Craft's on "Little  Juniper Creek", NC

By: Wanda Karyn Bostic
June 1984

                                                                                                      Updated: Oct. 2014

In 1604 King James I initiated the movement of the Scots (that supported the conspiracy of the Earl of Tyrone, and the Earl of Tyronconnel); to Ulster, Ireland. They became known as the "Scot-Irish".

In the 15th century; England was persecuting protestants; (who were primarily of Presbyterian, Baptist, and Quaker faith); and many of them were eager to escape Britain.  Those that couldn't afford the cost of passage to America; signed indentured servant's agreements with wealthy merchants, that already owned land in America. They became known as the "Planters" of the Mass. Bay Colony.

According to the "Winthrop Fleet Records"; their service agreements ranged for a period of six months to three years, depending on the number of family members that also needed passage. 

Since 1630: hundreds of ships carrying more than just cargo, had left the ports of London/Liverpool, England: (sailing for Virginia or the Mass. Bay Colonies; long before the "Mayflower" sailed to America ). Many of these ships recorded "stopovers" at the "Ulster Plantation" in Belfast, Ireland.

Lt. Griffin Croft/Craft (b.1600 in Assington, Suffolk County, "Sutton Under Brailes"):  was christened at "Croft's Castle" May 21, 1600, located in Herefordshire; on the Welsh Border. {(He was the son of Herbert Croft (b.1566) (d.1622) and Mary Bourne Croft (b.1579) (d.1659)}

He, his wife Alice" and daughter "Hannah", are believed to have departed from Yorkshire, England with Henry McCollluh aboard the "Arabella"; and arrived New England (Mass. Bay Colony) in 1630: (aboard the on of the ships of the "Winthrop Fleet").

According to the ships ledger: Griffin Croft, his wife "Alice Croft", and his daughter Hannah Croft:   left England as CROFT''S;  but  their  name went from CROFT to CRAFT, once on America soil.   (Imagine the two month journey  for Alice from England to America; being seven months pregnant with son John )

John Craft was born July 10, 1630, (one month after Griffin, Alice and Hannah Craft arrived in Salem, MASS. on June 13, 1630).  Griffin Craft agreed to work seven months for the Massachusetts Bay Colony Planters; and became a "Freeman of MBC" in 1631. 

He, his wife Dorcas "Alice" Ruggles, and family; settled in "Roxbury" Mass.; where Griffin Craft became "Deputy to the General Court" in 1638-67.  He was a "Juryman" in 1640;, and served as a "selectman" for 21 years (settled boundary disputes).  He was commissioned as Lieutenant of the Boston Militia on Sept. 10, 1653.

Lt. Griffin Craft and family; settled on the west side bank of  the "Muddy River"   He and "Alice" had six children, (Sons: John, Samuel, Moses; & 3 daughters: Hannah, Mary, Abigail).  Griffin and his son Samuel, owned a grits mill.  Griffin died in 1689 in Roxbury, Suffolk Co., Mass.

His son's Samuel and Moses Craft; help organize, and settled in "New Roxbury" CT; which was latter named "Woodstock.



1713; English and other Europeans began to arrive in Onslow County, NC, particularly in the area now known as Jacksonville, NC. They arrived in what was originally planned as "Part of the Colonial Colony Precincts called: Carteret, and New Hanover.

A wealthy London Merchant named  Henry McColluh, employed Gabriel Johnson to purchase land for him in N.C. between the years of 1726-1733.   (Later: Gabriel Johnson became the Governor of NC)

In 1736 Duplin County, NC was known as the "Upper New Hanover County". The first Courthouse was built on "Turkey Swamp"

In 1784 Sampson County, NC was created from the western half of Duplin County. New centrally located Courthouse was built in Kenansville, NC.

1735/36 many other settlers were migrating from VA, NJ, and PA;  to North Carolina, and settling along the "North East River" and it's principle tributaries of "Muddy Creek" (now in Chinquapin NC) and "Limestone Creek Township" (now known as Hallsville, and "Snatchet" now known as Beulaville, NC).

1736 King George II secured a grant for Henry McColloh; of 64,000 acres in Duplin County, NC. The land was to be divided into seventy one (160 acre each) grants. He assigned  Henry McCulloh to arrange for transport, and accompany 4,000 Ulster Scot-Irish countrymen to America to settle. (Aboard a ship commanded by Captain URE)

(Henry McCulloh was born in "Turnham Green", County Middlesex, England.  In 1733 he presented his concerns about the growing problem over America's land system, to the British Crown.

1737; the Crown issued to Henry McCulloch's trustees: land warrants for 1,200,000 acres of land in N.C.: with one condition. McCulloch had to settle 6,000 protestants into three NC colonies.

After the Battle of Culloden Moor in 1746; huge numbers of Scot-Highlanders that had been implicated in the rebellion of Prince Charles; emigrated to America and occupied the upper region of the Cape Fear River in NC.

The earliest settlements were primarily along the main rivers and large creeks; since their boats were their fastest mode of transportation. The Cape Fear River and it's tributaries; passes through Duplin County, NC. Several of it's tributaries are especially important to my family history: "Muddy Creek", Cypress Creek" near Chinquapin, and "Limestone Creek" of Hallsville, NC . The "New River" flows from Jacksonville to Richland's, NC, feeding the  "Back Swamp" in Onslow County, NC. These five areas are where the stories of the Craft's, Brown's, Thomas's, and Bostic's intertwine.

(For years my father wondered why his mother, grandmothers, and several sisters were all barely five foot tall.  Perhaps we have some native Indian genetics. My family's from the are of the Limestone Township/Beulaville, N.C.  This is the reason I felt it important to include the reports of Duplin County Indians.)

Henry McCulloh's first settlement of "Sarecta" (now Pink Hill), was located on the east bank of the Cape Fear River near "Hallsville"; another settlement was on the west side of the Goshen Swamp, and the third was called "Golden Grove" which would latter become the town of Kenansville, NC.

"Sarecta" is located five miles from Hallsville, NC. Archeologist J. A. Holmes excavated five different sites in Duplin County, NC ; and confirmed that their are five Indian burial grounds  located between Hallsville and Kenansville, NC.  (1908 book: "Notes on the Indian Burial Mounds of Eastern NC")

According to the Explorer-Naturalist: John Lawson: The bones/relics he examined, are believed to be the remains of the "Chiefton of Joara", which lived in the Duplin County area during the 16th Century. The "Cheraw Indians" of the Piedmont in 1540; are also said to be descended from "Joara".

The two largest Indian burial mounds in the State of NC are located in "Sarecta". These native Indians were in Duplin County long before the Scot-Irish  arrived in Goshen Swamp with Henry McColloh in 1736.  (The Welsh immigrants arrived in Duplin County in 1730). One of the earliest roads to Sarecta was named "Welsh Trade Road" (Now Hwy 11). (The closest towns located within a 15 mile radius of the Indian Burial Mounds are: Hallsville, Beulaville, Chinquapin, Cedar Fork, Warsaw, Cypress Creek and Richland's)

Although Indians are known for roaming and moving their villages in search of food and water;  (and it is a known fact that the surviving "Joara" merged with the "Cheraw" Indians, and migrated to the Piedmont Areas of NC), there is a possibility that some of the surviving Indians merged with the families of the new settlers of Duplin County, NC during the 15th century.


From CROFT  to  CRAFT:

The original family surname of Griffin Croft, was changed to Craft on the  voyage records  from England aboard  one of the "Winthrop Fleet" ships.  (The names of the  ships of the Winthrop Fleet are:  "Abrose", "William & Francis", "Talbot", "Hopewell", "Jewel", "Whale", "Charles", "Success", "Mayflower", "Trial").

The first of five ships of the Winthrop Fleet sailed on April 8, 1630 from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, and arrived in Salem, Mass Bay Colony on June 13, 1630. The remaining four ships sailed the following May, 1630.  Altogether the ships brought over 700 passengers to America in 1630.

The "ANGLO-SAXON" Croft family of England, merged with the Browne family of England in the 14th century:

Thomas Browne's daughter ANN: Married Edward Croft (b. 1544) (d.1601)

Edward and Ann Croft's son:  Sir Herbert Croft (b.1566) (d. 1622)

Sir Herbert Croft married Mary Bourne (b.1579) (1659)   (The resided in CROFT's Castle, Hertfordshire England on the Welsh Border)

Herbert and Mary Croft's son:  Lt. Griffin CROFT ( christened at Crofts Castle May 1, 1600)

Lt. Griffin Croft departed  England  on April 8, 1630, and  Arrived in Salem, Mass. Bay Colony America on June 13, 1630 as LT. GRIFFIN CRAFT.

During their two month journey  to America; Alice was pregnant.  One month after arriving in America on June 13, 1630; their son was born:  John Craft (born July 10, 1630)  Griffin and Alice would live in Roxbury, Mass.; and  they are buried in Boston, Mass  with a headstone bearing their family  CROFT SEAL of Hertfordshire, England.

John Craft (b 1630) had two brothers:  Samuel Craft (b 1637), and Moses Craft (b 1641).  Samuel and Moses's descendants settled primarily  in Windham County, CT.; known as New Roxbury, CT; which later became "Woodstock".  (Woodstock was at one time, considered to be Mass. Territory settled in 1686)


John Craft''s migration  took on a completely different direction SOUTH:


Sgt. Anthony Charles Craft:  NC Militia of 1754:  Joined regiment of Joseph P. Brown in Jacksonville, SC   

Served during the French and Indian War that began 1754-1763

Received 100 acres of land in:  Onslow County Land Grants for his services on March 5, 1746; and

Received 47 acres of land in: Newton Co., NC (Now Catawba County): located on "Roaring River" just south of Wilkes County, NC.   (This is where Archelous Craft, SR. was born in 1749)


According to the Kentucky Explore Magazine: 

Source:  "Kentucky Explorer Magazine" Vol. 10, No 5, Oct. 1995 pg 84-85

James Craft, Jr was born about 1730 in Bertie County, NC and married Sarah Hammons in1748. His father John Craft died in 1760; John's parents (James Craft Sr immigrated to America in 1680, arrived in PA on one of William Penn's ships.  He made his residence in Buck Co., PA).    John Craft had three sons:  James Jr, Samuel, and Thomas.

James Craft (SR)  (b1730)  married Sarah Hammonds: Tax records indicate: residences of Bertie County, NC in 1757:  of Randolph County, NC in 1759; and Robeson County in 1790.     (His father John Craft died in 1760). 

James Craft Sr. and Sarah Hammonds Sons:

Ezekiel Craft: was born in 1750; went with his brother to Letcher County, Kentucky; migrated to Missouri, and later died in Alabama.

Archelous Craft (Sr.): was born Dec. 25, 1749; of "Harris Creek" in Wilkes County, NC.: and married in 1785 to Elizabeth ADAMS Craft (b.1770) of Louden County, Virginia.  (Archelous and Elizabeth Migrated to "Roaring River" in Rowan County, NC; and later migrated and are buried in Letcher County, in 1800 settled on "Craft's Colly Creek", Kentucky).    Could this be the 47 acres  located on the "Roaring River"; granted to Anthony Charles Craft in 1754; for his service in the French & Indian War?

Archelous Craft Sr.  became a Private in the American Revolution  of the NC Militia:.

 Archelous Craft Sr. participated in the following battles: Siege of Charleston 1780, Monk's Corner 1780, Hanging Rock 1780, Eutaw Springs 1781.

He and Elizabeth  Adams; bore nine children  NC: {Mary (b 1785), Nancy (b 1787), James (JR b 1790), Sarah (b1794), John W. (b 1796) , Stephen (b 1798),  Archelous JR (b 1802), William (b 1803), Charity (b 1810)}


1800 they migrated to Letcher County Kentucky; seeking freedom of religion, away from the controlling rule of the colonies farther east.   They were accompanied by Elizabeth's parents (John Adams and Nancy Caudill of VA),  Archelous's brother Ezekiel, and twenty other "Regular Baptists"; that organized the "Indian Bottom Church" in Letcher County, KT in 1810,: (so named because many Indian artifacts were found there).  Archelous (Sr.) and Elizabeth Adams Craft; settled & died at "Craft's Colley Creek", KT.

2nd American Revolution against Britain:  1803 to 1813:

(Of the five sons of Archelous Sr.: only James, John, and Stephen would have been old enough ; Archelous Jr. and William were too young to participate.)

British impressed Americans to work on their ships, and commandeered many American merchant ships.  The British allied with the Indians; over  25,000 Kentuckians fought in the second war against Britian.  There were several battles fought; but the bloodiest was fought at the "Raisin Creek Massacre", over 480 Kentuckians lost their lives.

Many of the descendents of those that did not survive the war; were absorbed in to the surviving brothers, aunts and uncles families.  Many of the  descendents of the Kentucky  solders;  returned to Onslow County, North Carolina:


Onslow County NC Deed Book: B-l pg. 174 -175:  Dated  May 5, 1784: Anthony Charles Craft  and "Elisha" Elizabeth Craft: Divides their property consisting of 439 acres "New River Property": between their three sons:   Charles Craft, Stephen Craft, and Isaac  Charles Craft (and two men presumed to be his son-in-laws: Daniel Newton, and Isaac Simpson).

"By 1812, Charles, Stephen, and Isaac have disappeared; presumably as casualties of the War" .

Onslow County Deed Book: B-1 Section 4, page 83:  Dated Aug. 8, 1812: "Elisha"  Craft turns over all the land, to her Grandson Archibald Craft JR.  (Son of Isaac Charles Craft)

Between August 26, 1812, and April 1, 1831:  Archibald Craft deals out five land grants; consisting of approx. 300 acres to 5 men: presumed to be descendants of his  Uncle Charles, or his Uncle Stephen,: (Grants to- Patrick Ezzell, James King, William Phillips, Pheness Rouse, and Richard Ward).

June 16, 1838   Archibald leaves his (150 acres)  to his son:  Thomas C. Craft   and his daughter Rebecca (married Robert Bruce).


The US 1880 Census shows my great-grandmother Linda Brown living with her uncle Riley "Flex" Brown; when she was only eighteen.  Flex Brown was a brick mason; and he and his wife Nancy Jane Horne, had migrated from Upper-Elk, TN to Onslow County, NC.  Linda E. Brown married John Franklin CRAFT.

 Book: "Descendants of John Brown's and Lydia Fountain  Brown of Duplin County, NC". ; written by A. K. Maready in 1995.   Was sent to me by Hilda Fowler of N. C. in Sept. 2012.]

The book identifies my gggrandfather John Brown Sr., and he was also known as "Juniper John" of Cypress Creek on "Back Swamp". 

John W. Brown had 87.5 acres of land located on "Gum Branch Swamp"; which is located south of "Juniper Swamp"  on the Onslow County/Duplin County Line.


Grandpa John F. Craft was a “Master Craftsman”; Dad remembers watching Grandpa John split elm strips and soak them so he could stretch the reeds over the chair frames that he built. I now  understand me dad’s fascination with trying to build furniture.

Dad said there was so much to do there as a kid. He never got bored there. Grandpa John was never to busy to show him how to build something in his wood workshop, or how to be a blacksmith in the stable. He made time to spend with all his children and grandchildren. Dad said he had lost track of how many times all of them piled in the horse drawn wagon and went for a ride to the saw mill to help out a little while. Grandma “Lindy” Linda Brown; always fed them well before they went off to the swimming hole, or fishing on the “Juniper”. Dad said they “always had time for us” and they always made room for as many of us that wanted to spend the summer there.

If Grandpa John Craft and Grandma “Lindie” Brown Craft only knew what those memories meant to their great-grandson Milton Bostic. It’s the only time he shared his childhood memories before he ran off to join the Navy at age 18 and served them 26 years.
For years I wondered who originally owned this land on "Little Juniper Creek"; who was my dad referring to as "Uncle Johnny's",
the Uncle Johnny that owned a mill;  and who were the relatives of John F. Craft and Linda Brown; where did the originate from?


                                                      The book written by A. Kellon Maready answered these questions for me in 2012:   

 John Brown Sr. born 1750  married  Lydia Fountain born 1770. 

 Lydia's father: Hosea Fountain of "Teaches Corner" acquired a land grant in 1773.  Hosea Fountain also owned a MILL on that land.  The land is located on the county lines of Duplin and Onslow Counties, NC;  where HWY 111  intersects with Fountaintown Road,  Fountaintown, NC.   Just north of HWY 111 you will find the "Back Swamp". 

 John Brown, SR.born 1750;  became known as "Juniper John".  Upon his marriage to Lydia Fountain.  John Brown purchased 300 acres of land in 1784 from John Parker; located at "Faggy Run" on "Back Swamp" (Duplin County NC Deed Book N page 288).  I is also safe to assume that some of the "Fountain" property entered into the Brown Family through Lydia Fountains marriage to John Brown, Sr..  

John Brown Sr. divided up his land  to his three sons: 

Felix (b.1785), Howell (b 1790), John Brown Jr. (b 1792); located  on Cypress Creek Road on "Back Swamp". 

John Brown Jr. gave land to his daughter (Linda E. Brown); by his third wife (Jane Pickett). 


Linda E. Brown ( b 1853)   (Married in approx. 1873)  to:  John F. Craft (b 1854): Of  Cypress Creek, Onslow County, NC

                             (John F. and Linda Craft: granted  42 acres of land to their daughter:  my great grandmother Elizabeth:: Deed Book B-1, Sec. 125, Pg 42)

                            Elizabeth Ann Craft  (b 1874)   (Married:   Edgar Lawrence Mobley (b 1875)

                           Olive Craft (b 1876)            (Married:    K. T. Horne)

                            David R. Craft (b 1894)      (Married:    Spicy Horne)

                            Isaac Craft     (b. 1875)        (Married:  Ella Henderson )

                            Robert W. Craft  (b 1893)   (Married:   Lura M. Mobley)



My great Aunt Fancy Mobley showed my parents and I;  through the CRAFT family graveyard behind her house in 1984. 

At the back of the graveyard were many old decaying and ineligible tombstones; that even looked as though they had been made of old wood. Aunt Fancy explained that this Craft land was once owned by the Brown’s. Grandpa John F. Craft b. 1853 married Linda B. Brown b. 1853.

The NC census shows Linda Brown living with here "uncle" Felix Brown when she was eighteen (and her Aunt Mahala).  Their daughter Nancy Brown was shown on the same census at age 21.  (Since Linda's father John Brown, JR. lived to 1883; we can "assume" she was just visiting her cousin Nancy)

Dad often mentioned that he believed that the Browns were of Asian decent because they were such little people with olive skin and dark hair. Grandpa John Craft was over 6 ft. and looked like a giant beside Grandma Linda Brown Craft’s barely 4 ft. tall. Their daughter Elizabeth Ann Craft b. 1874 married Edgar L. Mobley b. 1875. So this land continues to be populated with Mobley and Crafts. 

Edgar L. Mobley (b 1875)  of Maple Hill, NC;   ALSO has ties to the Brown Family.  His father Henry W. Mobley (b 1852) married Lucy Jane Manning;  Henry's parents were George Washington Mobley  and Lucy Mobley (1882)  is the daughter of Senia Brown (b 1826);   Senia Brown is the daughter of Howell Brown (b1790); son of John Brown, Sr.

My grandmother Lucretia Mobley Bostic b. 1903 was the daughter of Edgar &  Elizabeth Ann Craft Mobley, and she wasn’t five foot tall either. Lucretia grew up in Maple Hill, NC, married Rushin Bostic, and lived in Beulaville, NC the rest of her 87 years. Their eldest son Milton Bostic , is my father that shared these childhood memories with me before his death; memories that I will always cherish. 

John F. Craft  B.08-26-1853 D. 05-12-1934
Linda "Lindie" Brown  B 01-10-1853 D. 03-21-1936


The Craft family migrated to Onslow/Duplin County  NC   from Colby, Kentucky


2008 Myrtle Bridges of Richardson County NC; has come forward today with priceless information on my great great grandparents.  John F. Craft is the son of James Craft of Onslow County, Richland's, NC.  They  lived on Buck Swamp  Road.  In 1930 John F. and Linda Craft were living with their son David R. Craft age 36.   David had one son John R. Craft age 17 and one daughter Edna Craft age. 16.      


By: Wanda Karyn Bostic May 2008

Updated:  September 2012, October 2014


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