Facts and Events
Alexander Crawford was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Information on Alexander Crawford
From "Annals of Augusta County", By Joseph Addison Waddell, pg. 428:
Alexander and Patrick Crawford, brothers, were among the earliest settlers in Augusta county. They are presumed to have been natives of the north of Ireland, like most of their cotemporaries in the county, but nothing can be learned about their early history. The descendants of both say there was a third brother who also came to the Valley, but whose name they do not know. It may be that this third brother was the grand-father of William H. Crawford, of Georgia, whose father, Joel Crawford, removed from Nelson county, Virginia, to South Carolina, in 1779.
Atexander Crawford, the elder of the two, married Mary McPheeters, but whether in Ireland or America is not known. He acquired an extensive tract of land in Augusta, covering a part of the Little North mountain, and extending far out into the plain. It embraced sixteen hundred and forty acres. His dwelling stood on a knoll, at the eastern base of the mountain, and looked out towards the rising sun on a wide tract of level land. It was " beautiful for situation." The spot is about two miles northeast of Buffalo Gap, and a hundred yards south of the present residence of Baxter Crawford, a great-grand-son of Alexander and Mary. The site of the house is now marked by a thicket, surrounding a pile of unhewn stones which composed the chimney.
Here Alexander and Mary Crawford had eleven children, seven sons and four daughters. They had an abundance of all the good things the times and country afforded , and until the Indian wars arose, lived in peace and plenty. They belonged to a God-fearing race, and doubtless walked in the old ways of their pious ancestors. The father and mother, were, however, both slaughtered by savages, on their premises, with no human eye near enough to witness the tragedy.
Much uncertainty has existed as to the date of the occurrence. But at November County Court, 1764, William McPheeters qualified as administrator of Alexander Crawford, and, although some of the latter's descendants insist upon an earlier date, it seems highly probable, if not absolutely certain, that the slaughter was perpetrated by some of the Indians who made the second raid upon Kerr's Creek, in October of the year mentioned.
The rumor had gone abroad that an invasion by Indians was threatened, and all the Crawford family had taken refuge in a house at the Big Spring. This house was called a fort, being better able to resist an attack than most dwellings of the period, and was often resorted to by the people around in times of danger. It is probably the ancient stone house, still standing and used as a dwelling, on the south side of Middle river, two miles south ot the present village of Churchville, and about three miles from Alexander Crawford's. It has long been known as the "old Keller house." The windows are few in number and very narrow, hardly more than a foot wide.
On the day of the slaughter, early in the morning, it is said, Alexander Crawford and his wife returned home to procure a supply of vegetables, while two of their sons, William and John, went upon the mountain to salt the horses which had been turned out to graze. From their elevation on the side of the mountain, the two youths saw the smoke and flames of the burning homestead. On the same day, probably, the home of John Trimble, some three miles ofT, on Middle River, was assailed, as is related elsewhere.
We may imagine that the men of the neighborhood were somewhat slow to assemble. No one knew but his house would be attacked next, and every man felt it necessary to protect his own family if possible. When the people rallied and repaired to the Crawford place, the dwelling had been consumed by fire. The charred remains of Alexander Crawford were found in the ashes, showing that he had been killed in the house. His wife's body was found outside, and it was inferred that she had attempted to escape, but was overtaken and tomahawked. The remains of both were gathered up and buried in the Glebe graveyard.
The sale-bill of Alexander Crawford's personal estate amounted to -£334, !7s, 9d, about $1,114, a larger sum than was common at that day. We mention as some indication of the state of the times, that among the articles sold by the administrator were a still and a wolf-trap. All the family records and other household effects perished with the dwelling.
It is related that Alexander Crawford was ambitious to be the founder of "a clan," such as we read of in Scottish history, and impressed it upon his children that they must respect the right of primogeniture then existing by law. His oldest son, Will1am, did not approve of the scheme, and thus his father's wishes were defeated. The latter was a skilled worker in iron.
Alexander Crawford accompanied the Lewis expedition to the valley of VA in 1732. "Tomahawked Rights" to a large tract of land near Buffalo Gap, Augmented later by grants from George II, 1740. He was appointed one of a commissions to build Tinkling Spring Church of which he was an Elder. !Joined the Augusta Militia at the organization in 1742.
Alexander Crawford and wife Mary McPheeters were massacred by the Indians in 1764. Most accounts give that they are buried in the Old Glebe Burying ground. There are no markers for their graves. He left a very sizeable estate for his times along with 11 children.
Additional information on the family available on the "Crawford Family" at the Alderman Library, rare documents division, at the University of Virginia.
25. ALEXANDER20 CRAWFORD (WILLIAM19, ALEXANDER18, ALEXANDER17, MALCOLM16, HUGH15, LAURENCE14, ROBERT13, MALCOLM12, MALCOLM11 DE CRAWFORD, JOHN10, ROGER9, MALCOLM8, ROGER7, REGINALD6, JOHN5 DE CRAWFORD, REGINALD4 DE CRAWFORD, GUALTERIUS3, JOHANNES2, GREGAN1 DE CRAWFORD) was born 1718 in Clydesdale, Scotland, and died October 1764 in Augusta Co., VA. He married MARY MCPHEETERS 1740 in Augusta Co., VA.
More About ALEXANDER CRAWFORD: Fact 1: Information from LDS Ancestral File (1HVS-78) Fact 2: Buried in Glebe Cemetery, Staunton, Augusta Co. VA
More About ROBERT CRAWFORD:
Fact 1: March 21, 1769, William McPheeters appointed guardian Fact 2: Source: Chalkleys Scotch Irish Papers