Photos of John Wesley Ranager and Alice Ranager Crabtree

Alice Virginia Ranagier/Ranager Crabtree
3 Mar 1851 – 3 Oct 1936
wife of Adam Bell Crabtree

Alice Virginia Ranager Crabtree

Courtesy David Newall. This photo was taken outside the home of Alice, sometime during the 20’s to early 30’s, across from the Whistler Cemetery in Mobile County, Alabama.

John Wesley Ranager

John Wesley Ranager
c. 1847 – 1933
brother of Alice Ranager Crabtree

Courtesy David Newall. Again, this photo was taken outside the home of Alice, sometime during the 20’s to early 30’s, across from the Whistler Cemetery. The child is Buddy Shoemaker.

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Studio Photo of Alice Virginia Ranager Crabtree

Alice was born 1851 March 3 in Whistler, Mobile, Alabama and died 1936 October 3 at Whistler. She was married to Adam Bell Crabtree.

I have irresponsibly misplaced the source for this photo.

Restored image of Alice. I did this clean up a long time ago and was working (as with 80% of the photos) from a low resolution image. I’m not sure the clean up did anything for it, and the dress is too dark. But there isn’t much use trying to take it lighter as the image begins to look pixelated.

Studio portrait of Alice

Adam Bell Crabtree and Alice Virginia Reneger (Ranager)

Adam Bell CRABTREE was reportedly born 5 Feb. 1846 to Irvin CRABTREE and Sarah Ann FAGGERT/FAGGARD. His daughter, Susie gave him as born at Gainsville, Hall Co. GA. The 1850 and 1860 Alabama Mobile censuses however give him as born abt. 1848 in AL.

26 April 1877, in Whistler, Mobile Co., AL, Adam, about 31, married Alice Virginia RENEGER who was about 22, born 3 March 1851 in Whistler to Andrew Jackson RENEGER and Martha Jane JONES.

Between 1878 and 1894 Adam and Alice would have 9 children:

  • Adam CRABTREE was born 2 Feb 1878 in Whistler, Mobile Co., AL. He married Margaret HIGHTOWER b. 1882 in Whistler. (FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service source birth date.)
  • John b. 25 July 1879, Whistler, Mobile Co. AL. (FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service source birth date.)
  • George William, b. 4 Nov. 1882, Whistler, Mobile Co., AL., died 3 May 1953 at about 71. He is buried in Whistler Cemetery, Whistler, AL. According to Jean Kearns, George was a hermit who lived in a shack on some family property in the woods, the old homestead, without water or electricity. (FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service provides birth date. Amie Akerman gives death and burial information.)
  • Charles “Charley” b. 29 July 1884 at Whistler, Mobile Co., AL. (FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service provides birth date. Amie Akerman gives death and burial information.)
  • Martha Ann b. 11 July 1886, Whistler, Mobile Co. AL., died 21 Jan 1970 at Meridian, Lauderdale Co., MS. (FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service provides birth date. Amie Akerman gives death and burial information.)
  • Harry “Pot” b. 5 Sept. 1888, Whistler, Mobile Co., AL., died 27 Oct. 1968, Moblie, AL and is buried at the Whistler Cemetery in Whistler. He had a son, Harry Jr. Harry is given as having played guitar with folk singer Woody Gurthrie, riding the railroad with him during the old hobo days. This is accepted as true. However, he was also a “story-teller.” He gave his great nephew, Martin, an acoustic Harmony guitar that he said was the one he had used when playing with Woody. Later it was learned this particular model was not made until 1957. Harry resided in Washington DC, then Mobile, AL.(Amie Akerman gives death date from tombstone and burial information. SSDI gives birth and death dates.)
  • “Thomas” Lee was born 29 Oct. 1890 at Whistler, Mobile Co., AL and died 4 Dec 1961 at 71. He married “Alice” and together they had “Lee”. Family notes give beside Lee, “Washington D.C.” (FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service provides birth and death dates.)
  • Susan “Susie” Elizabeth was born 8 June 1893 at Whistler and married Rhett KEARNS.
  • Mary V. was born 15 Dec. 1894 at Whistler, Mobile Co., AL and died July 1968 at about 74 in Mobile AL. (SSDI gives birth and death dates.)

Susie Crabtree Kearns DRUMMOND wrote about her father,

“My father died at the age of 47. Mother was near 85. They were buried in Whistler, Ala. Cemetery. My father was a painter by trade and also a musician–played the violin. My father was fair-skinned–blue eyes–black hair and about 5’4″ I guess. I was 5 years old when he went away and I do not remember. But my sister told me about him. My mother had brown hair, fair skin and gray eyes–she was a very modest person and read her bible daily until the last days. I am the only one left.”

Beverly Melvin noted a similarity in description of Adam with her ggrandfather Thomas CRABTREE:

“The description of Adam sounds an awful lot like my ggrandfather Thomas. They say he was a very small man, but he was very handsome, with black hair and blue eyes. My grandad said he was so short that he could stand under his wife Minerva’s outstretched arm. My grandfather, however, was over six feet tall, but with the same black hair and blue eyes. There are also many musicians in the family. As far as I know none of them ever had lessons but could pick up just about any instrument and learn to play it, and most of the ones I know and have met can sing too. They also seem to have a great many with artistic skills. I know there are several that paint, write poetry, and do various crafts. They are very talented people. I’ve also been told that many of them are very religious people. I live within about an hour of Whistler and went there a few months back to see if I could find the graves of my ggrandfather, Thomas and his father, Samuel, but I didn’t see them at Whistler Cemetery. I’ve been told that they are buried in 8-mile, AL. I hope to make a trip very soon to see if I can find out anything about them…”

The family has been located on the following censuses:

1880 Alabama Mobile Co. Whistler Township
pg. 3
21/23CLARK Andrew 48 carpenter b. VA parents unk.
? 40 wife b. GA parents b. GA
Robert E. 16 works in RR shop b. AL
21/24 LEWIS Sarah 65 widowed b. MS father b. SC mother b. NC
Wesley 28 son railroad engineer b. AL father b. GA mother b. MS
Sarah 10 granddaughter b. AL
21/25 RANAGER Martha 53 widowed b. AL father b. GA
Laura 7 granddaughter b. AL parents b. AL
DUNCAN? Albert 21 boarder laborer b. AL
22/26 RANIGER John 30 laborer b. AL father b. MS mother b. AL
Sarah 25 b. AL mother b. MS
Jackson 6 b. AL
Martha 5 b. AL
Gracie 2 b. AL
(?) Eddie 16 adopted son b. AL parents b. AL
HALL Wiley 27 boarder (?) waggener b. AL parents b. AL
23/27 MCLEAN Neil 58 b. MS parents b. Scotland
Elizabeth 45 b. AL mother b. AL
24/28 CRABTREE Adam 30 Painter b. AL
Alice 27 b. AL mother b.AL b. AL mother b. AL
Adam 2
John 10/12
25/27 WEST Nancy (b) 45 laundress? widowed b. MS parents b. AL
Charles (b) 25 laborer b. MS
Ellen (b) 16 b. MS
Ida (b) 5 b. MS
(?) THOMPSON? (b) 10 nephew b. MS parents b. MS
26/50 JACKSON Daniel (b)48 woodcutter b. VA
Mary (b) 50 b. NC parents b. NC
27/51 MCDOUGALL Sarah (m) 30 servant b. MS
28/52 CATO William (m) 34 carpenter b. AL
Bettie (m) 25 b. AL father b. SC
William (m) 6 b. AL
Mary R. (m) 4 b. AL
Lorina M. (m) 2 b. AL
29/53 PATTON Benjamin (m) 34 teamster b. AL parents b. MS
Mary (m) 37 b. AL father b. SC mother b. NC
David M. (m) 2 b. MS parents b. AL
RENARD? Azalene ? (B) 11 niece b. MS father b. Arkansas? mother b. AL
SMITH Jane (m) 17 niece servant b. AL parents b. AL
RUSSELL Reuben (b) 47 servant wagon ? b. AL father b. MS
THOMPSON Charles (b) 22 servant wagon ? b. TN parents b. TN< BENNER Robert (b) 19 servant wagon ? b. AL parents b. AL ANDERSON Louiza (b) 35 laundress? widowed b. VA parents b. VA 30/34 CATO Rebecca (w) 56 married b. AL paralysis M (?) (w) male 23 lame L (?) (w) female 20 given as married and widowed On page 10 is Littleton CRABTREE. 90/98 CRABTREE Littleton 45 notary public b. AL father b. Illinois Nancy A. 49 b. AL parents b. AL Warren S. 18 works in paint shop b. AL Hubbard L. 13 b. AL

1900 Alabama Mobile Co. Whistler Township
pg. 87B (14
CRABTREE Alice b. March 1852 age 48 wd. 9 children with 9 surviving, b. AL, parents b. un
John b. July 1879, age 20 b. AL bookkeeper
George b. Nov. 1882, 17 b. AL tin smith
Charles b. July 1884, 15 b. AL grocery clerk
Annie b. July 1886, 13 b. AL
On the next page is another CRABTREE but the name is difficult to tell. Either 34 or 24, with wife 39, her name begins with M., maybe Margaret or Millicent? Sons John 9 and Allen 3 ?
Harry b. Sept. 1887 11 b. AL
Lee b. Oct. 1890 9 b. AL
Susie b. Oct. 1893 6 b. AL
To one side live Sam TOULMIN and Ceclia (b), and Jessie WILLIAMS and Mary (b), and to the other side there is a James (?) RANEGAR.
148/155 RANEGAR James b. Jan 1850, 50, wd., b. AL, parents b. un. blacksmith
John W. Sept. 1873 26 b. AL boiler maker
Mattie March 1876 23 b. AL dress maker
Grace July 1878 21 b. AL
Lena Feb. 1882 18 b. AL
Sarah Jan 1884 16 b. AL

Several pages over on 94A lives Jacob, Adam Bell’s brother, beside a Horace CROSS:
CRABTREE Jacob b. Jan. 1850 50 married 29 years b. AL parents b. Un Iron moulder
M. J. b. Aug. 1850 49 7 children, 4 surviving b. AL parents b. MS
Mannie b. July 1884 15 b. AL
William b. Jan. 1889 11 b. AL
149/156 SUMERALL George b. 1853 and Lillie and family shoemaker
150/157 EVANS Edmond (b) b. 1846 and Lucy and family
151/158 JONES Edward (b) 1877 22 b. AL parents b. AL teamster
Sallie 20 b. AL father b. un mother b. SC
Isoria 3
Edward 1

Adam and Alice lived their married lives in Whistler, 7 miles from Mobile, AL.

Adam died 19 July 1898 at the age of 52 in Whistler, Mobile Co. AL and is buried at the Whistler Cemetery (birth and burial information provided by Amie Akerman). Alice died 3 Oct. 1936 at about 85, also at Whistler and is buried in the Whistler Cemetery. (Amie Akerman provides burial information.)

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Whistler Alabama was absorbed, with Eight Mile, into Pritchard in the 1950s

Irvin Crabtree and Sarah Ann Faggard

Irvin (or Ervin, Irving, Erving, even Ewin) CRABTREE is reported to have been born 11 Nov. 1814 in Hall County, GA., the eldest son and one of 9 children born to Littleton CRABTREE and Rebecca COX.

Amie Akerman notes that the division of Jackson Co. GA created 1801 Clarke Co.; 1811 Madison Co., and in 1818 Hall, Gwinette and Walton Co. Irvin, who was born in 1814, would have been born in one of these earlier counties.

On 19 Jan 1834 (bond date was 15 Jan 1843) (Source: Amie Ackerman) Irvin married Sarah Ann FAGGARD (FAGGERT/FAGGETT) daughter of Daniel FAGGARD and Martha. Irvin was about 20 and Sarah, born 6 Dec. 1819, was about 15.

Between 1835 and 1846 Irvin and Sarah are known to have had at least 4 children. A fifth child, Jacob, is found in the 1860 Alabama Mobile census:

  • Littleton CRABTREE b. 26 Jan 1835, died 25 May 1887 at about 52. Married Nancy BROWNING. Littleton is buried at Whistler Cemetery, Whistler, AL., the same cemetery as Adam Bell and Alice Virginia RANAGIER CRABTREE. Sources: Amie Akerman, who further notes: Littleton-age 45 notary public, b. Al, father born in “Illinois?” Nancy A. (Browning ) 49, Warren 18, Hubbard 13. After comparing the signature of the Littleton Crabtree’s in the family – –here are 6 Littleton Crabtree,’s–the Littleton in this census is the son of Ervin and Sarah. Littleton Jr, s/o Littleton and Rebecca. Littleton Jr. married Nancy Busby; 1858 signed his license to marry, Nancy Busby,”Littleton, Jr. ” Also have copies of both marriage license. Littleton Crabtree, son of Ervin and Sarah, husband of Nancy Browning, is buried in Old Whistler in a plot next to the Browning family. I was told at one time Nancy Browning was married to a “Warren, surname unknown”.
  • Samuel Thomas CRABTREE was born 30 Dec. 1838 at 28 Mile Bluff, AL. He died 17 June 1923 at about 85 and is buried at Indian Springs Cemetery at Eight Mile, AL, where his tombstone reads that he was born 1838 and died in 1923. He married Margaret OVERSTREET. (NOTE that according to the 1850 Alabama Mobile census he is born about 1846 as his age is given as 14. Amie Akerman notes that both Phelan B. Crabtree, son of Sam Sr., gave Samuel T. as being born in 1838.)
  • Eleander (Ellen) CRABTREE was born about 1840 according to the 1850 Alabama Mobile census. Amie Akerman writes that she was born 10 March 1840 and married Needham CRANE on 19 May 1859 at Mobile Co. AL. The marriage bond is signed by Ervin and Littleton as JP. The marriage took place in the home of the bride’s father.
  • Adam Bell CRABTREE was born 5 Feb. 1846. His daughter, Susie gave him as born at Gainsville, Hall Co. GA. The 1850 and 1860 Alabama Mobile censuses however give him as born abt. 1848 in AL. Married Alice Virginia Ranager.
  • Jacob CRABTREE is given as 7 years of age, born about 1853, in the 1860 Alabama Mobile census. Amie Akerman notes: “Jacob Crabtree, (son of Ervin) Adam Bell’s brother, b.Jan 1850 d.? married Melissa Jane TEW, (M.J) Listed with Jacob, 23 Dec 1870, d/o of John TEW & ?”

Irvin was described by Susie Crabtree Kearns DRUMMOND, his granddaughter, as coming from Hall County, GA.

Susie wrote: “My grandfather was born in Hall Co. Ga. He was married to a girl (or lady) named Ann. I don’t know her last name. His name was Irvin Crabtree. His wife, Ann. They had several sons. They were English and French. The Crabtree name originated in England.”

Beverly Melvin, another Crabtree descendant, gives Irvin as perhaps also written as Irving or Erving. “…Thomas Jefferson Crabtree, Samuel Thomas Crabtree and Irving (Erving) Crabtree…They are my ggrfather, gggrfather & ggggrfather. I have names of siblings to T.J. They may have moved from GA to AL, and from there, some moved to south LA.”

FamilySearch, Internet Genealogy Service. Submitter: HENRIETTA G. EDWARDS ALBUQUERQUE NM USA 87111 Submission: AF85-002035 in an August 21st, 1999 site search gives the birth date of “Ervin” Crabtree, and also the marriage date. It also sites Sarah Ann Faggert as having been born 6 Sep 1817. It gives Irvin’s date of death as being 1861 when instead it is 1863 according to his tombstone (this data from Amie Akerman).

Beverly Melvin has found Ervin and Sarah Ann listed in a marriage registry. She writes: “I found Ervin & Sarah Ann Faggart listed in a marriage registry. The date was Jan. 15, 1834, in Mobile Co. AL. I also have her dob as 9/6/1819 & dod as 2/16/1861 in Citronelle, AL. I have found several cousins who have supplied much of the info I have. From somewhere that I can’t recall, I have a wife listed for Adam as Georgia Tucker, married Jan. 2, 1848. Is that another Adam? Do you know anything about that?…”

Ervin CRABTREE is seen as Evin or Ewin in the 1840 Mississippi Newton County Census. He appears to be living next door to his father, Littleton. Two more houses down is Daniel OVERSTREET, and further down is a James OVERSTREET. Mary OVERSTREET, who married Samuel Thomas CRABTREE, had as a father Jacob OVERSTREET b. 1810 GA, d. 1845 in Wayne Co., MS. Jacob is a nick for James, so this James may be Margaret’s father.

CRABTREE Evin 1 1 – – – 1 – – – – – – – | – – – – 1
(1 male under 5 would be Samuel Thomas b. 1838, 1 male 5 to 10 would be Littleton b. 1835, 1 male 30 to 40 would be Irvin b. 1814, 1 female 20 to 30 would be Sarah Ann b. 1819)
CRABTREE Littleton 1 1 2 1 1 – – 1 – – – – – | 1 – 2 – – – 1
1 male under 5 would be ?, 1 male 5 to 10 might be Murphy b. 1831), 2 males 10 to 15 would include Haynes b. 1829, 1 male 15 to 20 would be either Alfred R. or Littleton Jr. both given as born 1822 by Amie, so one of these must be the missing male in the 10 to 15 category, 1 male 20 to 30 would be perhaps Jackson b. 1817, 1 male 50 to 60 would be Littleton b. 1790, 1 female under 5, 2 females 10 to 15, 1 female 40 to 50 would be Rebecca COX.
Lee Jacob
OVERSTREET Daniel M. (James OVERSTREET further down page).

In the 1850 Alabama Mobile census, Irvin gives himself as 36, so born 1814. NOTE that Saran Ann gives herself here as 34, born about 1815 rather than 1819.

1850 ALABAMA MOBILE CENSUS, Mobile Township
pg. 441
DICKERSON Florentine
26/26 CRABTREE Erwin 36 wheelwright b. GA
Sarah Ann 34 b. MS
Littleton 16 b. MS
Samuel 14 b. AL
Eleander 10 b. AL
Adam 2. b. AL
27/27 GILLON Sam
NICOLAS William S.

1860 ALABAMA MOBILE CENSUS, Mobile Township
pg. 110
PAINE William
KOSTER Hearman
966/761 CRABTREE Ervin 46 wheelwright b. GA
Sarah A. 44 b. GA
Adam 12 b. AL
Jacob 7 b. AL
PARISH William R. 28 carpenter b. TN
CRANE Ellen 20 seamstress b. MS
967/762 Matilda JOHNSON

The 1870 Alabama Mobile census shows a Lewis who is given as 36, thus born about 1834, but is about the age to be Littleton CRABTREE, and he is married to a Nancy. In the next household is a Jacob CRABTREE who is given born about 1850 so would almost match Littleton’s youngest brother, Jacob. But there may be no relationship. For who is Andrew CRABTREE, age 21?

1870 ALABAMA MOBILE CENSUS, Mobile Township
pg. 309
363/363 CRABTREE Lewis 36 carpenter b. GA
Nancy 40 b. AL
Matilda 12 b. AL
Warren 9 b. AL
Herbert 4 b. AL
264/264 CRABTREE Andrew 21 Tinner b. AL
Georgia 20 b. AL
Jake 20 b. AL

Irvin CRABTREE died 12 May 1863 at about 49. He was preceded by Sarah who died 16 Feb. 1861 at Citronelle, Mobile Co. AL.

Marriage certificate of Irvin Crabtree and Sarah Ann Faggard.