Moses Credille (c1775 – 1819)

Born about 1775 in Virginia

Moses Credille appeared on property tax lists for Greene County, Georgia as early as 1798.1  The 1798 tax list included William “Criddle” and Gray “Criddle” in Captain Benjamin Posey’s district and Moses “Criddle” in Captain William Watson’s district — all three listed as white polls without real estate.

Moses was also found as a taxable in 1806, 1809, and in 1810 through 1815, inclusive.  He was listed as a single poll without property in each list, and several times defaulted on the poll tax.  His birth year is just an estimate based on his appearance on the tax list of 1798 and the fact that he apparently married sometime in the 1805-1810 period.  That birth estimate would, incidentally, place his birth location as Virginia.

Died in the spring of 1819

The index to estate records for Greene County has an entry for his estate dated December 1818, however this apparently refers, not to his date of death, but rather to the earliest dated item in the estate file which is a merchant’s bill dated December 1818.

An extensive file of miscellaneous estate records exists in Greene County, that suggests a death in early 1819.2  Specifically, the file contains nearly two dozen notes signed by Moses Credille on 2 January 1819 and 4 January 1819.   Twenty-two of the notes were signed by Moses Credille and William Green Macon, who may have operated some  kind of business together.  All 22 notes were to Archibald McKoy for $25 each, who later sued for non-payment.  Abigail Credille paid at least nine of the notes out of estate funds.  Although he was alive in early January, he was dead by late March.

His widow Abigail Credille was appointed administratrix on 1 April 1819.3  She posted bond a month later on 3 May 1819 with Gray Credille and Newton Davis as her securities.4  Abigail Credille appeared in the 1820 census of Greene County with one male aged 10-16, one male under 10, and two females under 10.  These children are identified in numerous estate records as James Gray Credille, Sarah Ann Credille, Ellington Credille, and Matilda Credille.5  The bills, receipts, and other records in the estate file consistently spell the surname as “Credille.”

Incidentally, both Moses and Abigail could sign their own names and consistently spelled it as “Credille.”  Clerks and others who wrote the various bills, receipts, and other documents in the probate file spelled the name in six different ways, predominantly as “Credille” but sometimes “Criddle”.

The probate file includes an estate appraisal dated 8 May 1819.  The estate consisted of notes totaling about $900, three female slaves valued at $1,500, and $500 in personal property.  The file includes a number of receipts for tuition and board of the four children, as well as several merchant accounts and receipts for the purchase of children’s clothing and supplies.

The family moves to Henry County

In 1821, Abigail drew a lot in Henry County in the 1821 Land Lottery.  She apparently moved onto this land later in the decade, as she was in the 1830 Henry County census, and appears several times in its records thereafter.

Since the move to Henry County meant that both the estate and its administrator had moved into a new jurisdiction, it was necessary to establish her legal position as administratrix of her husband’s estate in the new county.  On 2 May 1829 she executed a bond in Henry County for her performance as guardian “of the property of James Gray Credille, Sarah Ann Credille, Ellington Credille, and Matilda Credille, orphans of Moses Credille, deceased.”   On 3 May 1830 the court in Greene County “received from Henry County, where she now resides, certification that Abbigale Creddle is administrator of Moses Creddle deceased.  Gray Creddle is relieved of any liability.”6   She was enumerated in the 1840 census of Henry County, aged 50-60, with only one child (a male aged 20-30, undoubtedly James Gray Credille) remaining in the household.  In 1850, she was enumerated in the Henry County household of her son James Gray Credille.  The 1850 census gave her age as 65 and her birthplace as Georgia.

Abigail’s identity

She was Abigail Davis, the daughter of James and Jane Davis of Greene County.  James Davis had died intestate in Greene County in the fall of 1797; His widow and three others applied for letters of administration on 22 September 1797 and were sworn on 30 October.7  The widow Jane Davis left a will dated 6 December 1839 in Troup County, Georgia naming “Abigail Cridle” as her daughter.  Jane Davis may have been a daughter of James and Francis Smith.

The family moves to Texas

Abigail, along with her son James Gray Credille and daughters Sarah Ann Davenport and Matilda Steger, moved to Texas in the early 1850s.   The birthplaces of her grandchildren in censuses suggest that the family arrived about 1854.  (Children born before 1854 consistently give their birthplaces as Georgia.)  Still another source, drawing on family history, says they arrived in 1854.8  Indeed, we find her son-in-law buying 300 acres as a resident of Cass County, Texas on 30 December 1854.9

On 8 October 1856, Abigail Credille of Cass County, Texas made a deed of gift to “my beloved daughter Sarah Ann Davenport, wife of Presley G. Davenport”, of a slave, a mule, nine cows and a wagon.10  The gift was explicitly exempted from “the debts, contracts, and liabilities of her husband Presley G. Davenport.”   In the 1860 census of Cass County, she was again listed in the household of her son James Gray Credille.   Her age was given as 75 and her birthplace this time was South Carolina rather than Georgia.

Four children

Numerous estate and guardianship records list four children.  Although Ellington Credille died in his thirties, Abigail and the families of her other three children all moved to Texas.

  1. Ellington Credille (c1809 – 1849)  He married Catherine Davenport, daughter of Martin S. Davenport and sister of Presley G. Davenport, on 4 January 1831 in Clarke County, Georgia.   On 8 December 1842 her father, Martin Slaughter Davenport, made a gift of two slaves to his son Presley, specifying that they be given “unto my son-in-law Ellington Credille in trust for the use of said Presley, his wife and children.”11   Ellington Credille died in June 1849 in Henry County, leaving the widow and seven children.   The 1850 Mortality Census gives his age at death as 39 and the cause of death as typhoid fever.   (He was presumably the male aged 10-16 in his mother’s 1820 census household, thus we place his birth about 1809.)  Catherine Credille did not remarry, and appears in the 1850 and 1860 censuses of Henry County with her minor children.  In both 1870 and 1880 she was a single head of household in Henry County. The children were:  James Credille 12 (c1832), Henry Credille (c1835), Matilda Credille (c1838), Cullen Credille (c1840), Joseph Credille (c1842), Nancy A. E. Credille (c1845) and Susan C. Credille (c1848).
  2. Matilda Credille (1812 – 1861)  She married Alfred M. Steger (as descendants would later spell it) in Henry County on 22 April 1830.13  He was enumerated in Henry County in 1830, 1840, and 1850 near the Credilles and was the son of Robert M. Steger who left a will in Pike County dated in 1861 and probated in 1863 mentioning his son Alfred M. and his grandson Robert M. Steger.   About 1854 the Stegers moved with Matilda’s mother and siblings to Cass County, Texas where they appear in the 1860 census.  Matilda died in 1861 and her husband died in 1865, and both buried in Cass County’s Hickory Grove Cemetery.  Her children were:  James Alexander Steger14 (1831-1902), Burton Steger (1833-1879), Ellington Steger (c1837-?), Robert Moses Steger (c1840 – ?), Riley W. Steger (c1842), Allen Walter Steger (1845-1916), Catherine Steger (c1846), and Zachariah Steger (1850).
  3. Sarah Ann Credille (c1814 – 1874?)  She was evidently the female aged 15-20 in her mother’s 1830 census household.   She married Presley G. Davenport on 30 September 1831 in Henry County.  They appear in censuses in Henry County through 1850, then moved to Cass County, Texas by 1854.  Presley and Sarah Ann had eight known childen:  James Davenport (c1832-1862), Lue Davenport (c1835–c1835), Matilda Elvira Davenport (1839-1909), Jesse Dawson Davenport (c1842–1863), Moses Charles Davenport (c1845–c1878), George Washington P. Davenport (1848-1927), Unica Abigail Davenport (1849-1935), and Sidney C. Davenport (c1854–c1880).

    For more on this family, see separate paper on Presley G. Davenport.

  4. James Gray Credille (c1816 – 1877) He was enumerated in the 1850 census of Henry County, Georgia (age 33), the 1860 census of Cass County, Texas (age 43), and the 1870 census of Upshur County, Texas (age 53).   He evidently came to Texas with his mother and siblings.   He appears in a number of public records (he was County Treasurer in Upshur County and a postmaster in both Upshur and Camp County) but was not thoroughly researched.    He had two wives and at least dozen children.    His first wife was Elizabeth R. Paul, whom he married in Henry County on 13 April 1841.15  She was enumerated as “E. R” (age 25)  in 1850 and “E” (age 35) in 1860, and by her he had eight children:  sons named Wylie G. Credille (1843 -1891) and E. G. Credille (c1845 – 1860s?), and six daughters identified in the 1850-1870 censuses as H. P. Credille (c1846), L. A. Credille (c1848), Abbie Credille (c1852), Martha Credille (c1853), M. Etta Credille (c1856), and Alice Credille (1860).His first wife evidently died not long after the 1860 census, and he married second to a widow named Nancy Catherine Abernathy about 1864.  By her he had at least another four children: Ella Credille (c1865), Emma Kate Credille (1867-1942), James B. Credille (1870-1939), and Minnie Credille (c1873).

    Nancy was head of a Camp County household in 1880 consisting of Ella, Kate, James and Minnie.  In the same household was a fifth daughter aged 20 identified as Fannie Kesterson – apparently a daughter from her previous marriage.  (Wylie Credille’s 1880 household included his sisters Alice Credille and Mattie Mitchell.)  In Nancy’s 1900 census  household, this daughter was identified as Fannie Roberts, a widow born September 1859 with a child of her own named Ernestine.   The 1900 census indicated that Nancy had borne seven children, five of whom were still living.  Her son James B Abernathy’s death certificate identifies his mother as Nancy Catherine Abernathy and his father as James G. Credille.The eldest sons served together in the 14th Texas Infantry during the Civil War (along with their uncle Presley Davenport).   The younger son E. G. may not have survived the war, as he could not be located in subsequent censuses or other records.  James Gray Credille is buried at Leesburg Cemetery in Camp County, Texas, where his gravestone still exists.

  1. Greene County Property Tax Books, Vol. 61 and (for 1798) Vol. 62. []
  2. Loose Estate Records, Greene County, Family History Film # 005764299. []
  3. Greene County Court of Ordinary Records, Vol. 1820-1836, page 200. []
  4. Greene County Inferior Court Records, p367, courtesy of the research of Jefferson Milner. The document is also included in loose estate file. []
  5. For instance, Greene County Probate Records Book H, p312. []
  6. Greene County Inferior Court Records, p200, courtesy of the research of Jefferson Milner.  Gray Credille had been the security for her performance. []
  7. Greene County Will Book A, page 240. []
  8. Correspondence with Charles Steger, who has written monographs mentioning the family’s years in Cass County.  Certainly the birthplaces of children in censuses suggest the families were still in Georgia in 1852 but were in Texas by late 1854. []
  9. Cass County Deed Book I, p576. []
  10. Cass County Deed Book L, p62 []
  11. Clarke County Deed Book K, p129. []
  12. One of the daughters of James Credille and his wife Amanda later lived near her Credille cousins in Texas.   Eliza C. Credille (born1856) and her husband Samuel Kehr are both buried in Cass County. []
  13. This name is mistranscribed as “Slegar” in published marriage records. []
  14. Charles Steger, of Longview, believed his middle name to be “Alfred”, but his widow’s application for a Civil War pension seems to have his middle name as “Alexander”. []
  15. His surname is mis-transcribed in some index records. []