Sunday, January 3, 2016

Marriage of James A. Crider to Elvira Tennessee Thurmond; January 3, 1855 - Their Marriage, Life, and Family

Copyright B. Harrison- The Hopelessly Hooked Genealogist

On this date in history, 3 January 1855; my maternal great-grandparents James A. Crider and Elvira Tennessee Thurmond were married in Graves County, Kentucky.  

Below is a digital image of their actual marriage record in the Marriage Books of Graves County, Kentucky; although the image is very difficult to read unless enlarged significantly, which would not fit on this blog page as formatted. 
Marriage Record of A. J. Crider to E. T. Thurmond
(bottom row on this image)
Graves County, Kentucky
1855- Marriage Book

Graves County Courthouse in Mayfield, Kentucky
The bride was about age 18 and the groom was about age 20- 21 when they married. She was the daughter of James Jordan Thurmond and Leah Dale Hudspeth (Thurmond). The groom was the son of David Crider and Sarah "Sallie" Shultz Walker (Crider). James was known as "Jim", and Elvira was sometimes called "Tenney", nickname for her middle name of Tennessee.  The groom was born in Dyersburg, Gibson County, Tennessee. By the 1850 Census James was aged 16 and living with his parents in Graves County, Kentucky. The bride was born in Maury County, Tennessee and where she was still living with her parents as of the 1850 Census, which lists her age as 14. 

The marriage of James and Elvira took place in Graves County, Kentucky in 1855; so the bride's family must have moved from Tennessee to Kentucky between the 1850 Census and the marriage date in 1855.

By the 1860 Census (5 years after their marriage) Jim and Elvira Tennessee Cider were living in Calloway County, Kentucky with their first child Angeline J Crider, aged 4. It is very likely that James A "Jim" Crider participated in the Civil War from Kentucky between the years of 1861-1865, however I have not yet found military records identifying him. 

Calloway County Courthouse, Murray, Kentucky

On the 1870 Census the family of James and Elvira Crider is listed as living in Brinkley, Calloway County, Kentucky with a total of 5 children: Angeline (14), William (10), Missouri (5), Ada (2), and Mary (3 months). James is listed as age 36, and Elvira is listed as age 34. 

Original Calloway County Courthouse, KY- Built in 1823
Photo courtesy of Kentucky Digital Library Collection
Calloway County Courthouse, KY
Photos courtesy of Kentucky Digital Library Collection

My great-grandfather James A. Crider died at the relatively young age of 41, on 17 Feb 1875, of pneumonia. Family stories indicate he became sick after riding his mule to Tennessee on business on a cold rainy day.  He reportedly died at home in Calloway County, Kentucky.  His last child, my maternal grandfather Stephen Linn Crider, was born only 3 months after James died. James A. Crider is thought to buried in Calloway County, Kentucky; possibly at Elm Grove Cemetery where a few other Criders are buried.  I have not yet been able to obtain a photo of his gravestone or verify whether he has a stone. I rely on Find A Grave volunteers for most gravestone photos in my tree, as I live "way out west" and nowhere near the state of Kentucky and don't anticipate being able to travel there in the near future. 

Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky
Postcard of a Country Road
Kentucky Digital Library Collection

His widow, my great-grandmother Elvira Tennessee Thurmond Crider raised her young children alone for a few years, then next married in 1883 to Marcus Montrose Melton in Gibson County, Tennessee. On the 1880 Census she was still living in Farmington, Graves County, Kentucky and is listed as "widow" E. T. Crider,  Head of Household. So evidently, she had returned to Tennessee as a Widow to live after the 1880 Census and re-married there. The marriage license confirms that she was several years older than her second husband.  Marcus M. Melton died in 1886, only 3 years after their marriage.  They had no known children together. Elvira subsequently filed for a Confederate Widow's Pension in Tennessee, under her 2nd husband's Confederate Civil War military service from in the state of Tennessee ( App # W4571).  She is listed as Tennessee Melton on the pension application. A photocopy of this Widow's Pension application file may be obtained from the Tennessee State Archives. 

Marriage License of E. T. (Elvira Tennessee) Crider to M. M. (Marcus Montrose) Melton
24 Aug 1883
Gibson County, Tennessee
Gibson County, Tennessee Historical Marker
Color Photo Postcard

By the 1900 Census, Elvira is found living in Kennett, Dunklin County, Missouri and is listed as Elvira T. Crider,  a "Widow" age 66 (which should probably be 64), residing in the household of her son John W. (Wesley) Crider age 24, along with her other son (my maternal grandfather) Stephen Linn Crider age 24. Their household included 3 "servants", one housekeeper and 2 farm laborers.  Evidently Elvira was referred to by her first husband's surname during this time she lived with her 2 adult sons from the first marriage, or they chose to report her under that name to the census taker.  The 1910 Census finds her living in Gibson County, Tennessee once again, listed as Elvira Melton, a "Widow" age 74 residing in the household of her daughter Rosa Crider (Newbill) and son-on-law John Newbill.  Elvira most likely spent the remainder of her years in Dunklin County, Missouri living with (or under the care of) Crider and Newbill kin.
Kennett, Dunklin County, Missouri town square

Elvira died on 19 January, 1921 and is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Kennett, Dunklin County, Missouri, near other Crider kin.  The death certificate lists her age as 84 and cause of death as bronchitis.  ( Elvira's grand-daughter Augusta Crider, my mother, was born in 1920, so they never had a chance to really know each other, and Augusta had no memories of  her paternal grandmother. )  

Last but certainly not least, it is worthy to note that my great-grandmother Elvira was the great-grand-daughter of William Thurmond, a Revolutionary War Soldier (my 4x-great-grandfather). He enlisted as a Private in the 3rd Virgnia Regiment, Continental Line, reference DAR National #103874. His Heirs were granted Land Bounty Warrants in 1831 in Amherst County, Virginia on his service. (Additional source for this info- Douglas Register, page 307). Elvira's maternal grandfather was also a Revolutionary Patriot; Thomas Hudspeth, (my maternal 3x-great-grandfather) from Salisbury Distrct, North Carolina, DAR Ancestor #A059757.         

Missouri Death Certificate
Elvira "Ellin" Tennessee Thurmond Crider Melton
19 Jan 1921
Kennett, Dunklin County, Missouri
Source: Missouri Digital Heritage

Oak Ridge Cemetery, Kennett, Dunklin County, Missouri
Found on Find A Grave,
Contributor: Chris Crawford

Sources on the Crider family genealogy include:   
 Fanily Records of B. Harrison 
 Missouri Digital Heritage online
              Graves County, Kentucky marriage records
Gibson County, Tennessee marriage records
Kentucky Digital Library online, Murray State University
National Archives, Revolutionary War Soldiers Records   
                  "Crider Families of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee: Descendants of John Michael
                    Kreider".  Heritage Books 2007, Rebecca L Blackwell, first published 1999.    



d of pneumonia aftSteven, was born only 3 months before James died.