Cranford Ancestry

Painted by David Andrew Cranford, Richmond, VA., November 1994. Colors are from the Highland Heights, Ltd, Heraldry Brochure, London, England, 1978. Source

Ad virtus astra
"Virtue to the stars"


NOTE: While I have encountered the above shields most often for the Cranfords, there are other versions: Scottish and one while listed as English, uses Fleur-de-lis, which is typical of French heraldry. With my Cranfords most likely being English, the depicted shields above seem most likely.


  • Cranford Surname, Family Crest & Coats of Arms, namely Passenger and immigration lists index: a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes by P. William Filby & Mary K. Meyer, Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8), which parallels Passenger and Immigration Lists: 1982-1985 Cumulation, Volume 1; Volumes 3-4 by Sheila Wyborny (p. 585), Gale Research Co., October 15, 1985
  • Ancestors of Myrtle Ann Morgan (archived document)
  • Speight Family Research (archived site) and pages thereof
  • Cathy Cranford who maintains Cathy Cranford's Genealogy Site, particularly the Cranford Page
  • Leslie Wright Cranford - via my DNA confirmation with her husband Jason Cranford. Information used with permission.
  • Fayetteville Observer, May 13, 1830 (Note: ultimo means "last month").
  • RootsWeb: Re: [CRANFORD] Help with tree
  • FamilySearch: Tree: John "Jackie" Cranford (1774-1840) and pages thereof
  • FamilySearch: Person: John "Jackie" Cranford (1774-1840)
  • Archive of RootsWeb CRANFORD-L Re: FW: [CRANFORD] RE: Sawney Cranford
  • Message Board: Jonas Cranford
  • Cranford DNA Results - Melody Moss
  • The Cranford DNA Project
  • Archives of Maryland, Volume 202, Preface 28 and Volume 202, Preface 32, Court Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, 1696-1699
  • James Cranford, Died 1699, Southern Maryland by Linda (Noland) Layman
  • Maryland Loyalists, 1699, 22 July 1699
  • Margo Lee Williams, family historian and author, Family Tree at
  • Index from manuscript by Arthur Trader, Chief Clerk in the Maryland Land Commission, 1917.
  • The Early Settlers of Maryland: an Index to Names of Immigrants, Compiled from Records of Land Patents, 1633-1680, in the Hall of Records, Annapolis, Maryland. Gust Skordas, editor. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968. 525p. Reprinted.
  • Archived version of CRANFORD-L Archives
  • Source for alleged Cranford origins: Archive of the site The North Carolina Cranfords Since 1745
  • Bud Cranford's Genealogy Page (archived site)
  • (click names to see the Speight Family Research entry)

    Cranford Origins according to archive of the site The North Carolina Cranfords Since 1745:

    Cranfords may have come from a variety of places in England. Some came from the county of Bedford, England from a parish of Cranfield and another from Cranes Ford in Middlesex. Here, you can have the Middlesex variation. The Cranford surname is an English location name meaning "one who comes from Cranford (Crane's Ford) in Middlesex, England" The earliest record of the name appears during the Reign of Henry II. John de Cranniford and Ralph de Craneford were living in Northhampton, England. As for the United States, the earliest record found was a James Cranford in Calvert County, Maryland. In 1699, he is listed on the Index of Maryland Colonial Wills. This may be the same James Cranford who was transported to Maryland in 1678 as an indentured servant. He rented land (called Poppey Grey) from 1682 until 1733. He also bought land (called Potts Folly) in 1688 which he owned until his death. We are uncertain if any Cranford preceded James into Calvert County. Our family had its American roots in the North Carolina Counties of Davidson, Montgomery, Randolph, Iredell, Stanly, Rowan and Cabarrus, and in Calvert County, Maryland.

    The above generation is according to Message Board: Jonas Cranford and is unverified.

    James Cranford

    b. ca. 1655, England
    d. 22 August 1699, when he was a sitting delegate and the State House of Annapolis was struck by lightning, setting it on fire, which killed him (Source: Message Board: Jonas Cranford and the source to the right).


    James immigrated to Maryland in 1678 (See Cranford Surname... and related sources, namely Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, First Edition: 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements, Volume 1, A-E, Edited by P. William Filby with Mary K. Meyer, p. 585) as an indentured servant and became a lawyer and delegate to the Maryland State House (chosen 1696) (See Archives of Maryland, Volume 202, Preface 28 and Preface 32, Court Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, 1696-1699).
    He was among the Maryland Loyalists, "An Association to defend His Majesty's most sacred person and Government against the late King James and all his adherents" 22 July 1699.

    "Under date of August 22, 1699, Edward Willett, Clerk for the Prince George's County Clerk, reads the following Proclamation in Open Court: 'For as much as Divine Providence hath lately visited these parts in a very particular manner by causing a most terrible and dreadful stroak of lightening and thunder to fall upon the State House, the Assembly sitting therein which fired the roof therof highly endangering the Records lodged in the said House and not only so but further visiting our sins struck dead Mr. James Crandford, one of the delegates for Calvert County and greviously wounded and hurt divers others......" (Source: James Cranford, Died 1699, Southern Maryland by Linda Noland Layman).

    James Cranford had a brother John according to Message Board: Jonas Cranford, and if the sources used there can be verified, James' birth year would be 1699, not 1705 as Speight Family Research indicates. According to a post by Laura Brown on Message Board RE: Jonas Cranford, Catherine Brent (1675-1690) was the mother of Jonas Cranford, but this doesn't make sense as she was deceased before he was born. Margo Lee Williams, author and family historian and fellow descendant of Jonas Crawford, indicates his mother is Elizabeth Graves. James Cranford
    b. 1699-1705 Maryland
    m. Elizabeth Graves

    DNA Confirmation

    Research verified February 22, 2017! On, I found a DNA connection to Jason Cranford. I sent the results and some information to his wife Leslie Wright Cranford. Through our correspondence, we found that I am Jason's 7th cousin, once removed, and that the DNA match and Jason and Leslie's records further confirm the ancestry on this page. Here are our respective lines, starting with most recent generation first:

    Me: James "Jamie" Arthur Johnson, son of
    William "Bill" Herman Johnson, son of
    Gertrude Leona (Hill) Johnson, daughter of
    Mary Addie (Cranford) Hill, daughter of
    Wenborn Cranford, son of
    James Cranford, son of
    John "Jackie" Cranford, son of
    Leonard Cranford, son of
    Jonas Cranford, son of
    James Cranford as shown to the left.
    Jason Cranford (Leslie's husband), son of
    Steven Cranford, son of
    Robert Cranford, son of
    Cicero Cranford, son of
    Lovelace Cranford, son of
    Marvel Cranford, son of
    Leonard Cranford, son of
    Jonas Cranford, son of
    James Cranford as shown to the left.
    Information used with permission.
      Jonas had 3 sons: Leonard, Samuel and Elias according to Message Board: Jonas Cranford. According to Cranford-L Archives, in 1768, Jonas Cranford shows up on a court petition in MD to absolve a man who stole a herd of hogs. Jonas Cranford
    b. 1720, Frederick Co., Maryland
    d. 1768, Frederick Co., Maryland
    m. Mary

    Leonard had a brother Samuel who appears to have had these children: Mary, Ellender, John, Williamson, Elizabeth (who married a Patterson), Elias, Kid (not Kid Christopher) and Samuel Jr., all appearing to be born in Randolph Co., NC, according to RootsWeb CRANFORD-L Re: FW: [CRANFORD] RE: Sawney Cranford. However, DNA test results show that Leonard's descendants are not related to Sawney Cranford (b. ca. 1780, Randolph Co., NC; d. 1848, Randolph Co., NC), but are related to descendants of Kidd Christopher Cranford (b. 1797, Randolph Co., NC).

    Information from the Archive of Cranford-L Archives: In 1779, Randolph Co., NC, list of taxpayers includes James, Leonard, Peter, Phillip, Samuel. They are all listed as Crawford (obviously some, Leonard and Samuel for sure, are Cranfords). In 1782, Leonard Cranford obtained a Randolph Co., NC, land grant. In 1785, a Petition to move county seat of Randolph Co. mentions Cranfords: Leonard,Davis, Elis, Eleven, William, William, Samuel (we know from the E. Hopkins will that one William was Samuel's son and probably under age then). In 1790, the NC Federal Census names William, Samual, and Elias Cranford in Randolph Co., NC. In 1798, Leonard Cranford gets another land grand in Randolph Co., NC.

    Leonard Cranford
    b. 1743, Calvert Co, MD
    d. 13 April 1830 Eldorado Twp, Uwharrie, Montgomery Co, NC
    Burial: Old Zoar Methodist Church, Uwharrie, Montgomery Co., NC
    m. 1764, Montgomery Co., NC Mary "Polly" Hopkins
    b. 1749 MD
    d. ABT 1850 Eldorado Twp, Montgomery Co, NC
    Mary was his second wife after Milly Sanders b. 1750, whose son was Leonard.   I have multiple DNA matches with whom I share Leonard and Mary "Polly" (Hopkins) Cranford as common ancestors. In October 2020, I found a trace DNA connection to Glenda Cranford, a 5th cousin, who shares Leonard and Mary "Polly" (Hopkins) Cranford as common ancestors. In February 2021, I found the following DNA matches who also share them as ancestors: James Welch, Michael Kerr, Sharon Ramdial, Barbara Whitmer, Amy Cobb and Brenda Stone. The following DNA matches share Leonard B. Cranford as a common ancestor: Chuck Thompon, Edward McKenzie, Herman Raby, Jr., Kenneth G. Osborne, Donna Moore Fuller, Norman Canada, John White, Amy Hooks and Thomas Rackley. There are some DNA matches who only share Mary "Polly" Hopkins as a common ancestor. Dedra Cranford and Hayden Cranford.      
        John's first wife was Winnie Griffin b. 1780 John "Jackie" Cranford
    b. 1775 Montgomery Co, NC
    d. 1840 Randolph Co, NC
    m. 1800 Montgomery Co, NC

    I have multiple DNA matches with whom I share John "Jackie" Cranford and Lydia (Lewis?) Cranford as ancestors. Darlene Drye, Ted Morton, Deborah Turner, Robert Rathbone, John Seagroves, Dianne Underwood, Rodney Springer, Randy Brewer, Eric Trogdon, Genevieve Callicutt and Anne Hodges.

    Lydia Cranford
    b. 1778 NC
    d. 1840 Randolph Co, NC
    Lydia's maiden name has been reported to be Cranford according to (archive site); however, her maiden name may have been Lewis according to

    descendants through son James Cranford and his wife Ruth Riley
    Developed in June 2016