Thomas was born in Mifflin, PA in 1807. A brother, Elijah was born in 1809. Their father, Elijah Criswell born 1774, died when the boys were very young - in 1816. They were reportedly raised by their uncle Robert, the last of 8 children born to Benjamin and Mary Letitia Criswell.
Robert and his wife Mary Ann McElvain (McIlvaine) ended up in Scott County Iowa. Clouding the picture is the fact that Robert also had a son, Thomas H. Criswell, who was probably born at about the same time as the cousin Thomas whom Robert took to raise. Thomas H. moved with the family to Iowa where he died in 1881. My Thomas fathered three children in PA. and disappeared off the face of the earth.
The only close match I can find is Thomas in the 1880 PA census who is exactly the correct age. He's listed as a farmer and widower.
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