Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Thomas Craighead

Male 1702 - 1735  (33 years)

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Generation: 1

  1. 1.  Thomas Craighead was born in 1702 in Ireland (son of Rev. Thomas Craighead and Margaret Wallace); died in Aug 1735 in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware; was buried in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware.

    Thomas married Margaret Brown in near Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Margaret (daughter of George Brown and Margaret Macky) was born in 1702 in Ireland; died on 13 Sep 1765; was buried in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

    1. Ann Craighead was born on 1 Jul 1725 in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware; was buried in Stone Graveyard, Lewisville, Chester, Pennsylvania.

Generation: 2

  1. 2.  Rev. Thomas Craighead was born about 1670 in Donoughmore, Donegal, Ireland (son of Rev. Robert Craighead and Agnes Heart); died in Apr 1739 in Newville, Cumberland, Pennsyvania.


    One of TWK's twelve proven "gateway ancestors." He arrived, with his sister Katherine (also an ancestor of TWK), at Boston in October 1714, on the Thomas and Jane out of Londonderry, William Wilson, master.

    M.A., University of Edinburgh, 28 Jul 1691.

    From The Craighead Family, citation details below:

    Thomas was educated in Scotland as a physician, and married the daughter of a Scotch laird. After practicing medicine for a time, he became much depressed in spirits, and his wife inquiring the cause, he informed her that his conscience upbraided him for not preaching the Gospel. She at once assured him, that she would not stand in the way of what he considered his duty. Accordingly, he soon after abandoned the practice of medicine, studied divinity, and was a pastor for several years in Ireland, principally at Donegal. In consequence, however, of the oppressions endured by the Presbyterians of that countiy from the government and from the Established Church, and their past experience giving them but little hope of any permanent relief, large numbers of the people determined to emigrate to America.

    Among these emigrants was Thomas Craighead, who came to New England in 1715, accompanied by Rev. William Homes, who was married to Mr. Craighead's sister Catharine. Mr. Homes settled at Martha's Vineyard, and is buried with his wife, at Chilmark. Their eldest son Robert was a sea-captain, resided in Boston, and married Mary, a sister of Benjamin Franklin.

    The first public mention made of Thomas Craighead in this country is by Cotton Mather, who speaks of him as preaching at Freetown, which was about forty miles south of Boston, and urges the people to do all in their power to have him settle among them. He appears to have been a relative of Mr. Hathaway, of that town, and probably had gone there in the first instance at that gentleman's invitation. Mather writing to a friend entreats the people "to give a demonstration of the wisdom that is from above," by encouraging Mr. Craighead in his work, and says, "That he was a man of an excellent spirit, and a great blessing to the plantation; a man of singular piety, meekness, humility, and industry in the work of God. All that are acquainted with him have a precious esteem of him, and if he should be driven from among you, it would be such a damage, yea, such a ruin, as is not without horror to be thought of."

    The efforts made for his settlement in Freetown were unsuccessful, for we find a notice in President Stiles's papers of his coming "to the Jerseys" in the spring of 1723. Whether he came direct from this town, or preached in other places in New England previous to his removal, we cannot now determine. On page one hundred and ninety-five of the New England Historical Register we have an extract from the diary of Jeremiah Bumstead, which refers to a meeting held in the Old South Church, Boston, June 19th, 1722, at which Mr. Craighead officiated. In the year 1724 (January 28th) he became a member of New Castle Presbytery, which at that period included portions of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, and is spoken of in the minutes as having "lately come from New England." He received a call from White Clay Creek, Delaware, in February of the same year, and accepted it on the condition that he should have the privilege of preaching every third Sabbath at Brandywine. He was installed September 22d, 1724, and continued his ministry with this people for a period of seven years. According to the Records of the Presbyterian Church, 1706-1788, he was Moderator of the Synod in 1726, and was present at the formal adoption of the Westminster Confession and Catechisms, as also of the Explanation of the Adopting Act.

    Mr. Craighead removed to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 1733, and September 3d of the same year, united with Donegal Presbytery, when a call was placed in his hands from the Church at Pequea. This he accepted, and was installed pastor October 31st, Rev. Mr. Anderson presiding. The Presbytery in its minutes always speaks of him as "Father Craighead," either out of respect and veneration for his years, or from a special affection for him. That he was respected for his talents and learning, and loved for his genial spirit and piety, there are abundant proofs. He was very active in planting and building up churches in the region. "His preaching was remarkably fervent, and often attended with revivals. His theology was strictly conformed to the Westminster Confession, for which he displayed a special attachment, and which he was the first to subscribe, both in New Castle and Donegal Presbyteries."

    While pastor at Pequea, in the spring of 1736, the session of the Church complained to the Presbytery because Mr. Craighead debarred his wife from the communion table. The matter was fully considered during its next session, and as there were no hopes of settling the difficulty, Presbytery in September judged it expedient to dissolve the pastoral relation. At the same meeting Mr. Craighead was appointed by the Presbytery to supply "the people of the Conodoguinet," by which was meant the congregation whose place of worship was at Meeting House Springs, from one to two miles northwest of Carlisle, in Cumberland County. After fulfilling this appointment, and a subsequent one at Hopewell, he received a call from the latter people, which he desired to accept; but as there were difficulties respecting "the boundaries" between this congregation and that of Pennsborough, action in the case was delayed. He, in the meantime, supplied the church at Hopewell, whose place of meeting was at "the Big Spring," now Newville.

    The same difficulty which had interfered with his usefulness in his last charge followed him to Hopewell, and was again fully considered at two successive meetings of Presbytery. Both Mr. Craighead and his wife appeared before that body. The former finally consented that the session should allow his wife to come to the Lord's table; and the latter stated that "she had nothing to complain of against her husband except this single act, and that he had uniformly treated her with kindness." By this means the trouble was amicably settled--a trouble which probably arose from there being two families in the same house; for the Presbytery, in consenting to withdraw all action in the case, instructed him that "his son John and family must no longer continue to live with him."

    Presbytery declaring itself satisfied with this settlement of the domestic
    difficulty, and the boundary between the congregations of Pennsborough and Hopewell being fixed, the latter renewed their call, which was accepted, Nov. 16th, 1737. The installation was ordered to take place "at some convenient time before the next stated meeting," and occurred October, 1738, his son, Rev. Alexander Craighead, conducting the services on the occasion.

    Mr. Craighead's pastorate at Newville, however, was of only a short duration. He was now far advanced in life, though his earnestness and power remained unabated. A descendant of his (Mr. Thomas Craighead, formerly of Whitehill, Pa.) states, that under his impassioned sermons not infrequently his audience would be melted to tears, and the emotions of his hearers became so intense that they were unwilling to disperse at the proper time. On one of these occasions, near the close of April, 1739, he became exhausted, and hastened to pronounce the benediction; and waving his hand he exclaimed, "Farewell! farewell!" and sank down and expired in the pulpit. His remains are said to have been placed under the corner-stone of the present house of worship at Newville.

    Thomas married Margaret Wallace. Margaret (daughter of Michael Wallace and Barbara Cunningham) was born about 1664; died in 1738 in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware; was buried in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 3.  Margaret Wallace was born about 1664 (daughter of Michael Wallace and Barbara Cunningham); died in 1738 in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware; was buried in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware.


    From research published in recent years on soc.genealogy.medieval, Margaret Wallace would appear to be, like her husband the Rev. Thomas Craighead, a "gateway ancestor" for TWK.

    Jan Wolfe, post to soc.genealogy.medieval, 4 Oct 2019:

    Ed Craighead obtained digital images of the court documents in the dispute between Thomas Craighead and Margaret Cunningham (see 1693/94 item in the "Chronicle" for Thomas Craighead and Margaret Wallace on my website, When Ed requested the documents from the National Archives of Scotland, they were found to be in need of restoration and preservation and that work was completed before the images were provided to Ed.

    The information on my website about the parents of Margaret Wallace is from the documents in the Craighead-Cunningham dispute. With these documents, Ed Craighead has positively identified Margaret's father as Michael Wallace of Ramelton/Rathmelton in co. Donegal, Ireland, and her mother as Michael's relict Barbara Cunningham who was age sixty on 22 February 1694 when she made a deposition in the case. Further, the documents indicate that Barbara was the sister of Margaret Cunningham who was the relict of Alexander Lockhart, writer in Edinburgh, one of the under clerks of sessions. The contract of marriage in which Margaret Cunningham had agreed to pay Thomas Craighead double what she gave to any other nephew or niece was signed on June 20, 1688, and registered in 1691. John Wallace, apothecary and burgess in Edinburgh and brother of Margaret Wallace, had received 3000 Merks from Margaret Cunningham, but there was a dispute about whether that payment was a gift to him as her nephew or for another matter. At the time of the court proceedings which started in December 1693, Master Thomas Craighead was an Alchemist in Edinburgh. One of the witnesses in the case was a John Cunningham younger writer to ye majesty's signet.

    "ravinmaven", post to soc.genealogy.medieval, 7 Oct 2019:

    The two documents that make us think John Cunningham and Janet Lockhart [of Dalkeith / Dankeith] are the parents of Margaret and Barbara:

    Repository: National Records of Scotland
    Reference: GD3/1/9/20/8
    Title: Disposition and assignation by Alexander Lockhart in favour of Margaret Cunninghame
    Dates: 17 Apr 1672
    Access status: Open
    Location: Off site
    Description: Disposition and assignation by Alexander Lockhart in favour of Margaret Cunninghame, his spouse, (lawful daughter to unquhile John Cunninghame, procreat between him and unquhile Janet Lockhart) and the heirs to be procreat between them which failing Margaret, her own nearest and lawful heirs and assignees whomsoever of the foresaid lands reserving his own liferent
    Dated at Wrightshouses near the burgh of Edinburgh
    Level: Item
    Previous numbers: GD3/1/3321

    + + + + + + + +

    Repository: National Records of Scotland
    Reference: GD149/149
    Title: Charter de me by John Conyngham, younger of Dankeithe, and Janet Lockhart, his spouse, to Sir William Conynghame of Caprintoune and Isobel Hamilton, his spouse, of the half merk land of Hoilhous in parish of Symontoune and bailiary of Kylstewart
    Dates: 8 Jan 1634
    Access status: Open
    Location: Off site
    Level: File

    1. 1. Thomas Craighead was born in 1702 in Ireland; died in Aug 1735 in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware; was buried in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware.

Generation: 3

  1. 4.  Rev. Robert Craighead was born about 1633; died on 22 Aug 1711 in Londonderry, Londonderry, Ireland.


    From the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:

    Craghead, Robert (c. 1633–1711), minister of the Presbyterian General Synod of Ulster and author, was born in Scotland to unknown parents and graduated MA from the University of St Andrews in 1653. In 1658 he commenced his ministry in Donoughmore, co. Donegal. In 1661 he was one of thirty-six Presbyterian ministers in Ireland ejected from his parish for refusing to conform to the established church. He remained with his people and contrived to exercise an effective ministry among them. The troubles of 1689 drove him and his family into the besieged city of Londonderry, and from it to Glasgow, where for a time he ministered in a congregation.

    On 1 July 1690 he was called to be minister of the Presbyterian congregation in Londonderry, and remained there until his death. The bishop of Derry from 1691 to 1702 was William King, afterwards archbishop of Dublin. King had already crossed swords with Joseph Boyse, minister of Wood Street congregation in Dublin, on the subject of Presbyterian worship, hoping to persuade his readers to follow his own pilgrimage from Presbyterianism to Anglicanism. His representations of Presbyterian practice were factually incorrect, and Craghead felt impelled to answer them in two pamphlets, An Answer to a Late Book Intituled ‘A Discourse Concerning the Inventions of Men in the Worship of God’ (1694) and An Answer to the Bishop of Derry's Second Admonition to the Dissenting Inhabitants of his Diocese (1697). Neither work reveals Craghead as a particularly effective controversialist. His replies to King are orderly, thorough, and factual. They contain a wealth of information about Presbyterian life and spirituality, and especially about Presbyterian public worship. They confirm the very large numbers attending Presbyterian services in north-west Ulster at this time. While Boyse and Craghead display common purpose in their defence of Presbyterian forms of worship, it is fascinating to discern contrasting views on points of detail. Boyse reflects the broader and more English practice of Dublin Presbyterianism, while the stricter Ulster-Scot ethos of northern congregations is firmly embodied in Craghead's work. Craghead's pamphlets lack the grace of Boyse's writing, and the fire of good polemic, but are none the less an important contribution.

    Craghead's other writings were of a devotional and practical kind. His Advice for the Assurance of Salvation (1702) and the posthumous Walking with God (1712) have both been lost to posterity. His Advice to Communicants was first published in Glasgow in 1695, and was reprinted several times. It was an attempt to deal with many of the problems and difficulties felt by the ordinary people with whom Craghead worked as a pastor. It is a rich treasure house of Christian devotion and evidences the scrupulous care given by Craghead and others of his generation to the doubts and questions of his people. Through all his writings runs a firm Calvinist theology. Craghead married Agnes, daughter of the Rev. John Hart, minister of Taughboyne, and they had three sons: Thomas, Robert, and Samuel. Craghead died in Londonderry on 22 August 1711.

    Robert married Agnes Heart about 1668. Agnes (daughter of Rev. John Heart and Agnes Baxter) was born before 17 Dec 1648. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 5.  Agnes Heart was born before 17 Dec 1648 (daughter of Rev. John Heart and Agnes Baxter).

    Other Events:

    • Baptised: 17 Dec 1648, Dunino, Fife, Scotland

    1. 2. Rev. Thomas Craighead was born about 1670 in Donoughmore, Donegal, Ireland; died in Apr 1739 in Newville, Cumberland, Pennsyvania.
    2. Katherine Craighead was born about 1673 in Donoughmore, Donegal, Ireland; died on 10 Apr 1754 in Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; was buried in Abel Hill Cemetery, Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

  3. 6.  Michael Wallace died in in Ramelton, Donegal, Ireland.

    Michael married Barbara Cunningham. Barbara (daughter of John Cunningham and Janet Lockhart) was born about 1634; died after 22 Feb 1694. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  4. 7.  Barbara Cunningham was born about 1634 (daughter of John Cunningham and Janet Lockhart); died after 22 Feb 1694.
    1. 3. Margaret Wallace was born about 1664; died in 1738 in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware; was buried in White Clay Creek, New Castle, Delaware.

Generation: 4

  1. 10.  Rev. John Heart was born between 1616 and 1617 in Scotland (son of David Heart and Jean Mowat); died on 8 Jan 1687; was buried in Taughboyne Church of Ireland, St. Johnstowne, Donegal, Ireland.

    Other Events:

    • Alternate birth: of Taughboyne (Monreagh), Donegal, Ireland
    • Alternate death: 8 Jan 1688


    His gravestone at Taughboyne reads:


    (Here lieth the body of Master John Hart of noble descent, a watchful pastor, a devout philosopher, a distinguished divine, who labored for over 30 years preaching Christ with much success in the church of Taughboyne, and after much suffering for Christ's sake at length gave up his ripened spirit to God on 8th January 1687 aged 70 years.)

    Much documentation for the life of the Rev. John Heart/Hart, compiled by Janet Wolfe, can be found here.

    It had long been noted that "David Heart of Rusland, William and Mr. John Heart, his sons" witnessed a charter by Mr. Patrick Grahame of Rothisholm, dated at Kirkwall (in the Orkney islands), 8 Feb 1638. (Calendar of the Laing Charters, citation details below, pp. 529-30.) But then:

    Jan Wolfe, on soc.genealogy.medieval, 9 May 2017:

    Document SC11/5/1644/11, held at the Orkney Archives, is the marriage agreement, dated 21 February 1644, for Margaret Heart, daughter of David Heart and Jean Mowat, and James Grahame. The NAS catalog description is here:

    I recently ordered an image of this document from the Orkney Archives.

    The contract specifies that James Grahame's part of the agreement is to be done by the "advyse of the said Dauid Heart if he sall be on lyff And failyeing of him throw deceas be the advyse of the said [William] Heart his eldest sone and of Mr John Heart Minister his secund sone or ather of thame."

    With this evidence, I think that we can now confidently identify the parents of John Heart as David Heart and Jean Mowat. Jean's mother, Christian Stewart, was a daughter of Earl Robert Stewart of Orkney, and Robert was a son of King James V of Scotland by Euphame Elphinstone.

    John Heart, who received his M.A. at St. Andrews in May, 1637, was ordained at Crail on March 22, 1643.

    Agnes Heart, daughter of John Heart and Agnes Baxter, married Robert Craighead. Their children include colonial immigrants Thomas Craighead, husband of Margaret Wallace, and Katherine Craighead, wife of William Homes. Thomas and William were both Presbyterian ministers. Thomas and Margaret lived in Freetown, Bristol County, Massachusetts, and then in Pennsylvania. Katherine and William lived in Chilmark, Dukes County, Massachusetts (on Martha's Vineyard) where William was the minister from the fall of 1715 until his death in 1746.

    From "Fasti of the Irish Presbyterian Church" (citation details below):

    HART, JOHN: b. Scotland; educ. St. Andrews; M.A. (St. And.) 1637; ord. at Crail, 22 March 1642/3; mar. 1644, Agnes Baxter; res. 1646; inst. Dunino, 30 Dec. 1646; res. 1650; inst. Dunkeld, 1650; joined the Protesters 1651, and was dep. 1652; inst. Hamilton (2nd charge), 23 Jan. 1653. In Oct. 1655, a Commissr. from Taughboyne appeared at the Syn. of Glasgow and Ayr with a call to Mr. Hart. Inst. Taughboyne (Monreagh) 1656. Recd. £150 a year as from 29 Sept. last, from the Protectorate on the petition of the inhabitants and report of Drs. Winter and Harrison, and Mr. Mather as to his piety, etc., and that he had been there near half a year and had a great charge of children (25 March 1656). Dep. for non-conformity, 1661, but continued to minister.

    On a visit to Dublin in the winter of 1662/3 some of those engaged in Blood's Plot applied to Mr. Hart for his concurrence. When examined later as to his complicity he incautiously dropped a word that brought trouble to Mr. Thos. Boyd, M.P. for Bangor. In vindicating himself he said that when the plot was revealed to him he expressed his abhorrence, as Mr. Boyd in Dublin knew. This led to Mr. Boyd's arrest and subsequent expulsion from the House of Commons. Hart seems to have been liberated on bail to appear when called upon. Excommunicated and imprisoned in Lifford, 1664-70, for disobeying a summons, issued by Robt. Leslie, Bp. of Raphoe, to appear before his court. Fined 20 and imprisoned 8 months for his connexion with a Fast (17 Feb. 1681), appointed by Laggan Presby.

    Died 8 Jan. 1687, aged 70; int. at Taughboyne.

    John married Agnes Baxter on 2 Apr 1644 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland. Agnes (daughter of William Baxter and Catharine Downie) was born before 15 Feb 1619; died before 21 May 1689; was buried on 21 May 1689 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  2. 11.  Agnes Baxter was born before 15 Feb 1619 (daughter of William Baxter and Catharine Downie); died before 21 May 1689; was buried on 21 May 1689 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland.

    Other Events:

    • Baptised: 15 Feb 1619, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland

    1. 5. Agnes Heart was born before 17 Dec 1648.

  3. 14.  John Cunningham (son of William Cunningham and Agnes Cunningham); died before 17 Apr 1672.

    John married Janet Lockhart before 8 Jan 1634. Janet (daughter of John Lockhart and Marion Cunningham) died before 17 Apr 1672. [Group Sheet] [Family Chart]

  4. 15.  Janet Lockhart (daughter of John Lockhart and Marion Cunningham); died before 17 Apr 1672.
    1. Margaret Cunningham died in Apr 1700.
    2. 7. Barbara Cunningham was born about 1634; died after 22 Feb 1694.