LOTT CROOM: Proof That He Was A SON OF ABEL

Some contend that LOTT CROOM, father of Joseph Rasberry Croom and his six siblings, was a son of MAJOR CROOM, the second son of Daniel of Virginia. After much study by this writer and Richard Booth, records and strong circumstantial evidence suggest otherwise. LOTT CROOM,  father of Joseph Rasberry Croom and his six siblings, was a son of ABEL CROOM, the elder brother of MAJOR, and ABEL's second wife. Here is the reasoning of this writer:

"Nov. 16, 1801 petition of Lott CROOM to Gov. Benjamin Williams: Lott's father Abel CROOM died "many" years ago.  When he died and for "a number" of years before, Abel owned 200ac in Lenoir Co. on S. side of Neuse R; the land borders: "Shaderick" Wooten.  After Abel died, Lott owned the land due to Abel's will.  Lott has continued to own the land for nearly 20 years. Shadrick Wooten, a "designing" man "contrived to defraud and dispossess" Lott of the land.  Wooten has "secretly" tried to get the land by grants from the Secretary's Office.  But Wooten insisted that, if Lott would withdraw his Caveats, Wooten wouldn't lay his warrants on Lott's land.  So Lott withdrew the caveats.  But Wooten's surveys were laid on Lott's land.  Lott asks the Governor to suspend execution of the grants to Wooten and direct the Secretary to certify the same to Lenoir Co. Court. [signed] Lot CROOM before RD CROOM,

Wayne Co. JP."

          Source: " Petitions for Land Grant Suspensions in NC 1776-1836" By: Dr. A. B. Pruitt. A full transcription of Lott's 1801 petition to Governor Williams can be viewed at this web site by clicking here.

The petition of LOTT CROOM, prepared by Richard Croom, Wayne County Justice of the Peace and his first cousin, is very important in several respects:

  1.  For the first time we have confirmation that ABEL left a will. Most likely the original was destroyed in the 1880s Lenoir County Courthouse fires.

  2.  The petition quite clearly states that ABEL, who died "many years ago," was the father of LOTT.

  3. In 1801 LOTT declares that he has owned land left to him by his father, ABEL CROOM, "...for nearly 20 years." Since we know from extant records that by 1801 ABEL had died some 40 years earlier, we must ask who then owned the land for some 20 years prior to LOTT's ownership. The answer, in the judgment of this writer, is HESTER CROOM, widow of ABEL. At this time it is not known whether HESTER was the mother or step-mother of LOTT. In any event, it appears that in his will ABEL left his home and the plantation on which it resided to HESTER with the provision that it would pass to LOTT at the time of her death.

  4. In identifying SHADRACH WOOTEN as a bordering neighbor, the petition provides useful information in pinpointing the location of the property left to LOTT.

 This writer's conclusions do not rest solely on Lott's 1801 Petition to the North Carolina Governor.

My study of various censuses, court documents and deeds places LOTT smack in the middle of the land originally purchased by ABEL CROOM back in 1741 on the south side of the Neuse and the west side of Whitley Creek. Additional records as early as 1745 refer to ABELís ferry operation on the south side of the Neuse and the west side of Whitley Creek and an additional grant in that same area in 1758. Additional evidence suggests that ABEL CROOM married a HESTER (last name unknown), possibly his second, but more likely his third wife. After ABEL died between March 1756 and December 23, 1763, Hester, his widow continued to live on the same land. Apparently, she remarried to a STRINGER and is listed in the 1780 Dobbs County tax census. Hester appears to have died between 1780 and 1782, at which time LOTT took title to the land, as per the terms of his father ABEL's will. (See the 1801 Petition and my foregoing comments).

Records dated between 1780 and 1820 confirm SHADRACH WOOTEN--the one mentioned in Lottís 1801 petition to the Governor--and Shadrachís descendants, especially Shadrach's son Allen and daughter-in-law, Lucy, as neighbors of LOTT CROOM on the south side of the Neuse and the west side of Whitley Creek. By the time of the 1860 Census, this area was designated as being in the Trent District of Lenoir County. This area is but a short distance from Sandy Bottom. Shadrach's grandson, ALLEN WHITFIELD WOOTEN, later would be a trustee of the Baptist Church located in what is now known as the Croom Meeting House  at Sandy Bottom.

 If LOTT CROOM was a son of ABEL, one might ask why did LOTT name a son MAJOR. Other research by Dick Booth and this writer over the past few years has convinced this writer that ABEL had a son named MAJOR. [See the Descendants of Abel page at this website]. This son accounts for a number of records in Duplin County previously―and erroneously in my opinion―attributed to MAJOR CROOM, I, of Dobbs County. It appears to me that LOTT CROOM, son of ABEL, named a son MAJOR in honor of his brother, though it could be argued for his uncle Major, as well.

 A contributing factor in my reasoning that ABEL had a son named MAJOR developed from my study of the Courtís 1810 Division of the Estate of HARDEE CROOM, who died intestate in 1807. While many land transactions among descendants of MAJOR CROOM, I, ensued from that estate division, no record has been found to suggest that LOTT was a brother of the whole-blood or the half-blood of HARDEE, a son of MAJOR CROOM, I.

John H Croom
November 2007

This page was last revised on 27 October 2009
 

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