearly 80. He died first.

  1. Lorena Crews (married, first) _______Rogers. Their child:
    a. Ira Rogers

(married next) R.G. Bobbitt. Their child:
a. Glenn Bobbitt.

  1. Robert T. Crews (married)________ Stark ( daughter of Kizaeh Stark.) Robert lived to be old.
    They had no children.
  2. Louisa Crews (married) William D. Mitchell, of Wake. Their children are:
    a. Ed. D. Mitchell
    b. W.G. Mitchell
    c. Bunn Mitchell
    d. Marvin Mitchell
    e. _______ Mitchell (who went to California and died leaving children there.)

About 1880 the Mitchell family removed to near Middleburg, in Vance County. Mr. Mitchell died
at a good old age, about 1920.

  1. Edward H. Crews (married) Laura Horner (daughter of Rev. Thomas J. Horner). She died
    without issue.
  2. Caroline Crews (“Callie”) (married) John Smith. Their children are:
    a. Lonnie Smith, who long lived in Oxford, N.C.
    b. Lennie Smith of Oxford,
    c. Maude Smith (married) Mr. Jackson.
    They all have families.
  3. Leroy Crews (married) Fanny Evelyn Johnston (See Ed. Notes at end of this piece for
    descendants of Leroy Lafayette Crews and Fanny Evelyn Johnston] lives at Thelma, in Halifax,
    members of his family unknown to me.
  4. Flora Crews (married) _______ Best; lived near Goldsboro, died, children unknown to me
  5. Albert A. Crews (married) Miss Stark. No issue.
  6. Rebecca Crews. Never married, no issue.

About B. JAMES A. CREWS (son of 3. James Crews, grandson of I. Gideon Crews, Sr.)

James A. Crews was called “Little Jimmie” or “Tar River Jimmie.” He married Martha Hunt, not a sister, but of the same family of which two sons, Joseph and George married his (James A.’s) two sisters Martha and Susan. “Little Jimmie”, as he was called, was much of a man. He soon bought a fine farm on the south side of the Tar River near Minor’s mill and lived there until he was nearly 90.

James A. Crews was a good man, a Christian. He loved the church and worked much in its ranks. I have never heard anyone speak evil of him. He prospered in business. He farmed on a large scale, and made his boys work. Archibald Hicks tells a good story that Uncle Jimmy told him. One night a youngster of the neighborhood went to Uncle Jimmy’s visiting, and stayed and stayed. Probably he wished to look at, if not say something to the handsome girls of the family. Finally his visit became somewhat annoying by its length and bedtime approaching, Uncle Jimmie said: “well Johnnie, I reckon you had better go on home now; it’s getting late.” Johnnie left. The next time Uncle Jimmie saw Johnnie it was at a neighborhood mill. Uncle Jimmie: “Howdy Johnnie.”  Johnnie: “I wish I had a bengal of powder; I’d blow you to hell in two minutes.”

The third child of James and Sara Earl Crews was:
C. Mary E. Crews, b. Dec. 2, 1815 (married) William O. Wright (a brother of John W. Wright and uncle of Mr. George W. Wright.)
They removed to Tennessee and had children there, who, in 1875, received their share of the estate of James Crews.

The fourth child of James and Sara Earl Crews was:
D. Rebecca A. Crews, b. April, 1817 – d. August, 1888 (married) James Cheatham, d. 1865.

Rebecca A. Crews and James Cheatham lived about five miles southeast of Oxford, where their grandson, Hamlin Cheatham now lives. James Cheatham died in 1865, heart broken over the result of the war. His wife Rebecca died in August 1888.

Their children are:
1. William A. Cheatham (married) Asenath F. Parham ( daughter of Lewis Parham.)
Their children:
a. Elizabeth Cheatham (married) J.H. Goodrich, of Henderson. Their children:
i. Ben(jamin) Goodrich
ii. Lily Goodrich. Died without issue.
b. Benjamin H. Cheathamn; died of typoid fever at the age of 22, unmarried, about
the year 1880.
c. Ernest Lee Cheatham. Died without issue.
d. Adolphus Whitfield Cheatham. Became an Episcopal minister of Southern
Pines or Pinehurst, N.C.

  1. Sarah Cheatham, d. August 1875 (married) Albert C. Parham (son of Lewis Parham.) She died
    in August 1875, of typhoid fever. Their children are:
    a. Alonzo W. Parham
    b. Edwin T. Parham
    c. Cornelius H. Parham
    d. Percy C. Parham, who was shot by accident on Thanksgiving Day, 1906, leaving a wife
    and several children.
    e. Mary Tazwell Parham, who married ________ Watson and died young. Their children:
    i. James Watson (married) Miss Hood
    ii. Frank Earle, who is a lawyer and lives in New York and was twice married.
  2. David Thomas Cheatham (married) Annie Reavis (daughter of Thomas Reavis, of near
    Henderson, Vance County, NC. ) Their Children are:
    a. Claudius Cecil Cheatham, d. 1921 (married) Cora W. Winston, of Youngsville. Their
    children are:
    i. Claude C., Cheatham, Jr.
    ii. Winston Thomas Cheatham
    iii. Clarence Burton Cheatham
    iv. Robert E. Cheatham
    v.  Susan Caroline Cheatham
    vi. Lurline Cheatham, deceased.

Claude C. Cheatham was a tobacconist of Youngsville, N.C.

  1. Fred A. Cheatham (married) Maude Freeman. Their children are:
    i. Jessamine Cheatham
    ii. Elizabeth Cheatham
    iii. Maude Cheatham
    iv. and v. two who died in infancy.

    Fred A. Cheatham was a Tobacconist in Youngsville, NC

  2. Thomas Flavius Cheatham (married) Bessie Staley. Their children:
    i. William Staley Cheatham
    ii.  Thomas Harvey Cheatham, deceased
    iii. Florence Cheatham, deceased.

Thomas Flavius Cheatham was a tobacconist, Louisburg, N.C.

  1. Robert Hubert Cheatham (married) Anne Meeder. Their child:
    i. David Thomas Cheatham
  2. James Amis Cheatham (married) Rosa Lee Parish, Richmond, Virginia. No issue.
  3. Joseph Gibbs Cheatham, unmarried. No issue

g.. Lucy Catherine Cheatham, deceased. No issue.

  1. Eva Rebecca Cheatham (married) William B. Smoot. Their children:
    i. William B. Smoot
    ii. Eva Cheatham Smoot
  2. Annie Belle Cheatham (married) Thomas Crawford. Their children:
    i. Thomas B. Crawford, Jr.
    ii.  James Walker Crawford
    iii. Annie Caroline Crawford.
  3. Mattie Roberta Cheatham (married) Luther S. Farabow. Their children:
    i. Lucy Catherine Farabow
    ii. Pearl Elizabeth Farabow (married) Sidney R. Abernathy. Their children:
    1. Birdie Eloise Abernathy
    2. Lucy Catherine Abernathy
  4. David Thomas Cheatham went through the Civil War with my (Thurston Titus Hicks, b. 1847 –
    d. 1927) father (Benjamin Willis Hicks). They were each other’s nearest neighbor many years
    and were ever good friends. He owned the Cheatham Mill for a generation until it was thought
    gold was found near it. Then he sold it and the farm for a good price and bought the Memucan
    H. Hester farm near Oxford, and lived there until his death at more than eighty in 1915. His wife
    survived him several years.

The fourth child of James and Rebecca Crews Cheatham was:
4. James Theodore “Thee” Cheatham (married) Elizabeth Hamlin, of Petersburg, Virginia.

He, as his brothers William and D. T., fought through the War of the Confederacy. He was
captured with his two nearest neighbors I.C. Bobbittt and Fred Hamme, near the end of the war
and kept a long time in Elmira, N.Y., military prison. James Theodore Cheatham acquired his
father’s farm.

Elizabeth Hamlin’s sister had married Augustine Landis, a merchant of Oxford.

“Thee” Cheatham and wife reared a large family as follows:
a. Virginius T. Cheatham (married) Elizabeth Leach. Their children:
i. Leonard Cheatham
ii. Grace Cheatham
iii. Virginius Cheatham
iv. Bessie Cheatham
v. Albert Cheatham
vi. Lucile Cheatham
vii. Edna Cheatham
viii. John Cheatham
ix. Burton Cheatham

b. Clifton B. Cheatham (married) Lala Rainey Kittrell. Their children:
i. Sallie Cheatham
ii. Charles Cheatham
iii. Elizabeth Cheatham
iv. Lucy Crudup Cheatham
v. Clifton B. Cheatham, Jr.
vi. Charles Hamlin Cheatham
vii. George Kittrell Cheatham
viii. William Cheatham
ix. Mary Cheatham

c. Sarah C. Cheatham (married) Percy Parham. Their children:
i. James Theodore Parham
ii. Carroll Parham
iii. Paul Cullum Parham
iv. Earl Parham
v. Dorothy Parham

d. Charles Hamlin Cheatham (married, first) Hettie Osborne. No issue.
(married, next) Lucy Roberts.  Their children:
i. Bettie Maie Cheatham
ii. Charles Hamlin Cheatham, Jr.
iii. and iv. Graham Cheatham and Gordon Cheatham, twins.

e. Rebecca Cheatham (married) S.W. Ferebee. Their children:
i.Alice Ferebee
ii. S.W. Ferebee, Jr.
iii. Elizabeth Ferebee
iv.  James Theodore Ferebee
v. Rebecca Ferebee
vi. Willoughby Ferebee
vii. Hamlin Ferebee
viii. Emmit Ferebee
ix.Francis Ferebee
x. Billy Edward Ferebee.

f. Mary Louise Cheatham (married) R.A. Shirley. No children.

g. Olivia Burton Cheatham (married) J.H.B. Tomlinson. No children.

h. James Theodore Cheatham (married) Mary Johns. Their children:
i. Mary Johns Cheatham
ii. James Theodore Cheatham, Jr.
iii. Mary Eccles Cheatham
iv. Martha Elizabeth Cheatham

i. Bessie Gibbons Cheatham (married) John R. Allen. Their child:
i. John R. Allen Jr.,

j. Tazzie Cheatham (married) L.S. Baker. Their children:
i. Shirley Baker
ii.Samuel Baker
iii. James Cheatham Baker

The fifth child of James and Sarah Earl Crews was:
E. Martha M. Crews , b. June, 1820 (married) Joseph Penn Hunt. Their children:
1. Sally Hunt (married) James B. Crews. Their children:
a. Cora Ellis Crews
b. _______ Crews (married) N.W. Hicks
c. C.F. Crews
d. Fred Crews

The name Penn appears often in the Hunt family. The most reliable information on its origin here is: John Hunt came to Granville from Virginia. His son John Hunt married Francis Penn, a sister of the signer of the immortal Declaration of Independence. A son of John and Frances Penn Hunt married Sarah Longmire. Joseph Penn Hunt was one of their sons. He married Martha Crews. David, a brother of John Penn Hunt, had two daughters, Martha, who married “Little Jimmie Crews”, and Charity, who married Reavis and lived near Henderson.

2. James Hunt, who died in the Confederate Army.

3. Susan Hunt (married) John H. Breedlove. Their children:
a. Laurie G. Breedlove (male), who married Rebecca Rice. Their children:
i. Mildred Breedlove
ii. Evelyn Breedlove
iii. Joseph Penn Breedlove(married first) Bessie Bassett
(married next) Lucile Aiken. Their children:
1. Joseph Breedlove
2. Caroline Breedlove.
Joseph Penn Breedlove has long been librarian of Duke University.
Ethyl Breedlove. Unmarried. No issue.

4. Celestia Hunt (married) I.H. Breedlove. Their children:
a. Oscar Breedlove (married) Sadie Harris
b. Calvin Breedlove (married) Lena Patterson. Their children:
i.  Joseph Breedlove
ii. Roy Breedlove
iii. Neely Breedlove
iv. Clarence Breedlove (married) Maggie Baily
v. Eula Breedlove (married) Robert Hart. Their children:
1. Frank Hart
2. Robert Hart
3. Alley Hart
4. Cooper Hart
5. Mabel Hart
6. Selma Hart
7. James Hart
8. Ada Hart, unmarried. No issue.
9. May Hart (married) Samuel Holman
10. Alene Hart (married) Carl Hester. Their children:
a. Josephine Hester
b. Carl T. Hester
c. Marion Hester
d. Dorothy Hester.

  1. John L. Hunt (married, first) Cora Rainey. Their children:
    a. John Leigh Hunt
    b. Cora Hunt
    c. Rosa Beverly Hunt.

John L. Hunt (married, next) Rosa Rainey (sister of Cora Rainey.) John L. Hunt soon died.

John L. Hunt was a merchant at Kittrell;

  1. Ira T. Hunt (married) Rosa Hunt (widow of John L. Hunt, his brother.) Their child:
    a. Thomas Hunt

7.Ella Hunt (married) Dr. Fuller, of Person County. Their children:
a. Elbert Earl Fuller
b. Cora Lee Fuller
c. Carrie Fuller
d. Willie Fuller
e. W. Fuller

  1. David N. Hunt (married) Adelaide Hester (his first cousin, daughter of Rev. William Hester and Francis Crews Hester, daughter of James and Sarah J. Crews) . Their children are:
    a. Joseph Penn Hunt
    b. William Gibbs Hunt
    c. Raymond Hunt
    d. Otis Kilgo Hunt
    e. Earl F. Hunt
    f. Lula Hunt

    Joseph Penn Hunt’s principal business was farming, but he was an expert carpenter and
    assisted in building the State Capital at Raleigh. He and his wife lived to be old, dying in
    1880 and 1881.

David N. Hunt lived in Oxford, N.C. He was a great lover of the services of the sanctuary and was
a Rural Free Delivery carrier on route five from Oxford for about 25 years.

The sixth child of James and Sarah Earl Crews was:
F. Elijah Thomas Crews, b. ~1826 – d. 1881 (married) Mary Parham (daughter of Asa Parham), when she was less than fifteen years of age. She lived to be 83. Their children:
1. Haden W. Crews, b. ~1848 – d. March 1924 (married) Elizabeth Hicks (daughter of John B.
Hicks. Their child:
a. Dr. N. H. Crews of High Point, N.C.

Haden W. Crews and his brother Norfleet Crews made more clear money farming than any
farmers I know.

2. Herbert E. Crews (married first) Laura Fullerton, who bore him several children.
(married next) Miss Wester, no issue.
(married next) Miss Howell, no issue.

3.Delia A. Crews, never married. No issue.

  1. Rufus T. Crews, d. 1899, unmarried. No issue.

Rufus T. Crews was a graduate of Trinity College under Dr. Craven’s Regime.

  1. Mary Crews (“Mollie”), who died in her youth, unmarried.

    6. Norfleet G. Crews, d. 1919 (married first)Victoria Burroughs (daughter of J.E. Burroughs).
    Died. No issue.
    (married next) Charlotte Marrow (daughter of Drewry Marrow.) Their children:
    a. Eloise Crews (married) T.L. Fishel
    b. Edward N. Crews.
    c. N. G. Crews.
    d. Samuel B. Crews
    e. Mary Delia Crews
    f. Martha Eugenia Crews
    g. Daniel M. Crews
    h. Lottie M. Crews
    i. R.T. Crews

Norfleet G. Crews was adopted by his uncle Edward N. Crews. He was sole devisee of his uncle
Edward N. Crews and his wife, and in his lifetime added largely to what he inherited by thrift and
diligence.

  1. Samuel F. Crews (married) Elizabeth Burroughs. Their children:
    a. Fletcher Crews
    b. Elizabeth Crews (married) Julian Glover
    c. Harold Crews
    d. Dorothy Crews
    e. Geraldine Marguerite Crews

The seventh child of James and Sarah Earl Crews was:
 G. Edward N. Crews, b. Sept. 19, 1824 (married) Martha Parham (daughter of Asa Parham). This couple had no children of their own. They adopted their nephew, Norfleet G. Crews, son of Elijah Thomas Crews (Edward’s brother) and his wife Mary Parham (Martha’s sister.)

Edward N. Crews and his wife Martha Parham lived a mile west from Dabney and three quarters of a mile northeast from his father. He bought one of the poorest farms in the country and improved it until it became one of the best. Edward N. Crews was a “hustler”, an enthusiast. He specialized in being a good farmer, a good Democrat, a good churchman, and a good liver. If one went to his house to get something good to eat, “he didn’t miss it.” If he depended on him for a church or a party contribution, he was not disappointed. He was almost sure to attend church or party conventions and notable occasions.

Though my father’s man Bill was overpersuaded by his wife to go to E.T. Crewses at once after Lee’s surrender, he went to Uncle Ed’s next year and stayed about 25 years. Bill’s son lives there now.

E.N. Crews was one of the first of his section to start the making of flue-cured tobacco and one of the first to introduce Jersey cattle. He went to Raleigh when the best fresh about Oxford and Henderson sold for $20.00 and paid $100.00 for a Jersey heifer. When she began to give milk she was the talk of the neighborhood.

Uncle Ed invited his “Brother Jeems”(James A. Crews) to come down. That night at the table Uncle Ed said: “Brother Jeems, how do you like that milk?” Uncle Jimmie: “Very good, but I think I’ve drank as good at home many a time.”Uncle Ed was somewhat set back, and next morning at breakfast he had Aunt Martha provide a glass of pure Jersey cream for Brother Jeems. As the breakfast proceeded, Uncle Ed: “Brother Jeems, how do you like that milk?” Little Jimmie: “Very well, but I think I’ve seen it as rich at my house many a time.” Uncle Ed: “It ain’t so! It ain’t so! It’s every bit pure cream!” and then he laughed at having caught “Brother Jeems”.

This joke is all the better to those who remember the immense voice of Uncle Ed and the zest with which he talked and laughed. Uncle Ed enjoyed the companionship of his friends. He was well known in Vance and Granville, and many good stories were told of him, by him and some at his expense.

He acquired a thousand acres of land, more than thirty-thousand dollars in money and never lost any. His estate he left to his wife with the understanding that she should leave it to their dearly beloved adopted son and nephew, Norfleet G. Crews. This Aunt Martha did soon after. They both died in the fall and winter of 1899. Norfleet more than doubled the estate in value in the following twenty years, dying in middle life in the year 1919. Edward N. Crews was a man of strong prejudices and an emotional nature, but he had the respect of all and was beyond question a fine and notable man.

The eighth child of James and Sarah Earl Crews was:
H. Isabella Jane Crews, b. Aug. 24, 1829 – d. Sept. 4, 1913 (married) Benjamin Willis Hicks (youngest son of Abner and Elizabeth Harris Hicks) Their children:
Her descendants under name of my father; Benjamin Willis Hicks.

Isabella Jane Crews, my mother, was on good terms with all her neighbors. Nobody ever heard anything she told or repeated to the discredit of others. She never crossed or quarreled with my father. I never heard of her asking him for money or having a pocketbook. He did the buying and paying of bills. She was entirely loyal to the Crewses, yet she was on the best terms with all of the Hickses. In the establishment and maintenance of a home and rearing a family she did her part nobly and well. She survived my father nearly 14 years. Her body is lying by the side of his. If anyone ever had better parents than the children of my parents, he was indeed fortunate.

  1. Susan, eighth child of James and Sarah Crews, born January 7th, 1832, married George W. Hunt, brother of Joseph Penn Hunt. She outlived her parents and all her brothers and sisters, dying in April 1918, aged 86. Her husband was a substantial citizen and was executor of the will of his good friend and neighbor Col. Richard P. Taylor, who died in 1870. George W. Hunt died in the prime of his life in 1876, leaving a large family. His widow survived him 42 years. Their youngest son, Edward A. Hunt, still owns the family home and keeps alive the best traditions of the family.

 

The ninth child of James and Sarah Crews was:
I. Sarah Crews, b. Jan. 7, 1832 – d. April 1918 (married) George W. Hunt, d. 1876 (brother of Joseph Penn Hunt.) Their children were:
1. Emma Hunt (married) Joseph B. Parham. Their children:
a. Hattie Parham (married first) Thomas V. Rowland
(married next) J.K. Plummer
b. Thad B. Parham, died leaving several children
c. Mamie Parham. Never married. No children.
d. Cary Parham, who has several children
e. Mattie (married) _______ Hobgood. Their children:
i. Blanche Hobgood (married) Junius M. Rowland
ii. George W. Hobgood
iii. Elvin Hobgood

2. Walter L. Hunt (married) Jane Haliburton, of Durham. They moved to Asheville. Both died
leaving several children, all deceased.

3. Lelia Hunt (married) Junius W. Young and died without issue.

4. Junius Penn Hunt (married) Julia Russell, of Virginia. Their children:
a. Florence Hunt
b. Lillian Hunt
c. Helen Hunt (married) Theodore Parham
d. Dorothy Hunt (married) E.S. Merritt
e. George Penn Hunt
f. Elizabeth Hunt

Junius Penn Hunt has long been one of the most intelligent men of Granville, a lover of
his church, a good citizen. His daughter Lillian lives in the Adirondacks. Dorothy and
husband are in the Philippine Islands. George Penn Hunt, a graduate of the State
University, is employed in commerce in China.

5. Sarah Hunt, unmarried. She lived for some time in Cuba.

6. Florence Hunt (married) Edwin G. Barnes. Their child:
a. Lottie Barnes (married) Rev. R.J. Parker. She has been a foreign missionary and has
lived on the Mexican border. They now live in Memphis and have several children.

7. Carrie Hunt (married) Charles F. Crews. Their children:
a. Roy Crews
b., c., d., and e. Four daughters, names unknown. Descendants unknown.

Charles F. Crews died of typhoid fever while Clerk of the Superior Court of Granville County.

8. Susan C. Hunt (married) Joseph H. Gooch. Their child:
a. Janie Gooch, who graduated from college in 1926.

Susan C. Hunt possessed all the striking characteristics of the Crews family. From childhood until
death she was a devoted member of Salem Church. She loved her family, and they were drawn
to her by the tenderest affection. Hers was a long life of peace and reasonable happiness. Her
memory is blessed.

9. Edward A. Hunt (married) Elizabeth Moyer. Their children:
a. Edward A Hunt (married) Lennie Ward, of Greensboro.

George W. Hunt and Sarah Crews owned and lived at the place from which Robert T. Taylor sold
a hundred slaves at one time to Judge Rux of Mississippi. Sarah Crews outlived her parents and all her brothers and sisters, dying in April 1918, aged 86. Her husband was a substantial citizen and was executor of the will of his good friend and neighbor Col. Richard P. Taylor, who died in 1870. George W. Hunt died in the prime of his life in 1876, leaving a large family. His widow survived him 42 years. Their youngest son, Edward A. Hunt, still owns the family home and keeps alive the best traditions of the family.

The tenth child of James and Sarah Earl Crews was
J.  Melissa F. Crews, b. Jan. 3, 1835 – d. November, 1897 (married) Rev. William S. Hester. Their children:
1. Nora Hester (married) Rufus J. Aiken. They had several children. Both parents are dead.

  1. Adelaide Hester (married her first cousin) David. N. Hunt, in December, 1883.
  2. Lula Hester (married) Rev. J.M. Rhodes. No children.
  3. Benjamin Otis Hester, who lives in Texas.
  4. Marvin, a Methodist Episcopal minister.

Mrs. Melissa Hester was a merry, happy, laughing woman, a lover of the church and everybody. She was largely influential in inducing her father to buy the organ at Salem Church, and she was for a generation its organist and the church’s principal chorister. She was a whole-souled enthusiast in religious and domestic life. She came from the Methodist Episcopal Annual Conference at Raleigh with her husband. I talked with her on the train from Youngsville to Henderson. An hour later, at Huntsboro, her spirit left the scenes and friends she loved so well for the life eternal. She died in the arms of her husband while alighting from the train at Huntsboro, near Salem Church, November 1897.

 

 

ABOUT 3. JAMES CREWS (son of I. Gideon Crews, Sr.)

James Crews, the father and head of his large and honorable family, lived to be 90 years of age, dying in September, 1875. I have heard my mother say he started life in a house with a dirt floor. Grandpa Crews could read the Bible a little and write his name, but he had no education in books. In his long life he became a very well informed man. No one ever thought him conceited or proud, but he enjoyed the prosperity he wrenched from nature. A few acres at a time, he acquired more than a thousand acres. At the time of the Civil War he owned more than fifty slaves. [Ed. Notes: This may be a slight exaggeration. According to the 1850 slave schedules, he owned only 24 slaves at that time. While it’s possible that the population at Tar River increased over a period of 12 years, it seems uncertain whether it would have doubled. Further inquiry into the 1860 slave schedules should reveal more data.] I never heard of his mistreating or abusing one.

He was born poor and lived to be rich, but he never spent a quarter without first considering whether what he would get would be worth a quarter. A photo taken some years before his death shows him holding in one hand, barely perceptible, a quid which he intended to chew some more. My mother showed it to me.

A good story of his thrift and enthusiasm for work is remembered in the family. The first day of the year he waked Tom and Ed and two of his stoutest slaves, before day, telling them to go over to the “new ground” and cut down that largest oak tree by sunrise and wake up the neighborhood, and start the year right. I can see him standing on the porch as the day dawned listening to the ring of the axes of those stout fellows through the frosty air; and what a thrill he felt as he imagined it would wake up Abner Hickses crowd to the east, Bob Taylor’s to the South and Sam Moss and Cooper’s quarter to the north.

Soon the tree fell and such a noise it made! But the four men who felled it just as the sun was rising set up yells that could be heard as far as the fall of the tree. They then went home to breakfast, expecting to receive the congratulations and smiles of a father and master; but he was “mad as a hornet.” “What in the world did you holler for? They will think you were coon hunting or were bragging on what you had done.”

His grandson, Hayden Crews told me of selling a fine horse to a prominent citizen, who became dissatisfied and sent for Hayden to come and trade back. Hayden went by Grandpa’s, told him all the treaty and trade and asked him for advice.

Grandpa: “Tell him you don’t make children’s bargains.”

At his funeral Rev. Lewis K. Willie told of his last words. He had been given some medicine in which some of the sugar, not having dissolved, lodged on his tongue. He wiped it off with his finger and said to a child standing by: “Did you ever see anybody spit out sugar before?” Then he died. Thousands of times since have his children and grandchildren and neighbors thought and talked pleasantly of the things he did and of the long and successful life he lived.

THE RESIDENCES OF OUR TWO GRANDFATHERS

Think of the number of dwellings in Durham and Granville and Vance costing ten thousand dollars or more! My father used to say it wasn’t worthwhile to build much of a house for the little time we had here, and that “the Father of the Faithful” thought a tent sufficient.

As I recollect them, the dwellings in which my two grandfathers, Abner Hicks and James Crews, lived and reared their large familes were much alike. Both fronted the southeast. The westerly end of each, a story and a jump, with a second shed room in the rear was built first. As more room was needed for the growing family, lower and upper rooms were added on the northeast ends connected with the attic and shed room in the rear. Then a long porch was built all across the front of the Crews house, but only in front of the old part of the Hicks house. Neither one was ever painted. In my opinion, at prices prevailing from about 1800 until just before the world war, either one of those houses could have been built for about $600.00. There was a current opinion in that day that painted houses were taxed much higher than those unpainted. One wonders if that had anything to do with the unpainted condition of these two ancestral homes.*

The girls and their guests, if any, were packed away in the shed rooms downstairs, the boys in the attics. One of the big rooms was the parlor and the other the living room occupied by all the old folks. The windows! They were so little! I doubt if they were ever raised. And the doors were seldom closed in the daytime. And such fireplaces! Wood about five or six feet long could be burned in them. In those days people stayed in the house but little in the day. I’ve heard my mother say that many a time on Monday mornings her mother would poke her head in the shed room, quote an old saying: “Get up girls! Get up! Here it is Monday morning, tomorrow Tuesday and next day Wednesday! Half the week gone and nothing done!” My mother said when grandfather saw one of them reading a novel and was told what it was he would say, “A made tale.”

These old houses stood and served large families for near a hundred years. My father pulled his down in 1868 and moved into the oak woods where the soil is gray and the shade is good. He used the shingled on the old house to cover the stables and the outhouses at the new place. They were drawn shingles, of heart pine, put on with wrought nails, the exposed parts worn half in two. We just turned them over and they were better than any we could get, but in about forty years they were worn so on the other side that they had to be discarded. There was a great big cellar under the whole of the Crews house, entered by a door and stone steps from the north end. In that cellar the family eating was done. They had to go there and carry the dishes and food there via out of doors, three times a day. The kitchen was at least 50 yards away. At Grandpa Hicks’s they ate in the west room, which was indeed a roomy room, larger, I suppose, than any two house rooms in Henderson. All the water used at both places for nearly a hundred years, was brought about 250 yards from the springs. Just before the war wells were digged. My brother Archibald said he was at Grandpa Crews’s one morning preparing to wash his face. He put about two small gourds of water in the pan, when Grandpa said: “Boy, you’ve got enough water there to wash a shirt.” Grandfather Abner died in December, 1857, when I was two months old. Grandfather Crews was 72 when I was born and 90 when he died. His speech was all kindly and gentle, but I cannot remember that I ever saw him smile.

Editors addition: Photo and captain below.

The Greek Revival style house built about 1845 by James A. Crews, for his new bride Martha Hunt. The architect was almost certainly the famed Jacob Holt of Warren County, North Carolina. In my family the homeplace was affectionately referred to as “Tally Ho Plantation at Tar River”, or “Tar River Plantation”, or just “Tar River.” Shown in the photo is LeRoy Lafayette Crews (on the right, at the gate), the last Crews resident of the old family home, his second wife Ellen Hamill (left, at the gate), Cora (last name unknown), left on the porch, whose ancestors were born into slavery on the farm, and an unknown child (not a Crews, probably a relation of Ellen Hamill.) This photograph was taken prior to 1917. This is probably not the same house described by Hicks on the previous pages. He was almost certainly describing a house built a hundred years earlier than this one.

 

 

 
THREE DAUGHTERS OF JOHN EARL

Sarah Earl, as we have said, married James Crews. Mary Earl, her sister, married Robert Jones. Patsie Earl, their sister, married William Kittrell. To date, Mary and Patsie have 272 identified descendants!

Children of Mary Earl and Robert Jones:
1. Jane Jones (married) Robert Gill Their children:
a. Dr. Robert J. Gill (married) Annie Fuller. Their children:
i. William Francis Gill, professor Trinity College, died.
ii. Celestia Gill (married) I.J. Young. Their children:
1. I.J. Young, Jr.
2. Robert G Young
3. Rebecca Jane Young
4. Annie Fuller Young

b. William P. Gill (married), but killed at Battle of Malvern Hill.

c. Emily Gill (married) E.A. Fuller. Their children:
i. Emily Fuller (married) J.C. Thompson. Their children:
1. Ralph Fuller Thompson (married) Lois Coghill. Their children:
a. Jane Thompson
b. Fuller Thompson

  1. Alpheus Thompson (married) Lucy Hays; no children.
    3. Lucy Thompson
    4. Helen Thompson
    5. Robert Thompson
    6.Jones Thompson

Second child of Mary Earl and Robert Jones:
2. Sally Jones married Peter Gill. Their children: of
a. John Gill died of typhoid fever.
b. Ben L. Gill died in army.

c. Pattie Gill (married) Sam Brummitt.  Their children:
i. Sam Peter Brummitt (married) (wife’s name unknown.) Their children:
1. James Russell Brummitt (married) Blanche Eakes. Their child:
a. Margaret Brummitt

2. Garland (married) Isabel Ward.

3. S. Brooks Brummitt (married) Beth Fuller. Their children:
a. Rosalie Brummitt
b. Wallace Brummitt
4. Harold Brummitt.

ii. Rosa Gill Brummitt
iii. Nettie Ellington Brummitt
iv. Meta Earl Brummitt (married) Ed. W. Harris . Their children:
1. Talton Harris (married) Ethel Barbera Neef.

2. Norwood Harris (married) Mabel Richardson. Their children:
a. Barbera Harris
b. N.W. Harris, Jr.

3. Cedric Harris. Killed in World War I.
4. Claxton Harris
5. Frank Harris
6. Elizabeth Groves Harris

v. Pettie Brummitt married Ernest L. Fuller. Their children:
1. Thelbert Fuller married Lizzie Hays. Their child:
a. Thelbert Fuller, Jr.

2. Fletcher B. Fuller married Nora Eaves. Their child:
a. Fletcher B. Fuller, Jr.

3. Clifton Fuller
4. Edgar Fuller
5. Lula Fuller
6. Charlie Fuller
7. Minnie Fuller
8. Sam Fuller
9. Jack Fuller

d. Mary Gill married John H. Rowland. Their children:
i. Plummer G. Rowland
ii. Hubert L. Rowland (married) Geneva Hight. Their children:
1. Joe Rowland married Clara Smith. Their child:
a. Joe Rowland, Jr.

2. Emma Rowland married Lewis W. Huff. Their child:
a. Myra Huff

3. Neva Rowland married Festus Fuller. Their child:
a. Jane Fuller

4. Nannie Rowland married James Ellington. Their children:
a. Annie Ellington
b. Margaret Ellington
c.  Madeline Ellington
d. Edwin Ellington
e. Kimball Ellington
f. Rowland Ellington

5. Wilber A. Rowland married Nina Bradwell. Their child:
a. Alba Rowland

6. John P. Rowland married Bessie Harris. Their children:
a. Rudolph Rowland
b. Dwight Rowland
c. Elizabeth Rowland
d. Mary Rowland
e. Paul Rowland

7. Pearl Rowland married Allen Harris. Their children:
a. Bella A. Harris
b. Herbert H. Harris

8. Fannie Rowland, single.

iii. Della married R.K. Young. Their children:
1. Addie Young

2. Carl Young married Pearl Johnson. Their children:
a. Alice Young
b. Vesper Young
c. Samuel J. Young
d. Wesley Young

3. Ethel married John Woodlief. Their children:
a. Leona Woodlief
b. Christine Woodlief
c. Viola Woodlief
d. Ashby Woodlief

4. Clara Young married U.B. Alexander. Their children:
a. Waldo Alexander
b. Vernon D. Alexander
c. Vivian Alexander

  1. John L. Rowland married Belle Fuller. Their children:
    1. Roy A. Rowland married Maude Andrews. Their children:
    a. Phillip Rowland
    b. Leroy Rowland
    c.  Radford Rowland
  2. H. Benton Rowland married Roth Conyers. Their children:
    a. Frances Rowland
    b. Louise Rowland
    c. H.B. Rowland , Jr.

    v. Dr. D.S. Rowland (married first) Fanny Fuller. Their child:
    1. Austin Rowland
    (Married next) Lily Strange. No issue.

    vi. Emma Rowland (married) A.K. Rogers. Their children:
    1. Lowell Rogers
    2. John Willis Rogers
    3. Mary Rogers
    4. Maurice Rogers
    5. Alice Rogers (married) Rudolph Montgomery. Their child:
    a. Emma Gray Montgomery

    vii. Peter L. Rowland (married) Hester Kennedy. Their children:
    1. Haywood Rowland
    2. Bessie Rowland
    3. Della Rowland
    4. George Rowland

    viii. Plummer G. Rowland never married.

    e. Parmelia J. Gill (married) D.S. Allen. Their children:
    i. Olive Allen
    ii. Nettie Allen (married) A.B. Dean

    iii. James Bayard Allen (married) Minnie Kimball. Their children:
    1. Susan Allen
    2. Francis Allen

    iv. Jessie Allen (married) Rufus M. Person. Their children:
    1. Alice Person (married) E. C. Sparrow
    2. James A Person
    3. Allen Person
    4. R.M. Person, Jr.

    v. Dr. Ben G. Allen (married) Nieta W. Watson. Their children:
    1. Virginia Allen
    2. Mary Jane Allen
    3. Nieta Allen
    4. Ben G. Allen, Jr.

  3. Robert Frank Gill (married) Debnam Allen. Their children:
    i. Thomas C. Gill (married) Charlotte Cline. Their children:
    1. Ruth Gill
    2. Sarah Gill
    3. Thomas Cline Gill

    ii. Lois Gill (married) Henry T. Mitchell. Their children:
    1. Frank Mitchell
    2. Donald Mitchell
    3. Roger Mitchell
    4. Myrtle Mitchell
    5. Sallie Mitchell
    6. Evelyn Mitchell

    g. Joseph Thomas Gill (married) Bettie Price. Their children:
    i. Lula Gill (married) K.W. Edwards. Their children:
    1. R. Reynolds Edwards (married) Ella Jefferson

    ii. Pauline Edwards

    iii. Annie Belle Edwards (married) A.L. Hobgood. Their child:
    1. A.L. Hobgood, Jr.

    iv. Sallie Gill Edwards (married) Lem Wilson. Their children:
    1. Ruth Elsie Wilson
    2. Thomas Gill Wilson

    v. Janie Gill Edwards (married) Thomas J. Sykes. Their child:
    1. Thomas Gill Sykes, Jr.

    vi. Frank Gill (married) Donnie Hux. Their children:
    1. James Thomas Gill, Jr.
    2. Gladys Gill
    3. Leon Gill
    4. Russell Gill

    h. David H. Gill married Pattie Hight. Their children:
    i. Sally Gill died of typhoid fever.

    ii. Peter H. Gill (married first) Pattie Baker. Two children:
    1. John David Gill
    2. Julia Gill
    (married next) Willie Montgomery. Their children:
    1. Harold A. Gill
    1. Elizabeth Gill

    iii. Pattie Baker Gill Pattie Gill (married) Ed. Stone. Their children:
    1. Thelma Stone
    2. Julian Stone

    iv. Mabel Gill (married) Harrison B. Williams. Their children:
    1. Crayton Williams
    2. Veritas Williams
    3. Hal. B. Williams, Jr.
    4. Marshal Williams

    v. Janie Gill (married) Robert Edwards. Their children:
    1. Margaret Edwards
    2. Annie Edwards
    3. Elsie Edwards
    4. Ida Edwards

    vi. Josie Gill (married) Sam F. Coghill. Their children:
    1. Pattie Coghill
    2. Morris Coghill
    3. Clarence Coghill
    4. Peter Coghill
    5. Mabel Coghill
    6. Conrad Coghill
    7. Dalton Coghill (married) Edith Edwards

    i. James A. Gill (married) Evelyn O. Allen. Their children:
    1. Mary Jones Gill, dead.
    2. Rosa Gill (married) S.B. Brummitt. Their children given under his name.
    3. John Earl Gill (married) Mattie Taylor. Their children:
    a. Clare Gill
    b. Evelyn Gill
    c. Edward Gill
    d. Earl Gill
    4. Carrie Gill (married) John Broughton. Their child:
    a. Elizabeth.
    5. Clarence Lee Gill (married) __________ Edwards. Their children:
    a. James Gill
    b. Allen Gill
    c. Alma Gill
    d. Ora Gill
    e. William Gill

Children of Patsy Earl and William Kittrell:
1. John W. Kittrell (married) Mary Fuller. Their children:
a. Annie Kittrell (married) E.O. Perdue
b. Florence Kittrell (married) Hugh M. Hight. Their children:
i. Paul Hight
ii. Marion Hight
iii. Harry Hight

iv. Mary H. Mary H. Hight (married) Ira Finch. Their children:
1. Reese Finch
2. Rachel Finch
3. Alex Finch

v. Geneva Hight (married) Melvin S. Fowler. Their child:
1. Sterling Fowler

c. R.L. Kittrell (married) Fanny Parham. Their children:
i. Annie Kittrell (married) Bennie Rowland. Their children:
1. Annie Rowland
2. Robert Rowland
3. Macy Rowland

  1. Mary Kittrell (married) Henry J. Parks. Their children:
    1.  James Parks
    2. Reynold Parks

    iii. Willie A. Kittrell (married) Ethel Hayes. Their children:
    1. Elizabeth Kittrell
    2. W.A. Kittrell, Jr.

  2. Alice Kittrell.

    v. Egbert Kittrell (married) Agnes Woodlief. Their children:
    1. James Kittrell
    2. Asa Kittrell
    3. Charlie Kittrell

    d. John J. Kittrell (married) Lizzie Edwards. Their children:
    i. Lois Kittrell
    ii. Clyde Kittrell
    iii. Alene Kittrell

    h. Jessie Kittrell (married) Lena Duke. Their child:
    i. Jessie Bell Kittrell

    i. Willie Kittrell (married) Ada Perdue. Their children:
    i. Florrie Kittrell (married) Clarence E. Page. Their children:
    1. Clarence Page
    2. Ada Page
    3. Mary Kittrel Page

Second child of Patsy Earl and William Kittrell:
2. Tabita Kittrell (married) Buck White. Their children:
a. Eugene White
b. Hugh White
c. Rebecca White, who married _______ White and removed to Tennessee. Names of their
children I do not know.

Third child of Patsy Earl and William Kittrell:
3. Mary Kittrell (married) John Wesley Young. Their children:
a. Junius W. Young (married first)  _______ Hunt. Their child:
i. E.O. Young
(married next) Lelia Hunt, no child.

b. Rufus K. Young (married) Della Rowland. See children under her name.
c. and d. Olivia and Ophelia Young, twins, no issue.

e. O.O. Young (married) Nannie Powell. Their children:
i. Thomas Young
ii. Henry
iii. Mary
iv. Alley Ball
v. Eleanor Young.

Forth child of Patsy Earl and William Kittrell:
4. Martha Kittrell married Willis Rogers. No issue.

Fifth child of Patsy Earl and William Kittrell:
5. Maria Kittrell married Willis Rogers. Their children:
a. Ella Rogers (married) George Davis
b. Pattie Rogers
c. A.K. Rogers (see under Mary Rowland)
d. Cecil Rogers
e. June Rogers
f. Samuel E. Rogers, children not known.
g. Roberta Rogers (married) James P. Satterwhite. Their children:
i. Samuel J. Satterwhite married Madeline Warren
ii. Fletcher Satterwhite
iii. John W. Satterwhite
iv. Clyde E. Satterwhite
v. Louise Satterwhite (married) Will Reavis
vi. Dora Satterwhite (married) Frank Rose. Their children:
1. Clarice Rose
2. Frank Rose (married) Mary Turner
3. James L. Rose
4. George W. Rose

Sixth child of Patsy Earl and William Kittrell:
6. Jennie Kittrell. Never married.
Nearly all the above descendants of Patsy and Mary Earl live and have lived in the Kittrell Twonship, Vance County. For fifty years or more Dr. Robert Gill, an active physician and farmer, has been their guide, physician and friend, to whom they have looked.

Now, for some years, Dr. Benjamin G. Allen has been and is acting in the same capacity. David H. Gill did much to educate and obtain homes for this large family connection.

James A. Gill and D.S. Allen were also men of force and activity.

Just think! When William, Thomas, and Robert Hicks, George Harris, John Earl and Gideon Crews came and settled those places at or before the year 1750, not a brick nor a nail nor a piece of wood had been assembled to build any house in Oxford or Raleigh. It was about 100 years thereafter before anything was done toward building Henderson or Durham. Hillsboro had been started and a road ran through this country from Petersburg to it and from Edenton and Newbern and Halifax to Hillsboro and on to Salisbury.

Not a railroad was in North Carolina until the Raleigh and Gaston was built, reaching in 1837, the place “a mile west of Chalk Level” where Henderson now is. I have never heard when either of the country roads from Henderson to Oxford was built, but suppose they were built after 1811 when Oxford was chartered.

Williamsboro and that old church (Salem Church) were there, the center of Granville’s eighteenth century culture. Williamsboro had fine schools from 1800 to 1850. Some Eatons and Somervilles and Hawkinses and Hendersons began to come about 1750. How people traveled in those days with such roads as they had, we cannot understand. Mostly on horseback, we suppose. Nothing remains to inform us what connection William Hicks and brothers, or George Harris or Gideon Crews or John Earl had with the outside world for fifty years after they settled upon the headwaters of Tabbs and Harrisburg and Flat Creeks.

Mr. L. G. Breedlove, a great grandson of John Hunt and James Crews, is of the opinion that John Earl met Zebiah Watts when she landed from the ship and married her and brought her to this section. Another account is that John Harris, the father of George Harris, married Elizabeth, the sister of Isaac Watts, and that their children were George Harris and the first wife of William Hicks and the wife of Valentine Mayfield. I cannot decide which story is true. The reference books say Isaac Watts was born in 1674 and died in 1748. It is, therefore, more likely, that the fiancés of John Earl and John Harris were Isaac’s nieces. If our kinship to him cannot be proven, we can look for the resemblances in his and our mental and spiritual attitudes, by reading his fifty odd hymns still sung in our own churches. His last 37 years were spent in the home of Thomas Abney, a London Alderman. How could they so…

“Mingle and mix, piety and politics?”

[Excluded one paragraph of extraneous content about unsubstantiated connections to the 14th century Hickses of England.]

These lands, when taken up from John of Carteret, alias Lord Granville, cost our ancestors less than a dollar an acre. In reconstruction days, 1868-70, I heard my father talking about his taxes. He said they were $15.00 that year and was complaining of how they had gone up. Just think of the tax on about 500 acres of land and the ordinary personality being $15.00. My brother Hewitt told me last fall that his school tax alone for 1925 on 120 acres, within a mile of White Oak Villa, and no better land or improvements, was $95.00.

I have my father’s store account from June, 1873, to July, 1874: Amount $174.00. Kerosene was 50c per gallon, nails 10c per pound, Rio coffee 40c, cotton cloth 12 1/2c, with a credit of two bales of cotton and 14 1/2 c per pound. I also have a receipt for the price of a coffin in which the body of my grandfather Abner Hicks was buried:

“The estate of Abner Hicks, deceased, to Elba L. Parrish, Dr., December 28th, 1857. To making one raised top coffin, $5.50. Received the above amount in full of Samuel S. Hicks. Elba L. Parrish.”

Let us now look from the past to the future.

May this pamphlet serve to introduce those of the Hickses and Crewses and Harrises and Earls and their descendants who do not know each other. Let us claim kin and be kin, and be such good and true and friendly men and women as will bring honor to our family name and fit us to associate with our worthy ancestors and all the good when we meet them hereafter.

  • Henderson, N.C., August 27th, 1926

 

 


An Explanation for the Riots in Ferguson, MO and Baltimore, MD – in 5000 words (or less).

Four hundred years ago, our ancestors began importing native black Africans from their home continent to the North American continent, in chains, shoved below the decks of ships built especially for the purpose of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

Three hundred years ago the practice of chattel slavery was so well entrenched into British-Colonial North American culture, that it was not only legal, but widely practiced in every single British colony in this hemisphere. In the southern colonies of the eighteenth century, the number of African descent slaves vastly outnumbered the number of white colonists, creating a social dynamic infused with fear and terror. Slave owners and their white employees feared violent uprising. Using their power and money, acquired largely through the benefit of slave labor, they influenced the courts and colonial legislative bodies to begin passing ever-more draconian laws against those of African Descent – forcing those few individuals who had managed to purchase their own freedom or win manumission through other means to leave the place where they were born, raised, and earned their living – to leave their families and friends still in bondage, behind. To stay meant to be forced to return to slavery. It’s in this era that it became legal for an owner to beat, mutilate, or even kill his slaves “as he saw fit”.

Two hundred seventy-six years ago, the Stono Slave Rebellion began in the colony of Charleston, South Carolina. The rebellion failed and everyone involved was either executed or sold into the West Indies. In response to the rebellion, the South Carolina legislature passed the Negro Act of 1740 restricting slave assembly, education, and movement. It required legislative approval for manumissions, which slaveholders had previously been able to arrange privately.

Two hundred twenty-seven years ago, after the American Revolution was won by the former British colonies of continental North America, the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified. The preamble of this document reads, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Within the same document, the founding fathers saw fit to enshrine chattel slavery as the law of the land, and to measure a person of African heritage as equal to 3/5 of a person.

Two hundred and twenty-four years ago, the Haitian Revolution began as a slave revolt in the French Colony of Saint-Domingue. This slave uprising was successful and culminated in the elimination of slavery there and the founding of the Republic of Haiti. The Haitian Revolution is generally considered the most successful slave rebellion ever to have occurred and it was a seminal moment in the histories of both Europe and the Americas. The success of the slaves on Saint-Domingue in throwing off the yolk of colonial rule through violent rebellion, the organized murder of plantation owners, and armed insurrection against a vastly superior military force, simply terrified white, slave-owning Americans. What occurred at Saint-Domingue caused a new round of extremely draconian legislative actions to be passed in the American South, as well as increasing militarization of the southern states.

Two hundred and fifteen years ago, not far from Richmond Virginia, a slave named Gabriel Prosser launched a plot to execute plantation owners and slaveholders, and to seize the city of Richmond. He recruited more than fifty slaves at the outset of his plan, but was thwarted by a fellow-slave who communicated a warning to his master. The planned rebellion failed at the very last moment before it was to be carried out, but the fact that it was very nearly successful shook Virginian’s to their core. Everyone found to be associated with the plot was executed. The state of Virginia responded by raising county-wide, highly-trained, regularly drilled militias, and the city of Richmond became a militarized camp with armed militia members patrolling the city on foot and horseback and parading around the capitol grounds on a daily basis. The militarization of Virginia continued unabated until the end of the US Civil War.

Two hundred and eight years ago, the Parliament of Great Britain passed the Slave Trade Act of 1807, which outlawed the kidnapping, imprisonment, export, and sale of African slaves. The British Navy aggressively enforced this legislation, which through blockade, seizure of vessels, and prosecution of ship owners and crews, brought a halt to the lion’s share of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The impact on the former colonies in North America was profound, shutting down the possibility that fresh slaves could be purchased to replace those worked to death (average lifespan after arrival to North America was five years) in the brutal sugar, rice, and indigo industries of the Deep South and Caribbean regions. Shortly after the implementation of the Slave Trade Act of 1807, American plantation owners in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina – particularly in central and eastern areas of those states where the farm land had been depleted – began purposeful and increasingly more sophisticated slave breeding programs based on contemporary cattle, horse, and pig breeding methodologies.

Between 1830 and 1860, roughly 10,000 slaves per month were sold or traded from the bustling slave market at Shockoe Bottom in Richmond, Virginia. This number was eclipsed by the larger, older, and even busier market at New Orleans, and it was nearly matched by the competing slave markets at Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia. Taking just the Virginia numbers into account, more than three million individual slaves were bred, raised, and sold out of the piney woods of Virginia into the sugar, rice, and indigo killing fields of the Deep South.

Slavery – not plant agriculture (tobacco, cotton, grains) – was Virginia’s largest and most profitable industry in the decades leading up the US Civil War. Slavery made the state of Virginia the wealthiest in the United States, at a time when the United States was already competing with Great Britain to become the wealthiest nation in the world.

One hundred and fifty-four years ago the United State Civil War began. People, even today, argue as to what the cause of the war was, but few rational people will deny that the central points of debate had everything to do with money and political power. In 1860, the South possessed great wealth and great political power. The North and the emerging west felt that the South’s dominance was due to the constitutionally enshrined 3/5’s rule, which gave the South a disproportionally larger representation in the United States House of Representatives – and due to the reality that Southern employers did not have to pay wages to their workforce, a situation which gave them an unfair competitive advantage compared to employers in non-slave states.

When the United States government passed the Conscription Act, forcing millions of mostly young, recently immigrated, poor young men into service in the United States Army and Navy in support of the Union government in the Civil War, violent riots erupted, most notably in New York City. The city spiraled into chaos, with most of the animas directed at the city’s African population. An orphanage was attacked and looted, numerous homes and business were looted and burned, thousands of African American New Yorkers were assaulted on the streets, in their places of work, and in their homes. 120 African-descent New Yorkers were murdered over the three day riots before the US Army occupied the streets and forcibly restored order. This event remains the largest civil and racial insurrection in American history, aside from the American Civil War itself.

As the Civil War ramped up, the Southern Slave Trade continued. Despite The Emancipation Proclamation of January, 1863, nearly all American’s of African descent remained in bondage. Many of those who found themselves near the Union Army, chose to “run” hoping for freedom. What they found instead was forced labor under dreadful and dangerous circumstances, neglect to the point of starvation, constant marching with little or no housing provided to protect them from the elements, and being labeled “contraband” by the leaders and soldiers to whom they had fled seeking safety and relief.

For those that remained behind southern lines, nothing changed. Families were broken up. People were traded like cattle. There was no hope for freedom. It could not be bought, stolen, or earned. In the American South during the Civil War, it became illegal to free one’s slaves, or to transport them out of the reach of the Confederate government. As the deprivations of war took hold – food shortages, lack of fuel, lack of shoes and material for clothing – it was the slaves who endured the worst of the famine, cold, and nakedness. The slaves, who had always gotten the scraps left unwanted by their masters, got little to nothing at all.

When the Civil War ended with a Union victory in 1865, all the slaves in America were made free. Since it had been illegal for a slave to own private or even personal property, the overwhelming number of former slaves had absolutely nothing with which to begin their new lives. Never-the-less, many managed to quickly pull themselves up and start small businesses, lease farms abandoned by economically devastated former plantation owners, even build schools and begin to educate themselves and become politically active in an effort to improve their status in society and improve their lives and hopefully the lives of their children.

During the “Reconstruction” period after the conclusion of the Civil War, Union soldiers occupied much of the defeated south, and through their armed presence, enforced a nascent form of early civil rights. The South’s elected representatives were replaced by Union government appointed officials charged with the mission of restoring the Bill of Rights and Constitutions protections to the region, as well as enforcing the newly passed 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments (abolition of slavery, equal protection, voting rights).

One hundred and thirty-eight years ago the United States government formally ended the period of occupation of former Confederate states. Military troops were withdrawn and occupation governments were pulled out. Into that vacuum rushed a power-structure that had been patiently waiting, planning, and working for just such a US Government withdrawal. Almost overnight all gains made by those of African descent were erased. The era of Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan, and racial segregation the likes of which had never existed prior to the Civil War, was ushered in under a black cloud of terror and threat of violence.

The culminating event of the Post-Reconstruction/Pre-Jim Crow era occurred in 1898 in the city of Wilmington, North Carolina. According to Wikipedia; “The Wilmington coup d’etat of 1898, also known as the Wilmington massacre of 1898, or the Wilmington race riot of 1898, began… on November 10, 1898 and continued for several days. It is considered a turning point in post-Reconstruction North Carolina politics. The event is credited as ushering in an era of severe racial segregation and disenfranchisement of African-Americans throughout the Southeastern United States. Laura Edwards wrote in Democracy Betrayed (2000), ‘What happened in Wilmington became an affirmation of white supremacy not just in that one city, but in the South and in the nation as a whole.’

“Originally described by European-Americans as a race riot, the events are now classified as a coup d’etat, as white Democratic Party insurgents overthrew the legitimately elected local government. A mob of nearly 2,000 men attacked the only black newspaper in the state, and persons and property in black neighborhoods, killing… 60 victims.

“Two days after the election of a Fusionist white mayor and biracial city council, two-thirds of which was white, Democratic Party white supremacists illegally seized power and overturned the elected government.” The mob who seized Wilmington by force and through murder, stayed in force. In fact they managed to motivate the rest of the state of North Carolina to elect white-Supremacist Charles B. Aycock as governor the following year.

By the turn of the 20th century, the American South and large parts of the north and Midwest, consisted of communities divided by race, enforced by threat of violence. While it was not uncommon for some whites to employ African-America female domestics inside their homes as cooks, laundresses, nannies, and maids, and to employ African-American men outside their homes as gardeners or for labor, most whites had extremely limited contact with blacks. Churches were segregated (this was not true prior to the Civil War), schools of course, were segregated, most businesses were segregated, and neighborhoods were completely segregated (this too, had not been so prior to the Civil War). Blacks, who had no power in the communities in which they lived, were forced to work for wages well-below the norm for a white person doing the same job. Economically, it was extremely difficult for blacks to buy property because banks would not make loans, and it was common (and legal) for businesses to deny blacks the opportunity to purchase property even if they had the funds.

Throughout the early 20th century, racial intimidation against blacks increased in an effort to maintain the status quo of white power in a South and in cities that were increasingly black in population. Politician’s, the press, and business owners collectively conspired to foment smoldering racism by pitting low-income white workers against black workers, keeping whites afraid of losing their jobs, and blacks afraid of losing their lives.  Enforced segregation increased the gulf of understanding between the two races, keeping them apart from one another and thereby reducing the opportunity for people of different races to find common ground.

Despite all this, in the first half of the twentieth century, enforced segregation created a situation that allowed blacks to become increasingly self-reliant and self-sufficient. A vibrant black middle class emerged comprised of teachers, business owners, and eventually physicians, attorneys, and entrepreneurs. Black communities strongly emphasized education and religion, while placing a high value on a tight, nuclear family supported by extended family, and the larger community beyond. This success allowed many blacks to buy property, build wealth, and gain some political influence and autonomy. In the pre-WWII era in America, citizens of African-descent began to climb up out of the ravages of more than three hundred years of physical oppression and begin to participate economically in society that while not “equal”, was certainly far superior to anything experienced previously.

Seventy years ago, at the beginning of WWII, young black men found themselves called on by the United States government to serve their country in the War against Nazi Germany and its allies. Despite a great deal of opposition, Franklin D. Roosevelt integrated the US military, allowing men of African descent to bear arms on the battlefield for the first time since the United States Civil War. Young men fought and died in that war, defending the concepts of Liberty and Freedom on foreign shores. They performed admirably as soldiers, pilots, sailors, and marines. Their individual service records, their bravery, and their determination to prove their metal against a deeply prejudiced military population is now well-known. When the war concluded and these men returned home, they returned to communities where former POW German soldiers were served at lunch counters that they, former American soldiers, were turned away from. They, generally, were unable to reap many of the benefits of military service, as they could not be admitted to colleges that were accredited to accept VA benefits, VA home loans were closed to them, few employers would hire them, and the white communities in which they lived largely denied or ignored the fact of their service and sacrifice.

It was out of this crucible of hypocrisy and outrage that the early Civil Rights movement was born.  That movement took hold through the 1950’s and into the 1960’s, culminating with Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 27, 1963. The event made it clear to Washington, D.C., to the elected officials in Washington and throughout the nation, and to every American, that a sea-change was coming in regard to race in the country.

In the South, violence, intimidation, and white outrage was captured on television. Many American’s were horrified by what they saw. Young black and white civil rights workers were executed in Mississippi, and again, Americans were horrified. The Attorney General of the United States, Robert F. Kennedy, brought the force of the Federal Government and all-but occupied Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, and Arkansas, and other communities during this period.

Fifty-one years ago, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, outlawing – for the first time since Reconstruction — discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace, and by facilities that served the general public.

Fifty years ago, Congress passed The Voting Rights Act of 1965. Per Wikipedia: “Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act resulted in the mass enfranchisement of racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.”

On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated.

With his loss, the Civil Rights movement in the United States lost its captain, its compass, its wise counsellor, and – unfortunately – its core dedication to non-violent protest. Following King’s assassination, the country erupted in a series of violent riots between African-Americans and police. The outrage felt after King’s death marked a significant turning point in the tenor of race relations in the nation. The tone quickly turned militant, frustrated, and angry. The black community divided against itself, with the older generation wanting to keep peace and pursue non-violence, while younger proponents of equal justice seeking to grasp it “by any means necessary”. The tension and the grief in black communities became palpable.

With the Passing of the Civil Rights legislation in the late 1960’s, segregation in schools, housing, and businesses, gradually became a thing of the past – for some affluent members of the African-American community. No longer forced into “Red-Lined” communities, blacks who could afford to “moved on up”, and moved out to better neighborhoods offering better school districts and greater social and economic advantages to their children.  Black consumers, now free to trade with any business they chose, went out of their neighborhoods to patronize businesses with better selections, perhaps lower prices, and all certainly offering a novel experience as compared to their well-known, local black merchants. White consumers, by contrast, did not flock into black neighborhoods to seek out the novelty of segregation.

Rather, middle class whites who found their neighborhoods and schools gradually including blacks, fled to the suburbs and opened private “parochial” schools that could, legally (and more important to the individuals of that era and our own, use religious “morality” to) discriminate on racial grounds.

Between the passing of Civil Rights legislation in the late 1960’s and the beginning of the Reagan administration in 1980, the once-vibrant black middle class which had steadfastly taken care of its own, all but vanished in what remained of the still segregated nation. Black businesses failed due to lack of customers, and so black employment in the community ceased. Black schools were absorbed into white school systems which were abandoned by the tax base and left to ruin. Historically black colleges saw enrollment gradually decline, and then precipitously fall into oblivion as the few black students who could go to college, chose to go to integrated colleges and universities offering a wider range of scholarly options. Middle-class blacks mainstreamed into the larger society. They represented a small percentage of the African descent population in the United States, but their absence in still-segregated communities was felt all-too-keenly. This group included teachers, professionals, doctors, and attorneys – the leaders of what had once been a wholly segregated community. When they left they took their values of education, hard work, self-respect, wisdom, and self-discipline with them. What remained in those neighborhoods, towns, and cities was an impoverished class of poorly educated residents with few economic options, little education, and no one remaining to look to for guidance or for employment.

After the Vietnam War concluded in 1975, another generation of African-American veterans returned home to conditions even worse than those experienced by their fathers a generation before. They came home to broken communities that offered no jobs and no recognition of the sacrifice they made. Many vets, black and white, returned from Southeast Asia with drug addictions (courtesy of the CIA). And black vets were returned to neighborhoods already saturated with the first wave of Cartel-scale drug dealing.

Thirty-five years ago, under the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the “War on Drugs” was commenced in response to the increasing crime rate and lawlessness experienced in the country, which the President blamed on drug users, dealers, and neighborhood gangs. During this period the “3 Strikes” mandatory sentencing was imposed in many of those states with the largest percentage population of African-Americans. Interestingly, the myriad of legislations written and adopted by states targeted crack cocaine (predominately used by African-Americans) for much harsher, longer sentences, while leaving rock or powdered cocaine (primarily used by whites) as lesser offences. At the same time that the President lectured the American people on the evils of marijuana and crack, members of his administration were participating in “guns for drugs” exchanges with Central American dictators (the “Iran-Contra affair”), bringing marijuana and cocaine into this country, then dumping it into African-American communities on the wholesale.

Twenty-years ago, both federal and state governments began to investigate the concept of mass-privatization of prison systems. The early experiments generated a windfall of profits to both the states and the companies hired to run private, for-profit prisons. Private companies were contracted to run large, industrial scale prison systems nationwide. They worked in partnership with law enforcement and the judiciary to ensure a constant high population count in these facilities. With the assistance of drug laws passed a decade earlier (almost in pre-cognition of the Private Prison concept), a new, multi-billion dollar industry cropped up without anyone really noticing – except young black men and their families.

For the whole of the United States population, the prison statistics are sobering. From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people. Today, the US is 5% of the World population and has 25% of world prisoners. Combining the number of people in prison and jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 1 in every 31 adults, or 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control.

— African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population, with an incarceration rate at nearly six times the rate of whites.

— Together, African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population

— One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime

— Nationwide, African-Americans represent 26% of juvenile arrests, 44% of youth who are detained, 46% of the youth who are judicially waived to criminal court, and 58% of the youth admitted to state prisons (Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice).

—  African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites.

— African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense.

— African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months). (Sentencing Project)

Three years ago, an un-armed, black teenager was walking through his home neighborhood with a soft drink and a snack. He was followed, assaulted, and shot to death by an armed private citizen who claimed the young man looked suspicious. The armed man was not charged in the murder of Trayvon Martin. He went on to commit numerous other assaults and violations of the law, yet he has yet to serve any time in prison for his offenses.

Since Trayvon Martin’s death, countless private citizens armed only with cell-phone video cameras have captured live-action incidences of abuse, assault, and even murder, committed by police against un-armed African-American men and boys, as well as against “petty criminals” who posed little if any genuine threat to society. And yet, few, if any officers have been prosecuted.

Not quite two weeks ago an unarmed, twenty-five year old African-American man who was guilty of simply running through a neighborhood parking lot, was accosted by the Baltimore Police, detained, arrested, and – somewhere between his run and winding up in zip ties, face down on the pavement, had his spine severed, leading to the loss of his life. Much of the incident was caught on cell-phone video, and it’s fairly clear to any rational person that Freddie Gray, the victim in this instance, was already severely injured when the police hauled him, legs dragging behind him, into the police van.

Another young man headed to prison or to the grave? Another son, father, brother, stolen from his family.

Four hundred years ago, our ancestors began importing native black Africans from their home continent to the North American continent, in chains, shoved below the decks of ships built especially for the purpose of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Today we – our current generation – import African-Americans into the for-profit prison system, using a hyper-militarized police force trained for this express purpose, and a judicial system built to ensure the success of the current system – a system which seeks to enforce the status quo – where black families are broken and kept weak and leaderless, where black bodies are used for profit, and in which Black Lives Don’t Matter, except for what we can get out of them.

With a history such as this one, a few riots every few years are to be expected. It’s nothing new. It’s been going on for 400 years and until we (the white people in power) recognize that the system in place is not broken, that in fact it is doing exactly as it was designed to do, nothing is going to change. Except we should keep in mind, every 200 years or so, the slave rebellions actually succeed. It’s something to think about as we contemplate this highly successful system we’ve all become so accustomed to that we can no longer even see it clearly for what it is – a criminal enterprise.


Some Crews Quarters – A North American Story – John and Sarah Crew with some of their descendants

Some Crews Quarters – A North American Story – John and Sarah Crew with some of their descendants

By Thomas Randolph Crews

Copyright 1998. Published by Thomas Randolph Crews, 319 Oakwood Court, Lake Mary, Florida, 32746.

C.H. Jones / Eds. Note: The following is a partial and annotated transcription of “Some Crews Quarters”, related to the earliest individuals of that surname, whose identities and descendants can be proven from surviving records. I have elected to leave out much of the material not directly related to my direct line of Crew/Crews ancestors, including the Forward, Acknowledgements, Introduction, Chapters 4 and beyond, and prose providing historical context and timeline relationships not specific to the Crew/Crews family. While much of this missing material is worthy reading, it doesn’t assist with the basic desire of the genealogist searching for sources and records to prove deep ancestral relationships. Where possible, I have also included footnotes which reference original source material, if these sources were not supplied by the author. My additional footnotes can be distinguished from those provided by the original author, as they are preceded by “Ed” prior to the number (1-9), and by the fact that the original author’s footnotes in this transcription begin with “10”.

Note on dates related to the seventeenth century (the period covered in much of this material):

— Great Britain and the American Colonies did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752. Prior to that date they followed the ancient Julian calendar, which began the New Year on March 25, rather than January 1. This causes some understandable confusion when trying to determine what date an event actually occurred.
— Seventeenth century Quakers rarely used the names of the month to indicate a date; rather they numbered the month. Quaker dates follow the format of day number, month number, year number.
— For dates recorded prior to 1752, dates occurring between December 31 and March 25 have been recorded using “double dating”. A reference to February 10, 1748/9, for example, indicates that the event occurred on February 10, 1748 in the old Julian calendar, but in 1749 in the modern Gregorian calendar.
Chapter 1: John Crew (1669 – 1752)

It is fairly clear that our Crew(e)(s) ancestry is old Saxon English. But it is not at all clear which individual was our first immigrant ancestor. Early Virginia settlers were understandably more concerned with matters of survival than those of record keeping. And when you include the later destruction of records due to fire, age, and the American civil war, it is truly surprising that our family is documented back to the seventeenth century.

There are many immigration possibilities from England to the colony of Virginia. The list includes the following: Randall Crew, age twenty, arrived on the “Charles” in 1621; Joshua Crew was living in Virginia in 1623; Robert Crew, age twenty-three, arrived one the “Marmaduk” in 1623; Joseph Crew arrived on the “London Merchant” in 1624. Roger Crew in 1638; John Crew in 1640; John Crew in 1642; Thomas Crew in 1652; John Crew in 1664; James Crews in 1664; John Crew arrived in “James Town” in 1667; Andrew Crew from Maidstone, County of Kent, arrived in 1668 as a home circuit prisoner by way of Barbados; James Crews in 1677; and Robert Crew in 1681. Our “immigrant” ancestor may have been one of these individuals; or he may have been one whose record has not survived.

Our earliest known ancestor, John Crew, was born about 1669. Agreeing with other researchers, I inferred this date from the Charles City County, Virginia court orders. In the October court of 1690, “the said John Crew is now in his non age”10 Ed1 (implying that he was not yet twenty-one). In the March Court of 1690/1, his wife Sarah was referred to as “being now at age”.Ed2 And by November of 1691, John was sued in court as an adult.Ed3 These court appearances will be discussed later in this chapter. It is possible that John may have been born in England and later migrated to the colonies. But there are strong clues that John was born in Virginia. On November 15, 1738, then about age sixty-nine, John signed a petition on behalf of the Quakers which was submitted to the Virginia House of Burgesses. The petition stated that the signers “for the most part” were descendants of early Virginia inhabitants, were native subjects of the crown, and that Virginia, the first English colony, was their native country. This petition will also be discussed later in this chapter.

One extremely significant event when John and his future wife, Sarah Gatley, were about seven years old was Bacon’s Rebellion, also known as the Chesapeake revolution… colonists from all of the settled parts of Virginia rose up against Governor Berkeley, in support of Nathaniel Bacon. In defiance of the Governor, they elected Bacon to represent them in Virginia’s governing assembly, the House of Burgesses, along with Bacon’s very good friend, Captain James Crews. I do not know whether Captain James Crews was related to our John Crew, but he was at least a very close neighbor.Ed4

The first written reference I have found to our John Crew is a civil court case in Charles City County. The case was started in August 1689 court, but carried on to the October 1689 court. Thomas King, the plaintiff, accused John Crew, the defendant, and “sayth that the defendant in anno 1689 hath contrary to law killed one sow belonging to ye plaintiff for which offense he prays benefit of the law.”20 The case was referred to a jury who found John innocent and held Thomas King responsible for the court costs.Ed5

Several things are of interest in this case. The evolution of our surname from Crew to Crews had already started. John was recorded in the court orders as John Crew, John Crew, Jr., and as John Crews, Jr. “Junior” does not necessarily mean that his father was John Crew. But it does at least mean that there was an older John Crew living at the same time in the same county. We do not know much of the details of the case. It is very possible that John had become a Quaker by this time; and that Thomas King was one of the many members of the Church of England who actively persecuted members of the Society of Friends. Later in the same October 1689 court, an order was granted against Thomas King for the costs of six days attendance at court by one of the witnesses, John Craddocke; three days against John Crew and three days against Joseph Renshaw. It appears that if you lost a seventeenth century Virginia court case, you not only paid all the court costs, but you also reimbursed the witnesses for their attendance.

The next reference to our John is another civil court case, which started in the February 1689/90 court. The case was lengthy, carrying on through the following courts in 1690: June 3, June 12, August 4, September 15, and October 3. It continued in 1690/1: January, February 3, and concluded Marc3, over three fourths of a year in all. Following is a brief summary of the trial.

[Editor’s note: For the gravity of the trail details to be understood in proper context, it’s necessary to note that in seventeenth century Virginia, tobacco served as the established currency for all debts, business transactions, or monetary exchange. Coin was not in common circulation at the time, and printed notes were even less common.]

By August 4, 1690, John Crew had married Sarah Gatley, but neither one was of legal age yet. Sarah’s father was Nicholas Gatley. Nicholas died in 1678 leaving an estate valued at 6000 pounds of tobacco to his daughter, Sarah. The case gets a little complicated from here. Sarah’s mother (Nicholas Gatley’s widow) was also named Sarah. I do not know her maiden name. Because Sarah (the daughter) was a child when Nicholas died, Sarah (the mother) became administrator for the Gatley estate. Sara (the mother and widow) later married John Smith. After John Smith died, she married her third husband, William Morris. William Morris died by 1689, leaving her a widow for the third time.

By the time John Crew and Sarah Gatley were married, Sarah (the mother) had refused to give Sarah (the daughter) her rightful inheritance. One very real possibility was that John and Sarah had become Quakers by this time, and the mother was prejudiced against Quakers. But this is just my conjecture. At any rate, the case continued through the modern (Gregorian) year 1690. In the March Court 1690/91: “Jno. Crew who Marryed Sarah the orphan of Nicho. Gatley…. And the said Sarah ye orphan of ye said Gatley being now at age, pray this Courte…. To demand soe much… from Sarah ye Mother… as will pay 4605 pounds of tobacco.”21 The court then ordered the mother to pay this amount to John and Sarah Crew and thus concluded the case. Later that same year, in the November court of 1691, judgement was granted to a John Justine against John Crew for 200 pounds of tobacco. There is no indication as to the reason for this judgement…

…In the November court of 1694, it was recorded that John Crewe’s deeds of gift to his children be recorded.

The next reference that I found to our John Crew is in the surviving original minutes of the Society of Friends, Henrico… monthly meeting. On the ninth day of the twelfth month of 1699/1700, a list was recorded of the founding members of this old and venerable monthly meeting. Nineteen names were recorded together with their pledges to build a new meeting house. The pledges totaled 5900 pounds of tobacco with John Crew’s personal pledge being 400 pounds. This meeting house was not completed until 1706. “It was 30 x 20 feet and inside there was ‘one row of seats around… a double seat at one of the ends about ten feet long with a bar of banister before it, for the easement of Friends of the ministry.” 22, 23

John and Sarah raised a family of ten children on the Virginia frontier. They must have been very good friends with the Quaker family of Gerrard Robert Ellyson because “three of Gerrard’s children married three of the children of John and Sarah Crew, of Charles City County, and a fourth married the daughter of Robert Crew.”24 “This was a common occurrence among the early colonial families, as their neighbors were the people they saw most often. It was especially prevalent among the Quakers because they had even greater limitations set upon their choice of marriage partners. Of those persons available because of age and distance, only those of the Quaker faith were acceptable. Other children of John and Sarah were: Joseph, who married Massey Johnson on the 12th day, 6th month 1725…”25

I do not know who the above Robert Crew was. I suspect he was John’s brother; and possibly the Robert Crew who immigrated in 1681. If so, it raises the possibility that the family were Quakers in England and then migrated to Virginia.

Anne Crew was another of the ten children of John and Sarah. “There was a tradition that Ann was not John’s daughter, just raised by the family and was actually Sarah (Ann) Elmore Crew, daughter of John Elmore and his Indian wife An-Nah-Wah-Kah, a full blooded Cherokee.”26

Following are other references to John from various minutes of the Henrico monthly meetings: On the eighteenth day of the third month, 1706, a weekly meeting was organized at John and Sarah’s residence at the request of John Crew, Robert Crew, and William Lead (Ladd). On the nineteenth day of the eighth month, 1706, John was appointed to represent the Old Man’s Creek meeting of Charles City County at all of the monthly meetings. On the nineteenth day of the twelfth month, 1708, John was mentioned as having moved from his house where the weekly meeting was being kept. The meeting was then changed to the house of William Lead (Ladd).

… John was the clerk of the Henrico monthly meeting from the eighth day of the fourth month, 1711 to the tenth day of the seventh month, 1714. The implication is that he was skilled in both reading and writing. During his tenure… in 1714…two new Quaker meeting houses were soon constructed: “Weyanoke” in Charles City County and the “Swamp” in Hanover County. The “White Oak Swamp” meeting house in Henrico County was refurbished. And in 1717, John was mentioned in the Quaker minutes as being a member of Weyanoke meeting.

In about 1726 or 1727, John and Sarah moved to New Kent County, north, and just across the Chickahominy River from Charles City County. We would have better family data; except the colonial records of New Kent County were destroyed by a fire in 1787.

…conflicts with the Church of England continued. The Quaker minutes include a list of “sufferings” for the year 1726: John Crew had been taken into custody and released on the same day by paying the sheriff’s demands. His son, Andrew, was imprisoned for two weeks. Andrew’s neighbor, a non Quaker, had secured Andrew’s release by paying the sheriff’s demands. Andrew also had a bridle and saddle taken from him. John Crew, Sr. was fined seventy-six pounds of tobacco, a gun and five pewter dishes for refusal to bear arms or pay tithes. During 1735, John was again fined for refusing to pay tithes. On the fourth day of the seventh month, 1736, he was appointed to sit in “the select meeting”. The persecutions eventually became so bad that John, together with other Quakers prepared a petition. It was published in the Virginia Gazette in Williamsburg from November 10 – 17, 1738. And they presented it to the House of Burgesses on November 15, 1738:

“To the Honourable the Governor and Council, and Burgesses, met in General Assembly at Williamsburg.

The Humble Petition of the People called Quakers.

We lay hold of this Opportunity, with all Humility of Mind, to beseech You that You would be pleased to consider the Case of our Society in this Dominion, who, for the most Part, are the Descendants of Early Inhabitants; and who, as well as our Ancestors, are and have been, subject to great Loss and Detriment in our Substance and Employment, by Annual Seizures and Distress made upon our Goods and Persons on Account of Parish Levies: A Hardship, we hope, You do not desire we should lie under. And as we humbly conceive it is in Your Power to relieve us, are therefore the more emboldened to lay before You this our present aggrieved Case; and the rather, for that, as we have understood, You have been pleased to bestow the like Favour on Sundry German Protestants, by exempting them from Parish Levies: We (being native subjects) are encouraged to hope You will charitably look on our Condition, and afford us some relief: That being once freed from a Burthen, which we have long and patiently born, we may be better enabled to follow our Callings, for Support of our Families, according to Faith and good Conscience.

We need not, we hope, tell You that in most of the Provinces under the British Government our Friends set easy in this Behalf; either by Charter of Privileges or by a Special Law, made for that Purpose.

This our Native Country, is the first English Colony, and immediately under Our most Gracious Sovereign King George, who, we hope, looks on us to be universally attach’d to his Interest, and the Succession of His Noble House; and a People not useless, nor inconsiderable in his Dominions. For,

We pay all Taxes of Support of Government; we transgress no Laws of Trade; we keep back no Part of the Revenue due to the Crows; the Public are not charged, in the least, with our Poor; and we nevertheless willingly contribute to the Public Poor, and we endeavor to follow Peace with all Men.

To conclude, we are not numerous, which makes it the less difficult for You to grant us such Ease as we pray for: And are far from thinking that such Indulgence would increase the Number of real Quakers; and for hipocritical Pretenders, we shall hold ourselves under Obligations to detect them; so as the Government shall not be imposed on, nor Your Favour any ways abased; And further be pleased to know, it is for the Tender Conscience Sake, and not willfully nor obstinately, we have hitherto suffered, having sustained more than Treble Damages for our Conscientious Refusal: And by the Assistance of Divine Grace, preserved from Prejudice, against those who have been most active against us; We hope it will please Almighty God to put into Your Hearts to sat Amen to the Prayer of our Petition; and to also hear our Prayers; which are for Your Tranquility and Happiness, both in This World and That which is to come.

Signed in Behalf of the Society called Quakers in Virginia.

By

John Cheadle,                     Thomas Pleasants,

Abraham Ricks,                  Matthew Jourdan,

Wike Hunnicut,                   Thomas Newby,

William Lad,                       Thomas Trotter

Arminger Trotter,                Robert Ellyson,

Peter Denson,                      John Crew,

William Outland,                 John Pleasants,

John Murdaugh, and Samuel Sebrel,

Edmund Jourdan,                Samuel Jourdan,

John Denson.”27

But the persecutions continued. On the fifth day of the seventh moth, 1747, John reported to the monthly meeting that he had a horse seized for fine. John and Sarah, together with other relatives and friends, endured fines, having property confiscated, being placed in jail, etc. for many years while still managing to remain successful planters on the Virginia frontier.

About fifteen miles downstream from present day Richmond, the James River makes a series of deep horseshow bends. This area was known as the “Curles”. To help us better understand the Quakers, there is a letter by Robert Pleasants of Curles. “It sets forth the attitude of a minority group of whom John Crew and his descendants were members. Dated January 10, 1775, it is addressed to Robert Bolling of Buckingham, an apology to those who misunderstood the Quakers because of their uncouth mode of dress and speech, their studied aloofness, and their principle of submitting meekly to misunderstanding and injustice. Pleasants writes:”28

“I apprehend if we are sequestered from the rest of the community we are by no means culpable for it. It is well known that we have always declined the use of the sword as well as taking any oaths, supporting an hireling ministry and some other matters, which, tho’ peculiar to ourselves, are by no means intended, or in justice ought to be, an exclusion from the common interest of the community; nor can I conceive how the community can be injured by our adherence to these principles. For, if we cannot fight for the state, we cannot fight against it; for so long as we keep to the truth (and I believe the contrary can’t be charged upon us) swearing is unnecessary; and while we continue to be useful members of society and study the peace and welfare of the government we live under, every reasonable man will allow it is unjust we should be made to suffer for not conforming to a law in favor of a few individuals, utterly inconsistent with our belief.”29

In later years the children of John and Sarah followed the westward migration to other counties in Virginia and southward to North Carolina. The Exodus westward depleted many Friends’ meetings in Virginia. By 1808 the Swamp, Black Creek, White Oak Swamp (which was another name name for the Henrico Monthly Meeting) and Curles Meeting Houses were for sale.30

John died in New Kent County between 1749 and 1752 at about eighty to eighty-three. John and Sarah were very likely buried in a Friends’ cemetery. Their ten children were all born in Charles City County. With some exceptions, the children were firmly committed to the Society of Friends. Because birth dates are not known with certainty, they are listed in order of their marriages:

i. Sarah Crew married Robert Ellyson in 1714/15. They had five children and lived in New Kent County, Virginia where Robert was overseer of the Black Creek meeting. In 1738, he was made treasurer of the Henrico monthly meeting. The family suffered numerous fines, but remained in New Kent County.

ii. John Crew married Agatha Ellyson in 1717. They also lived in New Kent County where John was a minister and Agatha was an elder. The family, including eight children, suffered many fines. The Virginia yearly meeting of May 29, 1762 reported that they were both deceased and ordered memorials read and recorded for them.

iii. Andrew Crew married Hannah Ellyson in 1720. They had eight children and continued to live in Charles City County, where they were members of the Weyanoke Meeting. The family suffered numerous fines, and at one point Andrew was imprisoned for two weeks.

iv. Mary Crew married John Ladd in 1724. They lived in Charles City County with their eight children and were members of the Weyanoke Meeting. In 1726, John made testimony against bearing arms and paying tithes. For this testimony, they lost so many of their household goods to fines that the Quaker meeting aided them in their distress.

v. Joseph Crew married Massey Johnson in 1725 and lived in Hanover County, Virginia with their nine children. Joseph was fined in 1738. Joseph and Massey are subjects of Chapter 2.Elizabeth Crew married Thomas Stanley, Jr. in 1726. They had ten children and lived in Hanover County where Thomas was the first overseer of the newly established Cedar Creek meeting. The Cedar Creek meeting house was built on “Stanley Land”, part of an 800 acre tract granted to the Stanleys in 1714 by Governor Alexander Spotswood. A Quaker meeting house at Cedar Creek existed until a forest fire in the year 1904.

vi. Elizabeth Crew married Thomas Stanley, Jr. in 1726. They had ten children and lived in Hanover County where Thomas was the first overseer of the newly established Cedar Creek meeting. The Cedar Creek meeting house was built on “Stanley Land”, part of an 800 acre tract granted to the Stanleys in 1714 by Governor Alexander Spotswood. A Quaker meeting house at Cedar Creek existed until a forest fire in the year 1904.

vii. Jane Crew married John Sanders, Jr. in 1727/8 and had nine children. They were fined in Hanover County and later migrated to Guilford County, North Carolina where they were among the original members of the Deep River monthly meeting. Jane died in 1793 in Guilford County.

viii. William Crew married Hannah Sanders in New Kent County in 1729 and had eight children. They suffered seizures of property in 1733 because William refused to bear arms and again in 1735 for refusal to pay tithes. They later moved to Louisa County, Virginia. William was put on probation by the Quakers in 1750 and dismissed from the church later that year. He died in 1771 in Louisa County.

ix. Anne Crew married William Lane (Ladd) in 1733/34 in Charles City County and had seven children. In 1764, the family moved to New Garden monthly meeting in Guilford County, North Carolina with other relatives. William was dismissed from the Society of Friends in 1769.

x. David Crew married Mary Stanley in 1733/34, having at least two children. After Mary passed away, he married Mary Ladd, widow of Samuel McGahea in 1754. David was disowned in 1758 for neglecting to insure that his children attended regular Quaker meetings. His son, David, Jr., is further described in Appendix A. This “Neglected child”, David, Jr., was a soldier in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War. He was a later business associate of Daniel Boone and was a citizen and a military guard of Boonesboro, Kentucky.

Chapter 2: Joseph Crew (1698 – 1759)

In 1698, Jamestown, then the capital of colonial Virginia, burned. In about the same year, but thirty miles to the northeast in Charles City County, a son named Joseph was born into the staunch Quaker family of John and Sarah Crew.

By this time in the southern colonies, tobacco was clearly established as the most significant cash crop. But tobacco depleted the soil very quickly, and new land had to be continually obtained and cleared. New settlers were arriving in the colonies from all parts of the new Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, many of them as indentured servants. Local governments were forced into making modifications and changes. In 1720, Hanover County was formed from the northwestern portion of New Kent County, Virginia. And it was here that Joseph Crew married Massey Johnson. Massey had been baptized on February 5, 1704/5 in St. Peter’s Parish, New Kent County and was the daughter of John Johnson and Lucretia Massey.

At the monthly meeting held at the house near the White Oak Swamp on the fourth day of the sixth month, 1725: “The persons appointed by the last monthly meeting to Inquire into the Clearness of Joseph Crew, make reporte to This meeting he is Cleare as far as They know or finde. Thereupon Joseph Crew and Massey Johnson publish Their said Intentions the Second time in This meeting.”33

“Whereas Joseph Crew Son of John Crew of Charles City County and Massey Johnson Daughter of John Johnson of Hanover County having declared their Intentions af taking each other in Marreyage Befoare two Severiall publick Meetings of The People Called Quakers in Virginia acordin to the good order yoused amoungest them whose proceeding their in after a deliberate Consideration with regard to the Rituous Law of god were approved by the said Meeting in Relation to mareyage and having Consente of parience and friends concerned.

“Now these are to Certifeye all whom it may Concern that for the full acomplishement of Their said Intentions this twelfe day of the Sixth Month in the yeare on Thousand and Seven hundred and twentye five thaye the said Joseph Crew and Massey Johnson appearing in a publick Meeting of the afoare said peopell and others at the Meeting house of The said Peopell in Hanover County and in a Solemn Maner he the said Joseph Crew taking the said Massey Johnson by the hand did opinley declare as followesth.

“In the presence of god and you my witnessis the Day I Take Massey Johnson to be my wife.

“And then and there in the said asemly the said Massey Johnson Did in a like maner declare the followeth. In the presence of god and you my witnessis this Day I take Joseph Crew to be my husband.

“And the said Joseph Crew and Massey his now wife as farther Confirmation therof did then and thir to the presenc sighned ther hand and wee whose names here signed Being present among others at the Solemnising of the said Mariage and Subscribtion in maner aforesaid in witness wherof have also Subscribed ower names the Day and yeare above written.

                               Wm. Elyson                  James Lead                  Joseph Crew

Benj. Johnson         Gatley Crew                 Ashley Johnson             Massey Crew

Robt. Crew              Joseph Crew                Charles Denson

Thos. Pleasant        John Lead                    Tho. Lenoir                  John Johnson

John Johnson         Tho. Elyson                                                      John Crew”34

It appears that Joseph and Massey lived in Hanover County, just north of Richmond, for the remainder of their lives. But records are scarce. Richmond was burned 140 years later at the conclusion of the American civil war and flames also consumed most of the Hanover County courthouse records.

On the second day of the seventh month, 1738, Joseph reported to the Henrico monthly meeting that he had been fined sixty-seven pounds of tobacco for refusing to pay tithes. Ed6

Joseph Crew… died in Hanover County sometime prior to the Henrico monthly meeting of the seventh day of the fourth month for the year 1759. The children of Joseph and Massey Crew, all born in Virginia, and most likely Hanover County, Virginia, were as follows:

i. Abigail Crew, who was disowned from the Society of Friends in 1744 for marrying out of unity.

ii. John Crew(s) was disowned in 1755 for marrying out of unity: “Whereas John Crew, son of Joseph Crew of the County of New Kent by his Education was reputed a member of our Society but by his disobedience to the blessed Truth and Contrary to the well known principle and practice of Friends hath taken a wife by the priest not of our Society… We therefore Testified against the said John of all such unchristian practices disowning him a member of our Religious Society.”36

iii. Martha Crew was disowned in 1759 for marrying out of unity: “Whereas Martha Crew daughter of Joseph Crew, deceased, of Hanover County… hath been Prevailed on to suffer herself to be joined in marriage by a Priest to a man of a different Persuasion in Matters of Faith… We do therefore hereby disown the said Martha Crew to be of our Society…”37

iv. Elizabeth Crew was disowned for marrying out of unity in 1759: “Whereas Elizabeth Crew Daughter of Joseph Crew Deceased of Hanover County… hath been prevailed on to suffer her self to be joined in Marriage by a Priest to a man of a different persuasion in matters of faith & not having a due Regard to the advice of her Friends – We do therefore hereby disown the said Elizabeth Crew to be of our Society.”38

v. Joseph Crew(s)James Crew(s) married Emelia (maiden name unknown), and moved to Granville County, North Carolina. This section of North Carolina was later to become a focal point of the Revolutionary War. In 1778, along with his brothers Gideon and Thomas, James took a public oath to protect North Carolina from the King of Great Britain. James and Emelia had at least 7 children and named one of the daughters Massey, after James’ mother. They later moved to Stokes County where James died in 1831.

vi. James Crew(s) married Emelia (maiden name unknown), and moved to Granville County, North Carolina. This section of North Carolina was later to become a focal point of the Revolutionary War. In 1778, along with his brothers Gideon and Thomas, James took a public oath to protect North Carolina from the King of Great Britain. James and Emelia had at least 7 children and named one of the daughters Massey, after James’ mother. They later moved to Stokes County where James died in 1831.

vii. Caleb Crew(s) married Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) and also moved to Granville County. They had five children and also named a daughter Massey. Caleb’s musket was on display for several years at the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. Caleb owned 140 acres near the town of Oxford where he died in 1814.

viii. Gideon Crew(s) married Jemima Whicker and also moved to Granville County. They had eight children and are the subjects of Chapter 3.

ix. Thomas Crew(s) married Mary Talley. They had ten children and also named a daughter Massey. Thomas and Mary first moved to Granville County but later migrated to Stokes County where Thomas died in 1841.

Chapter 3: Gideon Crew(s) (1745-1815)

…Most sources list our Gideon’s birth year as 1730.

…I am certain that Gideon’s childhood included regular teachings of the Quaker faith and very strong family values. But his father, Joseph Crew, died in early 1759, leaving Gideon and some of the other children quite young. I am also certain that the children could not help being influenced by… all the military training going on around them (related to the lead up to the American Revolutionary War).

During this period of time, many Quakers were being disowned from the Society of Friends for many different reasons, including marriage to non-Quakers and bearing arms. With the war at its peak, it must have been very difficult for young Quaker men to stay away from the military. Gideon, together with some of his brothers and cousins also began to have problems with the Society. Gideon’s cousin, David, mentioned below, was a soldier in both the French and Indian War and later in the American Revolution.

April 5, 1760: “Report being also made from Black Creek Preparitive Meeting that David Crew, son of David, and James Crew, Caleb Crew, and Gideon Crew, the sons of Jospeh Crew, deceased, having been guilty of sundry disorders and seem in a great measure to have declined the attendance of meetings of the Principles of Friends… papers of denial will goe forth against them.”38

May 3, 1760: “The Friends appointed to treat with David Crew, James Crew, Caleb Crew, and Gideon Crew, report that they had complied therewith in respect to the three last mentioned and that they appeared desirous to be continued in membership and promised more Circumspection in their conduct. The oversears of the meetings they belong to are therefore desired to have them under their particular care and notice. And the same Friends are continued ‘till they have an opertunity of speaking to David.”40

June 7, 1760: “Robert Elyson reports that he has had an opertunity of speaking with David Crew, Junior, who gave some reason to expect an amendment of his conduct in future, but notwithstanding his fair promises, it appears that he hath since enlisted himself a second time as a soldier.”41 There is a section about David in Appendix A.

“It is reported From Black Creek preparative meeting, that James, Caleb and Gideon Crew, sons of Joseph Crew have conducted themselves in a very disorderly manner in Several respects much to the dishonor of Truth of Friends, The Oversears are therefore desired to acquaint them that unless they appear at our next monthly meeting or otherwise Clear themselves from the Evil reports prevailing against them, that they will be liable to be disowned without further notice.”42

Many of the children of Joseph and Massey Crew had already been disowned by the Quakers. The following wording is very harsh, but is fairly standard wording for all those being disowned at the time. But we may never know, with certainty, the exact reason that the brothers James, Caleb, and Gideon Crew(s) were disowned.

June 6, 1761: “One of the Friends appointed to acquaint James, Caleb and Gideon Crew with the former order of this meeting reports that the same was duly complied with but without the desired effect; they continuing their Evil practices and taking no steps to give satisfaction; a paper of denial is therefore ordered to be prepared and brought to our next meeting.”43

July 4, 1761: “A paper of denial was read and signed in this meeting against James, Caleb and Gideon Crew agreeable to order of last. Joseph Ellyson is appointed to read the same in the Swamp Meeting, and send them a copy and make return to the next meeting.”44

August 1, 1761: “Joseph Ellyson returned the paper of denial against James, Caleb and Gideon Crew and reported that he had read the same in the Swamp Meeting and sent them a copy agreeable to order and is as follows: Whereas James, Caleb and Gideon Crew, sons of Joseph Crew of Hanover County were educated in the profession of us the people called Quakers and did some time frequent our Religious Meetings, but for want of faithful adherents to the dictates of that Divine principle which was sufficient to have preserved them from every Pollutions as well as in due Observance of the known Rules of our Society have conducted themselves in such a loose and unchristian like manner in several respects contrary to the good order and repeated admonitions of Friends, that we do hereby disown the said James, Caleb and Gideon Crew to be of our Society until they come to witness that godly sorrow which worketh true repentance which that the Lord may mercifully grant is our sinceare desire.”45 James, Caleb and Gideon are not found in any Quaker minutes after this meeting.

…the Virginia Grand Assembly passed a law on March 23, 1662, which has been called “land processioning.” It stated “that within twelve months after this act, all inhabitants of every neck and tract of land adjoining shall goe in procession and see the marked trees of every mans land in those precincts to be renewed, and the same course to be taken once every fower years.”46 Gideon and his brothers were most likely still in Hanover County in 1767 because the land procession for September 30 of that year included “Joseph Crew’s Heirs.”47

Around this time, I believe close to 1769, Gideon married Jemima Whicker. Her ancestors had lived in the village of Colyton, County of Devon, England since at least the time of King Henry VIII. Jemima’s grandfather, Thomas Whicker, had immigrated from Colyton to the American colonies as an indentured servant. “Thomas left England the last of Sep 1685 or early October and arrived in Virginia 1 Dec 1685 on Capt. Walter Lyle’s ship, John Lyle, Master.”48

In Hanover County, Virginia, many planters, including the W(h)ickers and the Crew(s), were moving south to better and less expensive lands in Granville County, North Carolina. Gideon, together with his brothers and related families, made the journey by 1771, when Gideon’s name appeared on the tax list for Granville County.

Our surname had already begun to fluctuate between Crew and Crews, but from this point forward, it was and is consistently Crews. An interesting side note on this change is found in the David Crew(s) family Bible. This David, also a first cousin of Gideon, was a different David from the soldier described earlier. This David married Sarah Gooch and moved to Guilford County, North Carolina, where they continued to be active Quakers. His parents were William and Hannah Crew and his grandparents were John and Sarah Crew from Chapter 1. At any rate, early entries in David’s family Bible were spelled Crew. Names added in later years were spelled Crews.

In preparation for the pending hostilities (related to the ongoing American Revolutionary War), citizens of North Carolina were asked to take the following oath in the spring of 1778: “I will bear faithful and true Allegiance to the State of North Carolina and will truly endeavor to support, maintain, and defend the independent Government thereof against George the third, King of Great Britain and his successors, and the attempts of any other Person, Prince, power, state or Potentate, who by secret arts, treasons, Conspiracies or by open force shall attempt to subvert the same, and will in every respect conduct myself as a peaceful orderly subject and that I will disclose and make known to the Governor, some member of the Council of State, some Justice of the Superior Courts or of the Peace, all treasons, Conspiracies and attempts committed or intended against the State which shall come to my knowledge.”49

In the Oxford district of Granville County, the oath was administered on May 30, 1778. Among those signing the document were brothers Gideon Crews (X his mark), James Crews (X his mark), and Thomas Crews. [Editor’s note: “X his mark” seems to imply that both James and Gideon were illiterate, in marked contrast to their grandfather who was lettered well enough to serve as the clerk for the Henrico monthly meeting from 1711 through 1714.]

The (Revolutionary War) Battle of Guilford Courthouse involved several Crews and Whicker families in different aspects… On March 15 (1781), Cornwallis attached. The David Crews family (mentioned just above) were close enough to hear the guns and see the smoke from this battle…

Gideon’s brother-in-law, John Whicker, “was in Guilford County about 1781 and during the Battle of Guilford Courthouse was taken prisoner by the Tories and taken to the British camp. They also killed his cattle.”51 I do not know the specific involvement of Gideon, James, Thomas, and Caleb. Caleb’s musket was on display at the military museum at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park for a number of years until a descendant claimed it. It is a very good guess that Gideon, James, and Thomas were also present.

The final series of battles concluded in 1781 with the engagement at Yorktown and the surrender of the British southern army to General Washington. On June 10, 1783, Gideon Crews was granted 9 pounds, 10 shillings, 3 pence for Revolutionary War service.52

“Gideon Crews, from the family history and reports believed to be true about him was a wide-awake, hustling farmer. When he first came to this county he bought 101 acres of land on Harold’s Creek, now in Salem Township, and near the place where the Pleasant brothers now live. He later bought a tract of land adjoining this farm from the State in 1779. Another 100 acres he bought from Nathan Bass adjoining the others in 1778.Ed7 He bought an additional tract of 62 acres from Reuban Talley in 1794Ed8 and still another tract from Thomas Whicker, supposed to be his brother-in-law in 1795.

“In 1806 he bought 130 acres of land from Daniel & Company, which had been the homeplace of his father-in-law, Thomas Whicker, Sr. He later moved to this place and remained there during his life and he and his wife are buried there.”53

“Gideon did not buy land for purposes of speculation, but only as he needed it for himself and his large family.”54 “The best impression we can obtain from the deeds is that the Gid Crews, Sr., lands and the John Earl lands adjoined, around and just east, north and northwest of where Salem Church now is, three miles east and northeast of Oxford.”55

“Salem Church is the center of a community which even in so enlightened a county as Granville is distinguished for the industry, sobriety, thrift, and all-around high character and good citizenship of the men and women who dwell therein.”56

“The eminence of the Salem community as a God-fearing, law-abiding section dates back to a time when three families, –  friends, neighbors, and ‘in-laws’ – lived there, and exerted a large influence upon the surrounding countryside. These families and their descendants have from early days down to the present been among the leading citizens of the community, and for the last hundred years or more have constituted the bulk of the membership of Salem Church.

Foremost among these families were the Crewses, and contemporary with them were the Earls and the Harrises.”57

“Gideon Crews seems to have been the first man of his name to settle in what is now known as the Salem neighborhood. He was born about 1630, sixteen years before Granville County was established. His birthplace is not known (Editor’s Note: It’s now fairly well established that Gideon Crews was born in Hanover County, Virginia, as noted in Chapter 2, page 14), but it is known that there were Crewses in Virginia as long ago as 1676 (Editor’s note: Randall Crewe arrived in Jamestown on the ship “Charles in 1621, as noted in Chapter 1), for James Crews was executed for taking part in Bacon’s Rebellion of that year against unjust treatment of the colonists. The trouble with James was that he was ahead of his times. If he had waited a hundred years he might have been made president and his memory now might be revered along with that of George Washington and other Revolutionary patriots as a founder of our government. A rebellion is an unsuccessful revolution, a revolution is a successful rebellion.”58

Gideon’s son, James “gave the plot on which Salem Church is built, and additional land adjoining the original plot was given by James’s grandson, Norfleet G. Crews. James’s descendants have in large numbers been official workers in the church – as stewards, trustees, Sunday school superintendents and teachers, organists, choir leaders, and in other capacities.”59

In February 1786, Gideon and his brother James, together with Richard Searcy, Soloman Walker and others served in an inquisition into the lunacy of Mary Robinson and found her insane. Gideon was named a juror for the November 1796 Court for Granville County. He left a will dated October 16, 1815 which was probated in the November 1815 Court, Granville County:

“In the name of God amen. I Gideon Crews of Granville County and State of North Carolina being very sick but of Perfect mind and memory, thanks being given unto God, calling into mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed once for all men to die make and ordain this my last will and testament that is to say principally and the first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it and my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the Almighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate wherewith it has pleased God to bless me in this life. I give and devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.

Item – I lend to my well beloved wife Jemima Crews during her natural life the tract of land whereon I now live with the mansion house and kitchen and all the out houses with all the appurtenances in any wise thereto belonging.

Item – I likewise lend to my well beloved wife Jemima Crews during her natural life my two negroes Betty and Burrell my felix sorrel horse and sorrel mare and colt and her choice of seven head of my stock of cattle with three sow pigs and twelve head of sheep and all the fowls on the plantation.

Item – I likewise lend to her during her life such of my plantation Tools and Utensils as she thinks proper to take with two featherbeds and one half of her choice of my household and kitchen furniture with my Cast and yoke of steers.

Item – Is that my executors hereafter named shall sell at Public sale and twelve months credit all my negroes with all the property found on the plantation not heretofore divided to my loving wife Jemima Crews and the money arising from such sale after all my just debts are paid off be Equally divided amongst my eight children. To Wit, Milly Hester, Elizabeth Currin, Joseph Crews, Gideon Crews, Abby Daniel, James Crews, Littlebury Crews and Jemima Currin to them and their heirs and assigns forever.

Item – my will and desire is that my Executors after the decease of my loving wife Jemima Crews should sell all my property devised to her during her natural life at public sale and the money arising by such sale to be equally divided amongst my eight children before named to them and their heirs and assigns forever.

Item – I nominate and appoint my two sons Gideon Crews and James Crews my sole executors of this my last will and testament and I do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disannul all and every other Testament will Legacies bequests Executors by me in any wise before named willed and bequeathed ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last will and Testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this the 16th October one thousand eight hundred & fifteen.

his

Gideon X Crews (seal)

Mark60, 61

“The said Gideon was a Methodist in religion and served his day and generation well. He died October 1815, and his wife Jemima in June 1825. They are both buried at the grave yard on the Pleasant farm now, now occupied by Mr. Charlie Pleasant and his brothers about three miles northeast of Oxford.”62 Per the “Hays Collection” at the Richard H. Thornton Library in Granville County, the body of Gideon Crews, Sr. is interred in the Minor Burying Ground, Granville County. It is possible that this is just another name for the graveyard on the pleasant farm. (Editor’s note: See “Cemetery Notes” at the end of this transcription for specific information.)

The eight children of Gideon and Jemima Crews were:Mildred Crews, born about 1770, married John Hester. They moved to Stokes County, North Carolina (and) had nine children.

i. Mildred Crews, born about 1770, married John Hester. They moved to Stokes County, North Carolina (and) had nine children.Joseph Crews, married Elizabeth currin.

ii. Joseph Crews, married Elizabeth currin.Abigail Crews, born about 1775, married William Daniel, and resided in the northern section of Granville County.

iii. Abigail Crews, born about 1775, married William Daniel, and resided in the northern section of Granville County.Gideon Crews, Jr., born September 2, 1779, married first Temperance Lemay, having five children; second Parthenia Heggie Higgs, widow of Daniel Glover, and remained in Granville County.

iv. Gideon Crews, Jr., born September 2, 1779, married first Temperance Lemay, having five children; second Parthenia Heggie Higgs, widow of Daniel Glover, and remained in Granville County.

v. Elizabeth Crews, born in 1780, married Lemuel Currin and remained in Granville County. Lemuel and Elizabeth had seven children.

vi. James (A.) Crews, born July 2, 1785, married Sarah Jones Earl. They had ten children and remained in Granville County until his death in 1875 at the age of 90. James and “Sally” donated the land on which Salem Methodist Church was built and they are both buried there. (Editor’s note: James A. Crews is a direct, ancestor of this transcriber/editor.)

vii. Littleberry Crews married first Elizabeth Earl. She was a sister of Sarah Jones Earl and they had six children. After Elizabeth died he married Nancy Cheatham, had another six children, and later migrated to Tennessee. Littleberry Crews is the subject of Chapter 4. (Editor’s note: Chapter 4 and subsequent chapters, dealing with Littleberry/Littlebury Crews and his descendants has been omitted from this transcription, as he is not a direct ancestor of this transcriber/editor.)Jemima Crews, born about 1791, married Wyatt Currin, and remained in Granville County until she died at an early age, before 1824. Wyatt and Jemima had four children.

viii. Jemima Crews, born about 1791, married Wyatt Currin, and remained in Granville County until she died at an early age, before 1824. Wyatt and Jemima had four children.

Cemetery Notes

The graves of Gideon Crews Sr., his wife and family, are located at the following GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 36.36729, Longitude: -78.55753. The plot is at the corner of Homer Siding Rd. and Winding Oaks Rd. approximately 100 yds from the corner above the pond. It is not well maintained. The graves were originally marked only with uncut stone. Today a stone marker has been placed at the head of the path into the wooded area to designate the significance of the place.

Footnotes:

10 Charles City County, Virginia Court Orders, 1687-1695, page 311, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia; also found on Family History Center’s microfilm number 0030990.
Ed1 The exact lines from the court record referenced above is “Oct 3, 1690: Jno Crew, who married Sarah, Orphan of Nicholas Gattley, dec’d having summoned to court James Woodhouse and Jonah Liscombe, declares that Woodhouse and Liscombe and Sarah, the mother of the said Sarah, being bound jointly for delivery of the estate of Jno. Smith to the orphans of sd. Gattley, and shows that his part, in right of his wife, is 4604 lbs tobo. Woodhouse and Liscombe appear by their attorneys Mr. Edwd. Chilton and Mr. Jno. Everitt and say (in effect) that Jono. Crew is in his nonage and request that no judgt. may pass until Crew is capable by law to discharge them or the court from the orphan’s estate, unless it be transacted by a guardian; whereupon Jno. Crew and Sarah his wife choose Maj. Jno. Stith their guardian.”

 

Ed2 Charles City County, Virginia Court Orders, 1687-1695, page 336, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia “March 3, 1690 (1691 in the Gregorian calendar) Jno. Crew, who marryed Sarah, orphan of Nicho. Gatley, dec’d, by Maj. Jno Stith, their guardian, set forth that on 3 April 1685, by court order, the estate of John Smith, dec’d, who, marrying said Sarah’s mother, (and adm’x of Nicho. Gatley, dec’d) was brought in and delivered to this court for part payment of Gatley’s orphans estates, and court did deposit Smith’s estate in hands of said Sarah her mother, who gave bond. Sarah, the orphan, being now of age, prays from Sarah her mother 4605 lbs tobacco, being her part in Smith’s estate. Court advises that Sarah the mother is to pay the daughter, or her security Ja. Woodhouse and Jonah Liscombe will be liable for it.”

 

Ed3 Charles City County, Virginia Court Orders, 1687-1695, page 369, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia “Nov. 10, 1691; Judgement granted Jno. Justine against Jno. Crew for 200 lbs tobacco.”

 

Ed4 Captain James Crews was executed on January 24, 1677, on order from Governor Berkeley, for his role in helping to lead Bacon’s rebellion.

20 Charles City County, Virginia Court Orders, 1687-1695, page 245.

Ed5 Charles City County, Virginia Court Orders, 1687-1695, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, p. 229; “Aug 5, 1689; Tho. King vs. Jno. Crew, Jr., referred to next court, as Maj. Stith, an evidence, is sick.” And, p245; “Oct 3, 1689; Tho. King brings action against John Crews, Jr. for killing a sow of King’s. Jury trial finds for the defendant.”

21 Charles City County, Virginia Court Orders, 1687-1695, page 336.

22 William Wade Hinshaw, Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, volume 6, Virginia (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1973), page 148.

23 Alice Crew Baker, The Story of my Children’s Grandparents (Chevy Chase, Maryland: n pub., 1926), page 3.

 

24 Virginia Lee Hutchenson Davis, Tidewater Virginia Families (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogy Publishing Co., Inc., 1989), page 385.

25 Virginia Lee Hutchenson Davis, Tidewater Virginia Families (Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogy Publishing Co., Inc., 1989), page 388.

26 Carol Peterson, “The John and Sarah Crew Family”, Crews News, Volume 3, Number 1 (November 1991 – January 1992), page 1.

27 William and Mary College, “Quakers’ Petition”, William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, series 1, volume 14, page 23-25.

28 Alice Crew Baker, The Story of my Children’s Grandparents (Chevy Chase, Maryland: n pub., 1926), page 5.

29 Adair Pleasants Archer, “The Quaker Attitude Towards the Revolution,” William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, July 1921, page 169-170.

30 Alice Crew Baker, The Story of my Children’s Grandparents (Chevy Chase, Maryland: n pub., 1926), page 5.

33 Henrico County, Virginia, Friends Records, 1699-1757, page 74, Haverford Special Collections, The Quaker Collections, Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, microfilm, also Family History Centers, microfilm, number 031762.

34 Henrico County, Virginia, Friends Records, 1699-1757, page 74, Haverford Special Collections, The Quaker Collections, Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, microfilm, also Family History Centers, microfilm, number 031762.

Ed6 Henrico County, Virginia, Friends Records, 1699-1757, page 167.

36 Henrico County, Virginia, Friends Records, 1699-1757, page 205.

37 White Oak Swamp Meeting, Henrico County, Virginia Friends Records, 1757 – 1780, page 29, Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, microfilm; also Haverford Special Collections, Haverford College, Haverford, Pennsylvania, microfilm; also Family History Centers, microfilm number 031779.

38 White Oak Swamp Meeting, 1757 – 1780, page 37.

39 White Oak Swamp Meeting, Henrico County, 1757 – 1780, page 37.

40 White Oak Swamp Meeting, Henrico County, 1757 – 1780, page 39.

41 White Oak Swamp Meeting, Henrico County, 1757 – 1780, page 39.

42 White Oak Swamp Meeting, Henrico County, 1757 – 1780, page 48.

43 White Oak Swamp Meeting, Henrico County, 1757 – 1780, page 51.

44 White Oak Swamp Meeting, Henrico County, 1757 – 1780, page 51.

45 White Oak Swamp Meeting, Henrico County, 1757 – 1780, pages 52 – 53.

46 C.G. Chamberlayne, The Vestry Book of St. Paul’s Parish, Hanover County, 1706-1786 (Richmond, Virginia, The Library Boards, 1940), page xvi.

47 C.G. Chamberlayne, The Vestry Book of St. Paul’s Parish, Hanover County, 1706-1786 (Richmond, Virginia, The Library Boards, 1940), page 467.

48 Richard Fenton Walker, Jr., The New Wicker/Whicker Family, (Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, Inc., 1997), page 27.

49 Walter Clark, The State Records of North Carolina, (Goldsboro, North Carolina: Nash Brothers Book and Job Printers, 1905 – 1907), volume XXII, pages 168-170.

51 Richard Fenton Walker, Jr., The New Wicker/Whicker Family, (Baltimore, Maryland: Gateway Press, Inc., 1997), page 39.

52 Treasurer’s and Comptroller’s papers, Revolutionary Army accounts, volume I, page 88, folio 4, An account of specie Certificates paid into the Comptrollers Office by John Armstrong Entry Taker for Lands in North Carolina, number 955, 13 March 1784, State of North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Division of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Ed7 Deed: Nathan Bass to Gideon Crews, 1787, Granville Co., NC, Book O, p. 594,

Nathan Bass to Gideon Crews

This Indenture made the fifth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty eight. Between Nathan Bass in the County of Granville & the state of North Carolina on the one part and Gideon Crews of this county and state on the other part witnessed that Nathan Bass paid in consideration of the sum of fifty pounds Virginia monies to him in hand paid by Mr. Gideon Crews for receipt he doth hereby acknowledge hath given granted & bargain & sold by these present doth give grant bargain and sell to Mr. Gideon Crews a certain tract or parcel of land lying in Granville County on the waters of Harrolds Creek beginning at the hickory on Mr. Gideon Crews line thence south on Reuben Talleys line to a corner red oak hence on Thomas Crews line to the corner red oak hence west to the corner red oak hence to the hickory to the first station.  Containing by estimation one hundred acres be the same more or less to have and hold these premises with all the appurtenances hereunto belonging or in any wise appertaining with the privilege of hunting & fowling unto Mr. Gideon Crews his heirs assigns forever.  The other Nathan Bass for himself his heirs assigns doth covenant & agree with Mr. Gideon Crews his heirs & assigns to warrant to defend the same one hundred acres of land against all persons whatsoever unto the only in behalf of Mr. Gideon Crews.  In witness whereof Mr. Nathan Bass hath hereunto set his hand and seal the day and the year above written.

his

Nathan X Bass

mark

Sign seal and acknowledge in presence of Sam Clay Peyton Wood

Granville County Feb. Court 1787

This deed was duly proved by the oath of Sam Clay due motion ordered to be registered

Truly Reg:  M. Satterwhite PR                  Henderson C.C.

Ed8 Deed: Reuben Talley to Gideon Crews, 1793, Granville Co., NC, Book P, pp. 115, 116

This Indenture made this second day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety four between Reuben Talley of the County of Granville of the state of North Carolina on the one part and Gideon Crews of the county and state aforesaid of the other part.  Witness that Reuben Talley for and in consideration of thirty seven pounds four shillings Virginia money to him paid in hand by Mr. Gideon Crews the receipt whereof he doth hereby acknowledge hath given granted bargained and sold and by these presents doth give grant bargain and sell unto Mr. Gideon Crews a certain tract or parcel of land lying in Granville County on the waters of Fishing Creek & bounded as follows: beginning at Gideon Crews old corner a red oak in Edmund Taylor, said line thence No by a line of Mark trees to white oak Wm. Pulliams corner in Gideon Crews line Prince River, ~ing on Pulliams line to a corner white oak in Taylors line, thence on Taylors line to the first station, containing sixty two acres be it the same more or less with all the appurtances thereunto belonging.  To have and to hold the aforesaid land with the aforesaid appurtances unto Mr. Gideon Crews his heirs and assigns forever.  Mr. Reuben Talley for himself and his heirs doth covenant and agrees with Mr. Gideon Crews his heirs and assigns in the above sixty two acres of land with the appurtenances unto Mr. Gideon Crews his heirs assigns against all persons whatever will warrant & forever defend.  Mr. Reuben Talley hath hereunto set his hand & affixed his seal this day & year above written.

Reuben Talley

State of North Carolina, Granville County

Signed sealed and delivered in Feb. term 1793

The foregoing deed was duly proved by Reuben Talley in open court and ordered to be registered

Truly Reg.  M. Satterwhite PK      Anderson C.C.

53 Granville County Historical Society, “Historical Data of Granville County,” Oxford Public Ledger (Oxford, North Carolina) June 25, 1929, page 2, Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, North Carolina, microfilm.

54 Granville County Historical Society, “Historical Data of Granville County,” Oxford Public Ledger (Oxford, North Carolina) June 25, 1929, page 2, Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, North Carolina, microfilm.

55 Thurston Titus Hicks, Sketches of William Hicks, Abner Hicks, Jasper Hicks, George Harris, James Crews, John Earl, and Something of Some of Their Descendants (Henderson, North Carolina: 1926), page 27.

56 Francis B. Hays, “Salem Community,” Oxford Public Ledger (Oxford, North Carolina) October 31, 1944, page 2, Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, North Carolina, microfilm.

57 Francis B. Hays, “Salem Community,” Oxford Public Ledger (Oxford, North Carolina) October 31, 1944, page 2, Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, North Carolina, microfilm.

58 Francis B. Hays, “Salem Community,” Oxford Public Ledger (Oxford, North Carolina) October 31, 1944, page 2, Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, North Carolina, microfilm.

59 Francis B. Hays, “Salem Community,” Oxford Public Ledger (Oxford, North Carolina) October 31, 1944, page 2, Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, North Carolina, microfilm.

60 “Will of Gideon Crews,” October 16, 1815, Granville County, North Carolina will book 7, page 544, probated November 1815, Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, North Carolina, microfilm.

61 Granville County Historical Society, “Historical Data of Granville County,” Oxford Public Ledger (Oxford, North Carolina) June 11, 1925, Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, North Carolina, microfilm.

62 Granville County Historical Society, “Historical Data of Granvuille County,: Oxford Public Ledger (Oxford, North Carolina) June25, 1929, page 2, Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, North Carolina, Microfilm.


Death of James A. Crews — From a transcript by John W. Hays

Source: Frances B. Hays Collection, “Obituaries V”, page 66. Richard H. Thornton Library, Oxford, North Carolina
The following is a complete, unedited transcription from a handwritten manuscript appearing in the volume described above. The manuscript is undated, but it is presumed that it was written shortly after the death of James A. Crews, which occurred on August 10th, 1892. The handwriting was very difficult to decipher, and where I have been unable to puzzle a word, I have indicated it as (illegible). Where a specific word or phrase can be presumed, I have included it in parenthesis with a question mark (?) to indicate a guess.

Transcription provided by Constance Hall Jones, Raleigh, North Carolina. April 22, 2015.

 

Death of James A. Crews

From a transcript by John W. Hays.

Died at his house in Granville county on Wednesday the 10th of August, 1892, James A. Crews, in the 80th year of his age.

He was the oldest son of the late James Crews and Sallie (Earl) Crews of Granville County. His father, who died in 1875, at the advanced age of 90 years, belonged to a family who were the pioneers of Methodism in Granville, and was the principal founder of Salem Church on what is now the Oxford circuit. He left a large number of descendants reaching to the third and fourth generation, and nearly all have remained true to the teaching of their fathers.

James A. Crews was born May 15, 1813, and was married August 11, 1834, to Martha A. Hunt of (illegible) county. Of their marriage eleven children were born, nine of whom survive. His wife preceded him to the grave on the 6th of January, 1892.

Brother Crews had inherited a vigorous constitution and was remembered for his energy both of body and mind. He had a successful farm and by industry and economy had accumulated a good estate. For some years before his death his unusually robust health began to decline. He became a great sufferer from rheumatism, which emphasized with other disorders, terminated his life.

He was motivated to Christ and joined the Methodist church in early youth, and throughout his life was an earnest and (illegible) Christian. He was a man of decided convictions and of determined character. He loved the Truth and hated all that was false. He was a close student of the Bible and was deeply imbued with its teachings. He (illegible) (it?,if?) as an impregnable rock and the (illegible) of all excellence. He carried his religion with his daily life and made it his governing principle in all his business transactions. It comforted him in time of trouble, soothed his sorrow and was a constant source of sacred joy. It was the theme of much of his conversation and the joy that it offered to him he seemed ever anxious to impart to others. With an unfaltering faith in the efficacy of prayer and with a heart full of tender devotions, there was nothing that offered him so much happiness or awakened all his power to so full a (ae?, as?) living but to be at work in the service of a great religious revival. On such occasions he would often manifest a (spiritual?, penitential?) power in exhaustion and prayer that would reach the most callous heart. As approached the end of life he seemed to lose his hold upon all things earthly. He had arranged his business affairs with calmness and deliberation, and then placed them behind him, and was looking steadfastly forward to another life when he would meet the loved ones who had gone before and realize his brightest hopes in the presence of his Redeemer.

The land of Beulah and the (delectable?) mountains were constantly in view, and when he came to pass the work given his faith failed not. He whom he had trusted in health was still his (illegible) and support.

The grave has closed where his mortal remains. He leaves to his children his example of life without reproach; that of an honest man, a good citizen, a kind neighbor, a fearless and faithful soldier of Christ. His spirit has entered into that nest (rest?) prepared for the people of God.

His funeral was preached on the 11th inst. By his pastor, the Rev. John H. Hall, in the presence of a large (collection?, consensus?) of relatives and friends and his body laid to rest in the cemetery near his home.

 

 


Lewis Evan Jones (1825 – 1910) — A Brief History of Cedar County, Nebraska, Read July 4, 1876.

The following is a faithful* transcription of a photocopied document I received from D.L. Bond, of Raleigh, N.C., one of several documents among the papers and family history documents associated with Lewis Evan Jones Jr. (1825 – 1910), of Wynot, Nebraska. The original (from which the photocopy was taken), was a type-written manuscript numbering 8 pages, with author (compiler) indication at the end of the document as L.E. Jones. In addition to these 8 pages, was a photocopy of what appears to be the original naturalization papers of Lewis Evan Jones Jr., including a certificate issued by the State of Missouri in 1859, and a handwritten document accompanying it. I have transcribed both and included scans of both for this record. Beyond the attribution of L.E. Jones, no other author or compiler is credited except within the body of prose. No date is recorded on the document to indicate when the transcription from the primary source was made.

If anyone has any information on the original transcriber or the location of the primary source material for these documents, please contact me so I may include it with these records.

*Where obvious typographical errors due to miss-keying have been introduced into the prose by the transcriber/typist, I have taken the liberty of correcting these mistakes. Where words are obviously missing and can be interpreted by context, I have included them in parenthesis, in (italics). Where other mistakes are apparent, see notes at end of article preceded by asterisks. All caps and odd grammar, abbreviations, and punctuation or lack there of are as they appear in the original transcription.


 

“A BRIEF HISTORY OF CEDAR COUNTY, NEBRASKA, WRITTEN BY L.E. JONES

READ JULY 4TH 1876

The Congress of the United States having passed a resolution requesting that each county through out the whole country cause a history of their respective counties to be written out and that said history be read on the Fourth day of July of the present year – The one hundredth anniversary of our existence as an independent nation. The President of the United States and the Governor of the State of Nebraska also issued their proclamations urging the people to comply with the request of Congress and have said history recorded in their respective counties and that a copy be also sent to the Librarian of Congress to the intent that a complete records may thus be obtained of the progress of our institution during the first Centennial of their existence.

In compliance of their request the citizens of Cedar County met in convention at the court house in the town of St. Helena on the 20th day of May last (1875) and appointed the undersigned to write said history in accordance with the wish of the convention. I, Lewis E. Jones, hereby submit the following as the history of Cedar County to the best of my knowledge. As to its correctness there can be no doubt, as most of the items are taken from the records of the county. Organization by an act of Congress passed on the 30th day of May A.D. 1854. The people who then occupied the unorganized Territory of Nebraska were authorized to form territorial Government, which was accordingly done the same year and by an act of the Legislature of the Territory of Nebraska approved February 12th 1857 the county of Cedar was formed, the boundaries of which have been changed by subsequent legislation. The Governor appointing as temporary seat of justice a place then known as St. James lying below the mouth of the Petite Arc (Bow Creek) on the Missouri River.

First Settlement. During that year (1857), the first few settlers arrived in Cedar County and located in the neighborhood of St. James. Among those early pioneers who are still in the county we will mention the names of a few. C.C. Van, Jas. Hay, O.D. Smith, Saby Strahm, Hanson Wiseman, John Andrews, Henry Ernest, Gustavus and Herrman Ferber, together with their venerable father, Paul Ferber. This colony emigrated from Harrison County, Iowa.

OTHER SETTLEMENTS. The following spring the settlements of Waucapona and St. Helena were organized and land taken up under “Squatters Sovereignty”. Among those who settled in Waucapona and still residents of the county we found Warren Sanders, Geo. A. Hall and Amos S. Parker. At this time I am not aware of but one person living in the county who was at St. Helena during that spring, P.C. Nisson. In July of that year the writer of this landed in Cedar county and together with some others surveyed and platted the town of St. Helena. The following spring, 1859, Henry Felber, with his three sons, Henry, Jacob, and William, Peter Jenal Sr., and Peter Jenal Jr., together with my own family arrived in St. Helena by boat from St. Louis, Mo. C.B. Evans and sons arrived also at St. Helena during the summer of 1858, from Council Bluffs, Iowa.

About this time, or it might have been a short time previous few settlers located in the northwest corner of the county, nearly opposite “Strike the Ree’s Camp”, the now flourishing town of Yankton, which was then occupied by the Yankton Band of Sioux Indians. In that settlement we discovered but one person, Saby Strahm, the founder of that prosperous settlement and one of the first pioneers of the country. During that same year that locality was strengthened by acquisition of several new settlers among whom we still find John and David Nelson, Ambrose Ambrosen, Ambrose and Ole Anderson. Several others located in the county about this time.

The most important acquisition in the fall of 1861 was the arrival of J. Lammers, G. Kohls, B. Wubben, Stephen Klug, B. Suing, J. and F. Weisler, and G. Arands who purchased out old settlers and located on one of the Bow Creeks about two miles south of St. Helena where they are still living and prosperous. They also built the first church that was built in the country in the center of their settlements which has been the means of building up a flourishing community.

SLOW WORK. For many years the settlement of the country progressed very slowly in fact barely holding its own for the very reason that many of the first settlers as is the case in most new countries, came here, took up the best land, located town sites, remained until the land was surveyed by the general government, then either sold out or entered their lands and left for parts unknown. For many years there were as many departures as there were arrivals.

INDIANS. Another drawback on Cedar county, as well as the surrounding counties, was the dread of hostile Indians. Immediately following the dreadful massacre at Mankato, Minnesota, a whole family of five children, those of Mr. Wiseman, near the settlement of St. James, were most brutally slaughtered by their inhuman friends.* This occurred in 1863. Dr. Lorenzo Bentz was also killed the following spring in 1864, a few miles northwest of St. Helena.

STAMPEDE. During the summer of 1864 the great stampeded took place. News was brought here by refugees who were fleeing, as was then supposed, before the ten thousand warlike Indians. The whole inhabitants of the country lying west of this were thus seeking safety in flight. A nasty consultation took place among the few and scattered settlers of this county. The result was that four families, those of the writer hereof, P.C. Nisson, Henry Ferber, and Jacob Brauch, decided to fortify themselves as best they could (in Felber Tavern) in St. Helena, whilst the settlers around St. James went to work immediately and fortified themselves in the then temporary court house by throwing up sod embankments and after strengthening their little fortification. Thus, these two little bands, expecting every moment to be attacked by an overwhelming force of savages were imprisoned within the walls of their little posts. Thanks be to the allwise Providence the massacre was, for some cause not known to us, never carried out, but we have good reason to believe that it was carefully planned. The citizens of Yankton at the same time rapidly fortified themselves around the principal hotel in that place, momentarily expecting to be attacked.

Whilst the children of Mr. Wiseman were killed, he himself, together with several citizens of this country had volunteered in a military company as Home Guards, expecting to defend their firesides, but were ordered to join Suly’s expedition against the Indians. Thus our thickly settled frontier was deprived of several of our best men during those troublesome times.

Those of our citizens who had left the country during that memorable stampede returned home in a few days but all danger was not considered fully passed. Quite a number of Norwegian families of Dakota Territory also crossed the Missouri River at St. Helena for the protection. Thus the small colony was reinforced and felt much relieved by the acquisition thus gained to their numbers. The attack was never made but greatly retarded immigration to this part of the state.

During the year 1864, C(ompany) “B”, 7th Iowa Cavalry was sent there to protect the inhabitants against the attacks of Indians. A portion of this Company was stationed at Niobrara and the remainder divided between St. Helena and St. James. At the latter place a fortification was built, called Fort Jackson, after the name of the captain. This fortification was built on an elevated spot which is now owned by Fred Harder. This Company stayed about twelve months and citizens were not sorry when they left.

WAR OF REBELLION. And other great drawback in retarding immigration to this part of the West, was the war of the rebellion. Since the close of the war, however, immigration is slowly but steadily taking up our fertile lands. A large area of our best lands having been monopolized by non-resident speculators, railroad companies and non-resident land owners at very low prices, and as railroad communications is fully established, we have every reason to believe that these lands will rapidly change hands from those of the non-productive to those of the productive classes.

GRASSHOPPERS. The dreadful ravages of the Rocky Mountain locust (grasshoppers) have also had its effects in retarding the advancement of the country, but the farmers are not discouraged by the ravages of these pests, but have put in larger crops than ever before – determined to recuperate from the losses of former years.

LOCATION. Cedar County is well located, having four tiers of townships pointing on the Missouri River, by five townships and a fraction deep north and south, containing about 389,760 acres of land well watered by numerous streams excellent and pure, together with a large number of springs of living and limpid water. The country is well timbered, having large bodies of timber on the Missouri River, such as cottonwood, oak, elm, ash, together with several other varieties of timber. The country is abounded with several excellent water powers, especially the East and Main Bow Creeks, three of which are now improved with first class flour mills, aggregating ten run of burrs. There are four steam saw mills and one water saw mill in the county all doing a fair business.

The first steam saw mill brought into the county was by the company who settled at St. James. They had also a small portable mill to grind corn, run by steam power, which was highly appreciated by the settlers as corn bread was the main sustenance of the people here at that time. Wheat flour could not be had nearer than Sioux City, Iowa, and that generally brought from St. Louis by steamboats. We believe this mill was brought here in 1857. The following summer, 1858, the writer brought the second steam saw mill into the country and located at St. Helena. In the spring of 1850**, this mill was nearly completely destroyed by fire. During that same summer it was again rebuilt and has been running ever since.

FERRIES. Three chartered ferries are in operation between the county and Dakota Territory – one steam, one horse, and one flat boat. The steam ferry does a lucrative business between Green Island and Yankton.

TOWNS. The county has three recorded towns, St. James, St. Helena, and Stramburg, the latter of which is directly across the Missouri river from Yankton. The old town of St. James having been appointed county seat by the Governor was considered the legal place to do business until the people voted to remove the same to St. Helena as the old St. James had been entirely abandoned by its inhabitants with the single exception of O.D. Smith and family who kept there a general store and post office. The first meeting of the county commissioners took place there on the 4th day of October, 1858.

COUNTY SEAT. Since the election for the County Seat took place in the fall of 1869, St. Helena has been the county seat. The county commissioners have purchased a commodious building which is fitted up into offices for the county officers. The total number of inhabitants at the county seat at present writing is about 175.

NEWSPAPER. There is also a weekly newspaper, the Cedar County Advocate, published regularly at the county seat, receiving a liberal patronage from the surrounding country both of advertisers and subscribers. The paper was established early in 1874 and is well conducted and neat in appearance. In the spring of 1858 the writer of this commenced publishing a weekly newspaper, the St. Helena Gazette, the first nine numbers of which were printed in St. Louis, Missouri dated ten days later than the date of publication (it generally took that number of days for the mail to travel this distance). On account of having but a monthly mail, it had to be carried by private conveyance generally from Sioux City, Iowa. In July of that year, 1858, the office was removed from St. Louis to St. Helena and published there by A. Nette, for a few months when it died a natural death for want of support.

COUNTY OFFICERS. The first county treasurer was George A. Hall. After him, I.S. W. Coubry was elected and ever since the last named person left the county in 1863, Peter Jenal, the present incumbent, has filled the office to the entire satisfaction of the community. The first county clerk, Geo. L. Roberts, then Moses E. Denning, S.P. Saunders and W.H. Gallomer filled the office for a short time each. Since the year 1863, P.C. Nisson has filled that important position. He is also recorder and clerk of the district court. The other county offices have been filled by various parties. Present incumbents are Silas Reynolds, sheriff; W.H. Powell, county Judge; C.A. Evans, coroner; John Lammers, Henry Morten and L.E. Jones, commissioners and A. McNeal, surveyor.

SOIL. The surface of the county consists of greatly rolling prairies, with numerous valleys of excellent and wide bottom lands with running streams of pure water. The soil generally is of deep yellow loam, very productive and well adapted to withstand either drouth or excessive wet weather. The river bluffs consist of chalk stone which is extensively used for building purposes, as well as burning lime. The country is well adapted for stock raising as luxuriant prairie grasses grow on the highest elevations. As a general thing the winters are not severe with the exception of a few storms called blizzards, consequently stock raising is the most profitable business of the husbandman. Wheat, corn, barley, oats and other cereals are raised in large quantities as well as all kinds of root and vegetable crops.

FRUIT. A large amount of fruit trees of different varieties have been set out within the last few years. No doubt exists in the minds of those who are cultivating them that they will mature to perfection when properly protected from blustering winds.

MAIL FACILITIES. It was rather hard for the early pioneers to be separated from the balance of the world as it were. The means of information that reached them was through a monthly mail carrier on horse back. Well does the writer recollect the hardships of a trip from this county to St. Louis in the fall of 1858. The only means of locomotion at command in those days was an ox team from here to Sioux City, Iowa, then by stage from that place to Council Bluffs and another stage from there to St. Joseph, Missouri. Here we had a choice of two routes – one across the state of Iowa to Hannibal, on the Mississippi river by stage, or the easier way of traveling by steamboat. We chose the latter, which took us just six days from St. Joseph to St. Louis. The trip can be made today from this county in thirty-six hours.

Shortly after this, for the Government favored us as much as could be expected, under the circumstances, we had the luxury of a weekly mail and some years later, mail service was again increased to a daily mail and at present writing, the St. James, St. Helena and Green Island have each a daily mail whilst the other offices in the county are regularly supplied from these offices. There are now eight post offices in the county receiving letters and papers from different parts of the world.

BRIDGES. Cedar county, having a large number of water courses, many bridges are absolutely necessary. During the year 1872 the county authorities purchased a pile driver intending to build nothing but pile bridges thereafter. In the course of that time there have been built within the limits of the county, 101 pile bridges at cost of $3,547.20, together with some three or four more under contract.

CULTIVATED LANDS. We have not the means of stating accurately, the number of acres under cultivation in the county but will approximate that there is in the neighborhood of 35,000 acres.

TREE CULTURE. There were exempt from taxation in the assessment of 1875, 101 acres of trees under proper cultivation, but we have good reason to believe that not one half has been reported to the assessors.

SCHOOL. Educational facilities were almost entirely neglected by the early settlers. There was not a single school taught within the limits of the county for many a long year after its first settlement, with the exception of a few months at St. Helena, by Geo. A. Roberts, L.C. Bunting and C. Clark in the year 1860 and 1861 (all private schools). There was also a private school taught a few months at St. James about the same time. About the year 1867 a public school was started at St. Helena with a person by the name of Reed as teacher. About this time a public school was also commenced at St. James. Thus from this small beginning have our public schools expanded until fine school houses are seen in every part of the county. There are at present in the county, twenty-six school districts, twenty-one school houses valued at $13,275, thirty-one qualified teachers, and nine hundred children of school age.

CHURCHES. The religious community have not been behind in the advancement of their different denominations. The Catholic church, especially is very prosperous, for predominating all others combined; the Catholics have a church building and resident priest, John Daxacher, who is working zealously among his flock and doing prosperous work; the Methodists have also a church building at St. James with a resident minister. The United Brethren and Congregationalists each their followers but no church building of their own.

VALUATION. We have no means of finding out the assessed valuation of property in the county previous to 1864 as no regular books were kept. Consequently, from that year we give the total assessed valuation up to the last assessment in order to show that the county increased at a healthy rate during these thirteen years.

For the year 1864      $17,830.
1865      $43,256.
1866      $58,312.
1867      $83,620.
1868      $117,097.
1869      $183,645.
1870      $329,900.
1871      $613,974.
1872      $734,828.
1873      $1,014,033.
1874      $1,034,843.
1875      $1,015,495.
1876      $886,785.

It will be perceived hat the valuation of the last two years do not keep pace with the increase of former years. The cause of this is that all kinds of property within the last ten years has considerably shrunk in value, consequently has not been assessed as high as normally. Another cause of decrease was the action of the Legislature taking away one of our best townships and attaching same to Pierce County, the County lying south of Cedar County.

POPULATION. We have the same obstacle in regard to showing the increase to population as we have hand in regard to valuation no record having been previous to 1871. Consequently we shall commence with that year.

No. of inhabitants*** in 1871      1019
1872      1247
1873      1671
1874      1817
1875      2014
1876      2404

LIVESTOCK. In regard to this species of property it will be seen that also increased in the same ratio was other property in the county.**** We shall commence with the assessment of 1864, the earliest date we have on record.

Year Horses Mules Cattle Sheep Swine
1864 81 469 109
1865 56 651 88
1866 86 670 90
1867 125 2 926 271 196
1868 145 5 1106 835 212
1869 184 6 1311 875 322
1870 229 11 1726 353 392
1871 303 24 2217 381 622
1872 393 31 2226 327 540
1873 555 44 2994 562 1062
1874 699 31 2621 519 608
1875 764 34 2657 621 486
1876 841 31 3198 715 716

DIFFERENT OCCUPATIONS. There are in the county several mechanics such as Printers, Carpenters, Machinists, Shoemakers, Tailors, etc., who do not follow their own trades but are engaged in other occupation, several carpenters, bridge builders, masons, etc. continually working at their own occupation, who have no settled place of business. Below we give a list including dry goods, groceries, hardware.

Tin ware farming machinery etc.      6
Flour manufacturers      2
Blacksmith shops      8
Wagon maker shops      3
Printing office      1
Drug store      2
Hardware stores      1
Doctors      2
Attorneys at law      5
Surveyors      2
Harness makers      1
Brewery      1
Furniture stores      1
Saloons      4
Millinery stores      1
Brick yards      1
Grain dealers      5
Plasterers      1

FINANCIAL. Cedar County at the present writing is entirely and absolutely free from debt. Her warrants are redeemed by the treasurer at par. It has neither pauper, prisoner nor lunatic to support at the public charge.

RAILROADS. The citizens of Cedar County voted on the 8th day of April last to donate $150,000. to Covington, Columbus & Black Hills Railroad Company in coupon bonds payable in twenty years after date bearing interest at the rate of ten per cent payable semi-annually to aid in constructing a road east and west through the county. It is now fully believed that by the next birthday of the Republic, the iron horse will be striding over the rich prairies of Cedar County.

REMARKS. The intention of the Committee in appointing the writer hereof as compiler of the history of Cedar County, was for him to compile statistics gathered by one person from each precinct. In that much valuable material might have been gathered which is now over looked on account of some of those who were appointed to furnish such information having entirely neglected to do so. In justice to those who have made their reports we shall publish such as has been received in full condensing only what can be of no benefit to the public. We are under obligation to Mr. P.C. Nissen, County Clerk, for much valuable information herein contained. The following reports of the different precincts as far as has been reported to compiler:

Precinct #No. 4 by G. Ferber. School was organized in 1870 and had 22 children with Addison Cole as teacher, term of school three months. At the present time, it has 56 children attending, school term nine months, teacher Miss M. Bark. Value of school property $600. It shows but very little increase since the organization of the District. The fact is there have been some 5 or 6 precincts cut off. There is another school in precinct No. 4 but could not get any particulars from it.

Precinct #No. 6 by John Meyer. John reports from this district that he is the oldest settler who located in that precinct having arrived there on the first day of October 1869. No. of voters 21. No. of houses 28. No. of cattle 123. No. of acres under cultivation 730. No. of trees planted 17,032, besides one acre of trees planted at school house valued at $500.

Precinct #No. 7. by I.P. Abts. In the spring of 1870, Mr. Ira N. Lyman, Levy Heller, Wadon Heller, James Bush, Boyles, and I.P. Abts commenced settling this precinct. There was no land broke then but there is now about 1000 acres broke, consisting of 28 farms. There was 21 inhabitants then and 150 now. There was but three acres of forest planted which is thriving wonderfully so there are some fencing poles there now. These trees have not been planted over three years. When the precinct was organized in 1872, 17 votes were cast but the last election there were 27. There was about 17 horses of the value of $800.00 in the precinct then and about 33 head of cattle valued at $500.00. But at present there are 68 horses valued at $3155.; 128 cattle valued at $1,481.38.; sheep valued at $49.; 14 swine valued at $24.; wagon and carriages $336.; money and credit $270.; other personality $384.; with a real estate value of $55,900. When the precinct was organized there was one school house in it but now three of the value of about $1000. The term taught during the year is in two schools six and in the third nine months. Their attendance number 45 children. The East Bow Creek runs north and south through the precinct and has several streams on both sides running into which gives the Creek on the lower end of the precinct a power for mills and other manufacturing establishments. There was in 1874 a post office established which keeps up correspondence with the whole world.

Precinct #No. 8 by H.T. Ankeny. The history of this does not date back more remote than the spring of 1870. Until that time the county was but a vast undulating prairie covered with a luxurious coat of vegetation. Not a tree or shrub visible as far as the eye could reach and nothing to denote or indicate that the foot of the white man had ever pressed the soft and yielding covering of the fertile soil, except at regular intervals the mounds and pits which show that government servants had been there before to establish lines and regulations for the advance of the hardy pioneer. Occasionally the sameness of the scenery would be interrupted by the sight of an elk or deer or antelope quietly grazing but at the approach of man would bound away with the fleetness of the wind over some friendly knoll and out of sight. The wold and coyote would come around with their natural inquisitiveness for a time and would skulk away and be lost to view. But this could not always last. Such beautiful and rare formed lands, such (rich?) and fertile soil could not long be left to the wild animals, to the red man and his untrained progenitors.

On the 11th day of May, 1870, five men had left their homes and more thickly settled parts of the country, came to this part of the county to locate for themselves homesteads with a full determination to settle on them and bring under subjection to their iron will the wild and heretofore untilled soil and unbroken sod. Those indomitable, hardy, resolute men were Seymour Starks, the senior of the party; Harry Starks, his brother; Lewis Dennis, Dr. Conly and J.B. Gould. They located very near in towns. 29 R. 3 East that same spring after having built their shanties for temporary habitation. Dr. Conley and Harry Starks started breaking teams, each breaking about 80 acres but to which the two shall be credited the breaking of the first ground the writer is unable to state but the first family in his new home was that of Wm. Button. During the spring a few more settlers joined those that were already here which swelled the number to 7 adults and 9 children.

The following winter not a soul remained on the prairie but the next spring most of the original number returned with some more in addition. It was now a life on the prairie in earnest. Some were breaking up the virgin soil, some were building habitation and all at work at something, none idle. In the fall, Lewis Dennis put up a frame house with shingle roof, the first of the kind in the precinct. That the first settlers had a hard and tedious time to make homes and open up farms in this wild district it is not difficult for the reader to imagine it being so far from all kinds of materials used for building houses and shelter for what little stock the limited means of the pioneers would permit them to hold. The population kept steadily increasing until the spring of 1872 when O.R. Ankeny with a number of members of his family settled in the same town. That dreadful disease, consumption, had become firmly settled on his constitution and he came to this pleasant prairie in the vain hope that the constant wind and pure air would be beneficial to him, but it proved of no avail for in February following he passed away which was the first appearance of the great destroyer in this community.

In the fall of 1873, a voting precinct was organized in the limits of town. 28 and 29 R. 3 East with and additional ¾ section in section 30 and 31 of towns. 30 same ranges. At the first election held in the precinct there were fifteen (15) voters present. The energies of the mind and body were devoted to the raising of cereals until the year of the Grasshoppers in 1874. At that time there were large fields of waving grain utterly destroyed which put an effectual damper that stopped the draft in that direction to a great extent and turned the attention to a surer and more remunerative industry namely raising of stock. This portion of the county being especially adapted to that purpose. The Logan River traverses from West to east through the entire precinct and three draws of the Logan running diagonally through it each having a smooth level bottom from one fourth to one mile making in extent full one third in area or the entire precinct covered with tall thickly matted, luxuriant grass, from which could be cut nearly thousands of tons of nutritious hay. The following statistics will show the inhabitants awoke to the advantages of this section for stock raising. At the first settling six years ago, there was not one half dozen cows brought in and half of the original settlers had no team. Now there is in the precinct 250 horned cattle, 90 head swine and 33 head horses. The number of acres of land opened out foots up to nearly 1100 and the number of acres of artificial forest seventy. The total population at this date is 42 adults and 33 children. There are three organized school districts in this precinct, each having from one to three terms of school yearly. Two of the districts have a school house and one them a temporary affair. The other, which is known as Logan Valley School house, is a splendid building large and commodious and neatly finished with all the modern school house fixtures fuel and well water at the door. Pronounced by those who seem to know the finest school house in the county, cost about $1000.00.

There are none of the trades of the professions represented in this precinct with the exception of two carpenters for this is strictly a farming community. Although there are immense water privileges on the Logan, there are no manufacturers or mills. And now in summing up the history of precinct #No. 8 there is the following result from a wild region known only to the savages, in the short time of six years ending July 4, 1876 there is now a beautiful farming country dotted here and there with farm houses, surrounded with fields of ripening grain, denoting thrift and prosperity.

Precinct #No. 9 by A. McNeal. This precinct was first settled by D.L. DeGarmo in the year 1869. The number of adults in the precinct at that time was were 2 in number at present time 23, number of children at present time 23, teachers 2. The stock in the precinct number as follows: Horses 17, cattle 71, hogs 56, sheep 7. The number of homesteads are 12. There are two surveyors in the precinct. One who does the county business; the other will not celebrate his birthday until the 8th day of June following and is therefore not much known in the county. There are about 25 miles of Main Bow and its branches in the precinct. The fruit trees in promising condition number about 275 mostly set this spring by McNeal. No others have set out fruit trees. Some will produce fruit this year.

Precinct #No. 10. by R.T. O’Gara. In compliance with the request of the convention that appointed me historian of the above named precinct, I herein furnish a true history of the same.

In the spring of 1870, I visited the vicinity of this precinct. It was then an entire waste with no signs of civilization of which the deer and antelope had undisputed control. I selected a location in this unsettled region and on the 30th day of May A.D. 1870, obtained my papers for a homestead entry at the Land Office. In June of the same year, I was joined by my brother, who had settled nearby. We erected a bachelor’s Hall and commenced to improve the wild but beautiful prairie. As soon as the linkeyed speculator noticed those two dots on the blank sheets at the Land Office, they secured the assistance of surveyors, came hither and entered nearly all the land in this and surrounding country so that at the close of 1870, there was but very few pieces of desirable land vacant. In the summer of 1870, my father and other brother moved from Wisconsin to this place looking up homestead and settled down in the fall of 1871. Our little settlement was increased by a family from Wisconsin consisting of parents and five children. Here we remained in peace and quietness away from the bustle and commotion of the more settled parts of the county. There was nothing to break the stillness that prevailed except bands of roving Indians that came to hunt for game and going back and forth on their visiting excursions to the Omaha, Winnebago and Santee reservations. Very frequently we would see the hills and every elevated portion of land in sight adorned with those born beauties, some of them would place themselves in those high positions to intercept the game which ever way they may run.

In 1873, our settlement was again enlarged by two families that moved in from Iowa. They were seven in number all told. In 1874, our number s were again increased by a family from the southern part of this state consisting of six in the family and also a young man from the state of Illinois. At that time the place began to assume the appearance of civilization. Large tracts of land were broken up, houses were built and groves of timber planted. Everything looks prosperous in the young settlement but the people were laboring under disadvantages. They had to pay their road tax in money or work on the roads in some precinct several miles distant. The people also neglected to attend the polls on account of the distance so the people thought it necessary to organize a precinct for their own convenience in these matters. Accordingly in July 1874, a petition was presented to the county commissioners at their regular meeting asking for and organization of a precinct. The petition was granted and the people were satisfied on that point. The next disadvantage was the people had no school for their children so in the fall of 1874, a petition was presented to the county superintendent of public instruction asking for the organization of a school district. The petition was granted and the district was organized as soon as practicable, namely district no. 23.

The first term of school was taught in the district commencing January 4, 1875. The whole number of scholars that were of school age in the district at that time was eight. In the fall of 1874, our Illinois immigrant returned to his native state, got married, and returned in the spring of 1875. Having now everything to make him happy, he went to work on his place with a good will. His farm consisted of 320 acres of land, 40 acres broke, a good frame house, other necessary building and a good well of water but on the approach of winter he got discouraged and returned to his native home. The immigration to our precinct from 1874 to the present time is respectively adults 22, children of school age 21, under school age 15, total 58. The number of acres of land under cultivation in the precinct is 540, no. of horses 36, cattle 85, pigs 67, no of acres of timber 18. Apple trees 50, and a school house worth $1,500 dollars. There is in the district one qualified teacher. There are two streams in the precinct, one in the northern part and the other in the southern part, neither of them extends into the precinct only about a mile. There is also a large spring in the South Western part of the precinct. It is known as the Big Spring of Cedar County. I believe this spring is better known by the people of distant states than by the people of Cedar County in which it is situated. Surveyors and land speculators all inquire for the Big Spring of Cedar County. From this spring they could start to any part of the county they wished to go. Therefore it was a regular camping ground. A large quantity of water flows from this spring, enough to move the machinery of a good sized mill if properly utilized. The stream spoken of are tributaries of the Main or Middle Bow.

CONCLUSION. It will be seen by the above reports that the oldest and wealthiest precincts have failed to send in any statistics. Those who have reported are the most recently organized and sparsely settled districts of the county. The county contains eleven precincts from No. 1 to No. 11 inclusive.

Respectfully,

L. E. Jones    Compiler


 

Eds notes:
* It’s more likely that L.E. Jones wrote “fiends” rather than “friends”.

** Obviously the date of 1850 indicated in this transcription is an error (typographical?), since the mill was not actually built until 1858.

*** The population count is presumed to include only white inhabitants, or possibly people of African descent (although that is unlikely), but to certainly exclude any Native Americans then still living in Cedar County.

**** The original transcriber clearly left some meaningful material out of this sentence.


Naturalization Certificate

Click image to view full-size.

Naturalization Statement

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Lewis Evan Jones Jr (1825 — 1910) — Sagging landmark survives at Wynot

The following is a faithful transcription of a photocopied newspaper page, one of many documents I received from D. L. Bond, of Raleigh, N.C., as part of a collection of memoirs and papers, as well as genealogical information related to Lewis Evan Jones Jr. (1825 – 1910), his antecedents and descendants, and the “Nebraska line” of the Jones family, originally of Dolgelly (Dolgellau), Wales and Carnarvon, Wales. Mr. Bond is a great-great-grandson of Lewis Evan Jones Jr. I have no information what newspaper this article originally appeared in, or the date of publication. If anyone can help me identify this article’s origin and date, please contact me.

B. Paul Chicoine, the “Journal correspondent” who authored this piece, is apparently the same person of that name who co-authored the book Sioux City – A Pictorial History, the Donning Company, 1982. He appears to have also authored or co-authored a number of other historical articles and text books.


 

“Sagging landmark survives at Wynot

Bow Valley Mills

Historic mill – The historic three-story Bow Valley Mill still stands near Wynot, Neb., although sagging underpinnings cause it to teeter toward the spillway dug more than 100 years ago. The addition at the right is used to store farm machinery. (Photo by B. Paul Chicoine, Journal correspondent) (Photo shown above is not original to the article. It was taken by an unidentified photographer at a later period.)

By B. Paul Chicoine
Journal correspondent

WYNOT, Neb. – Time and grazing cattle may be kicking the underpinnings from a massive three-story frame structure near Bow Creek, but the Bow Valley Mill is a persistent survivor.

Perched on the bank of a dried up millpond, Cedar County’s oldest surviving landmark hangs on to the future with slipping fingers – a sad state of affairs for a building which has survived time, technology, floods and efforts by one of Cedar County’s more colorful and industrious families to keep the ancient giant in production.

Situated a quarter mile south of bubbling Bow Creek, a major water course in the north Cedar County area, the Bow Valley Mill is a monument to this family and to the raw, untamed wilderness of the Nebraska frontier. It was founded by Lewis Evan Jones and is part of an industry bloodline which included the Christian Advocate.

In 1857, while Jones, founder of the Advocate, was still plying his trade and papers, he was intrigued by a company of town promoters involved in establishing a prairie city along the Missouri River in Nebraska Territory.

Family accounts and local records show Jones, a native of Carnarvon, Wales, was impressed by the immense acreages of hardwoods which lined the hills in this region and the available water power along its creeks.

Turning publication of his newspaper over to a colleague in St. Louis, he embarked upon a milling career which was to develop the huge mill at Bow Valley.

Mrs. John (Edith) Jones, grand daughter of the mill’s founder, maintains a careful collection of its records. She says the family business survived 100 years of prosperity and disaster by adapting to changing times and needs of Cedar County.

Those needs included making flour for the gold prospectors of Montana and later, generating electricity.

The mill is said to have helped supply the soldiers in the last campaigns against the Indians.

“There must have been thousands of tons of wheat through those old stone burrs,” says Mrs. Jones, a spry and effervescent woman in her 70’s. “A good share of it went to the government for outposts and reservations too.”

Riverboats upbound from Sioux City to Montana stopped regularly to take on fuel and freshly milled flour at the mill’s private landing, located a short distance north on the Missouri River.

Along with processing locally grown wheat and corn, a sawmill attached to the mill’s east side supplied planks, timbers, and framing for homes and farms in Wynot, St. James, nearby St. Helena and Yankton.

With the coming of the railroad and the founding of Wynot, the track’s terminus in 1907, the mill’s creeking side-shot water wheel was harnessed to an electric generator to power the town’s first electric lights.

Built of local hardwoods – maple, oak, and walnut – and mortised and tenoned throughout, Bow Valley Mills shows the work of skilled hands. Its records show the persistence of the Jones family in keeping it alive through three generations.

Wheat, hauled in by pack horse and wagon, was ground on the first floor by water-powered burrs, then sacked and stored in a “mouse-proof” flour house alongside.

Mouse-proofing was accomplished by overlaying walls with tin. The materials were shipped upriver by steamboat.

Water-powered elevators raised wheat to the two top floors for temporary storage.

A quarter-mile millrace delivered water from a rock and log dam across Bow Creek to the south. Later, after floods destroyed the first dam, Thomas Jones, son of the founder, constructed another dam of railroad iron and concrete further west. Mr. Jones recounts that the sheer weight of the second dam caused it to sink beneath the river bank, thus closing the mill for good.

Milling thus ended at the at the ancient landmark in the 1920’s. Subsequent attempts to revitalize the structure failed, ending in the mill’s conversion to Commodity Credit Corp. grain storage in 1939.

Today the giant wood structure stands in silence a dusty gravel road. The sawmill and mouse-proof flourhouse are gone. So is the great creaking waterwheel, and the shafts of machinery it turned. Spilled aots and assorted rubble litter the mill’s huge interior. Below and away a herd of black cattle graze quietly amid willows where head deep mill waters used to rush.

Like most of the Wynot community, Cedar County has voiced no plans to restore the venerable structure which now sags precariously toward the spillway its founders dug.

A local landmark, a Nebraska industrial relic, or just a memory, the Bow Valley Mill stands waiting for another stream of genius to harness its silent wheels.”


Bow Valley Mills — Wynot Nebraska — Edith D. Jones — A Brief Visit to the Past

The following is a faithful transcription of a photocopied page (partial article) that originally appeared in the Cedar County News, on January 29, 1975. It is one of many documents I received from D. L. Bond, of Raleigh, N.C., as part of a collection of memoirs and papers, as well as genealogical information related to Lewis Evan Jones Jr. (1825 – 1910), his antecedents and descendants, and the “Nebraska line” of the Jones family, originally of Dolgelly (Dolgellau), Wales and Carnarvon, Wales. Mr. Bond is a great-great-grandson of Lewis Evan Jones Jr. The author of this article, Edith D. Jones, is the granddaughter of Lewis Evan Jones Jr. If anyone has any information on Edith D. Jones, please contact me so we can share information and I can document the connection.


 

“Circle Tour – A Brief Visit to the Past

Lewis Evan Jones, Jr.

Lewis E. Jones of St. Louis, Mo., came to the St. Helena area in 1858 and helped establish the town. He brought with him a printing press and a saw mill. He operated the sawmill at that place until 1868 when because of availability of water power from Bow Creek, he built the Bow Valley Mill, approximately      1 ½ miles north of Wynot, Nebraska.

Approximately one and one half miles north of Wynot is the Bow Valley Mills built in 1868 Lewis E. Jones as a flour mill. Oak timber from the Henson Wiseman timber was used in its construction – the frame was mortised and pinned with wood pins, no nails used at any time.

A dam was constructed across Bow Creek, approximately one fourth mile south of the Mill. A mill race was dug and water power was made available for running the mill.

On the west of the structure there was an addition called the “flour house”. On the east side was the saw mill equipment, and a scale house was attached on the south. These additions have been removed through the years. The main structure, which contained the flour milling machinery, is standing today – probably the oldest historical mark left in Cedar County today.

For many years flour milling and sawing of lumber were the main activities. The mill ground flour for half a century to feed the pioneers of Nebraska and Dakota Territory. Thousands of tons of flour and feed were ground by Bow Valley Mills and transmitted to the town. Still later this building was converted into government storage bins for scaled corn. Today it is used for storage of grain and farm machinery.

Bow Valley Mills

Bow Valley Mills, late 20th century.

 

Bad Village

A hill, approximately one-half mile northeast of the Bow Valley Mill, was the location of a major excavation by the University of Nebraska in the 1930’s. It revealed an early Indian village. It was unique among Indian Villages because it had a wall built around it. This led some to believe the Indians were hostile, and therefore some traditions say the village was called “Bad Village”. Lewis and Clark speak of this village as they journeyed up the Missouri River in 1804.

School District #1

Private schools were established by the early settlers in many areas. The first public school – before school districts were formed – was built by farmers in 1867 and the first session of school was held in the summer of 1868. At that time, school was held between the time crops were in (approximately May 1) and held until November when corn picking started.

The first school building was a log school with a dirt roof. It was located south and east of Bow Valley Mill and was called the St. James School. It was taught by Anna Schmidt, who later became Mrs. John Felber.*

She was the first teacher in this section of the state and one of the first north of the Platte River.

She had 35 pupils, some as old as she, and some walked as much as four miles. She taught this school two years.

In 1872, a school house was erected northwest of Bow Valley Mill – (approximately one-half mile) and the first teacher was Mr. J.J. Tullass.
On April 30, 1873, School Districts 1, 2, and 3 were organized. This area being in Disctrict #1.

In 1930, a marker was erected by the Home Culture Club of Wynot, assisted by the school children of Cedar County. Since the site on which the log structure (of 1868) stood was in an area which was flooded nearly every spring and fall, the marker was set on the grounds of the first school erected in 1872.

School District #1 was discontinued several years ago – the building was sold and moved from the area.

The marker, a large boulder weighing about 3300 pounds was found near Wynot and moved to the school grounds. This was set in a cement foundation. On the top is a miniature log school house fashioned out of cement and hand carved to resemble real logs. On the face is a bronze plate with the following inscription:

1868 – 1930
Erected to commemorate the first school in Cedar County
Mrs. Anna Schmidt Felber, first teacher.
Sponsored by the Home Culture Club of Wynot, Nebraska,
Assisted by the school children of Cedar County.

Fort Jackson

During the summer of 1864, “The Great Stampeded” took place. It followed the Wiseman Massacre near St. James and the murder of Dr. Lorenzo Bentz northwest of St. Helena. News of an uprising was brought by refuges that the Sioux and Cheyenne had organized an army of 10,000 to clean out all the white inhabitants from both sides of the Missouri river. Hasty consultations took place and settlers fortified themselves as best they could. The settlers at Old St. James immediately fortified themselves in the “Court House” by throwing up sand embankments and otherwise strengthening their position expecting momentarily to be attacked. They also dug a well inside the embankment.

At St. Helena, the mill house (one mile east of the town) was filled with fleeing settlers from up the river and particularly with many Norwegian families from “The Dakota Bottomlands” (across the river). All were welcome as they helped strengthen and fortify the place. Four families, all that remained in the town, congregated to occupy one four room house, the Felber House, one room for each family. They gathered all the arms and ammunition to be found.

The massacre was never carried out but there was good reason to believe that it had been carefully planned.

In the course of a few days, nothing having occurred, the scared settlers began to return home and everything soon quieted down.

Later, during the year 1864, Company B, 7th Iowa Cavalry was sent to protect the settlers against Indian attacks. A part of this Company was stationed at Niobrara and the remainder garrisoned at Fort Jackson to protect settlers of St. James and St. Helena.

Approximately two miles northwest of Bow Valley Mill is a fork in the road. Fort Jackson, named for its captain, once topped the high hill in the “Y” – on what was later known as the Harder farm.

The soldiers remained about a year and it is said the settlers were not sorry to see them go.

Dakota Bottomlands

As we catch our first glimpse of the spire of the St. Helena Catholic Church, it would be remiss if we did not pause at the top of the hill to view the Dakota Bottomlands.

This land, lying along Missouri River and bounded by the James and Vermillion Rivers, is known as “Strike the Ree” land – (land of the Dakotas).

In the fall, when the summer’s hunting ended, the Dakota usually set up their winter camp along the Missouri, near the James. It is here, that on August 28, 1804, Lewis and Clark made their camp.

Struck by the Ree

Struck by the Ree

There is no historical documentation but it is told that an Indian child, son of a head chief, was born that night. When Captain Clark learned of this he asked that the child be brought to him. He wrapped the baby in a U.S. Flag and declared him to be the first “Yancton” Indian citizen of the U.S. He prophesied that the child would become a great of his people. Strike-the-Ree led a life well in keeping with this prophecy. He became a chief of the Yankton Sioux tribe in his…

(continued on Page 15)”**


* John Felber is probably the son of Henry Felber, who traveled to St. Helena in 1858, with Lewis Evan Jones Jr., on board the steamboat Florence, to first settle in Cedar County.

** I do not have the balance of this article included in the papers passed to me from D. Bond. I have contacted the Cedar County News to determine if copies still exist. I will update this article to include the missing material if my inquiry is successful.


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