Patrick Cragun Cragon report by Gaylynn Heiner Hone.
Patrick Cragun Cragon report by Gaylynn Heiner Hone.
PATRICK CRAGON The first ancestor on our direct line of Cragun’s to come to America is Patrick. Duringour many years of searching, we have not yet found definite proof of his birthplace. However abook called “History of Cass County, “Indiana, found in 1967 in the Indianapolis, IndianaLibrary, page 214, states that the family of Cragun was from Dublin, Ireland prior to theRevolutionary War, and took part in the struggles of the American colonists that resulted in thewinning of Independence. More research is needed to verify if the Cragun’s came from Ireland. Patrick Cragun was born about 1745 in Scotland or Ireland, and married in the early1780’s Rose Alley (Abby) or Hannah Elsy. The first ancestor on our direct line of Cragun’s tocome to America is Patrick. During our many years of searching, we have not yet found definiteproof of his birthplace. However, a book called “History of Cass County, Indiana, found in 1967in the Indianapolis, Indiana library, page 214, states that the family of Cragun was founded inAmerica by Patrick Cragun who came from Dublin, Ireland prior to the Revolutionary War andtook part in the struggles of the American colonists that resulted in the winning ofIndependence.1 Tradition through branches of the family has given us two different stories—the firsttelling of Patrick’s adventures as a child of 12 years and the second telling of his adventures as ayoung man Immigration to America The first story was told by James Cragun, son of Elisha, who was a son of Patrick, andwas recorded by Martha James Cragun Cox, a daughter of James Cragun. “The story of Patrick Cragun as my father used to tell it, runs like this: His parents inIreland bound him to a saddler that he might learn a trade. Hearing much about the free land ofAmerica he became obsessed with a desire to emigrate. He ran away from his master bound forAmerica and lay in the harbor. He made the acquaintance of the shipmaster if had not done sobefore, and sold himself to that person for a term of years. This it seems was a common practiceamong sea captains in those days, to pick up runaway boys for service. Pat was about twelveyears old when he made this venture. In time the ship he sailed on arrived at a port in Virginiaand took on lumber. The captain fearing he might lose Pat did not allow him to leave the ship.However, the night before he was to sail, the boy jumped overboard and swam ashore and hidhimself in the piles of lumber. The story goes that he stayed in the piles of lumber for three dayswithout food and water, while his master searched the coast for him. At length, concluding that1 Heiner, Eva Cragun, Patrick Cragun – Descendants in America, page 12, year 1964 1
his boy had drowned in the ocean, the captain sailed away. Pat came out from his hiding in astarved condition. He had almost perished for want of water. The second story was told by Jonathon O.Q. Cragun of Mankato, Minnesota in 1931 toEva Cragun Heiner, and written down as she remembered it at that time. J.O.Q. was a son ofEnoch, son of Elisha Cragun, son of Patrick Cragun. Patrick was born about 1745/6 and had a most interesting life. He had a great desire inhis early youth to go to America, so when the opportunity came he joined a company of fortyIrishmen who obtained a sailing vessel and provisions sufficient to last the journey. They set sailand all went well until in mid-ocean a current, together with the trade winds, sent their shipsailing to the calms around Cuba. The peculiarity of these calms is that not a breeze stirs forweeks at a time. Here their ship floated and they waited. They were careful of the provisions,but not a breeze came to carry them on and they were not prepared for any such happenings. Finally the food and water supply was exhausted and they resorted to eating candles,boiled ropes and just anything. Some of the men became prostrated; others with their tongu’shanging out became savage. One day, when hope was despaired, someone saw a ship in the distance and made feebleattempts to attract attention which proved successful. It was an English ship on its way toAmerica. The crew came aboard the ill-fated ship. The crew bound them with strong cord andcarried them aboard ship, nursing them, gradually increasing their diet until they became well.Great wisdom was shown in this treatment.2 Patrick Cragun in America Patrick Cragon (Cragun), the name of his wife is not known. The earliest record foundfor him was for 1779, when he appeared on a Washington County, North Carolina (laterTennessee), List of Taxables.3 (His name was shown as Patrick Craguner.) This was just prior tothe area being included in the new Sullivan County, North Carolina (later Tennessee): and it wasabout the time that groups led by James Robertson and Col. John Donelson left the area andmoved overland and by river westward to “the Bluffs” on the Cumberland River to form the firstsettlement in the Cumberland country – the present city of Nashville, Tennessee. The tax recordshowed that he owned 170 acres of land, four horses, and three cattle. Patrick Cragon received2 Eva Cragun, Patrick Cragun – Descendants in America, copy of book in possession of Gaylynne Heiner Hone,Payson, Utah.3 Mary Hardin McCown, Washinton Count y lists of Taxables 1778-1801 Volume 1, , Printed, Johnson City,Tennessee, 1964, Info obtained from the book Tennessee Cragons and Their Kinfolk, printed 1974, page 18, copy ofbook in possession of Gaylynne Heiner Hone, Payson, Utah. 2
official title to this land on Indian Creek, Sullivan County, by a North Carolina Land Grant4dated 10 November 1784. Know ye that we have granted unto Patrick Cragon one hundred and seventy acres of land in Sullivan County on Indian Creek beginning at a pine tree on Solomon Smiths line thence on said Smiths line south sixty seven degrees East ninty six poles to said Smiths corner white oak thence on said Smiths line South sixty four poles to a white oak thence along a Knob South forty five degrees East one hundred and ten poles to a pine thence on a dividing line between said Cragon and Filty Little North forty three degrees East Sixty poles to two pines thence North one hundred and seventy six poles to a pine thence West two hundred and ten poles crossing said Creek to a stake thence South forty poles to the Beginning. To hold to Patrick Cragon his Heirs and assigns forever dated the Tenth of November 1784. (translation of document above 22-A)4 Secretary of State, North Carolina, Grant No. 308, Book No. 69, Page 179, File No. 429, Info obtained from thebook Tennessee Cragons and Their Kinfolk, printed 1974, page 18, copy of book in possession of Gaylynne HeinerHone, Payson, Utah. 3
North Carolina Land Grant5 dated 10 November 1784.5 Secretary of State, North Carolina, Grant No. 308, Book No. 69, Page 179, File No. 429, Info obtained from thebook Tennessee Cragons and Their Kinfolk, printed 1974, page 18, copy of book in possession of Gaylynne HeinerHone, Payson, Utah. 4
It is presumed that this land grant was made to give him legal title to the land he hadoccupied as a settler in late 1778 or early 1779. The Warrant of Survey was issued to thesurveyor on 30 December 1778, and the Surveyor;s plat was dated 6 October 1783. Records ofNorth Carolina Department of State show that this grant to Patrick Cragon was a purchase grantand not for war service.6 This land (and appurtenances) on Indian Creek (about 10 miles belowBristol, Virginia-Tennessee, and near Bluff City, Tennessee) was sold by Patrick Cragon (deedshows Creggan) to a Charles Barnette on 19 February 1812. The land grand and the deed,mentioned above, are the only land transactions found for him. Most of the original records of Sullivan County were destroyed on the afternoon of 22September 1863, when a shell from a Federal battery hit the Sullivan County Courthouse atBlountville, setting it afire and destroying of all of its contents. Included were the county courtminutes and the records of wills and marriages from 1780. The deed books were kept at thehome of the registrar, Frederick Sturm, and escaped destruction. Fortunately, some informationconcerning the organization of the county was copied from the early minute book before it wasdestroyed. In 1844 Lyman C. Draper, on a southern trip collecting material on the settlement ofthe West, stopped at Blountville and took some notes. In the 1850’s Dr. J.G.M. Ramsey, whilewriting his Annals of Tennessee, obtained from correspondent similar information.7 According to these sources, the county court of Sullivan County first met on Monday,February 7, 1780, at the home of Moses Looney. Commissions as justices of the peace werepresented. In 1795 a Patrick Cregan was in a group of men who were ordered by the CountyCourt of Sullivan County to “view and lay off a great road the nearest and best way fromWeavers Line by Rystop’s Ford on Holston River Indian Creek to join the Washington Line.”8The tax list of 1796 for Sullivan County, Tennessee includes a Patrick Creagan.96 Letter of 3 February 1971, from R. F. Johnston, Director of Publications, Department of North Carolina, to Col.(Ret.) H. D. Cragon, Birmingham, Alabama. Tennessee Cragons and Their Kinfolk, printed 1974, copy of book inpossession of Gaylynne Heiner Hone.7 Creekmore, Pollyanna, Early East Tennessee Taxpayers, East Tennessee Historical Society, The compiler isindebted to Prentiss Price of Rogersville, Tennessee, for this information. See also Draper MSS. 3S138-139 (StateHistorical Society, Madison Wisconsin; microfilm in the University of Tennessee Library), and J.G. M. Ramsey, TheAnnals of Tennessee to the End of the Eighteenth Century (reprinted, Kingsport, 1926), 189. The reason for thestatement that Ramsey received the information from a correspondent is because the names are garbled to someextent, e.g. William Christie, instead of Gilbert Christian; John Dunham, instead of John Duncan. Dr. Ramsey wastoo familiar with these names to have so miscopied them himself.8 Sullivan County, Tennessee, Deed Book 6, page 188, Tennessee Cragons and Their Kinfolk, printed 1974, page 19,copy of book in possession of Gaylynne Heiner Hone.9 Oliver Taylor, Historic Sullivan, Page226, info found in the book Tennessee Cragons and Their Kinfolk, printed1974, page 19, copy of book in possession of Gaylynne Heiner Hone. 6
Sullivan County, Tennessee Tax Lists 1796 “Copy of the Tax Roll of Sullivan County for the year 1796” 10 In the tax record we find Patrick Creagan, and he owned 240 acres of land, in the key theColumn Numbers  Acres of land,  white Polls,  Black Polls. The list was transcribedfrom a microfilm copy of the original certified copy returned by Matthew Rhea, Sullivan Countycourt clerk, to the Tennessee general assembly, now on file in the Tennessee Archives. It is notof record in Sullivan County. Also in the Archives are lists for 1797 and 1811-12. All of these10 Creekmore, Pollyanna, Early East Tennessee Taxpayers, East Tennessee Historical Society, There are twoadditional columns in the original, “Stud Horses” and “Town lots.” Six individuals were designated as owning onestud horse each: Thomas Beard, Samuel Crockett, John Musgrove, Jr., James Pickins, Thomas Titsworth, and JamesWheeler. Six individuals were listed as owners of town lots, with one owning two: john Burk (2), Samuel Crockett,Edward Cox, Richard Gammon, Robert Rutledge, and John Shelby, Jr. 7
lists were microfilmed by the compiler in1949, through the courtesy of Mrs. John TrotwoodMoore, then Tennessee state librarian and archivist. The films are available in the McClungCollection, Lawson McGhee Library, and Knoxville.11 The tax record showed that he owned 170 acres of land, four horses, and three cattle.Patrick Cragon received official title to this land on Indian Creek, Sullivan County, by a NorthCarolina land Grant dated November 10, 1784.12 In 1776, North Carolina accepted the area (including Indian Creek where the Cragon laterlived) as Washington County, North Carolina, which eventually embraced all of the presentTennessee. In 1779, North Carolina placed the area in a new county called Sullivan. Later, tosecure federal protection from Indian raids and other frontier hazards, North Carolina handed itto the national government as a present. Apparently no one in Washington, D. C., becameenthusiastic about the gift, refusing even to acknowledge it. After being ignored for four or fiveyears and continuing to suffer from Indian raids, the settlers organized the territory into a newstate, Franklin. But even that action received cold treatment from Washington, and Franklinlasted only four years and was never recognized. In 1790 Congress did offer relief to the settlersby including the area in the Territory of the United State, South of the River Ohio, known as theSouthwest Territory. On 1 June 1796, Tennessee joined the Union as the 16th state. Patrick Cragon’s home on Indian Creek was about ten miles from Rocky Mount, a two-story log house built in 1770. It was located on present Highway 11E between Johnson City andBristol and is now shown to the public as one of the Historic Sights of Tennessee. In 1790 (yearof John Cragon’s birth), Rocky Mount was selected by William Blount, first Governor of theSouthwest Territory, as his headquarters. For the next eighteen months this house, near theCragons, was the Capital of the first recognized government west of the Allegheny Mountains.The first recognized government west of the Allegheny Mountains. The Cragon home on IndianCreek in 1779 as the first town in the area. It was also near Fort Patrick Henry which was one ofthe forts offering protection to the early settlers.11 Sistler, Byron and Barbara, Early Tennessee Tax Lists, Evanston, Illinois, 1977, LDS Family History Library #F435.55712 Tennessee Cragons and Their Kinfolk, Col. Henry D. Cragon, Aus. Ret., Year 1973, Grant No. 308, Book No. 69,page 179, File No. 429, Secretary of State, North Carolina 8
Early Tennessee Land Records 13 In the Tennessee record, we find the Claimant Patrick Cragan and the file No. was 429,the county was Sullivan County and he had 170 acres. The grant was for 308 on 10 Nov. 1784with the entry was 863 and the entry date was 30 Dec. 1778. The State of Tennessee was established, essentially, from land ceded to the federalgovernment by North Carolina. Clouding the various land cession laws that transferred the titleof land from North Carolina to the United States south of the River Ohio (a territory) and then toTennessee was the requirement, however vaguely defined, that North Carolina RevolutionarySoldiers’ promise of land for military service is honored. Among other things, this requirementresulted in the inclusion of hundreds of footnotes to the Tennessee land laws that spelled out theland transfer process.1413 Griffey, Irene M., Earliest Tennessee Land Record and Earliest Tennessee Land History, Baltimore, Maryland,Genealogical Publishing Co., 2003.14 Griffey, Irene M., Earliest Tennessee Land Record and Earliest Tennessee Land History, Baltimore, Maryland,Genealogical Publishing Co., 2003. 9
Research in Tennessee for the period prior to 1830 poses some difficult problems becauseno complete census schedules for the state exist before that date. The 1800 census scheduleswere entirely lost or destroyed, and for 1810 only Rutherford County has been saved. The 1820lists for almost all the eastern counties are missing.15 For genealogists seeking county of origin of early settlers the only feasible approach isthrough the county tax lists, petitions and newspaper accounts. This is a single index to 68county tax lists, petitions, voter lists, and newspaper lists of inhabitants in 34 Tennessee counties.There are about 46,000 entries in all.16 The earliest list included is from 1787 and the 1827. About 2/3 of the state’s counties inexistence by 1820 are included. We find a Patrick Creagan in Sullivan County for the year 1796and a different spelling for a Patrick Cregan in Sullivan County for the year 1797.17 Patrick married in the early 1780’s. There are many different ideas about his wife’sname. She has been called Rose Alley, Hannah, Elizabeth, but in her son, Elisha’s Patriarchalblessing, his mother is called Elsy.” End of story No. 2.1815 Sistler, Byron and Barbara, Early Tennessee Tax Lists, Evanston, Illinois, 1977, LDS Family History Library #F435.55716 Sistler, Byron and Barbara, Early Tennessee Tax Lists, Evanston, Illinois, 1977, LDS Family History Library #F435.55717 Sistler, Byron and Barbara, Early Tennessee Tax Lists, Evanston, Illinois, 1977, LDS Family History Library #F435.55718 Heiner, Eva Cragun, Patrick Cragun – Descendants in America, Page 14 10
Old Road Builders From “Old Road Builders” taken from “Historic Sullivan” Page 225, another story ofPatrick Cragun; (spelling left as it was written) When in 1760 the expedition known as the Byrd expedition cut its way to Long Island,opening a new highway that has always been known as the Island road, and when in 1775 DanielBoone and his company cut out the Wilderness road – also called the Kentucke or Caintuck roadand now known as the Reedy creek road –then was the beginning of bad roads in Sullivancounty. But over the one the great flow of southwest immigration has gone and over the othernumberless cavalcades have passed, bound for the west. These two roads and one other servedour ancestors many years. There were other paths, but these were the main travel ways—the“great roads” as they were then called. It was not from a lack of the spirit of progress that ourancestors did not establish other good roads—the Indian wars and the war with Great Britainkept them busy for twenty-five years. But in the year 1795 a road building energy andenthusiasm seized the people; eight great roads were proposed and established in this year, and atthe same time the county court appointed a jury of twenty-six prominent citizens “to view thegreat road from Sullivan court-house, leading to Abingdon, in Virginia, as far as the Virginia lineand report to the next court.”19 The records of the court are meager and no report of this jury could be found, but“viewing” meant to pass upon the condition and this generation believes itself capable ofsurmising what sort of report was made. The orders of the court for the other roads ran as follows: Ordered by the court that the following persons be appointed to view and lay off a greatroad the nearest and best way from Weaver line by Ryson’s Ford on Holston River Indian Creekto Join the Washington line. Solomen____, Patrick Cregan, Arnold Schell, John Funkhouser,Jacob Weaver, Abeloid Edwards, Benjamin Ryston, John Richardson, Samuel Miller, WilliamCarr, Frederick Weaver, William Morgan, John Miller, Harman Arrants, George _____, JacobBoy, Thomas Price, Joseph Cole, Jr., Elisha Cole, William Cross and Aquilla Cross and maketheir reports to the next court.2019 Sistler, Byron and Barbara, Early Tennessee Tax Lists, Evanston, Illinois, 1977, LDS Family History Library #F435.55720 Taylor, Oliver, Historic Sullivan, A History of Sullivan County, Tennessee with brief Biographies of the Makersof History, Bristol, Tenn., 1909, LDS Family History Library – 976.896, T216h, These “orders of the court” areselected from a scrap of the county records for 1795, in some way preserved, and now in the possession of GeorgeT. Hammer, Briston. 11
This was in 1795 when a road building energy seized the people of Tennessee. Eightnew roads were proposed and established in this year. These roads were not established with aconsideration for grade altogether. When the Court order read, “The nearest and best way”, itmeant the safest way. They went over the hills because on the backbone of these hills was thebest road bed, the best drainage and one other consideration which we lightly accept, the greatestsafety from attack by highway men or Indians.21 Our ancestors had enough to do in removing the massive growth from the thicklytimbered land—trees were centuries old; for they dug through the dense forests to get these roadsand to dig a way around hills to avoid steep grades meant more toil than was their portion.Besides they had no machinery with which to make stone beds and the soft virgin soil was ill-suited for heavy rolling wagons.22 There is a Cragun family line in Indiana which extends westward as far as the PacificOcean. Mrs. Eva L. Cragun Heiner, Salt Lake City, Utah, had done considerable research on thatline for many years with the help from Mrs. Jean Cragun Tombaugh, Rochester, Indiana, andothers. Mrs. Heiner had written a book in 196923 on the Craguns which traces the family back toPatrcik Cragun of Sullivan County. This book shows that following children of Patrick Cragun. Isaac b. abt. 175 ** Joshua b. abt. 1796 Elisha B. b. 22 Feb. 1786 ** Caleb b. abt. 1796 John b. abt. 1787 Elizabeth b. 1 May 1799 Tyresha b. abt. 1789 Syren b. 13 August 1801 Lydia b. abt. 1791 Lucius b. abt. 1803 Hannah b. abt. 1795 # William b. abt. 1819 Only information on john is a reference to attendance at a church in Franklin County,Indiana. This John could have been a son of Caleb who lived in Franklin County.** Joshua and Caleb were twins and both had a son named John which was the name of theirolder brother.# Late birthdate indicates that he could have been son of Isaac. Research on John Cragon, done by his descendant Col. (Ret.) Henry D. Cragon ofBirmingham, Alabama, disclosed that he had a son named Patrick. The research also disclosedan Elisha Cragen in nearby Russell County, Virginia, in 1810; an Isaac Cragan in RussellCounty, Virginia, in 1814, 1817, and 1820; and a Joshua Cragun, residence unknown in May1817, who visited his brother Isaac a few hours after Isaac’s marriage in Russell County,21 Heiner, Eva Cragun, Patrick Cragun – Descendants in America, Page 11722 Heiner, Eva Cragun, Patrick Cragun – Descendants in America, Page 1723 Eva Cragun Heiner, Patrick Cragun – Descendants in America, copy of the book in the possession of GaylynneHeiner Hone, Payson, Utah. 12
Virginia. The 1850 Tennessee Census shows that John Cragon born in Virginia, and the 1860Census shows Tennessee. On the 1880 Kentucky Census his son James shows that his fatherwas born in Virginia, and his daughter Melissa reported on the 1880 Illinois Census that herfather was born in Tennessee. The area involved is the upper northeastern tip of Tennessee, andthe adjoining southwestern tip of Virginia, and it was thought by some that this particular areawas a part of Virginia. The dividing line between Virginia and North Carolina (later Tennessee)at his joint, as finally settled, resulted in an area being removed from the jurisdiction of Virginia.In view of this and the fact that the Indian Creek area had been in several jurisdictions, It isunderstandable that John Cragon and his children would not be certain as to the exact legallocation of John’s birthplace when reporting it to the Census taker in 1850, 1860, and 1880. The whereabouts of Patrick Cragon prior to his location in Sullivan County, NorthCarolina (later Tennessee), in 1779 is not known. It was handed down by the Tennessee Cragonsthat the family was Scotch-Irish. Mrs. Heiner comes to the same conclusion in her book on theCraguns of Indiana and the western states. 13