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Crooke Family Papers


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Madison County Survey Books

Madison County Survey and Entry Books and Personal Books

Personal Books

Photocopies of Survey and Entry Books found in Box 01 and 02.

State maps

Land surveys of Madison County

Land surveys of Madison County

Survey Maps of Madison County, KY

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Crooke Family Papers, 1780-1880 | Eastern Kentucky University - Special Collections and Archives

By Luiz Simonetti

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Collection Overview

Title: Crooke Family Papers, 1780-1880Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Primary Creator: Crooke, John (1766-1849)

Extent: 1.7 Cubic Feet

Date Acquired: 11/17/1989

Subjects: Arithmetic--Early works to 1900., Land titles--Kentucky., Madison County (Ky.)--Surveys.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

John Crooke was the county surveyor in Madison County, KY and these family papers include early survey books throughout the 19th century as his son and grandson followed in his footsteps. This collection is an excellent source of information for researchers of early Kentucky history and pioneers in the American west. The papers can also be used to study the life of an educated man of the period. In his writings and diaries John Crooke reflects on weather, land, religion, and other subjects considered important to this pioneer. The collection also includes several manuscript arithmetic books written by members of the Crooke family which show how math was taught in the early part of the 19th century.

Collection Historical Note

John Crooke, born February 10, 1766, commonly called Major Crooke, was born in St. Mary County, Maryland. He enlisted while yet young in the Revolutionary war , and was with Washington at the capture of Lord Cornwallis at the siege of Yorktown, Virginia. He was married to Anna D. Reeves, the 5th January 1786. John Crooke studied mathematics pretty thoroughly; could master the arithmetic, and made one (book) himself. He understood navigation; could box the compass; made almanacs; and could count the eclipses of the Sun and the Moon; and in one almanac he left a little space along the margin, and late in May, he put down "Frost" and at the Battalion Muster the day before his frost, they laughed at him about his prediction; Says he: hold, wait and see. That evening a cloud came up from the North, rained a good shower, and a cleared off cold, and sure enough in the morning was a white frost. He was thenceforth put down as an almanac maker, and a sure prophet. Major John Crooke with his wife, Anna D., and father, Osias Crooke, and two more brothers, Hezekiah Crooke and Absalom Crooke, immigrated from Virginia to Kentucky, in the year 1789. At that time many surveyors were in Kentucky, then part of Virginia, surveying out the military claims of the Revolutionary soldiers; the soldiers were all allowed a preemption of 1,000 acres of land and a homestead of 400 acre, generally laid out together.

Madison was made a county, still of Virginia, in 1785, and James French was her first county surveyor, and held the office for eight years. He held his office from appointment in Virginia. John Crooke was one of his deputies. John Crooke was the first surveyor elected to the office after the establishment of the state, by the magistrates of the county. Major John Crooke made many tables of numbers such as tables of logarithms, and the traverse table, and more than thirty maps of the different states and territories, the United States, Mexico, etc; and laid off all the counties in good colors all with his quill-pen. He made several maps of Madison county, and made connected plats of all the land in the county. He surveyed most of the lands in the early litigations in Madison and much in other counties. When he first became surveyor, Madison county extended to the Virginia line, on the south side of the Kentucky River. He had many deputies, and some of their names were James Kincaid, Richard Smith, David Williams, Jones Hoy, George Walker, James M'Cormick, Daniel Boone, William O'Rear, Thomas Mosely, Thomas Campbell, Wallace Estill, Joseph Barnett, James Anderson, Irvine Anderson, John R. Crooke, Kiah Crooke, and others.

Subject/Index Terms

Arithmetic--Early works to 1900.
Land titles--Kentucky.
Madison County (Ky.)--Surveys.

Administrative Information

Repository: Eastern Kentucky University - Special Collections and Archives

Physical Access Note: Access to original manuscripts is restricted for research purposes. KDLA microfilms or photocopies must be used prior to using the original papers. The microfilm can be found in the Archives reading room and photocopies of the survey and entry books are in Box 04.

Acquisition Source: Green, John L.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1: Madison County Survey Books],
[Box 2: Madison County Survey and Entry Books and Personal Books],
[Box 3: Personal Books],
[Box 4: Photocopies of Survey and Entry Books found in Box 01 and 02.],
[Folder OS 1: State maps],
[Folder OS 2: Land surveys of Madison County],
[Folder OS 3: Land surveys of Madison County],
[Folder OS 4: Survey Maps of Madison County, KY],