Bud Cranford's

 Genealogy Page


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William F. (Bud) Cranford
My wife keeps asking why I keep that 15 year old picture on here.
Does the newer picture (on the right) explain it?
I prefer the dark beard and unwrinkled face.  "Just for Men", anyone?

For those not interested in genealogy, Click Here, to see my Magic Scrapbook

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This page is dedicated to my Ancestors, who helped to build this Country, from before the American Revolution, to today.

My Father, Edward Mallory Cranford Sr.

b. 18 September, 1898   d. 10 October, 1978

Tribute to Cornelia G. Cranford, my Mother
 July 3, 1913 - Dec. 13, 2006


Emma Sapp Cranford & William Lafayette Cranford
 b.  29 August, 1869


 b.  29 May, 1862 

 d.  7 November, 1950 


d.  8 October, 1944 

Cousin Jackie Cranford (Center)


Additional Pages
Twiggs County Georgia, Census (1830 - 1860)
Twiggs County Georgia, Census (1870 - 1880)
Twiggs Co. Family Flow Chart
Twiggs Co. William's Lineage
North Carolina Lineage
Rebecca Mills Cranford (Duplin Co. N.C.)
Marion County GA. Line
Jasper County, Georgia Cranford's
Early Cranford Emigrants (1607-1776)
Early North Carolina Settlers (1700-1900)
Early Virginia Settlers (1689 - 1850)
Cemetery Information on Middle Georgia Cranfords

Cranford Family Coat of Arms

The Following is a List of my  Ancestors from the earliest known, to my Father

Click here to view a Chronological Timeline for these early North Carolina Cranfords


William Cranford (Onslow County N.C.) - b. About 1680 – d. Apr, 1745 at approx. 65 years old.
Married Katherine before 1730
            Children: John (Onslow Co. NC)  b. 1720/25  d. 4 April, 1785
                              James b. ?  d. 1790/1795 (Petitioned for tax relief, Jul. 8, 1782)
                                                  Children:  William (Said to have moved to Huntsville Alabama)
                                                                     James (No Further information)

There is a much disputed document concerning the above Cranfords, titled "Craffords of New River, North Carolina" published by Ellis Munson Goodwin in the "National Genealogical Society Quarterly" volume 53, December 1965 #4 and a follow-up Article in volume 55, March 1967 #1.  The research is faulty and he makes a claim of a Cranford link to President Andrew Jackson that seems to be false, that the actual link was for James CRAWFORD, not Cranford.  The names of Jackson's foster-father and his family are similar but a website at http://www.rootsweb.com/~ncanson/crawfd4.htm seems to disprove Goodwin's claim.  Anyone wishing to see the complete but lengthy document, click here to download the complete article, (parts 1 & 2) in Microsoft Word format.
Personally, I have serious doubts on the accuracy of Goodwin's document, especially after he states that Cranford is a misspelling of Crawford, though he may be correct that we all were once Crafford's.

2 The text retains the spelling Crawford for the Ayrshire family and Crafford for the New River family. Each family in the 18th century seems to have preferred the, forms here used, but there were variants (Craford, Crofford, Cronford) and a confusing error by transcribers (Cranford). Standardization to Crawford has added to the confusion.


John Cranford (Onslow County N.C.) – b. 1720/1725,  d. 4 April 1785
(John is listed as assisting in the Revolutionary War, in the service of North Carolina)
Married Mary Bowen (Bowden?)  d. 28 September, 1780
            Children:    John  b. about 1755 – d. April, 1818
                                Anne (Cajan)
                                Sedwell (Lain)
                                Mary (Williams)
                                Rachel (Cotton)
                                Sary (Dixson)

John Cranford (Duplin County N.C.)  b. about 1755 – d. April, 1818
Married Rebecca Mills b. 1764, d. May 1893 (? *)
Children:   James  (Moved to Marion County Ga.)  b. 5 April, 1794 (Duplin Co. N.C.)  d. 30 Sept., 1874 (Marion Co. Ga.)
                       Married Nancy Wallis, b.13 November, 1804    d.  25 April, 1893
                                   Children:  John T.  b.  1829   d.  30 September 1874
                                                       Married Martha A. Hamilton  b.  12 March 1841   d.  30 December, 1932
                                                                                     Children:  William Bland Cranford  b.  16 March 1870   d.  28 Dec. 1915
                   William  b.  About 1781,   d.  1850/1860   Married Jain  (Moved to Twiggs County Georgia)
                                         Children:   John, b.  1818 - Ga.
                                                            William, b. 1821 - Ga.  d.  1850/1870  Married Mary A.
                                                                              Children:  William J.   b. 1845
                                                                                                 Amanda M. b.  1847
                                                                                                 Rebecca A. b.  1849
                                                                                                 Matilda b.  1851
                                                                                                 John R. b.  1852
           (Click to see a Picture of Felix George Cranford)     Felix G. b.  1854     Moved to Bleckley County
                                                                                                 Lucinda J. b.  1856
                                                                                                 Nancy  b.  1857
                                                                                                 Luisa C, b.  1859
                                                           Ben, b. 1824 – Ga.  Married Redley Ann
                                                                              Children:  Lewis T.   b. 1848
                                                           Lewis, b. 1828 – Ga.
                                                           J. Harison, b 1832 – Ga.
                                                          Henry J., b. 1835 – Ga.  Married Narcissa L. Bass  (04/06/1866)
                                                                             Children:  Edward   b. 1876
                                                          Marvin (Marion), b.  1840 – Ga.
                    John     (Moved to Twiggs County Georgia)
                    Benetta -  m/ Benjamin Williams   (20 Jun, 1810)
                    Rebecca  (*  I suspect this Rebecca Died May 1893 in Marion Co. Ga.)
                    Rachel -  m/William James   (01 July, 1823)
                    Mary    -  m/ Hardy Mitchell   (25 Dec, 1827)



John Cranford (Twiggs County Ga.)  b.  about 1784 in N.C.  d. 1850/1860 Twiggs Co. GA.
Married Marion, b. about 1783 in Georgia, d. 1850/1860
Children:  William, b. 1800/1810
                   ???, b. 1815/1820
                   James Martin, b. about 1820 in Georgia, d. after 1880
                   Robert, b.  1825 – Ga. Married Amelia
                   John W.  b.  1827 – Ga. Married Harriet
                                                Children:  John W.   b. 1854
                                                                   Nancy J. b.  1857
                                                                   Mary A. b.  1860

James Martin Cranford (Twiggs County Ga.)   b. about 1820 in Georgia, d. after 1880
(Martin is listed as a being in the service of the Confederate States of America: enlisted at Twiggs County, Georgia on 21 Sep, 1861 by Capt. Griffin for the term of 12 months. (Card #367) Page 1 Page 2 , Page 3)
Married Clarisy b. 1829 – Ga.  d. 1870/1880
Children:   John,    b. 1845
                   Marion,   b.  1846
                    Martha,   b.  1848
                    Sofrania,   b.  1853
                    Franklin b.  1854
                    Clarisy Jane b.  1858
                    Elizabeth C. b.  1858
                    Harriet  b.  1859
                    Dinah  b.  1860
                    William Lafayette b. 1860   d. 8 Oct. 1943
                    Robert  b.  1867
                    Wilbur  b.  1863 (?) He appears to be the son of Martin's 2nd Wife, Annette..  First appears in the 1880 Census. (age 17)
                    Andrew b.  1872     May also be Annette's from a prior marriage.  Surname unknown.  First appears in the 1880 Census. (age 3)

William Lafayette Cranford (Bibb County Ga.)  b.  19 May, 1860  d.  10 October 1943
Married Emma Sapp   b.  29 August 1869,   d.   7 November, 1950
Children:    Josie (Haddock) b. 23 June, 1892 - d. 24 April, 1985
                    Edward Mallory b.  18 September, 1898 - d.  10 October, 1978
                    Carlton  b. 18 July, 1895 - d. 25  Jan. 1937
                    Mildred (Bolton)  b. 20 February, 1908 - d. 26 November, 1995
                    Kaiser James  b. Apr 17, 1901 - d. Oct 30, 1992
                    Julian Estes (Tena)  b.  9 June, 1903 - d. 25 January, 1971


Biographical History



This line will be followed in reverse order, beginning with my Father and tracing back to our earliest known ancestors.  Much of the information presented here will be speculation and extrapolation on the part of the author.  Dates and names will be documented whenever possible.

 I expect this work will take several years to complete (if completion is ever possible) but wish to mention that the majority of the information was obtained by myself starting in October, 1998, when I began my Online search for my ancestors.  Previous to this, only the name of my Grandfather was known.  It was widely speculated that our history was lost to us forever due the destruction of the Jeffersonville Georgia courthouse by fire on February, 7, 1901.  I began this record on July 13th, 1999.
 Much of this information was previously documented and sent to me by Don Cranford of North Carolina.


Edward Mallory Cranford Sr.

 My Father's life began on September 18th, 1898 at 708 Main Street in Macon Georgia.  As was normal through those years, he was born at the home of his parents.

 Little is known of his early years.  He had told me tales of his youth of which I will mention a few.  One was of his digging for Indian arrowheads on the site of the future Ocmulgee National Park.  Precisely where the Earth Lodge now exists.  Another was of him and his friends saving their pennies all week to buy “Bear Grease”.  This was used to grease the Trolley Car tracks on a downhill slope so the train could not stop until it had reached the bottom.  He also told me of saving his pennies to put in the collection plate on Sunday morning, until the pastor suddenly left town, with all the Churches money.  This probably accounts for his lack of confidence in the Church, but he was a Christian believer.  He just didn't trust people and yet he trusted those he thought of as friends too much.  He often loaned money that was never repaid and would give the shirt off his back to someone in need.

He also told a story of when he was ten years old.  His mother and older sister had gone shopping and he knew his Father would be angry if he came home from work and his meal was not ready.  Mallory (as he was called at that time) went to the kitchen and prepared the meal which was ready when the family came home.

His High School consisted of three years.  He graduated from Lanier High School in what was later to be called The Dudley Hughes building.  Following High school he served an apprenticeship on the railroad and learned the machinist trade.

In 1918 he was drafted into the Army, but the Armistice was signed before he could report for duty. VIEW Draft Notice

After the War he and his brothers had an urge to travel.  They lived in Chicago for a time where his brother Tena married Margaret Tillman, of Claxton, Georgia.  Interestingly enough, Margaret was my Fathers companion until she decided she liked Estes (as she called him) better.  The marriage lasted until Tena's death in 1971.  During this period Tena did various jobs, mostly plastering.  Years later when Tena built the Magnolia Court Motel in Macon Ga. he did much of the plastering work himself.

 He was married Three times (to my knowledge).  His first marriage was to Vivian Johnson, before he left Macon Ga., by whom he had a daughter, Evelyn.

He later moved to Palm Beach Florida and he became involved in the Real Estate business  There he met his second wife, Louise Maul.  In 1928 a major hurricane hit Palm Beach and they decided to move to Syracuse N.Y., Louise's former home.  He settled for a while in Syracuse New York where he owned a fruit stand.   Coincidentally, his future wife Cornelia was also raised in Syracuse. Though she was about 16 at this time, they didn't meet until many years later.

By 1939 He and Louise were divorced.  He took an employment test and was assigned to  the Navel Gun factory in Washington D.C.  where he lived with his brother Kaiser.    He told me several times he helped build the guns for the battleship Missouri.  It was here that he picked up the nickname "Spider", since he was so thin, with long arms and legs his co-workers said he looked like a spider monkey scurrying across the floor.  He also met Cornelia G. of Syracuse, New York, with whom he became infatuated.

In 1942 Consolidated Steel Co. of Maywood California signed a contract to build guns for the Navy.  They sent employees to Washington to observe the methods used there.  They were impressed by the work of Eddie Cranford and offered him a job, working for them at a much larger salary.  After they gave him a written contract he accepted and moved to Maywood CA. in May, 1942.  Predictably, when he reported for work, he was told the salary was to be considerably less than what he was offered.  Luckily, he still had the written offer, given to him in Washington and the company was forced to honor this agreement.  He also convinced Cornelia to follow him there to be married.  They were wed on October 14th, 1942 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 They lived in California for only two years.  My brother Edward Mallory Cranford Jr. was born in Bell California on October 16th, 1943.  In May of '44, Eddie had a premonition that his father's health was becoming poor and moved back to Macon Ga.  His father died only five months later, on October 8, 1944.

 There He joined forces with his younger brother, Julian Estes (Tena) Cranford and opened a Restaurant/Bar, across the street from Tena's "Magnolia Court and Grill", called the Victory Grill.  Not a very unique name since we were then fighting the Second World War.  He ran this business successfully until he retired in 1968, at the age of 70.  He did not enjoy retirement so he continued to help his brother Tena at his liquor stores for several more years.

 Finally, after failing health for several years, he lost his battle with cancer, dying on October 10, 1978, less than one month after his eightieth birthday.  He was buried two days later in Riverside Cemetery in the same plot as his parents and later his brother and his wife, and both of his sisters.   http://www.riversidecemetary.com/searchdatabase.html   (Type in Cranford, Edward, Mallory in the search box)

Josie Cranford Haddock - Edward Mallory Cranford - Kaiser James Cranford - Julian Estes (Tena) Cranford
Mildred Cranford Bolton was not present.


William Lafayette Cranford

 My Grandfather was born (as near as I can tell) on May 29th, 1860* in Jeffersonville Georgia, Twiggs County.  His father's occupation was listed as Farmer on the earlier census records and later as Farm laborer after the War of Secession (Civil War)

 I know little of William's life since I never questioned any of his children while they still lived, and my Mother only knew him for a few months before he died.  A family story has it that he began his career as a Railroad Car-Man due to the pleadings of his pretty young wife Emma Sapp (born august 29th, 1869) to the Railroad foreman.

 William and Emma had six Children; Josie Cranford Haddock, Edward Mallory, Carlton, Mildred Cranford Bolton, Kaiser James, and Julian Estes.

 He pursued this vocation until his retirement in the 1930’s.  He died in the Clinic Hospital in Macon, Georgia, on October 8th, 1944 of Coronary Thrombosis, at the age of 84.  His wife Emma survived him until November 7th, 1950.  Three days after my third birthday.

* This is the date on his headstone.  His death certificate lists May 29th, 1858.   My Mother says she remembers it as 1862.  He was first listed in the 1870 Twiggs County Georgia census as age 8 which makes the 1862 date more likely.

His Obituary states:

W. J. (sic) Cranford Dies in Local Hospital

W. L. Cranford, Retired railway Carman, of 708 Main Street, died in a local hospital at 2:45 pm Sunday after a brief illness.

Mr. Cranford was born in Twiggs county, May 29, 1858, and had lived in Macon for 60 years.  He was associated with the Southern Railway Company for 40 years and retired from  service 12 years ago. He was a member of Eastside Baptist Church.

Surviving are his wife, the former Miss Emma Sapp; two daughters, Mrs.. E. C. Haddock, Live Oak, Fla; Mrs. G. T. Bolton, Salisbury, N. C.; Three Sons, E. M. Cranford and J. E. Cranford of Macon; K. J. Cranford, Washington D.C.; Five Grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later by Hart's Mortuary.



To view the pages from the 1830 through 1860 Census records for Cranfords in Twiggs County Georgia, Click Here

To view the pages from the 1870 and 1880 Census records for Cranfords in Twiggs County Georgia, Click Here


James Martin Cranford

With Martin Cranford the waters become even less clear.  No one alive even knew his name until I began my investigation in December 1998.  I discovered his name on my Grandfather's Death Certificate and family legend said he came from Jeffersonville, in Twiggs County Georgia.

 As stated earlier, a Courthouse fire in 1901 destroyed all records so my only remaining source was the Georgia Census Records.  So far I have found him on four separate records, 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 and what is probably him on the 1830 and 1840 records, still living in his parents home.  He is listed as being married to Clarisy (Clarissa?) and having eleven children as of 1870.  These are John, Robert, Martha, Marion, Sofrania (?), Franklin, Clarisy Jane, Harriet, Dinah, William Lafayette, and Robert.  In the 1880 records he is listed as having a different wife (Annette), and his children also include Wilbur (17) and Andrew (8).  There is also a Martha, whose age is different than the previous Martha.  (See the following census breakdown)

 Further investigation has discovered that he enlisted in the Confederate Army:

 Company “E”, 26th Regiment – Georgia Volunteer Infantry
 Army of Northern Virginia
 Faulks Invincibles
 Twiggs County Georgia

 He is carried on the roll muster as Private – September 25th, 1861
 Appears last on Roll for December 31st, 1861

Page One, Page Two, Page Three, Page Four

 I have found no other documented records of his changing to another Division or any reason for his leaving the Army.  Perhaps more exist and have not so far been located.  That was a very short term of enlistment.  I have information indicating several of his relatives enlisted at the same time but have not (so far) followed up on these leads.

 Very little else is known.  We have no date of birth and no date or place of death.  I am still in hopes that I may one day find his graveside and obtain additional information.  From the ages given on the Census records I judge that he must have been born about 1821 in Georgia, probably Twiggs County, where his Father settled.  Census Records also indicate he was still alive in 1880 with several children still at home.

My Aunt, Josie Haddock Cranford, had mentioned several times that the Cranford's had Creek Indian blood and my Mother remembered my Grandmother saying that Bill's (William Lafayette's) mother was a "Creek Princess" named Annette Stiles.  It is interesting to note that James Martin's 2nd wife (1880 Census) was named Annette.  Apparently Emma, who was born in 1869, did not realize that this Annette was not her husband's natural mother.


 Here is a summary of Martin and Clarisy and their Children

1850 Census       

1860 Census       

1870 Census           

1880 Census

James M.   29

Martin     38  (+9)

 J.M.              49  (+11)

Martin         60    (+11)

Clarisy      21

Clarisy    32  (+11)

Clarisy         43  (+11)

Annette       55    (New Wife)

John             5

John        14   (+11)

 John Not Listed


Marion        4

 Marion   Not Listed.

Probably deceased at early age.


Martha        2

Martha      9   (+7)

Martha         22  (+13)



Sofrania    7  

Sofrania       15   (+8)

Sofrania Not Listed


Franklin    6

Franklin       14   (+8)

Franklin     28    (+14)


Clarisy J.   2

Jane               13   (+11)    -------|

Martha J.    24  (Annette's Daughter?)


Lizzie C.   2

Elizabeth      11   (+9)   -----|   |--

J???             22     (+9)


Harriet      1

Harriet Not Listed             |------

Lizzie          21    (+8)



Dinah              9

Dinah         19     (+10)



William           8

Billy            17     (+9)



Robert             3

Robert Not Listed




Wilbur        17  Probably Annette's from a prior marriage




Andrew       8    May be Annette's from a prior marriage





The numbers in parenthesis indicate the years the individual has aged since the last Census.  Notice the discrepancies in the ages.  Some may be accounted for in that the Census probably started a couple of years earlier but all are not explained by those means.  Martha went from 2 to 9 to 22, a long jump for ten years.  There is also the question of Clarisy J.  Was she later known as Jane?  But why was Franklin four years older than her in 1860 and only one year older in 1870?  Also note Clarisy J. and Lizzie C (1860).  Twins possibly, but why the difference in Jane's and Elizabeth's ages? (1870)

Also, on the 1880 census, if Martha J. is the same Martha previously listed, she has suddenly become younger than Franklin and Franklin has mysteriously aged 14 years.  Since Martha would have been about 32 I am assuming that Martha J. is the daughter of Annette by a previous marriage.  Also Wilbur who is the same age as Billy.  Andrew could be the son of Martin and Annette, but this is not proven.

* John is listed as head of household (23 Years) in the 1870 Census with no wife, but living with what is apparently a black couple with five children.  My assumption is these were former slaves who did not wish to leave after the War.

To view the pages from the 1830 through 1860 Census records for Cranfords in Twiggs County Georgia, Click Here

To view the pages from the 1870 and 1880 Census records for Cranfords in Twiggs County Georgia, Click Here


John Cranford (Twiggs Co. GA.)

At this point I gained the assistance of Don Cranford (N.C.) who had researched this line trying to trace it to his line of Cranfords.  Don left off when the family moved to Georgia but noticing my inquiries, remembered the names and provided me with some much needed information linking this line to North Carolina Cranfords.

 John was born about 1784 in North Carolina.  Probably Duplin County, where his Father lived, but possibly Onslow County.  This year was arrived at by subtracting his age (66 yrs) given on the 1850 census for Twiggs County Georgia.  His wife Mariown (Marion?) is listed as being his senior by one year and was born in Georgia.  This indicates (to me) that he came to Georgia as a single man in his 20’s where he met and married Mariown.

 It is unclear why John moved to Georgia.  We know that his father died in 1818 in Duplin County North Carolina leaving his Plantation to brother James.  Possibly with his inheritance of several head of cattle, he and his brother William went to Georgia to seek their fortune.  Some have indicated that the brothers served in the War of 1812 and decided to relocate after the war.  I have not located their names on any of the 1812 rosters at this time, but this doesn't mean they aren't on a list I haven't seen.

This area needs more personal research.  Did John move to Georgia first?  William is listed as being three years older than John but his wife Jain (Jane?) and their first child Lewis were born in North Carolina.  Lewis in 1828 and J. Harison born in Georgia in 1832.  This indicates that William moved about 1830 but John's first child, James Martin was born in Georgia about 1821.  A strong indication that John moved here first and William followed.  NOTE:  Court documents of Duplin Co. Thursday Morning, 22 October 1807, list William Cranford as found insolvent.  This was before the death of his father in 1818.  
(More information on William's descendants can be found Here)

I have also studied the 1830 Twiggs County Census and have a John Cranford as head of household with a female of the right age to be his wife.  There is also another adult male in this household with an adult female of the correct ages to be William and his wife.  Perhaps he had just moved to Georgia and was living with his brother until he built his own place?  There is, however, a record of both John and William being in Twiggs County in 1818.  (see Twiggs County 1818 Tax Digest, Captain Bullocks District)

                 1830 Census                                                                                1840 Census                                     

John Cranford Household (only listing)  John Cranford Household
Male  (1)        1 - 5        (John W. ?) Male  (1)        10 - 15     (John W. ?)
Male  (2)        5 - 10      (James M. and Robert ?) Male  (2)        15 - 20     (James M. and Robert ?)
Male  (1)        10 - 15    (????) Male  (1)        50 - 60     (John (Head of Household)
Male  (1)        20 - 30    (William ?) Male  (1)        90 - 100   (Mariown's Father?)
Male  (1)        30 - 40    (????) Female  (1)    10 - 15      (Unknown)
Male  (1)        40 - 50    (John (Head of Household) Female  (1)     30 - 40     (Unknown)
Female  (1)    1 - 5        (Unknown) Female  (1)     50 - 60     (Mariown - Wife ?)
Female  (1)    15 - 20    (Unknown)  
Female  (1)    40 - 50    (Mariown - Wife) William Cranford Household
  Male  (2)        5 - 10       (J. Harison and Henry ?)
  Male  (1)        10 - 15     (Lewis. ?)
  Male  (2)        15 - 20     (William and Ben. ?)
  Male  (1)        20 - 30     (John ?)
  Male  (1)        50 - 60     (Wm (Head of Household) ?)
  Female  (1)    10 - 15     (Unknown)
  Female  (1)    40 - 50     (Jain - Wife ?)
  Female  (1)    60 - 70     (Jain's Mother ?)
  William Cranford Household  (Son of John?)
  Male  (1)        30 - 40     (Wm (Head of Household) ?)
  Female  (1)     15 - 20     (Wife)
  No listing in the 1850 Census

I identified these people by comparing names and ages on other Census reports, hence, the question marks.  The only children I feel sure are John and Mariown’s are, William, James Martin, Robert, and John W., based on ages and that they are living on the same plot of land as per the 1850 census (except William).  All were born in Georgia.  These Census records did not record Names.  The names listed are my best Guess based on all known factors and records of the 1850 census.   John (66) and Mariown (67) are listed as living alone, but  Robert (25) & Amelia (24) - John W. (23) & Harriet (20) - James M. (29) & Clarisy (21) are all living adjacent to them.

William (69) and Jain (61) have Lewis (22), J. Harison (18), Henry (15) and Marvin (Marion?) (10) living with them and Ben (26) living adjacent.

Two nearby families are:  John Cranford (32), Nancy (24) and Mary J. (7).  Also, adjacent to them are William Cranford (29), Mary (25), another Mary J. (10), William J. (7), Amanda (5), Rebecca Anne (3), and Matilda (10 months.  This William's age leads me to believe he is NOT William, son of John and is probably William son of William.

To further confuse the story, the elder William's (apparent) older children, (John, Ben and William) are listed as being born in Georgia, but Lewis, his fourth son is listed as born in North Carolina.  It is my opinion that William divided his time between N.C. and Georgia, until the 1830's when he moved to Georgia permanently.

John and Mariown are last found on the 1850 Twiggs County Census indicating they both passed away in the years just prior to the War of Secession.  John's being 66 years of age in 1850 makes this probable.


John Cranford (Duplin Co.)

 John Cranford, the father of Twiggs County John Cranford, was born about 1755, most likely in Onslow County North Carolina, where his Father Lived and died.

 Little is known about John and what has been found is derived primarily from his Last Will and Testament.  We can assume that John was a somewhat well to do Farmer since his lands and plantation were left to his son James. His other children were left only “One cow and one yearling” with the remainder of his livestock divided among his nine children.  These children were, William, John, Neter, Sally, Elizabeth, Rebecca, Liddy, Rachel and Mary.  This division presumably did not include his son James who inherited land but no livestock.

 This is our first indication that John was not as well educated as his father and uncles.  On his will is his mark, rather than his signature, indicating he was unable to read or write.

 John's wife was Rebecca Mills (born about 1764) and presumably the mother of his children.  She survived him but the actual date of his death is unknown.  One source lists her death in May 1893 in Marion County Georgia.  I have serious doubts about this date as it makes her about 129 years old.  I think this Rebecca was most likely the sister of James.

 Rebecca stayed on the plantation with her son James but there is some question as to James whereabouts for several years.  At her husbands death she was left with “Negro Ester and her children Dilly and Rilly for her natural life”.  She is found in the 1820 Duplin county census as owning six slaves.

 In the 1830 Census James is listed as Head of Household with One male child under five years, One male over thirty and under forty (probably James himself), One female under five years, One female of twenty and under thirty (His wife), and One female of fifty and under sixty (probably his mother, Rebecca, though it could be his wife's mother).  This is interesting since James is between thirty and forty and his mother is between fifty and sixty.  It seems to indicate that James was the oldest son, who naturally would inherit John's land.

 James is of interest to me as later records show he moved to Georgia with his entire family, ending up in Marion County, Georgia.  I have a listing of several of his descendants provided to me by two of his now living relatives.  There is no indication as to why or how he disposed of his lands in Duplin County or why he did not move to Twiggs County, Georgia, where his Brothers were living.  This again leads me to believe there was a dispute over his fathers will, causing a breach in the family.


John Cranford (Onslow Co.)

 Onslow John Cranford was born between 1720 and 1725 in Onslow County North Carolina where he lived his entire life.  His Last Will and Testament, which was recorded on April 4th, 1785, lists his wife's name as Mary as executrix along with his friend John Spicer.

 Mary (listed as both Bowen and Bowden in other sources) inherited all John's holdings, lands and livestock for her and her heirs.  Primarily  “Twenty acres of land on Turkey Creek including the Plantation whereon I now live, including all my plantation tools of every kind, One bed and furniture, one mare and all my cattle and all my hogs, One hand mill, One spinning wheel, Two pots, One Skillet, All my pewter and all my household furniture and every necessary (sic) there unto belonging (illegible) to her and her heirs forever".  To his children he bequeathed “One Shilling Sterling” each to John, Ann Cajan (Cason?) Sedwell Lain, Mary Williams, Rachel Cotton, Sary (Sara?) Dixson, and Frances Cranford.  In all, there are listed six daughters and one son.

 It is interesting to note that this Will was witnessed by a James Cranford.  Probably his brother who indications show was a Clerk of the Court for Onslow County.   (See  Johns Last Will & Testament)

 John was active in the American Revolution as one who “Paid for goods or services rendered”.  He is listed in Revolutionary Army Accounts, Volume VI, page 46, f.3: John Cranford
 Also Revolutionary Vouchers:  Cranford, John, vouchers # 110 and 2086 (80), Wilmington  District, for Militia services and one steer, 1781 and 1782.
 Rosters of soldiers from North Carolina in the American Revolution.

 These records have allowed at least one descendant to become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.).


William Cranford (Onslow Co.)

 William Cranford is our earliest proven ancestor.  He was born about 1683 in North Carolina, possibly in the Chowan district.  I arrived at this date based on the average ages at death of other Cranfords listed above, and that his Will states he was “Aged and very crasy (sic) in body”.  This birth date would make him Sixty years of age at the time of his death.  This is somewhat appropriate for this era.  Ellis Munson Goodwin in his papers “Craffords of New River “ only states he was born before 1702.

 William became a Clerk of the Court of Onslow County, a position later held by his son James, where he witnessed many deeds and land transfers.

 His Will was recorded October 4th, 1743 but there is evidence he was still active as Court Clerk as he witnessed a land transaction of 150 acres on July 4th, 1744.  This Will was probated in April, 1745.   (See Williams Last Will & Testament)

 All William's lands and holdings went to his Wife, Katherine, His eldest son James, His son John, and his son-in-law Phillip Finsinger (Finninger?), apparently the husband of an unnamed daughter.

 His other son deserves mention here as his eldest, James, is believed by Ellis Munson Goodwin to be the James CRAWFORD so prevalent in the life of young Andrew Jackson.  This subject has been much debated among genealogists for years due to the scarcity of documents detailing Jackson's early life.  Most of these records were destroyed during Sherman’s campaigns in the Carolinas during the War of Secession (1860-1865) where he burned many Courthouses in this region.

 From documents provided by Don Cranford and later references found on the Internet, I believe Goodwin’s claim is false and that Andrew Jackson's acting foster father was actually a James CRAWFORD as has been stated in many histories.  There is too much documentation, including record of descendants of this James CRAWFORD, which do not match what is known of James Cranford.   (see http://www.rootsweb.com/~ncanson/crawfd4.htm )

 James Cranford apparently had two sons, James and William.  William is alleged to have moved to the Huntsville Alabama area sometimes around 1800, certainly after the American Revolution, and may be the father of another line of Cranfords.




Possible Ancestors

Richard Cranford

 Ellis Munson Goodwin speculates that the Father of William Cranford may have been a Richard Cranford, of whom there is very little documentation.  He is only mentioned once in the Chowan-Bertie records, in 1722 (Goodwin gives no further details).

 Goodwin also states that Richard is the only unidentified Crafford in the region who could be the father of William Cranford (Onslow).  This is a tenuous conclusion at best.


William Cranford (Chowan-Bertie/Wicacon)

 William Cranford/Crawford is fairly well documented in the Bertie County North Carolina archives.  Unfortunately, much of this documentation helps disprove Goodwin’s claims.

He is believed to have been born before 1660

 William's Will, recorded May 12th, 1732 and Probated January 13th, 1735, lists his Wife Mary, two daughters:  Elizabeth Oliver, Honnor Dillday, and two grandsons; Thomas Jenkins and William Cranford, apparently the sons of two different unnamed daughters.  I say this because of a discrepancy in the writing of William's Will.

 Throughout the Will, William's name as well as that of his wife Mary are clearly written as CRAWFORD but it mentions his Grandson William CRANFORD.   This leads me to believe that a daughter of William Crawford married a Cranford and named her son after her father.  William may have been the Grandfather of the Onslow William Cranford but probably on his Mother's line, not his Father's.

Here are some questions I have on this relationship.

If Onslow William was born in 1683 as I theorize there is a question of time.

Richard, his purported Father, may have died before (Chowan) William's Will was written, in 1732.  This would explain why he wasn't listed in the Will.  We had better suppose he died before 1732, when the Will was written.  This implies that his Son (Onslow William) was about 49 at this time.  How old would his father (Chowan William) have been?  It would be easier to conclude that Richard and William were brothers, but this would raise the question, “Who was the Grandson William”?  As long as we are speculating, we might as well assume that Onslow William was the son of Chowan/Bertie/Wicacon William, and the Grandson mentioned in the Will was the William who supposedly moved to Huntsville Alabama.

Chowan William's Will states he was “Very sick and weak” when he wrote the Will in 1732.  It does not mention aged, though he would have been about 72 if Goodwin's estimated date of Birth is correct (1660).

Onslow William died in 1744/1745 described as “Aged and very crasy (sic) in body”.

Doesn't this imply that the supposed Grandson was only a few years younger then the Grandfather?  The Grandson died of old age just nine or ten years after his Grandfather?   If my assumption is correct and Onlsow William was born about 1683, then the other William would only have been about 23; hardly old enough to have a grandchild.

 Without further evidence I am forced to conclude that this avenue of investigation is a false path.  It still needs to be researched for documentation but I am forced to assume there is not a connection between Chowan William and Onslow William.  ASSUMING MY ESTIMATED DATE OF BIRTH FOR ONSLOW WILLIAM IS CORRECT.


John Cranford (Virginia)

Documents have been found naming a John Cranford as receiving land in Virginia apparently in return for his period of  Indentured Servitude.  The following was sent to the Cranford list.

While researching Cranfords several years ago I ran across this information in a  periodical called "Cavaliers and Pioneers".  It referred to Patent Book No. 3 for the Virginia Company area that would eventually be the Virginia Colony.  It reads:

RALPH GREEN 400 acs.  Glouster Co., 16 Feb 1653, p. 369.  Upon N. side of York Riv., beg. at the mouth of Jones
Cr., E. upon a Cr. dividing this & land of Col. Richard Lee & N. W. upon land of William Thorpe, & which was
assigned to him by said Co. Lee.  Trans. of 8 pers:  William Coldham, John Cranford, John Roberts, Rich. Rethstroote,
John Glass, Henry Elcher, John Griffen, Richard Johnson.

End quote.

Later information says:
John Cranford Was granted 400 acres of land on 2-16-1653 near the Chesapeake Bay in Gloucester Co. Va. 
Son-Wm. Edward Cranford lived in Berie (Bertie?) Co., N.C. & later in Alberarle (Albemarle?) a city in Montgomery Co.,N.C. Born Probably in Va. Married Nancy (Littleton) Cranford.
Their issues: the following three brothers came to Chester Co. S.C. from Montgomery Co. N.C. in the 1700's All married Abner Wilkes Daughters.
They were 2 of 7 brothers?
Josiah married Wilifred 1806 died 1850's Chester Co. S.C.,
John Cranford 1785 in N.C. married 1808 Elizabeth Wilkes died 2-12-1868,
Elias Cranford in 1880 sold his land in Chester Co. S.C. Married Nancy Sarah or Martha .

Possble sons of Wm. Edward are
Wm. Cranford Married Agnes Wrote a will Montgomery Co. N.C. March 5, 1853 & Leonard Cranford.
2nd son of John of 1653 was James Cranford Was a surgeon and lived in Calvert Co. Maryland died 1691 in Maryland. James had a son James who died from a bolt of lightning in the Statehouse in Maryland in 1696.

This gives some strong indications that Chowen/Bertie/Wicacon William was indeed the Son of John Cranford of Virginia., though I also have a record of a Wm Craford witnessing a document regarding the Culpepper Rebellion, in 1679 in Edenton, North Carolina listing his age as 44. This would make his birth year as 1635, before John arrived at the Virginia Colony. Possibly John's son who emigrated with him?
I am more inclined to think that this William was likely the Father of my Onslow William, though this is purely speculation on my part.

Could this have been the Original Cranford who came to America, sometime before 1653?  At any rate, this John Cranford is the earliest record of a Cranford in this country, so far discovered.


To view the pages from the 1830 through 1860 Census records for Cranfords in Twiggs County Georgia, Click Here

To view the pages from the 1870 and 1880 Census records for Cranfords in Twiggs County Georgia, Click Here


For questions regarding this page, Contact:  Bud Cranford

I wish to thank three people without whom this page would not exist.

Don Cranford who unselfishly shared his findings

George Cranford, a researcher who takes time to help beginners

Cathy Cranford, listowner of CRANFORD-L@rootsweb.com

To visit George Cranfords Web Page, Click Here

To visit Cathy Cranford's Page, Click Here

Further information has been provided by Linda D'Agostino

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