Craig families lived in Covington, Butler counties

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 16, 2010

While there are a number of Craig families who have and who currently reside in Covington County, today’s column will focus on the Craig family who lived in adjacent Butler County. The earliest known ancestor of this family is James Craig who was born circa 1745, but no information is known as to his parents or other ancestors.

Around 1770, James was married to Rhoda Niblock. During the American Revolutionary War, James served under Lt. Col. Henry Hampton. He was active in a number of battles including those of Hanging Rock and Blackstock’s Plantation. In addition, he was at Sumter’s Defeat under Col. Joseph Howe. Tragically he was killed in service on Feb. 1, 1781.

Before his early death, James and Rhoda had the following children: John, b. 1771, d. 1850, m. 1795 Elizabeth Andrews; Samuel, b. 1773, d. 1854; Rhoda, b. 1778, d. 1854; and James, b. 1780, d. 1860, m. 1805 Rosannah Gray. The children were all born in the Abbeville District of South Carolina, but they later moved to several different states.

The youngest son, James Craig, was married to Rosannah Gray by Minister Mose Waddell for a fee of two dollars. Rosannah, the daughter of William and Rosannah (Griffin) Gray, was a native of South Carolina as well. James and Rosannah Craig moved their family to Autauga County, Alabama, in 1817 from South Carolina. After two years, they moved south to Butler County where they settled in 1819.

Little is known about James’s life other than his family and his active involvement in his church. He became a strong, faithful member of the Presbyterian Church in Greenville. According to his obituary, he was a consistent member of this church for 26 years and served as an “acceptable” ruling elder for 24 years. “He was a man of strong mind, high integrity, great energy of character, and real piety. He loved his Bible, delighted in the house of God, and died a Christian’s death. Butler County has lost a worthy citizen, and the Church a valued member.”

James Craig died at his residence near Greenville in Butler County on April 14, 1860, at the age of 81 years. He was buried in the Ebenezer East Cemetery, and it is likely that his wife, Rosannah, was buried there as well. James’ will, which was probated Aug. 22, 1855, listed the following heirs: William and Jincy E. Craig; Cindarilla R. Craig, Telitha J. Craig, William Hillary Craig, Robert A. Craig, George Craig, Anna N. Camp, and Esther C. Roberts.

James and Rhoda Craig reared the following children: William Gray, b. 1806, d. 1955, m. 1831 Jincy Elizabeth Jay; James D., b. 1808, m. Nancy Gardner; Anna N., b. ca 1808, d. 1861, m. before 1840 John Tarpley Camp; John Fleming, b. 1818, d. 1821; and Esther Cinderella, m. ? Roberts.

The oldest son, William Gray Craig, was married in 1831 to Jincy Elizabeth Jay, daughter of John and Edna (Stinson) Jay. Elizabeth was born in 18ll, died in 1855, and was buried beside her husband’s grave in the Ebenezer East Cemetery near Greenville. Elizabeth’s parents had many descendants who made their home in Covington County.

William and Elizabeth had the following 11 children: James P., b. 1830, d. 1835; John Fleming, b. 1821, d. 1835; Edna Rosannah, b. 1832, d. 1885, m. 1851 Benjamin John Cooper; Ann, b. 1835, d. 1879, m. 1851 Daniel Lewis; Cinderella Rebecca, b. 1838, d. 1862, m. 1859 Samuel A. McCoy; Talitha Jane, b. 1840, d. 1919, m. 1873 John Hester; Rachael L., b. 1843, d. 1859 of typhoid fever; William Hillary, b. 1844, d. 1935; Robert A., b. 1846, d. 1859; George M., b. 1848, d. 1915, m. 1902 Ella Sheppard; and David Ashley, b. 1852, d. 1927, m. 1875 Elizabeth Matilda Smyth.

The oldest daughter of James and Rosannah Craig, Anna N. Craig, was married to John Tarpley Camp in Butler County. Her estate records, dated April 19, 1861, listed the following as her heirs: Anna A. Smith, Edna R. Cooper, Talitha J. Craig, William H. Craig, George M. Craig, David A. Craig, Clancy E. Craig, Cinderella R. McCoy, Rosana A Roberts, James M.. Roberts, Anna A. Roberts, Runin R. Roberts and William C. Roberts.

The youngest son of James and Rosannah, John Fleming Craig, was the second son in this family to be given the name of John. When he died at three years of age, his father, James, donated the land for a cemetery to be located about three miles southeast of Greenville. John Fleming was the first person to be buried in it. It was naturally called Craig Cemetery until it became known as Craig-Ebenezer some years later. Currently it is referred to as the Ebenezer East Cemetery and is the burial place for many members of this Craig family.

Additional information on this Craig family or the ones who have resided in Covington County is desired. The local Craig families descend from one called Bob Craig and his wife, Mattie, who lived for a time in the Wing community. Anyone who has any genealogy related to this family or even other Craig families is requested to contact this writer listed below.

The above Bob and Mattie Craig reared the following children: Robert, b.1897, d. 1941, m. Lizzy Jeter; Will, b. 1899, d. 1969, m. Hattie Townsend; Dora, b. 1901, d. 1996, m. (1) Bill Bailey (2) Green Ballard (3) Edward Deese; Velmay who left home; and Wesley Nelson, b. 1905, d, 1979, m. 1931 Amy Lois Linzy.

Wesley Craig was married to Amy Lois Linzy, daughter of Jasper and Martha Linzy of the Oakey Streak community. In 1920, Wesley was 15 years old and living and boarding in the home of John B. and Rachel E. Bolling in the Westover community. He worked at the Aubrey Harris Sawmill until 1930, and then he became a farmer while rearing his children. He learned to enjoy attending the South Church of God where he was buried in the adjacent cemetery at his death.

Wesley and Amy Lois Craig reared the following children: Henry Terry, b. 1932, m. (1) Maude Butts (2) Estelle Scott Phillips; Cecil Aubrey, b. 1933, m. (1) Mildred Hall (2) Faye Sasser Hart; Edna Doris Scroggins, m. Albert Carnley, Jr.; Charles Earnest, b. 1942, d. 1999, m. Pearl Smalls Jefferson; Vernell, b. 1936, m. Flora Lawrence; and Larry Nelson, b. 1951, m. (1) Shelia Thompson (2) Diane Franklin.

Resources for this narrative included family records provided by Mildred Stinson Brown. Several references were cited: Records of Minister Moses Waddell, The Southern Messenger (1860); Butler County, Alabama, Will Book (1860); Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution and cemetery records. Also, articles submitted in The Heritage of Covington County, Alabama, by Vernell and Flora Craig was the source on the local Craig genealogy.

Anyone who might have any correction to the above writing or additional information is requested to contact this writer by writing to Curtis Thomasson, at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420, calling 334-222-6467 or e-mailing



The Covington Rifles Camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans will hold a special meeting on Thurs., Jan. 21, at 6 p.m., in the Dixon Conference Center at LBW Community College. The occasion is to honor Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson who were born Jan. 19 and 21 respectively. The public is cordially invited to attend the meeting, which will feature the film, Warriors of Honor — The Faith and Legacies of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. A period of fellowship with refreshments will follow the program. Anyone interested in Confederate heritage is urged to attend.