Frederick Croom
A Case for His Being a Descendant of Abel Croom,
the Older Brother of Major I

In the judgment of this writer, many descendants of FREDERICK CROOM, who died about 1852 in New Hanover County, have believed incorrectly that he was the last son born to MAJOR CROOM, I, the second son of Daniel Croom of Virginia, and his second wife, Susannah. For some reason, those furnishing information to Doris Croom Outlaw for her book on the Croom Family, first published in mimeograph form about 1955, referred to this son as JAMES FREDERICK CROOM. My studies show that his correct name is FREDERICK J. CROOM. Military records of the War of 1812, numerous deeds, census records and court records refer to him as FREDERICK. He did have a son whom he named James Frederick, who in turn also named a son James Frederick. A New Hanover County 1826 deed refers to "James, son of Frederick." On this and other pages at this web site, I have set forth recently discovered facts and the applied thinking of Richard Booth, a family researcher, and this writer, in determining the correct ancestry of this Frederick Croom..

Several years ago while I was studying surnames other than Croom, Dick Booth demonstrated to me how effective land records can be in proving truths and disproving family lore pertaining to ancestors many generations in the past. "Follow the land," he said. Upon arriving in North Carolina from Goochland County, VA, the three sons of Daniel CROOM and their respective progeny left "geographical footprints" that help us follow their respective lines of descendants. Recent studies have strengthened my conviction of many years standing that much information in the public domain since the 1950s pertaining to the parents of FREDERICK CROOM is incorrect.

In the early 1950s Doris Croom Outlaw of Kinston compiled family sheets of many of the Croom families of eastern North Carolina. With the help of many correspondents relying on old family Bibles, extant records, and a lot of hand-me-down family lore, Doris compiled her mimeographed family sheets in a loose leaf book, entitled, The Croom Family. She first self-published it in 1955 and it proved to be a popular and well-received offering at the Croom Family Reunion held each year at Sandy Bottom, just a few miles to the southwest of Kinston. Over the next 15 years, she made numerous revisions, as new and corrected information was brought to her attention. The loose-leaf book facilitated the addition of the new and/or revised sheets. Still, many factual errors remain in The Croom Family Book. This writer had an opportunity to visit with Doris shortly before she died. At that time, Doris acknowledged, and it is so mentioned in her book, that much information pertaining to Abel CROOM and his progeny was uncertain and far from being complete.

By 1741 ABEL CROOM had emigrated from Goochland County, VA, and in December of that year purchased land in Craven County on the south side of the Neuse River along Whitley Creek, about 8 miles southwest of present day Kinston. This area later would become Johnston County, later Dobbs County and still later Lenoir County.

By 1744, Abel's younger brother, MAJOR CROOM, having reached 21 years of age the year before, purchased land in Craven County on Falling Creek, on the north side of the Neuse River, almost due north of his brother. Later this area would be in Johnston, then Dobbs and finally in Lenoir County.

In 1747 records reveal that Charles HOLMES, the step-father of JESSE CROOM, purchased 400 acres on Falling Creek, not far from the initial purchase of Major. Very likely, Jesse, the half-brother of Abel and Major, Jesse's mother and other family members immigrated to North Carolina at that time. Jesse would have been 14 years of age. In 1757, records reveal that Jesse had come of age when he sold the land back in Goochland County, VA, that he inherited from his father. In October of that year, Jesse purchased land north of the Neuse River in an area of Johnston County that later would be in Wayne County.

Note that ABEL CROOM had settled on the SOUTH side of the Neuse River. Records reveal that the proximity of his lands was such that his petition was granted in 1744 to operate a ferry on the Neuse River near Whitley Creek.  MAJOR CROOM began building his plantation and starting his family a few miles up Falling Creek on the NORTH side of the Neuse River. Finally, JESSE CROOM, the younger half-brother, settled on the NORTH side of the Neuse River, not far from present day Goldsboro, Wayne County. From these three distinct geographic locations would issue most of the CROOM families that can be found today in many of the Southern, Midwestern and Southwestern states. Other pages at this web site detail many of the descendants of Jesse, for example, who migrated to Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas and other southwestern states; or the several descendants of Major who were pioneers in settling Florida and Alabama.

Records reveal that in 1744 Major Croom, I, purchased land on the north side of the Neuse River in what is now Lenoir County and lived there for the next forty-seven years. He was a man of some standing and wealth in Dobbs County. At one time his land holdings exceeded 12,000 acres. Tax and census records indicate that documented sons of Major CROOM owned sizable estates, each at a relatively young age, an indication that Major had given each a good "head start." If James Frederick were his youngest son, as some have maintained, it seems incongruous that the young Frederick should have moved to New Hanover County and settled on a relatively modest farm of 150 acres. He certainly was not as prosperous as a young man as were Major's sons back in Lenoir County. Nothing to my knowledge has surfaced to suggest why Frederick CROOM would have left relatively prosperous brothers in Lenoir County to settle in an area of Old New Hanover County that later became Pender County.

FREDERICK CROOM IS A DESCENDANT OF ABEL CROOM

The major "highways" of the 1700s were the rivers, their tributaries and the many creeks, large and small. Travel of even ten miles was no small matter. So family tended to settle and spread to nearby acreage. As families grew, the need to travel to new areas was necessary. Most of the members of succeeding generations had to move. Sometimes it would be to another part of the county or to the next county. By the early 1800s, some family members --especially those of Jesse, son of Daniel, and Major, son of Daniel, were taking advantage of lands being offered in other states or territories, like the western counties of North Carolina, which later became Tennessee, or the southern territories that became Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. Most of Abel's children and grandchildren remained in Duplin County until the late 1700s. Jesse, son of Abel, and some of his children were in New Hanover County by 1790.

Diligent studies of extant land and other records by Dick Booth and this writer have resulted in identifying relatively clear migratory paths of the respective descendants of the three Croom brothers. These studies have challenged some of the long-held beliefs concerning the issue of the three brothers. The DESCENDANTS of ABEL CROOM and the DESCENDANTS of MAJOR CROOM  web pages at this site set forth details pertinent to some of the issue of these two brothers that until now have been mostly conjecture. These assigned issue are based largely on studies of land records and relationships to other early settlers. In some instances, some names are shown as "speculative but very likely."

NO ONE. I REPEAT: NO ONE HAS PRODUCED A SINGLE RECORD OR A SINGLE FACT TO SUPPORT THE NOTION THAT MAJOR CROOM, SON OF DANIEL, HAD A SON NAMED FREDERICK OR JAMES FREDERICK CROOM.

MY ANALYSIS OF STRONG CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE SUGGESTS FREDERICK CROOM WAS A DESCENDANT OF ABEL CROOM. THE PATH FROM ABEL TO FREDERICK, HOWEVER REMAINS CLOUDY BUT RECENT STUDIES SUGGEST THAT FREDERICK J. CROOM WAS A SON OF JOHN CROOM, WHO WAS A SON OF JESSE, WHO WAS A SON OF ABEL CROOM.

 

Who was the father of each of these men? Who appears to hold the key to unlocking family connections in Old New Hanover County for:

  • ISAAC CROOM, apparently an adult in 1822

  • TIMOTHY CROOM, b c1800, d bet 1850 & 1860

The mysterious Isaac Croom granted 140 ac to Timothy Croom in 1822 on the ns of Burgaw Creek. In 1820 Frederick Croom had acquired 200 ac in this same area from John Croom, whom I believe to be the father of Frederick.

Q: Were Isaac and Timothy natural sons of John Croom, b 1764?

Q: Inasmuch as ISAAC has not been found in any other deed, tax list, court record or census in New Hanover County, is it possible that ISAAC, having reached majority, sold land to his brother Timothy, land that was given to him by his father? Read more details at:
DESCENDANTS OF ABLE CROOM page at this web site.

 

Why Frederick Croom is  NOT a son of Major Croom, I, and his 2nd wife, Susannah

  • Records show that Frederick was born about 1788. By that year, other records show that Susannah, wife of Major Croom, I, was 54 or more years of age, past normal childbearing.
  • Records indicate that Major Croom had three sons by Susannah, his second wife: Hardee (c1764),  Richard (c1765) and William (1772). In an 1804 court deposition, Susannah testified that she had a daughter by her former marriage born in 1755. Her son John Enloe of that former marriage was born about 1750. It seems unlikely that she would be the natural mother of Frederick in 1788.
  • Some contend that the male less than 16 years of age in the household of Major Croom, I, in the 1790 Federal Census is Frederick, his youngest son. This is wild speculation. By 1790 Susannah had grandchildren, possibly even great-grandchildren, from her first marriage. These and other family members make much more sense as likely candidates than assuming it is Frederick. This speculation is not much different than another entry in Doris Croom Outlaw's The Croom Family. She stated that the John Croom listed in Stokes County of the same 1790 Federal Census was the grandson of Abel Croom. Evidence I have discovered offers compelling reasons why this is not true. See John Croom, the German immigrant at this web site.
  • In his 1805 Will, Richard Croom, son of Major Croom, I, named his brothers: Hardee and William. No mention was made of a Frederick, even though some contend that he was a full blood brother of Richard, Hardee and William.  Frederick would have been about 17 years of age in 1805.
  • Frederick Croom served in Nixon's Company in the New Hanover County Militia during the War of 1812. Strange that a son of the prominent Major Croom of Dobbs County would serve in the New Hanover Co. militia.
  • Records reveal that Major Croom provided well for his documented sons, all of whom were in Dobbs or contiguous counties. William, his youngest and only 19, is listed in 1790 as living alone and with 23 slaves. Frederick, not documented as a son of Major, settled in New Hanover County on a very modest farm of 100 acres deeded to him by his father-in-law.
  • Hardee Croom died intestate in 1807. In 1810, after the death of  his mother Susannah, a petition was filed in court for the partitioning of the lands and real estate of the deceased Hardee Croom. The petition named many of the whole-blood and half-blood kin of Hardee; however no mention was made of a Frederick Croom. Records of the court's later decision presumably were lost in Lenoir Court House fires. Extant records, however, reveal several deeds relating to the sale and purchase of various lands following the partitioning of Hardee's lands. No mention is made of a Frederick Croom. even though by that time Frederick Croom was at least 23 years of age.

Why Has Family Lore Persisted That Frederick Was a Son of Major Croom, I?

My database contains no fewer than sixteen males named Major Croom.  In the late 1700s, four of those lived concurrently in Dobbs and contiguous counties. Each of the three sons of Daniel Croom claimed at least one of those four named Major. It is no wonder that descendants many generations later would often confuse one Major for another. Even today, many people cannot correctly name their great-grandparents, much less their second or third great-grandparents.

A few decades ago the NSDAR effected more stringent requirements for membership. Many applications submitted prior to that time and subsequently approved reveal the lack of substantive proof of a line of descent from a proven Revolutionary War soldier or patriot. Frequently, this writer has seen new applications rejected that attempted to "ride in" on the coattails of an earlier approved application. To my knowledge, no application has been approved in recent years that cites Frederick Croom as a son of Major Croom, I.

 

WHY FREDERICK CROOM VERY LIKELY WAS a
SON  of JOHN, WHO WAS a SON of JESSE WHO WAS a SON of
ABEL CROOM.

Recent studies strongly suggest that the father of Frederick Croom was John Croom (1764-c1825). John, son of Jesse Croom (1737/40-1827), likely was born in Dobbs County and in his youth lived with his father in Duplin and Onslow counties before coming to New Hanover County just before 1790. In 1812, John bought 512 acres along Burgaw Creek, the first of several subsequent purchases in that area.

The following facts can be found in extant records:

1- Jesse Croom possibly married Anne Grady. Her father's will named a daughter, Ann Croom. She had a brother     named FREDERICK.
2- Frederick Croom acquired his first land, 100ac on Cypress Creek, NHC, from his father-in-law, James Malpass in 1815.
3-  Frederick Croom acquired the remaining 200ac on Cypress Creek in 1818 of a parcel his father-in-law had purchased in 1812.
4- Frederick Croom acquired his next 200 ac on ss of Burgaw Creek, NHC, in 1820 from John Croom, who had acquired it in 1818.
5- 1800 NHC Census listing for John Croom makes   a reasonable fit for the following males:
     2 under 10: Frederick b c1791; Timothy b 1800.
     1 26 thru 44: John Croom, b 1764
6- Plats along Burgaw Creek show contiguous land parcels owned by John Croom, Frederick Croom, and Timothy Croom.
7- John Croom's sister, Elizabeth, named a son Timothy shortly after Timothy Croom was born in 1800.

 

 

 

 

Although Doris Croom Outlaw claimed that Frederick was the youngest son of Major, the 2nd son of Daniel Croom of Virginia, she did cast some doubt on that and ventured that he could have been a son of Abel. I believe that Frederick was a grandson of Abel Croom.

INDEX: Click for other pages at this site HOME PAGE | CROOM GENEALOGY | COURT DETAILS | DESCENDANTS of FREDERICK CROOM | OTHER SURNAMES | MISSING & WANTED | DESCENDANTS OF ABEL CROOM

This page was last revised on 6 January 2012

Copyright 1995-2017 by John H. Croom, all rights reserved.

 

Top of Page