Origins and Lives of the Craftons of Virginia:

Anglo-Saxon Britain to Antebellum America

Chapter 1: Introduction

Volume 1 was dedicated to the portion of the Crafton cousinage descending from James Crafton, who was born circa 1713 in King William County, Virginia. Volume 2 is dedicated to the members of the Crafton cousinage descending from James’s older brother. No surviving record has been found that furnishes this man’s given name. Throughout Origins and Lives he is referred to as Y. One chapter of Volume 2 is dedicated to each of Y’s six known children and to that person’s children and grandchildren.

Chapter 2: Bennett Crafton, Entrepreneur and Patriot

Bennett ran a thriving import-export business in King William County prior to the Revolution. When Great Britain closed American ports, he exited that business and moved to North Carolina. Bennett joined North Carolina’s state troops in the struggle for independence, eventually rising to the rank of major. This chapter recounts Bennett’s war-time and post-war exploits in North and South Carolina. It also provides biographies of the grown children Bennett left behind in King William County and the Craftons who descended from them. Among these biographies is that of Bennett’s eldest son, Richard, who joined the Continental Army and fought in Pennsylvania at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown. DNA testing has led to the discovery that Bennett also had an unacknowledged son, John Russell Crafton, who dropped the use of his Crafton surname. He first appeared in Frederick County, Virginia in 1799. This chapter includes biographies of John Russell and each of his children.

Chapter 3: Richard Crafton of King and Queen County

Prior to the Revolution and just across the Mattaponi River from King William County, Richard Crafton founded a successful, 236-acre plantation. This chapter details the lives of Richard, his known sons and his grandchildren. One of Richard’s sons, James, replaced Bennett’s son, Richard, in the ranks of the Continental Army. During his tour of duty, James participated in the battle of Monmouth Courthouse in New Jersey.

Chapter 4: Sarah (Crafton) Drumwright

Y’s daughter, Sarah Crafton, evidently met and married Thomas Drumwright in King William County. When Thomas’s brother and nephew died in Goochland County, Thomas and Sarah moved there to take over the Drumwright plantation. Sarah’s nine children produced no less than 30 children of their own. This chapter provides biographies of these people. Besides accounting for a large portion of the Crafton cousinage, Sarah Drumwright was also an important benefactor to several of her Crafton nieces when they were orphaned.

Chapter 5: Thomas Crafton of St. David's Parish

Thomas Crafton and his wife Mary lived in upper King William County prior to the Revolutionary War. Before Thomas died, which occurred sometime before 1783, he fathered four children. Three of these, all daughters, have been identified by name. By 1785 these girls and their mother had moved to Goochland to be with Sarah (Crafton) Drumwright’s family. One of the girls, Mary, married a Drumwright neighbor named John Layne. Another of the girls married a Crafton cousin – Sarah Drumwright’s son Bennett. A third girl, Nancy Valentine Crafton, became a resident on the Drumwright plantation but is not known to have married. The bulk of this chapter follows Mary (Crafton) Layne’s family in their move west.

Chapter 6: Z the Obscure

No record has been found that names one of Y’s sons. As a result, Origins and Lives refers to him as Z. Like his brother Thomas in Chapter 5, Z lived near Mangohick in upper King William County prior to the Revolution. He married a woman named Elizabeth, fathered seven children, and was dead by 1782. Appendix B of Volume 2 analyzes a set of Crafton men from King William County who are named somewhere in the historical record. The analysis uses a probabilistic model to obtain the most likely father-son pairs occurring within this set. As a result, Z becomes paired with two men who are likely sons. One of these is William Crafton of upper King William County. The other is a James Crafton who married in Nelson County, Kentucky in 1798 and then re-married in Warren County, Kentucky in 1817. Much of Chapter 6 is dedicated to following James of Warren and the children he is believed to have fathered by his two wives.

Chapter 7: Samuel and the Southeastern Craftons

When Bennett Crafton left Virginia for the Carolinas, he was accompanied by a much younger brother or half-brother named Samuel. When Bennett died in 1785, his will bequeathed all of this property in South Carolina to Samuel (much to the chagrin of Bennett’s son Richard in Virginia.) Thanks to this inheritance and to his own abilities, Samuel became wealthy. This chapter provides biographies of Samuel, his five sons, and Samuel’s numerous grandchildren who grew up in South Carolina and Georgia during the antebellum period.

Appendix A: How Many Crafton Daughters?

Appendix B: King William Fathers and Sons

Appendix C: Corrections and Additions to the Thomas Crafton Bible Record

Appendix D: Inference of Z's Name



Addenda to Volume 1

Home Current Projects Volume 1 Chapter Summaries Volume 1 Index Author Bio/Contact Order Page

Designed by Barbara A. Perry, 11/30/2010 ~~~ Copyright 2010, Raymond G. Crafton (exclusive of Tussekiah photo). All rights reserved. ~~~ Last Updated: 07/01/2015