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Archiver > CROWELL > 1999-05 > 0926198302

From: George McSwain <>
Subject: [CROWELL-L] Oliver Cromwell and the "cutting of the M"
Date: Sat, 8 May 1999 17:18:22 -0400

Here is an article I found which claims to have the definitive answer. I
also have a copy of a newspaper article from over 100 years ago discussing
this same question. So who knows the true family tree? Any comments?

PO Box 447, Halifax, NC 27839
May 1993

The Crowell family is memorialized in Halifax County by the crossroad
community on
NC 125 that bears the name. The following article came by way of Dr. Ralph
Hardee Rives,
Enfield, from Mrs. Lula Hunter Skillman, now living in Durham, who has
collected much
genealogical information on Halifax County families and their connections
in surrounding
The Crowells of Halifax County have a tradition of their descent from
Oliver Cromwell.
The story has been passed down of the pedigree on vellum kept in an
ornamental chest. The "m"
was cut from the name on the way over. They say the chest was destroyed by
Tarleton's men
when they were in Halifax during the Revolution. The first Crowells on
record in the county
were two brothers, John and Edward. Comparison of dates showed they could
not have been sons
of Oliver Cromwell.
Jane Hammer of Florida and Maryland, was so fascinated by this story
that she went to
England in 1987 to find proof. She wrote a book describing her search all
over England. The
book has not been published yet. This is a brief summary of the manuscript.
She gives sources
and quotes, which I shall omit [Editor's note: It is to be hoped that
sources and quotes will
become available in Halifax County Library.]

I. Oliver Cromwell, 1599-1659, m. Elizabeth Bourchier. They had 4 sons
and 4 daughters.
He was Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1653-1658.
The New Standard
Encyclopedia, Vol. 3 says, "Cromwell was one of the greatest leaders
of men the world
has ever known... His influence sprang from the very fens of his
native shire. Leadership
of men begins at home." Jane and her husband took a picture of a large
portrait of
Cromwell that hangs in the Great Hall of his college, Sidney Sussex,
Cambridge. A
curtain hangs on each side. They were told that when Royalty come to
visit, the curtains
are drawn.

II. Richard Cromwell, 1625-1712, m. Dorothy Major, ?-1675. Richard
succeeded his father
as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, 1658-1659. Jane Hammer wrote
another book
in vindication of Richard. She found that he was not the weak man
pictured in some
history books. She quotes the Rt. Rev. Atkinson [Bishop of the
Episcopal Diocese of
North Carolina] in an address in Raleigh, "Oliver had a family which
he loved with an
affection which none but the strong natures like his can feel."Richard
was such a man.
But he was deposed by the army. So great was the wrath of the
Royalists that Richard had
to flee for his life. He went to France and took the name John Clark.
After the death of his
wife Dorothy, he married Jacolette Hozier and had children. Some years
later, Richard
returned to England with his French wife and they were married in
England in 1679. A
son was born Oct. 17, 1680. He was baptized as Thomas Cromwell on Dec.
23, at
Hursley Hampshire. When he was two years old he was taken to New
Jersey. From her
summer home in Maryland, Jane went to Woodbridge, New Jersey. In that
area she found
many references to that son. In the official record books she found
the name Thomas
Cromwell. Some years before this, two sons of Richard's brother Henry
had come to New
Jersey. They were the ones who cut the m from the name on the way over
in 1674. At
some later time, Thomas Cromwell changed both his names: Thomas to
Edward and
now on, Richard's son will be known as Edward Crowell.

III. Edward Crowell, 1680-1756. His grave is marked with birth and
death dates in the
churchyard of the Presbyterian Church, of which he was a Trustee
at the time of his
death. Jane took a photograph of his gravestone. He was married 3
times and had 6 sons
and 6 daughters. Two sons, John and Edward, came to Halifax
County, North Carolina.
The Crowell name first appears in the county in the wills of John
and Edward.

IV. John Crowell's will probated 1760. Executors, wife Elizabeth, brother,
Edward, Joseph
Montford. His children were Edward, John, Joseph, Mary. We have no
further record.

IV. 2. Edward Crowell ?-1792 M. Martha Rabun. 7 children, Samuel,
Benjamin, Edward,
Sarah, Thomas, Mary, Martha. The record in Hunter book.

V.1. Samuel Crowell, b. about 1755. M. 1st Tabitha Bradford, d. Col. John
Bradford. Samuel
was a Major under Gen. Greene in Rev. War.

VI. Col John Crowell b. 1780 in Hal. Co. He was very prominent as
Indian Agent and
first U.S. Representative from Alabama. Died 1846 and buried at
Fort Mitchell.

V.4. Sarah Crowell. m. Henry Bradford, brother of Tabitha. Ancestors
of Eppes sisters of
Tallahassee, Fla. Hunter book p. 20.

V.7. Martha Elizabeth Crowell m. Rev. James Hunter. From them the
story has come down to
us. Hunter book p. 21.

VI.4. Benjamin Hunter v. Leah Henry Nicholson.

VII. James Edward Hunter m. Lucy Cary Wills.

VIII. Joseph Hunter m. Mattie Davis.

IX. Lula, George, Agnes, Beaufort, Margaret, Edward, Helen.

VI.1. Thomas Coke Hunter m. Mary Lewis.

VII. Martha Hunter m. Rev. Adam Clark Harris, minister and
doctor. Friend of J. E.

VIII. Eugene Harris m. Lena Foust.

IX. Lucy Harris a. Ross.

X. Jane Ross a. Philip Hazier, a nationally recognized
economist and urban planner.

XI. Philip, Jr. Thomas Ross, Michael.

Jane Hammer was named International Woman of the Year, 1991-92, by the
Biographical Center of Cambridge, England. one of the fifty women so cited,
she was recognized
for her services to philosophy and public education. In Atlanta, she taught
philosophy at Spelman
College. She chaired a committee that helped bring peaceful desegregation
to public schools.
In 1992 Hammer was invited to speak of her life and work in St. John's
Cambridge. She noticed a portrait of Dr. William Whitaker, who was elected
of St. John's
College, Cambridge, about 1590. Thank you, Jane and Philip.

(Editor's note: And thank you, Mrs. Skillman and Dr. Rives. Halifax County
Library - staff and
researchers - and the editor of this newsletter appreciate such

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