Archive for August, 2014

Elijah and Priscilla Part 2

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Emmigration to the United States
Probably in the late 1840s [about 1849 in his case] when much of the family was on the move, Elijah came to Portland, Maine. It is possible that he made passage aboard a vessel from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia along what is now a regular ferry run, but he may have sailed straight from St. John.

Elijah worked variously as a sawyer and a laborer. He lived at Vernon Court in Portland in 1850/51. By 1852 he had moved to 74 York Street and he lived there for about 3 years. By this time his last name had become Crabtree (implying that he adopted the Crabtree surname in about 1851). Elijah lived at #8 Dyer’s Alley from 1856 to about 1859.

In 1854, while Elijah and Priscilla lived in Portland, Maine their daughter, Sarah married Leonard Francis Gill. Leonard was the son of Daniel Gill and Lorinda Emily Leland. Daniel and Lorinda Gill were both from Massachusetts. Daniel was a victualer, proprietor of the Daniel Gill Victualing Business, a restaurant.

Westward to Illinois
In about 1859, Elijah and Priscilla moved to Illinois. Elijah worked as a carpenter after their arrival there. His brother, Richard, and other members of the family had gone out to Illinois in the mid to late 1840s, a few at a time. Richard’s son, Charles W. Crabtree arrived in Kane County, Illinois about 1844/45. He appears there during that influx of settlers that included Abraham Dobson (1843), Eliphalet Reed (1843), James Outhouse (1843), John Fillmore (1845), and Samuel Sharp (1845). These men were all from New Brunswick and had ties to the Crabtree family. Richard followed with sons Joseph, Arnold, and George, daughter Amy Beecham and her husband, Thomas, and nephew, William Crabtree all in 1849.

Like Richard, Elijah settled at Lodi, Illinois and remained there through 1865. There is a hint that he may have moved to Blackberry, in an adjacent township at some point during the Civil War. Priscilla Sutton Crabtree died on January 30, 1868, at or near Lodi in Virgil Township.

Elijah and Priscilla Part 1

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

A special thank you to Cal Bivens has graciously shared his research on the Elijah and Priscilla Sharp Crabb/Crabtree family. This is part 1.

Elijah Harris Crabb/Crabtree (1792-1882)
Priscilla Isabella Sutton Sharp (1785-1868)

Elijah was a son of John Crabb/Crabtree and the brother of Richard Crabb/Crabtree. He was born July 1, 1792 (probably on the farm at Gorham’s Bluff, Belle Isle) in New Brunswick, Canada. He was still a young boy when the family moved to the Devil’s Back on the Long Reach (in the Lower Greenwich area in Kings County).

Elijah was married to Priscilla Isabella Sutton Sharp (January 1795-1867) on October 6, 1819 in Westfield, Kings County, New Brunswick. Elijah was 27 years old and a yeoman farmer, Priscilla was 24 [the records call her “spinster” a term for an unmarried adult woman. Register A:247, page 30. Elijah later recalled the year as 1820]. “Parson Schofeld” Rector of the Episcopal Church performed the ceremony, William and Joseph Sharp, Priscilla’s brothers, acted as witnesses.

Priscilla was born in Westfield, Kings County, New Brunswick. She was the daughter of Joseph Sharp (1762 - 1855) and Hannah Ogden (1773- 1820). Joseph and Hannah were loyalists from New Jersey who fled to Canada after the Revolution, met and married there. Priscilla had 7 brothers and 5 sisters.

Elijah and Priscilla had three children that appear in the Anglican Church records of Westfield. Their baptismal dates follow their names: Joseph Sutton Crabb (September 16, 1821), John Crabb (April 1823), and Rachel (July 1824 at Hampstead). G. L. Wiggins of Hampstead was acting Rector of the Westfield church then. The baptismal records in the Anglican Church may reflect Priscilla’s religion. The Crabbs (unfortunately, for our purposes) were Baptists and records are nearly non- existent. Baptisms are of little help in relation to birth. Next born was William Henry Crabb (1825). There is then a large span of time before the next known child, Sarah Miranda Crabb (1834) and the final child, Jonathan / John (1839 or 1840)

The marriage record and christenings do, however, place Elijah and Priscilla at Hampstead and Westfield, in Kings County in the early 1820s. They appear to have remained here until Elijah sold the place in 1846.

In 1819, the year of his marriage, Elijah signed a petition (application) for land for one James Nowlan. Elijah acquired land, perhaps inherited from his father or by purchase from somebody else as there appears to be no petition by him. “In 1825 when Nathaniel Inch arrived in New Jerusalem there were only three families: Elijah Crabb, Timothy Morrill and Henry Sharp.” [Those Days Are Gone Away, p. 57.]

This may explain the absence of further baptisms in the Westfield records. Elijah and Priscilla S. Crabb sold Hampstead land to Nathaniel Inch in 1846. Hampstead is in Queens County, New Brunswick, this portion of Hampstead is now Petersville. [In N. B. the townships are called parishes.]

But where did they move to? Perhaps to St. John. Two of the children were married there soon afterward.

In 1846, Joseph Sutton Crabtree, the eldest son of Elijah and Priscilla, married Sarah Giggey (also spelled “Giggy”) daughter of John Giggey. In 1847 Rachel married her cousin, Arnold Bassett Crabb/Crabtree at St. John, New Brunswick. Arnold was a son of Richard Crabb and Mary Giggey.

Sarah Crabtree Gill

Friday, August 1st, 2014


My grandmother Amanda Myrtie Crabtree Briggs spoke very affectionately of her aunt Sarah Crabtree Gill. I was excited to see this photo of Sarah that Cal sent.

Cal’s photo info: Sarah Crabtree Gill and buckboard. Date and location unknown to me. I recall having the impression that this was made on a trip to the west by Sarah. That may be a mistaken impression, but it would fit well with the photo of her daughters going to Sunday School with their Crabtree cousins.

Any help would be appreciated.