CRAWFORD GENEALOGY


A Crawford Family
of Wiregrass Georgia and Florida
by
Dale M. Crawford
19 Rue Calais
Kenner, Louisiana 70065-2010
[504] 467-7028
11 December 1991
Copyright 1991
published serially in the 1993 issues of Georgia Genealogical Magazine

Dedication

This genealogy of the Crawford family is dedicated to the man who gave me my interest in this Crawford family as well as my Crawford name: my father, Odom Millard Crawford of Jacksonville, Florida. My father is a son of Thomas Aaron Crawford, who was a son of John C. Crawford.

The Crawford family of this article is a large family that is currently concentrated in the Wiregrass region of southeastern Georgia and northeastern Florida. Individual members reside throughout the United States. Other branches of this family undoubtedly exist, but are not yet known to the author. There appears to be little written on this family, and there are mistakes in the material that is written on this family. This article is intended to address this lack of published information and to stimulate interest in this family so that answers to the questions may become known. The organization of this article will follow the line of the author's enquiry into this family. This organization, perhaps unusual for an article in genealogical research, aids significantly in clarifying what is and isn't known about this family. The enquiry initially concentrated on the branch of the Crawford family that settled in Baker and Bradford counties in northeastern Florida. The author is a member of this branch of the family. The goals of the enquiry were and are to identify the immigrant Crawford who originated the family in this country, approximately when he arrived, and his country of origin. While this goal remains unchanged, it has not yet been met, and enough research has been completed to suggest that achieving the goal will be a long and arduous process.

What was Known from Family Traditions

Prior to beginning research, a number of the older members of the family were contacted in order to learn as much as possible about what was known. This information is summarized in this section. There is a family tradition that this Crawford family is of Scotch-Irish descent, and that the family moved into Georgia from Virginia through the Carolinas. There is also a family tradition of a group of several brothers who together were believed to make up an earlier generation of the family. The author's great-grandfather was John C. Crawford, who was born somewhere in Georgia and who died in Baker County, Florida. On the back of an old photograph of John C. Crawford in the possession of the author's father is the handwritten annotation, "John C. Crawford 1834-1912", accompanied by no other information. Based on this note, John C. Crawford was believed to have been born in 1834 and to have died in 1912. John C. Crawford was a farmer throughout his adult life, and was a Primitive Baptist minister for some part of his life. He was married to Elizabeth Roberts, and they were the parents of a large family, with nine children whose names and birth dates were known through family records. There was also a memory that John C. Crawford had a child named Harly or Harlan by an earlier marriage.
The Beginning of the Search

Research located John C. Crawford in census records. In 1860, he lived in Pierce County, Georgia [53, p. 1022]. By 1870, he had moved to Charlton County, Georgia [54, p. 25] . By 1880, he had moved to Baker County, Florida, where he can be found in the 1880 U. S. and the 1885 Florida censuses of Baker County [55, 58]. In the 1860 census of Pierce County, John C. Crawford is listed as a farmer with a spouse named Mariann and a son named Harly of age one year. This marriage is evidently his first marriage. The 1870 census of Charlton County, Georgia, finds John C. Crawford listed as a farmer of age 34, along with his wife, Elizabeth, 30, and children Harly, 12, Thomas, 3, Alice, 2, and Nirum, 5/12. Apparently, his first wife, Mariann, died sometime between 1860 and 1865. John C. Crawford then married Elizabeth Roberts in about 1865, and she gave birth to their first child, Thomas Aaron[the author's grandfather], on 12 October, 1866. In the 1880 census of Baker County, Florida, the family was found to consist at that time of John C. Crawford, a farmer of age 43, Elizabeth Crawford, age 39, and eight children. The eight children and their ages were: Thomas Aaron [14], Alice [12], James C. [10], Niram [10], George [8], Gideon [6], Jefferson [4], Ruebin[ 3], and John [4 months]. Note that the child, James, appearing in this census, did not appear in the 1870 Census, nor do any of the family's records or remembrances include James. The son, James, appears to be an error, or, perhaps a visiting nephew or cousin, for he is otherwise unexplainable. John C. Crawford, Elizabeth Crawford and the first seven children were listed as having been born in Georgia. The eighth child [John] was born in Florida. In this census, John C. Crawford lists the birthplace of his parents as Georgia. Another source [31] says that John C. Crawford was pastor of the Emmaus Primitive Baptist Church in 1880. This church is located in the "Big Bend" section of Charlton County, Georgia, about five miles below Saint George. This location would be a short distance across the St. Mary's River from Baker County, Florida. In the 1885 State Census of Baker County, Florida, the family is shown without the questionable son, James C., but with the addition of a young daughter, Martha, age 1. In this census, John C. Crawford lists his occupation for the first time as "Minister of the Gospel". In the 1910 census of Baker County [59], John C. and Elizabeth Crawford were living with their son, Niram. John C. was shown as age 73, and he reported that he had been married twice, was born in Georgia, was a veteran of Confederate service, and again listed Georgia as the birthplace of both his mother and father. Elizabeth reported that she was 71, was born in Georgia, and that she had borne nine children. This statement by Elizabeth Crawford that she had borne nine children provides additional support for excluding as her child, James C., a child who was included among her children in the 1880 census, but who appears nowhere else in family records or remembrances.

TABLE 1
THE CHILDREN OF JOHN C. AND ELIZABETH CRAWFORD
TABLE 2
AN HYPOTHESIS ABOUT THE CHILDREN OF GIDEON CRAWFORD AND SARAH BURGESS
TABLE 3
MENTIONS OF VARIOUS CRAWFORDS IN EFFINGHAM COUNTY AREA RECORDS (1769-1812)
TABLE 4
VARIOUS NAMES OF MALE CRAWFORDS WITH DATES OF MENTION IN EFFINGHAM COUNTY, GEORGIA
TABLE 5
ASSOCIATES OF THE CRAWFORDS IN EFFINGHAM COUNTY
TABLE 6
LAND WARRANTS AND GRANTS BASED ON HEAD RIGHTS MADE TO EFFINGHAM COUNTY CRAWFORDS
TABLE 7
CHILDREN OF JOHN AND PRISCILLA CRAWFORD

PRISCILLA MULLADY

SOURCE MATERIALS


DALE CRAWFORD
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