William Crumley the First (c1735 – 1793), Originally a Quaker, 52 Ancestors #87

The Crumley Conundrum…that’s what this line of genealogy has been called for years by researchers.  The current generation of researchers named it, but I’m sure all past Crumley researchers would confirm that name with a hearty “hear, hear” or maybe a different line would just say “Amen.”

The Crumley family, due to common first names, large families, wives with no names at all, or no surnames, and often common first names, intermarrying into the same families generation after generation….is a mess.  This has been one of the most difficult unraveling challenges I’ve ever seen…and I don’t pretend to tell you that I have this exactly right.  What I am doing is sharing what I do have documented with the hope that someday, other researchers will be able to add to this research.

I’m fortunate that I do have the benefit of a few pathblazing researchers who came before me…and those are the ones who did share their information before they died or dropped off of the face of the earth.  I swear on everything that is Holy that I will NOT let that happen to my genealogy and my ancestors.

William Crumley, the first, was born in 1735 or 1736 in East Nottingham Township, Chester County, PA to James Crumley and Catharine Gilkey.

Chester County PA map

East Nottingham is in the southwest corner of Chester County which borders Cecil County, Maryland.  They is a very interesting history to this region, but you’ll have to wait for the James Crumley article to read about that!

Frederick County, Virginia

When William was a teenager, his family moved to Frederick County, Virginia, in present day Berkeley Co., West Virginia on the border, literally, between those two states.  Of course, West Virginia didn’t yet exist at that time.

James Crumley land spanning border

This drive from Gerrardstown in Berkeley County, West Virginia to Apple Pie Ridge in Frederick County, Virginia runs along Mill Creek and cuts right through the middle of James Crumley’s land.

James Crumley, William’s father, bought the survey rights to a tract of land totaling 742 acres on Sept. 6, 1753 from James Anderson and on February 1, 1754, the land was granted to James Crumley.  William would have been about 17 or 18 at this time, and certainly of an age to be a big help on the farm.  At this time, that probably meant felling trees, so William was likely to be a very muscular lad.

James Crumley land survey

We are fortunate that the Berkeley County Historical Society published a wonderful article in Issue 8 of the Berkeley Journal titled “Houses and Historic Sites Locates on the James Crumley Land Grant.”  This journal, published in 1979, is still available for purchase through the Historical Society.  All of the plat and survey information is from that article.

In February 1757, William acquired from his father 270 acres at the southern end of the Lord Fairfax tract, in what is now Berkeley County, West Virginia.

James Crumley land divided

One of the Crumley cousins who has visited the site was kind enough to send this map as well.

James Crumley land map

It was also in 1757 that William’s father, James, wrote his will.  Perhaps James was getting his affairs in order.

Frederick County Deed Book 4, page 229, recorded on March 1, 1757:

On February 28, 1757, this indenture between James Crumley (spelled Cromley throughout) and William Crumley (spelled Cromley throughout) both of Frederick County, for 2 shillings current money of Virginia, Frederick County tract of 270 acres…Thomas Martin corner…foot of a ridge…along Martin’s line…crossing Mill Creek…part of 742 acres granted to James Crumley by deed from the proprietors office bearing the date of first of February MDCCLIV (1754).  William Crumley to pay the rent of one ear of Indian corn on Lady Day next.  Signed by James Crumley his mark and witnessed by Thomas Wood, Edmond Cullen and William Dillon

This deed is registered with the court and followed by a similar deed which seems to release William from a one year indenture.

March 1, 1757 James Crumley to William Crumley for 22 shillings…release and confirm unto the said William Crumley (in his actual possession now being by virtue of a bargain and sale to him hereof made for one year indenture bearing date the day next before the date of these presents and force of the statute for transferring uses into posessions)…tract or parcel containing 270 acres.

Today that land is located on Greenspring Road near the Frederick County line on the most southern section of the James Crumley land grant.

The description is exactly as the first document as are the witnesses and it is filed on the same day, March 1st, 1757.

James Crumley home

Today, this map shows the location of the original James Crumley home at 3641 Apple Pie Ridge Road.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic places in 2006 as the Crumley-Lynn-Lodge House in Frederick County, VA.

James Crumley Apple Pie Ridge

The Hopewell Meeting house (shown below) lay southeast of James property, and William’s land lay north, just over or straddling the border between Virginia and West Virginia today.

James Crumley Hopewell

You can see Mill Creek, shown on James’s original grant, running parallel with 51.2 in West Virginia today, south of Gerrardstown.

James Crumley road along Mill Creek

Religion and Politics

William Crumley, along with his father and siblings were residents of Frederick County when George Washington won his first elective office as a Frederick County delegate to the Virginia House of Burgesses in July, 1758, so it possible that the two may have had some contact. Washington, however, did not actually live in Frederick County and did very little campaigning there, other than to buy plenty of liquor for the voters.  Voting was a bit different then.

Quaker men were supposed to abstain from drinking alcohol, but that did not seem to apply to our Crumley men, judging from the contents of their estates.

George Washington kept a diary.  It seems he endorsed that old saying about holding your friends close, but holding your enemies closer.  At least, he wanted to know who was on his side, and who was not.

At that time, voting was not private like it is today.  One had to declare publicly who you were voting for.  Voters were allowed to vote for two candidates.

After Washington received the Frederick County polling results, he made an alphabetic list of all the voters and their publicly proclaimed choices. James Crumley and his sons John and William voted for Hugh West. John and William also voted for Colonel Washington, but James, their father, cast only the one vote.   In addition to his voting preference, this also confirms that William was at least 21 years of age by this time.

Like his father, William was a member of the Parish vestry, serving in 1759. Although the Vestry was actually under the jurisdiction of the official Episcopal Church, it had political functions as well, and it was not unusual for Quakers to be members.

Henings Statutes shows that in November of 1769, William was indeed a vestryman.  He and his fellow vestrymen were authorized to levy taxes on the residents to pay for the outcome of a suit wherein a former minister sued for back pay. Chapter LV, page 416:

WHEREAS William Meldrum, clerk, late minister of the parish of Frederick, in the county of Frederick, by judgment of the honourable the general court, hath recovered against John Hite, John Greenfield, John Bowman, Thomas Speake, John Lindsay, William Cocks, Robert Lemen, William Crumley, Cornelius Riddell, Isaac Hite, Thomas Swearingen, and John Funk, gentlemen, late vestrymen of the said parish, the sum of one hundred and forty-nine pounds twelve shillings and one penny, for the balance of his salary as their minister; and also three pounds and nine pence, and four thousand six hundred and fifty-five pounds of tobacco, for costs; and whereas the said vestry were also at some charges in their defence; and it appearing to this present general assembly, that it is reasonable that the said vestry, or such of them as have actually paid the said judgment, costs, and charges, should be reimbursed the same, and such commissions as they, or any of them, may have paid for having the same levied on them: Be it enacted, by the Governor, Council, and Burgesses, of this present General Assembly, and it is hereby enacted, by the authority of the same, That the present vestry of the said parish shall and may, and they are hereby authorized and required to levy and assess, upon the tithable persons within their parish, the amount of such judgment, costs, charges, and commissions…

William Crumley was married in about 1761 to Hannah Mercer, daughter of Edward Mercer and his wife Ann.

The Hopewell Church (VA) history book (671 pages) mentions James Crumley, father of William (the first), but William is never mentioned in the book.  William (the first), we know, was also a Vestrymen of the Anglican church, but this is known only from the Laws of Virginia.  It seems strange that no mention is made of William’s “disownment by reason of marriage outside the Quaker faith”, a very common practice in those early years, if in fact he married outside the faith.  If he married within the faith, then his son, William (the second) split with the church at some point, because by 1797, William (the second) was a founder of a Methodist Church in Greene County, TN.

William’s Father Dies

In 1764, William’s father, James died and his will was probated.  William was one of several children mentioned.

In 1773, William, his brother Henry, and their niece Ruth (Doster) Noland through husband Thomas Noland sold 200 acres at the southern end of the Lord Fairfax tract in 1773 to Thomas Faulkner, who had married Jane Dunn, William’s mother-in-law.

Deed Book 2, page 149.

“Two hundred acres being part of a large tract containing 744 acres granted to James Crumwell (sic) decd from the proprietor of the Northern Neck…the said William Crumley, Henry Crumley and Thomas Nolan to Thomas Faulkner.  Hannah William’s wife, Ruth Thomas Nolan’s wife and Sarah Henry’s wife…William Crumley is attorney in fact for Henry Crumley.  One hundred sixty pounds and 8 shillings.  Dated Aug 18, 1773 (I can’t tell if is the date of the deed or of the poa following.  I believe it is the deed.)

William Crumley
Hannah Crumley
Henry Crumley
Thomas Noland
Ruth Noland

William Boyd
Joseph Kile
John Ridgeway
John Tryall?

William’s Wife Dies

In about 1773, William’s wife, Hannah, died.  William and Hannah had 5 children that lived to adulthood.  If they were married in 1761, they likely had at least 6 children, and possibly 7.  It appears that they lost at least one child.

After Hannah’s death around 1773, William married Sarah Dunn, daughter of James and Jane Dunn and step-daughter of Thomas Faulkner, whom, we know is a neighbor because William sold part of James land to Thomas Faulkner.  So William married the neighbor’s daughter.

We know by this time that William was not active in the Quaker church, because in 1774 after his marriage to Sarah, the Hopewell Friends disowned her for marrying “contrary to discipline.”  Obviously, Sarah had to know that would happen before she married William, and didn’t care.

The Revolutionary War

When William was about 45 years old, the Revolutionary War became a reality in Virginia.

In 1781, William was among the Berkeley County citizens who provided supplies for the use of the Revolutionary armies. One certificate (receipt) dated September 30, 1781 indicated that he and three others, including his wife’s brother William Dunn and her stepfather Thomas Faulkner were generously entitled to 225 pounds for just eleven bushels and a peck of wheat.

The only record of William actually receiving reimbursement was a 1782 Publick Service Claim, in which he was “allowed 5 pounds for eight days in actual service as a receiver in Collecting the cloathing and provisions for the use of the state.  This “patriotic service” has qualified at least two of his descendants for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Oral history of wars and service therein, especially if you are on the “right” side tends to be one of the tidbits passed along within families.

Portrait and Biography Album, Jefferson Co., IA, (1890), 188, Sketch of Isaaac H. Crumly, Sec. 9, Penn Township:

Born in East Tennessee Dec 24, 1820 and traces his ancestry back to early Colonial days when his great-grandfather, William Crumly, resided in Virginia. Large slave-holder and served in the Revolution. His son William was a farmer and removed to Tennessee when that country was first settled.  His son Abraham was born in Greene Co., Tenn. in 1787…Abraham Crumly, father of Isaac H. married Elizabeth Marshall, born 25 June 1796, dau. of Abram and Martha (Doane) Marshall; she died 29 Mar 1827. Abraham married, 2nd, Jane McNees, who died 8-18-1845.

William (the first) had at least 15 children in total, who are listed in his will as recorded in Berkeley County, then Virginia, now West Virginia, Will Book 2 page 185-187.

William’s Death

William died in Berkeley County between September of 1792 and September of 1793, most likely in the summer of 1793 or his will would have been probated earlier in the year.  He had gotten his crops planted before he died, because his inventory includes a field of corn.

In William’s will he wrote:

“…My plantation I purchased from my brother John to be sold by my executors to my best advantage, payments to be made but the land not given up to the purchaser until March 26, 1795 which is the expiration of John Antraus lease.  When my executors receive the whole of the purchase money they are to give each of my children that is come of age the sum of 10 pounds.  I leave to my loving wife Sarah Crumley all the rest and the remainder of my estate both real and personal for life or whist she remains my widow.  My widdow Sarah Crumly shall Rays my children together to give them learning out of the profits that arises from my Estate the boys to read write and cifer The Girls to read and write.”

If Sarah remarries, the entire estate is to be sold and after deducting for “raising and schooling my young children” the estate is to be equally divided among my 15 children after adding? to each what they have already received namely James, Ann, William, Catherine, Aaron, Jane, Thomas, Sarah, Henry, Mary, Stephen, Elizabeth, John, Martha and Rebecca.  If any of the children die, the balance to be divided among the remaining children.  Is Sarah remains a widow until her death, the estate to be divided the same way.  Good friend David Faulkner and wife Sarah Crumley executors.  Dated Sept. 30, 1792

William Wilson
Tom Doster
John Watson Sr.
Jesse Rubell (Ruble)

William Crumley died between the date his will was filed in Berkeley County, Virginia, 30 September 1792, and the date it was proved, 17 September 1793, age about 58.  He was not an old man, at least not by today’s standards.  Given that he made his will almost a year before he died, he clearly had advance warning that something was amiss.

I find it interesting that the boys were to be taught to “read, write and cipher,” but the girls only to read and write.  I guess they didn’t need to know how to cipher back then, or at least William didn’t think they did.

The fact that William’s will was probated in Berkeley County tells us that he was living on the land from the James Crumley land grants, not the land his father owned in Frederick County on Apple Pie Ridge.

Houses on the Crumley Land

The journal article tell us that after Sarah’s death in 1809, David Faulker, William’s executor, then living in Greene Co., Ohio, sold William’s plantation of 270 acres for $6000 to Aaron M. Crumley and Thomas Crumley (Superior Court Deed book 20, page 47).  A year later, the brothers sold the land for $4468.33 to Abraham Waidman of Berk’s County, PA (DB 27, p 241).  It sure makes me wonder why they were willing to take a significant hit of about 1/3 of the land’s value in just a year.  Frances Silver then acquired the land, some before 1820 and some after.  Between 1820 and 1821, according to tax records, he build a large, by the standards of those days, brick house which was still standing when the journal article was written.

James Crumley Francis Silver Houe

The home that William would have lived in likely looked much more like a log cabin, and probably was a log cabin.  This cabin, below, was built on the middle section of James land.  William was assuredly in and out of this cabin regularly, as Thomas Faulkner was his second wife’s step-father.

James Crumley Faulkner cabin

The journal article tells us that Thomas Faulkner built a log cabin on this land in 1775 with a wing added about 1785 that was still standing in 1979 when the article was written.

James Crumley Hodgson cabin

William Crumley Homestead

I was able to find William Crumley’s land on an 1890 map by following the ownership of the Silver land, as stated below.

Francis Silver acquired the Crumley land in two tracts. The first tract of 62 acres before 1820. He built the beautiful brick house in 1821. The 1820 land book lists no house. The 1822 lists $1,000.00 added for improvements added last year. He purchased the larger tract from Abraham Waidman in 1829 (DB lost). In 1836 Francis Silver sold the brick house with 275¾ acres to his son Zephaniah Silver who had married Martha Jane Henshaw April 17, 1834. They kept the plantation until after the Civil War and sold in 1868 for $12,000.00 to John Hershey. John Hershey sold the house with 197 acres for $5,000.00 to Andrew B. Houck and Samuel Garver. May 1, 1876 (DB 73, p. 275). Samuel Garver and A. B. Houck sold in 1880 to J. R. Brown and Robert M. Brown (DB 77, p. 119, page 259). Joseph R. Brown sold his half interest to Robert M. Brown in 1885, who sold the same year to Charles G. Boyles and James K. Boyles for $8,100.00. Charles G. Boyles sold his half interest to James K. Boyles in 1919. James K. Boyles died in 1932 leaving all his estate to be divide equally between his children (WB 27, p. 386). Daughter Maggie R. Busey died in 1951. The heirs of James K. Boyles sold to James A. Lockard in 1959 who gave a Deed of Trust to Darrell K. Koonce. In 1962 . . .

On the following map, you can see the location of J. Boyles land at what looks like the headwaters of Mill Creek, just north of the border of Berkeley County and Frederick County, on the road that today leads to Gerrardsville.  You can also see North Mountain to the left.

Berkeley county 1890

On these satellite views, you can see the same road today.  The house on the map above is about half way between the dog leg in the road north of the house and the state line ot the south, between the creek and the road.

On the map view of the area, you can see the same dog leg in the road and today, there is  Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, shown in green, across from this area.

William Crumley land map

Moving to the satellite map, you can see the farms in that location today.

William Crumley land satellite

Moving a little closer.

William Crumley land satellite 2

Moving even closer you can see that there is a working farm in this location.

William Crumley land satellite 3

Unfortunately, there is no street view of this area.  The address of this property today is 3647 Dominion Road.

William Crumley farm today

This looks like the original structure.

William Crumley farm home

So, mapping the way from William Crumley’s house to his father’s house on Apple Pie Ridge looks like this.

William Crumley to James Crumley

Visiting William Crumley’s Property (added October 2015)

A speaking engagement in Richmond in the fall of 2015 provided me with the opportunity to visit Apple Pie Ridge in Frederick County, Virginia and the area of Berkeley County, West Virginia that adjoins Frederick County.  William’s father, James Crumley lived on Apple Pie Ridge Road and left sons John and William land a few miles north of his home location.

William Crumley 1c

This path from Apple Pie Ridge Road up the valley to Gerrardstown is the natural path that was once an Indian trail, then a wagon road.  Today, it’s lined with apple trees and orchards, heavy with ripe apples.

William Crumley 2

From Apple Pie Ridge Road, going north, you turn on Winding Hill, then north on Frog Hollow Road which becomes Dominion Road when you cross the state line.  Winding Hill does just that, winds down the hill.

William Crumley 3

The ridge of mountains is forever to the west, standing as a marker that was once the barrier to westward expansion.  This path was the path that the French and Indians took in 1754 to raid the valley and attack the settlers from Gerrardstown to Winchester, and south.  The Europeans weren’t the first to discover that this was the natural pathway along the mountain ridge.

William Crumley’s property spans the state line, with most, including the house being on the West Virginia side.

William Crumley 4

Today, much of the land is cleared, but when James and William Crumley first saw this land, taking the original patent, it was entirely forested and probably looked a lot like this, minus the fence.  They cleared the land one tree at a time – a formidable job.

William Crumley 5

You can see the original house before you cross the state line, although at one time, this was William’s property too.

William Crumley 6

Today, the land in Virginia is newer homes with nicely manicured lawns.

William Crumley 7

William’s land included the headwaters of Mill Creek which meanders north from William’s property through the valley into Gerrardstown.  James Crumley originally owned 752 acres here, more than a mile by a mile if it were square.

William Crumley 8

The headwaters of the creek are on the right side of the road, between the state line and the barns.  You can see the tree, above, growing in about that location in what is today just a field.

William Crumley 9

This would have been a prime location for a house, because the water is guaranteed to be clean and fresh with no one upstream.

William Crumley 10

I wonder if the original cabin was actually near where the spring emerged from the ground in this meadow or if it was where the house is today.

William Crumley 11

Not wanting to disturb the homeowner, we took photos from the church and cemetery across the road.

William Crumley 12

Families who owned this property after William are buried in the cemetery, which causes me to ask the question of whether or not the cemetery is the original Crumley family cemetery.  It would make a lot of sense and it’s directly across the road from the house.

William Crumley 13

The oldest part of the cemetery is directly behind the church.

We know that William Crumley was not Quaker when he died, because his second wife was dismissed from the Quaker church for marrying outside her faith.  Therefore, William and at least his second wife would have been buried in a family cemetery, likely on his land.  His first wife, Hannah, may be buried here as well.

William’s first wife, Hannah Mercer, died relatively young and her family was Quaker, as was William’s father, James Crumley.  Hannah’s father, Edward Mercer was dismissed from the church in 1759, so we don’t know if Hannah continued to follow the Quaker faith or not.  We also don’t know when William “converted” but we do know that he was raised Quaker, but by the time that he married Sarah Dunn in 1774, he was no longer Quaker.

William Crumley 14

William’s land looking west behind the church.

William Crumley 15

It’s difficult to see the actual house with the trees in front.  The rear is clearly an addition.  The front part may well be original.

William Crumley 16

The house actually sits up on a little hill which would assure that the house and barn remained dry, so I’m thinking that this was likely the original location of the house.

William Crumley 17

William’s land extended on north.  This was the southernmost part of his land, then his brother John’s land began.

William Crumley 18

William and John owned the land on both sides of the road.

William Crumley 19

We were able to pull into a driveway and actually see Mill Creek at one point, a bit north of the house.

William Crumley 20

In the curves about half way to Gerrardstown, we saw this historic stone structure beside Mill Creek and wondered how it was used.

Gerrardstown is north of the Crumley land, but not very distant.  This was the closest crossroads village and William would have traversed this road often – certainly any time he had to go to “town” which was the county seat, Martinsburg.

On the corner, we found this old log structure still standing.  It reminded me a lot of the James Crumley property with two independent and unconnected buildings sharing a wall.

William Crumley 21

The man who runs the little local general store told us that this building used to be the tavern and was a very important building where lots of business was conducted.  I’m guessing it was THE most important building in Gerrardstown at one time and may have been here when William rode his horse or drove his wagon on this very road.

We ended our driving tour of William’s land by having lunch in the one and only little corner store in Gerrardstown.  It had one table, the food was homemade and there were three local history books on the table.  If you don’t want to sit inside at the table, then you can sit in one of the two chairs out front and use the top of a barrel for a table.  You’ll be visiting with the local guys sitting out there – much like William probably did some 250+ years ago.

William Crumley 22

William’s Estate

David Faulkner and Sarah Crumley accepted executorship of William’s estate, and Thomas Faulkner and John Watson entered a bond of 1000 pounds for their true and faithful administration of said estate.

On page 219 of Will Book 2, William’s estate was appraised on October 15, 1793 by John Gray, Matthew Rippey and David Baldwin.

Item Appraised Amount in Pounds
One bay mare and colt 22.0.0
One yearling colt 12.0.0
One grey horse 10.0.0
One gray mare 3.0.0
One black mare 9.0.0
One brown cow 3.10
One brindle cow 3.10
One spotted cow 2.17.6
One white cow 3.5
One red cow 3.0.0
One brindled heifer 2.5
One white backed cow 3.6
One white steer 3.0
One red steer 1.16
One pied heifer 2.0
One white cow 3.4
Four calves 2.8
A steer sold to pay for the coffin 1.17.2
Beef sold 2.15.10
19 sheep 5.14
One wagon (sic) 3.0
17 gears at 28 1.8.4
Two plows and one lathing 2.3
650 doz wheat 30.0.0
16 tun hay 24.0.0
123 doz rye 7.10
Vetting? Box 0.7.6
Lock chair and 4 pair gears 3.3.0
27 hogs 9.18
One plow 0.15
Field of corn 3.15
Three hoes and a grubbing hoe 0.6.6
A spade, two dung forks and 3 axes 1.5
A shovel, a sythe and 3 sickles 0.12.0
Pair steelyards 0.3.6
Shoemakers tools 0.4
Iron wedge, old iron and wool sheers 0.4.9
Heel tools or steel tools and 2 bee hives 2.5
A saddle and cloth, a table and 2 bridles 2.3
4 pair stockings 0.12
Pair shoes 0.4.6
Stock buckle knee buckles and brouch 0.12
One pair leggings 0.4
Great coat 1.10
A coat 0.10
Jacket and breeches 0.8
White (probably breechees) 0.3
A Bible 0.16
Sundry other books 0.2.6
Tea kettle 0.12
Warming pan 0.18
Shovel and tongs and irons 0.13
Frying pan 0.4
Flat iron 0.6
Three pots and a kettle 1.0
Two pot racks 0.6
Handsaw gauge and auger 0.4
5 pewter dishes 1.5
Two dozen plates 0.13
Four basons (sic) 0.6
Pails and buckets 0.6
Tea equipage bottles 0.6
A chest 1.8
A case of crawers 3.10
A dough trough 0.12
A table 1.4
Two doz old casts and two casks and malt 1.3
A bed bedstead and furniture 1.10
Three pair cards (for spinning wheel) 0.3
Spinning wheel 0.14
Reel with 4 big wheel and two riddles 0.11.6
Saddle 6.6
Negro wench 55.0.0
An arm chair 6.0.0
Five chairs 1.0.0
Four chairs 0.6
A cradle 0.6
A trundle bedstead and bedding 1.4
A feather bed and furniture 2.5
A bedstead feather bed and furniture 8.0
44 pounds wool 3.6
Small tub 0.1.6
A turee? and 2 cyder barrels 0.10.0
A neel tub and two kegs 0.4.6
Old bags 0.6
A hatchet 0.0.6
A grid iron 0.4.6

I must say, my heart sank when I saw the entry, “negro wench.”  Her name wasn’t even given.  Yet she was the most valuable single item in William’s appraisal which totaled 292.14.1.

However, William is far from being a “large slave holder” as reported in Isaac Crumley’s biographical article.

William’s father, James, also owned one slave at his death, and he was an active member of the Quaker church – a surprising and conflicting set of facts.  I wonder how he justified that.  William had clearly stepped away from the Quaker Church.  Maybe his beliefs about slavery had something to do with that decision.

Looking at William’s inventory, it appears that he was a shoemaker.  Everyone was a farmer in that time and place, but generally, each farmer had some sort of specialized skill which is a secret divulged by the items in their estate inventory.

William had 4 beds, one of which, assuredly a feather bed, was his.  Children typically all slept together in colonial America.  No separate rooms and no luxury of sleeping alone either.

William didn’t have a lot of clothing, even for a man of that time.  Clothing was not changed daily or washed often, as we do today.  Generally, clothing was washed seasonally, and may have been boiled as a form of washing, depending on the material at hand.  In essence, William had one outfit with a few spare pieces.  Let’s take a look at what he had.

Stockings, at that time, were generally white and hand knit of wool or linen and came up over the knee.  There was no elastic, so stockings were held up by garters made of ribbon, leather strips or knitted.  William had 4 pair of stockings, but he only had one pair of shoes.

colonial shoesShoes during that time were handmade, and William probably made his own.  There was no left or right.  In fact, people were encouraged to change their shoes back and forth so their shoes didn’t become left and right.  Shoes were fastened with buckles and soles were fitted with hobnails and iron heel protectors which kept the soles from wearing out. It looks like these “heel tools” were part of William’s inventory as well, as were a variety of buckles.

colonial shoes stockings and breeches

Leggings were generally leather and went over breeches to protect them when out in the brush.  They were the sign of an outdoorsman and not a gentleman.  Leggings came from Native American influence.colonial outfit

A jacket and breeches probably referred to a waistcoat and breeches, shown here from this University of Massachusetts website about colonial clothing.

William’s breeches could have been only knee length.  It was later in the 1700s when they became ankle length.

colonial breeches

Colonial Williamsburg also has a wonderful page showing men’s clothing of this timeframe.  They show a coat, which was a daily piece of clothing that went on top of (or in place of) a waistcoat and breeches.  Sometimes the coats matched the breeches.  Buttons were both expensive and stylish.

colonial coat

William had a great coat, which was similar to our winter coats today.  They were heavy, thick and generally knee length.

colonial great coat

colonial shirt and stockingsInterestingly, William’s inventory does not include any shirts.  A shirt, shown at left, would have been the foundation garment that went underneath the coat.  Underwear did not yet exist at this time.  Shirts were long and the bottom of the shirt was tucked strategically in place to function as a protective layer to keep breeches clean – in other words, pseudo-underwear.  Maybe William’s shirt or shirts were too old and worn out to be considered of any value.

I also notice that William did not have a wig.  This further confirms that he did not move in gentlemanly circles, but was more the frontiersman.  So while William was on George Washington’s list, he certainly was not his peer and likely didn’t come calling.

Clothing was considered quite valuable and not treated disposably as it is today.  Many pieces of colonial clothing, including stockings, were repeatedly patched.  Sometimes people willed their clothing to a particular family member.  It would have been a wonderful gift to receive.

The estate inventory also mention’s William’s coffin.  Interesting that the price of a coffin is equal to a steer.

This begs the question – where was William buried?  We can pretty safely say he was not buried in the Hopewell Friend’s Cemetery since they had kicked his wife out for marrying William.  He was very likely buried on his own land.  The question would then be whether or not that cemetery was continued by the next owners, or if it was lost in time to Nature, or worse.  Is there a lost cemetery someplace near the Francis Silver House today?

Distributing William’s Estate to His Children

After William’s widow, Sarah, died in 1809, sons Thomas and Aaron sold the 270-acre tract as set forth in William’s will.

Two years later, each of the children received $479.09.

Children of William Crumley and Hannah Mercer:

a) James Crumley, oldest son of William Crumley, was born around 1764 in Berkeley County, Virginia (now West Virginia). In 1787, he was living with his brother-in-law, Thomas Rees. He married Mary (Polly) Stonebridge, daughter of John and Mary (Hancher) Stonebridge, and lived on land in Frederick County that his wife inherited from her father. His wife Mary died 9 May 1813 and is buried in the Back Creek Meeting House cemetery in Gainsboro, Virginia. James married Elizabeth Downey, a widow, on Christmas Eve, 1815.  They probably struggled financially; two 1821 Deeds of Trust indicate they had borrowed money, using their property as collateral. He was living in Frederick County with his wife in 1830. James Crumley was at least 65 years of age when died without a will.

b) Ann Crumley, born about 1764, married about 1781 to Thomas Rees, son of Thomas and Hannah (Rees) Rees moved to Washington County, Pennsylvania. d. before 1811. Children: Hannah Reese, Jesse Reese, Nancy Reese, William Reese, Rachel Reese, Sarah Reese, James Reese [ca. 1800], Soloman Reese [1802], Thomas Reese, Jr. [ca. 1804].

c) William Crumley (the second), born around 1767, married an unknown wife and moved to Greene County, TN around 1795.

d) Catharine Crumley, born about 1769, married (1) John Eyre, moved to Ross County, Ohio; (2) 1804 James Mooney; moved to Fayette County, Ohio. Died 28 December 1857, buried Walnut Creek Cemetery, Perry Township, Fayette County, Ohio. Children: Robert Eyre, Hannah Eyre, Samuel Eyre, Nancy Eyre, William Eyre; Eliza Mooney [1805], James Mooney, Jr. [1812], Catharine Mooney, Mary (Polly) Mooney.

e) Aaron Mercer Crumley, born 22 October 1771, married 3 February 1796 to Jane Atherton and moved to Greene County, Ohio. Aaron died 18 August 1835, buried Mt. Holly Cemetery near Xenia, Ohio. Children: William Crumley [1798], Hannah Crumley [ca. 1799], Mary (Polly) Crumley [1800], a son [ca. 1802], Sidney Amelia Crumley [ca. 1804], Edward Mercer Crumley [ca. 1806], Maria Crumley [1807], Aaron Crumley [1809], Jane Crumley [1812], Clarissa Matilda Crumley [1814].

Children of William and Sarah Crumley:

f) Jane Crumley, born about 1774, married (1) Jonah Bull, son of Robert and Sarah (Littler) Bull, moved to Butler County, Ohio; (2) 18 October 1825 John S. Patton. Children: not yet identified; the 1820 Butler County census shows 1 boy under 10, 1 between 10 and 16, and 1 between 16 and 26; 1 girl between 10 and 16, and a woman 26 to 45. Jane and Jonah were 45+.

g) Thomas Crumley, born 31 December 1776, married 22 January 1801 Elizabeth Gardner moved to Harrison County, Ohio. d. 3 July 1861, buried in Dickerson Graveyard, Harrison County, Ohio. Children: Samuel Crumley [1801], Sarah Crumley [1802], Mary Crumley [1805], William Crumley [ca. 1807], Thomas Crumley, Jr. [ca. 1808], Ira Crumley [1809], Elizabeth Crumley [1811], John Crumley [1813], Hannah Crumley [ca. 1816], James [1817, the 1840 Harrison County census taker], Aaron W. Crumley [1820], Emily Crumley [1822], Joseph Crumley [1824], David M. Crumley [1827].

h) Sarah Crumley, born about 1778, married 10 February 1800 Jesse Wright, son of Benjamin and Jane (Faulkner) Wright. Children: not yet identified; the 1810 Berkeley County census indicated that there were 3 boys and 1 girl under 10 years of age.

i) Henry Crumley, born 10 April 1780, married (1) 30 August 1801 Mary Rees, daughter of Thomas and Margaret (Rees) Rees; (2) 11 April 1814 Elizabeth Flowers, moved to Greene County, Ohio, and to Fountain County, Indiana (3) 6 February 1840 Jane Black, d. 24 September 1864, buried Union Church Cemetery, Aylesworth, Indiana. Children: Matilda Crumley, Julean Crumley, Harriet Crumley, John Crumley, Rees Crumley [ca. 1818].

j) Mary Crumley, born 2 June 1782, married 22 October 1806 John Heberling, son of Andrew Heberling, moved to Harrison County, Ohio, died 13 April 1864, buried Short Creek Township, Harrison County, Ohio. Children: Henry Heberling, Eliza Heberling, Hiram Heberling [ca. 1811], John Heberling [ca. 1812], William Heberling, George H. Heberling [1814], James Heberling, Andrew Heberling, Rebecca Heberling, Mary Heberling.

Mary Crumley Heberling’s tintype photo below is the oldest Crumley photo known. It appears that she is wearing a Quaker bonnet – part of the “plain dress” doctrine of the Quaker faith.

Mary Crumley 1782-1864

k) Stephen Crumley, born 3 April 1784, moved to Green County, Ohio. married 30 May 1813 to Jane Stanfield, daughter of William and Charity (Mendenhall) Stanfield, moved to Fountain County, Indiana; d. 6 February 1837, buried Union Church Cemetery, Aylesworth, Indiana. Children: William Crumley [1815], James C. Crumley [1817], Nancy Crumley [1819], Mary Crumley [1820], Charity Crumley [1823], Stephen Crumley, Jr. [1824], Euphemia Crumley [1826], John Crumley [1828], Sarah Crumley [1829].

l) Elizabeth Crumley, born about 1786, married 24 April 1809 to Isaac Booth, son of Thomas Booth; moved to Washington County, Pennsylvania, and Harrison County, Ohio. Died before 1824. Children: Thomas Booth, Jeremiah Booth, William Booth.

m) John Crumley, born about 1788, married 20 January 1812 to Elizabeth Hancher. Died 12 September 1814. Children: Sarah Crumley. His widow married 7 December 1819 to Richard Beeson.

n) Martha Crumley, born about 1791, married to Thomas Wright, son of Benjamin and Jane (Faulkner) Wright; moved to Columbiana County, Ohio. Children: William C. Wright [1815].

o) Rebecca Crumley, born about 1792, married 4 November 1813 to William Stewart. Moved to Harrison County, Ohio. Children: not yet identified; the 1820 Berkeley County census shows 3 boys under 10.

DNA and Origins

One of the mysteries about the Crumley family is where they originated.  The Quaker faith seems to suggest England, strongly, but does the DNA tell us the same thing?

Looking at the matches and matches map for our Crumley men who took the Y DNA test, we find the following Ancestral Locations at 111 markers:

  • Scotland – 3 (Graham, McCreight and McWhorter)
  • Ireland – 1 from Kilkenny, Ireland

At lower marker levels, Scotland and Ireland are still very prevalent, with English lagging significantly behind.

An Ancestral Location is a balloon that shows where someone you match finds their most distant ancestors.  Of course, this is subject to the accuracy of their genealogy, but we’re looking for patterns, not individual occurrances, unless we happen to find another Crumley male.  Unfortuantely, there are no Crumley’s from the British Isles that have tested, at least, none that match our line.

At 67 markers, the matches map looks like this:

Crumley matches 67 markers

Not everyone enters the geographic information for their most distant ancestor, but generally, as long as there are several matches, you can still get a good idea of the distribution.

At 37 markers, we see the following distribution on the Matches Map.

Crumley matches 37 markers

This pattern is far more suggestive of Ireland than England, although clearly, it doesn’t rule England out.  We may also be seeing deep ancestry, not more recent ancestry, since the advent of surnames.

Hopefully, one day, we’ll match a Crumley male from England who knows exactly where his ancestral family was from.  Our Crumley line may be linked to the history of the Quakers in England.

Acknowledgements: Irmal Crumley Haunschild and Nella Myers, researchers who contributed greatly to Crumley research here, and who have gone on to meet the ancestors.  Thanks also to Paul Nichols, Larry Crumley and Jerry Crumly who are all very much alive!



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24 thoughts on “William Crumley the First (c1735 – 1793), Originally a Quaker, 52 Ancestors #87

  1. Roberta, One small correction is needed at this time. Paul Nichols, my brother-in-law, a major Crumley contributor, is very much alive and well – still fully engaged in family history, one of many hobbies.

    I have been enjoying your energetic articles for several months now, and I’m deeply appreciative of the style and content.

    Gregg Richard Crumley (Richard Gregg, Herbert Dazzel, Robert Wirt, Henry, James, William, James)

  2. Roberta, thanks as always for an interesting post. I found out a few years ago that I have a Joseph Wright, many times gr-grandfather who came to Baltimore from Dublin in 1801 (with his brother, they were both 40ish). The brother died a week later of “drinking cold water from a public water hydrant” (actually probably typhus or some other disease, according to a doctor friend after he read the description in the copies of old letters I was lucky enough to obtain.) I was very surprised to learn that they were Quakers. I’m now going to follow your link to the Quaker information, thank you again!

  3. ” If he married within the faith, then his son, William (the second) split with the church at some point, because by 1797, William (the second) was a founder of a Methodist Church in Greene County, TN.”

    I’m told by my sister, who studies all things religious. that most circuit rider preachers in pioneering regions were Methodists. That accounts for the many Methodists in the early days of settlement, including my ancestors who were John’s descendants. Here are a couple of short blurbs on Methodist circuit riders, the second one in particular in KY-TN: http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-newnation/4451 http://kytn.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/7/9/10790949/circuitriders_2014.pdf


  4. Pingback: James Crumley (c1711 – 1764), Slave-Owning Quaker Moonshiner, 52 Ancestors #88 | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  5. Pingback: Hannah Mercer (c1740-c1773), Died at 33, 52 Ancestors #89 | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  6. My husband is a descendant-his mother was Heberling and I am very eager to get his DNA tested!
    Going to order kit today!

  7. Pingback: Edward Mercer (c1704-1763), Hard-Drinking Quaker, 52 Ancestors #90 | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  8. Please note that I have updated this article with new information in the Visiting William Crumley’s Property section based on a visit in October of 2015. It was fun to actually visit where he lived!

  9. Pingback: Ann Mercer (1799/1705-c1786/1790), Weaver and Quaker Mother, 52 Ancestors #95 | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  10. Pingback: Memorial Day – All Gave Some, Some Gave All | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  11. My grandfather was a descendant of the Crumley Family. My mother visited the Apple Pie Ridge Road address. Please contact me with info and relatives info.

  12. Roberta,
    Hi cousin. I descend from the Crumly family of Jefferson Co, AL (James Regan and Catherine Crumly). I have recently had a small 10cm autosomal match with a person from Mossy Glen, County Donegal, Ireland. This man has recent ancestors with the surname of Crumlish. Could Crumley have possibly been Crumlish at one time before our ancestors came to this country? It just struck me as a possibility. Thanks

      • I match this Irish man on chr 4. I only have one (known) Jefferson Co Crumly cousin at MyHeritage that I can triangulate with this person from Ireland. My Jefferson Co Crumly cousin does not match me on Chr 4 or match the man from Ireland on any other chromosome. I have another Jefferson Co Crumly on Gedmatch as well as the one from MyHeritage is also on gedmatch. He does not match me on chr 4, but he also does not match the other cousin from MyHeritage on the same chromosome that I match him. I cannot match him to the man from Ireland as he is not on gedmatch. So, nothing to definitely confirm or deny anything there.
        I also match 3 other Crumley (sp.) descendants on MyHeritage. Two of them match me on chr 4, but not in the same place that I match the man from Ireland. The other one matches me on a different chromosome. None of them seem to match one another either. One of them descends from a William Crumley II who went from Berkley, VA to Green, TN. Another shows a William Smith Crumley b 1829, but no locations. The other shows a Thomas Crumley b 1762, son of John who went to SC, and he should probably be a brother to my Catherine who married James Regan. She is one of the ones who matches me on chr 4, but in a different place than the man from Ireland. So much for that!!
        I have not been able to find any definite Crumley dna match with anyone else to myself and the man in Ireland on that same segment on chr 4.

        • I forgot to mention in the previous message that the DNA cousins that I am matching on the Crumly/Crumley line at MyHeritage and Gedmatch are no closer than 4th cousins. None of my closer cousins are on MyHeritage or Gedmatch and I have not been able to convince any of them to upload there.

  13. Roberta,

    This is lovely, I can’t tell you how pleased I am to find this blog!

    I am a Crumley/Crumly way down the line:
    William Crumley->Aaron Mercer Crumly->William Crumly->Henry Babb Crumly->Rosaltha Crumly, who was my great-grandmother.

    Thank you you for all the research!

    Jessica West

    • Hi Jessica. So pleased to meet another cousin. Have you DNA tested? We have a Crumley project at Family Tree DNA.

  14. Pingback: William Crumley’s Original 1792 Will Surfaces – 52 Ancestors #360 | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

  15. Pingback: ThruLines Suggests Potential Ancestors – How Accurate Are They? | DNAeXplained – Genetic Genealogy

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