Thanks for your reply! First let me correct something. I said that the NORTHcross family beat the NORcross family to VIRGINIA, not to the states, by close to 100 years. While we're making corrections let me add that Richard did not die in 1792, he wrote his will in 1792. He did not die until 1802. On to your questions, to which I will put out my theories. I won't call them answers, they are just what I am thinking at this point with the data at hand.
1. Who did James Northcross of the Alamo belong to?
First, I don't think James Richard is the son of Frederick and Jane. James Richard (or just plain Richard) is the son of Thomas and Hettie.
Alamo James is problably NOT the son of Frederick Northcross and Sally Wilkes Bell. That seems unlikely as Mildred Bell, the mother of Sally Bell Northcross, died in 1805/1806 and her will lists each of her grandchildren by name and there is no James listed.
He is most likely the son of Thomas and Hester/Hettie. I believe he made his way to Texas by way of Alabama. Thomas and Hester moved to Alabama sometime between 1810 and 1820 (they show up on census records in Va in 1810 and in Ala. in 1820) I know that some, possibly most, of their children went with them. John M.'s three oldest were born in Alabama; Richard's oldest son was born there; and Northen's two oldest daughters were born there. I don't believe that Thomas and Hester's daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth, went to Alabama, but as all the other boys did, it seems possible at any rate that James did as well.
Recollections of Early Texas - The Memories of John Holland Jenkins states that James, Jr. died in Jan. of 1852. John Holland Jenkins had been named guardian of James Jr. at the death of their mother, Sarah Parrent Jenkins Northcross. James Jr. was living with him in 1850 in Bastrop, TX.
2. What is the maiden name of Jane, wife of Richard Northcross (1720 to 1792)? (year of his death is 1802)
to quote from my chapter on the Northcross family "Jane Northcross, wife of Richard, seems to have been Jane Cragg/Craig the daughter of William Cragg who died 1760 in Sussex. His will, written April 25, 1760 and proven August 15, 1760, lists daughters Mary Cragg and Jane Northcross. Executors were Edward Eppes, John Moss and David Mason. Mary Craig later married William Parsons and moved to North Carolina." Several deeds mention the fact that Richard Northcross and William Cragg had adjoining lands and so were neighbors. I believe that you are correct when you say that you think the Grigg who witnessed the will of Richard N. might be a misspelling of this surname.
3. Does this NORTHcross family descend from Jeremiah NORcross of Ribchester OR is the NORTHcross clan completely separate from Jeremiah and Adrian NORcross?
I don't know that I would say they have no relationship, but I will quote what I have written (mostly a bunch of quotes!)
"Origins of the Northcross Family - Joel Warren Norcross included the following reference to the Northcross family of Virginia in his 1893 work: "W. N. Northcross of Trenton, Kentucky, writes me that his grandfather lived in Virginia in the early settlement of that State. He was an Englishman coming perhaps from the Isle of Mann, which is about 70 miles from Ribchester. He settled in what is now Sussex County, 35 miles south of Petersburg. The early names of the Northcross are similar to the early Norcross names. He thinks the names Northcross, Norcrosse and Norcross have one origin." The striking similarity between this statement and the following quote made by other Northcross descendants who remained in Virginia tend to make one believe that there may be something to this family legend. Margaret Northcross Ellis and Josephine Northcross Fagg wrote the following in their pamphlet Tidewater Ancestry, "It has always been claimed, by certain members of the family, that the first Northcross to land in America was a schoolmaster and that he came from the Isle of Mann. This was reported by Cousin Tom and was generally believed, because he was the only relative who had visited the British Isles." So that is what early Northcross descendants say about their own origins.
Also note that Elsie Cameron in her book The English Norcross Family and Some of the Descendants of William (3) Norcross 1699 to America writes "The NORCROSS name is an uncommon one and consequently is more easily traced than many others. It has undergone only one change since the year 1600; before that is was spelled NORCROSSE. (Phillip wasn't the first to make note of that) . . . At any rate, the name appears very early in Lancashire County (where Ribchester is), in the Isle of Man, and in London." The S.B. Norcross Family Album and Historic Record by Gertrude Norcross states "The history of the Norcross family in America is closely akin to the Norcrosses of early England, particularly to the Isle of Man and Lancashire where many Norcrosses lived and worshipped." Most believe that all the English Norcrosses were somehow related so those from the Isle of Man would have been related to those from Ribchester. But no, I don't think that the Virginia NORTHcrosses came from Massachusetts. But what do I know?
Who do I think the father of Richard is? I am tempted to say buy my book! Ha! but that would not be very nice, especially since I am the one who wanted to talk about this. So I will tell you that I think his father was Richard! Early court record in Sussex county, Va. list both a Richard Northcross, Sr. and a Richard Northcross, Jr. Richard Northcross, Sr. was perpetually in debt and frequently in court. Richard Jr. is the one I think who married Jane Cragg and started having children in the 1750's. Incidentally, I think that Richard Sr.'s wife's name was Mary but need to look up some deeds where her name is supposedly mentioned to confirm that.
But, also just think about the possibility of there being just one Richard. The earliest land records for a Richard Northcross/Norcross in Surry county occured in about 1725. He must have been an adult, right? He was a land owner and I believe that in those days one had to be an adult to hold land. Which means he would have been born 1707 or so at the LATEST, possibly even earlier. Life expectancies in Va in the 1700's did not reach into the late 90's and if the Richard who was married to Jane did not die until 1802, he would have been a really old man. Also, there are lots of other Northcrosses around in Va. who could possibly be siblings of Richard Jr. (Of course, they could also be uncles and aunts, as well.) There was a James mentioned in Albemarle Parish records who died in 1763 in Brunswick county, Va. There was a Thomas mentioned who most likely would have been a contemporary of the Richard who married Jane. Then there were Tabitha, Hannah, and Abigail Northcross. Sisters perhaps? or Sisters-in-law? Impossible to tell with the data at hand, but certainly they must have been close relations.
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