Ancestral Family Topic 206

 206   Capt. William Cross Craddock (c.1735-1795)
Pedigree Chart 06

Capt. William Cross Craddock, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, Capt. William Cross Craddock might describe his life as follows.

My wife, Obedience Hill, and I lived in Amelia County where we reared 11 children in “easy circumstances.” 
During the Revolution I captained a militia company that was at Cabin Point in 1777 and Camden, South Carolina, in June 1780.  Since my under-gunned band of tobacco planters was no match for Tarleton’s British Regulars, our survival at Camden depended on how far and fast we could run.
To avoid being imprisoned when Tarleton raided our community in July 1781, I fled north on horseback. Although fearing my horse would neigh, I hid in a barn just off the road until my pursuers passed. 
I was deputy sheriff in 1767,  justice of the peace in 1782 and 1785-94,  and a trustee of Nottoway Parish in 1788. As a county justice I dealt with criminal defendants. Although the county was authorized to fine whites up to only £5, crimes committed by slaves were a different matter. For example, during my tenure we ordered Jack lashed 39 times for stealing linen, and likewise Jim for stealing a hog. We hanged Jim for trying to poison the family of Peter Randolph, and Ben for raping Sarah Bevill. Since these were valuable slaves, the county had to reimburse their owners for their loss. When Phil tired to rape Mary Freeman, we ordered him castrated by a “skillful surgeon.”
I was a census taker in Amelia in 1782 that listed my family with 12 whites and 15 blacks.  We still had 12 white souls three years later. 
After Virginia created Nottoway County from part of Amelia in 1789, I was a commissioner who oversaw the surveyors running the dividing line between the two. Two sons earned money helping: James was a chain bearer and John Hill Craddock brought food to the survey team.
I was in my 60s when I signed my will 27 March 1795 providing for Obedience and our children, including married daughters, Mary Fowlkes and Elizabeth Hamblen. I then owned 1,500 acres in Kentucky, given me for my military service. They buried me in the family graveyard on my plantation a few months later. 
Five children were still living with Obedience in 1810. 

Land transactions
In 1776 Alexander Marshall of Amelia County purchased 3 neighboring parcels of land in Amelia County near Tomahawk Creek. William Cross Craddock sold him 34 acres for £29.15, Matthew Perkinson sold him 43 acres for £32.5, and Booker Foster sold him 20¾ acres for £20.10. All 3 deeds were recorded 23 May 1776.  The 34 acres purchased from Craddock were in a place called “The Thick Ridge” near where William was living. After Alexander returned to Chesterfield County, William Cross Craddock bought all 3 parcels for £200 on 20 Dec. 1777, more than twice what Alexander paid a year earlier. 

Aid to Sarah Truly
William put up a bond for Sarah Truly, the widow of Hector Truly, in the amount of about £38. After Hector died (will dated 11 Jan. 1761  and proved 26 Feb. 1761), poor Sarah sold Hector’s 300 acres to William Pride to pay his debts,  and Craddock apparently lent her about £12. When she could not pay the account and defaulted on the bond, Craddock found himself obligated for about £50. In Aug. 1767 Sarah moved to Brunswick County and left him all of her household goods to settle the liability; some feather beds and other furniture, 10 head of cattle, one dark bay horse, one large copper kettle and other household goods. 

The Lunsfords
Craddock was a beneficiary of the will of John Lunsford who let his wife, Sarah, continue to live on his farm and have use of his 8 slaves. After her death, the land—266 acres—and slave Nancy would go to William and slave Polly would go to William’s brother, Richard Craddock (will dated 2 Jan. 1782  and proved 25 April 1782). We do not know why Lunsford would have provided for the Craddock’s in this way. In 1782 Amelia County listed Sarah as a single head of household of one white and 10 blacks. 
After Sarah Lunsford married Joel Motley in Amelia County 17 June (bond) 1783,  William deeded the land Lunsford had owned to Motley for 10 shillings per acre 20 Dec. 1783.  The deed did not identify the number of acres and acknowledged that “the title is not warranted by Craddock in the general and usual manner.” Craddock agreed to repay Motley, or his heirs, if someone made a legal claim on the property.  If the claim was a dower claim, Craddock would repay Motley until the dower claim terminated, and then Motley would repay Craddock or his heirs.

Serving as justice of the peace
County justices could hear criminal evidence but referred significant cases to the General Court in Williamsburg for trial and sentencing. Because the General Court records are gone, we do not know the final disposition of many criminal cases found in county court records. Among the records of Amelia County is a booklet describing trials 1785-91 and although Craddock was not present at all sessions, they depict the nature of the crimes he would have heard.
Theft was the most common charge with which the justices dealt. During 1785 they acquitted Will, the slave of William Benton, of suspicion of stealing bacon from the smokehouse of Reuben Wright but ordered Benjamin Ward, probably Benjamin Ward, to be tried at the General Court for stealing a ewe lamb from Thomas Jones.  Delphia Hardy and Sherwood Hardy were found not guilty of stealing some clothing and fabric from Susanna Gooch. 
They dealt harshly with slaves who stole. Jack, a slave of Francis Jackson, was ordered lashed 39 times for stealing some linen and other goods from Sarah Hamlin,  and the same sentence fell to Jim, slave of Edward Harris, for stealing a hog from Efford Booker,  and to George, Boswell, and Delphia, slaves of Isaac Holmes for hog-stealing.  Jacob, the property of Tower Hill McClure, broke into the home of Robert Foster and stole a rug and some clothing. His sentence was 25 lashes at the common whipping post.  When William Eggleston’s slave, Jack, broke into houses belonging to George Ham and David Allin, the value of what he took was small and they burned his hand at the bar and released him.  Lyfare, slave of William Murray, appeared before the court but they discharged him for “not coming legally before the court”—presumably some form of a technicality. 
The justices examined allegations that Martin Elam harbored John Burton, a horse thief, and decided he was not guilty.  William Hayes, alias William Mayes, alias John Kersey defended himself against allegations he stole a horse but the court concluded he would stand trial in Williamsburg. 
When a slave of Robert Ligon killed another, they burned her hand at the bar, whipped her 25 times on her bare back at the common whipping post, and discharged her.  Jim, a slave belonging to Peter Randolph, tried to poison the family and they ordered him hanged Monday, 21 July 1788. On Friday, 2 Sept. 1791, just after noon, they hanged Ben, owned by William Bottom, for raping Sarah Bevill. The county would later pay Randolph and Bottom for the loss of their property: Jim was worth £150, and Ben, £80. 
After Phil, a Mulatto salve belonging to Edward Bland, stole bacon and clothing from James Freeman, they burned his hand at the bar before he got his 39 and then 5 days later brought him up on more serious charges: assaulting Freeman’s wife, Mary, and attempting “by force to ravish & carnally know her.” They commanded the sheriff to “employ some skillful surgeon” to castrate Phil at the expense of the county. William Cross Craddock was among the justices who handed down Phil’s castration sentence.  A rape in another case brought the same sentence from him and the other justices, though someone has torn the name of the defendant from the book.

Running the dividing line between Amelia and Nottoway counties
Col. William Craddock was involved in running the dividing line between Amelia and Nottoway counties in 1789. At the Amelia County courthouse Thursday, 26 March of that year, they appointed him and several other individuals commissioners who were to supervise the county surveyor, or other surveyor if they believed it would be appropriate. On 24 April the commissioners reported they had surveyed the line. They paid William £2.20 for his expenses and paid his sons for helping, too: James Craddock received £2.8.0 for 8 days of services as a chain bearer at 6 shillings per day and John Hill Craddock appears to have been paid £2.8 for bringing food to the survey team. John DeJarnett, who helped the Craddock’s, earned £40.7½. 

A trustee of Nottoway Parish
William was a trustee of Nottoway Parish with Stephen Cocke, John Gooch, Richard Jones Jr., William Fitzgerald, Francis Fitzgerald, and Rowland Ward Jr. He and the other trustees deeded to James Henderson land known as “The Glebe,” on the east side of Lazaretto Creek and adjoining Robert Fitzgerald, Cocke, Winn and others.  A glebe was land set aside for the beneficial use of parishes in colonial Virginia. The deed says they sold the land “by act of assembly, 1788.” With Francis Fitzgerald, he was a churchwarden of Nottoway Parish in 1786. 

William’s will
This is an abstract of the will of William Cross Craddock, probated 23 July 1795. 

Will of William Cross Craddock
27 March 1795
Son John Hill Craddock.
Daughter Mary Fowlkes, wife of Joseph Fowlkes.
Daughter Katy Craddock.
Daughter Elizabeth Hamblen, wife of Abel Jackson Hamblen … 1,500 acres in the State of Kentucky.
Wife Obedience Craddock.
Eight children: John Hill Craddock, James Craddock, Thomas Craddock, Henry Craddock, Martha Craddock, Obedience Craddock, Katy Craddock, and Fanny Craddock.
I appoint son John Hill Craddock and friend James Hill, George Baldwin, and Charles Craddock executors.
Wm. Cross Craddock
John Baldwin
Mary (X) Jeter
John Foster
John Marshall

Descendants of Capt. William Cross Craddock
Information about the children of Capt. William Cross Craddock, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 John Hill Craddock,  
 Samuel Craddock,  
 James Craddock (-1868),  
Olive Jeter,   Samuel Jeter,  Charles C. Farmer,  
Mary O. Craddock,  James Hatch,  Paul Craddock,   
William Cross Craddock,  
 Thomas Craddock (-1802),  
 Henry Craddock (-1824),  
Olive K. —,  
Sally Ann Obedience Craddock,  
 Martha Craddock (-1822),  
 Caty B. Craddock (-1816),  
 Fanny Craddock,  
 Obedience Craddock (-1816),  
 Elizabeth (Craddock) Hamblen,  
Abel Jackson Hamblen,  
 Mary (Craddock) Fowlkes (1770-1851),  
Joseph Jennings Fowlkes,   

This family topic includes the following notable individuals.
Soldiers of colonial and American wars
William Cross Craddock - Revolutionary War  

This topic, which represents .11% of all the family history material at, includes 52 citations and the names of 76 individuals.
Virginians - The Family History of John W. Pritchett
Copyright © 2001-2006, John W. Pritchett. All rights reserved.
Civil War Soldiers from Brunswick County, Virginia 
  • 1,140 family histories
  • 744 pages
  • 35,000-name index
  • Attractively bound
  • Military histories
  • Index of church cemeteries
  • Confederate veterans photo
  • More...