Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cavendish Genealogy: Craigue/Craig

A story has been passed down through many generations of the Craigue family, that William joined the 9th Norfolk Regiment of the British Army on 14 Jan., 1775 at Downpatrick, Ireland. Downpatrick is across the Irish Sea from Cumberland, England. The soldiers sailed for America in 1776 to fight in the Revolution. He was then twenty-one years old. Oral family history reports: "in 1775 Will was a lad of around 16 years old and living with his parents at their home in Carlisle, England. Some say he was caught for a crime of "throwing a man or a tattling servant girl over a stair rail, killing his victim." In any event, he was given the choice of being tried, convicted and punished for the crime, or enlisting in His Majesty's troops than being raised for service in America.”

There are some family researchers who believe William changed his name when he deserted the English Army and joined up with the New England Continental Army, so that his father would not find him. All agree that he was a trooper in General Burgoyne's Army stationed at Ticonderoga in 1777. He might have deserted that year along with others. The convention troops of Burgoyne's Army were captured at Saratoga 17 Oct., 1777. They were first sent to Boston. There was a list prepared, containing the names of officers. There is no complete list of the soldiers who were captured that day. Whether William Craigue deserted at Ticonderoga on his own, or whether he was at Saratoga and deserted from the "Convention Troops" who were originally taken as prisoners, is not known. In any event, after the Saratoga defeat, William became a Revolutionary soldier.

After the war, William and Esther lived in Chelmsford or a nearby town before moving to the newly growing community across the Connecticut River in Weathersfield, Vermont. It must have been during the winter of 1790/1 that they came to Weathersfield with Esther's parents and her two sisters, Bridget and Joanna Adams. In 1792, William purchased land in Weathersfield, consisting of a 60-acre parcel from Longley Willard. This was Lot #48 in the 4th Division of lands of the town. This area was known as Eagle's Head and is where the Covell family later lived. In 1809, William sold his Weathersfield property to Joshua Morgan and received in return a 50-acre farm in the Witherspoon section of Cavendish, which was the South half of Lot #11. He lived in Cavendish for approximately seventeen years. He removed to Troy, Vt. in Feb., 1826. In 1832 he lived in Westfield. In a peculiar quitclaim deed dated 10 Dec., 1825 at Cavendish, William Craigue sold a 359-acre parcel of land in Cavendish to Salmon Dutton for $10. The bounds of this property: “beginning at a corner— a small beech tree, it being Jonathan Atherton’s southwest corner; thence north, 12 degrees east, 428 rods (or thereabouts) to the north bank of the Black River; thence on the same course, 58 rods to a stake and stones; thence west ten degrees north, 116 rods to the northeast corner of Billings Walker’s lands; thence south twelve degrees west, 508 rods to southwest to the corner of Billings Walker’s lands to a stake and stones standing in Benjamin Page’s pasture and in the south line of Brantingham’s tract; thence east on the south line of the Brantingham tract to the beginning.” Why would William quit claim a 359-acre parcel of land in Cavendish for $10?

For the 44 page genealogy of the Craigue/Craig family, compiled by the Cavendish Historical Society genealogist Linda Welch, please contact margoc@tds.net or call 802-226-7807. Copies are available via PDF files and/or CD rom

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