Happy 76th Birthday, Dad!
Happy 76th Birthday, Dad!
Week #11’s 52 Ancestors post is more than a little late and I’m afraid that the only excuse that I have is that with the plethora of Irish research site links posted across the internet over the past week, I felt compelled to investigate many, many of them (and there is only so much free time).
My family never leaned toward any cultural or ethnic traditions while I was growing up. I had lots of friends who had those type of family traditions, but we never did. We were just people who lived in Ohio. Because of my auburn hair, fair skin, blue eyes, and smattering of freckles across my nose, I had been asked many, many times in my life if I was Irish – usually around St. Patrick’s Day. I have usually replied that maybe I was, just a little. I really had no idea. Most of my lines, both maternal and paternal have been kicking around the U.S. for hundreds of years, so I think that would make me mostly an American with a heavy dose of European and Scandinavian roots. Now, thanks to DNA testing estimates, I found that indeed I am a bit Irish – approximately 12% worth. There are certainly surnames in my tree that have the appearance of being Irish, but I have always assumed that these people were probably Scotch-Irish. The problem is that all of these Irish sounding ancestors have been here in America forever. Seemingly so, anyway, since I’m not having much luck tracking down the immigrant ancestor for these lines and the records in Ireland are sketchy, at best, pre-1843.
My maternal grandfather Moore’s death certificate stated that he was Irish/American Indian. But then, that’s what my grandmother told them as the informant and that’s the story that he told her. So far, the Native blood hasn’t surfaced, but he did have black hair, darker skin, and eyes that were so brown that they looked black. Moore’s can be Irish. I did a lot of reading seeking information about what exactly the term “Black Irish” means, but it seems that there is no definitive answer on that. It also seems that there is really no answer about what “Luck of the Irish” means, either. Is that bad luck? Is that good luck? So many questions.
After all of my fruitless searching this week, I decided to put Susannah Crawford out here as blatant “cousin bait”. This is one of my huge brick walls that has a bunch of circumstantial evidence, so let me tell you what I know and don’t know. Susannah is my 3rd great-grandmother. She is the mother of Mary Amna Myers, who married Jacob Hackathorn. According to the 1900 census, Susannah was born in February of 1815. This is very consistent with ages given in all other censuses since 1850. In fact, the very consistency with Susannah’s information is why I’m writing about her this week. In giving information to the census enumerator, she always states that both of her parents were born in Ireland (and that fact has also been part of family tradition) and her age is always consistent with the progression of the census years. There is a researcher in Augusta, Ohio who states that Susannah is daughter of Matthew Crawford and a Susannah. As of this writing, no proof of that exists. I had always taken Susannah to be a daughter of one of Matthew’s sons, either William, Matthew, John, or James. My initial reasoning was circumstantial, at best. All of these people lived relatively nearby each other between Augusta and Norristown in Carroll County. These families also lived nearby the family of Silas Myers and all had settled in Columbiana County early on (this part of Columbiana County became Carroll County in 1832 on December 25).
Matthew Crawford, Susannah’s suspected father, was born about 1750 in County Donegal, Ireland. County histories all seem to agree that he immigrated to America in 1803 or 1804 and settled in Washington County, Pennsylvania accompanied by his four sons William, Matthew, John, and James and their families. James’ birth has been stated to be in Drumhome Parrish, County Donegal. A diligent search of ship’s passenger lists from Ireland from 1802 until 1805 have, so far, failed to produce these Crawford families. While son William remained in Pennsylvania, between 1810 and 1820 Matthew and sons Matthew, John, and James removed to the Augusta Township area and the three boys entered 160 acres of land each.
It appears that Matthew, the father, did not purchase land. Although, apparently, he was living in Augusta Township and “spent his last days on this land”. Matthew has sometimes been associated with two younger daughters – Rebecca, born in 1787 and Mary, born in 1791. The mother of the boys is probably named Margaret Letta Brown (or Lettie). Indeed, in the 1810 census where we find him in Washington County, Pennsylvania, the household would appear to reflect this. I have not found Matthew in the 1820 census in Ohio. The Matthew that is attributed to being Matthew, the father, in several trees for the 1820 census I believe to be Matthew the son because of ages of the males. Information for if, and when, Matthew married a Susannah – who would be my Susannah’s mother – has not been found and neither has what happened to her after Matthew died, assuming that he passed before her. I even put out an S.O.S. to the Carroll County Facebook page to see if anyone there might be related to the Crawford or Myers family and still hanging out in the area. No luck.
During these past two weeks I have systematically gone through the 1850 through 1880 censuses noting the sons of Matthew and their families. First, to get them straight because they continue to repeatedly use the same names for their children (and occasionally, using the names again if a young child dies). And secondly, to make sure that Susannah, my 3rd great-grandmother, doesn’t turn up as one of their children. Excepting Matthew, the father, it has also been relatively easy to find the wills of these people through probate records and my Susannah has not turned up as being named as a child in any of these wills. So…speculatively, Matthew, born in County, Donegal, Ireland is going to be who I’m working with as Susannah’s father.
Susannah Crawford married Lambert Myers, son of Silas Myers and Catherine Eads, on 14 September 1830 in Columbiana County, Ohio.
Susannah gave birth to eleven children who survived to adulthood, 3 daughters and 8 sons.
Between the 1850 and 1860 censuses, Susannah and Lambert moved to the East Liverpool area from Carroll County and would live out the rest of their lives in that vicinity. Lambert passes away sometime after the 1880 census. No death certificate or burial site has been found, as of yet, for him. We find Susan living with her daughter, Margaret Elizabeth, 83 years old and widowed, in the 1900 census. This daughter had lived nearby Lambert and Susannah for many years. The 1904 East Liverpool City Directory lists Susannah living just around the corner from Martha Elizabeth in a room at 118 Jackson Square and then she passes away 24 July 1904 and is buried in Spring Grove Cemetery in East Liverpool, Ohio.
I don’t have a positive identification on most of the women in the photograph of Susannah at the beginning of this post. We know that Susannah is sitting front center and standing behind her, slightly left is her daughter Margaret Elizabeth. Susannah had three daughters, and because of the similarities between the woman sitting on left and standing far right to Margaret, I have to believe that the one standing is daughter Katherine and the one sitting in front is daughter Mary. Katherine had two daughters, Minnie G., born 1868 and Mary Susan, born 1870, and it is possible that these two young girls pictured beside and in front of the supposed Katherine in the photo could be those daughters. Because of the clothing styles, it is not unreasonable to think that this photograph could have been taken somewhere between 1880 and 1887, but what the heck would Mary be doing in East Liverpool when she was living in Indiana at that time? One possibility might be that everyone was in town because of the death of Lambert. One might think that Susannah does not look the age of a woman who might be a couple of years either side of 70 in this photo, but some of the women in our family wear their age incredibly well. I really have no idea who the women standing on far left might be. Perhaps they are wives of Susannah’s sons? Perhaps more photographs of the family will surface in the future and we will be able to identify all of these women. Hopefully. So many questions…
This is my Week #11 post for Amy Johnson Crow’s
52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Challenge.
The optional theme for this week was “Luck of the Irish”.
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