Person:Margareth Crose (1)

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Margareth Alious Crose
  • HLeonard Fite1760 - 1842
  • WMargareth Alious Crose1761 - 1864
m. 12 April 1781
  1. John Fite1781 - Aft 1860
  2. Elizabeth Fite1783 - aft 1860
  3. Jacob Fite1786 - 1870
  4. Leonard Fite, Jr1789 - 1877
  5. Joseph Fite1790 - 1876
  6. Catharine Fite1793 - 1862
  7. David Fite1795 - 1862
  8. Moses Fiteabt 1797 - Abt 1874
  9. William Fite1800 - 1869
  10. Sarah Fite1801 - 1891
  11. Margaret Fite1805 - 1891
Facts and Events
Name[2][19] Margareth Alious Crose
Alt Name[19] Peggy Cross
Gender Female
Birth[1][2] 12 Apr 1761 Sussex, New Jersey, United States
Marriage 12 April 1781 Sussex, New Jersey, United Statesto Leonard Fite
Confirmation[18][26] 18 Oct 1783 Schoenersville, Northampton, Pennsylvania, United StatesPA Church and Town Records
Baptism[18][25] 25 June 1784 Schoenersville, Northampton, Pennsylvania, United StatesBaptism of Child, Elisabeth
Property[17][24] 1785 Northampton, Pennsylvania, United States
Baptism[18][27] 11 Nov 1785 Schoenersville, Northampton, Pennsylvania, United StatesJacob Fite's Baptism
Living[18][20][28] 21 Oct 1787 Allen (township), Northampton, Pennsylvania, United StatesCertificate - Statement of Faith
Living[2] 1788-1796 Lincoln, North Carolina, United States
Census[8] 1820 Smith, Tennessee, United States
Living[2][21] 4 March 1831 Smith, Tennessee, United StatesLeonard Fite Pension
Pension[2][22][23] 1 Aug 1844 DeKalb, Tennessee, United StatesPension Affidavit of Peggy Fite
Death[2][3] 1 Nov 1864 Wilson, Tennessee, United States
Burial[1][2][4] Nov 1864 Fite Cemetery, Lebanon, Wilson, Tennessee, United States
Census[9] 1930 Smith, Tennessee, United States

Contents

Biography of Peggy Fite

Margareth Cross Fite, known as "Peggy", was born at Oxford, Sussex, New Jersey, April 12, 1761[1][2] the names of her parents unknown. At the close of the Revolutionary war at the age of twenty-one, Leonard Fite married Margareth Cross, of Oxford, Sussex County, New Jersey[2]. The couple left Sussex County along with other members of their family, and moved across the state line into Northampton, Pennsylvania, where Leonard had a warrant for one hundred acres of land in Allen township(need cite). They lived in Northhampton about six years. In 1785 Leonard's federal tax was on one hundred acres of land and some cattle[17][20]; a year later he had an additional ten acres upon which he paid taxes. The tax collector spelled his name variously; Feight and Fight (Pennsylvania Archives, Vol 19, 3rd Series)[1]. Peggy and Leonard have their first three children born in New Jersey or Pennsylvania and/or New Jersey (Elizabeth's birth place shows New Jersey on the 1850 U.S. Census, Ed.).

Christ Evangelical Luthern Church

Records of the Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Allentown, Northampton/Lehigh, Pennsylvania reflect that Leonhard Feit, age 22 and Margareth, age 20 are instructed and confirmed as church members as they take their “first time Lord’s Supper on Sunday 18 October 1783”[18] . They live in Northampton County, Pennsylvania on the border of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania for about six years where at least three of their children are born. Church records show Elisabeth Feit was born 8 June 1784 and baptized on 25 June 1784 to parents Leonhard Feit and Margaretha[18][25] . On Leaf 3/1 Jacob Feit’s birth is recorded as 20 Oct 1785 and he was baptized 11 Nov 1785 as the son of Leonhard Feit and Margareth[27] . These two dates conflict with birth dates given in some family histories for Elisabeth and Jacob, however, we are sure this is the correct family as Leonard’s sister, Christina Lam(b)erson’s son is also recorded, and “Margaretha, the wife of Leonard Fite is the child’s sponsor”6. Additionally, Leonard’s mother, “Catharine Elizabeth Feit, widow”, is also listed as a church member . Catharina’s last church entry is on 21 Oct 1787 . On that date, Leonard and Margareth Fite are given a church certificate from the Rev. John Frederick Ernst stating they are “communicating members” [18]. This date matches a copy of the original certificate found in Leonard Fite's Revolutionary Pension. The church record states, “Leonard Feit and w. Margareth who because of their journey to North Carolina were given a certificate.” This is the last “Feit” entry in these records.

Move to North Carolina

After the birth of three sons, John, Jacob, Leonard (Jr), and daughter Elizabeth, Peggy and Leonard (Sr.) join his brother, John Fite, and move their families to Lincoln County, North Carolina. The 1790 U.S. Census in Lincoln, North Carolina[7] reflect that Leonard and Peggy have four sons and one daughter living with them. They live in North Carolina for about nine years as he relates in his Revolutionary pension application declaration[2]. During their time living in North Carolina they have four more children born: Joseph, Catharine, David and Moses.

Move to Smith County, Tennessee

In 1796/1798 Leonard and his brother, John Fite, along with two other pioneers, Dale Adams and Stephen Robinson, move their families into Smith County, Tennessee. All are early founding settlers in Smith County, Tennessee. Leonard cleared the land and built the home in which his five youngest children were born, making a total of twelve; the youngest child having died in infancy[1]. On the 1850 U.S. Census for Smith County, Tennessee for John Fite, Margaret's brother-in-law, the census taker wrote an unusual note beside his entry, "A Revolutionary soldier and of the first settlers in the mero(?) District Smith County brought the first waggon to the vally of Smith Fork ever brought to said vally in 1798"[11]. Some sources list their arrival in 1796, others in 1798. We know that the four families settled in Smith County Tennessee sometime between these two years.

Leonard and Peggy continue to raise their children and amass a large estate. On 7 Feb 1810, Leonard purchases 640 acres on Smith's Fork from George Smith and the deed is recorded in Deed Book D, p299 of Wilson County. On 15 Apr 1814, Leonard Fite gives his son, Joseph Fite, 247 acres on Pyrtle's Creek, for "natural love and affection". On 15 August 1815, Leonard Fite Sr. give his son, Leonard Fite Jr, 293 acres on Pyrtle's Creek, for "love and affection he has for his son", both deeds being recorded in Wilson County, Tennessee[14]. In 1820 the Federal Census for Smith, Tennessee reflects the family owned 7 slaves[8]. By 1830 it appears the census shows his household has only 2 slaves[13].

Leonard Fite's Revolutionary Pension

Congress passes several laws giving pensions to soldiers of the Revolutionary War and on 6 June 1832, Congress passed the first law not specifically tied to a soldiers need, but was based on length of service: greater than two years and another law for service between six months and two years. On 27 Nov 1832, Leonard files for his pension making his sworn declaration in Smith County[2]. It was granted on 4 March 1831 based on 13 months service at the rate of $43.33 per annum for life[2][21]. Also under the act of 1832 money due from the last payment until the date of death of a pensioner could be collected by his widow or by his children.

Leonard Fite's Death

On the 1840 census, Leonard and his wife are the only two family members listed in the household, but they again have 10 slaves[10]. Leonard dies on 22 March 1842 in DeKalb, Tennessee[2]. He is buried in Hillview Cemetery in Alexandria, DeKalb, Tennessee where a military headstone marks his grave[16]. Leonard Fite's will, which he wrote on 9 June 1840 was probated in DeKalb County, Tennessee during the April Term 1842, and it specifically bequeaths the following to his wife and ten children[15]:

"First, I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Peggy Fite, the small roome South end of my Dwellng House, one negro named Henry, to Acres of my farm where she may choose it, one half of the gardin, and one half of the orchard, and five hundred in Specy, one bed and furniture, three chears, cupboard and furniture, and as much of the kitchen furniture as She may choose, 200 barrels of corn, the Desk and one table, 600 lbs pork, one cow and calf and all the grocerys on hand".

Leonard makes bequeaths of his homestead land to John Fite, and also includes a mill and half the dam. The other half he leaves to his sons John and Moses Fite. To his daughter, Catherine and Lemel Moore, at their request he gives a deed to land containing 200 acres. The balance of the estate is left to his ten children to be divided equally: John Fite, Jacob Fite, Elizabeth Robinson, Leonard Fite, Joseph Fite, David Fite, Moses Fite, Sally West, William Fite, and Peggy Avant. He also restricts William's bequest because of his security debts created and caused by the use of "Ardent Spirits". He appoints his sons, John, Jacob and David Fite as his executors. His will is submitted in DeKalb County, Tennessee, April term 1842.

Peggy Fite's Pension

By an act of Congress approved July 4, 1836 (5 Stat. 128), some widows of Revolutionary War veterans were again permitted, as a class under public law, to apply for pensions. The act provided that the widow of any veteran who had performed service as specified in the pension act of June 7, 1832, was eligible to receive the pension that might have been allowed the veteran under the terms of that act, if the widow had married the veteran before the expiration of his last period of service. An act of July 7, 1838 (5 Stat. 303), granted 5-year pensions to widows whose marriages had taken place before January 1, 1794.

After the death of her husband on 22 March 1842, Peggy Fite applies to continue her husband’s Revolutionary War pension making her application 31 Aug 1844. She fills out her paper work, sends in an affidavit that she is an honorable, respectful woman and that she has not remarried. She states that she was married to Leonard Fite in Oxford, Sussex, New Jersey on 12 Apr 1781 and has no documentary proof of their marriage except a church certificate dated 1787 and provided by Rev. John Fredrick Ernst, minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Allen Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania showing that "herself and her husband were members of the church and recognizes them as man and wife". It also states that Peggy and Leonard Fite were “Christians” written in both English and German, signed by the Parish Minister[20]. She also states that her husband died on 22 March 1842 in DeKalb, Tennessee. The justice of peace under his oath states that "he knows her to be a woman of truth and verasity that ful faith and credit we due and of Right ought to be given to her statement". There is a sworn affidavit from her sister-in-law, Christina Lamberson also dated 31 August 1844 in which she states Leonard Fite was her brother, and Leonard and Peggy were legally married as told to her by persons who were at the wedding and saw them married. That at the time she was living 15 miles from them and was unable to attend the wedding and that they lived together as husband and wife upwards of 60 years, were married in the "County of Oxford", state of New Jersey, (this later is mentioned as Oxford county does not exist and should be township of Oxford - Ed.) and that Peggy has not "inter-married since his death on the 22 Day of March 1842".

Her son, Moses Fite, appears before the county justice and swears that Leonard Fite was his father, and that Leonard and Margaret Aliores Peggy Fite were legally married 12 April 1781 as appears by an entry in an old family Bible and in his own hand (Leonard Fite ed.). He states their birth dates, marriage date, Leonard’s death date, and that he is their son and that Peggy lived with him ever since (they were married) and has not remarried subsequent to his death 22 day of March 1842. Unfortunately, a copy of this Bible and it's records are not in the file and the location of the Bible is currently unknown.

She is rejected under the act of 7 July 1838--and the file is not clear why, just that she was not entitled under this act. This statue specifically required that the marriage had to take place before 1 Jan 1794 and the rejection note says married '87 (date of Church membership certificate) and deceased '42. Peggy doesn’t think that’s quite fair and that isn’t what the law allows. She hires herself a lawyer and the fight begins, page after page, after page. They grant her half of her husband’s pension at the rate of $26.66. It is based on act of 3 March 1843, and 8 months of Leonard's service, not 13 as originally filed by Leonard Fite. There are additional pages of affidavits from family and friends of Peggy stating she is an honorable woman and deserves her husband’s full pension under this act. Peggy finally gets his full pension of $43.33 increased and recorded in Book A, Vol 2, page 191 at Nashville, Tennessee based on the Acts of March 3, 1843 and June 17, 1844 and based on a Certificate of Pension issued 1 June 1849.

Death of A Remarkable Woman

Peggy is still living on April 14, 1855 when she made application for the bounty land due on account of the service of her husband, Warrant No 26400 for one hundred sixty acres under the Act of March 3, 1855. At that time she was 94 years old. She lives to an unusual age, being nearly one hundred and four years old at her death on Nov. 1, 1864. The newspaper account of her death, headed "Death of A Remarkable Woman" gives the highlights of her life[5].

Launceston Examiner: Tuesday March 15, 1865

Peggy Fite Obituary

A REMARKABLE WOMAN. (Nashville Dispatch, Nov. 10.)
Mrs. Peggy Fite died a few days ago in Wilson county, Tennessee, aged 103 years. From Mr. Thomas D. Fite, one of her grand-sons, we learn that she was born on the 12th of April, 1761, and was consequently 103 years old on the 12th of April last. Her husband, Leonard Fite, was a soldier in the revolutionary war, and fought throughout that struggle as a private, having steadily refused promotion. Mr. and Mrs. Fite emigrated to Tennessee from North Carolina, and settled here when this place was known as Nash's Lick. In those days Mrs. Fite often assisted in moulding bullets, while her husband and others belonging to the " settlement" were defending themselves against the attacks of the Indians. Mrs. Fite has lived with her third son, Jacob Fite, in Wilson county for a number of years, her husband having died many years since in Smith county. On the 12th of April, 1861, a large number of her descendants met at the house of Jacob Fite, and celebrated the 100th anniversary of her birthday. At that time she had 11 children living, her oldest, a son, being 80 years old, and her youngest, a daughter, 50; 70 grandchildren, 305 great grandchildren, 71 great great grandchildren, and two great great great grandchildren-in all, 400 -living descendants. At the time of her death her grandchildren of the fifth generation had increased to 21, and her grandson feels quite certain her living descendants now number over.500. Mrs. Fite was a remarkable woman, so were all those who actively participated in the struggles incident to the early settlement of this State. She retained a vivid recollection of the revolutionary struggles, as well as those which resulted in the establishment of the white settlements in Tennessee. Her memory was clear and her health good almost to the hour of her death. Indeed, it may be truthfully said that she lived until "the delicate machine" was entirely worn out, and " the wheels weary of life at last stood still."

Peggy Fite is buried in Fite Cemetery, Wilson, Tennessee along with other family members. Her Tombstone reads:

Peggy Wife of Leonard Fite, April 12 1761-Nov 1 1864. A member of the Methodist Church 55 years; her hundreth birthday was celebrated at her son's Jacob; her living descendants then numbering 464; her children, 11, all living on that day except one that died in infancy.
Image Gallery
References
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Fite, Elizabeth Mitchell Stephenson. The biographical and genealogical records of the Fite families in the United States. (New York: E.M.S. Fite, 1907), pp42-43.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 United States. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files. (Washington D.C.).

    Note: See file of Leonard Fite, file is aprox 100 pages

  3. Daughters of the Amercian Revolution.

    Listed in DAR records as the wife of Leonard Fite, A040056

  4. Find A Grave.
  5. Gettysburg, Adams, Pennsylvania, United States. The Adams Sentinel. (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania), Vol LXV, Page 4, 22 Nov 1864.
  6.   Fite, Leonard, Peggy or Margaret, in White, Virgil D. Genealogical abstracts of Revolutionary War pension files. (Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing Co., c1990-1992), Vol II, F-M.

    W790, married Peggy or Margareth Crose in 1780 or 12 Apr 1781, or 1782, all three dates given at Oxford, New Jersey. Widow applied at DeKalb, Tennessee, 31 Aug 1844, age 83, in 1848 states she was aged 80 and in 1849 stated she was 85, in 1855 stated she was aged 90.

  7. Lincoln, North Carolina, United States. 1790 U.S. Census Population Schedule, p 125.

    Leonard Fite, Eleventh Company, 4th column.
    Free White Males under 16: 4; Free White Males over 16: 1; Free White Females: 2; for total of 7.

  8. 8.0 8.1 Smith, Tennessee, United States. 1820 U.S. Census Population Schedule, M33_125, p 19. .

    Leonard Fite, Smith County Tennessee, Family #694
    Free White M, 16-25, 1; Free White M, 45 & Over, 1; Free White F, 16-25, 2; Free White F, Over 25; 1, 7 Slaves.

  9. Smith, Tennessee, United States. 1830 U.S. Census Population Schedule, P 71.

    Leonard Fite, household #1099
    Free White Males 80-89, 1; Free White Females 15-19, 1; Free White Females 60-69, 1; Slaves: 2 females. (Perhaps the census taker marked the incorrect age column for Peggy Fite as 60-69 instead of 80-89.)

  10. DeKalb, Tennessee, United States. 1840 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (1840), P 234-5.

    Leonard Fite, DeKalb County, Tennessee; Males 80-90:1; Females 80-90:1; Slaves:10, Employed in Agriculture 1; Pensioners: Leonard Fite, Age 81.

  11. DeKalb, Tennessee, United States. 1850 U.S. Census Population Schedule.

    Moses Fite, District 13, DeKalb, Tennessee
    Moses, Fite, M age 59, b. NC, Mary Fite, F age 54, b. NC; Daniel Fite, M age 23, b. TN, Henry C Fite, M age 11, b. TN; John Fite, M age 92, b. NJ; Cenia Evans, F age 16, b. TN. Note on John Fite's Record: "A Revolutionary soldier and of the first settlers in the mero(?) District Smith County brought the first waggon to the vally of Smith Fork ever brought to said vally in 1798".

  12.   Smith, Tennessee, United States. 1820 U.S. Census Population Schedule.

    Leonard Fite, Smith County Tennessee, Family #694
    Free White M, 16-25, 1; Free White M, 45 & Over, 1; Free White F, 16-25, 2; Free White F, Over 25; 1, 7 Slaves.

  13. Smith, Tennessee, United States. 1830 U.S. Census Population Schedule.

    Leonard Fite, household #1099
    Free White Males 80-89, 1; Free White Females 15-19, 1; Free White Females 60-69, 1; Slaves: 2 females.

  14. Parlow, Thomas E. Wilson County Tennessee Deed Books: C-M, 1793-1829. (Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1984), Vol 1, Book F, p83.

    Leonard Fite Sr to Leonard Fite Jr, 15 Aug 1814, p115
    Leonard Fite Sr to Joseph Fite, 15 Apr 1814, p105

  15. Tennessee. County Court (DeKalb County). Probate records, 1838-1969. (Nashville), Will Book A, pp32-34 , April Term 1842.

    Leonard Fite, 9 June 1840

  16. Find A Grave.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Leonard Fite, in Northampton, Pennsylvania, United States. Tax List: Pennsylvania Tax and Exoneration, 1786.

    Allentownship, Pennsylvania Tax and Exoneration

  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 Pennsylvania, United States. Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), Leaf 3/1, 8 June 1784.

    Confirmation of Leonard Feit, age 22 and Margareth, his wife, age 20 12 Oct 1783, leaf 38/2
    Leonhard Feit and Margaretha, Elisabeth Feit, b. 8 Jun 1784, baptism 25 June 1784, leaf 3/1
    21 Oct 1787, Leonhard Feith and W. Margareth who because of their journey to North Carolina were given a certificate.

  19. 19.0 19.1 Margaret's early records in Christ Evangelical Luthern Church spells her name as "Crose" and she later uses the spelling "Cross".
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Statement of Faith, Allen Township, North Hampton County, Penn 27 Oct 1787
  21. 21.0 21.1 Lenoard Fie Pension Grant 4 Mar 1831
  22. Peggy Fite 31 Aug 1844 Pension Affidavit 1
  23. Peggy Fite 31 Aug 1844 Pension Affidavit 2
  24. Northampton, PA 1785 Tax List
  25. 25.0 25.1 Elisabeth's baptism, Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church
  26. Margareth and Leonhard Feit Confirmation
  27. 27.0 27.1 Jacob Fite birth and baptism
  28. Leonard and Margareth Church Certificate