Finding Marshall Crawford


Louisa Crawford Havins (eldest daughter of Marshall Crawford and Rebecca Sinclair) is sitting on the right and her mother Rebecca Sinclair is sitting to the left. I do not know who the girls standing in the back are possibly Louisa’s daughters. Estimated picture date is around 1880.


In the past, finding information on my fourth great Grandfather Marshall Crawford proved to be difficult at best. Today, my focus has landed on this elusive ancestor. We do not know who his parents were or exactly where he came from. Most sources say Marshall is from Kentucky but there is one source that states his origin as Missouri. Here is what we know so far.

Marshall Crawford was born about 1803 in Kentucky (small possibility in Missouri) to parents unknown. Sometime before 1825, he married Rebecca Sinclair. Together, they had eight children, whose names are as follows: Louisa, Harriet, Elizabeth, Thomas Benton, Martha J., Amanda Melvina, Caroline and Charles. Marshall Crawford died on 7 April 1879 in Bell County, Texas. He is buried in Eulogy Cemetery also in Bell County, Texas. He shares a tombstone with his son Thomas Benton Sinclair. All of his children were born in Arkansas, the youngest Charles Sinclair born about 1842. Sometime after 1842, the family moved from Arkansas to Texas.

In the hope of finding more information, I first started with the US Federal Census records. The Marshal Crawford family was in the 1850 US Federal Census in Hopkins County, Texas. It was difficult to find the Crawford family as the Crawford surname was transposed/written down as Crofford. This is a good example of names being misspelled or spelled phonetically. Below is a scanned image of my transcription of the census record. Here is what it says:


Marshall Crawford and his family was also found in the 1860 US Federal Census in Bell County, Texas. Below is an image of my transcription of the census. Here is what it says:


According to my records, Marshall Crawford and Rebecca Sinclair’s eldest daughter, Louisa Crawford Havins, was born 18 Dec 1825 near Fort Gibson, Oklahoma. I did a little research on Fort Gibson. The fort was founded in 1824 by Colonel Matthew Arbuckle to keep peace in the border territory from the warring Cherokee and Osage tribes. After Fort Gibson was built, military families, Indians desiring protection and free African-Americans settle near the fort.


Fort Gibson, image courtesy of Oklahoma Historical Society

Was Marshall Crawford part of the US Army at that time? In order to find out the answer to that question I would need to travel to national archives in Washington D.C. By 1827, two years after Louisa Crawford was born, her sister Harriet was born in Arkansas. As always there is more research to be done.


Thank you for reading,

J.R. Lowe


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