Leonard and Sarah Crabtree Gill

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

In 1854 Sarah Miranda Crabtree married Leonard Francis Gill, in Portland, Maine. Leonard was among those killed in Action at Pleasant Hill, Louisiana April 9, 1864. Photos and information courtesy of Cal Bivens. Photos retouched by Cal.

Leonard Gill 1860 or 1861.

Leonard Gill 1860/1.

Sarah Crabtree Gill with children Lorinda (Laura) Leland, Daniel Louis, and Francis Harris Gill. stpimd 1961

Sarah Crabtree Gill with children Lorinda (Laura) Leland, Daniel Louis, and Francis Harris Gill.


Daniel Louis Gill.

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Photo and information courtesy of Cal Bivens.

Photo and information courtesy of Cal Bivens.

Sarah Miranda Crabtree (1834-1930)
Sarah was born in 1834 in St. John County, New Brunswick, Canada. On October 12, 1854 Sarah married Leonard Francis Gill, son of Daniel Gill & Lorinda Leland, in Portland, Maine. Len, as he was called, was born on November 2, 1830 in Portland, Maine. Leonard Francis Gill was killed on April 9, 1864 at the Battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana; he was 33. Sarah Crabtree Gill died in Chicago, Illinois on March 19, 1930 at the age of 96 years.

Sarah and Leonard had the following children:

Lorinda Laura Gill
Lorinda was born on August 15, 1855 in Portland, Maine. Laura died in Illinois, Chicago, on February 7, 1952; she was 96.

On July 24, 1877 when Lorinda Laura Gill married Robert Grainger, son of Robert Grainger and Margaret Hood, in DuPage County, Illinois. Robert was born on December 10, 1846 in Glasgow, Scotland. He died in Chicago, Illinois on November 30, 1933 he was 86.

    Robert and Lorinda Laura Gill Grainger had the following children:
    Sarah Isabelle Grainger
    Sarah Isabelle born in 1878, married Mr. Breymer.

    Robert L. Grainger
    Born in 1881. Robert married Lillian Rosenow. He served in the army in World War I.

    William Wallace Grainger
    Born on July 5, 1895 in Illinois, Chicago. William Wallace died in Skokie, Illinois in October 1982; he was 87. Bill married Hallie Ward. She was born in 1886. Hallie died in 1982; she was 96. They had two children.

    Laura Ellen Grainger
    Born on May 16 1886. Laura Ellen died in Oak Park, Illinois in September 1978; she was 92.

    Margaret Louise Grainger
    Born on March 23, 1882.

Daniel Louis Gill
Born on February 26, 1858 in Virgil, Illinois. He married Caroline (Carrie) Louise Nathan, daughter of Louis Nathan & Fredericka Knapel, in Cook County, Illinois,

    Daniel and Carrie Nathan Gill had the following children:
    Dorothy Laura Gill
    Born on May 26, 1889 in Chicago, Illinois. Dorothy Laura Gill died in Port Washington, Wisconsin on July 7, 1906; she was 17.

    Leonard Louis Gill
    Born on November 5, 1890 in Chicago, Illinois. Leonard Louis died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 28 1983; he was 92. He was buried in Port Washington, Wisconsin Union Cemetery. Leonard Louis married Olga.

    Sarah Minnie Gill
    Born on August 13, 1892 in Franklin Park, Illinois. Sarah Minnie died in Lancaster, California on September 30, 1986; she was 94. Sarah Minnie first married Ralph DeRoy Gates. He died in 1939 in Redlands, California. They had eight children.

    Daniel Leland Gill
    Born on 8 April 8, 1895 in Franklin Park, Illinois. Daniel Leland died in Lancaster, California, on April 13, 1977; he was 82. He was buried on April 15, 1977 in Wood National Cemetery, Wood, Wisconsin.

    Robert Nathan Gill
    Born on April 8, 1895 in Franklin Park, Illinois. Robert Nathan died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 25, 1964; he was 69. Robert was buried on November 28, 1964 in Evergreen Cemetery, Glendale, Wisconsin. Robert Nathan married Lillian.

    Louise Margaret Gill
    Born in 1900. About 1924 when Louise Margaret married David (Roy) Wood.

Francis Harris Gill
Born on August 28, 1860. Francis Harris died in Illinois, Chicago, on May 13, 1873; he was 12.

Children of Elijah Harris Crabtree and Priscilla Sutton Sharp

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

The following was shared by Cal Bivens.

Joseph Sutton Crabtree (1818 - ? )

Joseph was born in October 1818 (baptized on September 16, 1821) at Hampstead/Westfield in Kings County, New Brunswick, Canada.  Joseph Crabb married Sarah Ann Giggey July 13, 1846 in St. John, New Brunswick.  Both individuals were from Portland Parish, St. John.  Sarah was born about 1828 in St. John County, New Brunswick.  She was reportedly the daughter of John Giggey and presumably a niece of Joseph’s aunt Mary Giggey Crabtree.

Joseph was a farmer. Joseph and William probably came to the United States with their uncle, Richard A. Crabtree, his sons Arnold, and George, daughter Amy Beecham and her husband, Thomas in 1848. There may have been a stop in Portland, Maine. Elijah, the father of Joseph and William lived there and is documented there from 1850 through 1859.

In 1850 Joseph, his wife and child shared a house with Billy and Margaret.  After this I lost track of Joseph and Sarah.  He seems to have sold his place to his brother, William, and returned to Canada between 1850 and 1855.

In the 1881 census for Canada, Joseph and his family were enumerated in Wilmot, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia.  Joseph, age 48, was a farmer and a Free Will Baptist. Sarah was also a Free Will Baptist as was their son, James.

Joseph came back to the United States in 1891, sometime after Sarah died (?).  He bought a place in Lafayette County, Mississippi near Oxford.  He was a truck farmer there.  In 1900 Billy and his wife lived there with him. I see nothing yet that tells when they settled in Mississippi. Joseph later went to Illinois.

By 1910 Joseph was in Illinois. He was living with his niece, Laura Gill and her family in Grant Township, Lake County, Illinois. Since he was 91 years old at this time I think it is likely that he died at this place, however I can find no evidence of a death certificate for him in Illinois.

Sons of Joseph and Sarah Giggey Crabtree: (more…)

Sarah Crabtree Gill

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014



Sarah Crabtree Gill and my great-grandmother Rachel Crabtree were daughters of Elijah and Priscilla Crabtree. Sarah was a favorite aunt of my grandmother Myrtie Crabtree Briggs.

The next few posts will be photos of Sarah and/or her family.

Elijah and Priscilla Crabtree, Part 4

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Continuing with information from Cal Bivens.

Pension Applications
A Civil War pension application was filed in May of 1866 for Priscilla Crabtree, John’s mother. The claim was rejected due to the death of mother, Priscilla in January of 1868. It seems to me that it took an unusually long time to settle John’s military accounts and the pension application.

Elijah had to file for his own, which was done December 10, 1866, the application number was: 138,708. Albert Babcock, a lawyer from Blackberry, in Kane County, was obtained to assist with the paperwork. Milt Thornton and Freeman Woodman made declarations for this filing.

Thornton, a family friend, stated that John had worked for him for a year before his enlistment, and that his wages had gone to support his elderly parents. The same was true of his army pay. He further stated that after John’s death, Elijah had received help from the county and the community, he had 3 cows and a shanty that was built on Thornton’s land. Woodman swore to his acquaintance with Elijah and his knowledge of Elijah’s situation.

An affidavit by Sarah M. Gill and George W. Giggey of Kane County, Illinois declared that they had been for 20 years intimately acquainted with Elijah and Pricilla Crabtree of Kane County that on January 30, 1868 Pricilla Crabtree, wife of Elijah, died at the township of Virgil. They were present when she died and was buried. That Elijah Crabtree “is a cripple caused by chronic rheumatism and that he has no property nor money nor any other means of support.” And that he was entirely dependent upon his son John Crabtree who was a corporal in Company B, 16th US Infantry who died in the service on or about January 1, 1863. The affidavit bore the signatures of both parties – Mrs. Sarah M. Gill & George W. Giggey.

Pension certificate # 129,219 was issued to Elijah, his pension of $8 per month was retroactive to January 31,

Later that year Elijah moved with Arnold and Rachel to Story County, Iowa. They settled in Nevada, in Milford Township. Elijah was working at farming then as best he could.

1869 (more…)

Elijah and Priscilla, Part 3

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Part 3 continues the file on Elijah Harris Crabtree from Cal Bivens.

By 1860 the family was settled in a pretty compact area, clustered in Virgil Township, Kane County, Illinois. They were roughly 40-45 miles west of Chicago.

Arnold and Rachel Crabtree lived near his sister and brother-in-law, Frances and Edmund H. Wallace.

Richard and Mary Crabtree lived a ways away from them. Elijah seems to have already been established in the “shanty” on Milt Thornton’s land.

George Giggy and William Crabtree were close neighbors near Elijah and Milt Thornton. Farther down the road lived the Fillmores and the Reads.

I want to back up a bit to Milt Thornton. This is because he seems to have been a good friend of the family. Milton Thornton arrived in Kane County in May 1837, at a time when the cabins of the settlers were few and far between. He was a native of New Hampshire, born in Grafton County, October 20, 1809. His father, William Thornton, was also a native of New Hampshire and a direct descendant of Matthew Thornton, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. His wife was Polly Bagley, a daughter of Winthrop Bagley, a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

Milton Thornton was mostly self-educated, his knowledge was of a practical nature acquired in adulthood. He came west by way of the New York and Erie Canal and the Great Lakes, to Chicago, and crossed the Fox River at Geneva May 24, 1837. He at once took up a claim in the town of Virgil, Kane County, comprised of 275 acres, on which he built a house, and began its improvement.

In his early life, Mr. Thornton was an old-line Whig, and cast his first presidential vote for Henry Clay in 1832. Being a strong anti-slavery man, and a believer in equal rights for all, he voted for John C. Fremont, in 1856, and afterword became a staunch Republican.

At the time the Crabtrees knew him, Milt was married to his second wife, Paulina Bunker. At various times he served as township supervisor, justice of the peace, and road commissioner.

For The Civil War click (more…)

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.

Unknown Crabtree Soldier

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Unknown Crabtree Soldier ambrotype.

Unknown Crabtree Soldier ambrotype.

Ambrotype out of the case.

Ambrotype out of the case.

In Grandma and Me, there is a discussion between Cal Bivens and myself of who this soldier (labeled “Crabtree Brother” in the family of Sarah Crabtree Gill) might be. At the time we thought it might be James the son of Richard Arnold Crabtree, but have since been told that this soldier is not him.

In May of this year (2014) Cal (who has researched the family much longer than myself) sent me his updated comments on who the soldier might be:

I have narrowed down the possibilities for the unknown soldier: John Crabtree or (David Fillmore was a Crabtree / Wallace in-law).

The 8th Illinois Cavalry (David Fillmore) perhaps wore the same dress uniform as the regular army (John Crabtree). At this point I know that Fillmore was a Quartermaster Sergeant.

I am going to have to get John’s military records, however, to settle the issue. His family believed he was a corporal but the final records show him as a private—but that was a considerable time after he was killed.

The history of his regiment indicates the possibility that he could have been an acting Sergeant during the organization of the outfit. They were rushed into service undermanned and there was an episode of mischief making during a barge trip from Ohio to Tennessee which could possibly have cost him some stripes. No way to be sure yet.

The type of photo I have, an ambrotype, was made fairly early in the war and has a relatively small time frame for when it was made due to changing technology.