Here is the CRAGUN FAMILY Story.
December 16, 1996
The origin of the spelling
of the CRAGUN family name is something of a mystery. Members of the family have
used different spellings over the years with one vowel substituting for
another. For example, brothers have used different spellings, one choosing
Cragun, another choosing Cragon and yet a third electing Cragan. The phonetic kryaghen
is a transliteration from a Celtic (Gaelic) word meaning: a little rocky
height, or a rocky wilderness. It is likely to have originally been a place
name rather than a family name, but a place name from which family names were
derived. Some of its anglicized usages include:
A town land in what once had been the Barony of Upper Fews, County
Armagh, Ulster, Northern Ireland.
It is here that proprietors settled Scottish and English protestants on their
estates to work the land. Through this area flows a small stream called Creegan River. Creegan is also the name of a
road in Derry, Londonderry County, Ulster.
The name of a town land north of Oban, in Lorn, Argyll, Scotland.
Here the name is descriptive of the land: high and rocky.
The name of a mountain (6,000 ft. high) west of the city of Arklow
in County Wicklow,
Eire. The name is likely derived from the
Gaelic word which is anglicized as croaghaun meaning: a little pile of
A surname found throughout Ireland.
One notable of that name is Martin Cregan of County Meath,
1788-1870. He was portrait painter to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Francis Johnson, and was at one time
president of the Royal
In 1272 the Church of Cragyn (now Cragie) in Kyle,
Scotland was confirmed to
the monks of Paisley by Thomas de Cragyn, who
assumed his name from his land.
The First of record.
tradition as expressed in Heiner, ( Patrick Cragun Descendants in America, 1744-1969
) holds that Caleb Cragun was born in England in 1700 and lived at Huntingdon,
Huntingtonshire until he relocated to Ireland perhaps as a part of the
Plantation Movement to settle lands forfeited to the British Crown by deposed
Irish nobility. This settlement effort was being made using English and
Scottish workers at the same time that other settlements were being established
in Colonial America. However, another tradition in the family of
Jean (Cragun) Tombaugh, tells that our ancestor was originally of Scotland and
the name was McCRAGUN. Click here to see the
Caleb had a son named Patrick who was born c1745 in Ireland, perhaps in
County Armagh, Ulster. However,
Heiner reports that a book entitled, History of Cass County, Indiana found at
the Indianapolis Library states on page 214 that, "the family of CRAGUN
was founded in America by Patrick Cragun who came from Dublin, Ireland prior to
the Revolutionary War and who took part in the struggles of the American
Colonists that resulted in the winning of Independence.'' She also reports that
a genealogical history of South West Virginia
states that one Patrick Cragun had been arrested for the fourth time by the
King's officers for his revolutionary tendencies. The identity of his wife,
Rose Alley (or Abby) or Hanna Elsy (perhaps a second marriage) is unclear as is
the date (1780's) and place of marriage. They are however, tied to Russell
County, Virginia located in the extreme southwestern part of the state 20 miles
north of Bristol, through the record of their eldest son Isaac as recorded in
the Cass County history. Otherwise the family is more closely identified with Sullivan County,
Tennessee which borders Virginia
and shares the city of Bristol.
The first record of Patrick known to exist is his listing in 1779 as a taxable
in Washington County, N.C.
which became Sullivan
County, TN after 1780. In
this record he is entered as Patrick Craguner where he is
shown to have been assessed on: 170 acres of land, value L100; four horses,
value L510; three cattle, value L30; and ready money, four shillings; for a
total taxable estate of L640 and four shillings. While Negros
were taxable property at that time, none were taxed to Patrick.
A 1784 listing of 5,486 North Carolina land grants in the new state of
Tennessee shows at page 47, grant #1274 to be a general purchase grant to
Patrick Cragon for 170 acres on Indian Creek, Sullivan County,
Tennessee, a tributary of the Holston River. This farmsted was located only a
few miles from Booher Creek, a tributary of Indian creek and the likely
location of members of the Booher family. The Cragun and
Booher families were later near neighbors in Boone County, Indiana.
Patrick's greatgrandson, S. N. Cragun married Adelaide Booher at Worth
Township, Boone County, in 1883, nearly one hundred years following their
familiy's neighboring settlements in Tennessee.
The last known listing for Patrick was in 1812 showing that Patrick Creggon
sold 164 acres on Indian Creek to Charles Barnette on Feb. 19, 1812. However, a
bit earlier he is found as Patrick Cragun of record in Russel Co., VA in 1806,
about 30 miles North of the Indian Creek farm, when he was exempt from County
levies on account of age and bodily infirmity.
The various spellings of his surname were characteristic of the times when
clerks and recorders often wrote what they thought they heard without knowing
whether the name was being spelled correctly or not. Doubtless these records
all refer to the same individual.
Patrick and Rose
(Alley) Cragun had eleven children as follows:
Isaac, b. 1785. Immegrated to Indiana
and settled in Cass
County. His line spells
the name CRAGAN.
, b. 1786. Immegrated to Fayette County, IN
in 1814. His line spells the name CRAGUN. .
John, b. 1787. Settled in Smith County, TN.
His line uses the spelling CRAGON.
Tyresha, b. 1789. No information.
Lydia, b. 1791. Came to Franklin County,
IN in 1819.
Tabitha, b. 1793. No information.
Hanna, b. 1795. No information.
Joshua, b. 1796. Was in Franklin County,
IN by 1822.
Calib, b. 1796. Twin of Joshua. Was in Franklin County
by 1819, then Howard
County, IN by 1860.
Elizabeth, 1799. Was at Nauvoo,
IL in 1846.
Syren, b. 1801. Was at Nauvoo, IL
Lucius, b 1803. No information.
Information on the history of the
descendants of Patrick Cragun is found in the following four publications.
Heiner, Eva L. Patrick Cragun Descendants in America
1744-1969. (J. Grant Stevenson, 230 West 1230 North, Provo, UT
84601, 1969) 346pp.
Tombaugh, Jean C. CRAGUN FAMILY ( Tombaugh House, 700
Pontiac Street, Rochester, IN 46975, 1990) 320pp.
Cragun, Ben M., Col. (USA Ret.). The
Cragun and Related Families in Boone
Madison Court, Lebanon, IN 46052,
Cragon, Henry D.,Col.
Cragons and Their Kinfolk. (217 Rockaway Road, Birmingham,
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