Saturday, March 6, 2010

Surname Saturday - Craft

On my paternal side of the family the surname Craft is one for which I can identify several generations.

The first known generation of this family in America is represented by Thomas Thorneycraft of Warwick, Rhode Island and his wife Jean.  Thomas was probably born in England and came through the Massachusetts Bay Colony on his way to Rhode Island.  He was recorded as an inhabitant of Warwick on June 5, 1648.  He died in 1659 in Maspeth Kills, Newtown, now Elmhurst, on present day Long Island.

Their son William Thorneycraft came to Musketa Cove (now a part of Glen Cove), Long Island in 1675, having lived first in Massapequa, on the southern side of Long Island.  He married Hannah Carpenter in 1682.  In his will he mentions son Joseph, son Thomas and son William, as well as daughters Hannah Washburn, Elizabeth Pellam, Mary Thorneycraft, Jane Carpenter and Phebe Thorneycraft. 

William Thorneycraft was born about 1682 and died in January 1735/36 in Oyster Bay, Nassau, New York.  He married Mary Coles in 1707 in Oyster Bay. 

Son John Thorneycraft was born about 1724 in Oyster Bay.  He married Jerusha.  In 1780 he was fined for having two of his sons join the British Army during the struggle for American Independence. 

One of these loyalist sons was my ancestor Reuben Craft.  (Many of the Thorneycrafts became Crafts over time and by the 19th century Thorneycraft seems to have disappeared from the Long Island area.)  He was born about 1760 in Rye, Westchester County, New York.  He married Alithea Wetmore about 1792.  After the Revolutionary War was over, he and most other loyalists left America for Canada.  Reuben and his family arrived in Canada in July 1783 on the "Montague". Reuben died in 1801 in New Brunswick, Canada.

John Henry Craft was born 1795 in Hampton, King's County, New Brunswick, Canada.  He married Anna Golding Smith on October 25, 1821 in Hampstead, Queen's County, New Brunswick, Canada.  He died on November 20, 1860 in Craft's Cove, Queens County and is buried in the Craft Family Cemetery there.

William Henry Craft was born on February 23, 1839 in New Brunswick.  He is listed in the census records as a farmer.  He married Martha Jane Belyea on January 8, 1862 in New Brunswick.  He died January 25 1907 at Craft's Cove, Queen's County, New Brunswick and like his father is also buried in the Craft Family Cemetery.

William and Martha's daugher Sarah Jemima Craft is my great-great grandmother.  She was born November 4, 1868 in Belyea's Cove, Queen's County, New Brunwick, Canada.  She married George Byron McKiel on November 3, 1892 at Belyea's Cove.  Her marriage index lists her as Sadie J. Craft.  She died October 24, 1946 in MacDonald's Point, New Brunswick, Canada.


  1. This is quite interesting. I've traced my family tree back as far as Thomas Thorneycraft. We've been trying to find out where in Europe he originated from and what Jean's last name was.

  2. Anna Golding Smith is my ancestor, thanks for posting the info.

    Windsor, ON

  3. Hi Kathy, I'm very happy to have come across the story of your Craft ancestors. I only recently discovered that my great-great-great-great grandfather was John Thorn Craft Jr., the older brother of Reuben Craft. He married Susannah Wetmore, sister of Alithea.

    My grandmother, Edith Ellen Craft (1895-1971), was the daughter of Byron C. Craft and Mary Whipple, all of St. John, New Brunswick. Edith married David McMillan, a pharmacist and my grandfather. They moved to Nantucket island in 1922, where they raised four daughters; Emma Heathie(my mom who passed away on April 13, 2011), and my aunts,Mary, Barbara, and Jane (all of whom pre-deceased my mother, who was the oldest).

    All the best to you and your family, David Joseph Pykosz, Salem, Ma., USA

  4. My name is William Craft and I am a direct descendent of Reuben Craft (my great-great-great-great-great grandfather). My Craft roots extend from Westbrook, Maine.