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Amelia Blanche Crawley



Amelia Blanche Crawley was one of my great grandmothers.  She was born in Halifax County, Virginia on June 30, 1859, the daughter of Richard H. Crawley and Mary A.E. Young Crawley.


Amelia married George Torian on December 11, 1876 and they had at least these children:  Francis (Fannie) B. born 1878; Nannie B., born 1879 or 1880; Melvin C. (my grandfather), born 1883; James “Russell”, born 1885; Richard C., born December 9, 1889; Georgie, born May 11, 1892,; Alice, born July, 1894; William B., born January, 1897; and Sadie Catherine, born July 7, 1902.


Amelia died on April 27, 1937 in Campbell County, Virginia after living 78 years.  She is buried next to her husband, George, in the graveyard behind Sharon Methodist Church, in Naruna.  On the death certificate, Richard Crawley and Elizabeth Young are listed as Amelia’s father and mother, respectively.  Before Amelia died, she was a resident in Evington, between Lynchburg and AltaVista.  Why Amelia is in Evington is not known.  Perhaps, she was in a nursing home, or in some other way, was being cared for by one of her children.  The undertaker was J.E. Fauber of Lynchburg.  Mrs. P.F. Young, from Washington DC, was the informant listed on the death certificate.  Amelia apparently died of a cerebral hemorrhage.


Amelia joined the Hat Creek Presbyterian Church, near Brookneal, in 1926.  She transfer her membership from a Methodist Episcopal Church – South (probably the Methodist church in Naruna where George was buried).   Why she changes churches, and becomes a member of a Presbyterian church is not known.   But, a possible reason is that Amelia and George purchased land close to Hat Creek in 1920/1921, and the church becomes a more convenient location for an older Amelia to go to.  Another reason might be that Amelia’s daughter Alice marries a second time to Andrew Sublett, who is a member of Hat Creek.   William Brian Torian, Amelia’s youngest son, would also become a member of Hat Creek the same year that Amelia does.   William was 29 at the time.   By 1926, William was married to Lorena Bomar, and they had at least one son.


Hat Creek Presbyterian Church has been in existence since the 1730s, being one of the first churches established in what is now Campbell County.  The church was established by Scotch-Irish immigrants, initially arriving in Pennsylvania, and then making their way to south-central Virginia.  Hat Creek Presbyterian Church is on Hat Creek Road, about five miles north of Brookneal.


An obituary, appearing in the Lynchburg Daily Advance, on April 28, 1937, states that Amelia died at home at 3:30 p.m.  She was a member of the Hat Creek Presbyterian Church, located near Brookneal.  She was survived by:  Mrs. E. L. Womack (Fannie), of Ashville, NC;  Mrs. P.F. Young (Georgie), of Washington, DC; Mrs. Andrew B. Sublett (Alice), of Brookneal, VA; M.C. Torian, of Wilmington, NC; J.R. Torian, of Spartanburg, SC; R.C. Torian, of Ashville, NC; and W.B. Torian, of Lynchburg.  Also surviving were 29 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.  Funeral services, and burial, were at Sharon Methodist Church, in Naruna, near Brookneal, in Campbell County, where her husband, George, was buried in 1923.  Headlines on the day Amelia died had to do with what was considered at the time, the flood of the century, then taking place in Virginia.


My grandfather, Melvin Crider Torian, was born to George and Amelia in 1883.  By the 1900 census, Melvin Crider had left his mother and father’s home and was living with his oldest sister, Francis (Fannie), who now is age 22, married to Ernest L. Womack, age 29, and living in Halifax County.  Fannie B. had been married to Ernest less than a year in 1900.  Earnest lists his occupation as farmer and that his farm was owned, free of mortgage.


A 1970 obituary for Melvin Crider Torian indicates that Mrs. Paul Young (Georgia) and Mrs. Alice Sublett (Alice), sisters of Melvin, and Amelia’s daughters, lived in Lynchburg and Brookneal, Virginia, respectively.  There was no indication in the obituary whether the other daughters and sons of Amelia were still alive.  Presumably, they are dead by 1970.


Russell and Richard are believed to be living in North Carolina in 1910. 


James “Russell” Torian (JR Torian in Amelia’s obituary) married Floy “Bell” Long in 1908 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  He died in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, in 1939, at age 54.  Earlier he and Bell had lived in Richmond, Virginia.


The 1930 Lynchburg, Virginia census lists a William Torian, age 33.  This is the William B. Torian, age 13 in George’s 1910 census data.  William lists a wife, (looks like) Lorena, age 32; three sons, William E., age 11, (looks like) Gerald, age 9, and George, age 3 and ½; and 2 daughters, Hazel and Helena, age 5.   William B. dies in 1949 in Lynchburg at age 52.


Francis (Fannie) Torian Womack was born on January 20, 1878 and died on June 10, 1964, living 86 years.  She is buried in the Asbury United Methodist graveyard, behind the church, on Route 676, in northern Halifax County.   Also buried with her is her husband Ernest Lee Womack, who died 1952.   Fannie and Ernest married on November 30, 1899.   Francis had the nickname “Sookie”.


A 1964 obituary in the Lynchburg News wrote that Mrs. Frances Torian Womack died in Ashville, North Carolina at age 86, widow of Ernest L Womack.  She was survived by 3 daughters, 3 sons, two sisters (Georgia and Alice), two brothers (Richard and Melvin), 8 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, and one great, great grandchild


Digitized records at the University of North Carolina for the Salem Female Academy show that a Fannie B. Torian attended the Salem Female Academy.  These records appear to cover the period 1873 to at least 1891.  In 1891, Fannie B. Torian, daughter of George and Amelia Torian, was around 13 years old.  So, it is possible that the Fannie B. Torian in the Salem Female Academy records is the Fannie, daughter of George and Amelia.  The Salem Female Academy, which still exists, as the Salem Academy, was located in Salem, North Carolina, Forsyth County (now the city of Winston Salem).  The Salem Academy is collocated with Salem College.  The Salem Female Academy was founded in 1772.


The 1930 Ashville census shows a Francis Womack, born 1878, and head of household, living in Asheville, North Carolina.  In the household were:  Earnest Womack, born 1907, son; Richard Womack, born 1909, son; Woodrow Womack, born 1909, son; and Frances Womack, born 1915, daughter.  This Francis Womack is believed to be the sister of Richard Crawley Torian, who is also living in Ashville in 1930.  Where Earnest Lee, Francis’ husband, is in 1930 is not known.


In 1920 and 1930, Richard Crawley Torian was living in Buncombe County (Ashville), North Carolina and married to Mary Beaulah Cawthorn, daughter of J.H. and Mary P. Cawthorn, of Campbell County, Virginia.  They had:  Mary, age 15 in 1930; Catharine June, age 13 in 1930; and Richard Randolph, age 10 in 1930.  Mary Beulah would die in 1938 and Richard married a second time to Hortense Moseley Wooten in 1949.


A 1965 obituary in the Lynchburg News wrote that Richard Crawley Torian died at age 75 while living in Ashville, North Carolina.   Richard was survived by a daughter and a son.


Melvin Crider Torian (my grandfather) died on April 17, 1970 in Burgaw, Pender County, North Carolina.  His residence at his death was Rocky Point, in Pender County.  He was married to Mayfair Carr at the time of his death.  His lived 87 years.  He was buried in the Hopewell Church Cemetery in Pender County.  Melvin Crider and Mayfair are not known to have had children.  Also, Mayfair is believed to be Melvin Crider’s second wife.  Melvin Crider’s cause of death was coronary problems caused by advanced coronary arteriosclerosis.  Apparently, Melvin had been living in Pender County from at least 1958; the date the certifying physician on his death certificate began attending Melvin.  Melvin left three sons from his first marriage, and several grandchildren.


Alice B. Torian’s first husband was Thomas W. Wright who died in 1924.  They married in 1914, when Thomas was 23 and Alice was 21.   Thomas was from Appomattox County.  In 1924, Alice was about 30.   Alice and Thomas had at least one son, and possibly some daughters.   How Thomas died is not known.  When George Torian, Alice’s father died, obituary information indicated that Alice and Thomas were living in Smithfield, Virginia.  After Thomas’s death, Alice apparently begins living near her mother in, or near, Brookneal.   Alice will marry a second time, to Andrew B Sublett, who was a member of Hat Creek Presbyterian Church near Brookneal.   Andrew was the son of Matitda Watson Foster and William Yancey Sublett.


Possibly Alice met Andrew after she begins living in, or near, Brookneal, following Thomas’s death.  Alice died on December 7, 1971, living 77 years.   Andrew died in 1958.  Alice and Andrew, along with Thomas Wright, are buried beside one another, in the same area that George and Amelia are buried in the graveyard of the Naruna Untied Methodist Church, about five miles from Brookneal.


A 1971 obituary in the Lynchburg News wrote that Mrs. Andrew Belt Sublett died at age 77 while at the Sport Spring Nursing Home after a long illness.  She had previously lived on Route 1, Brookneal, and was a member of the Hat Creek Presbyterian Church.  She was survived by one son and four daughters, one sister (Georgie, of Pamplin, Virginia, in Appomattox County), 17 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.


A 1977 obituary in the Lynchburg News wrote that Mrs. Paul F. Young (Georgie) died while at a local nursing home, after a long illness.  She had previously lived in Pamplin, Virginia, in Appomattox County.   She was a member of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church, in the town of Appomattox.  The obituary wrote that she was survived by a large number of nieces and nephews, children of her many sisters and brothers.  She and her husband, Paul F. Young, never had children.  Georgie would be the last child of George and Amelia to die.


In the 1900 census for George and Amelia, Amelia stated that she had given birth to 11 children, seven of whom still lived.   Amelia would give birth to at least one more child, Sadie Catharine, who died as an infant in 1903.


In the 1850 census, Richard H. Crawley (Amelia’s father) is age 30, a planter with $900 real estate.  His wife is Mary A.E., age 25, and there is:  Catharine A.K., age 5; Sarah V., age 2; and Mary S. H., 3 months.  Richard H. Crawley married Mary A. E. Young on October 24, 1842.  M.H. Young, Mary’s father, was a bondsman on the marriage record. 


Farming in the south before mechanization was heavily depended on manpower, which was not available without African slaves.  Some other characteristics of pre-1860s farming life include: land would routinely be passed down from generation to generation within a family, with the initial family ownership dating back to the original settlers on the land, likely by the 1750s; houses were built of logs, and initially floors were dirt; houses often had 2 chimneys, one at each end; lawns were not kept; the person that one married would likely be a neighbor; the land, livestock, other inventory, and slaves would probably be valued much higher than could be obtained if a sale was necessary; for tobacco farming, land had to be flat, to prevent excessive damage to the land; land demarcations  (methods of surveying) depended upon physical attributes such as streams and ridges; there were no public schools, so often neighbors would come together to accommodate whatever schooling was provided, perhaps by hiring a tutor; farmers grew or raised what they ate; churches were built to last; family sizes of sons would greatly exceed the available land to accommodate those sons, accounting for great western migrations prior to the 1860s; they were recognizable and recorded economic depressions at least in 1818, 1826, and 1837; and more and more wheat was grown in place of tobacco.


Post-1865 farming in Virginia, and probably other Confederate states, would be greatly changed, as much was, by the Civil War.  Sufficient labor was no longer available in the form of slaves, or any other sources, exacerbated by the lost of so many men in the civil war.  African Americans would leave the farming counties in large numbers beginning after the Civil War.  Farming would become a much less wide-spread economic opportunity.  One result probably was the beginning of large amounts of land being sold out of the long-term, single-family ownership tradition.  In the post-1865 period, Virginia goes from being one of the most influential states during the late 1700s period to being one of the least influential.  One reason for this was the continued large migrations of people from Virginia to western states.  (Virginia also experienced large migrations west prior to the civil war.)


Living nearby was the Ann Crawley household (on the basis that the two family records were adjacent to one another on the 1850 census record and, apparently, censuses were then taken geographically, house by house, and recorded as they were taken).  Ann was age 60 and was Richard’s mother.  In the Ann Crawley household was Samuel N. Crawley, age 12, and 3 Nelson children.  The only Crawley in the 1840 Halifax County census was Thomas G., Richard H.'s father and Ann’s husband before he dies in 1841.  Ann Crawley was born in Virginia.


In the 1860 census, Richard H. Crawley, age 40, listed his occupation as farmer, with $3,500 of real estate and $11,420 in personal possessions (with slaves probably accounting for a lot of this).  He was born in Virginia, as was his wife, M.E., age 35.  Besides M.E., Richard had in his household: C.A.K., a female (who must be the Catharine A.K. listed in the 1850 census), age 15; Tho. G., male, age 5; Math. H., female, age 3; and Amelia, age one (my great grandmother).  What has happened to Sarah V. and Mary S.H., who was in Richard’s household in 1850, is not known; possibly, they have died by 1860.


A daughter of Richard H. and Mary A. E., Lelia Viola, died in September 1857, at age four, of a sore throat.


Richard H. Crawley was exempted from Civil War military service because he was a miller and was needed for community service.


As a miller, Richard participated in a critical sector of Halifax's agriculture economy.  Mills were essential to wheat farming and the communities they serviced; needed for converting grains into flour.  It would be nice to know more about Richard’s milling activities.  Hundred of watered-powered mills existed in Virginia counties by the time of their reduced use, because of more efficient motorized milling processes.  The early mills were only possible because of the many rivers and streams in Virginia.


Richard’s worth in the 1860 census can be thought of as an indicator of a very successful economic period for Halifax, and probably other Virginia farmers, in the mid 1800s.  Not only did Richard’s 1860 census data indicate economic success, but so does census data for Amelia’s future father-in-law, Elijah Torian, and grand father-in-law, Thomas Torian (see the George Torian section for census data for Elijah and Thomas).  This ended for years to come with the civil war.


Ever increasing world demand for tobacco products met tobacco farmers in Halifax County, a center of Virginia’s tobacco agriculture industry, did well. By the 1850s, just a few miles from the Crawley and Torian land, Clarksville would become one of the largest tobacco farmer markets in the United States, and perhaps the world, for a short period of time.  One reason for this was that Clarksville is located on the Roanoke River and therefore offered a river route of getting the tobacco to ports.  Unfortunately for Clarksville, another way of getting tobacco to these destinations was the railroad, which by the 1850s had lines into Halifax County that could be used to get tobacco to the desired destinations.  Railroads turned out to be the better transportation method and so Clarksville would fade as a tobacco market.


In the 1850s, farming was still very labor intensive.  And, therefore there were a lot of farming jobs available and this likely accounts for these jobs being a high percentage of all jobs at that time.  An indication of how labor intensive farming was then is that today (2013), the farm labor force is only about 2 to 3% of all the work force, yet with much higher output.  Today (2013) in Virginia are about 60,000 farmers and 47,000 farms, with an average size of 170 acres.


Throughout this family history, we see how technology changes and other events, beyond individual control, affect people’s work and living situations.


From the 1870 census, Elizabeth (Mary A.E.) Crawley, age 45, has in her household: Blanche, age 11 (my great grandmother); Mildred C., age 9; Richard, age 7; and Jamie   Perrin, age 56.  There was also a domestic, Mary Young, age 28, a black.  Elizabeth lists her occupation as housekeeper.  Richard has died by 1866.  He writes a will in 1862.  An 1866 Halifax County deed shows Elizabeth selling land known as Crawley’s Mill to pay debts after Richard’s death.  In his 1865 will, Richard leaves everything to his wife Ann, unless she remarries, in which case his children get two-thirds of the estate.


From the 1880 census, Elizabeth (Mary A.E.) Crawley, Richard H.’s widow, is still alive and in Halifax County (Black Walnut District).  She lists her age as 55 and occupation as housekeeper.  She now has in her household:  Mildred Crawley, age 17; M.A. Young, listed as a sister, age 35; and J.M. Perrin, an aunt, age 67.  She lists that her parents were born in Virginia.  By 1880, my great grandmother, Amelia Blanche, has married George Torian, and is no longer living in Elizabeth’s household.   But, Amelia and George are still living in the Black Walnut District in 1880. 


Amelia Blanche will benefit from land owned by her parents, Richard H. and Elizabeth (Mary A.) Crawley.  Amelia sells, in 1896, 202 acres that belonged to Elizabeth.  Later, in 1898, she sells more land.  This land is identified as being defined at a corner by a “Torian’s Spring”, and that Torian and Crawley land was nearby.  This suggests that Amelia and George grew up as neighbors, and knew one another from an early age.


Thomas G. and Ann Brandon Crawley, Richard H.'s parents, were married in December 1806.  Thomas, who was a farmer, in his 1841 will leaves 800 lbs. of bacon; 16 cattle; 2 oxen; 60 hogs; 80 barrels of corn; 4 barns of tobacco; and around 25 slaves, including children.


It was perhaps this aspect of the southern slavery system that seems especially inhuman to me – the ability to pass on children as slaves, indefinitely to one’s own children and grandchildren.  Enslaving, and kidnapping to distant locations, humans was inhuman enough, but to then create a system where the enslavement and bondage was perpetual to following generations was another magnitude of inhumanness and unacceptability.


Slave owners, who relied on the labor of the African Americans, for their agricultural system to prosper and for productive enterprise, consequently contributing greatly to America’s own prosperity, began leaving little slave girls and young ladies and others to their daughters, and their granddaughters, and to others, to use, sometimes, almost as pets, to use at will, for whatever purposes.


If the south had adopted a system along the way long before 1861, where the slaves’ children would go free, and new slaves' forbidden, such a adopted system potentially, it seems to me, might have avoided a civil war, by being a more evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, way out of the nightmare that slavery was.  In addition, with such an adopted system, the result would have not been so devastating to the productive economic system that was in place, devastation that much of the Civil War was fought by the south to prevent.  Unfortunately, greed played too large a role in the south’s decision making.


The people of America owe a lot to the African Americans who did so much to develop the agricultural lands of this country, through their hard work, into productive economic assets.  In fact, I view this as a proud moment for the African American (aside from the unacceptable negative aspects of slavery) – one of the African American’s great contributions to making this country productive.


Thomas G. and Ann Brandon Crawley (who was also referred to as Nancy in several deeds) had at least eight other children besides Richard H.  These were: Mary Anna; Martha S; Nancy J; Tabitha B; John J; Lindsay L; Catherine T; and Samuel N.  Tabitha B. marries a James R. Scott and they settle in Fayette County, Tennessee.


Apparently, Richard H. Crawley was his sister Catherine T.’s guardian when she was married in 1847.


Both Richard H. and Thomas G. Crawley had business dealings with a Jacob Blane.  Jacob Blane and his family lived west of the present Halifax County community of Cluster Springs. Today, there is a Blane Mill Lane, near Cluster Springs, where apparently the Blanes lived and farmed.


Thomas G. Crawley was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Cralle.  Thomas Cralle writes a will in 1816, and dies soon thereafter.  Thomas and Elizabeth have several children.  The spelling Cralle is of French origin, and soon becomes “Americanized” into Crawley.  The French name and the fact that French Huguenots were immigrating into Virginia beginning in the early 1700s, and are known to settle in several Virginia counties, suggests that Thomas G. Crawley ancestors were French and were Huguenots.


In the early 1700s, a few hundred French Huguenots went to Virginia and to a site about 20 miles up the James River from Richmond, called Manakintown.  From there, several migrated west and south, including into what would become Halifax County.


In a 1858 will, Ann Brandon Crawley names Richard H. as the executor and lists several other children: John; (looks like) Ginsey; Samuel; William; John; and B. Scott (a daughter married to a Scott). 


Ann Brandon Crawley, who was born in 1791 in Halifax County, was the daughter of Irwin and Judith Brandon.  Ann’s parents are identified on her 1806 marriage certificate (marriage to Thomas G. Crawley).   Ann’s father Irwin dies round 1791, just around the time of Ann’s birth.  At the time of Irwin’s death, his wife, Judith, was pregnant, and the child was most likely Ann.


Irwin Brandon’s parents were William B. and Elizabeth Brandon.  William dies around 1778, and leaves a substantive estate of around 4,800 British pounds.  Besides Irwin, William and Elizabeth had several other children.  One of these, Lucy, who was Irwin’s sister and Ann’s aunt, becomes Ann’s guardian, and is required to give her permission in order for Ann, who is about 15 or 16 at the time of the marriage, to marry Thomas G. Crawley in 1806.  This is documented on the Ann Brandon – Thomas G. Crawley marriage certificate.   What has happened to Judith, Ann’s mother, and why she was not the guardian, is not known.  Perhaps, she has died, maybe at the time of Ann’s birth.


William and Elizabeth Brandon, as well as Irwin and Judith, lived in Antrim Parish in Halifax County.  Irwin and Judith had several children, under age, when Irwin died around 1791.


A 1757 deed shows a Francis Brandon receiving from William Byrd of Charles City County, Virginia 470 acres of land along the Dan River in return for 10 pounds.  Perhaps Francis was William Brandon’s father, but this is not known.   Likely, if not William's father, Francis was related to William.  In the George Torian section of this family history, there is a discussion of William Byrd’s possible role in bringing settlers to the Dan River area of Virginia.  The 1757 Brandon-Byrd deed is an indication of that role.


The Halifax County 1850 census shows several Brandons (e.g., William B., age 65; Daniel J., age 43; Ann J. , age 30; John N., age 52; Lawson, age 35; Thomas P, age 47; Alexander, age 66; and Jacob, age 35).  These Brandons were adjacent to one another in the census meaning they lived close to one another, and also that they were likely related.  All were shown as planters and farmers with several thousand acres between them.  These Brandons could be grand and great grand children of William B. (who dies in 1778) and Elizabeth Brandon.


Amelia Perrin Young, listed as a head of a household in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 Halifax County censuses, was Elizabeth (Mary A.) Young Crawley’s mother, and Amelia Blanche Crawley Torian’s grandmother.  


Amelia Perrin Young dies in 1874.  The executor (administrator) for her will is Thomas P. Bruce, who was a son-in-law of Thomas Young.  Thomas Young was the executor on Amelia Young husband Matthew’s will, and probably was Matthew’s brother.  Amelia has little left when she dies in 1874.


Matthew Hubbard Young was Elizabeth (Mary A.) Young Crawley’s father, and Amelia’s grandfather.  In the 1840 Halifax County census, Matthew is between the age of 50 and 60, and presumably, his wife, was from 30 to 40.  Also, in the household were: 1 male and 2 females, less than 5 years old; one female, 5 to 10 years; 2 females, 10 to 15; one female 15 to 20, who likely was Elizabeth (Mary A.) Young; and a male, 20 to 30.  Matthew H. Young married Pamela (later appears also as Amelia on several documents) Perrin on March 3, 1824, in Prince Edward County, which is just northeast of Halifax County.  Pamela (Amelia)’s father was John Perrin. 


Amelia (Pamela) Perrin Young was Matthew’s second wife.  Matthew’s first wife was Elizabeth Bailey who he married in Campbell County, Virginia in 1809.  Elizabeth Bailey Young died around 1823.  Matthew and Elisabeth had several children, as did Matthew and Pamela Amelia.


This Amelia (Pamela) is the Amelia Perrin Young who appears in the 1850, 1860, and 1870 Halifax County censuses as a head of household.  On Halifax County deeds of the 1830s and the early 1840s associated with Matthew H Young, we see both Pamela and Amelia used to identify the same person, Matthew’s wife.  In addition, that Amelia’s maiden name was Perrin accounts for the Rebecca Perrin in Amelia Young’s household in 1870 and accounts for the Jamie (J.M.) Perrin that is in Ann Brandon Crawley’s household in 1870 and 1880.


Matthew is not in the Virginia 1810 census.  However, he does appear in the 1820 census, living in Prince Edward County.  Sometime after 1820, Matthew moves to Halifax County. 


Matthew was a farmer.  Matthew had land along the Hyco River in Halifax County.   The Hyco River flows into the Dan River.  Deed records indicate that the land was close to the Torian and Crawley land.  During the 1840s, Matthew was appointed a commissioner by the Halifax County Court system.   The county’s governing body consisted of commissioners.


Matthew writes a will in 1849.  Usually writing a will was an indication during this period that the person writing the will expects death soon.  In Matthew’s will, he identifies two young daughters, Maria and Mildred, and a son, Benjamin, age 21.  Thomas Young is identified as the executor.  Thomas may have been Matthew’s brother.


Matthew’s death notice was published on March 13, 1849.


Matthew’s father was William Young, born about 1745 to 1750 in Brunswick County, Virginia and died sometime after 1820 in Campbell County, Virginia.  Matthew’s mother (William's wife) was Martha (maybe last name Hubbard) who probably died after 1820 in Campbell County.


Beside Matthew H., William and Martha’s children included daughters Polly H. and Susannah H. and sons William H., Joseph, John, and Thomas.  The H. in the names of Matthew, William, Polly, and Susannah is believed to stand for Hubbard and suggests possibly that Martha’s maiden name was Hubbard.  In addition, from census data, William Young lived near Hubbards.


William Young was the son of Michael Cadet Young who was born in England around 1700 and died in Brunswick County, Virginia, around 1770.  Michael Cadet Young was married to Temperance (maybe last name Sadler or Featherstone).  The marriage took place around 1730 in Virginia.  Michael Cadet and Temperance Young had at least seven children, six of whom were male.


Michael Cadet Young was believed to be a descendent of French Huguenot immigrants to England.  Michael Cadet Young is believed to have arrived in the Richmond area of Virginia, from England, around 1722, probably as an indentured servant.  Michael Cadet Young is believed to have worked some as an attorney, after his arrival in Virginia.  (Attorneys did not have the same status and earning power then as they do in the current era.)  He also owned land.  Sometime in the 1750s, Michael Cadet had serious financial problems loosing most everything and remained poor the rest of this life (he died around 1770).


Temperance Young died sometime after 1782.


Michael Cadet Young is believed to be the son of Francis Cadet, born about 1670 in Niort, France, and died in 1712 in Bermondsy, Surrey, England.  His mother was believed to be Marie Marthe LeGros, born about 1662 in Chastelcrault, France.  Michael Cadet’s parents were French Huguenots, who migrated to London, and were a part of the French Huguenot community in London in the late 1600s, early 1700s.  Apparently, when Michael Cadet emigrated from England to the American colonies (around 1722), he took on the last name, Young, an anglicized version of the French Cadet.


(The details on Matthew H. Young’s ancestors are based on the work of genealogist Janice McAlpine, who provided the information to me.   For this, I am very grateful.)


It is interesting, assuming the information above is correct, that Amelia Blanche Crawley Torian had French Huguenot ancestry in both her father and mother’s family.  I wonder if she knew this.


The term Huguenot refers to those French Protestants that established the Protestant Reformed Church of France in the early 1500s.   Although interactions between the French Reformed Church members (the Huguenots) and the French Catholics (most French were Catholic) was often tense, serious penalties for being a Huguenot did not begin until the second half of the 1600s.


Eventually, during the second half of the 1600s, Huguenots were given the ultimatum of converting to Catholicism, and many did, but not all.  Those who did not, estimated at around 500,000, immigrated (illegally) to other areas in Europe, predominately England, the Netherlands, German territories, and Switzerland, to a few English colonies, and elsewhere outside of Europe.  Huguenots would also further emigrate from these European countries, e.g., as apparently Michael Cadet Young did, described above.


Although there is no direct evidence that the above described Thomas Cralle was of Huguenot origin, his name certainly is French, and it is likely he (and perhaps his wife) were also descendent Huguenots.  When Thomas Cralle arrived in Halifax County, and from where, e.g. Europe, is not known.  It is interesting that the name Perrin (one of Amelia Crawley’s grandmothers, described above, was Pamela Amelia Perrin) is also French.  Pamela Perrin married Matthew Hubbard Young, believed to be a French and Huguenot descendent.

(Additional research has found that Thomas Cralle migrated to Halifax County from Virginia’s Northern Neck in the late 1700s and that his ancestors were Huguenots who immigrated to the Northern Neck in the 1600s.  Click on the link “Supplement – Northern Neck Family History” at this website’s homepage for more about Thomas Cralle’s history related to the Northern Neck.)


In 1840, three head of household Youngs were living in Halifax County:  James, Matthew, and Thomas.


There were six Youngs in Halifax County in 1820. 


In 1790, there were eight Crawley's in Virginia, but none in Halifax County.  The Crawley name does not appear in a Halifax County census until 1820, when John and Thomas Crawley were listed as Halifax County residents. 


In 1790, Halifax had about 15,000 residents (about 5,000 of whom were slaves). 


One striking observation becomes apparent from what is known about George Torian and Amelia Blanche Crawley, who became husband and wife in 1876.   They have remarkably similar backgrounds.  Both are born and grow up in southern Halifax County; they are very close in age; their grandparents were residents of Halifax County, and were likely from Halifax or nearby counties; both sets of parents are believed to be from Halifax County; both fathers were farmers who owned slaves, and of about the same economic rank based on the census data of 1850 and 1860; and both George and Amelia had several brothers and sisters.  Both had ancestors who were immigrants to Virginia in the first half of the 18th Century. And, from what we know from land that Amelia sold in 1898 and from other information that puts the Richard H. Crawley land near Elijah Torian’s land, George and Amelia were certainly close neighbors while they were growing up.


Hundreds of living Americans are direct descendants of George and Amelia.

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