Origins of the Crawford Family of
Contributed by Rachel Smith
Origins of the Crawford Family of Newton-Forbes
The Crawford family of Newton-Forbes, like all Crawfords, are of Scottish
origin. This family belong to the Ayrshire branch, the Crawfords of Kilbirnie.
They were not plantation settlers, but rather were descended from a Jacobite
refugee named Patrick Crawford who by tradition came to Ireland about 1700
with a price on his head for Jacobite activity.
Strictly, this particular family are only matrilinealy Crawfords, being
descended from Patrick Lindsay who married an heiress, Lady Margaret Crawford
of Kilbirnie, and shared her estate on her father's condition that their heirs
bear the name and arms of Crawford, since he had no sons. (Considered as
Lindsays, the family belongs to the Lindsays of the Byres branch).
Younger sons were not bound by this, since they were to be given
patrimonies by the Lindsay grandfather, John Lindsay, 17th Earl of Crawford
and his successor Earl William Lindsay. However William was so burdened by his
father's immense Civil War debts that he could not meet this obligation. [Both
a Presbyterian Covenenanter and a Royalist, a rare combination, Earl John had supported
King Charles I and raised troops for him at his own expense.]
Patrick and Margaret died suddenly, probably of typhoid fever, leaving six
children. Earl William Lindsay and a committee of Crawford kinsmen managed the
upbringing of the children, but since William still had his father's debt, all
the children were provided for from the Kilbirnie estates by their eldest
brother John Crawford, 1st Viscount Garnock, who in return asked them to take
the name Crawford, which all descendants used thereafter.
John had become a viscount in return for supporting the Union between
Scotland and England. Others of the family went to the other side (perhaps the
family hedged its bets?) and several indeed were forfeited or proscribed,
including Patrick the son who came to Ireland.
As related in his 1690 will, made before a merchant voyage to America,
John's next younger brother Patrick was fitted out with a merchant ship as his
patrimony and made voyages to the West Indies and America. It isn't known
which Jacobite uprisings Patrick was involved in, the 1715 or earlier risings
as well, to have got a price on his head, but it was too dangerous to go home
Patrick married Emily Nangle of a Nangle family from near Mullingar. A
number of Westmeath Nangles were listed as being in King James Army and lost
their land as a result. The Nangles were Catholic, while Patrick's family were
passionately Presbyterian, so this was a Romeo and Juliet marriage. By family
tradition they were married at Multifarnum Abbey. However this cannot be
strictly correct, since at this time the abbeys were closed and priests were
serving their parishioners from in hiding.
Patrick and Emily went to live in Fermanagh near the family of Lawrence
Crawford of Carrowmea, a Kilbirnie Crawford kinsman who headed a plantation
Crawford family and who was connected by marriage to the landholding Corry
family headed by Lord Belmore. The Corrys held lands in both Fermanagh and
In 1716 Patrick and Emily had a son, William, presumably named after the
Scottish uncle William Lindsay. Patrick still had not told his family of his
marriage to a Catholic, but now it was necessary. Ill or wounded, he returned
to tell them and to see whether it was safe to bring his family home but died
before he reached home.
By tradition, as a precaution before participating in the 1715, Patrick had
made arrangements for William's upbringing in the care of a tutor "Mr.
Robinson." Mr. Robinson seems to have been of County Longford, because in
his earliest recorded deed William is described "of Castle-forbes."
Patrick's merchant shipping career also seems to have allowed adequate
provision to start William in life. By the 1750's William had married
Catherine Conway, a member of the family of Lady Granard's mother. (It was
probably in his capacity as a Jacobite that Patrick had got to got to know the
contemporary Lord Granard, who was a discreet Jacobite, mentioned in the
diaries of Jacobite operative Col. Nathaniel Hooke. However Hooke had higher
hopes of him than Lord Granard would fulfill.)
William and Catherine had two children we know for certain, Samuel and
Letitia. William died in 1780.
DEEDS OF WILLIAM CRAWFORD OF CASTLE-FORBES
CORRY TO WILLIAM CRAWFORD AND JOHN WHITE, LEASE OF CAHANAGH, 1750
The first deed record of William Crawford is a deed from Edmond
Leslie-Corry. This deed is listed in Catalog of Ancient Deeds by descendant
Lord Belmore, who also, in a footnote in a County Fermanagh genealogy and
history, refers to William's origins explained above. The deed is registered
Book 196 Page229 No. 150017 Jan 10, 1750
SURNAMES: Crawford, White, Span, Leslie, Creighton, Dempsey, Gardiner,
1st Part Edmond Leslie-Corry, of Dublin, Esq and Martha his demised
2nd Part William Crawford of Castleforbes and John White of Clegill both in
said County of Longford, Yeomen.
Lands at Cahanagh townland in the barony and County of Longford for the
lives of William Crawford, John white, Benjamin Span, son of Rev. Samuel Span,
Newton-forbes. For the yearly rent of £22 sterling with 12p/£ recievers
Witnesses: Henry Leslie, Nutfield, Co. Fermanagh, Gent. Thomas Creighton,
Nutfield, his servant Memorial witnessed by: Henry Leslie and Richard Dempsey
of Longford, Co. Longford, Merchant
Registered 1st February 1764 by Edward Gardiner and Thomas Hanly
SAMUEL AHMUTY TO WILLIAM CRAWFORD AND JOHN WHITE, LEASE OF AGHNAGH, 1752
SURNAMES: Ahmuty, Crawford, White, Ross, Gormly, Farrell, Canin, Crookshank
William's next deed mentions son Samuel: ABSTRACT Book 214 Page 530 Deed
142170 February 7, 1752
Indented deed of lease.
1st Part: Samuel Ahmuty, Esq 2nd Part: William Crawford of Monylaggin, John
White of Cleghill, both in said county, Farmers.
Wherein Sam'l Ahmuty of Bryanstown did demise, grant, let unto sd Wm.
Crawford and John White their heirs, exctrs and assigns the town and lands of
Aghnagh [now Ahanagh, 146 acres] lying in the Parish of Mohill, Barony and
county of Longford for the lives of sd John White, Samuel Crawford eldest son
of sd Wm. Crawford, and Wm. Ross, eldest son of Alexander Ross of Lisnebain in
the parish of Clonguish, county of Longford.
At the yearly rent of £24 Sterling above all charges, Quit rent and Crown
rent excepted, in which deed there is a power given by sd Samuel Ahmuty to
Thady Gormly to deliver livery and siezin of the sd premises to the sd Wm. C
and Jn White which sd deed is witnessed by Patrick Farrell of the city of
Longford, Schoolmaster and Patrick Canin servt to sd Samuel Ahmuty and this
memorial is also witnessed by sd Patrick Farrell and Alex'r Crookshank of the
city of Dublin Gent.
Sworn before me at Longford in the County of Longford 17th March 1762, Will
MITCHELL TO WILLIAM CRAWFORD, LEASE OF MONYLAGAN, 1755
SURNAMES: Mitchell, Crawford, McLaughlin, Forbes, Ross, Auchmuty, McVitty,
In the above will, Samuel is the "eldest" son of William. In the
following deed of 1755 he is the "only son".
Abstract of Memorial: BOOK 181 PAGE 550 DEED 121744 February 7, 1755
1ST Part: William Mitchell of Hemingford in County of Huntingdon and
Kingdom of Great Britain 2nd Part: William Crawford of Monilagin, County of
Mitchell demises unto Wm Crawford all that part of Town and Lands of
Monilagon then in possession of sd William Crawford and Peter McLaughlin
containing fifty -five acres and one Rood plantation measure situate in the
Manor of Monilagin and county of Longford with their appurtenances to hold,
except as therein excepted, from November last during the natural Lives of
Samuel Crawford only son of said William Crawford, George Forbes only son of
George, Lord Forbes, and John Ross third son of Alexander Ross of Lisnaboe in
sd county Longford, Farmer, and the survivor of them and in case they should
all happen to die before the End or expiration of Forty-one years from the
first day of November then to hold sd premises during so many years of sd term
of forty-one years as should then be unexpired at the Death of the last of
said cestuy que vies.
At the yearly rent of £33 Sterling above taxes Quit & Crown Rent
excepted payable half yearly. Which sd Lease is as to the Execution thereof by
Walter Dawson of the city of Dublin, Esq by virtue of a letter of Attorney
under the hand and seal of the above Wm. Mitchell to him for that purpose is
witnessed by the said Forbes Auchmuty and by John McVitty of Cartrons in sd
County, Gent. and this Memorial is witnessed by Forbes Auchmuty and by Daniel
Magarry of Newton-forbes, Farmer.
[Monylagan Cottage remained with Crawfords and in Griffiths Valuations they
are its lessors, but no deed of sale has been found. In some documents it is
alluded to simply as "Cottage". This handsome stone house still
exists and is in good repair, a gentleman's seat built in the 1600's,
architecturally different from other houses around in having a gable instead
of the Georgian style.]