07 November 2013

A Surfeit of Juniors

     I descend from two different Craft lines: my direct paternal surname is Craft, and my paternal Grandfather's maternal Grandmother was also a Craft.  Got that?  Both lines lived in Elbert County, Georgia for many generations, and are commonly believed to connect at the 4th Great-Grandfather level.  I waver back and forth on whether or not I believe that my Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfathers, Willis Craft and William J Craft were brothers (marked with stars in the diagram), the sons of John Craft and Mary Moss.

     I only recently found a document that that connects Willis Craft to his father, John Craft.  This record was found in Estate Records, and lists Willis Craft and John Craft Jr as the minor children of John Craft Sr.  I'm lucky that there are no other Willis Crafts in the area at this time, so when I see the name, I know it is my 4th Great Grandfather.

     What struck me when I found this record was the mention of John Craft Jr.  Note that John is listed before Willis, which can indicate (but is not a guarantee) of the childrens' birth order.   However, it does fit the birth order of my William (1803) and Willis (1809).

     So, I have likely proven that Willis Craft is the son of John Craft Sr. - but what about William J Craft?  Could the J be for John? (And I should note that only the 1850 census gives Williams' middle initial as 'J'; no other document supplies a name or initial.)

     Doesn't look like it.  Next, I found this 1840 census record from Elbert County, Georgia.
     This record proves that that there was a William Craft and there was a John Craft Jr.  This William is younger than mine, but his children and wife's ages are correct - maybe his age was just recorded wrong?

     Let's jump to another record, the marriage bond of William Craft and Sarah Cash that I just found yesterday:

     Did you notice? William is given the suffix Junior.  I know that this is my William J Craft, but this is the first time I've seen him listed as a Junior.   Is one little suffix the bit of evidence that proves William and Willis were not brothers?

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