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Crobarger Surname

The Crobarger family has not been easy to research. One reason is that the spelling of the name has been frequently butchered over the years. Variant spellings or mistakes I have come across include: Crowbarger, Crobrudy, Cooper, Croborger, etc. Some researchers believe that Crobarger may derive from either Grauberger or Cronenberger, two different documented German-American names.


1st Generation:

Unknown Crobarger was born circa 1774, in Pennsylvania or Virginia. He died before 1830 in Tennessee.

The earliest provable Crobarger in our family was a man whose first name is not known. In fact we know nothing about him or his family until 1830, when his widow Catherine appears as head of household in Jefferson Co., Tennessee. He was probably born during the 1770s, either in Pennsylvania or Virginia. Some researchers have proposed that his given name was George, or even George Washington. If that is true, he may have been Johann Georg Croberger, son of George Michael Croberger and Eva Barbara Lauderbach, who was baptized on December 4, 1774 at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. Given German customs, this child probably would have used his middle name "George" as his preferred name during his lifetime. His father George Michael Croberger was probably the same person as Michael Crobarger, brother of George Crobarger of Hawkins County, Tennessee. That George of Hawkins County died in 1839, leaving a wife Mary and daughter Esther "Hetty" (Crobarger) Seaver. It is highly likely that our Crobargers was related closely to this family. Esther Seaver's brother-in-law John Seaver is said to have been married to a Susannah Crobarger. Also, Esther's sister-in-law Elizabeth Leaver was the mother of Ann Lamar, eventually the wife of Francis Asbury Crobarger (below). The connection to this family is likely given the very uncommon surname, repeated use of given names, and the same migration pattern (Virginia to Tennessee) in the same time period.

Our Mr. Crobarger was probably married to Catherine (last name unknown) after 1800, either in Virginia or Pennsylvania. Only the identities of four children are known, yet it is possible that there were others that died young and perhaps even older children that have not yet been identified. While in Virginia, the Crobargers were probably living in or near Scott County. The Crobargers did not remain in Virginia for long and moved on to Tennessee. The date of the move is unclear, partially because of an absence of the family in the 1810 or 1820 censuses and also because the birthplaces of their children are not consistently identified. They may have moved over the state line as early as 1808-1809. They settled in eastern Tennessee. They probably lived either in Hawkins or Grainger Co., TN (where other Crobarger relatives lived) or in Jefferson Co., TN (where Catherine was head of household in 1830). In Jefferson County, they may have been in the northern part of the county that was split off and became Hamblen County in 1870 (this county borders Hawkins County.) Mr. Crobarger died sometime between 1816 (when his youngest known child was probably conceived) and 1830 (when his widow was head of the household).

He married Catherine sometime before 1808. She was born on about December 16, 1777 4,12 in Pennsylvania. She died on March 4, 1875 near Galesville, Douglas Co., Oregon 4,12.
One researcher has proposed that her maiden name was McCreedy, yet that appears to be based on no logical evidence (a misreading of her misspelled married name in the 1860 census: "Crobreedy"). The only clue to her origins (besides census records which reveal her birth in Pennsylvania) is the 1870 census, when she indicated that both of her parents were foreign-born. My guess is that she was of German heritage. Catherine married to a Mr. Crobarger sometime before 1808, probably in Virginia or Pennsylvania. They lived in Virginia and also in eastern Tennessee. She was head of household in Jefferson Co., Tennessee in 1830. In the mid 1830s, Catherine probably moved with her children to the state of Indiana, where they only lived briefly (until about 1837). At about that time, they moved to Platte Co., Missouri. In 1840, she was living in a household in Platte County with her two sons. In 1846, she moved over the Oregon Trail with youngest daughter Harriet and family. They lived in at least 4 different locations in Oregon before settling in the tiny town of Galesville, in Douglas County, Oregon in about 1863. Catherine resided there until her death in 1875, at the age of 97. Scrutinization of known burial records so far have come up empty. She was either buried in an unmarked grave on the family estate, in an unmarked grave in the Glendale Cemetery (even though their earliest known burial was in 1883), or in an unmarked grave in the Quines Creek/Gilliam Cemetery.
They had at least the following children:
1 George Washington Crobarger was born on May 22, 1808 in Virginia 5. He died on March 25, 1875 in Platte Co., Missouri 5.
He married first to Elizabeth Young Cooper on February 2, 1843 in Platte Co., Missouri 3.
They had the following children:
John R. Crobarger (1844-aft. 1860)
Mary Catherine Crobarger (1844-1928)
md. Lewis C. Magers
George Washington Crobarger (1847-1931)
md. Armilda Anderson
Robert Hall Crobarger (1848-1925)
He married second Elizabeth Remington, widow of Mr. Horr, on June 7, 1855 in Platte Co., Missouri.
They had one child:
Eugene S. Crobarger (1858-1934)
2 Susannah Crobarger was born on August 29, 1809 in Tennessee 5. She died on December 23, 1882 in Lookingglass, Douglas Co., Oregon 5. She is buried in the Lookingglass Cemetery, Lookingglass, Douglas Co., Oregon.
She married Samuel Creswell Braden on January 28, 1834 in Jefferson Co., Tennessee 5. (He was born on October 11, 1811 in Claiborne Co., Tennessee and died on August 11, 1895 in Myrtle Point, Coos Co., Oregon. He is buried in the Lookingglass Cemetery, Lookingglass, Douglas Co., Oregon.)
They had the following children:
Francis Asbury Braden (1835-1894)
md. Sarah G. Buell
Rebecca Catherine Braden (1837-aft. 1880)
md. Phillip A. Decker
America Agnes Braden (1841-1878)
md. Daniel Giles
Alice Braden (c. 1845-1913)
md. J. Livingston
Virginia Susannah Braden (1847-1925)
md. Franklin Cyrus Buell
Margaret Missouri Braden (c. 1849-c. 1875)
md. Thomas Jefferson Rowley
John Jacob Astor Braden (1851-1929)
md. Dora Maria Eagan

Census records consistently list Susannah's birth place in Tennessee; while the birth places of her younger siblings are variously listed as Tennessee and Virginia. This may be an indication that Susannah spent parts of her youth in both Tennessee and Virginia. Susannah was married in 1834, at the age of 24. Then in 1834 or 1835, she and her husband (and possibly her mother and siblings) moved to somewhere in the state of Indiana; where the only remained a few years. In about 1838, they moved to Platte County, Missouri; where they lived for many years. In 1846, Susannah's mother and sister moved to Oregon on the Oregon Trail and apparently influenced Susannah's family to make the same trip. In 1852, Susannah and her family crossed the Oregon Trail and settled in Douglas County, Oregon; where her sister and mother were living. They first lived in Roseburg, Oregon, before moving out to the coast near what is now Coos Bay, Oregon.

3 Francis Asbury Crobarger was born on November 20, 1815 in Tennessee 5. He died on November 9, 1881 in Nortonville, Jefferson Co., Kansas 5. He is buried in the Nortonville Cemetery, Nortonville, Jefferson Co., Kansas.
He married Ann Lamar on January 7, 1845 in Platte Co., Missouri 3. (She was born on February 17, 1809 in Jefferson Co., Tennessee and died on November 3, 1893 in Nortonville, Jefferson Co., Kansas. She was buried in the Nortonville Cemetery, Nortonville, Jefferson Co., Kansas.)
They had one child:
John Marcus Crobarger (1848-1908)
Francis moved with his family from Missouri in to Kansas in 1855. He was against slavery in that state.
4 Harriet Catherine Crobarger

2nd Generation:

Harriet Catherine Crobarger was born on about November 15, 1816 6 or on about December 15, 1817 7, in Tennessee or Virginia. She died on March 7 7,8, March 8 2,6 or March 9 9, 1884 in Galesville, Douglas Co., Oregon.

Father: Unknown Crobarger
Mother: Catherine

Contemporary sources (census enumerations) are not consistent in whether Harriet was born in Virginia or Tennessee. My guess is that her parents lived somewhere in the vicinity of the border between Scott County, Virginia and Hawkins County, Tennessee and moved back and forth during the 1810s, when they were having and raising children.

Regardless of where she was born, Harriet was eventually raised in northeast Tennessee. Her father died in her childhood and her mother never remarried. In 1830 and 1834, they were living in Jefferson Co., Tennessee. There is a strong possibility that Harriet and her family moved to somewhere in Indiana in the mid-1830s. If so, they only remained in Indiana for 2 or 3 years. In about 1838, the family moved out west and settled in Platte County, Missouri. Shortly after moving there, Harriet became engaged to William Martin, whose family were among the earliest white settlers of the county. They were married in 1839 in Martinsville (now Platte City), Missouri.

After the marriage, William and Harriet continued living in Platte County, Missouri. In 1843, William left on an expedition train to the Oregon Territory, leaving Harriet behind to care for their infant daughter. William returned the following year and immediately began making plans to move the entire family west to Oregon. In the spring of 1846, Harriet and her family left their home in Missouri and made the trek over the Oregon Trail, arriving in northern Oregon in September 1846. The family settled in Lafayette in Yamhill County, Oregon. There, William operated a general store. Then in 1851, the family moved to southern Oregon where they took advantage of the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 and settled a claim of 640 acres near Winchester in Douglas County, Oregon. In Winchester, William reopened his general store. They remained on their Winchester farm until 1859, when they moved to the nearby city of Roseburg, Oregon. In that same year, Harriet signed an affidavit stating that she had property separate from her husband (the location of the property is not known). They only lived briefly in the city of Roseburg. In about 1861, they moved to the nearby town of Myrtle Creek, where William attempted a short career as a miller. Then in about 1863, they moved a final time to a farm near Galesville in southern Douglas County, Oregon. There, in 1867, her husband was operating a hotel.

Harriet spent the rest of her life residing at the family's home at Galesville (now near Azalea), in the Cow Creek Valley of Douglas County, Oregon. She died from paralysis (probably a stroke) in March of 1884, at the age of 66 or 67. Harriet's place of burial has not been located. She was probably buried on the family farm near Galesville (which is today between Glendale and Azalea) or perhaps in the Glendale Cemetery. Although her grave (wherever it is) is probably unmarked, we do know that her daughter Josephine paid for a marble headstone for her grave in May 1884.

Harriet married William Jennings Martin on July 16 2,9 or August 22 3,10,11, 1839 at Platte City, Platte Co., Missouri.
For more information on her children, see his page.

Sources:

1. Assorted US Federal Census Records
2. Obituary of William J. Martin, Roseburg Plaindealer, April 29, 1901
3. Missouri Marriages to 1850, Ancestry.com
4. Death Notice of Catherine Crobarger, Jacksonville Democratic Times, April 23, 1875
5. Online gedcom family files
6. Death Notice of Harriet C. Martin, The Douglas Independent [Roseburg, OR], Mar. 22, 1884
7. Death notice of Harriet C. Martin, Oregon Sentinel [Jacksonville, OR], Mar. 15, 1884, Pg. 3
8. Death notice of Harriet C. Martin, The Coast Mail [Marshfield, OR], Mar. 27, 1884, Pg. 3
9. Information from Ralph Roberts at RRob689080@aol.com
10. Marriage record of William Martin and Harriet Crobarger, 1839, Platte Co., Missouri. Marriage Register, Volume 1, Page 5.
11. Paxton, W.M. Annals of Platte County, Missouri. Hudson Kimberly Publishing Co., 1897.
12. Death notice of Catharine Crobarger, The Oregonian [Portland, OR], Apr. 27, 1875, Pg. 2