Fonds - Crawford Family fonds

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Crawford Family fonds

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  • Textual record
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approx. 100 cm of textual records including:

  • Diaries
  • Correspondence
  • Genealogy
  • Photographs
  • Almanacs

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(1800 - 2007)

Biographical history

John and Jane Henderson Crawford, emigrated from County Tyrone, Ireland to American in 1733, where the settled in Stamford, Connecticut, and then later Pound Ridge, Westchester County, New York in 1743. Benjamin Benedict Crawford was born there in 1777, but following the Revolutionary War, his parents settled in Long Reach, Kings County, New Brunswick, along with other family members. Benjamin Crawford was married in 1805 to Catherine Lyon, the daughter of a Loyalist settler. They remained in Long Reach until 1836, during which time their thirteen children were born. Benjamin Crawford farmed, was a Justice of the Peace for Kings County, and served for four years as Captain of the local militia.

In 1779, Benjamin Benedict Crawford had journeyed to Upper Canada and claimed two hundred acres of land in North Oxford Township, being Lot 14 in the 1st Concession. In 1835, his eldest son, Benjamin Wallace Crawford took up the North Oxford land, which his father had given him. The next year, Benjamin Benedict Crawford, his wife, and family, also moved to North Oxford Township, settling on Lot 14 in the 2nd Concession. He passed away in 1859, but many of his descendants carried on as prosperous farmers in the North Oxford area. Others moved to such places as Beachville, Ingersoll, London, British Columbia, and the United States where they farmed or pursued various occupations.

James Augustus Crawford was born on October 19, 1818 in Long Reach, New Brunswick and came to Oxford County, Canada West in June 1836 with his parents, Benjamin and Catherine, when he was 18 years old. He worked on his father’s farm and drove teams of oxen carrying wheat and salt to London, Brantford and Hamilton for his father, who operated a teaming business. On November 16, 1847 he married Sarah Jane Harris, the daughter of Elisha and Amelina (nee Loomies) Harris of West Oxford Township, and had ten children together. They settled on his farm, on the east half of Lot 14, Concession 3 in North Oxford Township. He was elected School Trustee of School Section No. 4 for several years and was on the board of St. James Anglican Church in Ingersoll. Following the death of his wife, James Augustus would married his brother Daniel’s widow, Elizabeth Ann Medhurst Mathew Crawford, and lived on the farm left to her by her husband on the east half of Lot 14, Concession 2, North Oxford. Ann would pass away in June 1884, and James Augustus moved to London, where he died on November 10, 1886.

Leman Wallace Crawford was born on January 9, 1855 to James Augustus and Sarah Jane (nee Harris) Crawford. After spending his early life on the farm near Ingersoll, Mr. Crawford came to London, Ontario where he was employed most of his life here as a carriage maker. He also served as a city employee for some years prior to his retirement. He married Mary Jane Mudge Bartlett on October 23, 1878 and passed away on January 5, 1943. They are both buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in London.

Christopher Colin Crawford, was James and Sarah Jane’s eight child and was born in June 1862 on Lot 14, Concession 3, North Oxford Township. He attended Dunn’s public school and became a school teacher. About 1884, he went to the Canadian West and then moved to Montana, United States. He was said to have been an agent for a newspaper and wrote articles and poetry related to his travels.

Charles William Armitage Crawford was born on September 12, 1821 along with his twin brother, George. He was the most successful farmer of Benjamin Benedict’s sons, farming the old homestead in North Oxford Township where the produced wheat, fruit, syrup, cheese and butter. He would also take charge of his father’s affairs before his passing, and recorded all debts, purchases, and sales in numerous Day Books. He married Margaret Polly, of Burford Township, was elected one of the three school trustee’s for Dunn’s School, and was a member of the Board of St. James Anglican Church in Ingersoll. His wife Margaret was one of the first Oxford County women to make cheese. She passed away on November 8, 1903 and her husband would pass away in Ingersoll in 1909.

Their daughter Eliza Georgina Crawford, was born on April 9, 1871, and would marry Emerson A. Nicols on October 20, 1891. They would farm the family homestead after Charles sold it to them. She would pass away in 1958 and is buried in the Ingersoll Rural Cemetery.

*information compiled from the family history prepared by Ruth Ellis, as well as through vital statistic records found through Ancestry.

Custodial history

A large portion of the fonds, including the diaries of Benjamin B. Crawford and James Augustus Crawford, were originally donated to the Archives of Ontario in 1971 by Mr. Donald Crawford of London, Ontario. In 2018, Mr. Jim Ellis of Kitchener, Ontario contacted the Archives of Ontario to further donate records belonging to the Crawford family. However, Archives of Ontario felt that the records would be better situated at the Oxford County Archives. Subsequently, Mr. Ellis donated his materials, while Archives of Ontario transferred the rest of the family records to Oxford County. Both collections have since been merged, to form one large, cohesive, Crawford Family fonds

Scope and content

The fonds consist of records related to the history of the Crawford family. They are arranged into the following series and subseries:
Series 1: Diaries
Subseries A: Benjamin Benedict Crawford (1800, 1810-1859)

  • This Series consists primarily of diaries of Benjamin B. Crawford. These include a diary of a trip to Upper Canada in 1800, as well as yearly diaries from 1810 to 1859. Diary entries relate to; the weather; farm activities; social events in the community; births, marriages and deaths of his family and his neighbours; experiments with crops and prices of supplies and produce; Kings County court sessions; the Rebellion of 1837; elections; and services in the Anglican church in the Ingersoll area. Daniel Nathan Crawford, the eleventh child of Benjamin Benedict Crawford, continued his father’s diary during the latter’s final illness, and after his death for the remainder of 1859.
  • This subseries also includes transcripts of a majority of the diaries, made by Blanche Crawford, in 1938.

Subseries B: James Augustus Crawford (1865-1882)

  • The diaries of James Augustus Crawford, a son of Benjamin Benedict Crawford, note farm duties, and family and community activities.

Subseries C: Leeman Wallace Crawford (1877)

  • The diary of Leeman Wallace Crawford (son of James Augustus Crawford, and a carriage- maker at London), contain entries describing his work, with some references to politics, and family and community affairs.

Subseries D: Charles W.A. Crawford (1848-1875)

  • The diaries of Charles W.A. Crawford contain description of his daily work, including purchases, sales, and debts related to his farming businesses. These diaries have been transcribed by a member of the Crawford family.

Subseries E: Eliza Georgina Crawford Nichols (1930-1945)

  • The diaries of Eliza Georgina Crawford continue daily musings of people and events.

Series 2: Correspondence [18-- ] – [1995] (not inclusive)

  • Includes correspondence of various members of the Crawford family concerning personal and family matters. Letters also include correspondence to/from Ruth (nee Crawford) Ellis regarding family genealogy.

Series 3: Writings of Christopher Colin Crawford (ca. 1880s)

  • Includes unpublished manuscript writings (poetry and prose). Tiles are as follows:
    Battle of Queenston Heights
    India’s Golden Gate
    The Lamb
    Lines Written on the death of late Mrs. H. Guppy
    The Metis
    The Rockies
    The Shanly Boy
    Along the Bow
    Camp Life on the Bow River
    Chinook Winds
    A Frontier Town
    Latest Mining News from British Columbia
    On Leaving Silver City
    The Serpent
    A Visit to Morley
    Winter, 1885-1886
    A Word about the Provincial Agricultural Exhibition of Asaboia

Series 4: Genealogy ([18-- ] – 2007)

  • A very complete and detailed genealogy of the generations of the Crawford family in North America beginning with John and Jane Henderson Crawford, whom arrived in Connecticut, United States from Ireland. It contains dates and places of birth, marriages and deaths; details on families into which Crawfords married; and often a description of the individuals the early genealogy was prepared in 1927 by Mrs. Olive Arnold Crawford of Ingersoll, Ontario, with the assistance of certain relatives, while the later and more complete family history was completed by Ruth Ellis.
  • Includes research papers and notes, newspaper clippings, and photographs, as well as a copy of “The Crawford Family” by Ruth Ellis.

Series 5: Almanacs (1761, 1814-1853)

  • Contains New Brunswick, New England, Maine, Canada West Farmer’s Almanacs, and several Medical Almanacs. These are arranged alphabetically according to the locality for which they were calculated. Occasionally, a diary was bound into an Almanac, and these volumes have been stored with the diaries.

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Physical condition

Most of the early records, including the diaries and almanacs, are fragile and in need of conservation work.

Immediate source of acquisition

The records were received from Archives of Ontario and Mr. Jim Ellis, of Kitchener, Ontario, in April 2018


Language of material

  • English

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Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Transcripts of Benjamin B. Crawford’s diaries were made by Blanche Crawford in the 1930s, and the Archives holds microfilm copies of his diaries from 1831-859 (Archives of Ontario also holds microfilm of his diaries that may be accessed in their reading room). Transcripts were also prepared of the diaries of Charles William Armitage Crawford.

Restrictions on access

There are no restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright is held by the archives. Researchers are responsible for observing copyright regulations that may apply to the publication of their research. If you wish to publish any of this material, please contact the archivist responsible for the records.

The Archivist has the right to restrict reproduction if the material is in a fragile condition or falls under pertinent Privacy Legislation.

Finding aids

A detailed finding aid has been completed by Archives Staff. Please contact the Archives for further information.

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