A Tribute To Erie McCracken

(1919 - 1989)

She was very much loved by everyone who met her, and in spite of her humble circumstances she kept a positive and upbeat outlook. She was, indeed, the rock and anchor of her family, my best friend and Mother. This material is being compiled to preserve the genealogical facts of the McCracken Families of Clearfield County, Pennsylvania. Gathered from a great many sources over the course of thirty years to be preserved here for the descendants of James and Rebecca McCracken. Every attempt has been made to keep errors to a minimum. However anyone with corrections, additions or comments are invited to contact me. McCracken is a sept of the MacNaughton clan. James was of Scotch-Irish descent coming to the colonies as an infant. Family lore has him being born on board the vessel bringing his parents here. Since no records exist of the birth or the crossing we are taking the liberty of making some assumptions. His father may have been Robert McCracken of Mount Bethel, Northampton, PA although there is no proof of that there are several reasons I would like to put forth for future researchers to consider.

The first is...

The Naming Pattern. The Scots traditionally named their first born son for the paternial father but, there was also an alternate naming patern which is what we find in this case. That being, the first born son was named for the maternial father. James and Rebecca named their first son Joseph for Joseph Greenwood, Rebecca's father.
Following the alternate naming pattern then, the second son would be named for the paternial father. They named their second son Robert so we therefore must assume the name of James' father to be Robert McCracken. The only Robert McCracken found in Pennsylvania in the right time period is Robert McCracken (1709 - 1786) taking a land warrant in Bucks county, PA in 1750.

The second is...

There are many McCracken men in Mt Bethel of the right age to be the second generation. We do know that Robert had at least one brother in Mt Bethel and probably two, Thomas and Hugh and they didn't leave a family group chart. So we need to do a lot more digging to find out who's who. I did find a Robert Jr. there which could be the son of Robert Sr.
Robert's will names only three daughters Margaret, Jennet and Ann. Does that mean he only had three children? More likely, it means he choose only to provide for his daughters and expected his sons to make their own way as he had done.
James McCracken, at age 22 to 25 was already in Cumberland county by 1775 and married with a son of his own. If there were other brothers they may have been gone as well by 1775. For those that went directly to Kentucky as we suppose James' brothers did see this site for a good idea of the trip and route followed.