Madison Colvin (1799-1846): Five Sons, But Only One With Male Heirs.


Madison Colvin Polly Crigler marriage bond

Madison Colvin-Mary “Polly” Ann Crigler marriage bond, 1820. Source: familysearch.org

Madison Colvin belongs to the Culpeper County, Virginia branch of this study. There are several branches: The Ohio branch, the Fauquier County, Virginia branch, and the Kentucky branch. There’s also a Texas and Florida branch. The oldest, however, is the Culpeper branch which is closest to the tree’s Virginia roots. Madison is among the oldest of these founders, whose parents were Benjamin Colvin, (1759-1837) and Nancy P. Coleman (1771-1845) both of Culpeper County. However, the parents of Benjamin have not been conclusively shown, although much speculation exists among researchers.

Records reveal much about Madison.  He was, for example, the 2nd eldest son of Benjamin and Nancy whose heirs consisted of four sons and four daughters born between 1794 and 1816. Benjamin and Nancy were married in Culpeper, December 12, 1793.[1] Benjamin had served in the American Revolution having enlisted in 1781 in Culpeper and left service honorably in 1782. A more in-depth profile of Benjamin’s service is available from this earlier post.  Between 1816-1820, Benjamin took his bounty land compensation and moved his family to Boone County, Missouri settling there on a plot of land near the Missouri river. This is how Madison’s siblings got to Missouri. However, Madison himself doesn’t appear to have gone straight to Missouri with his family, judging by his marriage records and the birth records of some of his children – nine is all, four daughters and five sons.

Those records show Madison, aged twenty-three, married on November 21, 1820 in Madison County, Kentucky, eighteen-year-old, Mary “Polly” Ann Crigler, (1802-1846).[2] It was a curious marriage; Madison’s father, Benjamin and his soon-to-be father-in-law, John Crigler, paid the indemnity to the county clerk which all marriages required at the time. The records also reveal the new couple’s nine children and where they were born. The first five: Sarah “Sally” Ann Colvin (1822 -?); George C. Colvin (1823-1880); Christopher C. Colvin (1826-1875); Coleman Colvin (1829-1832), and Nancy Jane Colvin (1832-1861) were all born in Madison County, Kentucky. The remaining four children, however, were all born in Howard County, Missouri. The first of these last four was John G. Colvin born in 1836. This means, for reasons that are yet unclear, between 1832-1836, Madison Colvin migrated with his family to Missouri where most of his siblings had been living for some time and where most lived until death and where they are buried.

Aside from showing that Madison deviated from the family migratory route to Missouri, (a dalliance that lasted only until the early 1830s,) they also show another interesting pattern; of his four sons, only one was successful in producing the male heirs necessary to continue the Colvin line in his family group: Christopher C. Colvin. Christopher had four brothers: Coleman Colvin, a toddler who lived only to age three and died when Christopher was age five; George C. Colvin who had only two daughters; John G. Colvin, also likewise fathered only daughters – five in all, and James M. Colvin, the son who died in the Civil War at the age of 25, a bachelor.[3]

Had not Christopher C. Colvin fathered six heirs of his own – five boys and a girl, all living to old age, the Madison line would have died out in Missouri in the late-1880s with the death of John G. Colvin who died March 24, 1885 in Linn County, Missouri.[4] Christopher married Ann Elizabeth Amick (1836-1910) in Howard County, Missouri on October 9 1851.[5] They are buried in the Richland Cemetery, Glasgow, Howard County, Missouri. An image of his tombstone is available at Findagrave.com.

Sources:

[1] Ancestry.com. Virginia, Select Marriages, 1785-1940.

[2] Digitized original marriage bond, Madison Colvin to Polly Crigler, http://www.familysearch.org

[3] Digitized original index record cards, James M. Colvin, Fold3.com. A newer post about James and his mysterious Civil War death is available here.

[4] Digitized original death registry listing, John G. Colvin, ancestry.com

[5] Digitized original marriage registry listing, Christopher Colvin to Elizabeth Amick, Howard County, Missouri, ancestry.com.

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About Alex Colvin

Senior, History, minoring in Anthropology, University of Houston. Charter President, Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society, (Webb UH Main 2014-2015) University of Houston. Additional credentials can be found in the CV / Services tab.
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