Notes and Links
Thomas Craighead* (1664-1739). Thomas was born and educated in Scotland. He received his degree as a physician from Edinburgh in 1691, and in about 1701, married Margaret ____? (1664-1738), the daughter of a "Scottish Laird", in Scotland. After practicing medicine for a while he then studied divinity and entered trial for the ministry in the Presbytery of Stabane in 1698. He was a Pastor for several years in Donegal, Ireland. Thomas and his family emigrated to Boston, arriving in the first week of Oct., 1714 (some say 1715) on the ship Thomas & Jane (William Wilson, Master), accompanied by his wife and family, including his brother-in-law, the Rev. William Homes, who was married to his sister, Katherine Craighead, who was also aboard.
Rev. Thomas began preaching in America at Freetown MA. He moved to New Castle DE in the spring of 1723 and joined the Presbytery there. He was installed as the Pastor of the Presbyterian Church at White Clay Creek DE on Sep. 22, 1724 and preached for 7 years. He was Moderator of the Synod in 1726. He moved to Lancaster County PA in 1731 and became the Pastor of the Church at Pequea on Oct. 31, 1733. He died on Apr. 26, 1739 in his pulpit at the Big Spring Presbyterian Church at Newville, Cumberland County PA. He was the first Pastor of this Church and also the Rocky Spring and Middle Spring Presbyterian Churches. His remains are said to be placed under the cornerstone of the present house of worship at Newville.
- m. Margaret ___? * in ca. 1701. Margaret was born in 1664, the daughter of a "Scottish Laird". The identity of her surname is unknown, but some observe that Alexander's youngest son, Rev. Thomas Brown Craighead changed his name to Thomas Benton Craighead (see below). This leads to some speculation that Margaret may have been the daughter of Laird Benton (a known Scottish Laird). Other observers have suggested that she may have been Margaret Holmes Wallace. She died in 1738, and is buried in an "almost inaccesible graveyard" on the top of Polly Drummond Hill, White Clay Creek Presbyterian Church, DE.
- Thomas and Margaret had children.
- Thomas M. Craighead (1702-1735), a farmer at White Clay Creek DE
- m. Margaret Brown in 1720
- Thomas and Margaret had 8 children.
- Jane (or Janet) Craighead (1705-1779)
- m. Rev. Adam Boyd (1692-1768) on Oct. 23, 1725. Rev. Boyd was the Pastor of the Presbyterian Church at the fork of the Brandywine for 44 years. Janet and Adam had 11 children.
- Alexander Craighead* (1705/6-1766)
- m1. Agnes Brown* in c1734.
- John Craighead, who settled near Carlisle PA in 1742. He became a large landowner, whose estate remained in his family for a long time.
- m. Rachel R. Montgomery in 1728
- John and Rachel had 6 or 7 children:
- Agnes Craighead; b. c1736. This Agnes is often confused with another Agnes (nicknamed Nancy) Craighead who was a daughter of Rev. Alexander Craighead (a brother of John Craighead). She is tentatively placed here as the oldest child of John Craighead by a process of elimination. There is no other Craighead known to have lived in America at the time who could have been her father. Agnes may have been born at White Clay Creek, DE, and was raised from the age of 6 at Carlisle PA.
- m. John Alexander (1733-1814). The Battle of Gettysburg was fought on John's family plantation. John's parents were Francis Alexander (1693-1760), (known as Francis Alexander of Carroll's Delight) and Jane Blair. Francis was the son of Samuel Alexander (1657-1733) and Mary Taylor. Jane Blair's sister, Martha Blair, was married to Francis' brother, James Alexander. The Blair sisters, Jane and Martha, may be related in some way to Rev. Samuel Blair (1712-1751) and his brother, Rev. John Blair. Rev. Samuel Blair was a high ranking Presbyterian Minister who accused Rev. Alexander Craighead of "irregularities before his Presbytery" in 1740, ultimately resulting in Alexander's dismemberment from the Synod of Philadelphia in 1745. Alexander was later re-instated by the New York Synod and sent to be a minister in the western frontier of Virginia at the Settlement on the Cow Pasture River. Samuel Alexander (1657-1733) was said to be one of 7 brothers of Joseph Alexander (b. c1660), see: Joseph Alexander. This unknown source, based on an unknown author, claims that Joseph Alexander and his seven brothers emigrated to America at New Castle, DE, in 1676, on the 'Good Ship' Welcome from Armaugh County, Ireland. However, more recent research, communicated by Dennis Simpson (a descendant of Samuel Alexander, b. 1657) indicates that there were 9 children of a William Alexander, who lived in Raphoe, Ireland, grandchildren of a John Alexander. These 9 children all emigrated to Somerset County, Maryland, at different times. There is no evidence that any of them came on the ship Welcome. The 9 Alexander children are listed below:
- William Alexander, born about 1646
- Andrew Alexander, born about 1648
- Elizabeth Alexander, born about 1650
- James Alexander, born about 1652
- Francis Alexander, born about 1654
- Samuel Alexander, born 1657
- Joseph Alexander, born about1660
- John Alexander, born about 1662
- Jane Alexander, born about 1665
Joseph Alexander's son James Alexander was the father of John McKnitt Alexander (1733-1817), the primary author of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independance, who is sometimes confused with this John Alexander (1733-1814) who married Agnes Craighead.
- Agnes Craighead and John Alexander had children:
- Agnes Alexander; m. L. E. Newton.
- Francis Alexander; m. Jane O'Daier.
- Mary Alexander; m. Adam Rankin.
- Jonathan Alexander; m. Thurzy Bridges on Mar 16, 1792 at Greene County TN.
- Jacob Alexander; m. ___? Trotter.
- Rhoda Alexander; m. James Rogers.
- Amelia Alexander; m. Benjamin McNutt on Feb 13, 1796.
- Hannah Alexander; b. 1768; d. Jul 13, 1822 at Cotton Port, Limestone County AL; m. William Dewoody on Mar 26, 1791, Washington County TN. A line of descent from Hannah Alexander and William Dewoody is shown below, as provided by Dennis William Simpson.
- Tabitha Alexander; b. c1777; d. Mar 9 1844 at Greenville TN; m. Joel Dryden on Oct 6, 1806.
- Elizabeth Alexander (1780-1865); m. Joseph Rodgers Brown (1767-1854) on Sep 10, 1801 at Washington County TN, and had a son: William Ramsey Brown (1819-___?) who married Mary Sophia Lincoln (1833-1867), a second cousin of President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). See: Descendants of Samuel Lincoln.
- Thomas Craighead; b. Mar 15, 1737; d. Nov 13, 1808
- James Craighead; b. Nov 1739; d. 1771
- John Craighead; b. 1742; d. Apr 20, 1799
- Elizabeth Craighead; b. 1740; d. Jan 24, 1792. This may be the Elizabeth Craighead who married Rev. Matthew Wilson, father of the first Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia PA.
- Rachel Craighead; b. Sep 15, 1746
- Catherine Craighead; b. Nov 1748
- Andrew Craighead, d. unmarried at White Clay Creek, DE
A line of descent from Hannah Alexander and William Dewoody
- Hannah Alexander (1768-1820); died in Cotton Port, Limestone County, AL
- m. William Dewoody, and had a son:
- William Dewoody, Jr. (1794-1862).
- m. Ann Nelson Adams, daughter of John Adams and Margaret Kelsey, and had a son:
- William Aiken Dewoody (1829-1862).
- m. Lucy Ann Tanner, daughter of Peterson Tanner and Sarah Redus, and had a daughter:
- Lura Lee Dewoody (1862-1898).
- m. Arthur Marcus Simpson, son of John Simson and Margaret Dickson, and had a son:
- Arthur Marcus Simpson, Jr. (1883-1964).
- m. Grace Leona Nash, daughter of James Nash and Mary Allen Preston, and had a son:
- Arthur Marcus Simpson, III (1925-1984).
- m. Lillian Nadine Saso, daughter of Jerome Saso and Cleo Ellen Triggs, and had a son:
- Dennis William Simpson, District Deputy President General (Pacific)
General Society of the War of 1812.
- Personal communication with Dennis William Simpson.
- See the Craighead Family Genealogy Forum.
- Sketches of North Carolina, Historical and Biographical ... by Rev. William Henry Foote, Pub. by Robert Carter, NY, 1846.
- The Scoth-Irish in America - Proceedings and Addresses of the Tenth Congress, Chambersburg, PA May 30-June 2, 1901, Pub. by the Scotch-Irish Society of America.
- Genealogy and History magazine, Feb. 15, 1946
- Nashville Whig Sep. 13, 1824.
- Presbyterianism in Nashville, Tenn. by Jacobs.
- Compendium of American Genealogy, pub. by the Virkus Co., 1930. This reference has several lines of descent from Robert and Thomas Craighead.
Go to the Index of ancestral surnames
Go to the Index of Names: which includes names of in-laws, half-relations, aliases, and adopters.
Go to the How to use this genealogy page.
Contact the author: e-mail link: Phillips Verner Bradford
Note: Ancestors of Phillips Verner Bradford are denoted in the text lists with an asterisk (*) following the names.