Early Settlers of Union
Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Family Households in Union Listed in 1834 Census
the 1834 Union
County census for
settlers, I discovered eight families with the surname Crow. These were, as listed from the census, with
numbers following the names indicative of count of males (first) and
females (second) recorded in each family when the census was finished
on March 24, 1834.
William L. Crow 3 – 4
John L. Crow 3 – 4
Isaac (?) Crow 2 – 2
Peter Crow 2 – 1
James Crow 4 – 4
John Crow 4 – 4
William Crow 2 – 3
Thomas Crow 3 – 4
The total count of Crow residents in
1834 numbered 23 males and 26 females.
Out of a population of 903 registered in the census, these 49
with the same family surname definitely represented a goodly proportion
citizenship of the county.
With my curiosity thoroughly whetted,
I went next to the Marriage Records of
Union County, Georgia, 1833-1897,
handy printed reference book that serves me well when I need to look up
information. Thinking I would find many
marriages of Crow citizens, I was disappointed to find only these
Crow, Clarinda S. to Alfred
Nicholson on May
26, 1872 by Charles
Crow, Millisa to Jeremiah Kittle
on Dec. 23, 1841
by J. M.
Crow, Thomas to Elizabeth Logan
on Sept. 23, 1837
by John Martin,
For those wondering about the abbreviations following the
officers’ names, MG is Minister of the Gospel; JP is Justice of the
JIC is Justice of the Inferior
have three marriages registered from Crow family members over a period
sixty-four years of county records, especially with the forty-nine
in the county in 1834, seemed a bit strange to me.
Did they not register marriages?
I thought, perhaps some of the Crow families were Indians, since all
of Native Americans had not occurred when the first census was taken. Crow sounded a bit like an Indian name, such
as Chief Crow, perhaps.
My next tool was the excellent book, Cemeteries
of Union County, Georgia
(c1990). I searched for Crow entries in
the book and the cemeteries where interred.
Again, I found only three entries of marked graves of Crow
members in comparison to the number who were registered in the 1834
census. Another question was raised by
discovered in the cemetery book listing.
Here is what I found:
Crow, E. A. - b. 1835, died 1841,
Choestoe 1 Cemetery
Crow, Francis M., - no birth date,
died August 20, 1841,
Choestoe 1 Cemetery
*Crow Indian Children, no birth or
death dates, buried Indian 1 Cemetery.
I proceeded to look up the
section in the book and read this explanation:
“Two graves about 100 yards above the Roy Townsend residence in
District are said to be those of Indian children. The
Indian family name was Crow. This story
has been handed down from older
generations from the Pre-Civil War years.” (p. 249).
only if containing two graves and those of children, seemed to support
my theory that some of the Crow families listed in the 1834 census
therefore, have been Native Americans—Cherokee Indians.
That took me on a search for Crow as
an Indian name. I found another
surprising fact. Crows are a western
states Indian group. Crow is a tribal name, a break-off from the Sioux
Hidatsa Group native to the Missouri
River region of America.
When the Crow broke from the Sioux, the Crow
tribe went westward mainly to the Rocky Mountains
area of Colorado. So if any Indian families had the name Crow
in Union County, Georgia they were likely
name due to their raven hair or characteristics considered appropriate
Looking up the origin of the surname
Crow and Crowe, I discovered that it is Anglo-Saxon in origin, an
name, with characteristics resembling a crow, having to do more with
traits than appearance, although the early Crow families may have had
black hair. As early as 1100, Crow
families lived in Norfolk
in East England.
Ailwin Crowe in 1180 was on the “Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire” England. He lived from 1154-1189, and was known as a
“Builder of churches.” The first Crow I
found migrating to the Southern colonies was Adam Crow, age 19, who
ship “Thomas” and landed in Virginia
in 1635. Adam was followed the next
year, 1636, by Henry Crow who also settled in Virginia.
Adam and Henry were probably the progenitors of the Southern
families that migrated to North and South Carolina and into North Georgia. Others
listed in the northern colonies were
William Crow who arrived in Plymouth Colony in the early 1620s and John
Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1630.
One of the Crow men in early Union County
served as a public officer. The first
county officers were installed on March 20, 1833 when the county was a
more than three months old (founded Dec. 3, 1832).
These were, according to the marker on the old courthouse square: James Crow – Sheriff; Arthur Gilbert – Clerk
of Superior Court; Joseph Jackson – Clerk of Inferior Court; James
– Coroner; and Joseph Chaffin – Surveyor.
John Thomas was the representative to the Georgia Legislature
been the one to suggest Union as the
the new county, stating, “There are none but Union men there.”
Jones; published Aug. 20, 2009 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville,
Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian.
She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org;
phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708
Updated October 4,
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