Wednesday, February 26, 2014

O K You Patrick Cragun Researchers: Let's Figure This Out!

So much is claimed so little is documented about our fearless Patrick Cragun, the legend. Some people are convinced the legend is true: He jumped ship from Ireland as a young boy, he was in the Boston Tea Party, he was arrested by the Kings Soldiers for Civil Disobedience. Was he from Ireland? Is his father really Caleb? Where did that name come from? Who was his mother? Did Caleb live in England? If so why would Patrick be in Ireland, especially in the mid 1700's when a famine similar to the Potato famine took place? Didn't only the Kings favorites go from England to Ireland at that time? Why would his family be so poor to place him with a boot maker as an indentured servant? Why is his name spelled Cragun? I find no such spelling in Irish history. I find 100 other versions; such as McCreagan, Chreagan, and possible even Craig and McCragg.

Some say he had one wife, another said he was married twice. Was his wife Rose Hannah Abbey, Rose Alley, Hannah Alley, Rose Hannah Alley, Hannah Elsey, Elizabeth, Sarah Alley, Rose, Rose Mary Abbey, or are their two woman wrapped up in this potpourri of names?

Shall we decide to source our conclusions? I was recently sent to Patricks memorial as the source for their being two wives. This shortened link will take you there:

Here is a clip from the memorial: "They were our guests for several days and related many interesting things to us. J.O.Q CRAGUN was well informed on Mormonism. He said that his father had been a devout Latter Day Saint, having died at Nauvoo on the treck to Utah. His mother never joined the Church but went north after his father's death. This accounts for the indifference of most of that family. "It is from this distant relative that I am able to give the following account of our g.g.grandfather, PATRICK CRAGUN." "CALEB CRAGUN is the first ancestor that we have any knowledge of and he was born in Huntingdon, Huntingdonshire, England, near the home of OLIVER CROMWELL, about 1700. He moved to Ireland, marrying an Irish lady. Their son Patrick, born 1745 or 1746 had a most interesting life and was closely connected with our American government in its making. I should like to give you a brief sketch of his life as it was told to me by J.O.Q.C.
"Patrick Cragun had a great desire to come to America, so he, with 40 other Irishmen obtained a sailing vessel and provisions sufficient and more than enough to last the journey through."

Some quote the legend stating Patrick was 12 years old at this time. Pretty brave I would say.

Cool, great story, the kind of stories legends are made of. Two good women wrote books based on their research. Fine, where is the sourcing? Word of mouth beats no word, but my word, doesn't word of mouth become suspect? Let us take it from here and add some facts. England resources are becoming more plentiful. If Mrs Patrick Cragun was born in England, let us go find her, and her family. Wouldn't this be a brick wall a pleasure to break? Let's find Caleb, or whatever his name is.

My sister Nancy Day, a devout researcher sent me this email: Found this on ancestry -
Patrick Cragun  (father of Isaac & John) 1743/45 in Ireland. Had a second wife in his later years, named Hannah. Records of Alma Beatrice Cragun of St. Joseph, Missouri, 93 years old, give further proof.

She kept a faithful record until her death in Nov. 1968, which states: "WILLIAN was well known in Indiana up to 1862, and his brother LUCIUS CRAGUN went east to New York, had two sons who became prominent physicians, changing the spelling of the name Cragun to "CRAGIN."  Was William the youngest child (by 2d wife) of Patrick Cragun?

Can anyone find the records or Alma Beatrice Cragun? Please do, one of you.

FamilySearch Family tree, at this time, has one wife, Rose Hannah Alley. It is possible that it is Rose Abbey. This search in family search could be a lead: It is a 1758 birth record of a Rose Abby; not indexed but available to view at the Family History Libraries - my next stop.

I think this is an article that I will update as I would like to focus more on this marriage. Please leave a comment as you see appropriate.

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