We’re all pretty familiar with the term, “Fake News.” But, have you thought of that term in relation to your genealogy research?
While digging thru my genealogy bookshelf, I came across a book that I purchased quite a few years ago called Crawford Family History. This book was published in 1973 by the American Genealogical Research Institute.
Within that book, is a chapter on ‘Ancestral Emigrants.’ On pages 31-32 of the book is the following statement:
“For a start, if your ancestors immigrated in or prior to 1800, the chances are good that you need look no further. The listing which follows contains all known recorded immigrants of the Crawford family for that time frame.”
On page 33, there is a list of Crawford immigrants:
- Aaron Crawford: born 1680; emigrated from Tyrone, Ireland to Rutland, Massachusetts, in the spring of 1713, children were Samuel, John and Alexander.
- Daniel Crawford: transported from Newgate Prison to Maryland n board the ship Patapscoe on 17 March 1728; indentured servant.
- Henry Crawford: emigrated from Paisley, Scotland, to New York on board the ship Matty on May 1774, aged 25; weaver.
- James Crawford: emigrated from England to Maryland in January 1711/12; clerk.
- James Crawford: emigrated from Londonderry, Ireland, to Newton, Massachusetts, around 1730; later moved to Union, Connecticut; married to Elizabeth Campbell; children were Margaret and Robert.
- John Crawford; born 1600, died 1676; emigrated from Ayrshire, Scotland, to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1643; killed during Bacon’s Rebellion.
- John Crawford: transported from Newgate Prison to Maryland on board the ship Margarett on 11 May 1719; indentured servant.
- John Crawford: emigrated from Paisley, Scotland, to New York on board the ship Commerce in February 1774, aged 35; weaver; married to Margaret ——; chilren were Lawrence, Margaret, and John.
- Robert Crawford: emigrated from Bristol, England, to Maryland in February 1774, aged 22; rope maker,; indentured servant.
- Robert Crawford: emigrated from Scotland to Georgia on board the ship Georgia Packet in September 1775, aged 16; yeoman.
- Thomas Crawford; emigrated from England to Maryland in January 1703/04; clerk.
- Thomas Crawford; transported from Newgate Prison to Maryland on board either the ship Speedwell or the ship Mediterranean on 21 April 1741; indentured servant.
- William Crawford; immigrated to Virginia in 1648
- William Crawford; also known as John Cole; transported from Newgate Prison to Maryland on bard the ship Worcester Frigate on 20 February 1718/19; indentured servant
I would love for this to be true, but that would imply that tracing the descendants of these men along with our ancestors would lead to a connection. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make such a connection with any of my Crawford research.
While checking for more information on any of these Crawford immigrant, I looked at the book, Early Ancestors of the Crawfords in America on archive.org. That book has a chapter called The Great Immigration. This book implies that there were many more immigrants than those identified in the Crawford Family History book.
page 38 – The Great Immigration
Before 1718 there were some settlers in America from Scotland and a few Scotch from Ulster. After the civil was in England in the time of Charles I, a considerable number of Scotch prisoners of war were sent to the American colonies and sold into service.
There was a settlement of Scotch-Irish on the coast of Main as early as 1670 which was afterward dispersed by the Indians.
The great immigration from Ulster came in 1718 and
the following quarter century, when, it has been estimated,
one-third of the Scotch population left home and migrated
to America. No doubt this exodus from Donegal and
Derry stimulated the same action among the people of
Scotland. In 1718 a petition signed by three hundred and
eleven persons of North Ireland was addressed to Governor
Shute of New England.
The signatures attached to this petition are arranged
in eight columns but, unfortunately, the residences are not
given. Among them is the name of James Crawford
During the year 1718, several shiploads of the Scotch-
Irish signers of that petition and their friends and neighbors
emigrated to America. Five shiploads landed in Boston;
so many, in fact, invaded the town that the officials
were greatly disturbed. During the late summer and
autumn, from five hundred to seven hundred Scotch-Irish
protestants entered the port of Boston. They were not
very welcome, although Cotton Mather and his church,
with other clergymen, in spite of the stiff Presbyterianism
of the newcomers, did all they could to make them comfortable.
Indeed, in this immigration Mather saw a great
opportunity for the spread of the Gospel. The town authorized
the selectmen to spend an amount not exceeding
£1500, which the town then had on hand, for food. The
town “Granarys” were opened and corn sold to prevent
profiteering, yet the price of grain doubled during the
winter of 1718-19. With the coming of spring these people
were pushed out as rapidly as possible among the frontier
towns, especially in Worcester County.
During the next ten years many more came. The central
towns of Massachusetts and the northern towns of Connecticut,
the middle portion of New Hampshire, and parts
of Maine were largely settled by North-of-Ireland Scotch
people. Large numbers of them also went to Pennsylvania,
Virginia, and the Carolinas.
The Scotch-Irish in Northern Ireland and the American
Colonies (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1936), by
Maude Glasgow, is a vigorous presentation of the subject,
if somewhat partisan, and shows evidence of much research
into original sources. Somewhat more than half
of the book is devoted to the history of the Scotch in
Ireland and the remainder to the Scotch-Irish in America.
The history of Ireland, especially during the seventeenth
century, is a highly controversial subject. The point of
view of the author, whether Catholic, Presbyterian, or
Church of England, too often is allowed to determine the
selection of and the emphasis put upon historical sources.
But it must be admitted on all sides that the sufferings of
the Scotch inhabitants of Ulster, particularly during the
troubles of 1641 and 1689, were such as to be now almost
James Crawford, the writer’s first American ancestor,
married Elizabeth Campbell, daughter of George Campbell
of Londonderry. Her grandmother, then a little girl,
was living with her parents in Londonderry. During the
rebellion of 1641 the enemy came in the night, burned
the house, and killed her father and motherr She escaped
from the chamber window in her night clothes and was
the only one of her family saved from death. She wandered
in the fields and bogs for days, living on roots. While
wandering alone she saw a “company of murderers” and
took refuge under a bridge over which they passed. Finally
she was found and cared for by friends. Elizabeth’s sister,
Margaret, married Hugh Crawford, a nephew of James.
It was she, when an old lady, who told her grandson,
Honorable Ingoldsby Work Crawford, of Union, Connecticut,
then a little boy, the story of her grandmother’s
sad and terrible experience in that awful time. Neither of
these fine old grandmothers hesitated to state with the
utmost frankness who the enemy were.
The early migrants from Ulster were mostly from the
Counties of Donegal, Londonderry, and Tyrone, with
some few from Down and Fermanagh. The ships sailed
largely from the northern ports — Londonderry, Belfast,
Donegal, and Coleraine.
Among the Crawfords of that day there were: —
Hugh of Donegal, among whose descendants were men of
ability in Ireland, Canada, and South Africa
Robert, descendants at Sparmount
Aaron, Coppy (Coppagh), settled in Rutland, Massachusetts
Moses, Enniskillen, died on voyage, son James settled in New
York, Crawford County
John, Castle Dawson, sailor, died in Boston
Alexander, settled in Oakham, Massachusetts
John, born in Donegore
Oliver, born in Donagheady
Thomas, born in Belfast
Thomas, born in Belfast
William, born in Omagh
(The last five all settled in Worcester County, Massachusetts.)
John, who came to Boston in 1732; his family died out in the
third generation, except son Hugh
James, his brother, Londonderry, ancestor of the Vermont
Hugh (John’s son), ancestor of the Connecticut Crawfords
Daniel, pew-holder in church at Charleston, South Carolina
Archibald, ruling elder, Ballycarry
John, same, Donegore (may be above John)
Malcolm, same, Donegore
Oliver, same, Donaghaddy (see above)
Robert, same, Carrickfergus
Thomas, merchant at Belfast (see above)
Thomas, ruling elder, Belfast (see above)
William, commissioner at Belfast
William, ruling elder, Omagh (see above).
William, same, in Brigh
There was a Crawford, first name unknown, at Merrymeeting
Bay, Maine, birthplace unknown.
It may be interesting to note that there are towns called
“Crawford” in the following States: Colorado, Georgia,
Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio,
Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington; and towns called
“Crawfordsville” in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana,
and Oregon. There are also eighteen counties in the
United States named “Crawford.”
The FamilySearch tree also supports a number of Crawford immigrants. I did a search for David Crawford born 1625 in Scotland and dying 1704 in Virginia setting the birthplace and deathplace to exact. That produced a list of over 60 people with the Crawford surname who were born in Scotland and died in Virginia.
While it is fairly obvious that the information in the Crawford Family History book is inaccurate, it is also obvious that I’m still not close to figuring out my Crawford lineage.