Exploring the Origins of William Credille Sr.

His origins are a mystery.  We have only three clues, which are not sufficient to identify him:

  1. He was a Revolutionary War veteran.

    • But there were at least four different Revolutionary soldiers in Virginia named William Criddle/Creedle. There is no way of knowing which of them was later in Georgia.
  2. He was living in Virginia as late as 1789 and had a half-dozen children born there between about 1775 and 1789.  Only two of his children lived long enough for census records to record their state of birth.  His son William H. Credille, born about 1789, gave his state of birth as Virginia in the 1850 census.  Gray Credille, who died in 1849, was listed in the 1850 mortality census as age 72 and born in Virginia.

    • Only one William Criddle had a verified presence in Virginia in the late 1780s, and that person is unlikely to be  our man.
    • Only six persons named Creedle/Credle/Cradle/Criddle/Cridle were enumerated in the Virginia State Census of 1782-1785, none of whom were named William.  Nor were there any Williams in the 1787 compiled census substitute.  However, several counties are missing from these records.  (One of them was York County, where we know some Creedles lived.)
  3. He may have briefly lived in North Carolina before moving to Georgia in time to appear on the 1794 tax list of Hancock County, Georgia. Indeed, the Turner letter (q.v.) states that “I have always understood [he] came from North Carolina.”

    • Therefore he may have been the William “Credle” enumerated in the 1790 census of Johnston County, North Carolina, whose household of seven males under 16 matches what we know of his family composition.  There are no deeds recorded in Johnston County to or from anyone with a name like Creedle or Criddle, a fact that suggests he lived there only briefly.

William Criddles in the Revolutionary War

There were at least three, perhaps four, Revolutionary War veterans named William Credille, and one other who provided patriotic service   Which one of them was the William Credille who moved to Georgia?

William Criddle of Cumberland County, Virginia

A William Criddle, born about 1757, lived in Cumberland County during the period 1781 through 1789 when his Revolutionary War disability pension was being administered.1  According to his pension records, his right arm was blown off by a cannon ball at Norfolk in January 1776 while serving as a private in the 2nd Virginia Regiment.2   As “Wm. Creedle” he signed a petition in Cumberland County dated 5 March 1781.3  In his pension file is a Cumberland County court document dated 29 November 1785 listing him among the local pensioners:  “William Creedle by the loss of his right arm while a soldier in the service of the United States is rendered incapable of providing a livelyhood by his own labour.”4  He was included a month earlier among a list of state pensioners provided to the Virginia Assembly by Patrick Henry.5  He was still in Cumberland County on 23 March 1789 when the court recommended that the pension to “William Criddle”, which had inadvertently been terminated, be reinstated.6  The Governor’s certification, dated two weeks later on 6 April 1789, calls him “William Criddle aged about 32 years.”  A document dated 17 April 1787 called William Criddle “aged about 30 years.”7

He was evidently the same William “Creedle” who was listed in a 1776 account book as a wounded soldier.8

Oddly, however, he was not listed among the Cumberland County taxables in any year from 1782 onward, though his pension file makes it clear that he lived there at least until 1788.  The only Criddles taxed in Cumberland during that period were Ann, the widow of Allen Criddle, and her sons John Criddle , Allen Criddle, and Finch Criddle.9 Although it is certainly possible that he was omitted from the tax lists by reason of being exempted, I note that the other two crippled veterans who are mentioned in the same pension records were listed in the tax lists.

The 1782 state census for Cumberland County lists only John Creedle with a household of 5 whites.  1784 state census for Cumberland County lists only Ann Criddle with a household of six whites; the  members of the household apparently included John, Allen, Finch, and perhaps unmarried daughters.   She was the widow of Allen Criddle, who left a will in Cumberland County in dated 5 May 1777 and recorded on 26 January 1778 that identified only his wife Ann and his eldest son John Criddle. 10  However, the will provided that after Ann’s death the estate would be equally divided among his children and a 1799 Chancery case involving a dispute among the heirs named the ten children of Allen Criddle.11

That Chancery case makes it clear that the son William Criddle was dead by 1799, as he was represented in the suit by his children James, Polly, and Susanna Criddle by their guardian Nathanial Carrington.   Thus he was not the same William Credille who appeared in Georgia in 1794.

William Criddle of Brunswick County, Virginia

A William Criddle, is listed among persons who gave aid, in the form of supplies, to the American Revolution at a court held 25 February 1782 in Brunswick County, Virginia.12  I have no further record of him.  (Although this record qualifies him as a DAR Patriot, the donation of supplies would not warrant special consideration in the Georgia land lottery.)

William Creedle & Benjamin Creedle of York County, Virginia

Virginia Revolutionary War records mention a third soldier named William Creedle of York County, whose pay for 1778 and 1779 was apparently made out to his father.13  His father, according to a later record, was perhaps named Benjamin Creedle.

This soldier died in service while serving in the Virginia State Artillery.  Benjamin Creedle and William Creedle, apparently brothers, both enlisted in York County on 6 September 1777 in the Virginia State Artillery under Lt. Samuel Crawley .14  Affidavits by Lt. Crawley and Captain Gideon Johnston state that Benjamin Creedle died just two months later in November 1777 and William Creedle died on 1 March 1780.15  On 20 October 1783 in York County a Benjamin Creedle was issued letters of administration on the estates of both Benjamin Creedle and William Creedle.16  Oddly, there were no Creedles under any spelling in the 1790 tax list of York County.

These two men appear in another record  as well.  On 17 and 18 December 1784 a Mr. Davis collected the accrued pay due to privates Benjamin and William “Crudle.”17  Benjamin Crudle’s allowance amounted to £3:18:4, roughly equal to a month’s pay for an artillery private.  William Crudle’s allowance amounted to  £61:0:4, about a year and a half of pay for an artillery private.

William Creedle, Sgt of Artillery

There is a separate record, quoted by both Gwathmey  and Brumbaugh, of two Sergeants of artillery named William Creedle and Benjamin Creedle.  While they may be the same persons as above, the records seem to apply to different men.  For one thing, they were both referred to as Sergeants when their names appeared on a War Department list of soldiers who did not receive a bounty land warrant. 18  Bounty land warrants were available only to soldiers who served at least three years in either a Continental Line unit or a Virginia State unit, but Benjamin Creedle of York County served barely two months.  And the pay records for the York County men mentioned above refer to them as privates, not Sergeants.

Were these the same men from York County?  Perhaps, but there is reason to be skeptical of it.

William Creedle of Mecklenburg County

William Creedle was named as a son in the Mecklenburg County will of Briant Creedle dated 30 June 1772. 19  The will named six sons named Briant, Edmund, Harry, John, Joseph, and William.   A few years later William “Cradle” appeared on a muster roll of Mecklenburg militiamen dated  in 1779.  There was no further record of him and he does not appear in any Mecklenburg tax list from 1782 onward.

several descendants have decided that this is the same man who later shows up in Johnston County, North Carolina in 1790 and in Hancock County, Georgia in 1794.  But there is no evidence that makes him a better candidate than any of the above men named William Credille. It is particularly bothersome that we have evidence that our William Credille was in Virginia throughout the 1780s yet there is no record of a William Creedle in Mecklenburg’s tax lists in any year from 1782 through 1790.

 

  1. Pension file is online at the Library of Virginia,  as part of “Virginia. Auditor of Public Accounts (1776-1928). State pensions, records, 1777-1787.” []
  2. Virginia State Archives, an account book listing payments to soldiers in 1776, shows a payment to Wm. Criddle 15 May 1776.  Men named Mays Carrington and Joseph Carrington testified in Cumberland County in 1786 as to the circumstances of his injury.  A variety of records regarding his pension claim as a wounded invalid are also in the Archives. []
  3. Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Volume 37, No 2, p94. []
  4. Surgeon’s affidavit included in his pension file. []
  5. “List of State Pensioners,” William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol. 20 (1911-12): pp 11-12. []
  6. Court record included in his pension file. []
  7. Virginia State Pension file of William Andrews of Cumberland County. []
  8. Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution, John Gwathmey (1973), p190. []
  9. John Criddle appears 1782-1790, and Ann from 1782-1787.  Allen Criddle was taxed to Ann 1787, to John 1788, on his own 1789, and 1790. Finch appears irregularly and later was in Franklin County. []
  10. Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Volume 38, No 2, p159.  Will is filed in the Chancery case. []
  11. See Virginia Memory digital collections, Cumberland County Chancery Case 1799-007. []
  12. “Persons who gave aid to the American Revolution”, Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vol. 6 (1924): pp106-7. []
  13. Historical Register of Virginians in the Revolution, John Gwathmey (1973), p190. []
  14. Item in the Virginia State Pension file for Benjamin Creedle, a receipt of enlistment bonuses signed by a William Graves. []
  15. Affidavits in Benjamin Creedle file. []
  16. Court record in Benjamin Creedle file. []
  17. War Department records, at Fold3.com []
  18. Gwathmey, p190.  Also listed in Revolutionary War Records, Volume 1 – Virginia (1936), Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh, p156. []
  19. Mecklenburg County Will Book 1, page 226. []