Sunday, December 30, 2012

John Crawford and Margaret Ann Diamond

My three times great grandparents, John Crawford and Margaret Ann Diamond, grandparents of Susan Monk Hart, came to Canada from Ireland between 1845 and 1847 during the height of the potato famine. I know nothing of their parentage, which means they are both “brick walls” for me on my tree. I am given to understand, however, that due to a scarcity of records for Ireland, that one cannot expect to go further back than the early 1800’s in Irish research. We shall see. I’m not giving up yet. It appears that John was born in Ireland on October 8, 1803, but there are unsourced reports that he was born on Isle of Man. The “John Crauford” baptised in 1803 on the Isle of Man in, was baptised in April, so if the October birthdate is correct, then this cannot be our John. His wife, Margaret Ann Diamond, was born in 1803 or 1804, also in Ireland. There are unsourced reports on Ancestry that Margaret, and the children born in Ireland, were born in Belfast, Antrim. The one clue that seems to fit is that their daughter, Margaret Ann Crawford, appears to have baptised on the Isle of Man in the old “Kirk” in Braddan on January 8, 1837. She is named, “Margaret Ann Crawford Diamond”, and is the daughter of “John Crawford” and “Ann Diamond”. There seem to be a number of Crawfords on the Isle of Man at this time, but not many Diamonds. To complicate matters, some of their census records and those of their children indicate that they were born in “England” and “Scotland” as well as “Ireland”. Because the bulk of the evidence comes down on Ireland, I think we are safe for now to say that that is where they were born.

Margaret and John were married in 1824 in Ireland, and unsourced reports say that this was in Larne, Antrim. They had about nine or ten children, between 1822 and 1847, with the last child, Sarah, being the only one born in Canada. Their children were also Jane, possibly David, Susan, John, Elizabeth, Henry, Margaret Ann, Mary Ann, and Charlotte. Between 1845 and 1847, they came to Canada, and settled in Ontario. In 1851, they were living in Oxford County. The whole family is Methodist. Between 1852 and 1856, the family emigrated to Decorah, Winneshiek, Iowa. On June 3, 1856, John was granted homestead land in Madison, Winneshiek, where it appears that both John and Margaret lived for the rest of their days. It is beginning to look like I should be ordering some homestead records, not only for John Crawford, but also for Jacob Monk, Melvin Hart, and my homesteaders in Illinois. The U.S. records are said to contain much useful genealogical data. I will keep you posted, gentle reader.

John died on April 2, 1871 at the age of sixty-seven. In 1880, Margaret Ann is living with her son Henry and his family, and in 1885, she is living with her daughter Sarah. Margaret Ann died  on June 4, 1889 at the age of eighty-six. She is buried with her husband John in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah, Winneshiek, Iowa.

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