Inquiry:

How do you search for ancestry in burned out counties of the South like Lancaster County, South Carolina?

Heirlines Professional Genealogy Tip:

Searching for Ancestry in Lancaster County, South Carolina – Example: Searching for the Tie between William Patrick McCrory and Hugh McCrory (10 hour research and analysis family tree project conducted at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah)

McCrory is an uncommon name and is likely a derivation of another name like McCreary or McRarey, or something like that. When looking for the ancestral connection in Lancaster County, South Carolina between William Patrick McCrory and Hugh McCrory, we found that many of the early records of Lancaster County were destroyed during or before the Civil War. This necessitated spreading the search out to look for pertinent records in surrounding communities. Lancaster District, South Carolina where Hugh and Thomas McCrory lived is part of the area that was disputed by both North and South Carolina as belonging to each state at various times in the 1700s and early 1800s. This actually makes the area to search (at least) a 10 county search in both North and South Carolina records in order to get an accurate picture of what really was going on with a family that lived in that part of South Carolina.

Using the resources available in the vast FHL collection of historical and genealogical records, documents, papers, maps, histories, etc., on this area, Heirlines looked at the book, THE MECKLENBURG SIGNERS AND THEIR NEIGHBORS, by Worth S. Ray because it is a collection of records from several of the counties that were in this disputed area, searching for various spelling and possible spelling variations of the McCrory name as well. It crosses both sides of the current borders of North and South Carolina with very useful information. The Mecklenburg Signers were men from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and surrounding counties, that signed an oath or commitment, supporting the right of free choice for them and their families. This was recognized as an official break from the British Government. Capt. Thomas McCrory and his family would likely have participated in such an effort.

From this source, there were several other names that we copied just in case of poor spelling or pronunciation: McLarly, McCoy, McClure, McElroy, McCarty, McCreary (note David McCreary who had lived in this area of North Carolina had moved to Jackson Co., Georgia before 1804), McCredie, McCray, McCory, McClary, McClerry, McCord, McCorkie, McCLarey, etc. The most likely of these people kept the spelling quite close: That would be the John McCorkie and Hugh McCrorey of District No. 16 on page 366. We looked carefully at the Hugh McClure in this area. He died in 1840 and it appears that his name really never varied from McClure. It is known that the McRory name was found in Mecklenburg Co., before 1778 as Mary Moore, the daughter of David Moore, had a daughter who married a Mr. McRory.

We didn’t find the reference to Thomas McCrory, but it is possible that some of the people here may have been related to him. We did find a Hugh McCrory in Dist. 16 in Mecklenburg Co., ca. 1780. This maybe the father of your Hugh. More research will have to be done to discover the accuracy of this supposition.

Next the INDEX TO THE HEADRIGHT AND BOUNTY GRANTS OF GEORGIA 1756-1909 was searched. We looked for the Jackson family as well as the McCrorys because of their collateral connection of William’s wife, Susan Jackson. One census showed William Patrick McCrory’s wife being born in Georgia. There is a large family of Jacksons living in Jackson Co., Georgia. That county was mentioned in “THE MECKLENBURG SIGNER….” Book described above. We copied this to see where the Jacksons lived in Georgia. They lived everywhere in Georgia, but Benjamin Jackson lived in Franklin, Green, St Paul and Wilkes Cos., Georgia in the 1790’s through about 1806 getting land in these counties. The McCrorys were not nearly as numerous. Jno. McRory got land in Effingham Co., Georgia in 1798 and Greene Co., Ga. 1789. The name is also spelled McRoy and Jno again gets land in Effingham Co., Ga in 1819. Robt. McRoy gets land in Wilkes Co., Ga. in 1786. John and Robert are names similar to those who went on to Alabama. We copied all the Mc____
spellings and found Jno. (Jonathan) and Robert McCray. Robt. was in Jackson Co., Ga in 1799. Jonathan McCray was in Clark Co., Ga in 1807. These two counties border each other. Note: Greene and Franklin Cos., Ga are also close by.

GEORGIAN INTESTATE RECORDS was search for both Jacksons and McCrorys. The only one that was possibly of interest is that of John McCrory who died before September 15, 1800 in Effingham Co., Ga. His wife was named Rachel and he had a son, John McCrory who was a minor.

PASSPORTS ISSUED BY GOVERNORS OF GEORGIA, 1785 TO 1809 showed that John McCrary from the county of Putnam (Georgian) was issued a passport to travel through the Creek Nation of Indians to Alabama. This was signed Thursday 10th May 1810. Putnam Co., Georgia isn’t that far from Jackson and Clark Cos., Ga.

Also issued passports were Robert McCreary and Mathew McCreary both from Barnwell District, South Carolina. We considered both of these important since census records in Alabama give both South Carolina and Georgia as the birth place of William Patrick McCrory. Barnwell District, SC is more in central South Carolina and not in the area that was searched previously.

Putnam Co., Georgia marriage records were searched from 1803-1850. The McCrory name hardly exists in the county records. We did find a Hugh Mc____ (name unreadable) who married a Sarah Dixon June 24, 1822. Another marriage that looked possibly important was that of John MvGorwe who married Polly Gray on April 11, 1809. This marriage was transcribed in another part of the book as possibly being John McGourik, who married Polly Gray. Could this be John McCrory? Could this be the one getting the passport in 1810?

The International Genealogical Index was searched and we found Hugh McCrary and his siblings whose father was John McCrary. Their names come from a document dated November 1830 in Rowan Co., NC. We also searched the Ancestral File and found a couple of different pedigrees and descendancy charts. One charts is for the Hugh McCrary family that came from Galway, Ireland to Chester Co., Pennsylvania and then into the Rowan Co., NC area. We do not think this is the correct family.

The other is the Thomas McCrory family of Largo, Antrim, Ireland. This is the Thomas who married Hannah Crawford. They had 6 known children:

1. Thomas, who had 12 children most who are not traced;

2. Hugh, who married Jane Chipman and had 4 known children: John, Hannah, Mary and Hugh. We are hoping that this is the right family that lived in Butler Co., Alabama. We wonder if Chapman McCrory could have been named after Chipman. Also, Hugh and John McCrory fit the Butler Co., Alabama records names. This particular information shows these 4 children of Hugh and Jane Chipman McCrory being born in Bedford Co., Tennessee in 1788-1792. We know that the county name is wrong because Bedford Co., Tennessee didn’t exist until 1807-8. If these people were born in Tennessee, they would have been born in Davidson Co., Tennessee. We think that it is important to find out exactly where this family came from before being in Alabama. Davidson Co., Tennessee records should be searched. Also Guilford Co., NC records where Thomas and Hannah Crawford McCrory lived in North Carolina. The information found for Hugh McCrory and Jane Chipman needs to be confirmed.

3. John McCrory
4. Robert McCrory
5. Thomas McCrory
6. Esther McCrory

Further research is needed to establish whether Hugh McCrory and Jane Chipman are the grandparents of William Patrick McCrory, Chapman McCrory, etc. of Butler, Co., Alabama. In doing this we need to search further for documentation pertaining to this older Hugh. We need to search South Carolina land grants, and search equity court records which link family members years after probate records were initially recorded. This could be very helpful for Lancaster County research.

Submitted by Mary E. Petty, BA (History)
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Originally written by James W. Petty, AG, BA (History), BA (Genealogy) 11/06/1997

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