Crisp Families

USA & Around The World

The Crisp families came to the Colonies, some in the early 1600's, and from their initial landings, have spread out across the United States. Some came with money, so there are records to be found. They had land, so we are able to find land deeds, wills, records of political activities, church records, tax records. Some came with only a dream of what could be. Some of the early records also list Crisps as "convicts" , shipped to the colonies. Their "crimes" were petty, but the King of England, did not see them that way. Some just owed money and couldn't pay their debts.

These Crisps worked hard to carve a life here. Some of them, also left records. There are still many records that have not been found. Sometimes the wills found still leaves questions as to how do some of the heirs fit into the family.

Over the 300 plus years that the Crisp name has been in this country, many records have been lost. Of course, there are still missing segments, records unfound, dates unknown, as anyone who has researched the past knows. There have been wars, the Revoluntionary, Indian, Civil War, that "lost" records, record depositories, such as courthouses, that have had fires, and natural disasters, along with births and deaths not noted in a lot of instances, on paper anywhere. If our ancestor was a "person of means", there are land records, wills, and maybe, just maybe, military records; if they were of a political persuasions, political records; if they were religious, church records; and bible records.

But all these still leave holes in your research, in tying suspected children with good circumstantial evidence to particular parents. If your family was not a "person of means", then records are even more scarce. Many of the Crisps were just downright illusive, evading the census, and leaving no records of any sort.

In searching for our ancestors, when we cannot locate information put down in writing, sometimes, strong circumstantial evidence will point to a certain family line that perhaps could be ours. Items considered were locations, migration patterns, common names, and time frames. Some of the connections will likely never be confirmed, so we are left with "probable ancestor" in our lines. In the early days of our country, even into the mid to late 1800's cousins did marry. It was not illegal or unacceptable in those times. This happened for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons was property. Many times cousins married to keep the lands within the families, in particular, with female heirs. Back then the women had very few if any rights. This was one way to assure that when "Poppa" died, the family would still own the land, and it would not come under the control of an "outsider".

As families migrated, it was usually in family units. "Poppa" would move to a new land, and children, spouses and grandchildren, more times than not, would move also. With 10, 12, 18 aunts and uncles and their families, it would be like a small town moving. Sometimes the family would settle in areas where the only close neighbors were family, and as the children grew up to marrying age, cousins were the closest members of the opposite sex, so marriages did happen. These cousin marriages can be found in many, many families, and are more common the farther back in time that you travel in researching your family.

In researching the Crisp family, we have run across 2 early Crisp immigrants to the colonies. How, or if, they connect to the other early ancestors is unknown. There are probably other earlier Crisps that aren't known to us at this time.

One of these immigrants was Benjamin Crispe, born about 1611 in Frisby, Lincolnshire, England, and died in Watertown, Middlesex, Mass. Benjamin had a daughter Elizabeth, and sons Jonathan, Mehitable, and Zechariah.

Another early Crisp was Nicholas, who was in NC before 1700. He died ca 1727. There were 2 children, Hagar and John. John died apparently before his father Nicholas.

This early Crisp, William, aka as “Old William” has been traced to ca 1695-1700, born NC. So far, he has not been connected to any of the others. His line has been pretty well documented through deeds and wills.

The Crisp research list was formed in 1997 to help each other with these searches. Prior was a small group of Crisp researchers banded together for this purpose. If you are visiting our pages and have a Crisp hanging from a branch in your family tree, we invite you to join our group on CRISP-L Mail List. You may hold the key to one of our dead ends!. Or.... perhaps..... one of your new cousins will have the key you need! The Crisp Message Board has many entries. Perhaps an answer is there. Post your query here, maybe there is someone with the answer out there.

Many of us have "family stories" of a "great great grandmother" or other ancestor that was "full blooded Indian". Here are a few tips for your search, click the above link for Indian Heritage Research Tips. Keep in mind, the search could be a long one, unless you get lucky and find the person you are searching for on one of the government rolls, as our Native American families did not keep the types of paper records our Euro ancestors did. Many of the family stories mention the Cherokee. This is my favorite legend regarding the Cherokee Origins.

As we are researching our ancestors, we find them by documents or census, first in one place, then in another. How many times have we stopped to think, “They were here, now they are there, but how did they get from “here” to “there”? If we use the context of the time period, we can build a scenario of how they got from one place to another. This little article explores those concepts, and hopefully will give someone a “feel” for the way our ancestors had to travel in the 1600, 1700, 1800's.

First of all, they could not just call up Mayflower or United, or any of the present day movers, tell them where to come to, to pack up their belongings and take to a new place and unload. They could not then, call a cab to take them to the airport, to whisk away in a silver airplane to their new home. Or they couldn’t just hop in the car with the kids and make it a vacation trip to their new home. Their mode of travel was a lot longer, harder, and much more dangerous, than the way we would move today.

Recently I received a photo of a John T. Crisp, Lt. Col. C.S.A. Take a look at his photo. If you know of him or he belongs in your family, let me know,

Many times the move to a new place held danger. Life in a new place for our ancestors was not easy. Take we go Rafting A River,, over the mountains with a Pack Horse, cross the prairies with a Wagon Train.

It was not an easy life, carving a home out of the wilderness, as our Frontier Settlers did. When they decided on a place and a destination, land had to be cleared and prepared for Building A Settler's Cabin . As more people moved into an area, Early Churches and Early Schools were built. Little towns were formed as a general store, blacksmith shop and other small business men moved into the area to provide for the needs of the folks settled there. Small farms were carved out of the wilderness. In the spring the cleared fields were plowed with horses or mules, with the farmer following behind the plow. Following the plow, someone was dropping the seeds by hand, covering the seeds in the trench left by the plow, by raking the dirt from the sides, over the seeds, with their feet.

Through the summer the seeds poked their heads through the ground. The family worked the fields, chopping the weeds from between the rows as the cotton plants grew. Late summer the plants had grown large and started blooming. It would not be long now. Crops were harvested, gardens grown and food put up to feed the families during the coming winter. Wood was cut and stacked for heat and cooking. Foodstuffs they could not grow themselves, trades were made with the store keepers. When the winters closed in on those pioneer cabins, most activity was inside where a warm fire blazed in the fireplace. Outside chores were mostly trudging through the snows to the barn to feed the animals. Inside the barn, it smelled of hay and the warm smell of the animals. It was somewhat warmer than outside as the body heat of the animals helped. Water was hauled from the well, to fill the troughs, and the skim of ice broken, so they could drink. Hay was thrown down from above, the cows milked twice a day, with the barn cats getting warm steaming milk poured in their dishes. With the children busy with learning their lessons, the Quilting could begin in a corner of the cabin. In secret, Mama and Daddy would start preparations for their Christmas presents for the children, who in turn, being very quiet but amid lots of giggling, made the presents for their parents and each other.

Copyright 1997-2013
Web page update July 5, 2013

These pages composed, compiled by Ethel Taylor. Information supplied by Crisp descendents. These pages may be linked to, copied for personal use only. They may not be duplicated on other sites or for commercial purposes.