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Descendants of James LYLE and Hannah CRAWFORD

Descendants of James LYLE and Hannah CRAWFORD

From Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania
To Hamilton County, Ohio; Jefferson County, Indiana; Meigs County, Ohio;
Wapello County, Iowa; Schuyler County, Illinois; Sullivan County, Missouri and beyond

     No Lyle family members were famous; few of them remembered outside the family except grandson James O. Lyle in whose honor the Columbia River town of Lyle, Washington, was named. The men were farmers or artisans: carpenters, coopers and blacksmiths, the women were homemakers who worked hard and raised many children. Their story is a common one for the times and well illustrates the westward migration of Pennsylvanians across the United States, in the case of this family, always following a little behind the earliest pioneers.
     James originated in Colonial Pennsylvania near Philadelphia, moved to central Pennsylvania along with a sister’s family and finally settled near McKeesport in the southwestern part of the state by 1810. His children began to move down the Ohio River in 1830 establishing homes by 1860 in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. A grandson even went to the California gold fields though he returned to Iowa for a time.
     During the Civil War nine grandsons served in the Union Army. One was killed in battle, one died of wounds received while on guard duty, one died from illness contracted before a disability discharge and two suffered ill health the rest of their lives, one of them residing in soldiers’ homes. The Lyle recruits were far from average in height, ranging from five feet nine and one half inches to six feet two inches, in an army whose soldiers averaged only five feet six inches. Their sisters were probably also tall given the height of some of their husbands, one, Isaac W. Carden, a towering six foot three and one half inches, nearly as tall as Abraham Lincoln. The grandchildren continued the westward movement settling in Kansas, Nebraska, western and eastern Washington Territory and at last in southern California.

Generation One

1. James1 Lyle was born between 1765 and 1775 in Pennsylvania; (see probable Ancestors of James Lyle).1 He married Hannah Crawford say 1795.2 He died by March 1839.3 His estate was probated beginning 14 March 1839 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, when James Lyle was appointed administrator of the estate of "James Lyle late of Elizabeth Township." 4
     The family surname of Lyle, spelled Lysle for the branch that remained in Pennsylvania, can also be spelled Lile or Lisle and a number of other variations. Some indexes show the first letter as S, probably a misinterpretation of older handwriting. The main two spellings are used here unless citing a specific document.

The Surname Lyle is an Anglo-Norman name corrupted in Scotland from the original "L'Isle" which probably dates to about 1150. In 1590 the family was listed under border clans in Berwick. In Ireland, Lyle family members still lived in Ulster in 1890 in County Antrim.5

     James and Hannah were born not long before the American Revolution and according to their children both were born in Pennsylvania, probably in the Philadelphia area.6 Their grandson, James O. Lyle, related that his father's people were of Scotch-Irish descent and among the colonial settlers of the Atlantic coast.7 They were likely similar to another Lyle family that migrated from eastern to western Pennsylvania around 1784 settling in Washington County. They were of Scots-Irish origin and Presbyterian faith.8
     James Lisle may have appeared on the census of 4 August 1800 in Millford Township, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, as James Lisle in a household of three males under ten, one 26-44 and one female 26-44. I have no evidence placing this family in the middle of Pennsylvania instead of the Philadelphia area at this date, but this is the only Lyle/Lile/Lisle family in the state in the 1800 census that seems to fit.9 Mifflin County then comprised most of the current Mifflin and Juniata Counties with Milford Township in the latter.10 Just two households in Mifflin County were headed by Crawfords, James, on a page near James Lisle, and a Mary Crawford. Both families had older adults.11 If James Lisle in Mifflin County should prove to be this James Lyle, it is possible that a James Crawford could be his father-in-law. Because James Lyle's children all rather closely followed a traditional pattern in naming children, James and Hannah may have done so too. If Hannah's father was named James, it would imply that James Lyle's father was named John and perhaps a brother Charles while Hannah may have had a brother Samuel. Her son Samuel (1801-1886) has his tombstone inscribed Samuel C. Lyle, and could have been Samuel Crawford Lyle. This is only speculation now, but points to possible avenues of research.12 It is a hopeful line to follow as there was a John Lysle in Milford Township in the U.S. direct tax of 1798 who owned a dwelling valued at $20 on 409 acres valued at $1247.13

     James Lyle moved west with his family in 1806 to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.14 There he settled in Elizabeth Township, an area between the Monongahela and Youghiogheny Rivers where river traffic was a major factor in local life and livelihood. It was then also possible to travel to New Orleans by private flatboat and return with profit from the sale of produce.15 He appeared on the census of 6 August 1810 in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, as James Lisle with a household of three males under 10, three age 10-15 and one 26-44 plus one female under 10 and one 26-44.16 The township population then tallied 2,368 and the entire county, which includes Pittsburgh, had 25,317 inhabitants.17 He appeared on the census of 7 August 1820 in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; as James Lile, the oldest male, 45 or over, plus one male 10-16, (one male 16-18 included in the next count), five males 16-26, one male 26-45 [unknown person], one female 10-16, one female 45 or over; six persons engaged in agriculture.18 He purchased from Andrew Boyd and his wife Sarah a parcel of land of 57 acres and eleven perches, part of the 288 acre warrant of 1787 by Nathaniel Boyd, deceased on 6 April 1830 in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.19 One of the witnesses to the deed was Samuel Crawford, probably a relative of James' wife.20 The name of the northern portion of Elizabeth Township where this land was located was changed to Lincoln Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, in 1869 when Elizabeth Township was divided into three townships.21 This is apparently his only land purchase even though he had lived in the county over 20 years implying he had rented land previously. With the fairly small amount of land and limited quantity of livestock owned at his death, James and his sons probably engaged in trades as well as farming. His son James is later listed as a ship carpenter and William as a blacksmith and his estate contained both carpenter's tools and shoe maker's tools. He appeared on the census of 1 June 1830 in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; probably as the older male age 70-80 in the household of James Lyle, also including one male 30-40 and one female 15-20 who may be son Charles and his wife Sarah.22

Allegheny County 1800

Allegheny County townships as they existed in 1800 are shown above. Elizabeth Township remained the same until 1869 when it was divided into three townships with Lincoln the northern tip, Forward the southwestern portion and the eastern part keeping the name Elizabeth. The location of the land owned by James Lyle is shown by the red dot. Isaac Webb's land was farther north and John McCune's was along the bend of the Youghiogheny to the east.
     On 16 March 1839 the belongings of his estate were inventoried and appraised by Andrew Boyd and James Morton at $215.35 of which $46.55 was cash and monies owed. A sale was held ten days later with many items sold to James, Samuel and Francis W. Lyle, the three sons remaining in Pennsylvania. The only livestock were one horse and one cow. There were household and personal items, a small trunk of slates and books, some farm equipment, flax, a spinning wheel, hay, grains both harvested and in the ground, clover seed, barrels, carpenter's tools and shoe maker tools. The sale realized $184.96 of which $18 was for the cow and $5 for the horse.23 One of the deeds selling his land after his death states: "[James Lyle] died intestate leaving issue Seven Children, to wit: - John, James, Charles, William, Samuel, and Francis W. Lyle, sons of the said James Lyle deceased, and Elizabeth the wife of John Hall above named, daughter of the said James Lyle, to whom the same by the Laws of Pennsylvania, relating to intestate Estates did descend and come." 24

     Hannah Crawford was born between 1765 and 1775 in Pennsylvania.25 She probably died before 1830 in Pennsylvania; as she doesn't appear in that census.26 She probably appeared on the census of 6 August 1810 in the household of James Lisle in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, as the female age twenty-six to forty-five.27 She probably appeared on the census of 7 August 1820 in the household of James Lile in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, as the female 45 or over.28 According to James O. Lyle, "Hannah (Croford) Lyle", his paternal grandmother, was related in some way to General Anthony Wayne.29
Children of James1 Lyle and Hannah Crawford were as follows:

Please beware: all the data is not verified and some is stated to be speculation!
All additions, corrections and family connections welcome.
There will be periodic updates.

© 2001-2009 Jean M. Hoffman, CGSM

Contact author Jean M. Hoffman via e-mail to:
Created using The Master Genealogist for Windows, last updated 20 Apr 2009.

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Descendants of James Lyle and Hannah Crawford