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CRAIG FAMILY HISTORY:


Submitted by descendant, Fred Craig.

The Craig odyssey to the American South was begun by William Craig who was born in Scotland in 1698, during the reign of William and Mary. Nine years before the Act of Union between England and Scotland, William Craig and his wife, Margaret Logan Long Craig, had a son, born in 1733, named David Craig. David Craig became known in the family lineage as "David Craig. Sr."

In 1740, the thirteenth year of the reign, of King George II, no friend of the Scots, William and Margaret Craig, together with their
seven year old son, David, crossed the Atlantic and settled briefly in Pennsylvania before moving to Orange County, North Carolina.
There, in 1768, David Craig, Sr. married Ellen Johnston, who in 1783 - two years before David Sr.'s death in 1785 - gave birth to David Craig, Jr. who in 1803 married Nancy Stockard in Orange County.

At this juncture the destiny of the Craig family, like so many pre-revolutionary Celtic families in the South today, was influenced dramatically by the decision of the young government of the United States to compensate in what was known as "the Southwest Territory" in and around the Cumberland River Valley. As a lieutenant in the Colonial Service from 1751-1785., and as a Minute Man in 1776, David Craig, Sr,, during his lifetime, received a grand of land in Maury County, Tennessee.

In 1805, a time which saw Jefferson in the White House and a George still on the British thrown. his widow, together with her family including David Craig, Jr.. and his bride. Nancy, pierced the Cumberland Gap to claim their legacy in Maury County. The following year, 1806, David and Nancy Craig had a son named John Johnston Craig who, according to the records, was bom in Williamson County, Tennessee.

The family would spend a generation in Middle Tennessee before again being touched by the nation's history.

At Pontotoc Creek in 1832, the Chickasaws would cede 10,000.000 acres in North Mississippi to the United States. This treaty was concluded in 1834 and family records suggest that John J. Craig arrived at Oxford, Lafayette County Mississippi, the same year.

The historical markers at Oxford indicate that one Thomas Dudley Isom, also from Maury County, Tennessee, was the first white settler in Oxford. However other evidence suggests that John J. Craig arrives at Oxford before him.

On the other hand, it is not difficult to conclude that they traveled the Natchez Trace together. The families had obviously been acquainted for many years since the records show they both left North Carolina for Tennessee at about the same time, and they both left Tennessee for Mississippi at about the same time.

In Mississippi the family relationships became both close and complicated, John Craig was one of the [US Government emc] Land Agents who negotiated with the Indians for the land on which Oxford is built. He and his partners sold 50 acres to the County for a County Seat, John Craig built the first store/trading post in Oxford, a long affair which also served the [Chickasaw emc]Indians. The trading post was built on what is now East. Jackson Street where the old farmer's market is located.

T.D. Isom was a clerk in Craig's trading post before he went off to study medicine. T.D. Isom and JJ. Craig were more than business associates, they became brothers-in-law when Craig married Sara Gale Isom, T.O.'s sister. They also became stepbrothers when David Craig, Jr., a widower and John's father who also migrated to Lafayette County, married Mary Gale Isom, T. D.'s widowed mother. This John Craig's wife was also his stepsister.

In 1848. John and Sara Craig had a son named David - " Grampa Dsvid." As we have been told, in 1867, after the Civil War, ninteen year old David Craig left Oxford for the rolling hills of Panola County near the Tallahachie River Valley. After getting settled, his farms thriving. David married Katie Lee Carter, the daughter of Dr. Josephus Carter of Sardis, and they had four sons and a daughter. all of whom lived most of their lives in Como.

Not to be outdone by his farming neighbors. David Craig built an elegant three story Victorian home in Como facing the railroad. The home is today one of the county's most "beautiful and revered residences. It is owned and cherished by Don and Maybelle Bartlett.

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