THE CRETIN FAMILY
THE FIRST GENERATION
At this time, we have not been able to identify the immigrant. Based on
the information that has been found I believe that there may have been at least
three brothers; Robert, John and William CREIGHTON.
1. Robert CREIGHTON was a merchant who died in November 1767 in Dorchester
County. In his will he mentions John CREIGHTON as his next of kin and executor
of his estate.
2. William CREIGHTON died in Baltimore County on March 16, 1757. It is
estimated that William was born sometime between 1720 and 1725. John CREIGHTON,
John MURRA and Thomas ARCHER posted the administration bond. In his will
William mentions his wife Mary and his sons William and John. It is assumed
that William died quite young because his son William was only two at the time
and in his will he left funds to each son for eight years of schooling. The
children of William and Mary CREIGHTON were:
2.1 William CREIGHTON born May 25, 1755 in Baltimore County.
2.2 John CREIGHTON alive in 1757. Based on the fact that William was mentioned
first in the will and it was common practice to name the first son after the
father, it is assumed that John was probably born sometime between February,
1756 and March, 1757.
3. John CREIGTON was mentioned in the wills of Robert and William as a brother.
It is estimated that John was born between 1715 and 1720. John CRAYTON was
living in what was then Baltimore County when his son was born in 1746. John
CRETIN and Patrick LINCH witnessed the will of Thomas Joyce on November 25, 1748
in Anne Arundel County. On June 29, 1752 John CRATON was included on a list of
debtors in the will of Charles CHRISTIE in Baltimore County. A land conveyance
was recorded in 1752 where John CREATON purchased 250 acres at Deer Creek from
Thomas and Ann SHEA. The acreage was called "Uncle's Good Will". John CREBIN
was listed as guardian of Richard Joyce in the will of Thomas JOYCE probated on
August 14, 1753 in Anne Arundel County. In 1754 John is listed in the Baltimore
County Debt Book for the land "Uncle's Good Will". On June 18, 1756 John
CRAYTON posted an administration bond for Robert Greenwell. On November 29, 1756
John CRETIN was brought to Annapolis to make a deposition after being accused of
treason for siding with the French. Accused at the same time were Father
Bennett NEALE, Ignatius WHEELER and Thomas SHEA, all Catholics living in the
Deer Creek area of Baltimore County, an area that was later made part of Harford
County. All of these surnames are seen often in documents relating to the
history of Harford County. In that deposition John CRETIN stated that he had
been living in the Deer Creek area for about four years and that he was a Roman
Catholic. It was soon discovered that the accusations were false and all of the
accused were sent home.
On September 10, 1757 John CRATON posed an administration bond for Timothy
McCANN in Baltimore County. In his will, Timothy appointed John CRETON as
executor and guardian of this grandchildren Patrick and Ann McCANN, children of
his son Daniel. In November, 1759 a John Cretin was named as the father of Ann
Cretin's (no relation) illegitimate child. John CRETIN witnessed the will of
Joseph GATES on December 9, 1762 in Baltimore County. He also witnessed the
will of Edward Flannagan on May 1, 1765 in Baltimore County. John CRATON and
Arthur CASKREY were sureties for the will of Charles FLANAGAN on July 18, 1768
in Baltimore County. John CRETIN signed the Joppa Petition in 1768 that dealt
with the attempt to move the county seat from Joppa.
John CRETIN's account with Dr. John ARCHER for 1772 to 1775 included treatment
for a Negro Henry on December 20, 1773 and on July 20, 1775, treatment for
Elizabeth HARDY (listed as daughter of John CRETIN). John was treated by Dr.
Archer on June 14, 1775. Philip ? was treated by Dr. Archer at John CRETIN's
home on July, 6, 1775. In John CREITON's account with Dr. John ARCHER for 1780
to 1783, a tooth extraction for Nancy FLANNIGAN is listed on November 19, 1781.
John was treated in September 1783,
John CRATON was a taxable in Spesutia in 1774 with son James and Negroes Rachel,
Jim and Tom. John CREATIN was taxable in Spesutia in 1776 with sons James and
John and Negroes Jo, Jym, Rachel and Bess. John CREATIN, Sr. was over 18 in
Spesutia in 1778. John CREATON made a conveyance to Patrick CREATON in 1779.
John CREATON was listed as a landowner in Spesutia in 1783 on "Uncle's Goodwill"
with two white inhabitants.
John married Martha LYNCH sometime before November, 1746 since the record of
their son's birth states John and his wife Martha. Martha's maiden name was
discovered through the will of her father Patrick LYNCH who died in 1766 in
Baltimore County. Patrick LYNCH married Martha BOWEN in 1722. Martha LYNCH was
born January 28, 1725 in Baltimore County. John and Martha had the following
3.1 Patrick CRETIN born November 14, 1746 in what was then Baltimore County.
His birth was recorded in the register of St. George's Parish (Episcopal). At
that time the Episcopal Church was the Established Church of Maryland and
responsible for collecting taxes and recording births, marriages and deaths.
3.2 John CRATIN was born in 1752 in Baltimore County.
3.3 James CRETIN was born about 1753 in Baltimore County.
3.4 Sarah CREIGHTON was born about 1755 in Baltimore County.
Martha died sometime before 1783 and I believe that it was probably closer to
1759. On December 4, 1783 John married Elizabeth Hood or Flood. I have found
it recorded both ways.
John died before March 22, 1784 when his will was probated in Harford County.
His will was dated November 10, 1783. This will left the dwelling plantation to
son John. It also mentions sons James and Patrick and grand daughter Bettsey
CASKREY and left a cow to Miles McGOUGH. Dr. John ARCHER and Ignatius WHEELER
were named as executors. The will was witnessed by Edward FLANAGAN, Bernet
RYELY and Francis COSKERY. On May 1, 1784, Elizabeth CRETIN renounced the will.
Apparently at the time of his death, John CRETIN owned 12 slaves which were
distributed on January 16, 1786 as follows:
Elizabeth, the widow - Rachel, Jim, Jo, and Mary
Patrick - Nat and Jim
James - George and Bett
John - Tom and Jude
Elizabeth McSHERRY - Harry
In June 1789 the court appointed Captain Bennett MATHEWS and Dr. John ARCHER to
settle the dispute between the widow and Patrick CREITON. In August 1789 the
court issued citations to James CRETIN to answer complaint of Elizabeth CRETIN
and ordered John CREIGHTON's estate to pay Elizabeth Ann HARDY (otherwise
Elizabeth Ann McSHERRY) her part of the estate with interest from the time she
arrived at age 16. A final resolution was made August 20, 1792 in which all
parties acknowledged receipt of their portions of the estate.
Who is this Elizabeth Ann HARDY? In Dr. ARCHER's records she is listed as the
daughter of John CRETIN (1775). Is it possible that she is John's illegitimate
child who was born to Ann CRETIN in 1759? According to the court records we
know that she came to live in the household at the age of 16. It is assumed
that she was married by 1786 when she is listed as Elizabeth McSHERRY.
The other mystery is the parentage of John's grand daughter Bettsey CASKREY. It
is my belief that John had another daughter who married into the COSKREY
(CASKREY) family, perhaps to Francis COSKERY who witnessed John's will and that
this daughter died before John.
Also on file at the Harford County Archives is a Promissory Note initiated by
William SMITHSON on May 20, 1783 in which he promises to pay to John CRETIN the
sum of 25 pounds 15 shillings with legal interest from that date until paid.
The note was witnessed by Edward ROBINSON. On the back of the note payments are
annotated. On March 27, 1787, Elizabeth CRETEN received twelve pounds from
William SMITHSON. On May 24, 1787, payment of three pounds, one shilling and
four pence is recorded by Benedict HARDY. The final notation assigns all rights
to the remaining debt to Dr. John ARCHER in settlement of the accounts of John
CRETIN now deceased and signed by Elizabeth CRETEN.