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  • Writer's pictureDonna Hechler Porter

Jeremiah Crews, Possible Children, Part Six: David Crews

Another possible child of Jeremiah Crews/Cruse and Elizabeth Harland was David Cruse who was, according to the 1840 Sullivan County, Indiana census, born between 1801 and 1810. If this David was the son of Jeremiah, then I believe he was more likely born closer to 1801 if not before. Sister Mary Amelia Cruse is documented in several census records as having been born in 1801, and Jeremiah left Madison County, Kentucky, about 1800, more than likely after a series of bitter disputes with his father (Porter, Metes & Bounds II: David Crews, Ancestors & Descendants, 195). David Crews' remarriage to Mildred Williford Carlew in 1802 after the death of Jeremiah's mother Annie (Magee), probably about 1797, did not help matters.

Supposedly, Jeremiah and brother Elijah Crews were so upset at being cut from their father's will that they changed the spelling of their name and subsequently left Madison County, although it is possible Jeremiah left between his mother's death and his father's remarriage. Regardless of the timing of his move, it seems unlikely that Jeremiah would have named a son after his estranged father. More than likely, David Cruse was born in Madison County, but he if not, then he may have been born in Clark County, for Jeremiah Cruse purchased property there in 1800 (Porter, Metes & Bounds II:, 195).

David Cruse spent little time in one place during his childhood and young adult years. By 1810, Jeremiah had left Clark County, Kentucky, and had moved to Henry County, Kentucky (1810 census). Between 1810 and 1820 Jeremiah moved on to Daviess County, Kentucky. It is possible that in 1919 David Cruse received two grants of land from the General Land Office of the United States. The first was recorded on 13 March 1919. The deed does not convey the number of acres on its face, although the second deed, which was recorded at the Vincennes Land Office as well, this time a week later on 20 March 1919, states this second grant was for 40 acres. It also appears David might not have filed them until years later, for on the face of it they both appear to not have been patented until 10 December 1841 and the 1 August 1839 respectively. The deed patented officially in 1841 states David was living in Sullivan County, Indiana. (Both land grants, which were copies of the typed originals, were given to me courtesy of Marian Kay Cruse Abbott).

Both of the above grants were for lands in township 10, but as Honey Creek township, where David ultimately settled, was numbered 3, these grants were not located there, although he did receive two grants in that township at some point (see here for a map of those lands.) When David moved from Sullivan County to Vigo County is not known, but by 1830 Jeremiah Cruse was living in Vigo County, Indiana, where he is found in census that year, along with the families of Boone, Nelson, and Adams, David was more than likely here as well, and he was probably the male aged 20-29 in Jeremiah Cruse's household that year.

Three years later, on 1 May 1833, David married Jane Jewel in Vigo County, Indiana ( Indiana, Marriage Index, 1800-1941 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005.) Jane was eighteen years old at the time of the marriage, having been born in Indiana in 1815 according to both the 1850 and 1860 Vigo County, Indiana censuses. (The 1870 gives a birth year of 1820 which is unlikely, as such a date would indicate she was merely 13 years old at the time of the marriage.)

Seven years after their marriage, the 1840 Sullivan County, Indiana census enumerates the David Cruse household as having 3 males under the age of 5, 1 male aged 5-9, 3 males aged 30-39, and 2 females aged 20-29. One of the older females is obviously Jane, and one of the older males is obviously David, but who the others are is not known. According to later census records, the male aged 5-9 was probably David and Jane's oldest son, Josiah Cruse, born in 1834. Behind him, and in the under 5 category, were likely son Jeremiah Cruse, born in 1836 and aged 4 at the time of the census, son Zachariah Cruse, born in 1838 and aged 2, and son William Cruse, born in 1840.

More children followed after 1840 - John Cruse in 1843, James Cruse in 1844, and the only daughter the couple would have, Elizabeth Cruse, born in 1846. Around this time, or not long after Elizabeth's birth, David died. Jane never remarried, but continued to live in Honey Creek Township in Vigo County on their farm. In the 1850 census, she was 35 years old and was enumerated as the head of the household along with her seven children.

On 1 July 1850 David's sister and her husband, Susannah and James Nelson, granted to David Crews, deceased, and his heirs, a tract of land in Vigo County, Indiana. No money is mentioned as changing hands in the deed, and a further note clearly states Susannah gave up her right of dower to the property. The deed was recorded in Vigo County on 8 November 1850. It is unclear whether this property was sold to David and a deed had not yet been recorded, or whether it was possibly part of a settlement of their father Jeremiah's estate that had not been handled at the time of David's death. Unfortunately, there are no details given on the deed. (Original copy of deed given to me courtesy of Marian Kay Cruse Abbott.)

The 1860 Vigo County, Indiana census still enumerates Jane as the head of the household, this time with only her last four children living with her. A year later, the Civil War started. Sons John, Zachariah, and James enlsited in Co Co, 31st Indiana, and John was subsequently killed in the Battle of Chattanooga on 5 August 1864. He was buried in Chattanooga National Cemetery in Hamilton County, Tennessee (

By the time the 1870 Vigo County, Indiana census was taken, only daughter Elizabeth Cruse, aged 23 and apparently unmarried, was living with Jane, but there is a year old male child named Elijah Cruse living with her. This child may have been born out of wedlock, for Elizabeth and Elijah are found living in her brother Josiah's household in the Crawford County, Illinois census ten years later in 1880. She is still given the surname Crews, as is Elijah, who is enumerated as Josiah's nephew. Jane, in the 1870 census, is enumerated as being 50 years old which is an error as it conflicts with previous census records and would also indicate a marriage age of 13 which is rather unlikely.

A year later, on 4 August 1871, Jane sold to Stephen Lovell for $50 1/3 acre of land in township eleven (which was Riley Township and not Honey Creek) in Vigo County, Indiana, which was her life dower of 1/3 interest. (Copy of original deed courtesy of Marian Kay Cruse Abbott.) It is possible Stephen was her son-in-law, having married Elizabeth Cruse the previous year (Vigo County, Indiana; Index to Marriage Record 1840-1920 Inclusive Volume, W. P. A. Original Record Located: County Clerk's O; Book: 5; Page: 340). If so, I have no explanation for why her surname is given as Cruse in her brother's subsquent census in 1880. Since 1/3 interest is mentioned in the deed, it is more than likely deceased husband David Cruse's property and not property she inherited from her father. It was also located in another township and not Honey Creek.

Jane must have died after this date and before the 1880 census, for she is not enumerated in her own household nor in that of her children.

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