When I was fortunate enough to have my James Crawford research analyzed, I was told that the answer to my brick wall was likely in my files. And it may be — but I haven’t discovered it yet. However, while digging thru my files to document a lineage of a 4th cousin, I came across a photocopy of a letter that he had sent me in 1997 that helps support our contention that he descends from Nelson G. Crawford.
This letter was written by Nelson’s oldest son, James H. Crawford to his nephew William Clay Crawford. Below is my cousin’s transcription of the letter:
Dodge City, Kansas, Mah 29, 1907James H. Crawford, (Dodge City, Kansas) to nephew (William C. Crawford), letter, 1907; Crawford Family papers, privately held by James Paul Crawford. , Colorado, 2022. photocopy sent to Marcia Crawford Philbrick.
Dear nephew, (William Clay Crawford) 963
Your ????? to. lland. I am glad to hear from you. Your Grandfather Crawford lived to be 56. Died with colic. Your Grandmother died about the same age with typhoid. From your Great Grandfather Crawford lived until the age of 72 and died with sunstroke. Your Great Grandmother Crawford lived 78-don’ t remember what caused here death. Your Grandparents were born in Ohio and died in Warren County, Indiana (W. Lebanon?). Your Great Grandparents moved from Kentucky and died in southern Ohio. Your Great great grandparents came from Scotland and are buried in Kentucky not far from Lexington. You are of a strong hearty people and ought to live to be an old man with proper care of your heal th. I am in only tolerable health myself. I am muscular paralysis. Will stop off and see you and family and next time I am through if possible. Kindly regards to your family.
From your affectionate uncle,
( James H. Crawford)
So who are the grandparents and great-grandparents referred to in the letter?
- Grandfather: Nelson G. Crawford (1808-1864) – aged 56 when he died / born Ohio / died Warren County IN
- Grandmother: Marth (Smith) Crawford (1815-1871)- aged 56 when she died
- Great-grandfather: James Crawford (1772-1854) – aged 82 when he died / married Garrard County KY / died Preble County, OH
- Great-grandmother: Sally (Smith) Crawford (1770-1856) – aged 86 when she died / married Garrard County KY / died Preble County OH
- Great-Great Grandparents – ?
Even though I don’t know the identity of James Crawford’s parents, there are two clues in the letter:
- Came from Scotland
- Buried near Lexington, Kentucky
While these statements are likely based on ‘family stories’ passed down, there could be some truth to them. yDNA results do suggest a link to Scotland. Whether or not the immigrant was William C Crawford’s great-great-grandfather or an earlier generation is debatable.
In terms of the burial near Lexington, more research will need to be done. However, it is possible that William’s great-great grandmother was buried near Lexington.
- William Crawford’s great-grandfather, James Crawford was married in Garrard County, KY in 1799.
- Early tax lists for Garrard County, KY include Mary Crawford who owned land on Sugar Creek in Garrard County. While no evidence has been found to link Mary to James, it is possible she is the mother of James Crawford.
- In 1793, Mary Crawford marries Alexander Moore.
- In 1797, Mary and Alexander Moore sell the land on Sugar Creek.
- In 1800, 1810 and 1820, Alexander Moore is shown on census records in Fleming County, KY (think near Lexington)
- In 1826, Alexander Moore marries Eleanor Wood suggesting that Mary Crawford has died. Thus, Mary Crawford Moore was likely buried in Fleming County, KY