James was born 7 Dec 1799 in Haliax County, Virginia, the son of John Crews and Elizabeth "Betsey" Sampson. He left Virginia as a young man with his family, and after sojourning in Smith County, Tennessee for about 14 years, they moved on to Crawford County, Illinois.
James was married first to Nancy LITTLE on 15 January 1822 in Crawford County, Illinois. Some time after their marriage, they moved south into Lawrence County, Illinois and settled in Allison Township, where James acquired a great deal of land during his lifetime. To this marriage was born 6 children:
- William Johnson, b. 1824. (Married Virginia LILES).
- Mary Jane, b. 1825, d. 1891. (Married Jesse Templeton ORGAN).
- James A., b. 24 Oct 1828, d. 8 May 1894. (Married Martha ROBINSON).
- Franklin, b. 25 Feb 1830, d. 9 Nov 1873. (Married Louisa WADDEL).
- Wiley Willis, b. 1831, d. 7 Mar 1920. (Married Maria CUSHMAN).
- Bettie Ann, b. abt. 1833.
Nancy apparently died sometime between late 1837 and early 1838, as James married for the second time to Mrs. Malinda (DUKE) WARNER, the recent widow of John WARNER, a neighbor of James and Nancy CREWS. Malinda had 4 young sons from her first marriage, and information about them can be found on the web page of their father.
James and Malinda had 2 children:
- Maria, b. abt. 1839, d. in infancy.
- Albert, b. 16 Sep 1841, d. 4 May 1917. (Married Martha Ellen HIGHSMITH).
You can read a biographical sketch that was printed about James in the 1910 Lawrence County History book. Malinda again became a widow when James died on 31 January 1849 in Lawrence County, Illinois at the age of 49. He is buried in Howard Cemetery (headstone) near Lawrence Municipal Airport. Malinda died on 22 Jan 1858 in Lawrence County, and she was buried near her first husband, John Warner on the Warner Homeplace. The headstones of Malinda and John Warner have since been removed however to the Centerville Cemetery by their descendants to avoid further damage from tree roots that were breaking them up.
If you can add any information to the above data or have any questions, please contact me. Thank you!
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