Category Archives: Original Sources

Joseph Cooke Crews Sr. — Obit

The following is a faithful transcription of a newspaper clipping noting the death of Joseph C. Crews. A handwritten source note, in the hand of Mary Hall Benn Wyche, indicates that this notice appeared in the Raleigh News and Observer, on Tuesday, April 13, 1948.

 

Joseph Cooke Crews and his wife, Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" Currin.

Joseph Cooke Crews and his wife, Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Currin.

Joseph C. Crews

Oxford. __ Joseph Cooke Crews, 65, Standard Oil Company employee for 35 years, died in Durham hospital Sunday night. He had been a patient there for a week. The funeral will be held from Shady Grove Methodist church at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, conducted by his pastor, the Rev. J. L. Smith, assisted by the Rev. M. L. Banister of Oxford Baptist Church. Interment will be in Elmwood cemetery. Surviving are his wife, the former Mary Currin; a daughter, Jean, of the home; two sons, J. C. Jr., and Lindsey Crews of Henderson and two sisters, Mrs. J. T. Benn of Weldon and Mrs. Fannie Crews of Richmond, Va.

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Joseph John Benn – Civil War Service and Notes

The Source for this information is James Thomas Benn IV, of Farmville, VA. It was completed as part of his application for membership into the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It was provided to the author on January 25, 2016, via email communication.

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Joseph John Benn - (c) 1885

Joseph John Benn – (c) 1885

Joseph John Benn was born 15 April 1829 in Gaston, North Carolina.  On 11 April 1862, in Norfolk, Virginia, this North Carolina farmer mustered into the 41st Virginia Infantry, 2nd Company E from the State Militia where he collected a $50 bounty.  2nd Company E was known as Captain Lauren’s “Confederate Grays” under Mahone’s Brigade in the Longstreet Corp.  In March and April of 1862 he drilled in Norfolk.  On 10 May 1862, he and the rest of his division boarded trains for Petersburg when Norfolk was abandoned to Union Forces.

J.J. Benn, as he was known, spent most of May 1862 in the hospital at General Camp Winder in Richmond.  On 23 May 1862 he was transferred back to his regiment at Petersburg from whence he fought at Malvern Hill and Seven Pines.  He was back in the hospital from 15 September 1862 until 13 October 1862 suffering from chronic diarrhea as was the bane of many a soldier.  On 20 October 1862 he was furloughed to Gaston, North Carolina to recuperate.

He returned to duty in January of 1863 and wintered at United States Ford on the Rappahannock, 16 miles west of Fredericksburg.  At the time, the 41st Virginia Infantry listed 305 men present.  The 41st was with Army of Northern Virginia at Chancellorsville.  On 26 June 1863, his unit passed the Mason-Dixon line.  They arrived at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on 2 July 1863, at the northern end of Seminary Ridge.

J.J. Benn went on to fight in the Bristoe and Mine Run Campaigns, the Wilderness, and Cold Harbor.  On 22 June 1864, he was with Mahone at the Jerusalem Plank Road Battle near Petersburg. The July 30 battle of the Crater made Mahone a famous General and brought with it recognition and prestige to all the regiments involved including the 41st Virginia.

J.J. Benn was taken prisoner 27 Oct 1864 at Boydton Plank Road Battle for control of the Weldon Railroad.  He was transferred from City Point in Hopewell to Point Lookout Maryland and exchanged 17 January 1965 at Boulware’s Warf on the James River.  On 6 February 1865 he was at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run.  During the battle of Sayler’s Creek, Mohone’s division escaped capture and moved to the north side of the Appomattox River acting as rear guard.  On 7 April 1865 the 41st fired the last shots of the war at Cumberland Church.

On 9 April 1865, Joseph John Benn was paroled at Appomattox with one package of clothing and a blanket.  Of the 305 men present in 1863, only 10 officers and 98 other men remained of the 41st Virginia Infantry.

After the war he made his home near what is now Vultare, North Carolina where he was an agent for the Raleigh Gaston Railroad.  His first child, a daughter was born nine months after he returned from the war on 20 January 1866.  Joseph John Benn died 18 May 1912.

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TIMELINE:

Joseph John Benn

Born April 15, 1829; died May 18, 1912 at 83 years of age

Enlisted 11 Apr 62 from the state militia in Norfolk VA at 33 years old. $50 bounty due

Listed as a farmer from Gaston, NC.

After the war was an agent for the Raleigh Gaston Railroad

He and his wife had their home near what is now Vultare, NC

Captain Lauren’s “Confederate Grays” under Mahone’s Brigade under Longstreet’s Corps

March and April 1862 drilled in Norfolk

May 10th – 41st boarded trains for Petersburg when Norfolk was abandoned

10 May 62 General Hospital camp Winder Richmond VA

23 May 62 – transferred to Petersburg

Malvern Hill and Seven Pines

Gen Hospital Richmond VA 15 Sep 62 – 13 Oct 62

20 Oct 62 furloughed to Gaston NC for Chronic diarrhea

Jan 63 – Oct 64 listed as present

Wintered at United States Ford on the Rappahannock 16 miles west of Fredericksburg

41st had 305 men present

3 miles from Chancellorsville – fought there

May 7th camped near Fredericksbirg

June 22 in Charles Town (now WV)

June 26th past the Mason-Dixon Line

July 1st, left camp at Fayetteville PA to Gettysburg

Arrived July 2nd at the northern end of Seminary Ridge

Mahone’s Brigade scarcely used July 2nd and 3rd

Fought in the Bristoe and Mine Run Campaigns

May 4th left winter camp at Madison Run Station

May 6th battle of the Wilderness

May9th arrived at Spotsylvania

June 3rd at Cold Harbor

June 22nd Jerusalem Plank Road

July 30th battle of the Crater “made Mahone a famous general and brought with it recognition and prestige to all the regiments involved.

Taken prisoner 27 Oct 64 Weldon RR – Boydton Plank Road at Hatcher’s Run

31 Oct 64 transferred from City Point to Pt. Lookout MD

17 Jan 65 exchanged at Boulware’s Warf James River, VA

26 Jan 65 at Camp Lee Richmond VA

February 6th, second battle of Hatcher’s run

Mahone commanded an elite division of which the 41st was part.

April 6th – During the battle of Sayler’s creek, Mahone’s division escaped capture and moved to the north side of the Appomattox river acting as rear guard.

April 7th – fired last shots at Cumberland Church

9 Apr 65 Paroled at Appomattox w/ 1 package of clothing and a blanket along with 10 officers and 98 other men

First child, a daughter Mariah Ann Benn, born nine months later on Jan. 20, 1866


Fannie Evelyn Johnston — Obit

TRANSCRIPTION OF A TYPED TRANSCRIPTION, RECORDED BY MARY HALL BENN WYCHE, FROM A NEWSPAPER NOTICE OF THE DEATH OF FANNIE EVELYN CREWS, WHICH (it is to be assumed) ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE OXFORD PUBLIC LEDGE, OXFORD, NORTH CAROLINA. THE ORIGINAL TRANSCRIPTION IS UNDATED.

 

LeRoy Lafayette Crews and Fannie Evelyn Johnston Crews. Fannie died at 31 years old.

LeRoy Lafayette Crews and Fannie Evelyn Johnston Crews. Fannie died at 31 years old.

CREWS. __ Mrs. Fannie E. Crews (nee) Johnston, was born November the 12th 1857. She was married to L. L. Crews December the 19th 1877. She died July 1st 1886, leaving a husband and four children to mourn their loss. She was converted and joined the Methodist Church while young and lived in the enjoyment of religion to the end of life. Her health had not been good for five years, and frequently she was brought almost to death’s door, then she would improve. While to her friends she seemed to enjoy health at times, she realized that she could not long remain in this world. When last taken, the physicians did not think her seriously ill, but after all that skill and kindness could do she grew worse and in a few days passed away. Her sufferings were intense and she was conscious that the time of her departure was at hand. Previous to her last illness, she said, “I know in whom I have trusted.” Leaning upon Jesus she passed through “the valley of the shadow of death fearing no evil”. Her funeral was preached at her home by the writer from Matt 25-21, and a long procession followed her remains to the family burying ground.

It was painful to sister Crews to leave her husband and little children, but she was submissive to the divine will, she was not conscious in the last hours, but we need no testimony in the dying hour to tell us where the Christian goes.

To her family and friends she is not lost, but gone before. May they have grace to follow on to the city of God

— E. Coltrane.

 

 

[Handwritten below the typed note, in the hand of Mary Hall Benn Wyche, is the following citation information.]

This is a copy of newspaper notice of death and funeral of Mrs. Fannie E. Crews. Presume this was (Oxford Public Ledger, Oxford N.C.)


Caroline Frances Crews Smith – Obits and Recollections

THE FOLLOWING IS A TRANSCRIPTION OF AN OBITUARY NOTICE FOR CAROLINE CREWS SMITH, THE ORIGINAL CLIPPING BEING FOUND AMONG THE PAPERS OF MARY HALL BENN WYCHE. THE CLIPPING IS UNDATED. IT CAN BE INFERRED FROM THE TEXT THAT THIS ORIGINAL APPEARED IN THE OXFORD PUBLIC LEDGER, OXFORD, NORTH CAROLINA.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TRANSCRIPTION REFLECTS ALL THE UNIQUE PHRASING OF THE ERA, AS WELL AS TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS, MISSING OR INCORRECT PUNCTUATION, ETC. IT IS A VERBATIM, UNEDITED TRANSCRIPTION FROM THE ORIGINAL.

[Caroline Crews Smith was the daughter of James A. Crews and Martha Hunt, sister of Leroy Lafayette Crews. She married John Smith. She was born August 10, 1848 in Granville County, NC, and passed away February 9, 1931 in the same place.]

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Obituary

Mrs. Caroline Smith

“So live that when thy summons comes
To join the innumerable caravan
Which moves to that mysterious realm
Where each shall take his chamber
In the silent halls of death;
Thou go not, like the quarry slave, at night
Scourged to his dungeon;
But, sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust,
Approach thy grave, like one who wraps the drapery
Of his couch about him
And lies down to pleasant dreams.”

Thus did Mrs. Caroline Smith live and thus did she slip away from us to be forever with her God whom she loved and served for eighty-two years.

Truly, as her pastor said, a giant oak in God’s earthly forest has fallen – But it was so deeply rooted in love, its leaves lent shade to so many weary souls and that tree shed such fragrance to the discouraged and broken-hearted that the memory of it will linger with us long and that to bless. Discouragement and impossibility were two words that Grand Ma Smith scratched from her vocabulary – Her very expression was a smile and a challenge to be “Up and doing, with a heart for any fall.

“Still achieving, still pursuing. Learn to labor and to wait.” We shall remember her, not so much for her many words, as for the numberless little deeds of kindness that her life was literally crowded with. She seemed to realize that her time was drawing short, for each day before she took her bed, was crowded more and more with loving kindnesses and tender ministrations.

Rich and poor, high and low, white and black visited her during her last illness; looked fondly upon her sweet face, breathed a prayer for her recovery and begged that they might so something for her. It was merely reflexaction, for had she not been the busiest soul in Oxford looking after the welfare of her friends and acquaintances.

She was almost a life long member of the Methodist Church and she supported her church too; and stood back of her minister in every good work. She leaves to mourn her loss one daughter, Mrs. J.E. Jackson of Sanford, Fla.; and two sons, E.L. and L.F. Smith of Oxford; several grand children and two great grand children.

The smile on Grand Ma’s face, cold in death, seemed to portray –

“Sunset and evening star and one clear call for me.
And may there be no mourning of the bar,
When I put out to sea.
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound or foam.
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bells and after that the dark,
And may there be no sadness of farewells
When I embark.
For though from out our bourne of time and place.
The flood may bear me far.
I hope to see my Pilot face to face,
When I have crossed the bar.”

A.L.C.

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[THE FOLLOWING MEMORIAL APPEARED JUST BELOW AND ADJACENT TO THE OBITUARY.]

In Memoriam

It is with deep sorry that the Granville Grays Chapter of the daughters of the Confederacy, records the death of Mrs. Caroline Crews Smith, an honorary member, who passed into Paradise on February ninth at the home of her son, E. L. Smith. She had been a member of the Chapter for years and loved “the Cause” for which it stood.

Her warm-hearted character and sweet modesty showed itself in her loyalty in every work undertaken by the Chapter. She knew the horrors of war and the greater hardships of reconstruction. Her patriotism never failed in war or peace and she ever kept sacred the memory of the dead, extending sympathy and help to the living.

Born of an old and prominent family, reared amid surroundings of affluence and ease, her girlhood environment suggested the setting which we associate with the antebellum life of the Old South. She lived to be eighty-two but old age never came neigh her, to the day of her last illness she was alive to her finger tips and crowned with many flowers, she passed into the beyond to hear her Master’s welcome plaudit, “Well Done.”

Piety and consecration to her church and her Master, best illustrated in human kindness and charity to her loved ones and neighbors, were her chief characteristics and her cheerful, unselfish, happy personality radiated sunshine, warming her many friends who loved her dearly.

And now that our Heavenly Father in His infinite wisdom and love has called to Himself in glory our beloved member, be it resolved:

First. That we as members of the Granville Grays Chapter, Daughters of the Confederacy, express our sorrow in the loss of so sweet and and gentle a member and will ever cherish with grateful remembrance her unselfish inspiration and help.

Second. That the loving sympathy of the Chapter be extended to her bereaved family.

Third. That a copy of these Resolutions be sent her family, the Public Ledger and a copy be spread upon the records of the Chapter.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeannette E. Biggs,

Elizabeth Floyd,

Mrs. E. G. Moss

Committee.

 

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THE FOLLOWING TRANSCRIPTION IS FROM A CLIPPING OF A DEATH NOTICE FOR CAROLINE CREWS SMITH. THE CLIPPING IS A FRAGMENT, UNDATED, AND THE PAPER IN WHICH IT APPEARED IS UNIDENTIFIED.

Death Lays Claim To Mrs. Caroline Smith

Deceased Was 82 Years Old and Was Taken Sick With Pneumonia Several Days Ago

Death claimed the life of Mrs Caroline Smith yesterday afternoon shortly before 5:00 o’clock at the home of her son, E. L. Smith, on Gilliam street. She was in the 82nd year of her life.

Mrs. Smith was the oldest living member of the Oxford Methodist church. She was a devout Christian and she was known in the community for the many kind deeds of her life. Her real love and work in the Kingdom was the Missionary Society of which she was always active.

Funeral services will be conducted this afternoon at 3:00 o’clock from the Oxford Methodist church with services conducted by her pastor, Rev. E. J. Rees, assisted by Rev. Reuben Meredith of St. Stephens Episcopal church; Rev. B. W. Lacy, of the Oxford Presbyterian church; Rev. B. D. Critcher, of the Oxford Methodist Circuit and Rev. W. D. Poe, of Hester and Enon churches. Interment will be in Elmwood cemetery.

The deceased is survived by the following brothers: A. A. Crews of Oxford and L. L. Crews of Selma [“Selma” is a typo. It should read “Thelma”] and three children: E. L. Smith and L. F. Smith, of Oxford and Mrs. J. E. Jackson, of Sanford, Fla.

Following are the active pallbearers: F. F. Lyon, Sam Averette, O. B. Breedlove, S. R. Abernathy, C. W. Bryan, J. M. Baird, J. H. L. Myers and Will Landis.

Honorary pallbearers: Dick Crews, I. H. Davis, F. B. Blalock, C. B. Keller, Dr. S. J. Finch, C. G. Powell, J. S. Bradsher, Sr., John Floyd Ernest Jones, Gibbons Renn, G. W. Regan, William Medford, W. T. Yancy, J. E. Davis, W. P. Stradley, Earnest Dean, D. K. Taylor, Pete Bullock, C. G. Credle, W. B. Crews, Jim Dean, J. M. Blalock, A. W. Graham, W. H. Jeffries…

[The remainder of the article is missing.]

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THE FOLLOWING IS A FAITHFUL TRANSCRIPTION OF A NEWSPAPER CLIPPING FRAGMENT, WHICH PRESUMABLY APPEARED IN THE OXFORD PUBLIC LEDGER. THE CLIPPING IS NUMBERED “VOLUME 16, NUMBER 33”, OTHERWISE UNDATED.

A Tribute To A Good And Useful Life

(Composed and read by Mrs. J. Y. Crews at Shady Grove Church on Mars. Caroline Smith’s eighty-first birthday.)

It is indeed delightful to have with us on these sacred grounds today, one of the most consecrated, most beloved members of Shady Grove Church: none other than Grand Ma Smith!

She is so active, so interested in life, we find it hard to realize that tomorrow, the 10th of August, 1929, will mark her eighty-first birthday: she has been a member of this Church for the past 66 years: and such an enviable record her life has been, for she has fully measured up to the standard of the good woman referred to in the….

(The remainder of the article is missing.)


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.


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