The Crawfords Of Adams County, Ohio

Extracts for the book of this name by  H. Marjorie Crawford Ph.D.

Published 1976


"There are descendents of four separate Crawford families living in Adams County, Ohio. " pg. 1

"Perhaps the four Crawford families in Adams County could be connected through one original ancestor if we were able to trace them back through England and Ireland to their original in Scotland. The name Crawford is of Scottish origin and is said to have meant  'Bloody Crossing' as the Crawfords were a warlike clan.

(1st family) Oliver Crawford came to western Pennsylvania about 1768 and established the first ferry across the Monongahela river at the mouth of Muddy Creek.

This family came to Ohio in the early 1800s and the two Thoroman families stayed in Adams Co. Some of the others went to Brown County and to Warren County.  Oliver Crawford died in Brown County and Hugh Crawford also died in Brown County.

(2nd family) Shortly after the end of the Revolutionary War, Lieutenant John Crawford sold the family farm in Fayette County, PA and settled on Iron Ridge, overlooking the Ohio River at the mouth of Brush Creek. He was the only son of Colonel William Crawford who was burned at the stake by the Indians in Sandusky County in 1782. John Crawford had married Frances Bradford in PA and they had seven Children.

(3rd family) the third group of Crawfords came originally from England. Rev. William Crawford was the pastor of the M.E. Church in West Union, Ohio from 1828 to 1830 and in Winchester, Ohio in 1832. He married Mary Fenton and they had five daughters and one son.

Our family was the last to arrive in Adams County. Although the details of their arrival will be found in the descriptions of the individual people, the story of their coming is interesting enough to warrant a brief description here.

In the early 1800s living conditions in Ireland became very difficult and emigration to the United States was increasing rapidly. Rents and taxes were high and tenant farmers could barely make enough to keep their families alive, even before the potato famine of 1845-46. Farmers in Ulster, (the Northern counties of Ireland) were more likely to own their own small farms, but even they were not too prosperous and were subject to a considerable amount of religious persecution. One student of the causes of emigration says that these 'farmers and their children provided most of that superior emigration with capital which disturbed the Irish Press at intervals between those years' (1815 - 1841). (William Forbes Adams, 'Ireland and Irish emigration to the New World' Yale University Press. 1932) 'They alone of the Irish had the ability and enterprise to push into the new lands of the Ohio and Mississippi  valleys, and took their place with American, English, Scottish and German settlers in building the agricultural West'. These early Irish emigrants were 'essentially British or Scottish in blood, Protestant, accustomed to some degree of self-government and to the English language, and easily absorbed into American life'. before the great migrations which followed the total destruction of the potato crops of 1845 and 1846, 'the careful, plodding Ulster farmer had given way to a mercurial creature who was almost as ignorant of the new world into which he had come as an insect released from the chrysalis'.

Whatever the causes back of the emigration of the first members of our family, we know that they must have been fairly prosperous for the fares and provisions for such a trip must have been costly. Some of them had attended private schools and one had been a schoolmaster in Ireland and later taught school in Ohio.

On August 3, 1817 Samuel Crawford and his brother-in-law Samuel McClung landed in Philadelphia. After a short time Samuel Crawford sent Samuel McClung back to Ireland to get his wife, Mary McClung Crawford and their three children. They arrived in the United States about 1818, stayed for a time with Fanny Crawford Walker in PA, then moved to Virginia and in 1825 came to Adams County. Nancy Crawford Lindsay was living in new York by 1824 and later moved to Ohio. Mattie Crawford Noble and her family were living in PA before 1840. The date of arrival of Betty Crawford Flemming is not known. Andrew Crawford came either in 1817 or 1818 with Samuel's family. In 1839 Andrew went back to Ireland, married a young girl and told so much about America that he got quite a crowd to come back with him. In fact, his father, two brothers, a sister and all of their families came back with him in 1840. They left Ireland in April 1840 on the ship 'Napier' and landed in Philadelphia may 19, 1840 after a stormy crossing which took six weeks and three days. I say the ships list at the Custom house in Philadelphia and now have a copy of it, written by the Master of the Ship, John Sanford.

Report of Passengers on board the ship Napier whereof John L. Sanford is Master, arrived at the Port of Philadelphia on the 19 day of May 1840 from Liverpool.

Robert Crawford age 65 farmer
Robert Crawford age 34
Mrs. Crawford age 32
John Crawford age 1
Andrew Crawford age 11
William Crawford age 9
Mary Ann Crawford age 6
Robert Crawford age 5
Samuel Crawford age 3

Andrew Crawford age 30
Jane Crawford age 22

John Crawford age 45    Farmer
Jane Crawford age 42
Samuel Crawford age 21
George Crawford age 19
Robert Crawford age 15
Jane Crawford age 12
Andrew Crawford age 10
Ann Crawford age 8
Margaret Crawford age 6
William Crawford age 4
Noble Crawford age 2 (died on the passage)

Robert McFeeter age 60
Margaret (Crawford) McFeeter age 54
John McFeeter age 22
Christian McFeeter age 20
Robert McFeeter age 18
Ann McFeeter age 16
Samuel McFeeter age 12

Archibald Vaughn age 25  Farmer
Eliza (Crawford) Vaughn age 22
Rebecca Vaughn age 3
Margaret Vaughn age 1

These 34 Crawfords made up 18% of the 183 passengers on th Napier. The price paid for the passage at that time included only transportation, water and wood. They had to bring along all their own food (for 34 people for six weeks) and cook over an open fire on deck. The waves often washed over the deck and put out the fires. Most of them were sea sick and the few who were not 'flipped the flapjacks' for the whole group. Little six year old Margaret had smallpox and her little brother Noble died and was buried at sea - by night, so that his mother would not see it. 

I have heard the story that on the stormy crossing when it seemed that the ship would be lost, old Robert Crawford prayed for safe passage for his family and promised the Lord that if He got them safely to America, he would never bother Him again. The story goes on, that since they got here safely, Robert Crawford kept his promise.

They went directly to Adams County where Samuel and Andres were already established. some of them settled on farms and others worked at the various iron foundries at Steam Furnace, Scioto Furnace, Etc.

pages 1-8, The Crawfords of Adams County, by H. Margaret Crawford Ph.D.  self-published 1976