Bird Smith Creasey Family

Contributor: Gaylord and Eppie Mason, August 4, 2004

 

Bird Smith CREASY was born January 14, 1814 in Bedford County, Virginia. At this time his parents are not known. There are other Creasy’s in Bedford County, Virginia with the given name of Bird/Byrd. So far we have been unable to make a connection to these family lines. We feel there is a connection but have been unable to prove it.

 

A young lady by the name of Nancy George Wilkes was born Oct. 24, 1817 in Bedford County, Virginia and along with her parents, Benjamin and Mary “Polly” Foster Wilkes, moved to Lauderdale County, Alabama in the mid 1830’s.

 

Then on Dec. 12, 1839 Bird Smith Creasy and Nancy George Wilkes were married in Lauderdale County, Alabama. Without a doubt Bird followed the Wilkes family to Lauderdale County and proposed to Nancy and they were married. Bird and Nancy began their family in Lauderdale County where their first 3 children were born between June 5, 1841 and Dec 20, 1844. These children were; James Francis, John Foster, and Mary Ann Creasy.

In 1843, Nancy’s father, Benjamin Wilkes passed away. He is buried in Lauderdale County. Several of his children as well as several of his siblings remained in Lauderdale County, calling it home and raising families there.

Bird and his family (including his mother-in-law Mary “Polly” Wilks) started their move westward by moving to Greenup County, Kentucky. Their 4th child, George Washington, was born September 12, 1846 in Greenup Co., Kentucky along with their next three children. These children were Hiram Ferguson, Henry Thomas, and Sarah Lavinda Creasy born April 10, 1852.

 

The next child, Mariah Adeline, was born January 8, 1854 in McDonough County, Illinois. So between 1852 and 1854 Bird and his family made their second westward move. The last two children, Martha Alice and Eliza Jane, were also born in Illinois.

 

Upon arriving in McDonough County, Illinois Bird and family discovered a deserted log cabin located in Hire Township and made this their new home. It was late summer and all seemed well. The next summer it became apparent why the original log cabin builder had abandoned it. It was located in a very damp area with no drainage and it was almost impossible to grow crops or even a garden. But Bird and his family were determined to make things work. That winter after the ground was frozen they raised the cabin, put logs (skids) under it and moved it to a new location. This worked well and the family lived in this cabin for several more years. 

 

Then in 1860 tragedy struck, Bird died of cancer July 25th at the age of 46. With the older sons working hard along side of the two older women the family managed to get along. Nancy was a seamstress and taught several of her daughters this profitable trade. This area of McDonough County had many coal mines and several of Birds sons were coal miners and several were farmers. 

Bird’s daughter Mary Ann passed away while the family was living in Greenup County, Kentucky and son John Foster died August 25, 1865 just 10 days after being discharged from the Union Army on August 15, 1865.

 

Bird’s mother-in-law, Mary “Polly” Wilkes passed away on Nov. 18, 1863 and both Bird and she are buried in Friendship Cemetery, Tennessee Township, McDonough Co., Illinois. Nancy “Wilkes” Creasy passed away May 9, 1873 and is buried in Argyle Cemetery, Hire Township, McDonough County, Illinois. Family tradition says the roads were so muddy the trip to the cemetery (4 miles) could not be made and so Bird and Nancy are laid to rest 4 miles apart. The ties to Lauderdale County, Alabama were strong and at some point in the late 1880’s or early 1890’s several of Bird and Nancy’s children made the trip back to Lauderdale County to visit relatives. (Family tradition says they made the trip in a horse drawn wagon but I would think it much easier and quicker to go by train!)

Bird Smith Creasey
Nancy George Wilkes Creasey

Bird’s mother-in-law, Mary “Polly” Wilkes passed away on Nov. 18, 1863 and both Bird and she are buried in Friendship Cemetery, Tennessee Township, McDonough Co., Illinois. Nancy “Wilkes” Creasy passed away May 9, 1873 and is buried in Argyle Cemetery, Hire Township, McDonough County, Illinois. Family tradition says the roads were so muddy the trip to the cemetery (4 miles) could not be made and so Bird and Nancy are laid to rest 4 miles apart. The ties to Lauderdale County, Alabama were strong and at some point in the late 1880’s or early 1890’s several of Bird and Nancy’s children made the trip back to Lauderdale County to visit relatives. (Family tradition says they made the trip in a horse drawn wagon but I would think it much easier and quicker to go by train!) It is not known for sure who all made the trip or who was visited but pictures were brought back that show Nancy’s Brother Francis “Frank” Wilks and wife Mary “Farmer” Wilks. Also pictures of their daughter’s Sarah “Sallie” Wilks and Lucy Wilks. There is also a picture of “Cousin Lee Wilks”. These pictures have the studio name and the town of Florence, Alabama on them.

 

Knowing family members made the trip to “Alabama” to visit relatives and the name “Florence, Alabama.” allowed us to find this site which has furnished much of the information that is in this biography. For that reason we are forever indebted to this site.I'm a paragraph.

 

Sources: Lauderdale County, AL Rootsweb site; 1860 McDonough County Mortality Schedule; Friendship Cemetery Records; Argyle Cemetery Records; Lauderdale County, Al., 1840 Census records; McDonough County, Il., 1860 Census records; Creasy Family Bible records; Missy Creasy Mills records and files; Greenup County, KY 1850 Census; Janet Creasy Sowers picture files.

Bird Smith Creasy

Nancy George Wilkes Creasey

Francis "Frank" and Mary Farmer Wilks

(Francis is the brother of Nancy George Wilkes Creasey)

Lee Wilks 

(Believed to be "Levi" Wilks, son of Francis and Mary Farmer Wilks

Lucy Wilks

Sallie Wilks