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  • Writer's pictureDonna Hechler Porter

Zachariah Crews (1838 - ) possible grandson of Jeremiah Crews & Elizabeth Harland

This is a continuing series on the possible children and grandchildren of Jeremiah Crews & Elizabeth Harlan of Vigo County, Indiana. Jeremiah was the son of David Crews, Sr., of Madison County, Kentucky. This information is largely the courtesy of Marian Kay Abbott, a descendant of Jeremiah.

Zachariah Crews, the third son born to David Cruse and Jane Jewell, was born in 1838 in Sullivan County, Indiana (1). David, of course, is strongly believed to be a son of Jeremiah Crews & Elizabeth Harland. The 1840 Sullivan County, Indiana census shows a male Zachariah's age in the David Cruse household (2). About 1846, when Zachariah was about eight years old, his father died. Either before or after his father's death, the family moved to Honey Creek Township in Vigo County, Indiana. Jane is found here in the 1850 census with her children, including Zachariah (3).

On 14 January 1858, Zachariah married Rachel Lane in Vigo County, Indiana (4). Rachel's parents are unknown, but in the 1850 census she is found living in Honey Creek Township in Vigo County, Indiana with Thomas Meak, 30 years old, and Orpha Meak, aged 33. There are a number of other children in the household, but the relationship to Thomas and Orpha is not stated on the census (5).

Zachariah and Rachel made their home in Honey Creek Township. In 1859, their first child, a boy they named John, was born (6). 

Zachariah served as a private in the Civil War in the 31st Regiment, Indiana Infantry, Company C (7). This unit saw extensive fighting and served from the beginning of the war until the end. 

During the war and afterwards more children were born - Benjamin Franklin Cruse in 1861 and Joseph Cruse in 1863, Amanda Cruse, and the couple's only daughter, born in 1865, Edward Cruse, born in 1872, Henry Harrison Cruse, born in 1847, and William Thomas Cruse, born in 1876. 

It is believed that Zachariah and Rachel died within two weeks of each other sometime between 1876 and 1880. While John may have been close to 19 when his parents died, the other children were younger, with William Thomas Cruse no older four years. 

Zachariaha and Rachel are believed to be buried in Hull Cemetery in Vigo County, Indiana, where so many other members of the Cruse family are buried. If so, their graves are unmarked.

Hull Cemetery, Vigo County, Indiana

(1) Civil War Enlistment papers according to Marian Kay Abbott. 

(2) 1840 U. S. Federal Census, Sullivan County, Indiana, David Cruse's household.

(3) 1850 U. S. Federal Census, Honey Creek Township, Jane Cruse's household.

(4) Vigo County, Indiana marriage document, courtesy of Marian Kay Abbott but also found on

(5) 1850 U. S. Federal Census, Honey Creek Township, Thomas Meak household.

(6) 1860 U. S. Federal Census, Honey Creek Township, Zachariah Cruse's household.

(7) National Park Service. U. S. Civil War Soldiers 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.

(8) S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015. 

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