Michael Chrisman (bef 1740-cJan 1784)
murdered Tory of Rowan Co., N.C.


Born: bef 1740, probably circa 1730
Died: betw 1778 and 25 Nov 1780 in Dutch Buffalo Creek, (now Carrabus Co.) North Carolina. Lynched.
Married: Elizabeth ?Steiz (who outlived him)


15 Sept 1748 Possible arrival to America. See details.
6 Apr 1765 He was granted 340 acres in Mecklenberg Co., NC. Recorded at Wilmington 8 Apr 1765. Granted by a patent of King George III, under seal of William Lyon, Esq., Lt. Governor. [Charles H. Crismon]
1769 He sold land on Dutch Buffalo Creek (now Cabarrus Co.), North Carolina to Rev. Samuel Suther.
1769-1771 He served on juries in Rowan Co., North Carolina
Jul 1777 Michael Cressman was appointed assessor "... by an Act of General Afsembly of this state the Justices of the Peace for the County of Mecklenburg, are authorized and required to Lay out the said county into Districts and to appoint afsefsors (assessors) in each district respectively, for the purpose of laying a Tax on the Inhabitants thereof." He served under co. of John Shepard. [Mecklenburg Co., NC, court minutes Bk 1:1774-1780, by Doris F. Brisco].
1778 [Rowan Co., NC register, 1986-1995, Vol 7, No. 2, May 1992, p. 1525, Salisbury Dist, State Docket, superior court, 1778, p. 15]: "State vs Michael Christman: Missdm. Guilty as charged in the Indct (Indictment), Fined 2 pounds, 2d." [no futher information]
betw 1778 & Nov 1780 A diary of a Mr. Clark, who was a brother of George Rogers Clark (of Lewis & Clark), records that Michael Chrisman was murdered in Dutch Buffalo Creek, North Carolina, because he was, or was mistaken for, a Tory, since he would not fight the British. His land was confiscated. Clark ordered the land returned. Clark does not give dates. Presumably the land was returned later, about Jan 1784. It is said that Michael Christman was murdered by a Capt. Starns of Rowan Co., N.C.
25 Nov 1780 A letter of complaint and a petition for the return of the land that had been confiscated was submitted to General Butler.
Jan 1784 [Minutes of Mecklenburg Co., NC Court of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions]: Ordered that Letters of Administration on the Estate of MICHAEL CHRISTMAN, deceased, issue to ELIZABETH CHRISTMAN, Widow & Relict of the said deceased, Administratrix & LEONARD GARVER, Administrator, Security GEO. RICE Bound in the Sum of 300 pounds.
Apr 1784 Inventory & Account sale of the estate of Michael Christman. Valued at 150.8.7 pounds. Return filed by Leonard Garver.
15 Dec 1787 Michael Christman (Jr.) sells land inherited from his father to his brother George.

Different descendants of Michael Christman like to take various dogmatic stances on whether Michael actually was a British sympathizer, or whether he was wrongfully accused. The fact that his land, which had been confiscated, was eventually returned is cited by some as evidence that he was found to be falsely accused; however, the delay until after the revolutionary war ended to resolve the matter might be taken as evidence towards the opposite conclusion. His unfortunate fate remains an interesting footnote in the history of the American Revolution.

To my knowledge, his origins have not been conclusively established. I have seen some conflicting claims of parentage, but in each case that I have encountered, I've also found there to be obvious impossibilities, so none of the claims that I have seen to date appear credible. Charles H. Crismon, in Charles Crismon, Western Pioneer, recounts a very interesting family story concerning his origin, in which his father was commissioned by Frederick the Great of Prussia to travel incognito to North America to gather intelligence regarding whether Prussia should attempt an occupation along the North American coast. I am not prepared to judge the historic plausibility of this legend, but I would welcome any expert historian of colonial European expansion to offer an opinion as to whether such covert plans by Frederick the Great might have occurred. Charles H. Crismon cites only family legend for this story, and thus hard evidence for the tale is not known.

It is likely that Michael Christman was one of the three Michael Christmans who arrived to Philadelphia in 1748 and 1749. If so, his birth would probably be placed around 1730.

Descendants have informed me that his wife's maiden name was Elizabeth Seitz, although her parentage hasn't been established. No relationship to Leonard Garver, the administrator for the estate of Michael Christman, has been established. Leonard Garver was probably of a similar age to Michael, and married Anna Rosina Rupert on 17 Jan 1765, in Rockland Twp., Berks Co., Penn. He died between 6 May 1786 and 14 May 1786 in Mechlenburg Co., N.C.


It is unlikely that all children of Michael Christman have been identified. Three are known. Sons Michael Jr. and George Christman are established by the sale of 15 Dec 1787. Descendants strongly believe that Margaret (Chrisman) Reynolds, a wife of a Jacob or James Reynolds, was also a daughter, but I don't know the origin for that information.

     1. Michael Chrisman (b.Bef 1740;d.between 1778 and 25 Nov 1780-)
        sp: Elizabeth Seitz (d.Aft Jan 1784)

      2. Michael Chrisman (b.Abt 1763)
         sp: Elizabeth Wydner (d.3 May 1836-Fayette Co.,Alabama)
       3. Jacob Chrestman (d.probably bef 1850)

          sp: Martha  (b.Abt 1799-South Carolina)
         4. Elias W. Chrisman (b.1817/1818-Kentucky;d.1860)
            sp: Nancy A. Reynolds (b.1831/1832-Kentucky;m.1848)

          5. William J. Chrisman (b.Abt Jul 1849-Chickasaw Co.,Mississippi)
          5. Mollie Chrisman (b.1855-probably Chickasaw Co.,MIssissippi;d.1900)
         4. Rachel Chrestman (b.1828/1829-Alabama)

         4. Samuel H. Chrestman (b.1825/1826-Alabama)
            sp: Martha L.  (b.1833/1834-Georgia;m.Bef 1850)
       3. George H. Christman (b.1795/1796-South Carolina)

          sp: Rachel Brasher (b.1801/1802-South Carolina)
         4. John B. Christman (b.1823/1824-Alabama)
            sp: Malinda  (b.Abt 1819-Alabama)

          5. Samuel H. Christman (b.1844/1845-Mississippi)
          5. Caroline Christman (b.1846/1847-Mississippi)
          5. George Christman (b.1849-Mississippi)

         4. Lawrence Chrestman (b.1828/1829-Alabama)
            sp: Maggie Lowe

          5. Grace Chrestman
          5. Raymond Chrestman
          5. Wayne Chrestman

         4. Elizabeth Christman (b.1831/1832-Alabama)
         4. Mary A. Christman (b.1835/1836-Alabama)
         4. Fleming Christman (b.1837/1838-Alabama)

         4. George Christman (b.1839/1840-Alabama)
         4. Henry W. Christman (b.1840/1841-Alabama)
       3. John Wydner Chrisman (b.1799/1800-South Carolina)

          sp: Sarah Elizabeth Beaty (b.10 Oct 1808-AC,South Carolina)
         4. William W. Chrisman (b.1830/1831-Alabama)
         4. Elizabeth Chrisman (b.1827/1828-Alabama)

            sp: Leone C. Smith
         4. Kolby Z. Chrisman (b.1832/1833-Alabama)
         4. Matilda Chrisman (b.1834/1835-Alabama)

            sp: James Henry
         4. Joseph G. Chrisman (b.1836/1837-Alabama)

            sp: Mary Pace
         4. John M. Chrisman (b.1838/1839-Alabama)
            sp: Nancy Caroline Pace

         4. Thomas Jarret Chrisman (b.1840/1841-Union Parish,Louisiana)
         4. Marion Larkin Chrisman (b.1842/1843-Van Zandt Co.,Texas)

            sp: Mary Louise Allen
         4. Tabitha Chrisman (b.1847/1848-Van Zandt Co.,Texas)

       3. Samuel Wydner Jacob Chrestman (b.Abt 1806;d.30 Jun 1891-probably Missi)
          sp: Mary Jane Beatty (b.1805/1806;m.10 Mar 1825;d.17 Jul 1842-)

         4. James Ira Chrestman (b.21 Apr 1826)
         4. Elizabeth C. Chrestman (b.15 Mar 1827)
         4. Sarah Edna Chrestman (b.3 Dec 1830)

         4. Samuel G. "Buck" Chrestman (b.1 Feb 1834)
         4. John M. or E. Chrestman (b.23 Jun 1836)
         4. Mary Ann Jane Chrestman (b.5 Sep 1837)

         4. Matilda Chrestman (b.29 Aug 1839)
          sp: Elizabeth or EoE Pough (m.11 Sep 1845;d.10 Jan 1895-probably M)
         4. Georgia Ann T. Chrestman (b.4 Jul 1847)

         4. William Sanford Brasher Chrestman (b.6 Aug 1851)
         4. Lewis Chrestman (b.12 Oct 1853)
         4. Caroline Chrestman (b.18 May 1856)

         4. Jacob A. Chrestman (b.25 Mar 1860)
            sp: Molly Phillips
         4. Lee Thaddius Chrestman (b.17 May 1872)

            sp: Ada Alexander
          5. Kate C. Chrestman

          5. Ide V. Chrestman
          5. Ellenda A. Chrestman
             sp: Robert Wilson

          5. Samuel W. Chrestman
             sp: Rosie Ingram
             sp: Lille Wilkins

          5. Ray G. Chrestman
            sp: Ella Nivens
      2. George Chrisman (b.1765-,HC,[West] Virginia;d.1 Sep 1850-G,MC,Illinois)

         sp: Elizabeth Hagler (b.1777-,,,Germ;m.Bef 3 Jan 1798;d.1 Sep 1848-)
       3. Henry Chrisman (b.3 Jan 1789-Pendleton,Anderson Co.,South Carolina)
          sp: Catherine 

         4. Solomon Chrisman (b.Abt 1802)
       3. John Chrisman (b.7 Jun 1791-Pendleton,AC,South Carolina;d.1 Oct 1848)
          sp: Nancy Bobbitt (m.22 Dec 1811)

         4. Precita Presley A. Chrisman (b.9 Aug 1826-,Christian Co.,Kentucky)
         4. Michael N. Chrisman (b.18 Jun 1834-Morgan Co.,Illinois)

       3. Michael Chrisman (b.3 Mar 1793-P,AC,South Carolina;d.25 Sep 1875)
          sp: Sally Bobbitt (m.1820)
       3. George Chrisman (b.1795-Pendleton,Anderson Co.,South Carolina;d.1870)

          sp: Mary Ann Knight (m.25 Sep 1820)
         4. Elizabeth Chrisman (b.21 Aug 1821-Christian Co.,Kentucky)
            sp: Greenbury Weathers (m.1841)

       3. Barbara Chrisman (b.3 Apr 1797-Pendleton,AC,South Carolina;d.Apr 1882)
          sp: Stephen Bobbitt (m.27 Jun 1814)

       3. Jacob Chrisman (b.1799-Pendleton,Anderson Co.,South Carolina;d.1870)
          sp: Susan Ogg (m.26 Aug 1820)

       3. Catherine Chrisman (b.2 Dec 1800-Pendleton,Anderson Co.,South Carolina)
       3. David Chrisman (b.1802-Pendleton,Anderson Co.,South Carolina)

       3. Peter Chrisman (b.4 Apr 1805-P,,South Carolina;d.Dec 1835-G,S,Illinois)
          sp: Mary Ann "Polly" Williams (m.21 May 1824)
         4. Permilla Ann Chrisman (b.10 Aug 1826-Hopkinsville,CC,Kentucky)

            sp: James Hogan (m.1847)
         4. Catherine Chrisman (b.Abt 1827-Scott Co.,Illinois)
         4. Barbara Ellen Chrisman (b.1835-Scott Co.,Illinois)

       3. Elder Charles Crismon (b.25 Dec 1807-H,CC,Kentucky;d.23 Mar 1893-)
          sp: Mary Hill (b.1813/1814;m.6 May 1830)
         4. Martha Jane Crismon (b.8 Sep 1831-Scott Co.,Illinois)

            sp: John Moss Lewis (m.10 Aug 1848)
          5. Dudley Lewis
             sp: UNKNOWN

            6. Jane Allene Lewis
         4. George Crismon (b.5 Jul 1833-Scott Co.,Illinois)
         4. James Crismon (b.8 Sep 1835-Scott Co.,Illinois;d.Jan 1837)

         4. Esther Ann Crismon (b.27 Nov 1837-Scott Co.,Illinois)
            sp: George Warren Sirrine (m.Abt 1851)

         4. Samantha Crismon (b.27 Mar 1840-Scott Co.,Illinois)
         4. Mary Ann Crismon (b.11 Feb 1824-MCoHC,Illinois)
         4. Charles Crismon (b.14 Jun 1844-Macedonia,Hancock Co.,Illinois)

         4. Emily Crismon (b.18 Jan 1847-Sugar Creek Camp,Missouri)
         4. John Franklin Crismon (b.14 Feb 1852-Chino,SBC,California)
       3. James Chrisman (b.1809-Hopkinsville,Christian Co.,Kentucky;d.1854)

       3. William Crisman (b.13 Apr 1812-,,Kentucky;d.8 Nov 1860-p,MC,Illinois)
          sp: Mary Boyd (m.1 Aug 1833)
         4. Elizabeth J. Crisman (b.9 Oct 1834)

            sp: Littleton Adams
         4. John Crisman (b.19 Dec 1837)
            sp: Mary Weatherford

         4. George Crisman (b.15 Dec 1839-,M,Illinois;d.29 May 1919-W,D,Illinois)
            sp: Matilda Francis Boyd (m.12 Sep 1865)
            sp: Sarah Elizabeth Raines (m.2 Oct 1869)

          5. David Edward Crisman (b.10 May 1884-W,DC,Illinois;d.20 Feb 1953-)
             sp: Maude Ellen Chaney (m.25 Aug 1909)

            6. Ramond Steiner Crisman (b.6 Sep 1913-DL,D,Illinois;d.21 Jul 1960-)
               sp: Ruth Wrightsman (m.29 Dec 1935)
             7. LeRoy David Crisman

         4. Nancy Crisman (b.12 Mar 1842)
            sp: John T. Adams
         4. Mary Crisman (b.13 Sep 1844)

            sp: John Robertson
         4. William Crisman (b.20 Feb 1846)

         4. Sarah Crisman (b.8 Aug 1849)
            sp: Enoch Gough

         4. Catherine Crisman (b.20 Dec 1851)
            sp: J. Harvey Scott

         4. Arch Crisman (b.22 Nov 1853;d.3 Nov 1871)
      2. Margaret Chrisman
         sp: Jacob or James Reynolds

       3. Alvin William Reynolds

©1999-2007, Lonnie Chrisman
San Jose, CA
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