The Story Behind the Report
I inherited a sketchy outline of the Lyle family descending from James Lyle and Hannah Crawford. The paper probably
came from my Grandfather Lyle and was tucked in a box my mother had labeled "Family History." As I researched
this family I tried to fill in the details and document the information.
My branch of the family was headed by Samuel Lyle (1801-1886) who moved from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, to Meigs County, Ohio, about 1844 according to a land patent. I learned his son Isaac was born in Allegheny County in 1830 from Isaac's Civil War pension file. Allegheny County census records turned up clues that the family and progenitor James Lyle were in Elizabeth Township by 1810. Variant spellings of the surname were a challenge, commonly appearing as "Lile," "Lisle" or "Lysle."
My goals were to prove Samuel's father was this James Lyle and, more difficult, determine the name of his mother. At the same time I hoped to learn that neighbor Isaac Webb was the father of Samuel Lyle's wife, Rebecca Webb.
Both James Lyle and Isaac Webb appear in the 1810 census of Elizabeth Township but I have not found them in 1800. As Samuel was reportedly born at the end of 1801 in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia, the Lyle family may have come west between 1802 and 1810. No 1800 census record seems a good candidate for the family however. A key to finding them would be a family with at least three males under the age of ten.
A breakthrough came in the 1840-42 deeds in which James Lyle's heirs sold his land. There all seven surviving children are listed with spouses of six and the locations in which they lived at that time, four of them in Indiana. From this it was a virtual journey across five states to follow the family.
Contacts I've made with other family members and data I've located from still others have provided a tremendous amount of help and encouragement, but it appears that no one knew the links of all the Lyle children and their parents in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. James Lyle is now proven as the father, but Hannah Crawford's name is not proven though there is considerable circumstantial evidence to support it. Much of the story is speculative or indefinite. So much more needs to be done. My report is only a work in progress meant to share the new data joining Lyle family lines to James Lyle and Hannah Crawford. Be sure to read notes I've included on other Crawfords who may be connected. In addition to the genealogical report I've included a map of the migration of James' children, an analysis of the early "head of household" census data, information on land records in the family and a selection of items from the scrapbook of Mrs. Emmet Lyle in Kyger, Cheshire Township, Gallia County, Ohio, mostly from the 1890s.
The report is for three generations, down to the grandchildren of James and Hannah with the great grandchildren and their spouses also listed. This avoids any conflicts over information on living family members but should provide enough data to allow others to link back from their own lines, in most cases! I've tried to trace everyone as far as the 1900 census, but there are many gaps or total disappearances such as some of the Charles Lyle line in Iowa after 1860.
One disappointment in my research concerned the Lyle family book, The Lyles of Western Pennsylvania: being an account of the origin, migration, and generations of the family by Paul Edwin Kaup (1987, Closson Press: Apollo, PA). Since my Lyle family was certainly from western Pennsylvania I had great hopes, but this book is based on a family that arrived in neighboring Washington County in the 1780s. Other books on the surname that I have found were about equally unrelated lines. The Washington County group sound like a similar family and may even be related in some way. There was also another James Lyle in Allegheny County at the same time in St. Clair Township, but again, I have found no connection.
I sincerely hope this Lyle family report will be of interest and assistance to others searching the past. I hope you will contact me. I would like to receive comments, criticism and always, new data!
Special thanks go to my husband for his considerable assistance and support and to the many other wonderful people who have provided lookups, transcribed data and managed it on the internet. Also thanks go to the untiring help of librarians and county courthouse employees.
Contact author Jean M. Hoffman via e-mail
Created on 19 Jul 2001