Select Craig Miscellany

 

Here are some Craig stories
and
accounts over the years:

 

The Craigs of Craigfintray and Riccarton

The
forebear
of the Craigs in Aberdeenshire was probably William Craig
of Craigfintray who was born sometime in the late 1400’s.
His line ran as follows:

  • William
    Craig who was
    killed fighting the English at the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513
  • his
    son, the
    Rev.
    John
    Craig
    ,
    who was imprisoned during the early stages of the Reformation for
    adopting Protestantism.  He was sentenced to death but escaped and
    joined

    John
    Knox.
  • and,
    following Alexander
    and William Craig, Sir Thomas Craig, the great institutional writer on
    Scottish
    institutional law through his Jus Feudale.

Sir
Thomas was so admired by James VI of Scotland that he was one of the
Scots
invited to attend his coronation as King of England at Westminster
Abbey in
1603.  Shortly before his death in 1608,
he became the possessor of Riccarton, the Edinburgh estate once owned
by Robert
the Bruce. 

Thomas’s
brother John, who was the
King’s physician, and
son
James

followed him to London in 1603.   James,
through these royal connections,
became
one of the Scottish undertakers of the Ulster plantation.

The Craig line at
Riccarton continued until the death of Robert Craig there in 1823.  The estate passed to James Gibson who assumed
the name and arms of Craig, changing his name to James Gibson-Craig.   Another line from these Craigs via the
Ulster plantation was said
to have led
to James
Craig, the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland in 1921
.


Sir James Craig in Ulster



Sir
James Craig had followed King James VI to England in 1603 and, due to
his royal connections, was granted lands in county Armagh.
These he exchanged for lands in the barony of
Tullyhunco in county Cavan and he settled many of his kinsmen there.

The
following year he
completed the building of a walled house at Croghan near Killeshandra
in Cavan.  This castle was 35 feet in
height
and surrounded by a wall some 240 feet in circumference.
He had four horses and mares and a supply of
arms for defense and was in the process of raising stones to build a
mill.   His neighbor was Sir Alexander
Hamilton, a
Scottish undertaker from the Hamilton family of East Lothian.

Things
went
generally well until the 1641 rising and civil war.
This was a particularly difficult period for
the Scots in Killeshandra as the Craig and Hamilton families were both
forced
out of their settled lands by the O’Reillys.
The 1641 Ulster Muster recorded Sir James Craig with 54 men, 16
swords,
15 pikes, and 6 muskets.  But they were
simply outnumbered and many of the Scots settlers at the time were
killed.

In
April
1642 Sir James himself died.  His castle
had been wasted by disease.  One hundred
and sixty men and women had died of hunger and disease and the
remainder were
too weak to defend the castle any longer. Consequently
Sir James’s family and his Hamilton neighbors were rousted
from their plantations and driven to the seaport of Drogheda.

To
counter these
attacks, Oliver Cromwell arrived with his English army and the
resulting wars
ended with the defeat of the Catholic Confederates.
Sir James Craig’s brother John returned to
lay claim to the lands owned by his brother
.

 

 

The Rev. John Craig of Augusta County, Virginia


The
following
marker appeared at Fort Defiance in 2015 in commemoration of the Rev.
John
Craig:

 

“John
Craig, born in Antrim,
Ireland, and educated in Edinburgh, Scotland, immigrated to America in
1734.  Ordained pastor in 1740 of the two
churches known as Augusta Stone and Tinkling Sprint, Craig was
Virginia’s first
settled Presbyterian minister west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  He led the construction of Augusta Stone
Church and its defensive reinforcement.
Craig,
an Old Side minister who
resisted the Great Awakening, traveled the backcountry to preach,
baptize
settlers, and organize congregations.
With his wife, Isabella, he established a farm and raised six
children.
The Craigs are buried in the cemetery to the east.
 

Samuel Craig and
the Indians

Samuel
Craig
served as a commissary in Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary
War.  In
1777 he
was called to Fort Ligonier, but never made it.
On the way he was captured by Indians on Chestnut Ridge and all
efforts
to ascertain his fate were without avail.
His horse was found dead, perforated by eight bullets.  Fragments of paper strewn along the path
indicated the route taken by the Indians.
But that was all that could be found.

His
son Samuel was also captured by Indians at the time of this
conflict.  They attempted to drown him
while he was crossing the Miami river.
He struggled valiantly against their repeated efforts until one
of the
Indians put him back on his canoe and claimed him as his prisoner.

He
and five other captives were made to sit
on a log and have their faces painted black to indicate their doom.  The five other captives were chopped down
with tomahawks.  But Samuel who had
started to sing lustily and surprised the Indians was spared.  He was eventually sold to an Englishman for a
gallon of whiskey.

The second son
Alexander had no such mishaps.  He served his country well in the
Revolutionary War and was a Brigadier General in the War of 1812.

Craig House in South Carolina

The
current
Craig House outside of Lancaster in South Carolina dates from the early
1830s, being
originally a federal-style farmhouse.  In
1901 it was significantly enlarged with a Victorian front addition by
John
Edgar and Amanda Drennan Craig who had married in 1883.  Craig
House
was
listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

The
fields and woods surrounding Craig House
are all part of the pre-Civil War Craig Farm which included more than a
thousand acres of farmland.

Craig
Farm
today consists of close to 400 acres, owned by the five siblings of the
current
Craig generation.  It is operated as a
cattle farm by Bill Craig, the twin brother of his Kilburnie partner
John
Craig.  Bill is also a skilled cabinet
maker and fine examples of his workmanship are scattered throughout
Kilburnie
and Craig House.

Judy
Sanwald-Craig and her husband Roger Sanwald also contributed to the
home by
handcrafting a period gilded picture frame for a portrait of Benjamin
Franklin
which now hangs in the drawing room of Craig House.

Craigs from Ireland to
Canada in 1834 and 1840

The
Craigs were apparently from Fermanagh, but had migrated to a rented
farm
near Monesk in the parish of Killinagh in county Cavan.
Thomas Craig and his wife were the parents of
nine children.  The eldest son Robert
emigrated to Pennsylvania and nothing more was known of him.  Two other sons Hugh and William departed for
Canada in 1834, to be joined by a younger son Thomas in 1840.

The
first Craig party set sail for Canada on the Richardson.  Hugh left with his wife and seven of his nine
children, William with his wife and all seven of his children.  They landed at Brockville and made their way
inland through the forest by wagons and oxen, finally arriving at their
destination of Goulbourn township in Carleton county, Ontario.  Hugh subsequently bought land in the adjoining
North Gower township where he established Echo Farm.

The
early years were not
without their mishaps.  During the voyage
William’s daughter Mary Anne had drowned in the St. Lawrence river
while trying
to draw water to cook breakfast.  She was
pulled over the side and never seen again.
William himself died two years later when he was hit by a tree
that he
was cutting down and the impact killed him.

The
second wave came over six years
later, leaving Ireland in 1840 on the Industry.
This party consisted of Thomas, his wife and their ten children.  No tragedy struck this party.
But Thomas’s daughter Charlotte was
apparently romanced by the ship’s captain.

The
family history
was chronicled in James Beverley Craig’s 1929 book The
Craigs of Goulbourn and North Gower
. One
picture in the book, taken in 1907,
depicted the Craig family outside Craig House in Craig Street in North
Gower.  The Craigs had gathered to
celebrate James
Craig’s 91st birthday
.

 

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