Origins of the Crawford Family of Newton-Forbes

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 to Scotland.

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 Longford.

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.




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 as

Book 196 Page229 No. 150017 Jan 10, 1750

SURNAMES: Crawford, White, Span, Leslie, Creighton, Dempsey, Gardiner, Hanly


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 fees.

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 ________________________________________________


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 Scott ________________________________________


SURNAMES: Mitchell, Crawford, McLaughlin, Forbes, Ross, Auchmuty, McVitty, Magarry

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 Longford, Farmer

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.] 


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