Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Craigs from county Cavan to North Gower and Goulbourn

As with all of the pictures, click to view full sized

The Irish coat of arms for the Craig family

     To call this family the Irish Craigs isn't entirely correct. Two brothers emigrated from Scotland in the early part of the 1700's. About a century later many would emigrate again to Canada, but there are still family members there so that is Irish enough for me.
     The early history of the family is from a book James Beverley Craig published in 1929 called "The Craigs of Goulbourn and North Gower". He recorded a lot of family stories, traditions and traced the various lines of the Craigs. If anyone knows of a copy, I'd love to have one or at least look at it. He also included many photos. My copy is a short .pdf so most of the pictures are completely ruined and unviewable(?).

County Fermanagh in red

     The two brothers, whose names are lost to time, originally settled in county Fermanagh in Ireland. About 1760, one of the brothers moved to the adjoining count Cavan with his wfe and two children. His two children, Thomas and Elizabeth are the beginning of our recorded family.

County Cavan in  dark green
     Elizabeth married John McMullen who dropped the Mc because of the Protestant belief it carried a Roman Cathlic taint. At the time of the book's publication in 1929, there were people who still remembered of Aunt "Betty" Mullen.

     Thomas married and settled on a rented farm in the townland of Monesk in the parish of Killinagh. His wife's name is unknown but they had nine children, four sons and five daughters.

Robert, married the daughter of Thomas Johnston of Kildernab. He emigrated to Red Stone, Pennsylvannia. Although he kept in touch, contact with him and his family stopped around 1856.

Hugh 1792-1849, married Frances Nixon and they had 9 children. He and his two brothers are the ancestors of the Craigs of Noth Gower.

William married Mary Gaw and they had seven children

Thomas  1793-1859 married Elizabeth "Bessie"  Moffat. They had 10 children

Susan married a Hassard and never emigrated.

Jane "Jennie" married James Ball.

Dorothy "Dolly" married James Fiddes. They did not emigrate, but some of the family did in 1852.

Elizabeth married a Nixon. They and their only child were killed when a tree fell on their house.

Mary married James Graham. They had five children.

     From what I can tell, the nine children were all born in Monesk and raised their respective families in the area as well.

     Friday, March 2nd, 1834 the first Craig party set sail for Canada on the ship Richardson under the command of Captain McVernon. The party was comprised of;

Hugh, his wife and seven of his nine children. His married daughters, Mary and Jane stayed behind, but Jane only temporarily.
William, his wife and seven children.
Mary, her husband and four of their five children. Her son, James Graham Jr, had emigrated with his wife to Oswego, NY five years previously

     The party arrived in Canada at the port of Quebec, seven weeks and three days later on the 23rd of June. They had two incidents of note on the voyage. The captain was knocked overboard and drowned making repairs during a storm. William's daughter, Mary Anne, was drowned in the St. Lawrence. While trying to draw water to cook breakfast, she was pulled over the side and never seen again. William would die two years later felling a tree.

     The second wave came over six years later, leaving Ireland around the first of April, 1840, on the ship Industry. This party consisted of Thomas, his wife and their ten children. Several of 'Bessie's" Moffat relatives came with them. No tragedy struck this party but Thomas's daughter Charlotte was romanced by the ship's captain. There is a poem immortalizing the incident called "The Romance of Aunt Charlotte". I'm not going to post it but I do have it if anyone is interested.

Thomas Craig and Elizabeth (Bessie) Moffat

     Thomas, Bessie and the family first settled on lot 12 concession 3 of North Gower (called Gower then, no north if you are looking for it in the records). They stayed about a year then relocated to lot 13 of Concession 2.

An old concession map of North Gower about 1865 showing the various Craig holdings

   Thomas 1793- Feb.4, 1859 and Elizabeth Moffat June 24, 1798-Sept.26 1880, (both are buried in the Methodist cemetery in Kars) had ten children all in Monesk, Ireland.

Robert Feb 18, 1818-Aug 13 1882
     married Eliza Smith
Hugh June 24, 1821-July 9,1894
     married Mary Jacob
Charlotte Dec.3, 1823-April 11, 1903
     married Henry Mitchell
Thomas Dec.17,1825-April 11, 1903
     married Deborah Smith
John June 23, 1829-June 1, 1906
     married Eliza Gehan
William J. Sept. 28, 1832-Oct.19, 1920
     married Eliza Carson
James Sept. 28, 1832-Aug. 27, 1912
     married Amanda Beaman
     married Mary Anne Henderson
     married Mary Trimble
Richard April 23, 1835-Dec. 2, 1897
     married Pheobe Barrows
     married Annie Eliza Shillington
George Oct. 2, 1837-March 16, 1918
     married Sarah Eastman
Mary Anne Feb. 23, 1840-Nov. 11, 1925
     married James Jamieson

     Hugh and Mary Jacob, 1819-Oct.29, 1893 had five children.

Thomas H. 1850-Oct. 15, 1924
     married Margaret Carson
William Henry Mar. 11,1852-Feb. 1, 1916
     married Lucy Anne Anderson
Samuel B. April 2, 1856-Aug. 12, 1947
     married Maria Hodgins
     married Harriet McEwan
Elizabeth April 15, 1859-Feb. 1948
     married James Carson
Hugh Jan. 20, 1860-July 22, 1937
          married Olive Nixon

     William Henry and Lucy Ann Anderson, 1855-1938, had eight children with six surviving. The family is the compilation of the 1891, 1901 and 1911 censuses and the family outline from Clan Moffat. There are two places where the information differs.

Harriet E. May 7, 1878-Nov. 25, 1879
Mary Emma Aug. 14, 1881-1949
     married Robert Johnson Sadler
Eliza Mabel Dec 15, 1884-April 15,1930
     married John McBryde and ended up in Calgary, Alberta
Charles H. May 18, 1887-May 18 1941
     married Delia S. Carson
Dorothy listed as 1/12 in the 1891 census not present in the 1901, not in the Clan Moffat family sheet
Eva May Feb. 28, 1891-1901 census lists Feb. 11
     married Bennie Brownlee in 1913
T. Milburn Aug.7, 1893-Jan. 1970
     married Ada Bower in 1917 and ended up in Florida
Dorothy Agnes Jan 29, 1898
     married Ernest Brownlee

     Mary Emma Craig and Johnson Sadler are my great grandparents, their daughter Beatrice Elizabeth, my grandmother and so ends my connection to this Craig family. For more information on this particular family see the post on the Sadlers, it has a lot more detail or look at the post for my grandmother. It would be something to find a link between the original two Scottish brothers of this family and my paternal Scottish Craig family.

     I know none of my Irish Craig family, I don't think I ever met any of them. Feel free to contact me, it would be great to connect and see what happened with the various branches of the tree. To get in touch, click on my profile on the right, About Me. It will take you to an email link. I look forward to hearing from you and swapping stories, pictures, whatever. Thanks for dropping by, Paul.


  1. The second wave came over six years later, leaving Ireland around the first of April, 1840, on the ship Industry. This party consisted of William, his wife and their ten children. Several of 'Bessie's" Moffat relatives came with them. No tragedy struck this party but William's daughter Charlotte was romanced by the ship's captain.

    Should this be Thomas, his wife and their ten children?

  2. Thanks for the catch, yes it should be Thomas. Sad to say I even missed the mistake when I was proofreading.

  3. My great grandmother Eliza Jane Craig was a graddaughter of William Craig and Mary Gaw.

  4. That is amazing. Joining the community is for the best and good for the family.

    Physio in Cavan

  5. There is a copy of the Craigs of north Gower in our family. I remember stories of twin William and twin James - who, I believe were this side.

  6. Charlotte Craig is my 2nd great grandmother...I would be very interested to read the poem of her romance! And thanks so much for all the info t has been very interesting

  7. I am a descendant of Hugh Craig & Frances Nixon. And I just read the poem about Charlotte Craig and her shipboard romance. My Mother just gave me her copy of 'The Craigs of Goulbourn and North Gower. Contact me if you have any questions

  8. The book is interesting but contains many errors. And much of what it says about the early days seems to be pure fantasies. As a Craig descendant who is doing genealogical research, I don't place much reliance on it.

  9. i'm a descendant of Charlotte Craig and Henry John Mitchell through Eliza Jane Mitchell. I enjoy knowing these things that make my family more personal to me. thank you.


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