North Carolina

Unionists at War in the N.C. Quaker Belt

Unionist communities existed throughout the Confederate South during the Civil War. “The Free State of Jones” is an exciting story with its own unique characteristics, but it was only one of many inner civil wars between Unionists and Confederates across the South. 

The following excerpt from “Occupied At Home: Women Confront Confederate Forces in North Carolina’s Quaker Belt,” chapter two of The Long Shadow of the Civil War: Southern Dissent and Its Legacies, features the Hulin family of Montgomery County, NC. The Hulins were among the best known Wesleyan Methodist Unionists of the North Carolina Piedmont, which, significantly, was the birthplace of many ancestors of the Free State of Jones uprising.  

Because Unionist women in North Carolina’s Quaker Belt abetted men’s avoidance of Confederate service, many Confederate supporters viewed torture and deprivation of deserters’ wives as the product of simple necessity. Torturing the wife of guerrilla leader Bill Owens, after all, had resulted in his capture and imprisonment. In some counties, pro-secessionist millers also denied deserters’ wives government grain even though there was no official Confederate policy to that effect.

Women who sheltered male kin in the nearby woods eagerly told their side of the story. In separate letters to Governor Vance, Phebe Crook and Clarinda Crook Hulin, daughters of a Montgomery County Methodist schoolteacher and kin to numerous deserters, blasted their Confederate occupiers. Clarinda, who had three “outlier” brothers-in-law (she did not mention this in her letter), implored Governor Vance to consider the plight of farm women. “I hav three little children to werk for and I have werk[ed] for ever thing that I have to eat and ware,” she wrote. But military men sent to the region to restore order were “destroying every thing they can lay hans up on.” Troops had taken her “last hog,” and poured her molasses all over her floor. “It ant only Me they air takeing from . . . ,” she added, “they take the women’[s] horses out of the plows,” she explained, for their own use.

Ten more months of armed warfare between militia and deserters brought a more detailed letter from Clarinda’s sister, Phebe. As a single woman, Phebe Crook could not anchor her protest in the time-honored trope of the soldier’s wife or mother. She seemed eager, however, to describe herself as “a young lady that has Neather Husband, son, father, no[r] Brother in the woods” (although she did have male kin hiding in the woods). Invoking the moral authority of republicanism rather than motherhood, Crook informed Governor Vance of the “true” conditions of her community. Calling on him to “protect the civil laws and writs of our country,” she denounced the militia and magistrates of her county for arresting “poore old grey-headed fathers who has fought in the old War and has done thir duty . . . .”

Enraged by home guard who, Crook insisted, had no intention themselves of fighting in the war, she condemned their physical abuse of women and children and their burning of barns, houses, and crops, all done in the name of fulfilling the governor’s directive to force deserters in from the woods. Following such orders was merely an excuse, she wrote, for pro-Confederate men to “take their guns and go out in the woods and shoot them down Without Halting them as if they war Bruts or Murder[er]s.” Once again, Crook emphasized rights of citizenship rather than victimhood by assuring the governor that her motive for writing was that “I always like to [see] people hav jestis.”

Despite the sisters’ separate appeals to Governor Vance, they could not prevent the killing of their three brothers-in-law on January 28, 1865. Jesse, John, and William Hulin were executed along with James Atkins, who had been identified as a draft evader by Sheriff Aaron Sanders during the previous fall court term. Both the Crooks and Hulin families belonged to the county’s network of Wesleyan Methodist families who opposed slavery and refused to fight for the Confederacy.

NOTE: In addition to Long Shadow of the Civil War, this essay will appear in the anthology, Occupied Women, edited by LeeAnn Whites and Alecia Long, forthcoming from LSU Press. Readers who would like to know more about the Unionist Hulin family of Montgomery County, NC, should consult my 1992 book Unruly Women.

38 replies »

  1. You got another winner here. Can’t wait for the book. These women’s stories can break you heart. After a century-and-a-half, their voices need to be heard at last. They’ve been buried under Confederate Monuments too long.

    “The past ain’t what it used to be and never was!”

    Jon

    • Welcome! And since you mention Judge Petigru, let’s remember his words about South Carolina’s belief in secession: that the state was too small to be a nation and too large for an insane asylum.

      Do come back.
      Vikki

  2. The Quakers are always known for their anti-slavery beliefs but I have come across several examples of Quakers owing slaves in the very early 1800s in Eastern NC.
    I have had friends relate stories of their ancestors hiding in the swamps to avoid conscription. The women would hang the cloths upside down on the line to let them know not to home near the house.

    • Richard, thanks for your comments in regard to NC Quakers and Unionists. You are right that by no means did all Quakers oppose slavery. Those who did so most urgently tended to migrate out of NC as slavery became more entrenched in the South. But the so-called Quaker Belt still retained some of its old Quaker pacifism and dislike for slavery in 1861, especially in the Randolph County area. However, the strongest religious dissenters in that region by the time the war broke were the Wesleyan Methodists (historian William Auman published some great pieces on this topic for the NC Historical Review many years ago; see also my 1992 book, Unruly Women).

      Vikki

  3. Thank you for all of your great research. I have been looking for information on the Hulin family, especially Jessie, for a long time and until I saw this website I assumed that they were Confederate soldiers. Jessie would have been my g-g-g grandfather. Because the family tradition and oral history that I have heard only says they were killed in the war for deserting, I just assumed they were soldiers. It never crossed my mind that they were actually killed for refusing.
    A lady contacted me recently about James Atkins. His g-g niece is looking for information about him and we were wondering if you might have come across anything about him.

    Thanks,

    Amanda

    • Hi Amanda,

      It’s always nice to hear from a Hulin descendant! Yes, the Hulin brothers were openly opposed to secession and the Confederacy, as was their father, Hiram. Their religious views (Wesleyan Methodist) made them antislavery as well as pro-Union.Two of the brothers, William and John, did enlist in the Confederate Army on March 1, 1862, in the 44th NC Reg’t, but deserted when they got the chance. Jessie, however, evaded the draft; the older brother, Nelson, may also have evaded conscription.

      James Atkins was the son of widow Sarah (Sally) Atkins, who was charged during the war with harboring James after he deserted the Confederate Army. The federal manuscript census of 1860 lists 42-year-old Sally Atkins as a farmer with real estate valued at $700 and a personal estate worth $250. There were several other members of her household, most if not all would have been her children: William, 21; Mary, 17; James, 15; Eliza, 11; John C., 7; Chrissy J., 5; and Mary E., 2.

      The tragic story of the Hulin brothers’ and James Atkins’s deaths appear in both my 1992 book, Unruly Women, and in my upcoming book, The Long Shadow of the Civil War: Southern Dissent and Its Legacies (forthcoming in Feb., 2010.

      Would love to hear more from you about the family stories that came down through the years.

      Vikki

  4. Thank you for the chance to learn more about my ancestors, but I really contacted you on behalf of an Atkins ancestor who found me with a lack of knowledge about her g-g-g uncle James. She has been trying to find out where he was buried. She can find no proof that he is at Lovejoy church, but that is what she has been told. She also was told that John, William, Jessie and he were buried in a common grave and that the stone was replaced some years ago and his name was left off. I have been trying my best to help her with this, but at the moment the only record I have is a grave recording that was done in the early 1990’s and his name is not there. I was hoping that you may have done some research prior to that time which might have shown he was positively buried at Lovejoy.

    Amanda

    • Amanda,

      I have visited the mass grave of the Hulin brothers (back around 1984), but have never heard or read that James Atkins was originally buried with them. I have no idea, either, whether James was a member of the Lovejoy Wesleyan Methodist Church to which the Hulins belonged, and where their cemetery is located.

      Perhaps some Hulin researchers who read this blog have information they will share!

      Vikki

  5. Also, although I have done very little research about the Atkins I came across somewhere that James was discharged from the Confederate army for being too young (16) in 1863 or 4. This is kind of confusing to me since I also know that he was supposedly killed for deserting with the Hulin brothers in Jan. 1865. I guess there might have been a few months that he was old enough to fight before he was killed, but it doesn’t seem very likely????

    • Hi Amanda,

      The military records you cite for James Atkins, which I have not seen, are very interesting. Given that he was listed as only 15 years old on the 1860 federal manuscript census, he may well have been forcibly conscripted into the Confederate Army before he was legally old enough. I have read of other instances in which that happened, especially in the N.C. Quaker Belt, where over-zealous Confederate militia were determined to conscript every suspected outlier they could find. James’s young age would also explain why his mother was charged with hiding him.

      I also think that your theory that James reached conscription age during the war is sound. The first Confederate conscription law of April 1862 applied to men between 18 and 35; under that Act, he would have been too young. However, in Feb. 1864, the legal age of conscription was lowered to seventeen. In any case, by then, he would have been eighteen or nineteen years old.

      Vikki

      • I am Christopher Todd Hulin and I have been to the lovejoy church many times and have seen their graves… my grandmother and grandfather are buried there as well and I am related to the Civil war murdered boys

      • It’s nice to meet you, Christopher. I visited the Lovejoy cemetery in the early eighties, when I was researching my first book, Unruly Women. I was very moved to see the graves of many of the people that I had discovered in the court records stored at the State Archives in Raleigh. Montgomery County has a rich and tragic history of dissent in the Civil War era!

        Thanks for your comment,
        Vikki Bynum

  6. I may have previously stated the dates wrong. I believe it was 1861 that James was discharged for being too young. In that case the dated would work and he would have reached age of conscription during the war and then everything would fit together.
    Sometimes it really helps to have a knowledgable person to bounce research off of. However, I could use your help in one more aspect, I am still finding great difficulty proving James is buried at Lovejoy church. Any ideas???

    Amanda

    • Amanda,

      In regard to whether James Atkins is buried at Lovejoy Church, see my reply to your earlier post.

      Meanwhile, have you tried accessing cemetery lists on line? Many of the county gen forums have reproduced these records. Other than that, I am hoping a knowledgable Montgomery County researcher can answer this question.

      Good Luck!

      Vikki

  7. Hi Ms. Bynum,
    I am the Atkins descendent in search of James’ Burial place. Amanda has been diligently searching to find the solution to my mystery. I was told by John Callicutt, now deceased, that James was buried with the Hulins at Lovejoy. There is no record of his burial in the cemetery survey of Montgomery County. I live here in Montgomery and also am a g-g-grandaughter of AJ Beaman, …George T. Atkins(my g-grandfather) m. Malinda Beaman, AJ’s daughter. George is James’ brother, born in 1859, the yr his father died. Don’t you know Sallie Atkins had it hard? Anyway, wondering if you know any further on James, & the Beamans and their part in the inner war in Montgomery Co. I look forward to reading your new book, & going to the library to reread parts of Unruly Women. If I recall, Caroline Moore (A. J. Beaman’s first cousin-his mother, Effarilla Moore, was her father, Valentine’s, sister) plays a part in your commentary on those “unruly” ones. Thanks for any insight into these kinfolk of mine.
    Kelly Atkins Hinson

  8. Hello Kelly,

    Thanks so much for coming on Renegade South and providing information that clearly places James Atkins within the Wesleyan Methodist community of Montgomery County. I did not know that the Atkins family intermarried with the Beamans. It now seems likelier than ever that James might indeed be buried with the Hulin brothers.

    I am very familiar with the Beaman family, and included a genealogy table on the connections between the Hulins, Moores, Hurleys, Beamans in my first book, Unruly Women (published by University of N.C. Press, 1992). As you probably already know, both John A. and Abram Jackson Beaman joined the Hulins and James Atkins in the woods during the war. During the war, John Beaman wrote a wonderful letter protesting unfair Confederate policies to Gov. Vance that I quote from in Unruly Women, and again in my forthcoming book, Long Shadow of the Civil War.

    Yes, Sallie Atkins clearly had an awful time during the war. There she is, a widow farming her land, no doubt dependent on help from her older children while still caring for little ones as well. Then comes the war, with conscript officers drafting her sons into service. Those were just terrible times.

    Thank you so much for adding to the story. The struggles of these families have long fascinated me, and I want to know more.

    Vikki

  9. Vikki,
    Actually, no, I wasn’t aware of the Beaman brothers involvement in the protests of the Wesleyan sect in Lovejoy…wow, they also joined the outlyers in the mountains! I have no “memories” of this side of my family, nothing was really passed down, a very elderly grandfather, and no ties to his extended family, until the last few years. I have been researching my tree and was told about James Atkins but not about the Beamans. These two brothers (John A. & Abram Jackson Beaman ) both have Confederate markers at Shiloh Methodist Church (also in Troy), and neither has a “deserter” listing in the rosters that I have seen. Can you give us a “preview” of the letter he wrote? Now, I really must thoroughly read “Unruly Women”….had only read excerpts of it years ago. So, in my research on my family tree I am learning alot that has been forgotten, or somewhat swept under the rug. I am always interested in learning more, esp about this subject. Btw, someone mistakenly named A.J., “Andrew”Jackson Beaman for his Confederate stone, and I had planned on having it replaced with one with his real name, although I’m not sure he would want it now that his stance against the CSA is known to me. Funny how the true feelings some had about the Confederacy are replaced with moonlight & magnolia sentiment these 150 yrs later, or were even at the turn of the 20th century. But, even knowing, I guess he should have a stone with the appropriate name on it, and he did serve the Confederacy, if the roster is factual, so he is entitled to recognition that he was in the military, albeit the Confederacy. At any rate,I plan on a trip to Lovejoy this weekend, maybe there is some record at the church there. I will try to dig up (no pun intended) the final resting place of James Atkins, here in Montgomery County. Maybe the Court House is my next destination. (Interestingly, another of my ancestors burned it down in 1843, so research beyond that year is difficult. I have found some real wild branches in my Tree!) I would love to know more…please share any further info you can.
    Thanks, Kelly

  10. You are so right, Kelly, about how quickly our history can be buried (these puns are hard to avoid!). I am interested in any new information you can find.

    After I get caught up on some others tasks, I will post the John Beaman letter on Renegade South. I’ve been reading it to my students whenever we study the Civil War for years! that and the letter written by Martha Sheets, who was kin to John’s wife, Malinda Cranford.

    The Cranfords were also very important in these pro-Union kinship networks. I think both John and A.J. married Cranford women.

    Vikki

  11. Vikki,
    Amanda and I went to Lovejoy today. We talked to the Pastor there, Rev. Tommy Haynes, who is researching to write a church history. He has been looking in the Duke papers, mainly about Francis Asbury’s tours of the area churchs…it seems he preached there several times. He says he has always been told that the Hulin’s cousin was killed and buried with them in a mass grave, which we saw and took pictures of, of course. (And there is an empty space next to the stone marking the Hulin grave.) But as he described it, they were all buried in ONE grave. Also, he says the locals there call Buck mountain, Dark mountain. Have you heard that? He says he will look in the Duke Archives for any proof or other details about James Atkins burial with the Hulins. He also told us there is an elderly lady in Lovejoy who he will ask about it, too. He knew nothing about where the first stone went when it was replaced. We gave him your name and told him about your work researching several of the prominent families of his church, which he expressed interest in contacting you about info for his history. So far, we still only have word of mouth that James Atkins is buried with the Hulins, (but that word is pretty reliable!!) And of course, we do know he was killed with them for fact in Hiram Hulin’s letter. BTW do you know where Hiram Hulin is buried? He was not at Lovejoy, that we could find. In answer to the above, yes, A.J. Beaman’s wife was Mary Ann, and John Armstrong Beaman’s wife was Malinda Cranford, both daughters of James and Rutha Riley Cranford…and just realized Candes Beaman is A.J. & Johns sister, she is an ancestor of Amanda’s, so we are, after all, related! Actually, the suprise would have been if we were NOT related, with all the intermarrying these families did. If we find out any more, we’ll let you know. Thanks for your help.
    Regards,
    Kelly A. Hinson

  12. vikki,
    I forgot to ask, did you hear about the stains on the old church floor being visible until it burned in the 1920’s? Apparently the bloodstains remained on the wooden floor for many years where the Hulins, & James were placed following their execution. Of course, again hearsay…but when that’s all you’ve got to go on! And, usually there some truth in these old stories, even if embellished over the years. I think I’ll be going to the Montgomery County Court House next week, in search of more.
    Kelly

  13. Kelly,

    How great that you and Amanda talked with Rev. Haynes. It does indeed appear that James Atkins is likely buried at Lovejoy.

    I know that Hiram Hulin is buried there, too; I remember seeing his grave. There was some confusion in the death dates on the headstones of one or both of his two wives, Nancy and Candis, it seems to me. but it’s been so long since I was there (1983 I believe), that I am only sure that I saw those graves.

    I checked, and I have old notes in my files in which Buck Mountain is referred to as Dark Mountain.

    I have also heard the story of the blood stains on the church floor. I believe that is contained in the memoirs of Thoburn Freeman, which are now in the possession of Elaine Reynolds, who inherited the Hulin family records. She is the person who provided me with the photo of the Hulin family posted here. She lives right there, so you might want to contact her.

    William (Bill) Auman wrote an article for the North Carolina Historical Review back in the 1980s that has information on the Hulin brothers, and also a photo of their mass grave (my understanding was also that they were all buried together in the same grave). I believe Bill lives nearby in Randolph County.

    I would be happy to share information with Rev. Haynes if he would care to contact me. Meanwhile, I will continue to scour my notes for information. And I haven’t forgotten about posting the John Beaman letter–it’s coming up.

    Vikki

  14. Hey all,
    Can a cousin from Kentucky sneak into these conversations ?? I am very interested in the Moore, Beaman and Hulin families of Montgomery County. My 3rd gr grandmother was yet another Effarilla Moore, b 1765. We, her descendants, believe her to have been an older sister of Valentine Moore. This Effarilla was never married, but had a son, Allen Moore, who’s father was a “Mr. Morris”. Allen Moore, my 2nd gr grandfather was born July 1800, Montgomery County NC, and before 1820, he and his mother show up in Clay County KY, area now Breathitt County, where they remained the rest of their lives. It is believed his father was John Haton Morris. DNA evidence suggests that John Haton Morris may have been an Owen, or Owens. The dna does not match with other Morrises from Montgomery County. Family tradition handed down from Effarilla, to Allen, and to his children, says her immigrant ancestor was Sterling Moore, who sailed his own ship, “the Effarilla”, to the shores of NC (or VA), and that afterwards, the first baby born to him and his wife (no name given) was named Effarilla, for the ship that had brought them safely to America. My ggg granny may have been this baby, or a yet older generation (my personal belief). When Effarilla/Effie Moore died 1855 Breathitt County KY, her death certificate said her parents were William and Anna Moore. I would like to correspond with my new found kinfolk who’ve posted to this site. My email address is joycehousereeve@webtv.net I am also descended from the Bradley family of Randolph County NC, and the Crowder family of Guilford County NC. My gr grandfather, Jeremiah Davidson (son-in-law of Allen Moore), was conscripted into the CSA in KY, deserted and joined the Union Army. It’s a miracle he lived to tell about it. Thank you for writing about the war in Montgomery County.
    Joyce

  15. Joyce,

    What fascinating background history and connections you provide for the Moores of Kentucky and North Carolina! I’m sure my Montgomery County readers will agree.

    Thanks so much,
    Vikki

  16. I did a Google search for one of my ancestors, Haton Morris, and Google came up with your site’s address and the comment “DNA evidence suggests that John Haton Morris may have been an …”. When I visited you site I found some references to Morris families, but cannot find the part quoted above. I’m anxious to see what John Haton Morris may have been. Could you help me find the citation?

    • Hmmm, I don’t think such a sentence appears on any of the posts here; the name is not familiar, other than Morris. I’ve had similar experiences with google, if that’s any consolation.
      Vikki

    • Hi there! Are you descended from John Haton Morris, too? He was the father (illegitimate) of my grgr grandfather, Allen Moore, b 1800, Montgomery County NC. Allen’s mother was Effa Ella, or Effarilla (I prefer Effarilla). She and Haton were never married. Effie and her son, Allen, moved to Clay, now Breathitt County KY ca 1815 +/- (cannot find them there in 1820). A grgr grandson of Allen’s, Byron Moore (now deceased) did the DNA test for us under the MOORE surname. Results said he matched with descendants of John Haton MORRIS. Then along came the BIG shocker !! All these MORRIS’ (who matched with John Haton) matched with the OWENS families. The folks on the Owens List believe the “change” happened in British Isles. (I’ve been told they came from Wales). In case you’re wondering why I’ve waited so long to reply –I just found your email. Being rather a “Renegade” myself, thought I’d open it. I have been incapacitated since beginning of January from a minor surgery on my ankle, which turned into a nightmare! Anyway, the email piled up, Windows XP shut down, messed up this old computer, and I’m just now getting back to normal. Evidently I am an OWENS descendant, but not really MORRIS. Which “site of mine” did you reference?? Best, Joyce House-Reeves Oklahoma City, OK Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2014 04:13:48 +0000 To: joycehousereeve@webtv.net

    • Gary Gilstrap, I hope you see the second message, above, from Joyce Reeves re: John Hatton Morris. I see now that the quote you referenced in your message was from Joyce’s first message of December 27, 2009, which is located right above yours.

      Vikki
      Moderator

  17. I just wanted to say hi! to my cousins here. I just discovered that John Haton Morris is my 8th great grandfather. Hoping to discover more about him as I go. Feel free to contact me at Crbn5@msn.com

    • Hi Dan, see my posting above. I’m from the “other side of the blanket”, my ancestor Allen Moore being illegitimate s/o Effarilla/Effa Ella Moore and John Haton. Effie and Haton were my 3rd grt grandparents. I would like to learn why in recent years Haton has been labeled as John Haton. Anyone know of any proof for that? My email is still joycehousereeve@webtv.net even though there are no more WebTV’s out there any longer. Which child of John Haton’s are you from?

      • Hi Joyce, I noticed your posting to Dan Corbin wherein you state that Effie and Haton Morris are your 3rd Grgrandparents. If I count right, Haton, Jr is my 6th Grgrandfather and Haton Sr. the 7th.

        Based on the DNA evidence you referenced and the family stories handed down I can see that connection of Effarilla to the Morrises, but in the correspondence you and I have had I pulled out the following references you made to this connection between her and Haton:

        *This Effarilla was never married, but had a son, Allen Moore, who’s father was
        a “Mr. Morris”.
        *It is believed his father was John Haton Morris
        *DNA test results said he matched with descendants of John Haton MORRIS.
        *My grandfather, Allen Davidson, told my brother about a Morris in our family,
        but no one seemed to know who he was
        *Now that DNA has come along, I know who his biological family were.  I will
        probably never learn the given name,

        I don’t see anything here that definitely says that Haton, either Sr. or Jr., is the one. I believe that your ancestor was a Morris, and it could be one of the Haton Morrises, or it could be one of his brothers or descendants.

        I’m sorry if I sound critical of your findings, and I’m not saying you are wrong, but I need more convincing evidence before I attribute an illegitimate child to someone. I know Haton is dead and long gone, but a reputation is at stake.

  18. I came across your site looking for Phoebe Crook of Monroe, Union County, North Carolina. The research you are doing is fascinating, and although I don’t think that the Phebe Crook who wrote these letters is the same Phoebe Crook in my family, I am wondering if you might know some answers to questions I have about the family of Victor Crook (b. 1790 in Union County). First of all, family legend has it that there were 3 Crook brothers from Ireland who came to North Carolina in the early 1800s. I’m wondering if the Crooks from slightly north in the Piedmont share his ancestry.
    On a more interesting note, there are 2 women in my family who passed down the Crook name to their children. One of them, my Phoebe Crook, had several children with a cousin’s husband and passed down the name Crook to all of them. Phoebe’s cousin, who was likely from the wealthy Medlin family, briefly married a young man who died at 18 in the war and then she had at least one other child, and passed down the Crook name to him.
    My question: Under what circumstances would a woman pass her surname on to her children in a mid-1800s plantation family in the Piedmont, and if the reason is that the children were illegitimate, how common was that among landed whites at the time? Perhaps you know about this case specifically by coming across it in your research, or maybe you have some knowledge about social and family history in that era/region that would explain this mystery.
    Thanks so much for your great work.
    Lori Crook

    • Hi Lori,

      Thanks for your interesting comment and queries.

      First, to answer your historical question, my research into NC records indicates that the more common reason for a woman to pass down her maiden name to her children was because they were illegitimate. Among poor women, thus happened fairly frequently, as I demonstrated in my book, Unruly Women. However, illegitimate offspring also occurred among plantation class men and women as well, as this earlier Renegade South post shows: http://renegadesouth.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/unruly-women-among-the-old-souths-upper-classes-or-what-you-might-discover-in-the-state-archives/

      When married upper-class women bestowed their surnames on children for purposes of family-identification, they usually did so as middle names. They and their husbands would not likely have wanted to create any confusion over whether their children were legitimate or not. 19th century patriarchal pride as well as female chastity would have been at stake as well.

      One factor that might have encouraged use of a mother’s surname even though her children were born within a marriage is scandal leading to divorce. I have seen at least one case where a woman changed her children’s last names to hers after divorcing their criminal father.

      In regard to your genealogical questions regarding your Crook line, I’m afraid that line is unfamiliar to me. I can tell you that my Phebe’s father, William Crook, was a Methodist preacher (likely the antislavery variety), but I don’t know whether he had any brothers. According to an online genealogy that I accessed years ago, he was also a school teacher, born in 1800 and married to Rachel Bean, b. 1804. William’s father’s name was also William. The elder William Crook was reported as born in Caspertank, Pennsylvania, and to have served in the Revolutionary War.

      As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, William and Rachel Crook, as well as several of their children including their daughter, Clarinda, and Clarinda’s husband Nelson Hulen, moved to Kentucky after the war. It seems likely that their daughter Phebe moved to Kentucky as well, but I have thus far found no record of her after the war. Have no idea whether she married, remained single, or died young.

      Thanks for your interest, and please let me know if you’re able to connect the different Crook branches!

      Vikki Bynum

  19. Clarification: Victor Crook was born around 1790-1795, probably in Ireland, although he often listed New York as his birthplace.

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