Crowley Family

Jeffrey Crowley/Croley was born about 1690-1700 in Virginia and died in Antrim Parish of Halifax County, Virginia between 17 October 1761, when he executed his will and the 18th of February 1762, when the will was presented for probate. (Halifax Will Book O:137); The will being proved, and no executor being named in it, the widow, Martha (Mrs. Martha Edwards) Crowley was granted letters of administration with the will annexed, and Thomas Edwards (Jr, her son) and William Wright became her bondsmen (Plea Book 3:387 Halifax, Feb 1762). Martha probably died a year or two later.

Jeffrey made his first formal entry into the Orange County, Virginia records by 1730 with purchase of land (deed missing), that he sold to James Stodghill in 1731 for 260 pounds of tobacco. This debt was still unpaid in 1735, and a series of lawsuits began involving William Callaway (Research of Helen Crowley). It is possible this unknown tract of land could have been a gift from his father-in-law.

Jeffrey married about 1731-4, possibly in Caroline/Orange County, Virginia to Effie ___ (surname unknown), a truncated version of Effaniah. She was first found in 1735 in Orange County when she and Jeffry sued James Stodgill. Stodgill, in turn, sued Jeffry and Effa when in a loud voice did utter false and scandalous, malicious words against Stodgill intending to bring discredit with his neighbors. James said he had not only fallen into discredit with his neighbours and others to whom he was known but was also liable to be prosecuted as a felon. She was charged with slander for speaking her mind about Stodgill. Stodgill was a tough critter. It is easy to say that after he shot Callaway's dog in those days along Swift Run. Effie's name was last found on a deed dated 22nd September 1755 in Bedford County, Virginia in which she and Jeffry sold one-half of their 400 acre patent land in Bedford County to William Callaway. She was deceased before March 1757 when Jeffrey sold the other 200 acres to Jason Meadors. Later, Jason bought another 300 acre tract from Jeffrey and after Jeffrey died, Jason Meadors sold the 500 acres purchased from Jeffrey, to Augustine Leftwich Sr, and moved to South Carolina.

Children of Jeffrey Crowley and 1/ Effie ____ :

1. JOHN CROWLEY, the elder, born about 1735-6 on Swift Run in Orange Co, Va; John left Henry Co, Va and moved to Georgia with his brother Benjamin during the Land Lottery; he applied for a Land Grant in 1783 and got it in 1787. His age is based on the 1796 Georgia Tax Digest - taxed on 150 acres, in Oglethorpe County, Ga, land adjoining Thomas Hill. No poll. (Note, this year men over 60 were not obliged to pay the poll. Thus he was born in 1736 at the latest. This is consistent with his being a son of Jeffrey, brother of Benjamin - Research of Norma Reynolds). A wife and family for this John has not been found that I am aware of.

2. MARY CROWLEY, born about 1737; died by 1798 in Oglethorpe Co, Ga (Tax Digest of Ga), possibly in home of brother Benjamin; married RANDOLPH/RANDALL GIBSON, born by 1734 (of age to be indicted for swearing in 1755; Bedford Co, Va Court Order Bk 1:53) died about 1792/3 in Wilkes or Oglethorpe Co, Ga (Tax Digest of Ga). Mary and Randolph were the parents of Mary "Polly" Gibson who married Littleberry Crowley, son of Samuel Crowley and Elizabeth Strong. Their descendants settled in and around Whitley and Knox Co, Ky and retained the spelling of their name as "Croley." (research of June Bork)

3. BENJAMIN CROWLEY, born about 1739, based on fact that he served in the French and Indian War from Halifax County, Virginia. He had to be at least sixteen years of age to join the militia (Hennings, Statutes of Virginia, Vol VII:219-220); Benjamin died after the 15th of August when he wrote his will and before 15th of October 1817 in Lexington, Oglethorpe Co, Ga when the will was probated. Ben married about 175_ to SARA STRONG, born 24 July 1742. Sara lived with her son Abram Crowley and his wife Susan Brittain after the death of Benjamin. (Research of Jack C. Grantham). Sara died at an advanced age of 97-100 years old.

4. SAMUEL CROWLEY, born about 1741, based on fact Samuel was not listed on the militia list in French and Indian War, meaning he had not reached the minimum age for militia service. He was killed by the Indians before dawn on the 10th day of October 1774 at the Battle of Point Pleasant (Lord Dunmore's War); Samuel married about 1759-60 to Elizabeth Strong, born 21 July 1744 in Hanover Co, Va; died 1798 in Georgia, possibly in Jackson County? (Tax Digest of Ga; The 1799 Tax List of Grainger Co, Tn, Powell Valley, shows Elizabeth's two sons, William Crowley, taxed with 1 poll and one black, possibly his mother's slave and John Crowley, 1 poll) (Research of Jack C. Grantham).

After Effaniah died, Jeffrey Crowley married 2/ Mrs. Martha Edwards, the widow of Thomas Edwards. Martha was Jeffrey's widow.

1761 Oct 17 - Halifax Co, Va - Will Bk O:137 Will of JEFFREY CROWLEY written; CODICIL: 17 Oct; Recorded: 18 Feb 1762 "In the name of God, Amen...I, Jeffrey Crowley of the Parish of Antrim, in the County of Halifax, Planter, being very sick & weak in body, but of perfect mind & memory, thanks be given unto God therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my body & knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make & ordain this my last will & testament that is say, principally, & first of all I give & commend my soul unto the hands of God that gave it & for my body I commend it to the earth to be buried in a Christian like & decent manner at the discretion of my Executors nothing doubting but at the general resurrection, I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God & as touching such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give devise & dispose of the same in the following manner & form:

#1-It is my will & I do order that in the first place all my just debts & funeral charges be paid & satisfied.

#2-I give unto my dearly beloved wife, Martha, one Negro fellow named Peter together with all my stock of cattle & hogs & household goods & my work horse & a young bay mare & moveables, during her life.

#3-I do give to my well beloved Children after her decease, all & singular my estate to be divided among them & their heirs & assigns forever.

#4-I give to my well beloved son Benjamin Crowley, one gray mare running at THOMAS CALLAWAYS & to my SON SAMUEL CROWLEY one bay mare now in his possession & a colt that came of the gray mare two years old next spring & to Randolph Gibson a bay mare that I had of Joseph Austin & horse colt that runs at Leatherwood & some debts that is due to me in Bedford & a horse that ran away into Augusta if he can get him & a bond of 46 shillings on William Walker & same in COLO. WILLIAM CALLAWAY'S hands & same in JAMES TILLEY'S hands. And to Benjamin & Samuel Crowley 10 pounds, 11 shillings & 6 pence that Daniel Dun [Dunn] owed me & to John Heale a bay yearling mare colt that I had of him.

And I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke & disannul all & every other former testament, wills, legacies & executors by me in any way before this time...Ratifying & confirming this & no other to be my last will & testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal the day & year above written.

/s/ JEFFREY (O) CROWLEY [his mark, a circle containing a cross]
Signed, sealed, published, pronounced & declared by the said Jeffrey Crowley as his last will & testament.
In presence of us the subscribers:
Wit: George Brittain, John (x) Jones, John Harris

Codicil (p.138)
I, Jeffrey Crowley of Antrim Parish, Virginia on this 17th of Oct make & publish this my codicil in manner following. That is to say: It is my desire that after my wife's decease that the Negro fellow [Peter] be given between my Two Sons Benjamin Crowley & Samuel Crowley & the other part to be divided between my (4) Four children equally & if either of them can pay the other his part for the Negro [Peter] to keep him & if not to sell him to the highest bidder & divide the money equally..& a red cow with her horns sawed off to Randolph Gibson & a heifer that came of a cow named Chanak to my son Benjamin & another of the same age to Samuel Crowley.

In witness whereof I have unto put my hand & seal.
Wit: George Brittain, John (x) Jones, John Harris.

1762 Feb 18 - Halifax Co, VA
At a court held for Halifax County, this will was proven by oaths of the several witnesses which was ordered to be recorded & the testator having appointed no Executor of his last will, certificate was granted to Martha his widow who made oath according to law for obtaining letters of Administration of the said testator's estate, with will annexed in due form.

Securities: Thomas Edwards & William Wright entered into bond according to law.
/s/ George Currie.

[Note: Jeffrey's first wife was named Effaniah, the mother of all his children. A granddaughter was named Effaniah after this lady, who married Jeremiah Burnett. After Effaniah Sr. died, Jeffrey married 2/ Mrs. Martha Edwards, the widow of Thomas Edwards Sr; Jeffrey did not name two of his children. One was Mary, wife of Randolph Gibson and the other was the eldest son, John Crowley...

The French and Indian War ended one year after Jeffrey's death (see 1763)

1762 - Halifax Co, Va - Plea Book 3:367
Patrick Shields, Charles Park, Robert Hutchenson appointed to value the personal estate of Jeffrey Crowley deceased:

1762 - Halifax Co, Va Will Bk O:144-145
INVENTORY & APPRAISEMENT of Estate of Jeffrey Crowley, dec'd: [Note: Jeffrey's Great Coat was worth more than his bull]: 12 Hogs, 4 yearlings, 1 Bull, 1 white horse, 1 gray horse, 1 Black Jack and some old iron, 1 Hone and 2 Rasors, 1 GREAT COAT, 1 Beall, 1 Bed and Beding, Some Wheat & 4 Bushels of Corn, 9 Mobby Tubs, unbroke Flax, 1 Pott, 1 Half Bushel, 1 Bell and Trap, 1 Side Saddle and Bridle, 1 Negro Fellow named Peter, Swingled Flax, 1 smooth bore gun, 19 Gallons of Brandy, 627 pounds of tobacco, Coller and himes, 1 Tomahawk, 1 Red Cow, 1 ax and Box Iron, 1 Fluck hoe and 1 Iron Wedge, 1 pr stockings, shirt, handkerchief, 250 pounds of tobacco, 3 knives & 3 forks, 1 milk cooler & 4 basins, 2 platters, 14 plates, 2 spoons, 2 swingled flax, 1 pair wool cards, 1 tickler bottle & 1/3 pound wool, 1 Mans saddle @1.10.0; 1 side saddle & bridle 03.15.00, Collar & harness, 1 Piggon, 1 axe & box of iron, 1 fleck hoe & iron wedge, Dried Bacon, 10 Barrels corn @ 5.0.0, Some Wheat, 4 bushels corn.

Contributed by June Bork