While perusing information on my Ball family line, I stumbled across some fascinating information on my fifth great-grandfather, Robert McCrory, and it led to information on his father, Scottish-born, John McCrory.
JOHN MCCRORY: born 1778, Scotland; died 30 Jul 1868 (aged 89-90), Fayette County, Indiana; buried in Glenwood Union Cemetery, Glenwood, Rush County, Indiana.
BIOGRAPHY from great-great-grandson, Arthur Richard Saxon
“John McCrory Born about 1778 in Scotland where he grew to manhood. Emigrated to Country Antrim Ireland where he met and married Lillie Aken. Sailed from Belfast with wife and 4 children 1811, age about 33. Shipwrecked. On ocean 6 months. Arrived Philadelphia, Pa., 1812. Lived in Pa. 7 years. Came down Ohio River on a flatboat to Cinti [Cincinnati]. From there to Fayette County, Ind., by wagon arrived in 1819. Tailor by trade. Blind in one eye. Daughter Margaret married Alexander Gillispie Saxon. His wife died in 1843. Died in 1868. Buried in Glenwood.”
LETTER (copy of typed letter) from Arthur Richard Saxon Papers
“Connersville, Indiana. R. R. #1 November 21, 1962
My Dear Son Arthur:
Your letter and pictures arrived in the mail yesterday. The pictures were much better than I had expected them to be and I am proud of the job you did this is the STORY to the best of all information I have. JOHN MCCRORY born about 1778 in Scotland where he grew to manhood emigrated to County Antrim IRELAND where he met and married Lillie AKEN. He died July 30, 1868, in Fairview Township, Fayette County, Indiana at the home of his daughter Margaret, wife of Alexander Gillespie Saxon, and was buried at Glenwood, Rush County, Indiana. His wife died October 23, 1843, and was buried beside her daughter, Jane, who died at the age of three years, on the spot where the first cabin was built on land entered by John McCrory in 1820, NW 1/4 Section 30 Township 14 Range 12 E. The graves are marked with a large boulder to replace the marble markers which were destroyed… In the latter part of 1811 John McCrory with his wife and four children, Robert the oldest was 13 years old, Samuel the next, William born in 1804, and Margaret born in 1809, set sail from Belfast, Ireland for America and six months later landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after being shipwrecked once off the Portuguese Islands where they were obliged to burn butter for fuel and pray for help until a Portuguese ship came by picked up the crew brought them on to Pennsylvania after being searched three times by a British Man of War trying to put Robert 13 years old in the British Army on account of the war of 1812 brewing. The family lived in Pennsylvania for seven years then came down the Ohio river on a flatboat to Cincinnati and from there to Fayette County, Indiana by wagon in 1819. They entered land in 1820 and took possession in cold weather with ten inches of snow on the ground by a large walnut tree that had fallen to the ground. They scraped the snow away from the tree, built a lean-to of poles, brush, and bark for a roof with a fire in front for heat, cooking and dishwashing and any amount of other useful things to be used… John McCrory was a tailor by trade and could make as fine a suit of clothes or white shirt as any man could demand of him, also he learned boxing in IRELAND but said little about it in America until at a Log Rolling when some men got to picking on him for a fight. Being a peaceable man he refused and said he did not want to hurt anyone. Not satisfied they kept on until he made up his mind to accommodate them which he did so good and quick they never asked for another fight. When he died his taylor [tailor] iron was left in the closet under the stairway … until Father took the Taylor Iron to the blacksmith and had it shaped into an iron wedge. … I believe you will be able to find all you want from the above lines. Your Father A. G. SAXON”
1885 HISTORY OF FAYETTE COUNTY, INDIANA; p. 164
“Connersville Township … land sales… section 30 sold in 1814, 1820 and 1823 to …John McCrary …”; p. 166 “… John McCrory, an Irishman from Pennsylvania, settled where James Ochiltree now lives. He was a tailor by trade and a good citizen. He lived until a few years ago, and died leaving a number of descendants, most of whom live in this county.”; p. 292: “… John McCrory, a native of Ireland (sic-Scotland), where the latter married Lillie Aken, and in 1812 emigrated with his wife to the United States, remaining first in Pennsylvania, whence in 1819 they moved to Fayette County, Ind., where they resided until their death. The mother died October 23, 1843, the father July 30, 1868. They were parents of five children: Robert, Samuel, Margaret, Jane and William.”
“LANDOWNERS OF FAYETTE COUNTY” – Fayette County Court House Recorder’s Office
‘Original Land Purchases of Fayette County’ p. 9 McCrary, John page 26 Nov. 2, 1820; ‘Early Landowners of Fayette County’ p. 37 McCroney John & Lilley D85; McCroney Samuel – son of John & Lilley D85; McCrory Robert E 254; McCrory Wm. E 77.
1875 ILLUSTRATED HISTORICAL ATLAS OF FAYETTE COUNTY, INDIANA; 1875; Connersville news article, p. 14
“Early History Of Fairview Township Given In Fayette Atlas — First Settlers Listed Following is the early history of Fairview township as recorded in the Fayette county atlas published in 1875: … In 1822 came John, William and Samuel McCrorey, natives of Ireland. John was the father of Robert McCrorey, who still resides on a fine farm in the southwest part of the township. …”
BARROW’S HISTORY OF FAYETTE COUNTY; 1917; p. 223
“Township 14 North, Range 12 East Section 30 sold in 1814, 1820 and 1823 to William Sparks, Jonathan Eddy, Ira Wilcox, John McCrary and John McMillan.”
CONNERSVILLE NEWS EXAMINER; 16 Sep 1940; p. 2; McCrory Family Reunion
Reunion of members of the John McCrory family was held at Memorial Park, New Castle, Sunday, with 60 in attendance. A basket dinner was served at noon after which a business session was conducted by Mrs. Lucy Simmonds of Tipton, vice president. Mrs. Herschell Rose conducted memorial services for Moses Poff, president, who died this year. For the program A. G. Saxon gave a short history of John McCrory who migrated from Ireland and settled on a farm west of Williams Creek in Connersville township, Fayette county. Officers were elected: A. G. Saxon, president; Miss Nannie McCrory, vice president; Mrs. Francis Link, secretary-treasurer. The program committee for the 1941 reunion is Mrs. Omer Warnake, Mrs. Lucy Simmonds and William Saxon. The reunion will be held the third Sunday in September at Memorial Park.”
Article submitted for ‘A Family and Community History of Connersville and Fayette County, Indiana In Commemoration of Connersville’s Bicentennial Celebration 2013‘ by great-grandson k.e.s. c/o great great granddaughter j.m.s.r.
“John and Lillie Aiken McCrory Scotsman John McCrory met and married Lillie Aiken in Ireland. The McCrory family, including children Robert, Samuel, William and Margaret, emigrated to America in 1811, surviving a shipwreck and three searches by sailors from a British Man of War. Thirteen-year-old Robert was of impressment age for the coming War of 1812. The family safely arrived in America in 1812 and lived in Pennsylvania for seven years. In 1819 the McCrorys traveled by flatboat down the Ohio River to Cincinnati, Ohio than by wagon to Fayette County, Indiana. Great-grandson Arthur Gillespie Saxon recalled a story about John noting that ‘…at log rollings, those pioneer events that combined business and pleasure, one of the pleasures was boxing. His neighbors didn’t know that the quiet McCrory, a tailor in his native land, had also been trained in the science of boxing. He resisted urgings to get in on the fun, knowing how easily he could handle any of them, but they finally made it so hot for him he had to wade in, and in nothing flat had taken care of all comers.’ Ninety-year-old John died in 1868 and was buried in Glenwood Cemetery, Rush County. Sixty-six-year-old Lillie died in 1843 after a fall into the fireplace where she had been cooking. She was buried beside youngest daughter Jane, who had died at age three, on the land where the McCrorys had built their first cabin. That land north of Indiana Highway 44 and west of Bunker Hill, purchased by John and Lillie in 1820, was owned for over one hundred years by family descendants through five generations. John and Lillie were neighbors to the Alexander and Mary Baldwin Saxon family; a son and daughter of the McCrory family married a daughter and son of the Saxon family. Robert and Salina Saxon McCrory’s children were John, Mary, Annie, William, Margaret, Samuel, Clayton, Jane, Kate, and Salina. The 1917 Barrows History documented that ‘Robert McCrory … a native of Ireland walked from Cincinnati to the land office at Indianapolis and there entered a quarter of a section of land two and one-half miles northeast of Glenwood in this country, where he established his home. He married Celina Saxon, who was born in Georgia and who was but a child when her parents came to Indiana, settling in Fayette county at a time when Indians still were numerous hereabout. The Indians at that time were continuing to give such cause for apprehension on the part of the settlers that the little Celina was not permitted to wander far from the house in her play, lest she should be stolen by the Indians.’ Robert and Salina Saxon McCrory descendant surnames include Ball, Murphy, Marks, Ochiltree, Alexander, Rea, and Crawford. Alexander Gillespie and Margaret McCrory Saxon’s children were Jane, Selina, McHenry, John, Annie, William, Savanna, Robert, Samuel, James, Mary and Elizabeth. In 1869 the Connersville Examiner reported ‘Our estimable lady friend, Mrs. A. G. Saxon, met with a severe accident some days since by being kicked by a cow while milking, dislocating the knee joint, which has been very painful ever since. She is about sixty years of age, which will prevent a speedy recovery, though she is improving as rapidly as possible.’ Alexander Gillespie and Margaret McCrory Saxon descendant surnames include Shortridge, Jeffrey, Hinchman, Lewis, Dawson, and Maze. Direct line descendants of Alexander Gillespie and Margaret McCrory Saxon’s son Robert, Fayette County farmer and livestock trader, include his son Arthur Gillespie, Fayette County farmer, ditcher, blacksmith and gun maker, grandson Herbert Leslie, Rush County farmer and painter, great-grandson k.e.s. … and great-great-granddaughter j.m.s.r … almost two years old when she first visited many ancestor sites in Fayette County as her paternal grandfather recalled the McCrory family history. … Other McCrory descendant surnames on the Herbert Saxon line include Coan, McDowell, Wondra, Phillips, Resler, Banta, Manochio, Nigh, Whitaker, Reynolds, Leising, and Bischoff. Ancestors John McCrory and Lillie Akin McCrory left quite a legacy!”
Nomination and article submitted to the Pioneer Founders of Indiana project by great-grandson k.e.s.; 12 Sep 2013
“JOHN McCRORY As an early pioneer in Fayette County, Indiana, John McCrory’s actions exemplified the desire to live in the freedom offered in America and early Indiana. The pioneer spirit, fortitude, stamina and initiative of John McCrory and other members of his family helped lay the foundation for those of us who follow as proud and resourceful Hoosiers.”
“JOHN McCRORY – As an early pioneer in Fayette County, Indiana, John McCrory’s actions exemplified the desire to live in the freedom offered in America and early Indiana. The primary source for the following narrative concerning John McCrory was a letter written in 1962 by one of McCrory’s great-grandsons, Arthur Gillespie Saxon.
John McCrory was born about 1778 in Scotland and emigrated to County Antrim, Ireland where he met and married Lillie Aken. In 1811 John, his wife, and four children set sail from Belfast, Ireland for America. During their voyage, they were shipwrecked and rescued. In addition, the British boarded their ship three times searching for British subjects to impress into military service during the War of 1812. Since 13-year-old son Robert McCrory was with them this was particularly stressful to the McCrorys.
Some six months later the McCrorys reached America when they landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After seven years in Pennsylvania, they traveled down the Ohio River on a flatboat to Cincinnati, Ohio. From there they made their way by wagon to Fayette County, Indiana.
John McCrory and his family settled on land west of Connersville in 1820. They took possession in cold weather with heavy snow on the ground, scraping the snow from a large walnut tree that had fallen and making a lean-to of poles, brush, and bark for a home during the winter of 1820-1821.
That spring McCrory built a cabin for their home. Great-grandson Arthur Gillespie Saxon recalled a story about John noting that ‘… at log rollings, those pioneer events that combined business and pleasure, one of the pleasures was boxing. His neighbors didn’t know that the quiet McCrory, a tailor in his native land, had also been trained in the science of boxing. He resisted urgings to get in on the fun, knowing how easily he could handle any of them, but they finally made it so hot for him he had to wade in, and in nothing flat had taken care of all comers.’
John’s sixty-six-year-old wife Lillie died on October 23, 1843, after she fell into the fireplace where she was doing the family cooking. He buried her beside a daughter, who had died at the age of three years, on the spot where their first cabin was built on that land entered by John McCrory in 1820.
Ninety-year-old John died July 30, 1868, in Fairview Township, Fayette County, Indiana at the home of his daughter Margaret McCrory Saxon and was buried in Glenwood Union cemetery, Glenwood, Rush County, Indiana.
The pioneer spirit, fortitude, stamina, and initiative of John McCrory and other members of his family helped lay the foundation for those of us who follow as proud and resourceful Hoosiers.”
MY LINEAGE TO ROBERT MCCRORY
- John McCrory & Lillie Akin McCrory of Scotland
- Robert McCrory of Ireland
- Mary McCrory Ball
- Prudence Anna Ball Greenlee
- Anna Prudence Greenlee Jones
- Mary Belle Jones Clary
- Donna Mae Clary Barmes
- Diana Barmes Jolliff Haas
- Darin Lee Jolliffe-Haas