Tarvin Allied Families: The Craycraft Family

by Gary Hoffman

Young George Tarvin married Sarah Craycraft about 1767 in Hampshire Co., Virginia, and thus began an affilliation between the Tarvins and the Craycrafts that has lasted over 230 years. The story of the Tarvins is also the story of the Craycrafts. This essay attempts to describe the origins of this relationship.

(Note: The family name is sometimes spelled Cracraft or Craycroft. For simplicity, we will standardize on Craycraft here.)

JOSEPH CRAYCRAFT, the patriarch of this branch of Craycrafts, was who was born in England, probably Lincolnshire. He emigrated to America in about 1720, perhaps with relatives at that tender age. He married an Ann Stanley or Stanton about 1735, possibly in Delaware, at the time considered part of Pennsylvania. They had six children. They lived first in Prince George Co., Maryland, where the first two children were born, then moved west to the Upper Potomac area, settling in Hampshire Co., Virginia. At least one child was born there. They later moved close by to Harper's Ferry, Virginia, and perhaps other locations in the area. He died about 1761.

ANN STANTON is the most elusive figure in Tarvin history. We don't know her history but her name is carried down in the various Tarvin lines, by descendants who honored this great matriarch by naming their daughters after her.

Children of Joseph Craycraft and Ann Stanton, numbered in the Tarvin fashion:


Here is what we know about each of these children.

JC1 JOSEPH CRAYCRAFT was born 1738 in Prince George Co., Maryland, the first son of Joseph Craycraft and Ann Stanton. He moved with his family to the Upper Potomac River area and grew up near the Cacapon River Valley. He married Margaret Bowell about 1766 and received a gift of land in the Cacapon Valley from Margaret's father about that time. They had four children. After Margaret died, Joseph married Eunice Dawson about 1780. He died before 1810.

MARGARET BOWELL was born 1748, probably in Hampshire Co., Virginia, the fifth child of William Bowell and Ann Roberts. The Bowells were prominent early German settlers in Frederick Co., Maryland, adjacent to Hampshire Co., Virginia. The name was probably Paulus in Germany and transformed to Bowlus and then to Bowell. Margaret's sister Sarah married William Craycraft, doubly unifying these families.

According to Dr. Emmitt F. Bittinger, "Members of the Bowlus family were assciated with Dunkers at a very early period." It is highly likely that the influence of the Bowells on the Craycrafts and the Tarvins brought this extended family into fellowship with the Dunkers during this period.
Ref: Allegheny Passage, p. 35

JC2 WILLIAM CRAYCRAFT was born 1740 either in Prince George Co., Maryland or in Hampshire Co., Virginia. He married Sarah J. Bowell about 1760 in Frederick Co., Maryland. They had five children. He inherited land from his father-in-law, William Bowell, that lay in the Cacapon Valley. He later sold that land and moved to Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania, where he patented several tracts, and move later to Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. He moved to Kentucky around 1800 and died in 1815 in Bath Co., Kentucky.

SARAH J. BOWELL was born between 1740 and 1750, probably in Hampshire Co., Virginia, the first or second child of William Bowell and Ann Roberts. See the discussion of the Bowell family above. She died between 1830 and 1832 in Bath Co., Kentucky.

JC3 SAMUEL CRAYCRAFT was born about 1742 in Hampshire Co., Virginia, the third child of Joseph Craycraft and Ann Stanton. He married Elizabeth _________ about 1740. They had five children. He died after 1774.

JC4 SARAH CRAYCRAFT was born about 1747 in Hampshire Co., Virginia, the fourth child and only daughter of Joseph Craycraft and Ann Stanton. She married George Tarvin about 1767 in Hampshire Co., Virginia. They had thirteen children. They moved to Kentucky about 1794 just before her thirteenth child was born. She died 10 Aug 1806 in Fleming Co., Kentucky.

GEORGE TARVIN, known as Rev. George, was born 1744 in Charles Co., Maryland, the son of George Tarvin and Eleanor Mudd. He died 3 Jan 1813 in Bracken Co., Maryland. For more information, see the History of Rev. George Tarvin

JC4 THOMAS CRAYCRAFT was born between 1750 and 1752 in Frederick Co., Maryland, the fourth child of Joseph Craycraft and Ann Stanton. He worked as a cooper. He married Rebecca Mann in 1771. They had nine children. He moved his family to Kentucky about 1794 in the same wave of migration that carried the Tarvins. His last two children were born in Kentucky. He helped build the Shannon Church in Fleming Co., Kentucky. After Rebecca died, he married Margaret Smith 15 Feb 1806 in Mason Co., Kentucky. They had five children. He died after 1830 in Mason Co., Kentucky, and is buried in the Shannon Cemetery, Shannon, Kentucky.

His oldest son, also Thomas Craycraft, married 6 Elizabeth Tarvin, sixth child of George Tarvin and Sarah Craycraft, his first cousin, and founded the Tarvin Line 6 with their six children. (See Descendants of Rev. George Tarvin)

REBECCA MANN was born 1747 and died 1805 in Mason Co., Kentucky. Although her parents have not yet been identified, it should be noted that 12 Sabrina Tarvin married Archibald Mann.

MARGARET SMITH married first John Egnew on 11 Dec 1799 in Mason Co., Kentucky. They had one child. After his death, she married Thomas Craycraft. She died 6 Feb 1879 and is buried in Shannon Cemetery, Shannon, Kentucky.

JC5 CHARLES CRAYCRAFT was born 1751 in Harpers Ferry, Virginia, the fifth child of Joseph Craycraft and Ann Stanton. He was commissioned Major while serving in "Lord Dunmore's War" in 1774, an Indian campaign in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio. He moved to Washington Co., Pennsylvania, and married Jemima Eleanor Atkinson about 1775 in Washington Co., Pennsylvania. They had nine children, all born in Finley Twp., Washington Co., Pennsylvania. He died Mar 1824 in Morris Twp., Washington Co., Pennsylvania.

JEMIMA ELEANOR ATKINSON was born Nov 1756 in Gunpowder Manor, Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of Thomas Atkinson of England and Martha Cross of Ireland. She died about 1821 in Washington Co., Pennsylvania.

(Eleanor's older brother, Thomas Atkinson, Jr., married Mary Ann Craycraft, a daughter of William Craycraft and Sarah Bowell. They emigrated to Kentucky in 1796, passing through Maysville on their way to Bath Co., where they settled.)

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Last Updated: 31 Jan 2023 21:26 UTC