Archive for May, 2014

Richard/Mary or Elijah/Priscilla

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Tintype restored by Cal Bivens.

Tintype restored by Cal Bivens.

In Grandma and Me, I captioned this tintype (late 1850s to early 1860s) as Elijah and Priscilla Sutton Sharp Crabtree.

This same or similar photo I have seen labeled as Richard Crabtree and his wife Mary Giggey.

Elijah and Richard, born in Canada, were the youngest sons of John and Elizabeth Bassett Crabb. I am related to both brothers.

Does anyone have any paper trail that identifies this photo as either Richard & Mary or Elijah & Priscilla.

William and Margaret Crabtree

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014


I have received the wonderful collection of my second cousin Cal Bivens. They are photos of Crabtree and Higginson families from the photo albums of his grandfather LeRoy Crabtree and our great-aunt Mary Crabtree.

I will post them as I have time.

This photo is of William Crabtree and his wife Margaret. William was the son of Elijah Harris and Priscilla Isabella Sutton Sharp Crabtree.

William’s sibling (the other children of Elijah and Priscilla): Joseph Sutton b. 1821; John b. 1839 (there is a recent post about him); Rachel Crabtree Crabtree (our direct ancestor), and Sarah Miranda Crabtree Gill.

Jonathan “John” Crabtree (1839 - 1863)

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Author: Cal Bivens

It was always a curiosity to me that we never knew any more about this man. There was no mention of him in any of the family notes that I ever saw. He was a grandson of John and Elizabeth Crabb and son of Elijah and Priscilla Crabtree.

John Crabtree was born about 1839 in Canada, perhaps at St. John, New Brunswick. John lived with his parents, Elijah and Priscilla, in Portland, Maine in 1850. He was 11 years old that year. James Knight, a cooper, with his wife and son was boarding with them.

John attended school. He may have started going by “John” in school. Whether his parents ever called him that is debatable.
The family moved to Kane County, Illinois about 1859, settling in an area where a lot of relatives had already settled.

In 1860 Jonathan worked as a farmhand for A. Perry in Lodi, Illinois. He boarded with his employer. Perry and his wife, Ida, had 5 kids: Delia, Ambrose, Lonzo, (male), and Viola. Perry was a farmer whose real estate was valued at $1600.

Enlistment in the Army
John enlisted July 16, 1861 at Chicago, Illinois as a recruit in Company B, 2nd Battalion, 16th US Infantry (Regular Army). He was enrolled by Captain Robert Erskine Anderson Crofton (1834 - 1898), an Irishman by birth who was appointed from Delaware.

John was 22 years old, he gave as his place of birth Portland, Maine (he was “from” Portland but born in New Brunswick). John was described as 5’ 7-1/8″ tall, hazel eyes, light brown hair, and ruddy complexion. He entered the army as a Private at Camp Slemmer, Chicago. (more…)

The Crabb family leaves for Canada

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

This is the continuation of information from Cal Bivens.

The Evacuation from New York
The family next appears in July of 1783, John, Elizabeth, 2 sons and 3 daughters, boarded the ship Grand Duchess of Russia, Stephen Holman, Master, bound for Port Roseway, Nova Scotia. But Elizabeth and the children were very ill.

John promptly sent a petition to Sir Guy Carleton, the British Commander-in-chief dated July 13, 1783, saying that his wife and five children had been sick when they embarked and that their illness was growing worse, and that he was despairing of their recovery. He claimed that he was much persecuted by the rebels and obliged to abandon his estate in Duchess County about 4 years past (about 1779) to avoid further persecution.

John’s story was verified and the family left the Grand Duchess of Russia and went ashore andstayed there until they recovered.

They then secured transportation on another ship. On August 21, 1783 the family boarded the Cyrus. It was September 6th before they set sail. By September 14, 1783 they were at the mouth of the St. John River. Also aboard the Cyrus were Thomas Flewelling and William Secord. They belonged to Refugee Company 31 and John Crabb joined the same company. His name appears on victualing lists for this group—rosters of persons/heads of households who drew rations.

So they arrived in the fall of 1783 at St. John. John Crabb signed another petition in late 1783 or 1784 – the aim of which was to seek equal treatment in securing land as 55 persons who had asked for preferential treatment in land grants, that most of these people had obtained repeated favors of the Government that were not related to their sufferings or the importance of their services. (more…)

John Crab/Crabb/Crabtree 1741–after 1815?

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Cal Bivens, my second cousin who helped with so much information for “Grandma and Me” has recently updated his Crabb/Crabtree research. I will post it in two or three segments.

Marriage of John Crabb/Crabtree and Elizabeth Bassett
John Crabb married Elizabeth Bassett ( 1749 -?) a daughter of Arnold Bassett, about 1765. She was born in Dutchess County, New York on July 12, 1749.

In the fall of 1766, John and Elizabeth’s first child was born. At least 7 of their children were born in Dutchess County, New York: Stephen (1761), William (1767, died before 1782), John (1770), Elizabeth (1771), Mary “Polly” (1773), Nancy (1775 died before 1782), and Priscilla (1777 died before 1782).

Residence: New York
Militia records from Dutchess County indicate that John Crabb was from Fredericksburg in Dutchess County. This area is on the east side of the Hudson River.

A name that appears to be John Crab appears on the 1777 tax list for the Philipse Patent in Dutchess County. The Philipse Patent was divided into nine lots. On Lot No. 9, which belonged to Mary Philipse Morris (wife of Col. Roger Morris), “lived one hundred and twenty-nine families, reckoning six to a family.”

One of those families was that of John Crab. [The area in what is now Putnam County between Patterson on the North, Carmel on the West, Connecticut on the East and Brewster on the South.]

Military service
Militia Service

It has been indicated that John Crabb and perhaps two of his sons, served in Loyalist regiments during the war. In colonial times, from the first settlements onward, militia service was mandatory. (more…)