Informal Clan

By Don D. Crawford 8/09

John Alden and the other Pilgrims on the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock (MA) in 1620. Many Scot-Irish-Americans arrived in the early 1700s and shortly after arrival went to the frontier, where their fighting heritage and fighting skills created a buffer between the settled eastern coast and the American Indians. Several tribes often became deadly opponents in conflicts with the pioneers on the frontier. In one incident, Indians captured Colonel William Crawford 1732 - 1782, tied Crawford to a stake, tortured and burned Crawford. Crawford was an early friend and fellow surveyor with George Washington, fought in the French and Indian War, served as Colonel in the 7th Virginia Regiment during the Revolutionary War, and in 1782, at the age of 50, led an expedition against the Indians along the Sandusky River. William's parents, William (or Valentine) Crawford and Honora Grimes,were Scot-Irish-American farmers.

Although both the pilgrims and the Scot-Irish-Americans shared a dedication to freedom in the new world, the pilgrims valued community in the commonwealth sense whereas the Scot-Irish-Americans valued community in a tribal or informal clan sense. A common cultural heritage (including familiarity with and often actual experience in formal clans in Scotland and/or Ireland), common enemies, and similar traits caused families to form strong alliances and bonds which may descriptively be referred to as INFORMAL CLAN relationships. In some cases, the connections were strengthened by marriages and continued for many generations. Subsequent generations of these families migrated farther west as the frontier advanced west. Over the course of time, some clans continued the long standing bonds and sometimes the families changed, with additional groups included particularly by marriages and other groups being left behind or dying out.

In some cases, families had lived in the same areas of Scotland, moved to the same areas of Northern Ireland and moved to the same areas in America. An informal clan of Crawfords, Jacksons and Hutchinsons migrated to America and resided in the Waxhaw area when Andrew Jackson was born to the group. According to Jim McQuinston in an article entitled “Andrew Jackson's Scotland Connection,” published in the Higlander March/april 2007, “The road south from Coleraine leads to Aghadowey. In this short strech of land and in Ballymoney to the east, Dungiven to the west and nearby Lislane and Macosquin, there were found the families of McQuiston and Hutchinson, as well as Jackson, Moody, Vance, Crawford, Craighead and many more who, in family lore and historical records, are linked to Andrew Jackson… one can take just a quick look at the histories of the names of Hutchinson, Jackson, McQuiston and Moody – and others like Craighead, Caldwell, Calhoun, Crockett, Crawford, Montgomery, Hamilton, Wilson, Nelson, Vance, Holland, and Rankin – to see how close these families were to each other and to the Andrew Jackson legacy. In unison, they moved from the Bann Valley of Ulster to southeastern Pennsylvania. Later, they moved to the Carolinas. Members of all of these families fought at the Siege of Londoderry in 1689 and held of King James' troops for 105 days. Nearly 100 years latr, during the Americn War for Independence, their descendants fought in the Waxhaw region of North Carolina and South Carolina and at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse near Greensboro, North Carolona. There, they put one-quarter of Lord Cornwallis'crack troops out of commission. They were war hardened, freedom-loving scots families, intermarried many times over, mixing well the bloodlines of Robert the Bruce, William Wallace and the Clan Donald. Andrew Jackson recommended that the younger men he mentored read the life of Wiliam Wallace and of the Scottish chieftains.

In 1721,John Rutherford and Elizabeth Rutherford set sail from Northern Ireland to American with their infant son,Griffith Rutherford. Both parents died at sea and Rutherford relatives in New Jersey raised orphaned Griffith. Rutherford moved to Halifax County North Carolina. Griffith married Mary Johnston 1762 -1833, the daughter of John Johnston1734 - 1816 and Elizabeth Locke 1742 - 1815. Elizabeth's broher, Matthew Locke 1730 -1801 also served as a Brigidier General of North Carolina Troops during the War of the Revolution. In the 1750s Griffith settled in Rowan County, North Carolina with other Scot-Irish-American families. Families associated with the Rutherfords included the Grahams, Johnstons, Ewings, Campbells, McGavocks, Crocketts, Reeds, Porters, McCullohs (also later spelled McCulloch) and the Crawfords. Griffith was appointed deputy to John frohock, surveyor for Henry E. McCulloh. During the War of the Revolution, Griffith served as Brigadier General for the patriots against the British.

In 1774 Presbyterian Dissenters of Peaks of Otter Church petitioned House of Burgesses for permission to own slaves and and to own land in order to pay for a minister. The petition reiterated willingness to “contribute our Quota in Support of the Church of England” and recognized that they enjoyed “the free Exercises of our Religion as Presbyterian Dissenters unmolested.” The Petition requested protection of House of Burgesses for protection of the continued practice of their religion which they “humbly conceive is well calculated to make men wise here and happy thereafter.” One hundred two men signed the petition including seven Dooleys, six Ewings, five Kennedys, four Reeds, three Campbells, three Beards, and William Rutherford. (Hunthill p 11of 19 citing Virginia Historical Magazine vol 12 Published by the Virginia Historical Society. Vols. 1-68. 1893-1960)

As shown by this record,the distasteful “established church” did not belong only to the practices in England, Scotland and Ireland but had become part of the Colonial American experience as well. Many issues united these families into “INFORMAL CLANS.” Religious freedom was paramount and the issues for the War of the Revolution and the language in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution reflected the same.

In 1783, Griffith joined with William Blount 1749 - 1800 (paymaster during War of Revolution and 1790 appointed by President George Washington as first Governor of the Territory South of Ohio River), Richard Caswell 1729 - 1789 (served as Major General in War of the Revolution and elected first Governor of North Carolina), Joseph Martin 1740 - 1808 (Brigidier General of VA militia in War of the Revolution), John Donelson 1720-1785 (Co-founder of Nashville, TN), and General John Sevier 1745 -1815 (commanded the Washington County, TN Over Mountain men in the Battle of Kings Mountain and first Governor of TN),in an unsuccessful attempt to settle the area known as the Bent in the Tennessee. In a leter from William Blount to General James Robertson 1742 -1814 dated May, 1792, published in the Ameican Historical Magazine states, “General Rutherford and W.F. Lewis will leave in September with thirty wagons, so they write me. The General has actually exchanged all his lands in North Carolina for lands on the Cumberland.”

James Robertson was a Scot-Irish-American explorer, who in 1759 accompanied Daniel Boone on his third expedition to lands beyond the Alleghany Mountains. In 1772, Robertson settled on Watauga River in Northeast TN. In 1776, John Sevier, Robertson, and 40 men held Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals against attacks of the Cherokees. In 1779, James Robertson led a group of about 200 setters from the Watauga settlement in northwestern Norh Carolina to the banks of the Cumberland River near present downtown Nashville. A few months later Robertson was joined by friend and fellow Watauga settler, John Donnelson 1720 -1785, co-founder of Nashville, who broght 60 families, including women and children by flat boats down th Tennessee rifer and up the Cumberland River, arriving April 23, 1880.

In 1789, the United States Constitution finally replaced the Articles of Confederation. At that time the Chickasaw Indian Nation controlled the territory between the Tennessee River and the Mississippi River and used the area as hunting grounds.

In 1794,after the organization of the Territory of the United States South of the Ohio River, President George Washington appointed Griffith Rutherford 1721 to the Legislative Council, whereupon he was elected President (over John Sevier). The western part of North Carolina became the State of Tennessee in 1796, but the State ended at the Tennessee River,as the Chickasaws controlled the territory between the Tennessee River and the Mississippi River. In 1796 General John Sevier was elected the first Governor of Tennessee, and held the office for three terms.

Griffith's son, Henry Rutherford 1762 -1847,served in the War of the Revolution and became a noted surveyor by his early twenties. In 1785, Henry and a small party ventured into the Northwest part of Tennessee, established ”Key Corner,” and surveyed large tracts of land for Revolutionary War veterans. “Key Corner” named the location of a large Sycamore tree on the banks of the Forked Deer River, where Henry Rutherford carved his initials to mark the beginning point of all of Rutherford's Forked Deer surveys. Daniel Boone later made trips to the area.

Henry Rutherford's daughter, Elizabeth Rutherford 1787 - 1854, first married John Crawford 1784 -1812 in Williamson County Tennessee in 1808. Elizabeth and John had three sons; Washington Pinckney Crawford and twin boys Henry Rutherford Crawford (second son named for his maternal grandfather in the Scottish tradition) and James Johnson Crawford (Elizabeth's grandfather was John Johnston). John Crawford served as a Captain, who provisioned his own troops during the War of 1812 and died in 1812. John was a surveyor by trade and was associated with Robert Weakley, Speaker of the Tennnessee House of Representatives and a cousin of the Rutherfords (and other related families), and with U.S. Senator Felix Grundy, brother-in-law to Randall McGavock. James Knox Polk studied law in Tennessee at the office of Senator Felix Grundy. After Felix Grundy died while serving as Senator, President James Knox Polk purchased the Grundy mansion in Nashville, but died shortly after his Presidency ended.

In January of 1818, with much credit to the efforts of Scot-Irish-American, Andrew Jackson, by Presidential Proclamation Tyler announced the treaty with the Chickasaws whereby the Chickasaws sold the hunting lands north of what is now the Tennessee-Missiipppi state line to the United States. The treaty with the Chickasaw Indians made this part of the westward migration possible.A few months after the Treaty with the Chickasaws, Henry Rutherford, Henry's daughter Eliizabeth, Elizabeth's three young sons (Washington Pinckney Crawford, Henry Rutherford Crawford and James Johnson Crawford), Elizabeth's second husband Oliver Crenshaw, and others descended the Cumberland River from Nashville and settled in Northwest Tennessee about two miles east of Key Corner, in 1819.

An informal clan of Jacksons, Hutchinsons and Crawfords migrated together to PA in the early 1700s and settled in the Waxhaws about 1760. Colonel John Crawford 1687 - 1748 born in Ayshire Scotland, moved to Northern Ireland, then to America had at least the following children; (1) John Crawford, who may have stayed in Ireland and who had two sons - James (who may be the missing link for the subject Crawford's father of John Crawford 1784 and John Crawford who married Agnes Glass; (2) Major Robert Crawford 1728 -1801, born in PA, served in the War of the Revolution, and married Jean White; (3) James Crawford c. 1725 -1780 served in the War of the Revolution and married Jane Hutchinson, whose sister married Andrew Jackson Sr. Andrew Jackson, Sr. died and the widow along with General/President Andrew Jackson, then a young boy, came to live with the Crawfords in the Waxhaw area near the border of North Carolina and South Carolina. Major Robert Crawford's son John Crawford 1778 - 1816 married Ann Beard Phifer the grand daughter of General Matthew Locke 1730 -1801. James 1725 Crawford's daughter, Margaret 1756 -1816, married Alexander Campbell 1752 -1859. Alexander Campbell and Margaret Crawford Campbell are interred at the W.A. Bryan cemetery on the line between Davidson Co. and Williamson Co, TN along with John Johnston 1734 -1816 and wife Elizabeth Locke Johnston 1743 1815 (General Matthew Locke's sister). John 1734 Johnston's mother was Elizabeth Campbell. Alexander 1752 Campbell's daughter Mary married Richard McMahon, the son of John Blair McMahon and whose children included Alexander Campbell MeMahon 1819 -1885 and John Brooks McMahon 1816 - 1892. John Brooks McMahon came to Texas and was known to be the cousin of Henry Rutherford Crawford 1811. The connection of the subject Crawford clan to the following clan of Crawfords remains undetermined, although the two Crawford families married many related families and moved in the same areas during the same periods of time.

Scot-Irish-Americans Sam Houston, John Coffee, Harmon Hays, Davy Crockett and Thomas Hart Benton (possible Saxon-Celt, but married Scot-Irish-American Elizabeth McDowell)all served under General Andrew Jackson against the Creek Indians in the War of 1812. Later Thomas Hart Benton and his brother had a gunfight with Andrew Jackson and John Coffee in a Nashville hotel that left Andrew Jacckson with bullet in his chest. Benton and Jacson later reconcilied differences when both served as U.S. Senators.

John Donnelson (I), born in Scotland, came to America in 1716 and married Catherine Davis 1696 -1730. John and Caterine had a son, Colonel John Donnelson (II) 1720 - 1785, a co-founder of Nashville, TN who married Rachel Stockley 1715 -1794(whose ancestors originated in Ulster, Northern Ireland). John and Rachel had twelve children among whom were; (#11) Rachel Donnelson 1767 - 1828, who married President & General Andrew Jackson 1767 - 1845, (#5) Jane Donnelson 1787 - ?, who married Colonel Robert Hays, and (3) Captain John Donnelson (III) 1755-1840 who married Mary Purnell 1763 - 1848 and who had thirteen children, among whom was (#7) Mary Donnelson who married General John Coffee. Colonel Robert Hays and Jane Donnelson Hays are the parents of Harmon Hays and the grandparents of Texas Ranger Captain John Coffee "Jack" Hays. John Coffee “Jack” Hays is named for relative Colonel John Coffee. (The years for the Donnelsons hereinabove are approximate and different sources vary.)

Sam Houston, while serving as the first President of the Republic of Texas, appointed John Coffee “Jack” Hays, as the first captain of the Texas Rangers. Davy Crockett and Ben McCulloch were fiends and after Davy died at the Alamo, Ben McCulloch fought at the Battle of San Jacinto under Genral Sam Houston and later served as a Texas Ranger under John Coffee “Jack” Hays. Sam Houston, the first President of the Republic of Texas, and James Knox Polk, the 11th President of the United States, were both Scot-Irish-American proteges of Andrew Jackson and both Governors of Tennessee. Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States and James Knox Polk, the 11th President of the United States, were both born in the Waxhaws. The Waxhaws, located at the border of North Carolina and South Carolina, has been called the “Cradle of Genius” due to the large number of distinguished Americans born there. James Knox Polk was a descendant of John Knox, the founder of Prebyterianism.

James McGavock 1728 - 1827 was born in Antrim Northern Ireland, immigrated to America about 1754, served in the War of the Revolution and married Mary Cloyd, daugher of David Cloyd 1710 - 1792 and Margared Campbell 1707 - 1764. Mary's sister, Elizabeth Cloyd married James McDowell 1739 - 1771 and had a son James McDowell 1759/James McDowell 1759 -1839 who married Sarah Preston. James McDowell and Sarah Preston McDowell are the parents of several children including; James McDowell1784 -1851, Governor of Virginia and U. S. Representative from VA, and Elizabeth McDowell who married U. S. Senator Thomas Hart Benton 1782 -1858. John Kennedy included Thomas Hart Benton as one of the eight senator profiles in the Pulitzer Prize winning Profiles of Courage. Thomas Hart Benton and Elizabeth McDowell had Jessie Benton 1824 -1902 who married John Cahrles Fremeont 1813 1819, the explorer, first governor of CA, and candidate for President.

James McGavock 1728 and Mary Cloyd McGavock had eleven children, among whom was Randal McGavock 1766 -1844, who built Carnton (a plantation, which still stands near Nashville, TN) and who married Sarah D. Rogers 1811-1844. Sarah's sister Ann Rodgers married Senator Felix Grundy. Felix Grundy's granddaughter, Carrie Winder, married John McGavock, her cousin. Carrie's great aunt Sarah Rodgers McGavock was John's mother. In addition, Carrie's Aunt Lousa Grundy married John's cousin, Jacob McGavock 1790-1878. John McGavock 1815 -1893 and Carrie lived at Carnton at the time of the War Between the States and the Battle of Franklin. Carrie Winder McGavock 1829 - 1922 is the subject of Robert Hicks' recent historical fiction, __The Widow of the South.__

James 1728 McGavock's grandson,Oscar Hugh McGavock 1825 - 1860, married America n. Williams, the daughter of William Bryant and America Williams. Edward william's daughter, Nancy Williams, married Henry Rutherfor Crawford, 1811, who had John Washington Williams Crawford who married Virginia Franklin Bateman. Nancy's sister, Edna Williams, 1828 -1880 married John H. Mitchell. Edna and John's son, William H. Mitchell married Nancy Tennesee Bateman, the daughter of Jonathan Thomas Bateman and the sister of Virginia Franklin Bateman.

Hugh McGavock 1761 - 1844, son of James 1728, also served in the War of the Revolution and married Nancy Kent1763 - 1835, daughter of Jacob Kent 1730|Jacob Kent 1730 - 1777 and Mary Crockett Kent 1739 -1826. Mary Crockett's brothers and uncles; including, Colonel Hugh Crockett, Colonel Andrew Crockett and Colonel Walter Crockett all provided distinguished service in the War of the Revolution, including service at the Battle of Kings Mountain. Nancy Kent's brother, Colonel Joseph Kent married Margaret McGavock.

Hugh McGavock's son, James McGavock, 1786 - 1833 married Lucinda Ewing1792 -1847, daughter of Captain Alexander Ewing 1752 -1822 and Sarah "Sally" Smith 1761 - 1850. Hugh and Lucinda's daughter, Sarah McGavock 1815 - 1836 married Jonathan Thomas Bateman1805 - 1897., whose uncle Simeon Bateman, was a Colonist under Empresario Green C. DeWitt residing near Gonzales, Texas, across the Guadalupe River from Sam McCoy and Jesse McCoy. Simeon Bateman 1770 - helped hide the cannon from the Mexicans and helped precipitate the Texas Revolution. Jonathan Bateman and Sarah McGavock Bateman had a daughter, Virginia Franklin Bateman, who married John Washington Williams Crawford (Direct Line: John Crawford 1784, Henry Rutherford Crawford 1811, John Washington Williams Crawford 1837).

Henry Rutherford also made surveys in Northwest Tennessee for Alexander McCulloh, the father of the famous Tennessean-Texian Ben McCulloch (Twin Sisters at San Jacinto, Ranger under John Coffee “Jack” Hays, and General in the War between the states) and Henry E. McCulloch (with similar distinction,including General in the War Between the States). Ben McCulloch, friends with Davy Crockett, fortunately arrived later than Davy and fought at the Battle of San Jacinto under General Sam Houston instead of at the Alamo with Davy Crockett under William Barret Travis and Jim Bowie. Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836. Ben McCulloch surveyed Henry Rutherford Crawford's headright on Plum Creek near present day Lockhart, Texas, after H.R. Crawford became a citizen of the Republic of Texas in 1837.

The Battle of Plum Creek occurred six miles northwest of Lockhart, Texas and about two miles from H.R.'s headright in 1840 involving a fight between Comanches returning from a raid against Victoria, Texas and Linnville,Texas and Texian militia and Texas Rangers including; Ben McCulloch, Edward Burleson, the Zumwalts, Matthew Caldwell and others. Between Victoria and Linnville, the Comanches captued Nancy Darst Cosby, her infant daughter, Mary, and a Negro girl. On the way to Linnville, the Comanches killed the infant. Nancy's husband Cyrus Crosby and Nancy's half brother,David Sterling Hughes Darst, participated in the battle. Cyrus recovered his wife, Nancy Darst Crossby,who had temporarily escaped in the confusion of battle, but who had been speared by the Comanches and died in her husband's arms. In 1845, David S. H. Darst married Emaline Zumwalt, Mahala Zumwalt's sister. David's father,Jacob C. Darst, made the ultimate sacrifice for inalienable rights at the Alamo, as one of the Immortal 32 from Gonzales Texas.

Jesse McCoy, another one of the “Immortal 32” from Gonzales also made the ultimate sacrifice at the Alamo, was Mahala Zumwalt's brother in law (first husband, Sam McCoy's brother). Family tradition is that Sam and Jesse McCoy were cousins of Henry Rutherford Crawford and while administering the Estate of Sam McCoy in Gonzales, Henry Rutherford Crawford fell in love with and married the young widow. Henry Rutherford Crawford and Mahala Zumwalt McCoy Crawford had two children prior to Mahala's death; Elizabeth Crawford and Felix Grundy Crawford 1843, who fought in the 32nd Texas Calvary in the War Between the States.

James Ewing, the great-great grandson of William Ewing and Elizabeth Milford, made the ultimate sacrifice for inalienable rights and freedom at the Alamo on March 6, 1836. Other descendants of William Ewing include; Vice-President and Senator John C. Calhoun, John's wife Floride Calhoun, U.S. Representative Andrew Ewing 1815 -1864 and Andrew's brother U.S. Representative Nathan Hickman Ewing. In addition, Alexander Ewing 1752 is also a descendant of William and Elizabeth.

Henry 1762 Rutherford's daughter, Margaret 1791 m. Robert E. Murray and they moved to Texas shortly after the Mexican War ended about 1850. Their daughter, Amelia Murray m. Valentine Sevier, a nephew of Governor John Sevier, both having migrated from Tennessee to Texas.

John Washington Williams Crawford 1837 - 1921 m. Virginia Franklin Bateman. John W.W. Crawford 1837 - 1921 enrolled for service under Captain Nat Benton in the 32nd Texas Calvary for a term of three years or for the duration of the War Between the States, but was soon discharged for health problems. John's half brother, Felix Grundy Crawford 1843, born in the Republic of Texas to Henry Rutherford Crawford and Mahala Zumwalt, served under Captain Nat Benton in the 32nd Texas Calvary until the war ended. The flag of the 32nd Cavalry was never defeated or surrendered. Felix was named for Felix Grundy due to the relationship between Felix Grundy and John Crawford, the Rutherfords, the McGavocks and other relatives.

Felix Ewing Crawford 1870 (direct ancestral line: General Griffith Rutherford c. 1721 - Henry Rutherford 1762 - Elizabeth Rutherford 1787 - Henry Rutherford Crawford 1811 - John Washington Williams Crawford 1837 - Felix Crawford 1870), had lineal ancestors with the following surnames:the Ewings; the Reeds; the Campbells; the Rutherfords; the Johnstons, the Lockes, the McGavocks; the Smiths, the Porters, the Kents, the Cloyds, the Williams,the Batemans, and the Crocketts (including Joseph Louis Crockett 1676 common ancestor with Davy Crockett 1786, Tennessee frontiersman who died as a hero at the Alamo March 6, 1836). Many of the ancestors of these surnames fought as “Over mountain Men” at the battle of Kings Mountain in the War of the Revolution, under General John Sevier, later Governor of Tennessee. Many of these surnames trace ancestors to William Wallace 1272 - 1305 (Braveheart) and Robert the Bruce, including the Crawfords, the Campbells, and the Crocketts. Margaret Crawford 1251 -1273 was the mother of William Wallace.

For a more complete study of connections between the subject clan and others in DeWitt's Colony, particularly relatives of Mahala Zumwalt, including descendants of Daniel Boone, see the Website for Sons of DeWitt Colony.

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informal_clan.txt · Last modified: 2009/10/10 08:40 by don48
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