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The Craft Family

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by Bobbye C. Winston

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See Mt. Zion Church for further Craft information.
John F. and Linda Brown Craft family click here

1885 map of Elbert County GA click here
John Craft in Civil War Hospital and Burial click here


Several Craft families moved into Elbert County , Georgia and surrounding area from Granville County , NC Many lived in and around the old town of Craftsville , GA in Elbert County
The parents of John M. Craft cannot be verified at this time. His father is believed to be named David. He may be closely related to David Craft, born 1780 in NC. David and wife Elizabeth moved to Greene Co., AL around 1840 along with his brother Henry Craft and his wife, Mary Ann Scales. David and Henry were the sons of Washington Craft who lived in Giles Co. TN in early 1800's and whose inventory was returned in Giles Co. in 1844.Washington Craft and family had once lived in Elbert County , GA. (John M. Craft was born in Georgia and most likely Elbert County in or near the old town of Craftsville .) 

There was an Anderson Craft in Elbert County that had a son named John M. Craft near the same age of our John M. Craft. Anderson Craft’s son lived in Georgia and is buried there. Our John M. Craft named a son Anderson. The Anderson Craft in Elbert County is possibly related.
David Craft and family left Greene Co., AL returning to Giles Co. TN during Civil War times. Henry Craft died in Greene Co. in 1840'
David Craft of Greene Co.,

1850 Greene Co. AL census records:

David Craft, 70, born in NC
Elizabeth Craft, 60, born in VA
Permelia, 26, born in GA
Mary A. 18, born in GA 
Nancy , 16, born in GA
Harriet, 14, born in AL 

Mary Ann Craft (widow of Henry Craft that died in 1840’s), 40, born in TN
Augustus, 20, born in TN
Martha, 15, born in
Sarah, 13, born in
Mary, 10, born in
William, 8, born in
Nancy , 6, born in
Lucy, 4, born in

Some Greene County , AL marriage records show:
Sarah Craft married James Riley in 1844
Elizabeth Craft married William Riley in 1848
Permelia Craft was born 1829 in GA. She married Isiah Smith in 1854
Frances Craft married Archibald Johnson in 1837
Cynthia Craft married Tebedee Riley in 1837.

Some Craft marriages in Elbert Co. GA are:
David Craft married Elizabeth Elliot Dec. 3, 1812 in Elbert County , GA.
Anderson Craft married Lucy Alexander Feb. 4, 1819 .
Washington Craft married Polly Daniel Dec. 26, 1820 .
John Craft married Elizabeth Daniel Jan. 28, 1821 .
Samuel Craft married Leah H. Dunn May 23, 1822 .
John Craft, Jr. and Ann Gaines married Oct. 23, 1828

David Craft of Pickens County , AL

In Pickens County death list published 1850, there is listed a David Craft, farmer, age 78, born in NC, that died in 1849 in Pickens Co. No other record can be found on this David Craft. I believe this is the father of John M. Craft but I have no proof. 
John M. Craft named his first son, David.

John M. Craft

John M. Craft, born 1824 in GA, moved here as a young man and married Nancy Wren Lewis, born April 2, 1831 in Raleigh (Nash Co.) NC. (Her grandchildren called Nancy Craft “old granny”.) Nancy moved here at age 11 with her father, Bennett Lewis, after the death of her mother. She joined the old Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Bethany. John M. Craft was also a member.

John M. Craft served as a Private in Company I of the 7th Regiment Alabama Cavalry Volunteers. He volunteered because he felt it was his duty. He enlisted July 25, 1863 in Carrollton , AL. by Lt. R. T. Johnston. He was paid $7.50 a month regular pay plus forty cents a day for his horse. He was marked absent at roll call during fall of 1863 as he was in the hospital at Mobile . He was on his way home when he relapsed with pneumonia and died Aug. 7, 1864 in Greenville, AL and is buried with civil war dead in Greenville (unmarked grave)


A Civil War Hospital was built during fall and winter of 1863 in Greeneville, AL. It was located about 1/4 mile west of the present Louisville and Nashville Railway station on a site now (in 1961) occupied by the Richardson home and the Park Hill Grocery. The main street of Greenville, State Highway 10, going west, borders the location on the north. The site is about one hundred yards east of Ft. Dale Street. When excavations were made for the building now housing the grocery store, a number of graves were discovered. They were supposed to have marked the site of the hospital burial ground.


Before going to the Civil War, John Craft worked as an overseer for Colonel Lanier on land known as the "Lipsey Place". When John Craft died in the War, his oldest child, David, was 13. Nancy Craft stated to my father "David could barely see over a plow". Nancy continued farming with help of her children.
Before John M. Craft went to War he bought land (about 160 acres) in Olney near home of Vivian and Katie Colson. Nancy managed to pay off the indebtedness and rear the children alone. She never remarried. 

Nancy Wren Lewis Craft
Children of John M. & Nancy Craft 

They were the parents of eight children. They were: 

1. David Craft, born ca. 1850. Married Emma Hood on Nov. 26, 1872 by James Gibson at the residence of Jesse Holder. David moved to Arkansas and is buried there. He had two daughters, one was named Mattie. His wife died when the girls were young. 
2. Tandy W. Craft, born 1851. Died 1933. Moved to Jacksonville , FL when he was a young man. Married in Florida and had a daughter, Nannie Craft, that married a Mr. White. Another son was a law enforcement officer in Jacksonville, FL. This son died young. When his wife died, he remarried and had one daughter named Ollie. He and his second wife divorced and he moved back to Benevola. He worked at odd jobs farming for a while before moving to Chicago, Illinois to live with his daughter, Nannie Craft White. He is buried at Bethesda Cemetery.
3. Mary Craft, born ca. 1853. Married John D. Russell on Nov. 14, 1872 by James Gibson at the home of her mother, Mrs. Nancy Craft. They lived in Lamar Co., AL.
4. John Anderson Craft, born Dec. 21, 1856 and died Jan. 16, 1932 . He was a farmer and was active in the Mount Zion Baptist Church where he served as church clerk. Married Mary Elizabeth (Mollie) Cole. (Grandchildren called Mollie Cole Craft “Good Granny”.) (Children listed below.)

5. Annie Craft, born March 12, 1859 and died May 28, 1937 . Married Josiah Thomas (Sy) Abston on April 21, 1878 by O. L. McKinstry, Justice of the Peace. A son is Albert Tennyson Abston, born May 24, 1882 and died Jan. 8, 1969. He married Lillie Powell, sister of Coleman Powell.

Annie Craft Abston and husband Josiah Abston


6. James Thomas, born June 25, 1859. Died May 7, 1919. He was active in the Mount Zion Baptist Church. Married Mattie Belle Sherrod on Dec. 16, 1879 by Elder R. A. Massey. They lived in Benevola. 

A handed down Civil War story in the Craft family is that Nancy Craft was cooking a black skillet full of cornbread one day when she saw two Yankee soldiers coming horseback to her house.  Food was scarce back then, and if you had some meal to make some cornbread you were lucky. She knew the soldiers would take everything she had and she did not want to share her cornbread with them so she took it out of her wood stove and hid it in the dresser drawer.  When the soldiers got to the house they helped themselves to some stuff in the pantry but they didn't get the cornbread.  When they left the house, she took the skillet of cornbread out of the dresser drawer and put it back in the stove and finished cooking it.  That was her family's supper that night, along with some buttermilk.
Nancy had made her home with her son, John Anderson Craft, in Benevola for ten years when on Oct. 1, 1916 she was sitting too close to the fire and her clothing caught fire and she was badly burned. She lived ten days and on October 10, 1916 at 10:00 p.m., she died from those burns. She was 86 years old. She is buried at Bethesda Cemetery in Benevola.

The following letter was written by Nancy Craft to her brother, John Calhoun Lewis, who had moved to Texas.  The letter is dated April 4, 1871.  It was among the letters and photos kept by John Calhoun Lewis.  Many in the Lewis family, including Nancy Lewis Craft, wrote him trying to persuade him to return home but he never returned.  He loved Texas.

Dear Brother,

As your mother has not sent this letter off I will write you a few lines.  This leaves all well and truly hope these few lines will find you in good health.  John I have no news to write. We have not done planting corn yet.  It has rained so much but we have got a good spell of weather now.  John lives is hard and many is coming for next year, the world will be full of children and Billy will be called Pa too and Jess (or Jeff) too.

John you had better come home and see what you can do. I saw Miss Nancy and Miss Mary C. Chamblee last Sunday and they looked fine.  Buck is still at Mr. Gaskin yet, David (her son, David Craft) is at Lanier Mill near Mr. Baker. He gets 19 dollars per month and you could get the same as this to if you were about 1 mile and a half from your poor old Mother. Oh John you don't know what she suffered from you.  Well I must close. Tell D.D. to write to me. John tell Jim to write to me.

Your Sister,

Nancy Craft





Children of James Thomas and Mattie Craft are:

A. Lizzie Belle Craft born Nov. 14, 1880 and died Feb. 25, 1959. Married John Samuel Powell (11/12/1879 - 6/24/1955) Their children are: (1) Thomas Matthew Powell, (10/8/1903 - 9/19/1981) Married Mary Alice Cork. (2) Mattie Belle Powell (3/6/1905 - 1/9/1972) (3) Samuel Murray Powell (10/13/1907 - 1974. Married Dorothy Payne. (4) Cecil Erie Powell (11/19/1908 and died in Jacksonville, FL.) Wife named Pawnee. (5) Lois Dean Powell (9/11/1909. Died in Tampa, FL) (6) Albert Kirk Powell (born after 1910, no date of death) (7) Nancy Margaret Powell (10/13/1913 Died Miami, FL. Married Richard McCarthy) (8) Madie Katherine Powell (3/08/1915 and died Tampa, Fl Married George Fiksdal) (9) Eva Powell (8/28/1917 - 6/1/1992. Married John Jacob Lutz)  (10) Edith Marie Powell (7/28/1919 - 1/22/1921)

B. Minnie Lee Craft was born 1883 and died 1895. She is buried in Bunn Cemetery in Pickens Co., AL.
 

C. Willie Arthur Craft was born 1884 and died 1957. Married Juanita Carrico. Children of Willie Arthur Craft are: (1) Willie Arthur Craft, Jr. of Modesto, CA, born Aug. 29, 1932 and died Dec. 18, 2009. He is married to Wendy Adelseck. (2) Joanne Craft born April 13, 1937 and died Aug. 1, 2000. She married Dewey Baswell of Millport, AL, and (3) Delores Craft born March 29, 1942 and died May 5, 1997. She married (1) Jimmy Minor and (2) Grady Jenkins. She lived in Aliceville, AL.
 

D. Lula Craft was born July 29, 1886 and died Aug. 23, 1909 at the home of her father in Benevola. Married Will B. Powell on Dec. 17, 1905. They lived in Tuscaloosa where Will Powell worked for the Post Office. Lula is buried at Soules Chapel Cemetery (Mitchell Cemetery).
 

E. Thomas Clarence Craft was born 1889 and died 1953. Married Lucille Blissett.  They are both buried at Franconia Oak Grove Cemetery in Aliceville, AL. Children of Thomas Clarence and Lucille Craft were: (1) Thomas Clarence Craft, Jr. born 1925 and died 1928 and buried at Franconia Cemetery in Aliceville, AL; (2) James Edward Craft (Bubba) deceased, buried at Franconia Oak Grove Cemetery in Aliceville, AL.  His widow, Kathleen, lives in Aliceville and is a retired Pickens County Revenue Commissioner; and (3) Mary Craft Windham, born Sept. 22, 1929 and died June 16, 2007 in Raleigh NC. Mary was married to W. Phillip Windham and moved to Chapel Hill NC in 1958 where Phil joined the faculty of the Business School at the University of North Carolina. She is buried at Franconia Oak Grove Cemetery in Aliceville, Al.
 

F. Bessie Maude Craft, born Aug. 1890 and died June 9, 1932. She married Elbert Hudson Windle (2/22/1886 – 6/21/1962). They lived in Aliceville, AL. Their children were: (1) Elbert Hudson Windle. Jr. (2) Virginia Windle (3) James Windle (4) Earl Windle married Frances Duren (5) Charles Windle (6) Kathryn Windle (7) Ernestine Windle (8) Hubert Windle married Dorothy Lee Montgomery (9) Ervin (Buck) Windle.
For further information on Elbert Hudson and Bessie Maude Craft Windle family click here
 

G. Johnnie Bert Craft was born Aug. 8, 1892 and died March 6, 1967. Married Theresa Neely (b. Nov. 14, 1893 and d. July 17, 1964.) One child: Eleanor Craft married Burton Pearson. They all lived in Benevola, a small community in Pickens Co., AL.

Johnny Bert Craft and wife Theresa Neely Craft

H. Ernest Going Craft married Ellen Smith. Their children were: (1) E. G. Craft, Jr.; (2) Kathylean;(3) Betty Mae; (4) Walter; (5) Kirby and (6) Charles.
 

I. Walter Lee Craft, Sr. married Ossie Potts. One child: Walter Lee Craft, Jr.

Walter Lee Craft, Jr. married Emily Margaret Owens (Jr. and Margaret at both buried at Mitchell Cemetery) -they had the following children: 

1)James Lee Craft (d.o.b.29Jan42) married Brenda Broadhead-two sons (a)Donald Bert Craft(d.o.b.16July 11, 1967) wife-Jalaine Sutton Booth (born July 13, 1974)-two children Kaitlyn Booth(born Nov. 7, 1996)) and Donald Drake(d.o.b.22Aug00) They live in Benevola.
b) Jason Lee Craft (d.o.b.16Dec71) all in Benevola; never did fly the coop or at least always returned. 

2)Donald Owens Craft (d.o.b.22Nov44) deceased 1971. Killed in car accident.Buried at Mitchell Cemetery in Benevola.
3)Mary Eleanor Craft Loftin (d.o.b.29Nov52) married Jimmie Loftin , They live in Mobile.

4)Larry Jerome Craft Born Aug 28, 1957 and died Sept. 9, 2006 at only 49 years old with heart attack.  He was an Auburn University alumni, a retired county agent with the Montgomery (AL) County Extension Systems and had retired back to his home place in Benevola. He has one daughter, Macie Margaret Craft, born 14 Sept 83, in Montgomery AL Buried at Mitchell Cemetery in Benevola.
 
5)Margaret Teressa (Tess) Craft Hardy (d.o.b.19April60) - one daughter, Dana Lynn Hardy(d.o.b.6May84) , Fayette - Livingston


7. Mattie Craft was born Dec. 16, 1861. Died Feb. 19, 1937. Married Albert Sanders. Children of Albert and Mattie Craft Sanders were: (1) Joseph Fleet Sanders (2) Clarence Peak Sanders (3) Lewis Leonard Sanders (4) John William Sanders (5) Kelly Sanders (6) Jim Sanders (7) Hattie Elizabeth Sanders married Robert Evalcus (Val) Maughan (8) Cora Sanders was born July 15, 1898 and died Sept. 10, 1981. She married Frank Murphy (9) Nan Sanders was born 1889 and died 1951. She married (1) Francis Claude Eatman and (2) W. Bert Colson. 

8. Emma Craft was born Feb. 8,1864 . Died July 14, 1948 . Married A. C. (Caleb) Hamlin at her mother’s home on Dec. 14, 1882 . She was born 6 ½ months after her father enlisted to serve in the Civil War. Her father died during the war and never returned home to see her. Buried at Bethesda . 

The Caleb and Emma Craft Hamlin home place
Emma Craft Hamlin with Val and Dock Hamlin, her sons




John Anderson Craft

John Anderson Craft with wife, Mary Elizabeth (Mollie) Cole Craft



John Anderson Craft was son of John M. Craft and Nancy Wren Lewis. He married Mary Elizabeth (Mollie) Cole, the daughter of John Russell Cole, Jr. and Elizabeth Jane (Lizzie) Locke. John A. and Mollie made their home in Benevola and were parents of nine children. They were: 

1. Lela Jane Craft, born Nov. 6, 1879 and died Jan. 3, 1929. Married John Wesley Maughan.
Children of Lela Jane Craft and John Wesley Maughan are: A. Lyda Belle Maughan married Peter T. Martin
B. Bessie Kathleen Maughan married Howard C. King
C. Annie Maude Maughan married Elton W. Speed
D. Mary Lucy Maughan married Marion B. Davis
E. Lela Mae Maughan married Gaynor Sanders.
2. Thomas Van Buren Craft, born Feb. 25, 1881 and died Sept. 12, 1881. Buried at Bunn Cemetery.

3. Jessie Carl Craft, born Oct. 8, 1882 and died July 9, 1944. Married Lola Bell Maughan.(See children below).

4. Alice Elva Craft, born Feb. 25, 1885 and died May 25, 1971. Married Locke Goings. No children.

  Alice Elva Craft Goings

5. Nannie Elizabeth Craft, born 1886 and died 1972. Lived in Benevola. Married Samuel Sanders. Children are:
A. John Samuel Sanders was born Feb. 19, 1905 and died Jan. 2, 1997. Wife named Martha Gertrude (Gertie)
B. Ralph Hanson Sanders, born Jan. 12, 1909. Died Jan. 2000. He married Myree Harmon.
C. Robert Sanders lived in Tuscaloosa.
D. Mary Margaret Sanders was born Nov. 11, 1913. She married Roy Goodwin
E. Leon Ross Sanders (wife Annie Mae). Lived and are buried in Gordo.

6. Hattie Emalon Craft, born April 26,1894 and died April 1965. Married James Coleman Powell, born Sept. 10, 1884 and died Jan. 1971. They were married Nov. 19, 1907. James Coleman Powell was the son of John Polk Powell (5/4/1845-5/26/1928). They lived in Benevola and are buried at Bethesda Cemetery.

Their children are:
A. James Boyd Powell was born Nov. 26, 1908. Died June 12, 1964. Married Bessie Mae Graham. They had one child: (1) Emily Ann Powell, married Chester Graham. 
B. John Howard Powell was born Jan. 12, 1911. Died May 15, 1971. Married Hazel Berniece Maughan, daughter of William Thomas and Viva Grace Upchurch Maughan. One child: Richard Earl Powell, born Dec. 1938 and died Aug. 26, 2007.  Married Connie Baird.
C. Mary Catherine Powell was born March 7, 1913. Died June 9, 1915.
D. William Craft Powell was born Dec. 24, 1915. He was drowned in Lubbub Creek near Aliceville, AL on Aug. 14, 1928.
E. Alice Louise Powell was born Jan. 17, 1920. Died Feb. 17, 1921.
F. Hattie Marie Powell was born March 29, 1922. Died Nov. 2000. Married Ervin Perry James. Marie and Ervin had 3 children: (1) Gene James (2) Dennis James and (3) Deborah Jo  James, born April 8, 1953 and died Feb. 22, 2006 from cancer. She married Wayne Strawbridge. 
G. James Coleman Powell, Jr. was born Feb. 5, 1926. Died July 2, 1984. Married Hester Pate.
H. Doris Powell was born Feb. 16, 1928. Died 1959 of heart problems.
I. Roy Lockard Powell was born March 11, 1931. Married Alice Rebecca Bradshaw, born Feb. 2, 1929 and died Jan. 11, 2010. They had two sons (1) Tim Powell, married Alice Powell and (2) David Powell, wife Angie. 
J. Wallace Doyle Powell was born April 5, 1933. Married Janie Mildred Ammons. One child (1) Terry Powell married Tim Alexander.
K. Herman Anderson Powell was born May 29, 1936. He was in an auto accident on June 28, 1952 near Bailey’s Bridge in Greene Co., AL. and died June 29, 1952.


7. John Dudley Craft, born May 17, 1889 and died Nov. 20, 1926. Married Cora Colson. They are buried at Mesapotamia Cemetery in Eutaw. Children were: (1) unnamed son was born Jan. 2, 1913, (2) Mabel Virginia Craft born Aug. 20, 1918. Never married. (3) John Aubrey Craft was born Aug. 13, 1921. Married Lowell Abston. Children of John Aubrey and Lowell Craft are: (1) Lowell Virginia (Jennie) Craft, born Nov. 21, 1960, (2) John Aubrey Craft, born Dec. 23, 1962, and (3) Linda Suzanne Craft born Oct. 6, 1966. 

John Dudley Craft with daughter, Virginia, 1919 Cora Mae Colson Craft, wife of John Dudley Craft. 1982


8. Carrie Mae Craft, born March 4, 1899 and died. Married William Strickland. They had no children.


9. Annie Maud Craft, born 1904 and died as an infant.



Jessie Carl Craft 

 

Jessie Carl Craft with wife Lola Belle Maughan Craft

Jessie Carl Craft, born Oct. 8, 1882 . Died July 9, 1944.; He married Lola Belle Maughan, born Jan. 26, 1886, and grandson of John Anderson Craft, born Dec. 21, 1856 and Mary Elizabeth Cole, born Jan. 10, 1862 and John Fletcher Maughan, born Jan. 27, 1846 and Cynthia Melvina Peach, born April 15, 1849. Jessie Craft was a farmer and country storeowner in Benevola. All are buried at Bethesda. 

Jessie and Lola Craft had two children.
A. Bracy Dawson (Bill) Craft was born Feb. 16, 1907 in Benevola and died on Nov. 6, 1985. He lived his entire life in Benevola where he farmed, raising cotton, corn, and cattle. He also ran a country store that was started by his father. He married Ruby Gladys Nettles of Camden, AL. They met when Gladys came to Benevola to teach school. 
B. Eula Belle Craft, born May 19, 1914 and died February 27, 1993. Married Burton Lofton Lancaster. They lived in Carrollton, AL. Both are buried in Bethesda Cemetery. They had one daughter, Joanne Lancaster, born June 8, 1945 and died Feb. 19, 2006.  She married John Kirk Pate, born Jan. 15, 1947 and died Dec. 25, 2009. Joanne and Kirk had two children: Lynette Pate, born March 10, 1966. She married Keith Franks. They live in Tuscaloosa, AL and John Kirk Pate, Jr., born May 17, 1971 who lives in Carrollton.

Bracy Dawson (Bill) Craft 

Bracy Dawson (Bill) Craft with wife, Ruby Gladys Nettles Craft

Children of Bracy Dawson (Bill) and Gladys Craft are:
A. Betty Jean Craft was born Sept. 14, 1933. She married Judge Ralph Roundtree Banks, Jr.(deceased) Betty lived in Eutaw , AL . She is a retired nurse anesthetists and runs the The Independent, a weekly newspaper in Eutaw.
B. Bobbye Gayle Craft Winston, born March 17, 1941. She married Tommy Wilson Winston; born Dec. 3, 1938, son of Thomas and Effie Mae Wilson Winston of Benevola.  Bobbye is a retired State of Alabama employee and lives in Benevola.
C. Carl Cole Craft, b. Sept. 21, 1950. Carl is a victim of Downs' Syndrome and lives in a group home in Aliceville, AL.

Bill and Gladys had one granddaughter, Kimberly Faith Winston, born May 19, 1962, and married Andrew Dewey Criswell, born May 16, 1959 and two granddaughters, Haley Michelle Criswell born April 17, 1989 and a student at the University of Alabama and Robin Leigh Criswell born May 8, 1991 and a senior at New Hope High School with plans of attending the University of Alabama in the fall. Andy and Kim live on the river at Pickensville AL.

Craft Group 1950's: Front row L-R: Ernest Craft, Johnnie Bert Craft. Back row L-R: Carrie Craft Strickland, Cora Craft, Lucille Craft, Alice Craft Going, Nannie Craft Sanders.