Tracing my Great Grandfather Moses Crittenden in Cherokee Nation West

The journey of the early settlers to Cherokee Nation West is a complicated one.  My great grandfather Moses Crittenden was born in Cherokee Nation East Georgia in 1825. The next record that I have found for him is the 1850 census that shows him living in Freedom Township Polk County Arkansas at age 25 with his wife Eda Quniton, age 22. I believe Eda (Edith) is Moses’ niece, his sister Lydia’s daughter.

I am on a constant quest for records that will help me determine exactly when Moses moved from Georgia to Arkansas. His father William Crittenden is shown on the 1835 census as living in Talking Rock Creek, GA.  Both Moses and his father William are listed on the Old Settler Roll of 1851

In the 1850 census in Freedom, Polk County AR there are six Quinton family households listed on the same census record with the Moses Crittenden household.  Moses is listed as a farmer.

In the 1860 census in Freedom AR the Moses Crittenden household is surrounded by six Quinton family households. Moses’ father William, then 80, is living with Moses.  Two important facts are found on the 1860 census.  Moses is now listed as a merchant and in the column under Value Real Estate is the figure 2000.

In November 2013, now knowing that Moses owned real estate in Arkansas, I started a search to try to find information on land owned by Moses Crittenden.  I accessed the following sites which eventually led me to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Federal Land Record site.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Federal Land Record site includes a searchable database where I found a copy of Moses’ land patent signed by President James Buchanan.  I also found two patents for land owned by James Quinton.

Moses Crittenden Search Result BLM Land Patents

Moses Crittenden Search Result BLM Land Patents

I sent for a hard copy of the document for under $5.00 I received a printed copy on parchment paper along with a copy of the plat map.

Copy of Moses Land Patent

Copy of Moses Land Patent

My next genealogy research trip in November 2014 will take me back to Oklahoma and then on to Arkansas.  Finding the exact location of Moses’ land means that I will be able to search local archives, libraries and museums for additional information on my great grandfather’s time in Arkansas.  I will also be able to go to the site of his land, surrounded by the echoes of my great grandfather Moses Crittenden and his extended family.





Filed under Journal, Land, Research

5 responses to “Tracing my Great Grandfather Moses Crittenden in Cherokee Nation West

  1. Dana

    Just found your info page on Mose Crittenden while researching for info on my relative. Also recently found a couple of brief newspaper mentions of the death of my 3x great grandfather, David Williams, who was murdered by Mose Crittenden on 12/25/1889 in the Tahlequah, OK area. Was wondering if you had heard of this or found any further info on the incident? Apparently they were drunk, likely started arguing and shot at each other, with Mose’s shot being fatal to David. Have looked for the trial records but thus far have come up dry.

    • Dana, Mose Crittenden was Moses Crittenden’s grandson. The son of James Crittenden and Dicey Brantley. According to my research he was born in 1874 and died in 1943. He married Minnie Proctor, the daughter of Zeke Proctor. Zeke has an interesting history with the law. I will load a bio of him later today. I have found that Moses, occasionally called Mose, but in most cases it appears Mose refers to his grandson. I will see if I can find anything else out about this incident. However, I have so many leads that I am investigating on both my West and Crittenden side, it may be a while before I get to this one! Let me know if you find anything else about this shooting.

      • Dana

        Thanks for your comments. I’m not sure which Mose or Moses Crittenden the article refers to, All know is that the shooting was on Dec. 25, 1889 and the trail result was in the Feb. 5 or 6th, 1890 edition of ‘Cherokee Advocate’. I also just found the shooting mentioned in the 12-26-1889 ‘Indian Chieftain’ paper. It stated that they had both been drinking and started shooting at one another. David’s shot did wound Mose but Mose’s shot killed David. I tried to track down the court records at the National Archives at Ft. Worth but they did not have them. I’d be curious of any other info that you may find that had more details of the incident. My guess is that they were both drunk, got in an argument about something & it went too far. Good luck with your genealogy hunt! Occasionally I’ve found real gems in my searching, more often than not leading to more questions than answers.

  2. Jamie Williams

    My great grandfather, Joel Mayes Williams, married Rosa B West around 1900. He was from Tahlequah, but moved to Vinita where he had an Indian Allotment. I am looking for leads on her family. Just started looking, there were some West’s around Vinita, IT about that time.
    It’s a small world, Joel’s dad was the David S Williams mentioned in the old newspaper article about his murder.

    • Hi Jamie, My grandmother, Eliza Jane Crittenden West, also had a Dawes allotment in Vinita. The majority of her allotment was in the Wagoner area. In 1896, she appears in an Indian Census with her family in what may be the Vinita area. Her married name was West and my west lineage is not Cherokee, except through my grandfather’s (James R West) marriage to my grandmother, Eliza. Do you have DNA in Ancestry or elsewhere, where we could check to see if our blood lines cross somewhere? Please explain which old newspaper article and murder you are referring to. I spent last week downloading over 50 articles about my grandfather, James R West, and those are the articles fresh in my mind at the moment.

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