The Origin and Roots of the Crocker Family

The following information on the  Crocker family is furnished by  Clarence E. Crocker of Glendale.
    
Judge Ariel L. Crowley (a kinsman) did extensive research during the 1960s on the Crockers with studies in England. In his findings, which were supplied to my late brother, Paul Crocker, he stated; the Nathaniel Crocker line was centralized in Devonshire, England and migrated to New England among whom the descendents
include George Washington. Another, being Charles Crocker, (1822-1888) who migrated to California becoming a legislator and banker who helped complete Central Pacific Railroad. He further states that he had found no connections between the Nathaniel Crocker northern line and the Anthony Crocker southern line which was also centralized in Devonshire, England. 

Historical records gathered through 100's of miles of travel, pictures of monuments, grave markers, letters, long distance telephone calls, archives, affidavits and hundreds of historical items, by Paul and supplied to me, shows that he had determined that the Anthony Crocker bloodline of our family was indeed centralized in Devonshire, England (July 26,1594) and migrated from Cornwell via Barbados Islands to the county of Isle of Wright, Va. with land purchases being recorded in 1736.

Continuing to migrate southward, they arrived in Wake (Frankin) county North Carolina from whence they came to the Spartanburg District. In his study, he found that families migrated in groups, perhaps for safety and assistance as they traveled in wagons, living in tents, etc.  An interesting thing that he discovered was that the Crocker Family, the Hutchens (Hutchings) and the Exums traveled together. For as long as I can remember, there has been an old line Hutchens family, oft times spelled Hutchings, that have lived in the Glendale community. Perhaps they were  from the same line that migrated into the south with the Crockers. I don’t remember ever hearing of the Exums.


The earliest known Crocker settlers in upper Piedmont, which consisted of five counties in 1772, settled in the Spartanburg district of Craven County (now Spartanburg County) consisted of Arthur Sr. and wife,  assumed but not listed, possibly a widow, with sons, William, Solomon, Anthony, Arthur Jr. and Hopkins. Females were often not named in old legal documents, just the word, ”female”.

In Paul’s report, he states that it is almost certain that the Crockers of present Spartanburg and Union counties are descendants of the above family. He had letters from persons living in Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Utah, Idaho, California and Washington state, all who acknowledged to be descendents of the Crocker family which settled in Spartanburg County in 1772.

Arthur Sr. had been given a Colonial Grant of 650 acres on September 29, 1772 on Lawson Fork Creek. Becoming of age, William and Solomon and their father all received further grants located on Lawson Fork Creek, Richland Creek and Pacolet River, much being adjoining land. At one time the Crocker holdings totaled 3000 acres which were received through grants and engulfed a large chunk of land off the old Pacolet/Goldmine and Bethesda roads. Bethesda Baptist church, (See Picture #1) stands today on part of that grant land which was donated to the church by Solomon Crocker.  Many Crockers are buried in the Church cemetery, (See Picture #2).



Picture #1



Picture #2

In 1779, Solomon and Anthony enlisted and served eight months in the campaign against the Indians to stop their massacres. Referred to in, “A History of Spartanburg County” page 22, William, Solomon and Anthony are all listed as Revolutionary war veterans. Hopkins Crocker becoming of age, married and was listed as living in Union County in 1790.


The U.S. 1790 Census of Spartanburg District  showed;
Arthur  Crocker  Sr, had  2  free  white  males  over 16, 1  free  white male under 16,
4 free white females; Obviously, Arthur Sr. had remarried.
William Crocker,  had  1  FWM  over  16,  2 FWM  under 16, 3  FWF.
Solomon Crocker, had 1 FWM  under 16, 1 FWM  over  16,  5  FWF.
Anthony Crocker, had 1 FWM  over 16, 1 FWM  under 16, 2  FWF.
Authur Crocker Jr. had 1 FWM  over 16, 1  FWF.

An affidavit on file in the S.C. Archives, states that during the time of the Revolution, three members of the Tory Party violently took Anthony Crocker’s rifle from him.

Arthur Crocker Sr. and Arthur Jr. died and William had left the state before the 1910 census. By 1844, two of Anthony's and half of Solomon's children had left the state. Hopkins and his family remained in Union county.

Family legend is that Arthur Sr.  had a fourteen year old daughter who was killed by a British Soldier. Legend tells us that she had gone to the spring for water when a British soldier killed her lest she tell others about their whereabouts. She was the first person to be buried in the original Crocker’s family cemetery which is located just a short distance south- of Richland creek on S.C. highway #108 and is engulfed by woods today. Some twelve or more graves, in which the remains of some of the first Crockers to arrive in Spartanburg County lie, are still visible. (See Picture # 3)



Picture#3

Across the creek stands an old log cabin house which was built by John Crocker who was born in 1803 and was the son of Solomon Crocker.  Built on part of the original land grant, the exterior has been covered with siding and additions have been made but his name remains inscribed on the chimney, (See Picture #4). I was told by one of the descendents that old tools brought from England by some of the family were still in the house and that papers forbid the sale of the property.  It is to pass from generation to generation going to the next oldest, blood line kin.



Picture#4

Records show that William Wilburn Crocker, my great grandfather, was born in 1817 near Bivingsville and had moved into the village before his death. He was the son of Anthony Crocker, (1758-1847) and the grandson of Arthur Crocker Sr. (?-1794). He was the father of Albert Wylda Crocker (9-7-1847+4-9-1926) who was the father of Albert E. Crocker, (2-23-1890+5-17-1976) who was my father.



Map of Picture Locations

In the Carolina Spartan, an obituary on Wednesday April 24,1889 read; “Mr. William Crocker died at his home at Glendale last Wednesday night. He was found dead by his bedside Thursday morning. He was about 70 years old.”

Click on this link to see the story of Albert E. Crocker and his family.
 

Return to Glendale Homepage

This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Glendale. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is Mary McKinney Teaster.  Contact her at:
marylee@glendalesc.com or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See more information about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary McKinney Teaster.