The following Journal of Rev. David Irving Craig was downloaded from
firstname.lastname@example.org thru the kind donation of the material by email@example.com. Due to the size of the complete document, it
was downloaded in several parts. I reassembled and formatted the document for my own convenience. I have also highlighted the surname
Blackwood in bold characters for my convenience. Rev. Craig had cross-referenced names or events in several places in his original typed
version by citing page numbers. In converting the text for electronic media and re-printing after downloading, his page numbering was
inadvertently changed. I did not attempt to make the cross-references compatible with the new format. However I did insert an occasional
reminder that the cited pages may not be in their original place.
I hope that others find David Irving Craig's Journal interesting and
This Book Is most affectionately Dedicated to my Dear Children and
Reidsville, N. C. D. I. Craig January 6, 1899
In making my Will (Jan 1915), I did not designate this Book. I would suggest that my Son Carl be the custodian of this Book.
D. I. Craig
I have always entertained very little respect for the man or woman who neither knows nor cares to know who their ancestors were.
When God said in Covenants Promise, "I will be a God and Father
unto thee, and to thy seed after thee", he certainly expected us to know
who our Father's were, else we certainly could not know that His promises were true.
I have always taken the deepest interest in this subject, and
for the sake of my own personal satisfaction, and for the sake of my Children and Posterity, I propose to write in this little Book what I
know of the origin and history of my Ancestors.
Therefore, to my dear and beloved, and loving Children and to
their posterity, this book is most affectionately dedicated by their devoted Father.
D. I. Craig
Reidsville, N. C.
January 6th, 1899
The original home of the Craig's was Scotland. There are hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of Craig's in Scotland today. The name
is old in Scotland.
It is a fact worthy of note, that the famous "Solemn League and
Covenant", or the first "National Covenant of Scotland", of which the whole world has heard, and which has been the foundation of religious
and civil liberty all over the world - this famous document was first framed and written by John Craig of Scotland. It was first called
"Craigs Confession". It was signed by the people in 1557. It was signed by King James and his household in 1581. It was enlarged and
signed again in 1588. It was again enlarged and resigned in 1638. It now consisted of three parts:
(1) The old Covenant by John Craig
(2) The enlarged edition by Mr. Johnston
(3) The again enlarged and revised edition by Alex Henderson.
This last edition was adopted and signed in 1642 by the English Parliament, and in the same year (1642) by the Westminster Divines.
Thus it seems to me that the Standards and Symbols of the Presbyterian Church had their origin with John Craig.
Whether my ancestors, in the far back, were in anywise connected
with this man, I cannot say; but it is certain that they were Scotch, and they always spurned the slightest intimation that they were Irish,
notwithstanding the fact that they came direct to America from Ireland.
Sometime during the 17th Century, our family of Craig's, with many others, were either transferred or banished from Scotland to
Ireland. But just when this occurred, or where they lived in Ireland, I
am unable to say. Probably their home was in North Ireland. The names of Coleraine and Londonderry and Ulster were familiar to me as a child,
having often heard the old people speak these names. And yet, I am almost sure that they embarked from Ireland at Cork, where they left for
America, at least, that is the tradition I have received.
I have never been able to find a scrap of paper or any mark or
positive evidence to tell me where the Craig's lived in Ireland. I have
often heard that my Great-Grandfather, James Craig, received letters from Ireland, and he was importuned to return with the promise of those
writing to him, that they would "make a man of him" in the way of wealth. The reason why he was written to and not his elder brothers,
was explained on the ground that he bore the family name of "James" through whom the property must descend according to the laws or customs
of Ireland. I suppose his Grandfather's name was James, and I was told that he greatly desired to return in answer to the letters, but that his
wife was violently opposed to his ever crossing the sea again, as it meant weary weeks or months on the sea, and attended with great dangers
and hardships. No trace of these letters can now be found.
In September, 1898, I received a letter from Miss Anna M. Craig
of "Marine Parade Hollywood" - "Belfast" -Ireland. She is a daughter of
Rev. William Craig, a Presbyterian Minister. She speaks of the county of "Antrim" as a house of the Craig's, and of many of them being buried
in the Churchyard of "Ahoghill". She sends me a Chart or Tree of her family which I append to this Book - but I cannot connect the Tree to
our original ancestor, William Craig, who must have been born not far from 1700, or most probably some years before 1700. It might be
possible that he was an elder brother of the James Craig who stands at the head of this Tree.
It is altogether probable that one or two generations of our
Craig's were born and reared in Ireland before coming to this country; for it is certain that some of the old Scotch Craig's married Irish
It would be a matter of profound joy to me, if I knew the
ancient home and history of my people in the old world, but I suppose this will always be denied me. All that I do know is from dim and
shadowy traditions, which have been handed down from generation to generation: Namely - That they were a suffering and persecuted people
in Scotland: That their persecutions were on account of their religious
principles: That for some cause they were either transferred or banished to Ireland: That in Ireland they suffered untold hardships and
trials: And that all these trails were laid at the door of Popery.
As an evidence that these traditions are absolute facts, I now
have in my possession many old Books which were brought by my Ancestors from the old world to this Country. These Books are
Presbyterian, "to the very core", such as the "Solemn League and Covenant", "The
Touchstone of Sincerity" by Flasel, "The Cabinet of Jesus Sermons", and "Catechisms and the Confession of Faith" in abundance. These books are
"finger-worn", as well as "time-worn", and show that they were faithfully studied. These were the books which Papists hated, and still
hate, and through their teachings, in former days, thousands went to the
The Craig's, in those days, were certainly Presbyterians - "deep
dyed in the faith" - although some of them, I am sorry to say, in latter
days, were not very pious people. The older Craig's, as I remember them, were a Stern race, especially the men, and their very countenances
were indicative of great determination and willfulness - rather than the
gentler virtues. Many of them had the long upper lip, and the broad chin, characteristic of the Scotch race, and, also the keen penetrating
and fearless grey eye of the Scotch. This was exactly the eye of my Grandfather, D. W. Craig, and as a child I thought he could see through
me - though he had but one eye, as I remember him, the other having been
consumed by a cancer.
The early Craig's were not an educated people, in the modern
sense; but they possessed good hard sense, and were sufficiently educated and cultivated to meet the demands of their age. One of the
chief acquirements in the education of their day was penmanship, and some of the old Craig's excelled in this gift - especially my
grandfather: my Father also wrote a beautiful hand.
The name "Craig", was originally spelled with a final "e", and
some of the family still retain the "e", but most of them have dropped it. It is the euphonious name for "Cragg" or "Crag", which is pure
Scotch and means a "mountain" or "hill" - "rough" or "rugged". The character and disposition of some of the older Craig's always seemed to
me, to be well fitted to the name.
Thus I have given, as best I can, the origin of the family.
I will now enter upon a more voluminous task -
The history of the family.
The original Father of all the Craig's in Orange County, N. C., and of scores of families in the western States and far South, was
This man was born in Scotland, I suppose, though possibly in
Ireland, somewhere about the date 1690 or 1700. I have no record concerning his birth or death, and very little data concerning his life.
The maiden name of his wife was Margaret Logan. She was the widow of George Long when he married her, and she had one child by George Long
whose name was also George Long.
The Children of William Craige by this widow Long were:
These children were, doubtless, all born in Ireland. James was "an infant in his cradle when they came over the sea". This was the
original family of Craig's in Orange County, N. C.
Now arises two questions over which I have labored hard and
long, but without satisfactory answers: vis When and Where? did this man
and his family first arrive and settle on American soil?
I have tried hard to fix, definitely, these points, but it seems
now only possible to approximate them. In all my notes and dates on Family History heretofore, I have put the time of his landing in this
Country, 1741 - and I know of nothing now to cause me to materially change that date. If I were to change it now, I would say - 1747, and
it is possible that this is the correct date. One thing of which I am sure, it was not later than 1747.
I have in my possession two little wooden comb-cases, with the
date 1747 cut into them. But these relics belonged to Mrs. "Rebecca Ball" whose name is also inscribed on them, and who became the mother in
law of the above James Craig. I do not doubt that these ancient trinkets which "came over the sea", and which so carefully present the
date and name of the owner, was intended to mark and preserve the time of the emigration of the "Ball" family; and they being so early and
intimately connected with the Craig's might naturally raise the presumption that they came over together in 1747.
I think I have been told that the coming of the "Ball's" to this
Country and possibly the Craig's too, was the immediate result of the disastrous battle of Collodon in 1746. It is possible that both
families came over together in 1747, and it is certain that both families landed and lived for a time on Pennsylvania soil.
All that I know of the early history of the "Ball's" is that
they were the members of some Church of which the Rev. James Campbell was the Minister. I suppose this Church was in Pennsylvania. Mr.
Campbell's ministry was in Pennsylvania and in North Carolina. He came to N.C. in 1757 - See Footes Sketches of N.C. I have in my possession
the original Church Certificate of James Ball and his wife Rebecca Ball,
given under Mr. Campbell's own hand and signature, and dated, July 26, 1756. I prize this paper very much, but the heading or place where it
was issued is wanting, for which I am so sorry.
Here is a copy of it:
"That James Ball, his wife, Rebeckah, are free, together with their family, from any scandull known to us, only sayd James hath not
supported the Gospel while among us, but sayd Rebeckah hath enjoyed full
communion with us, and may be admitted to Christian Privilege where God may order their lot."
Attested this 26th July, 1756, by James Campbell, V. D. M.
So, it is evident that the Ball family lived in Pennsylvania
prior to 1756 and so did the Craig family. I have a vague recollection of being told that the Ball's lived a short time in Virginia before
coming to N.C. This name still abounds in Va. The mother of George Washington was a Miss Ball.
The above named "Rebecca Ball" was the owner of the comb cases marked
1747, and her daughter "Rebecca", also was married to James Craig, the son of William above mentioned, my
Great-Grandfather, April 26, 1763.
I cannot say positively whether there was any intimacy or
connection between these two families prior to this marriage in 1763 or not, but from this time forth the history and traditions of the two
families are very much mixed in my mind. The influence of the Ball blood on the Craig's must have been very great, and seems to have left a
lasting impression, both for good and bad. It is said of "Granny Ball" -
the owner of the comb cases, that she was an "Irish woman", and somewhat
of a "terror", possessing a violent temper; while it was said of her daughter - Rebecca, the wife of James Craig, that she was a most lovely
and sweet tempered woman, and of noted and devout piety. I have heard her son, Isaac Craig, who was born in 1779, say that in his young and
wild days, in the late night hours, he had often heard his Mother earnestly praying for him.
These points concerning the Ball family do not settle the
question - When did the Craig's come to America? but at the same time they do help to approximate the time.
Now to go back to this question - here is a tradition which has
been handed down from generation to generation as absolutely true - viz "That James Craig, son of William, was an infant in his cradle (about
two years old) when they came over the sea". Now taking this as a fact, and knowing that he was married Apl. 26, 1763, and died July 21, 1821 -
"a very old man" - "he was about or quite 80- years old". If he was 81 years old when he died, it would fix his birthday in 1740 - one year
previous to 1741: or, if he was 75 years old when he died, it would fix his birth in 1746 - one year previous to 1747 - (i.e. allowing one year
for his infancy in Ireland. And in the one supposition he married at the age of 23, and in the other at the age of 17. If we allow the
tradition of his infancy in Ireland to be exactly "two years old", then he was either 82 or 74 when he died and was married at the age of 24 or
18. - I cannot say which is right - it is not possible for either to be far from right. In favor of the latter view, I will here say that I
think I have that he married quite young. I think I heard this in connection with the fact that his
son Isaac married at the age of about 17 or 18: and to a woman of perhaps twice his age. If the latter
calculation is correct (and it does seem rather more reasonable than the
other) then the Craig's landed on American soil in the year 1747.
Now, where did they land? Where did they live? If I could
definitely settle these questions, it would no doubt throw light on the others; but here too I am left in doubt for lack of data. If I knew the
name of the vessel that brought them to these shores, or the name of the
Church with which they first worshipped, or any other such like key, I might be able to unlock many mysteries, but I am deprived of all of
them. I only know this one thing - that they landed in Pennsylvania and
lived there for a time. I am also almost sure, from various circumstances which I will not here mention, that the place of landing
was Philadelphia. It is a well known fact that they lived for a time in
Pennsylvania - but where? Was it in Lancaster or Dauphin County?
The "Strayhorn's", otherwise known as "Strean's" or
"Streaughn's", lived in Dauphin County, about 12 miles east of
Harrisburg. It was here that my Great-Grandfather, Gilbert Strayhorn, on my mother's side, was born in 1715. He was intimately associated
with William Craig the Patriarch in N.C. about 1750, and tradition says that they knew each other before they met in N.C. If this was true,
they must have known each other in Dauphin Co. Pa.
And again, the name of "Craig" - has been identified with the
town of Derry in Dauphin County from away back, and it is probable that acquaintance or kinship in the old country would lead families of the
same name to seek the same point in the new country. There are numbers of Craig's living in Derry, Pa. at the present time. I had a letter
some time ago from Dr. Thomas C. Craig, Assist. Secy. of the Navy at the
New York yards, and he says there was an Alexander Craig who died in Derry in 1754: and also a John Craig who died there in 1801. He does
not know if they were kinsmen or not, but says a son of the said John whose name is William and who was born there in 1794, was his
Grandfather. His suggestion that the above Alexander and John were,
either one or the other, or both, brothers of my ancestor, William, is at least possible if not probable. I have never heard a word from any
of the older Craig's on the subject as to whether William Craig had brothers who came with him to this country or not - I cannot speak on
this point, but it does not seem improbable. At any rate Dauphin County, Pa. seems to have been a home for the Craig's since 1754 and
J. N. Craig, D. D., Sec. of Home Missions in the Southern Presb.
Church, told me that he only had tradition for his ancestry. As follows: James Craig was born in Scotland about 1694. - Came to
Philadelphia about 1714. - Had three sons - William, Thomas and Robert. One of these settled in the valley of Va. from whom Dr. Craig sprang.
There was also a Col. Thomas Craig who lived in Philadelphia in
1728, and there was a Rev. John Craig, member of Hanover Presbytery in 1758.
All these facts show that Dauphin Co. and Philadelphia have been
a home for the Craig's a long time, but they do not prove the William lived there; although it seems highly probable.
Let us now turn to Lancaster County. Just across the river
between York and Carlile. The only supposition that I have that he may have lived here is the connection between the Craig and Ball
families. The "Ball" family evidently lived in this county, for Mr. Campbell's
Churches lay in this region, from which the Ball's received the certificate which I have already mentioned. But this does not prove
that the Craig's lived there. Mr. Campbell's charge was on the Conococheague River, and I have often, as a child, laughed at the names,
called by the older Craig's, "Connewegocheg" and "Connewegohog". I think the familiarity of these names came to the Craig's through the
Ball's. One of the Churches which Rev. James Campbell served in these olden days, is now known as the "Robert Kennedy Memorial Church" and was
formerly known as "Welsh Run". I have received some kind letters from the present Pastor of this church, but no trace of my people from the
I am inclined to the opinion that William Craig located and
lived for a short time, perhaps not longer than a year, in Dauphin County.
At that time the Tuscarora Indians were a terror to the people,
and the continued French and Indian wars, attended with all manner of dangers and hardships, determined the old man Craig and his family to
seek for a more quiet house further to the South, and whether he left brothers in Pennsylvania I cannot say.
He left Pennsylvania during the winter, perhaps, of 1750, and
came direct to North Carolina. It was a very cold winter, for I have often heard the story that the rivers in their way were so completely
frozen up that they drove their teams over them on the solid ice, and they suffered intensely from the cold on their journey. He did not stop
in Virginia, and the reason I have always heard assigned for this, was the fact that the "Established Church" was in full force in Virginia,
which was not the case - and never was - in North Carolina. This fact shows where the old man stood in religious matters. He had had enough
of a State Church, and of all that savored of popery, and he remembered the "Solemn League and Covenant of Scotland".
He stopped in the "Hawfields" in Orange County, and settled the
place known to this day as the old "Strewick place", where Addison Wilson recently lived and died; and near the site of the old Hawfields
Church and Graveyard, where scores of the early settlers lie buried, and
among them - William Craige and his Wife.
No stone marks their grave, and a few years ago the grounds were
plowed over and planted in corn by Mr. A. Wilson, who was indicted and punished in the Courts for the deed.
I do not know how long William Craig lived at this place, but
perhaps not more than two or three years. The title to his lands under the Earl of Granville, was questioned as to its genuineness, having been
sold or transferred to the "Strudwicks" in London, before his entry and settlement upon them. So he determined to move again, and he pulled up
and came to the waters of "New Hope", in the same County of Orange, and entered new lands, and called his new possessions and home - "Richland
This move occurred in the year 1752 or 1753. (The oldest deed
or grant of land is 1744.) Orange County was formed in 1752, and of course there are no County records prior to that date, and I do not
think any Deeds were recorded prior to 1754. The oldest Deed of William
Craige in my possession is dated 1754, and it reads - "adjoining his own
line" - showing that he had made land entries prior to 1754. I have in my possession a Tax receipt given to William Craige in 1758, covering
"four years" in the past, which would be 1754.
By the way, some time ago, I sent this old Tax Receipt to Mrs.
J. H. Gray of Georgetown, Texas, as a proof of her ancestry to the Members of the Order of the "Dames of the Revolution". She had the
receipt beautifully photographed and sent me a copy, which I now have, on the return of the original.
The next oldest receipt in my possession is dated 1762, and
calls for the past four years from 1758. This receipt is given to James
Craig, son of William.
The old name "William" now drops out of view, and perhaps out of
earthly life. The change in the name of the receipts would indicate that he died somewhere between 1758 and 1762. This is altogether
probable, for James was not married until 1763, a year after the receipt
in his name, and it is not probable that the old man would have turned over his lands to him before his marriage. Thus, I suppose that William
Craige, the founder of the Family, died about the year 1760. (Yet, I find in Colonial Records, Vol. 9. p 94 - that William Craige, with other
of his neighbors, signed a petition for the life of John Fruit "an outlawed regulator" - in 1772.
His residence, or rather house, in which he lived and died, I
suppose was a very ordinary log building; and it was located about a quarter of a mile directly north of the place where Thomas R. Cole now
lives. It was very near to a Spring in the bend of New Hope Creek, on the South side of the creek, and opposite the Fork on the north side.
This "Fork" of the Creeks originated the name - "Richland Fork" - which appears in all the old Deeds. I say here that he "lived and died" at
this place, but I am not altogether sure that he died there, but I suppose he did, and I think my Father so understood it. But the next
oldest settlement I know of was hardly a mile east of this place and known as the James Craig settlement or place. The first house stood
just west of the fork of the creeks, and in my day and long before, it was called the "Old Orchard". I do not know whether James Craig first
built here or within the Fork of the creeks. The "Old Orchard" house may have been built by William and if so, he died there.
I have been told this old man William, the Father of the family,
was a sturdy and somewhat stern, old Scotsman. A man of determined will, honest and upright, and unyielding in his principles. His
education was very limited, though he was endowed with a strong mind and
practical good sense. Of course he was a Presbyterian and he was "very old" when he died. His body, and that of his wife also, were both
carried back to the Hawfields and buried there. I do not know which died first. I know nothing of his wife, save her name - "Margaret
Logan" "who was the Widow Long".
Thus ends the Chapter of William Craige, the Father and Founder
of the Name and Family, in Orange County, North Carolina.
This foster son of William Craige evidently settled west of the Craig lands and in the neighborhood, and on the same land now owned by
his descendants, and where some of the Long's still live. I do not know
whom he married, nor how many children he had; but he had a son by the name of "George", who married Isabel Craig, a daughter of the aforesaid
John Craig - son of William. The children of the union were: Anderson, Thomas and "George". This last named George married a Miss Latta, and
their sons were Thomas, Robert, John and James D. The last named (James) still lives on the original lands, and perpetuates the name, and
is a stance Presbyterian. This is the origin of the Long's in Orange County, N.C.
I will now take up the history, as best I can, of William Craige's Children.
By reference to page 11, it will there be seen that the Children of William Craige, the Patriarch, consisted of Four Sons and One
Daughter - not including George Long, his wife's Son, who, however, was reared and treated and shared alike with the other Craig children.
The following is the order, perhaps, in which these Children
were born: John, David, Isabel, Samuel, James.
I know John was the eldest, and if they were all born in Ireland
- and I have no doubt they were, then I am sure James was the youngest.
I will now take up the history, as best I can, of William Craige's Children.
This man was the eldest child, and must have been quite a lad of some twelve or fourteen years old before he left Ireland with his
He married Mary Blackwood, a daughter of William Blackwood, one of the old Patriarchs of the new country, and they reared a family of
twelve children, or at least ten of them lived to be grown. He settled the place where he lived and died, and which has been successively owned
by William Brown, Isaac Craig, J. N. Craig and J. W. Cole the present owner. I do not know just where stood the first house he built, but I
think it was directly east of the present place, and not far west of the
grave of Isaac Craig and one of his wives. It is said that he was a most excellent good man. He was one of the founders of New Hope Church,
and one of its first Elders. The date of his birth is not known. The date of the birth of no one of William Craige's children is known; but
this man died February the 6th 1816. And it is said that he "was past 90 years old when he died". If this was true, it would seem to
corroborate the view or theory on page 15 that he came to this country with his Father in 1747. From this man and through his numerous family,
learning various names, there have sprung a host of people which are now
scattered far and wide. I do not know if this man was at any time in the Revolutionary Service or not. The names of his Children were as
(This is not the order in which they were born)
1 James Md Nellie Turner
2 David Md Betsy Boroughs
3 Alexander Md Ginny Strayhorn
4 Abram Md Ginny Murdock
5 Samuel Md Unmarried
6 John Md Unmarried
7 Isabel Md George Long
8 Betsy Md Alexander Russell
9 Peggy Md Unmarried
10 Mary Md Charles Freeland
A brief history of this family of children is as follows:
1. James: Settled near Chapel Hill, to the west, and was one of the land
donors of the University when it was founded. Some of his children were
Annie, John and Dr. James A. Craig. John was the father of James F. who
still lives at the old place and of William, a lawyer in Texas. Dr. James A. graduated at the University in 1816, and was a Teacher and
Physician of considerable note in his day. He died without children.
2. David: This man had four children - all daughters: Mrs. William Brown
- moved away, Mrs. Johnston Blackwood, Mrs. A. C. Murdock, and Mrs. "Squire" John Freeland - the mother of Dr. Charles Freeland and Johnston
Freeland: all gone. I do not know where David Craig lived.
3. Alexander: B 1773, D June 7, 1855. This man lived and died at the
place where his son Gilbert lived and died. He was the father of Mrs. Caleb Wilson; Mrs. John Baldwin; Mrs. Samuel C. Kirkland; John Craig;
the Grandfather of Thomas and Edwin Kirkland and Carman Craig; the father of Sandy, Johnston and William and David Craig (Born June 16,
1812 D Sept 30, 1893. For 52 years Elder in N. Hope Ch. A good man and my uncle by marriage. His son Nettleton G. Craig, also Elder in N. Hope
Ch. was born Jan. 16, 1849 and died May 2, 1879 - I loved him as my brother. A noble man. See my Diary's also page 878.) the father of Mrs.
Martha Blackwood and Gilbert Craig, the father of Leroy and William who died Sept. 25, 1896.
4. Abram: The father of John and Andrew. John was the father of "Abe" &
c in the Hawfields and Andrew was the father of Locke & Braxton & c.
Locke is a prominent lawyer & politician of today, and Braxton is a Baptist Minister. The place where Abram Craig lived is the place where
John Baldwin now lives.
5. Samuel: Died unmarried.
6. John: Died unmarried.
7. Isabel: Married George Long, see page 23.
8. Betsy: Married Alexander Russell and moved away - west. She had a son - G. C. Russell who was a Presbyterian Minister.
9. Peggy: Died unmarried.
10. Mary: Married Charles Freeland, who was the father of Capt. Fletcher
Freeland, Mrs. Katy Fancette & c.
Such is a brief history of John Craig and his Children.
I have never heard of any one of this branch of the Family arising to great prominence in wealth, position or learning, and yet we
here find Lawyers, Doctors, and Ministers, and perhaps many professional
men of whom I have no knowledge. And I can testify to the fact that among this man's descendants there were many brave soldiers during the
Civil War. In some instances the perpetuation of the names was stopped,
because all the sons were swept away in the war. For example Joseph Craig, the only son of John the son of Alexander, died in the war. And
Samuel and William Craig, the sons of David, the son of Alexander, both died in the war, and in these cases there was no one to perpetuate the
name. The greater portion of this branch of the Craig Family have always been, and still are small farmers and tradesmen - honest and hard-working Christian people. It has always been noted for intermarriage
among themselves, and perhaps this is one reason for the slow progress in getting away from the customs and aspirations of the long ago. For
example, here is a case of this sort of alliance coming down to the present generation:
John (Brothers) James
David (Wives,Sisters) Newton
(Blackwood) Martha --- cousins --- Alice
Robert --- married ------
Here are the 5th and 6th generations still coming together in different lives from the one and same source, and this has been repeated
so often that nearly everybody in the old neighborhood are kinspeople. And it may be said, comparatively speaking, that the descendants of John
Craig have clung more closely than the others to the old haunts and homes of North Carolina. This will be strikingly apparent, as we
consider - next, the history of David and his descendants.
It is impossible to say whether this man was the second child of
William Craige or not, for judging from the date of the birth of his first child (1769), he must have been married about five years after the
marriage of his brother James (1763) who is set down as the youngest child. But of course this proves nothing for he may have been about 30
years old when he married, while it is supposed that James was about 18.
This is the mark on his grave:
- "D.C. No.2,1785"-"Died".
If it means that he died November 2, 1785, and no other interpretation seems possible, then it seems that he died before the birth of his last
child - Dec. 25, 1785. He must have died comparatively a young man - perhaps not more than 50 years old. His grave is in the old Graveyard
at New Hope Church, and so is the grave of his brother John, as well as the other two brothers - Samuel and James. Their graves are all near
each other, within a radius of twenty feet, I suppose - John is to the east of the others who are nearly in a row - All, near the grove of
Cedars, which my Father planted.
David Craig married Eleanor Johnston of the Hawfields. I do not
know her Fathers name or family; but I will call attention here to a mistake or error in my "Sketch of New Hope Church", were it is written
that David Craig married "Nellie Turner". It should be Eleanor Johnston. The mistake was made by confounding the name with the wife of
James Craig, son of John, who was Nellie Turner.
This man David, seems to have been of different mettle from that
of John, and indeed of all the others. I have heard my Grandfather say that he was, by far, the most intelligent and best educated of all the
sons of William Craige. And this seems to be confirmed by the energy, progress and prosperity of his descendants. But I am inclined to the
opinion that the success of his posterity, which seems to be greater than the others, is owing largely to his wife, Eleanor Johnston, who is
said to have been a woman of remarkably fine qualities.
The descendants of David Craig, bearing the name Craig, are
entirely absent from North Carolina. They are numerous, however, in the
Western States - especially Tennessee, and the far South. His only descendants in North Carolina are those who came through his daughters -
Eleanor, who married John Blackwood; and Isabel who married James Johnston of the Hawfields - the present I. C. Johnston of the Hawfields
is a Great-Grand-Son of David Craig. Four of his children married
Blackwoods: two sons and two daughters - all brothers and sisters on both sides. All his children moved away from North Carolina except Mrs.
J. Blackwood and the Mrs. Johnston's.
The old place which David Craig settled, and where he lived and
died, is known to this day as the "Currie Place" - It was once owned by my Father, J. N. Craig - and it is now the property of J. W. Cole. It
is on the old Chapel Hill Road leading from Hillsboro, and on New Hope Creek. The old site where David Craig lived, is about a quarter of a
mile to the west of his fathers (William Craige) old settlement, but on the north side of the creek, and a few hundred yards east of the public
road. I remember, when I was a boy, some of the old apple trees which stood near the old site where David Craig lived.
He had a large family: there were nine children: five sons and
four daughters - and most of them were married before they left North Carolina: and also, most of them, together with their mother "Eleanor",
went to Maury County, Tennessee.
The names of his children were as follows:
B. Aug 15, 1769 1 Margaret Md James Johnston
B. Mar 9, 1771 2 Mary Md James (?) Mitchell
B. Mar 18, 1773 3 William Md Mary Blackwood
B. Nov 19, 1774 4 Johnston Md Martha Blackwood
B. Dec 6, 1776 5 Isabel Md John Johnston
B. Jan 13, 1779 6 John Md Mary Woods & Mrs. Cox
B. Mar 25, 1781 7 Eleanor Md John Blackwood
B. Aug 15, 1783 8 David Md Nancy Stockard
B. Dec 25, 1785 9 Samuel Md Delphia Gordon of Tenn.
From these children there have sprung a host of people, scattered over many states, and many of them have attained wealth and
prominence in the world.
The question might be asked here, why did David Craig's wife
Eleanor go together with her sons, after her husbands' death, to Maury County, Tenn.? "Hereby hangs a tale" - I once thought, when I wrote my
"Sketch of New Hope Church", that William Craige was perhaps the Father of all the Craig's in North Carolina - the family known as the Salisbury
Craige's not excepted. But this was a mistake. The family of Craige's in Salisbury, N.C. and my family are distinct and no kin. - They claim
to have come through Archibald Craige from England, and they are Episcopalians. But I desire to place here on record for future
generations my solemn and earnest protest to a gross error, that has crept into North Carolina history by Mr. Wheeler, who wrote "Wheeler's
History of North Carolina". He says: -
That "David Craig, appointed April 16, 1776, 2nd Lieut in Capt.
Cole's Company, in the Salisbury District, (See Colonial Records, Vol. 10. P 518) was the father of the Hon. Burton Craige of Salisbury".
This is positively false. He was none other than the David
Craig of whom I am here writing - the son of William, of Orange County. The Hon. Burton Craige was not born until 1811! And his son, the Hon.
Kerr Craige, admits to me, in a letter, that this is an error; but that it was Burton Craige's Grandfather, whose name was also "David". He
also admits that there is no proof of this except tradition. He says that his father (Burton) left no record of Family History, and seemed
not to know a great deal about his ancestry. It just seems to have been
an unquestioned fact with Burton Craige that his Grandfather (not father, as Wheeler has it) was the Revolutionary soldier spoken of - and
that is about all that can be said in proof of it. I suppose Wheeler knew only of this family in the State, and his friend Mr. Burton Craige
was a man of prominence, and as a matter of course his ancestor was the Revolutionary Soldier. And besides, this Lieut. David Craig was of the
"Salisbury District" - of course he was, for every student of history knows that the "Salisbury District" comprised the three counties of
Anson, Rowan and Orange. This was the old "Court" district, and it was the "Military" district during the entire war. As a resident of Orange
County, David Craig lived and died in the "Salisbury District", and of course his command as a Soldier was in the same. I do not blame the present generation of the Salisbury Craige's
for believing that the Revolutionary Officer was their ancestor, but nevertheless they are mistaken; and I do not write this on the ground of
tradition only - for as far as tradition is concerned, I have always heard, from my childhood that David Craig, son of William, was a daring
and conspicuous Revolutionary Soldier and I think I can prove my position that he was the officer in question. We find him and his
Father, William, and other neighbors in Orange County, signing a petition and taking an active part in the liberation of John Fruit, an
outlawed Regulator, in 1772 (See Colonial Records. Vol 9 - P. 94) - and during the whole Regulator period, I have understood that he was a
leading figure in his neighborhood.
But my tale is not yet told, and the question is not yet
answered - Why did his children move to Maury County, Tennessee?
Herein lies the proof of his identity as the Revolutionary
In an old book now obsolete and hard to find, the title of which is, "Edward Scott's Laws of Tennessee", and which treats of Tennessee
while it was yet a part of North Carolina, and before the State of Tennessee was formed. In this Book can be found "Certain Laws Enacted
at Hillsboro, N. C. in 1782". One of these laws is - "An act for the Relief of Officers and Soldiers in the Continental line, - and for other
purposes". Section 6, under this Act provides "permanent reward" for the "single braving and zeal" of each officer and soldier in the State.
This reward was designated as the Tennessee "Lands". The Secretary of State was directed to make the "Grants" which must be authenticated by
the Governor, and countersigned by the Secretary, and Recorded. All rank
of Officers are named together with the number of acres of land allowed to each. A Captain was entitled to 3840 acres, and a Private to 640
acres. Now then: In Nashville, Tennessee, in the Register's Office, may
be seen a Grant of lands to David Craig for Revolutionary Services, by anyone who may take the trouble to see it. This Grant is by virtue of
"Warrant, No. 706", and dated "July 10, 1784" - Signed and Sealed by Secretary Graham and Governor McMissem, and Registered (not until) May
9, 1821. This Grant calls for and designates 3200 Acres of land in Maury County, Tenn. This may have been the allotted amount to a 2nd
Lieut. but I have evidence of another Grant to the same man for 640 acres in Greene County, Tenn., which added to 3200 would be 3840 acres -
the amount allowed to the rank of "Captain".
Now comes the clinching proof that David Craig of Orange County,
was the Revolutionary Officer. He died Nov. 2, 1785. The year or about
1820 - his wife, Eleanor Craig and her sons and families, all left old Orange and went to Maury County, Tenn. and took possession of these
lands and lived and died in possession of them, and their descendants still live upon them. These are facts which cannot be disputed. Now
what becomes of the claim of the Salisbury Craig's that their ancestor was the Revolutionary Officer, of whom Mr. Wheeler so confidently speaks
and gives to the world as History!! - And this answers the question, Why
the children of David Craig went to Maury County, Tennessee.
I will here state that I was led to know these facts concerning
the Grants of land, and of which I now have a copy, by Mrs. J. H. Gray of Georgetown, Texas. She was a Miss Cowan of Miss., and a Great-
Granddaughter of David Craig.
I also learn from Sidney A. Craig of Nashville, Tenn., that the
old place, where his Great-Grandmother, "Eleanor Craig" lived and died, is near "Mt. Pleasant" in Maury County, and is now known as the
"Granberry Place". And it is not far from here, in the old "Hunters's
Graveyard", where she lies buried with many of her people - far from the
bones of her brave and noble husband.
I will now attempt a brief history of the Children of David
Craig, in order, as given on page 30 (no longer page 30).
1 Margaret: Married James Johnston
2 Mary: This woman married James Mitchell, about the year 1789, in the County of Orange, N. C. She was long afterwards well known as
"Polly" Mitchell. She is said to have been a most remarkable woman, and
possessed many strong and noble traits of character. Her husband was perhaps a son of the old New Hope Elder, who was a Revolutionary
Soldier. This woman and her family moved to Maury County, Tenn. I do not know if her husband died before or after her departure from N. C.
It is said that she was very strict in training and disciplining her children, especially in the doctrines of the Bible and of the
Presbyterian Church, and her labor was not in vain. Her family has perhaps outstripped all the others in attaining unto honorable
positions, reputation and wealth in the world.
She had four sons and one daughter - David, James and William
were prominent men in their day, and all Ruling Elders in the Presbyterian Church. And, her son George is perhaps still living at
Pulaski, Tenn., a beloved and honored Minister of the Presbyterian Church. And two of the sons of William (her Grandsons) are at present
prominent Ministers in the Synod of Missouri.
Her only daughter - Betsey, married a Mr. Neeley, by whom she
had eleven children, one son (William), and ten daughters. One of these
daughters married a Mr. Buckner, the father of Bruce Buckner, a retired merchant of Nashville, Tenn. I am also informed that Gen. Albert Sidney
Johnston of "Confederate War" fame, and who was killed at Shiloh, on his
Mother's side, was a descendant of "Polly" Mitchell. I have never met a
representative of this family - I wish I could; for they are evidently a
people of respectability and considerable prominence and note. None of them live in North Carolina.
3 William: Married Mary Blackwood, in Orange County, N. C., and moved to
Maury County, Tenn. I know scarcely anything of this family. He had a son whose name was David Craig, and this David also had a son whose name
was John Craig. I suppose the family and name are still perpetuated in Tennessee. (Later) I learn there were 13 children.
4 Johnston: Married Martha Blackwood, in Orange County, N. C. and moved to Maury County, Tenn. This man had a numerous family, and many of his
descendants are in Tennessee and other states today. They are all substantial, well-to-do, and prosperous people. The name "Craig" has
been wonderfully increased and multiplied through this man, for all his eight children were sons - David, William, John, Samuel, Johnston,
Charles, James and Newton. And, to follow the line, some of the children of David, were: William, Newton, David, Samuel William: Peyton
and Royal John: Brantley, John H., Newton, Mrs. Sidney H. Samuel: Mrs. Ada Campbell Johnston: John, Joseph, Edward, Brown Charles: Henry James:
Johnston, Sidney H., Millard, Walter Newton: Porter, McRady
In the above list, Sidney, son of James, married a daughter of
John - his cousin, and he (Sidney) has a most interesting family. Two sons and two daughters. His son Charles was married a few weeks ago,
and his daughters (Ada and Nettie) are very beautiful girls. They live in Nashville and I was their guest some few years ago, and I had a
delightful visit. I also met in Nashville two daughters of "John H.", son of John, - Ida and Bertha - beautiful girls. And in the above list,
I have had considerable correspondence with Mrs. Campbell, daughter of Samuel. She is now dead, having died three or four years ago. She
lived at Middleton, Tenn. and was evidently a very noble and smart woman. I am indebted to her for much of my information concerning David
Craig's family. She wrote me several long and interesting letters on the subject, which I have preserved and which will throw much light on
what I have written. I wish very much I could have met her before she died. She had no children, and was a staunch Presbyterian.
5 Isabel: Married John Johnston of the Hawfields, N. C. Though this
family and their progeny have always lived in a neighborhood not more than fifteen or twenty miles from where I was born, yet I have never
known scarcely anything at all about them. I do not know the number of "Isabel's" children, whom they married or where they live. I have met
once or twice T. C. Johnston one of the grandsons, who still lives in the old neighborhood and who is an Elder in the Hawfields Church. I do
not think these families are any relation to the Johnston's on New Hope,
but I am not sure of it.
6 John: This man was twice married, once in Orange County, N. C. to Miss
Mary Woods, and afterwards in Florence, Ala. to Mrs. Susan Coxe - nee Miss Thompson. By Miss Woods he had six children, and also five by Mrs.
Coxe. He married Miss Woods about 1808, and lived near Chapel Hill, to the east of the town, where at least four of his first children were
born. This man was a member of the N. C. Legislature in 1812-15. About
the year 1816 he left Orange County and went to Mt. Pleasant, Maury County, Tenn. He lived here one or two years, and then removed to
Florence, Alabama, where his wife died - and where he was married the second time. His home was about five miles from Florence on the
Hunterville Road. For many years he was the Editor of the principal newspaper in Florence, and he represented his people in the State
Legislature several times. He seems to have been a man of considerable wealth, culture and influence.
His children by Miss Woods and who were born near Chapel Hill
1 Martha, who married twice, a Mr. Buiford and a Mr. Hilliard.
2 Peyton, who died young.
3 Selina, who married J. R. Henry and left two daughters, Mrs. Gibbons, a wife of a wholesale merchant in Knoxville, Tenn., and a splendid woman
with a lovely family - Mrs. E. P. Manning and Mrs. Hugh McClung are daughters of Mrs. Gibbons in Knoxville - they are noted people; and Mrs.
Trust of Morristown, Tenn.
4 Ellen, who married Dr. Reuben Thornton Maury of Ala. (1st cousin of old Commodore M. F. Maury of Va.). She left one daughter - Mrs. A. C.
Mintor of Sharon, Miss.
5 Rebecca, who married J. P. Hicks, a teacher, and highly cultured man. She left two sons, who are also teachers in Sharon, Miss.
6 John J., who married Mary Lyons of Knoxville, Tenn. He was a Banker in Knoxville, and died in 1892. He left several children - Mrs. Mary
McMullen of Knoxville - Mr. McMullen was a cousin of Rev. T. D. Witherspoon; William of Atlanta, Ga, and John of Knoxville, Tenn.
John Craig's children by Mrs. Susan Coxe were:
1 Quincey, who died in California, bearing no children.
2 Elmira, who married a Mr. Chapman of New Orleans, and afterwards, a Mr. Walton, a lawyer.
3 Maria, married Mr. J. J. Cowan, a cotton merchant of Vicksburg, Miss. and by whom she had a large family. Among them is Mrs.
J. H. Gray of Georgetown, Texas; James Craig Cowan - who married a Miss Henry, direct descendant of "Patrick Henry" - she lives in Washington,
D. C. - her husband is dead; Mr. Charles Cowan, cotton merchant of Memphis,
Tenn; and also John Cowan of Vicksburg in the same business with his brother Percy; and Mrs. Cattell Calhoun of Montgomery Co., Va.
4 Mary, married a Mr. Hill and is a widow with three daughters, near New Orleans.
5 George, who lives somewhere in Ohio. He was in the "Northern Army" and became estranged from his father.
7 Eleanor: Married John Blackwood, in Orange County, N. C. where they lived and died. He was married the 2nd time to Mary McCauley by whom he
had seven or eight children; but by Eleanor Craig he had twelve children
- eight sons and four daughters. Most of his children married and moved
away, but quite a number of his descendants still live in the bounds of New Hope, Orange County, N. C. I do not know just where he lived, but
somewhere near to the Blackwood Mountains, where his posterity still live. He was known as "Squire" John Blackwood, and was quite a
prominent man in his day.
These are the twelve children by Eleanor Craig, daughter of
1 Mary Blackwood- who married James Strayhorn, the father of Calvin and
Robert Strayhorn, both of whom have families, and also the father of Mrs. John T. Hogan and Mrs. Maggie Dickson. Mr. Hogan has two sons and
two daughters, and is a successful farmer and a Ruling Elder in New Hope
2 David Blackwood- married Tabitha Minor and was the father of John M. Blackwood of Durham, N. C.; of Samuel D. Blackwood who married Martha
Craig; of Mary who married her cousin William Blackwood; of Harriett who
married a Mr. Ward, and of Julia who married Joseph Kirkland, the father
of a large family of sons and one daughter. The above named Samuel D. Blackwood was the father of a large family - and his son Robert married
my sister Alice Craig.
3 William Blackwood- married Martha Minor and he was the father of John T. Blackwood and William, both of whom have families. One of his
daughters married a Mr. Andrews and one still abides unmarried. He was a Ruling Elder in New Hope Church in his day. (The remaining ones moved away, and I know little of them.)
4 Isabel Blackwood- died unmarried.
5 Samuel Blackwood- died unmarried.
6 Jackson Blackwood- died unmarried.
7 John Blackwood- married Laura Springs of South Carolina. This Laura Springs was a daughter of Tinzah Craig a daughter of William Craig (and
Mary McBride) a brother of my Grandfather. A daughter of Laura Springs (and John Blackwood) is Mrs. R. M. Oates of Charlotte, N. C.
8 Nathan Blackwood- married Mary Jones and moved away.
9 Alexander Blackwood- married Helen Horton. He was a Baptist Minister and lived in the eastern part of the state.
10 Robert Blackwood- married Susan Stanley and moved to Georgia. He still lives.
11 Johnston Blackwood- married a Miss Teel of New Jersey and moved away.
12 Margaret Blackwood- married John McCauley the father of David and James McCauley and whose families live east of the University Station, N. C.
8 David: This man was married twice; first to Nancy Stockard and
afterwards to Mrs. Isom. He is said to have founded and named Oxford, Miss. where he lived and died. He had a son whose name was David, and
this David had a son whose name was John, but I understand that the name
is extinct at Oxford. There is a Dr. Isom, a son of his second wife, who lives at Oxford, and he seems to know a great deal of the Craig
ancestry. He has the old Bible of David Craig and Eleanor Johnston.
9 Samuel: This man married Delphia Gordon of Columbia, Tenn. He lived and died at Ripley, Miss. where he is buried. He left one daughter who
married a Mr. Kemball the father of Gilbert Kemball of Pontotoe or Ripley, Miss.
This ends the history, as I have learned it, of David Craig the
son of William, and his descendants. I will now turn to the next in order (Isabel) (see page 11) (no longer page 11) and try my hand on the
This woman was the only daughter of William Craige the Patriarch, and it is impossible to say whether she was older or younger
than some of her brothers, but judging from the age of her family, she must have been among the eldest. I have heard that she was a very
beautiful woman, of exceedingly fair complexion, deep blue eyes, and golden hair. I have also been told that she was a very pious woman, and
one of the leading women in the old Hawfields Church. She must have been quite a girl during the time her father lived in the Hawfields
before coming on New Hope, and perhaps her acquaintance with her husband
began at that time. She was doubtless born in Ireland, but I do not know the date of her birth, marriage or death.
She married David Nelson of the Hawfields, N. C., by whom she
had a large family. Her mortal remains together with her husband, in some unknown spot, lie buried in the old Hawfields burying ground.
I do not know the number of their children, nor the place just
where they lived in the Hawfields.
The only children I have any knowledge of were:
1 Samuel Md. A Miss Tate
2 Lettie Md. Samuel Tate
3 Margaret Md. James Tate
4 John Md. Jennie Tate
I suppose these Tate's were brothers and sisters. The Nelson's
and Tate's have always been closely connected both by marriage and blood
relationship. It has always been a sort of puzzle and muddle with me to
separate a Nelson from a Tate. The aforesaid Tate's were also closely connected with the early Strayhorn's on New Hope, as well as with the
Craig's. The mother of my Grandfather (Samuel Strayhorn) was Mary Tate,
who possibly may have been a daughter of the above James Tate, son (in- law) of Isabel Craig. There is a large connection of the Tate's in the
Hawfields, and they are all "kin" to the Nelson's and Strayhorn's.
Of the above named children of Isabel Craig, I can only speak in
a very limited way for lack of data.
1 Samuel Nelson: Married a Miss Tate. I have no knowledge whatever of
this man and his family. I am under the impression, however, that he moved away to the west - either to Missouri or Arkansas.
2 Lettie Nelson: Married Samuel Tate.
3 Margaret Nelson: Married James Tate of the Hawfields, and great
numbers of here descendants still live in the Hawfields. I do not know the connection, and cannot trace the families.
4 John Nelson: This man married Jennie Tate of the Hawfields. He lived
and died in the Hawfields. He was a Ruling Elder, and ruling spirit in the old Hawfield Church. He was a very prominent and influential man in
his day. He was a "Captain" in the 4th Regiment of N. C. Troops in the Revolutionary War; commissioned by the Provincial Congress, April 22,
1776 - See Colonial Records. His descendants, as well as the Tates, have always been a military people, which I suppose they have inherited
from their forefathers. In his old age, I think he was known as "Colonel" John
Nelson. He had a numerous family of children - thirteen! Nine sons and four daughters. Most of them married and moved away, to the west.
Their names were as follows:
1 William - He was an eccentric old bachelor, and was known as "Uncle Buck". He lived for many years alone, and died in Greensboro, N.C. an old man. He had considerable money before the Civil War. My
Father settled his estate.
2 George - Was also an old bachelor. I remember seeing him once.
3 David - went west.
4 John - went west.
5 Alfred - went west.
6 Josiah - went west.
7 James - went west.
8 Janette - died unmarried.
9 Samuel - Married Sarah Burnsides, and lived in Guilford County. He had
large cabinet and machine shops in his day. He had two children - sons (Benjamin and John). John died in the Civil War, and Benjamin died
without children. Rev W. F. Thom, a Presbyterian Minister, married his widow.
10 Mary - married John Paul of the Hawfields. I remember her well, when
I was a child. They lived about twenty miles from us, and I remember riding - "behind" my Father on horseback to their house, at one time;
and the long ride cramped my legs, and that night I cried bitterly, and she (Aunt "Polly") bathed my legs in hot water and put me to bed.
She had two Sons - Alfred and David Paul - both of them went
west. Her daughters were Mrs. James Tate - moved west; Mrs. James Squires who has a family; Mrs. George Miles; and perhaps one daughter
still live unmarried. Two of the daughters were twins.
11 Margaret - who married John Hart and moved to Little Rock, Ark. She
had a large family in Ark.
12 Isabel - Married David Wilson Craig, my Grandfather. I think she was
the eldest child of John Nelson. I have not observed the order in which
they were born. My Grandfather D. W. Craig and John Nelson were first cousins, or brother and sister's children: so it will be seen that my
Grandfather and Grandmother (his wife) were first cousins, one step removed. He was a son of James Craig, and she a Granddaughter of Isabel
Craig, who were brother and sister. This woman, Isabel Nelson - my Grandmother, was married to my Grandfather, D. W. Craig, April 28, 1814.
I do not know the date of her birth, or the exact date of her death. She died, however, soon after, or perhaps at the time, of the birth of
her last child - Wiley, which was Sept. 1, 1823.
She only lived about nine years after her marriage, and within
that period she gave birth to six children, one of whom was my Father. These children will be noticed at the proper time under James Craig's
line. My Grandmother is said to have been a very delicate, as well as beautiful woman. Her complexion was fair and her eyes blue. She is
said to have died from pulmonary troubles or weakness about her lungs, but perhaps it was rapid child bearing. She is said to have been an
exceptionally gentle and good woman, but her children were bereft of her
influence, and grew up practically without her impress and training. My
Grandfather never married again. They both lie side by side in the old New Hope graveyard under the Cedar Trees.
13 Paisley - He was the youngest child of John Nelson. He was only a
very little older than my Father who was his Nephew, and they were great
cronies and friends. He married Margaret Smith and lived and died in the
Hawfields, where his son Samuel still lives. I am not sure, but I think this is the old Nelson settlement. He left three children -
Samuel, Umstead, and Margaret.
The latter married a Mr. Thompson and has a large family, and
lives in the Hawfields. Umstead died in the Civil War. Samuel married and has quite a family, and lives at the old house in the Hawfields. I
have not seen him in many years, and do not know his immediate family. He alone, of all the male line of this once large family of Nelson's,
has lived to perpetuate the name in North Carolina.
Thus ends my story of the Nelson Family. Many of them are, no
doubt, in the Western States, but they are unknown to me.
I have often heard of "Uncle John's" and "Uncle Alfred's"
families "in the West". I think I have some old letters from them written a long time ago, and I think their house was in the state of
Arkansas. I am quite sure the "Hart" family lives in that state, and it
is probable that they all went to the same point. Wherever they are, I have no doubt they are a respectable and substantial people, for such
they were in North Carolina, and they come of a good stock.
This man is placed as the fourth child of William Craige the Patriarch,
see page 11 - but I cannot certainly say just where his name should come. I have never been able to get a very full and satisfactory
history of him and his children. He married Mary Johnston of the
Hawfields, and settled near the place where his Father William lived, and where Thomas R. Cole now lives. He died Sept. 21, 1790, and his
grave is near his other brothers in the old New Hope Graveyard. I suppose that his wife, Mary Johnston, was a sister of his brother
David's wife, Eleanor Johnston, and also that the husbands of their sisters Isabel and Margaret (NOTE: These are actually David Craigs
daughters - RGP), James Johnston and John Johnston were brothers. These
Johnstons all lived in the Hawfields. I do not know whether this man - Samuel, was a Revolutionary Soldier or not, neither do I know whether
his brother John was in the Service, but I think he was: but I am certain that David and James were.
So far as I have been able to ascertain, he was the Father of
eight children. Their names were as follows:
1 William Md Sarah Woods
2 Samuel Md Martha Kirkland & Martha Easters
3 David Md Drowned - unmarried
4 Martha Md Andrew Burns
5 Sarah Md George Mitchell
6 Jane Md John Mitchell
7 Betsey Md William Kirkland
8 Isabel Md Joseph Kirkland
These all lived and died on the waters of New Hope, except the
first named (William) and perhaps one of the Mitchell's. There is no representative of this large family by the name of "Craig" so far as I
know in North Carolina. The descendants of Samuel Craig, at the present
time, are almost exclusively confined to the names of Kirkland and Freeland.
A brief history of his children are as follows:
1 William: who married Sarah Woods and it is my impression that he moved
to the state of Alabama. I do not know scarcely anything of him and his
family. I think he had three sons - Dick, Allen, and Samuel, and one daughter, and perhaps he had a son named John. It is my impression
also, that he was the father of Richard, known as "Dick" Craig of Alabama. I remember seeing "Dick Craig" once in my life. He then lived
in Ala. and was considered quite rich. I think he was a son of the above William Craig. I also once met in Nashville, Tenn., Mr. Edward
Craig, the State Treasurer. He told me that he knew nothing at all of his ancestry - and that he was born in Alabama, and he thought his
forefathers were originally of N. C. It is possible that he sprang from
the above source.
2 Samuel: Died Sept. 20, 1816. This man was twice married, and lived on
the old place of his fathers, just a little south of were Thomas Cole now lives. His first wife was Martha Kirkland, and his second Martha
Easters. I do not think he had any children by the second wife, but I am not sure of it. By the first wife he had at least three children -
William - "Little Bill Craig" - he went to Ala., Mary and Martha. If there were others I do not know it. This man Samuel was known as
"little Sam Craig", and he died suddenly, having dropped dead while walking through the yard with a "turn of fodder". Mary or "Polly", his
daughter, married George Freeland by whom she had one son (George) and two or three daughters. One of the daughters married a Mr. Ivey and has
a family. The son George Freeland, has a large family, and a number of Grandchildren. He married Sarah Craig, the daughter of Cameron, the son
of Alexander, the son of John, the son of William Craige, the Patriarch.
Martha married late in life - John Paul, and had no children.
3 David: This man died unmarried. He was drowned in crossing a river.
4 Martha: Married Andrew Burns and had four children. Anderson, the
eldest, went to Texas. The others all died unmarried.
5 Sarah: Married George Mitchell(?). I know nothing of them.
6 Jane: Married John Mitchell. I do not know where they lived or how
many children they had. One of their children was named "Jane", who married Samuel Faucett, the father of John M. Faucett who died
unmarried, and several daughters. One of these daughters married John Weaver near Chapel Hill, and another Edmund Chambers, whose son "John
Mitchell Chambers" is at present a Quaker Preacher in Indiana. And still another daughter, I think married a Mr. Lloyd.
7 Betsey: Married William Kirkland who lived on or near the old Chapel
Hill Road to the southwest of New Hope Church. Her sons were William S.
Kirkland and John. William S. married Sallie Hart and had no children. He was an Elder in New Hope Church. John married Mary J. Strayhorn by
whom he had three sons - Richard, Irvin, and John - Richard has two sons
(children) at the Presbyterian Orphan House at Barium Springs at the present time - he being dead. There was also another son besides
William S. and John, whose name was Samuel. He had two children (Samuel
and Mrs. Harvard) but I have lost sight of them. I went to school with "little Sam", as he was called, and he was a brave Soldier during the
whole four years of the Civil War - His mother was a Davis, and his mind
seemed to be somewhat weakened by the terrors of the war. If the above "Betsey" had any daughters, I don't think they married.
8 Isabel: Married Joseph Kirkland, and lived directly on the old Chapel
Hill public road, not far from his brother William and Betsey. Isabel had a large family - five sons and several daughters. The names of her
sons were: John, Samuel, Joseph, James, and William, and two of the daughters (Betsey and Ibbey) became a member of New Hope at the same
time I did. The generations of these children are:
John Kirkland- lived in the "big meadows" and had no sons. One
of his daughters married James Bishop who was killed in a cyclone - he left one son - Milton Bishop.
Samuel Kirkland- married Martha Craig, daughter of Alexander,
and had only one child - Laura. She married Oscar Hogan and has a large
family. Samuel was an Elder in New Hope Church at one time.
Joseph Kirkland- married Julia Blackwood, daughter of David, and
had eight sons and one daughter. The sons are all hard working and nice
boys. Joseph died as a Deacon in New Hope Church.
James Kirkland- never married. He was afflicted with "Hair
lip". William Kirkland- is now an old man and the only one living. He
is a Deacon in New Hope Church. He has four children - Thomas - who married and has children; Susan married Irvin Kirkland, and has no
children; Edward and Nancy are unmarried - Edward is a Young Elder in New Hope Church.
These are the generations of Samuel Craig.
This man ends the list of William Craige's children - see page
11 (No longer page 11). I have put him down as the youngest, but I am not absolutely certain that this is true. I suppose the exact order
will never be known, as I have no recorded dates upon which to proceed to absolute accuracy. This is the man whom tradition says was "about
two years" and "an infant in his cradle when they came over the sea". I
have no doubt that this was true, and this settles the question as to his having been born in Ireland. As I have already written (see pages
11-15) (no longer correct page numbers) the date of his birth must have been somewhere between 1740 and 1745 or 6. If the Craig's came to this
country in 1741, he was born about 1740. If they came in 1747, he was born about 1745. And this latter date seems rather the more probable,
for he was married April 26, 1763, and died July 21, 1821. These dates correspond with ancient "tradition", that "he was very young when he was
married - about 18; and very old when he died - about 80". I have heard
my Father say that he, as a little child, remembered seeing him once, sitting on the side of a bed drinking a cup of coffee, and that he was
impressed by his snow white beard. He lived and died not far to the east - about a half mile, from his Father's original Settlement, and at
the place where his son David W. Craig lived and died, and which is still owned by David W. Craig's grandchildren. His first house or
settlement was located just west of the fork of the creeks, in what was once known as "the old orchard". I remember some of the old
"longlimb" apple trees, and I also remember a spring at the south west corner of
what once was an old meadow. The next house or settlement was located just across the "west" creek, and in the fork of the creeks. This house
stood about twenty feet to the southwest from the present building, in which David W. Craig and his children (Wiley and Ibbey) died. The
present building or house was built by David W. Craig, my Grandfather. The third old house or settlement was to the north of the second about
forty or fifty yards and a portion of the wall of this old log house is still standing. It was built, I think, in the year 1800. I have heard
my Grandfather name the men who "carried the corners", and he said each one of them wore a long "cue" of hair, platted, and hanging down their
backs. It was in this house that James Craig died, July 21, 1821. It was occupied afterwards by his wife and daughter Rebecca, the two
adjacent houses, constituting one family, as long as they lived.
James Craig, like his brother, David, evidently was in the
Among his old papers, yellow with age, I have found and have in
my possession this paper, to wit -
"These may certify (i.e. these lines, I suppose) that James
Craig is one of the ten men who hath enlisted x William Gibbs to serve in the Continental Service during the present war (X there is a word
missing here which, I suppose should be "with" or "under"): So that in pursuance of an act of Assembly in that case, made and provided, the
said James Craig is therefore discharged."
"Given under my hand, this 30th Jan'y 1779." "Thos Taylor"
I also found among his papers, this one -
"James Craig had a hearing at a Court of Inquiry, and was
cleared by age and infirmity." "Oct 22, 1785." "Thos Taylor, Pt"
The "age and infirmity" in this last paper must refer to some
law-limit as a soldier, for he could not have been more than 40 or 45 years old. It will be noted that the two papers were given nearly six
years apart, and signed by the same man. At present, I am not posted as
to who Thomas Taylor was, or what his office was, as indicated by "Pt". At any rate, these papers show that he was an enlisted Soldier of the
I have also found his name in the "Colonial Records" as a "Juror
of Court" Sept 22, 1769. (Vol 8, p 72). And presenting a claim, in conjunction with a Jas. Walker, for an "outlawed Negro wench" - which
was not granted. Nov. 3, 1769 - Vol 8, p 138. These old Craig's lived in the formative period of the country, and it required a vast amount of
endurance, pluck, energy and patriotism to meet the demands of their time. In their day, it was usual for a true man to be farmer, soldier,
tradesman and everything else that was necessary to meet the times. The
old Craig's were not found wanting in facing and sharing the heroic trials which laid the foundations for far easier and greater things
which their descendants now enjoy. I doubt very much if the present generations, with their vastly increased advantages would or could
endure what their forefathers did with a like spirit. They were a manly
and noble set of old men.
It is my impression that James Craig was not a very pious or
religious man. He has been represented to me as a man of heavy build, and rather stern and commanding in manner. His bones lie buried in the
old New Hope Graveyard, under the Cedar Trees, and beside his wife and children. His wife lived a number of years after he died, and was well
remembered by my Father.
As I have remarked elsewhere, he married "Rebecca" Ball (Died
Aug 16, 1830 - aged 90 yrs) - see, what I know of her and the Ball family, on pages 12 - 14 (no longer correct page numbers). She is said
to have been a most excellent woman, and very pious, and strict in rearing her children. She and her daughter "Rebecca", were among the
reorganizers of New Hope Church in 1820.
The children of James Craig and his wife Rebecca Ball, were as follows:
Name Born Died Married to
1 William Mar 12, 1764 In S. Carolina Mary McBride
2 Agness May 28, 1766 Jul 28, 1767
3 Agness May 6, 1768 ? Joseph Marlette
4 Rebkah Jun 15, 1770 Mar 14, 1846
5 James Sep 10, 1772 Oct , 1846 Sarah Burns
6 John Dec 26, 1774 Aged about 25
7 Margrat Nov 1, 1777 In Arkansas Robert Nickols
8 Isaac Feb 10, 1779 Apr 4, 1859 Betsey Murray & N. Jacobs
9 David W. Oct 12, 1786 Nov 12, 1862 Isabel Nelson
I have copied the above birth dates from an old paper, yellow with age, which I found recently among James Craig's papers, after the
death of his Granddaughter - "Ibbey Craig". The spelling of the names is as I find it, and the two "Agness'", I had always been told were
"Nancy's", but it does not so appear in the old paper, and it is right -
It is now in order to trace the history of the above children
and their generations as best I can.
1 William: Born in 1764, was for a short time, in the military service
of his country, at the close of the Revolutionary War. He married Mary McBride who lived in Orange County at the place where David A. Clayton
now lives. There was no vestige of a house there in my boyhood, and it was known as "McBride's old field". I know nothing of the McBride
family - they were all gone long before my day. It was here that William Craig was married to his wife - "Mary", and soon afterwards they
moved to "York County", South Carolina. I doubt very much if he ever visited North Carolina again except one time. He was then getting old,
and his Mother was very old, and as he came in (a stranger) and sat by the fire and talked, it was noticed that the old lady became nervous -
and would stare at him and finally she said - "Is that my Billy?" - They
tried to keep her quiet, and she resumed her composure, but not long: She suddenly screamed - "It is my Billy!" and rushed into his arms. The
absence of Rail Roads, and the modes of travel in those days, made
it almost impossible for families at long distances to visit each other.
His brother Isaac and sister Rebecca once visited him in South Carolina,
and they made the journey on horseback. I have in my possession a number of letters written by "William and Mary" to the old people.
These old letters might be of great interest to some of his descendants,
if I knew who they were or where to find them. I have never been able to meet a single one of his descendants or to find out a word about
them. I have often tried but always failed. From some of these old letters, it would seem that he had at least two sons - James and David,
and some of the old people thought he had a daughter by the name of
"Tirzah". (So I have recently learned from Mrs. R. M. Oates of
Charlotte, N. C. - Tirzah is a Granddaughter (1902)). By a close search
and rereading of these old letters, I am almost sure I could fix a date of his death - but they are not at hand. The last letters were written
by his wife after his death, and judging her by them, she must have been
a very intelligent and thrifty woman.
2 Agness - this one seems to have been a child who died at a year and
two months old.
3 Agness - Until recently I was under the impression that these names
were "Nancy". I think my Grandfather thought so, and so informed his children - It may have been "Nancy Agness". I always heard there were
two of the same name. This woman married Joseph Mallette - or "Marlatt", as it was often spelled. He was a "Hatter" by trade, and
came from the "North". He was not a native of N. C. I have been told that the old man James, her father, was bitterly opposed to the match,
while her mother, "Rebecca", favored it. The result was an elopement. She left the house by way of a window, and it was the second house
described on page 56. Joseph Mallette lived and died a few hundred yards to the southeast from the base of the
"Scarlett Mountains", and about a half mile to the north of where I was born. A
few piles of rock and the old spring are the only marks, at present, of the old settlement. I do not know how many children they had, but I
never heard of but three daughters and one son. The son - Isaac Mallette - went away as a young man, and have no knowledge of him
whatever. The names of the daughters were Nancy and Rebecca. Nancy married a man by the name of Tinnin in the Hawfields, and had a family.
I never knew them, but some of the family still live in the Hawfields, I
suppose. Rebecca married Thomas Jacobs, and afterwards, Charles Freeland. By Mr. Jacobs she had two children - daughters, Nancy and
Harriett. Nancy married Isaac Craig, her great Uncle, in his old age, and afterwards, Wm McCauley. She had no children. Harriett married
Cameron Craig (son of Alex, son of John, son of William) by whom she had
a large family - Nancy, Sandy, Johnston, Sarah (wife of Geo. Freeland), Rebecca who is Mrs. Hayse with a family, and William. All these Craig's
descendants of Agnes Mallette, have children except Nancy. Sandy and Johnston live in Chatham County.
4 Rebecca: Lived and died unmarried at the old Homestead. She lived to
a good old age, and was a Mother for her brother David's (my Grandfather) children. His wife (Isabel Nelson) died at the birth, or
soon after, of her sixth child, and they were all little things - when she (their "Aunt Becca") as they called her, took charge of them and
reared them. She also had the care of her aged Mother - Rebecca. My Father loved her as his own Mother, and never ceased to speak of her in
the most endearing terms. She died suddenly - almost dropped dead - at the age of 72. She, like her Mother, was a most pious and excellent
woman, and very industrious. She did a vast amount of work on her "Flax
Wheel", and made many beautiful pieces of Bedding and other nice things.
The remnants of her handiwork were seen at the old place for a long time
5 James: This man married Sallie Burns, daughter of Andrew Burns "the
Weaver". He lived not very far to the north of where I was born on the land of his fathers, at the old place known in my day as the "Barbee
Place". He died Oct, 1846, and his wife died July, 1824. They are both buried at the old New Hope Graveyard, under the Cedar Trees, a little to
the east. I do not know the exact number of his children - I have knowledge of only three or four:William, was the only son, and he went
away as a young man, and seems to have been lost sight of by my branch of the family. I think I have heard that he lived for a time somewhere
on Haw River, and died unmarried.Candis - was the name of one of his daughters, and one of them married a Mr. Bachelor. It may have been
"Candis" or another, I cannot tell. The Bachelor's lived in Wake
County, or in the "Piney Woods" and were poor people. I know nothing of
them or the family.Mary - or "Polly" as she was called married William Cheek, and lived in the "Cam Creek" settlement. I remember seeing her
and knew some of her children. She was a nice good woman, and her husband was an excellent - hard working man. He died at a very advanced
age - a very old man. Some of his children were Calvin (who was a Baptist Preacher), Mrs. Murphy Smith, Mrs. Reeves, and Mebane and Merrit
who were twins - they are nice honest men, and live in Durham, N. C. The above Mrs. Smith had a trifling husband who left her - with two or
three daughters. One of these daughters married a Mr. Sharp, one married a Mr. Borland and one of them married William Craig, son of
6 John: This man never married. He was afflicted with "white swelling",
and was a great sufferer for many years. He died at about thirty years old. He, being confined to his room nearly all his life, became a very
literary man - at least, he is said to have read and mastered all the books within his reach. He is also said to have been a constant student
of the Bible, and was a very good man and very intelligent.
7 Margaret: This woman married a man named Robert Nickols and moved to
Arkansas. I know nothing of the Nickols family. I suppose they had a family in Ark, but I know absolutely nothing of them.
8 Isaac: I remember this man well, when I was a boy. He died when I was
about ten years old - Apl 4, 1859. He was a stern, active and smart old
fellow. He would have made a fine lawyer. He was a good business man in his day. He never grew old. I saw him walk across his room the day
he died, quickly and erect, to the door, and as he looked out, he said -
"Green world! I would live in it always if I could." He was then 80 years old. He died at the old John Craig settlement, now owned by J. W.
Cole. He had no children, and willed his land and two Negroes to my Father when he died. He had two wives. He first married when he was
about 18 years old to Betsey Murray said to have been old enough for his
mother. She was also an invalid. Then on the other extreme, he married Nancy Jacobs, his Grand-Niece who was comparatively young - see
page 62 (no longer correct page numbers). Both were strange marriages, to say the least. His last wife was a very intelligent woman, and
highly respected by all who knew her. She married the second time to Col. William McCauley. She was born Jan. 22, 1820, and died May 16,
1891. She was buried near by the grave of my Father - they were great friends. Isaac Craig was buried with Masonic honor, and his grave is
beside his first wife across the meadow to the east from his house, where he died.
9 David: This man, David Wilson Craig, born Oct. 12, 1786, and died Nov.
12, 1862, was my Grandfather. He got the name of "Wilson", I am told through the Ball's. The wife of James Ball (Rebecca) - his Grandmother,
was Miss Wilson. My Grandfather was the youngest child - and seven years younger than Isaac, the last before him, and nearly twenty-two
years younger than the eldest child - William. Thus being born away, in
time, from the others, it more or less estranged him from the others all
his life. He was a petted and spoiled child, and I do not think he ever
got over it in after life. In his youth, he was said to have been exceedingly handsome and fine looking. He was naturally smart and
intelligent, and received a better education than the others, and he inherited the greater part of his Father's estate. He was a favored
child, in every respect, over the others. He never was what is often called "a working man", but he had the ability or management to have a
lot of work done. He was always a good provider for his family. I heard him say in his old age, that he had never bought a bushel of corn
in his life. He managed, even in his old age, always to have a plenty. If he had a profession at all, it was that of "School Teacher". He
spent a great part of his life in teaching school. Among my first recollections of him were seeing him teaching his last school, in 1855.
He was a noted Scribe or pensman, and wrote beautifully, and this was one of the chief things taught in his day. He was also a good
mathematician, and upon the whole, stood high in his day as a Teacher of
the common "old field school". He was also much in and about the Courts
as Deputy Sheriff, Constable, Collector of Claims, Clerk. He was a very
prominent and useful man in his day. He was a passionate man, and often
showed a fiery temper. He was accused of being a very proud man, in manner, learning and dress. In his prime, he must have been of very
commanding appearance, and fine looking. As I remember him, he had but one eye, but I used to think that eye could see through me. It was a
keen - penetrating blue eye. About ten or fifteen years before he died,
there came a little sore on the lower lid of his right eye, which he attributed to a ? from a hot scale of iron in his Smith - Shop. It
continued to increase and grow and develop into a terrible cancer. It finally consumed his entire eye, and the greater part of the flesh on
his cheek, and of course killed him. It took it twelve or fifteen years
to do its work, and he suffered untold agonies in those years. But he had his rest spells from the pain, and he loved "to fish" on the creeks
and I was often his companion. As a little boy, I loved him dearly; and
it is a strange fact that in those days he often told my Mother that I was sure to be a Preacher someday. I was named for him, and he often
called me "little Dave", and he did not like it that they called me "Irvin" instead of "David".
He married a daughter of Col. John Nelson, (Isabel) Apl. 28,
1814. See pages 47 and 48 (no longer correct page numbers). She was his first cousin, one step removed. She lived only about ten years
after their marriage. He never married again but lived in the same old yard with his Mother and Sister Rebecca; but in a separate house, which
he built and which still stands. After his Mother and his Sister died, he continued to live at the same place until he died - Nov. 12, 1862.
For twenty or more years, he and his two children - Ibbey and Wiley - lived alone together. He was terribly exercised, about the time he
died, over the Civil War. When he heard of the Secession of South Carolina, he exclaimed - "This Country is forever ruined!" He was an
ardent "Whig" in his day, and opposed to the war, as most of the Whigs were. He was the Father of six children, as follows:
1. Jennie Born May 7, 1815 Died Apr 2, 1828
2. James Newton Born Oct 14, 1816 Died Feb 12,1879
3. Rebecca Born Apr 20, 1819 Died Oct 27,1839
4. Isabel Born Oct 4, 1820 Died Jan 8, 1897
5. John Born Feb 3, 1822 Died In Childhood
6. Wiley Franklin Born Sep 1, 1823 Died Oct 21,1890
It will be seen from the above that just one half of them died
very young. Jennie died at 13 - a lovely girl, almost idolized by my Father. They were little companions after their Mothers death, and he
said, when she died it almost killed him. He never ceased to remember and talk of his sister Jennie. Rebecca was nearly or quite grown when
she died - 20 years old. She is said to have been a splendid girl and full of life and fun. She was the fourth "Rebecca" in the family.
There was "Granny" Ball, "Granny" Craig, "Aunt Becca" and sister "Becca". The name "Rebecca" has since dropped out of this branch of the
John died as a little boy about ten years old - I don't know the
date.Wiley Franklin - while a youth and young man, was like other men, but in after life he was "curious" and "queer" in his ways. He was by
no means a "non-campas-mintus", for he was intelligent, a wide reader, a
fine memory, and wonderful conversational powers. His trouble seemed to
be a total lack of will power. When left alone he had no idea of time, and was unable to accomplish his purpose. This was true of all work he
attempted, or in getting ready to go to Church or elsewhere. I have heard many theories advanced as a cause for this defect - one was that a
horse kicked him in the head, in his youth - another was, that it was caused by a terrible disappointment in a love affair when he was a young
man; but my theory is that it was the terrible curse of self-abuse. A more generous, kind hearted and obliging man never lived than he. His
life was pitiful, for he was helpless, and owing to his condition and surroundings, it was almost impossible to help him. Of course he never
married, and he died in misery and wretchedness - See my diary of 1891 -
page 336 (no longer correct page numbers). He died about ten years after my Father, and about seven years before "Aunt Ibbey". He and she
(Isabel) always lived together - twenty-eight years after Grandfathers death and when Wiley F. died (Oct 21, 1890) she was left absolutely
alone.Isabel, or "Aunt Ibbey", as we always called (her) lived to be 77 years old. She died Jan 8, 1897. She lived alone and died alone. She
was never married, and had very little dealings with mankind. She was a
strange and eccentric woman. She would not allow any one of her people to do anything for her - though they tried a thousand times and in a
thousand ways. She would seemingly always do just the opposite to what she thought they desired her to do. If her brother was "curious", she
was equally so, but from an entirely different standpoint. She was suspicious of everyone, and it was almost impossible to have any
friendly dealings with her. She would not react a foot of her land, for
many years, or do anything like other women.
She had a plenty to live on all her days, but it was of no manner of use
to her. She would (not) let us manage or advice her in her affairs - and then she would occasionally have about her were very unworthy
people. She was a constant source of grief and sorrow to my Father as long as he lived. And after his death, she was the same for my Mother
and all of us, as long as she lived. Poor old soul, I so often felt so sorry for her, and longed to help her, and could have made her condition
so much better, but she would not let me. She died in misery and wretchedness (See Diary of 1897 - P 383)(no longer correct page
numbers), and is buried under the Cedars in the Old Graveyard, at her own request, by the side of her sister Rebecca. Uncle Wiley is buried
in the New Graveyard at New Hope Church.
James Newton - My Father. He was always known as "Newton" Craig. He was the only one of the six children who was ever married. He was born
Oct. 14, 1816 - married Emeline Moore Strayhorn Dec. 15, 1842, and died February 12, 1879 - in the 63rd year of age. He, like his Father, was a
handsome and fine looking man. He was of very commanding appearance, very erect and exactly six feet high, and weighed about 160 or 170
pounds. His eyes were pale blue, and his hair so fine as silk, and dark
- but not black. He had a high forehead, and when he died he was almost
entirely bald on the top of his head. His hair never became very grey, but his beard was very white. He always wore side whiskers. He was a
very high minded and proud man, and was very neat in his dress, and liked to dress well. He was always very particular about his hat and
shoes. He used to say that these two articles were the test of a man's personal appearance. I remember when he wore a high silk hat and broad
cloth clothes, and he was indeed a fine looking man. During his latter life, after the war, when he was burdened with cares and debts, and not
able to appear as he once did, I have known him often to go to the field
to work, and take with him an extra shirt and pair of shoes and hide them in the bushes, and if any one came to see him he would don his
shirt and shoes and go to meet them. He had a high sense of honor and integrity of character. He was as far from stooping to a mean and
dishonorable thing as any man I ever knew. He scorned a liar and all men who were deceptive in their dealings. He was a very intelligent
man, but never had the advantages of anything but a very limited education. For many years he was a Magistrate, and was often spoken of
as a candidate for the Legislature, but was never elected. In his youth
he lived a few years with his Uncle Samuel and Paisley Nelson, and learned the carriage making business; and following this trade more or
less, at times, up to the Civil War. He had both a Wood Shop and a Blacksmith Shop, and he made some money at the business. When he did
a piece of work in wood, it was always very ingeniously, carefully and honestly done. He had a natural gift or talent in painting designs and
letters, and could cut the most beautiful letters and perfect letters in
stone with his knife - the letters at the head of Grandfather Strayhorn's grave is a specimen of his work.
He was a victim of the Civil War. It left him care worn by
trouble, his property swept away, involved hopelessly in debt - and largely security debt, and with a broken spirit, he never rallied from
its effects. For a time, he was a Soldier in active service. I think it was in 1865 - about two months, under the last conscript law, or call
for men under 50 years old. He did not shirk the duty, but went - and was stationed in the eastern part of the state at Goldsboro and Kinston,
with what was known as the "Home Guards". It seemed to me that he was never the same man afterwards. At that time he owned five Negroes - (he
had lost several by death, but had never sold one, and would not) and at
least one thousand acres of land - three plantations: but the Negroes were freed, and he could not extricate himself from his other monetary
affairs. Gradually, he saw it all going from him, and at the time of his
death everything was in the clutches of relentless creditors and sharpers - and he died! Feb. 12, 1879.
He was a most devoted Father. He almost idolized his children,
and was proud of them. It was his life-long desire to see them educated, and useful and honorable men and women in the world. He set a
high estimate upon education, and he did all he could to that end, for his children. He was also a companion and "a boy" with his boys, and
entered, at times, into all their fun and frolic. Moreover, he was a friend to the very poor people about him, and helped them greatly during
their hard times of the War. He was buried in the new - New Hope Graveyard, beside his little boy Vernon, in the spot which he himself
selected for his child. His funeral was conducted by the Rev. P. H. Dalton. - See my Diary's.
His children, by my Mother - Emeline Strayhorn who still lives,
thanks unto the Lord - were as follows:
1 Milton Elwood Jun 10, 1844 Caroline Strayhorn
2 Mary Isabel Adeline Oct , 1846 W. J. Anderson
3 David Irvin Feb 11, 1849 Isabel G. Newman
4 Laura Emeline Apl 7, 1851
5 Jasper Newton Nov 26, 1853 Mollie Johnston & Bertha Ratliffe
6 Samuel Lawrence Aug 13, 1856 Jan 3, 1857
7 Nancy Jane Florence Jan 6, 1858
8 Isaac Thomas Aug 17, 1860
9 Alice Moore Apl 7, 1863 Robt P. Blackwood
10 Vernon Apl 20, 1868 Dec 31, 1868
The remains of Samuel Lawrence were transferred to the New Graveyard, Feb 15, 1879 - see Diary.
John died as a little boy about ten years old - I don't know the date.
Wiley Franklin - while a youth and young man, was like other men, but in
after life he was "curious" and "queer" in his ways. He was by no means
a "non-campas-mintus", for he was intelligent, a wide reader, a fine
memory, and wonderful conversational powers. His trouble seemed to be a
total lack of will power. When left alone he had no idea of time, and was unable to accomplish his purpose. This was true of all work he
attempted, or in getting ready to go to Church or elsewhere. I have heard many theories advanced as a cause for this defect - one was that a
horse kicked him in the head, in his youth - another was, that it was caused by a terrible disappointment in a love affair when he was a young
man; but my theory is that it was the terrible curse of self-abuse. A more generous, kind hearted and obliging man never lived than he. His
life was pitiful, for he was helpless, and owing to his condition and surroundings, it was almost impossible to help him. Of course he never
married, and he died in misery and wretchedness - See my diary of 1891 -
page 336. He died about ten years after my Father, and about seven years before "Aunt Ibbey". He and she (Isabel) always lived together -
twenty-eight years after Grandfathers death and when Wiley F. died (Oct 21, 1890) she was left absolutely alone. Isabel, or "Aunt Ibbey", as we
always called (her) lived to be 77 years old. She died Jan 8, 1897. She lived alone and died alone. She was never married, and had very
little dealings with mankind. She was a strange and eccentric woman. She would not allow any one of her people to do anything for her -
though they tried a thousand times and in a thousand ways. She would seemingly always do just the opposite to what she thought they
desired her to do. If her brother was "curious", she was equally so, but from
an entirely different standpoint. She was suspicious of everyone, and it was almost impossible to have any friendly dealings with her. She
would not react a foot of her land, for many years, or do anything like other women. She had a plenty to live on all her days, but it was of no
manner of use to her. She would (not) let us manage or advice her in her affairs - and then she would occasionally have about her were very
unworthy people. She was a constant source of grief and sorrow to my Father as long as he lived. And after his death, she was the same for
my Mother and all of us, as long as she lived. Poor old soul, I so often felt so sorry for her, and longed to help her, and could have made
her condition so much better, but she would not let me. She died in misery and wretchedness (See Diary of 1897 - P 383)(no longer correct
page numbers), and is buried under the Cedars in the Old Graveyard, at her own request, by the side of her sister Rebecca. Uncle Wiley is
buried in the New Graveyard at New Hope Church.
The remains of Samuel Lawrence were transferred to the New
Graveyard, Feb 15, 1879 - see Diary.
Milton, married Caroline Strayhorn, a daughter of John Strayhorn and
Eliza Cole. He has a large and interesting family. He has spent most of his life in teaching school. The names of his children are: Oscar,
Clyde, Ada, Emma, Mary, John - died, - Albert and Allen - twins, Clifford, and Carrie. Adeline, married late in life, Mr. W. J. Anderson
a prosperous farmer of Alamance Co. He had a large family by a former wife: all grown.Irwin, married Isabel G. Newman of Columbia, S. C. and
has four children - Marion, Irvin, Carl, and Louise. For more than twenty years he has been Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in
Reidsville, N. C.asper, lives in Reidsville, N. C. He has been married twice. His first wife was Mollie Johnston of Caswell Co. who left him
one child - Elizabeth. His second wife is Alberta Ratliffe of
Wentworth, N. C.Laura, Florence and Thomas still abide with our Mother at the old home in Orange Co. - all unmarried.Alice, married Robt. P.
Blackwood (see page 27) and lives near by the old place. She has a most
interesting family of little children - Nettie, Annie, Vernon, Albert - died, Samuel, Alice - died, and Florence Belle.
Thus I have written the Origin and History of William Craige and
his generations, in a brief way, down to the present time.
It may help future generations to see where they came from, and
their connections, and if like me, it will be a great satisfaction.
It will be noted that very few of the male line of William
Craige's descendants, bearing the name Craig, are now to be found in North Carolina and still a fewer number are to be found in old Orange
County, the original home.
It will also be noted that the line through "David", has been
the most prolific and prosperous, and is today the representative of more wealth and position in the world than any of the others. This line
has no Craig representatives in North Carolina; but they are to be found
in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas.
It will be noted, lastly, that in all lines, and everywhere,
they are a respectable, high-toned, and substantial race of people.
D. I. Craig
Reidsville, N. C.
January 17, 1899