Crooke Family Papers, 1780-1880

Descriptive Summary

Title
Crooke Family Papers, 1780-1880
Creator
Crooke Family
Extent
1.70 cu. ft.
Arrangement
The papers are divided by: Survey and Entry Books of Madison County, his Personal Books, State Maps and Survey Maps (filed as oversize). A chronological and topical order was maintained when possible.
Finding Aid Author
Processed by Luiz E. Simonetti; machine-readable finding aid created by Eric Weig
Repository
Eastern Kentucky University

Collection Overview

Biography / History
John Crooke, born February 10, 1766, commonly called Major Crooke, was born in St. Mary County, Maryland. He enlisted while yet young in the Revolutionary war, and was with Washington at the capture of Lord Cornwallis at the siege of Yorktown, Virginia. He was married to Anna D. Reeves, the 5th January 1786. John Crooke studied mathematics pretty thoroughly; could master the arithmetic, and made one (book) himself. He understood navigation; could box the compass; made almanacs; and could count the eclipses of the Sun and the Moon; and in one almanac he left a little space along the margin, and late in May, he put down "Frost" and at the Battalion Muster the day before his frost, they laughed at him about his prediction; Says he: hold, wait and see. That evening a cloud came up from the North, rained a good shower, and a cleared off cold, and sure enough in the morning was a white frost. He was thenceforth put down as an almanac maker, and a sure profit. Major John Crooke with his wife, Anna D., and father, Osias Crooke, and two more brothers, Hezekiah Crooke and Absalom Crooke, immigrated from Virginia to Kentucky, in the year 1789. At that time many surveyors were in Kentucky, then part of Virginia, surveying out the military claims of the Revolutionary soldiers; the soldiers were all allowed a preemption of 1,000 acres of land and a homestead of 400 acre, generally laid out together.
Madison was made a county, still of Virginia, in 1785, and James French was her first county surveyor, and held the office for eight years. He held his office from appointment in Virginia. John Crooke was one of his deputies. John Crooke was the first surveyor elected to the office after the establishment of the state, by the magistrates of the county. Major John Crooke made many tables of numbers such as tables of logarithms, and the traverse table, and more than thirty maps of the different states and territories, the United States, Mexico, etc; and laid off all the counties in good colors all with his quill-pen. He made several maps of Madison county, and made connected plats of all the land in the county. He surveyed most of the lands in the early litigations in Madison and much in other counties. When he first became surveyor, Madison county extended to the Virginia line, on the south side of the Kentucky River. He had many deputies, and some of their names were James Kincaid, Richard Smith, David Williams, Jones Hoy, George Walker, James M'Cormick, Daniel Boone, William O'Rear, Thomas Mosely, Thomas Campbell, Wallace Estill, Joseph Barnett, James Anderson, Irvine Anderson, John R. Crooke, Kiah Crooke, and others.
Major Crooke used to teach school, and would also, teach young men the art of surveying. When they would ask him how far a man should be advanced in mathematics in order to study surveying? He would tell them to say "two times two, are four, and set it down, and not put down something else." When the town of Richmond was established, as the county-seat, John Crooke laid off the town limits in rectangle; and called it the town-tract of fifty acres.
In religion he was a Methodist, and a great admirer of John Wesley and Lorenzo Dow; and was himself a local preacher. He lived to a good old age, was eighty-three years old when he died on the 17th of March 1849, at his home near where he was buried on a small hill overlooking the Muddy creek Valley near the village of Crookesville, which was named in his honor.
From the Miller Papers (family files), Eastern Kentucky University Archives.
Scope and Content
The Crooke family papers are an excellent source of information for researchers in early Kentucky history and pioneers in the American west. The papers can also be used to study the life of an educated man of the period. In his letters and diary John Crooke reflects on weather, land, religion, and many more subjects considered important by this pioneer. It is also important to notice that John Crooke was a surveyor, a profession very sought after by people at the time. The information on land for these officers was amazing. John Crooke worked with honor and was elected a county surveyor many times in his life. The papers show his notes and notes from other surveyors after him from the first years of settlement to the end of the 19th Century when his great-grandson was the surveyor in Madison County.

Contents of the Collection

Madison County Survey Books

Use photocopies in Box 04.

Madison County survey book 1783-1814. Surveys done by John Crooke.

  • Box 01, folder 01
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Madison County survey book 1799-1893. Surveys done by John Crooke, Kiah Crooke, Ben F. Crooke and…

  • Box 01, folder 02
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Madison County survey book 1816-1844. Surveys done by John Crooke and Kiah Crooke.

  • Box 01, folder 03
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Madison County Survey and Entry Books and Personal Books

Use photocopies in Box 04.

Madison County survey book 1847-1884. Surveys done by John Crooke, Kiah Crooke and John H. Parish.

  • Box 02, folder 01
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Madison County entry book 1780-1795. [This book has been transcribed by Anne Crabb in her book "Land…

  • Box 02, folder 02
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Ms book titled "Arithmetic" 1823-1829. (by Doc F. Crooke)

  • Box 02, folder 03
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Ms book titled "Arithmetick." n.d. (by John Crooke. First Edition) - see also B.03 f.02

  • Box 02, folder 04
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Crooke Family Loose Papers, 1851-1883. Funeral notices and certificates of election for a county…

  • Box 02, folder 05
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Personal Books

Ms book 1827. Mathematical subjects.

  • Box 03, folder 01
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Ms book "Arithmetick" n.d., (by John Crooke, First Edition.) - see also B.02 f.04

  • Box 03, folder 02
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Ms book titled "The Treaties on Mathematical Subjects," 21 Apr 1818. The book also contains another…

  • Box 03, folder 03
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Ms book 1822. Astronomical and geographical tables. Handmade tables of sun declination can be found…

  • Box 03, folder 04
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Ms dictionary by John Crooke, 1832. The dictionary also contains a table with latitudes and…

  • Box 03, folder 05
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Diary 1840-1847. The diary also contains an almanac, tables, religious biographies, geographical…

  • Box 03, folder 06
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Ms book titled "Book of Great Information" 1845. This book contains geographical and political…

  • Box 03, folder 07
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Box 04 - Photocopies of Survey and Entry Books found in Box 01 and 02.

State Maps

All originals files oversize.

Ms map, ca. 1830. The map contains political divisions (counties) in the following states: Illinois…

  • Box 05/01, item 1.
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Ms map of Indiana, ca. 1844. The map contains political divisions and is divided by counties and…

  • Box 05/01, item 2.
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Ms map of Virginia, ca.1830. The map contains political divisions in the state of Virginia…

  • Box 05/01, item 3.
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Survey Maps

Land surveys of Madison County

Land survey for suit of John Mitchell against James Flack, 1820. The survey is signed by John Crooke…

  • Box 05/02, item 1.
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Land survey for suit of John Mitchell against James Flack, 1832. The survey is signed by John Crooke…

  • Box 05/02, item 2.
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Land survey for a suit of John Kincaid against William Blythe, n.d. This survey shows D. Boone's…

  • Box 05/02, item 3.
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Survey Map of Madison County, n.d. The map shows the county divided by squares representing miles…

  • Box 05/02, item 4.
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Survey map of the Crookesville region, n.d. The survey shows large tracts of land owned by W. Burk…

  • Box 05/03, item 5.
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Survey map of the land north of Richmond, n.d. The survey shows large tracts of land owned by Irvine…

  • Box 05/03, item 6.
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Survey map titled "Around Richmond," n.d. This survey shows land around the city of Richmond and…

  • Box 05/03, item 7.
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Survey map showing most of Madison County, n.d. The map shows Richmond, Kentucky River, old roads…

  • Box 05/03, item 8.
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Survey map showing in detail, the Northeast parts of Madison County, n.d. The map shows Richmond…

  • Box 05/03, item 9.
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Survey map showing the north side of Madison county, n.d. The map shows Richmond, all the way to the…

  • Box 05/03, item 10.
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Survey map showing the north side of Madison county, n.d. This map was done by John Kincaid. The…

  • Box 05/03, item 11.
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Survey map showing the northeast side of Madison county, n.d. Richmond can be seen in this map…

  • Drawer MD/07/01, item 12.
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Survey map showing the north side of Madison county, n.d. Shingled plats showing overlapping land…

  • Drawer MD/07/01, item 13.
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