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Martha Jane Craig


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At a Glance

Martha Jane Craig was the daughter of David Craig and Nancy Moore Strayhorn Craig of the New Hope Community of Orange County. Since her name is not listed in the Burwell School Catalogue of 1848-1851, it is likely that she attended in 1852 [1].


Martha Jane Craig (1838-1912) was born in the New Hope community of Orange County, NC. Her paternal grandfather was Alexander R. Craig (1772 or 1773-1855) and her paternal great grandfather was John Craig (1731-1816) John Craig, who was born in Pennsylvania, was a member of the N.C. Troops in the Revolutionary War. Both Alexander Craig and John Craig are buried in the old section of the New Hope Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Orange County, NC.

Martha Jane was one of seven children born to David Craig (1810-1893) and Nancy Moore Strayhorn (1814-1889). While Martha Jane attended the Burwell School about 1852, there is nothing in the records to indicate her younger sisters Mary Emeline Craig (1843-1910) and Melissa Moore Craig (1845-1913) did. Two of Martha Jane's brothers Samuel A. Craig (1836-1862) and William H. Craig (1840-1862) were in the C.S.A. army in the US Civil War and died within one day of each other at Camp Lee in Richmond, VA.

On December 12, 1861 at the beginning of the US Civil War, Martha Jane married Samuel David Blackwood (1836-1894) a farmer. He was also from the New Hope community. Samuel left shortly after their marriage to serve in the C.S.A. Army. He was a member of Lane's Brigade, Co. F, 33rd NC Regiment and was in active service from July 1862 until the surrender at Appomattox in 1865. After his return from the war it seems the couple lived in the New Hope community as Samuel was an Elder in the New Hope Presbyterian Church in 1871.

Martha Jane and Samuel had nine children. One of them, Robert Phillips Blackwood (1866-1944 or 1945) became an Elder in the New Hope Presbyterian Church. Another William Alexander Blackwood (1882-1964) became a loan officer in Durham, NC.

Martha Jane spent eighteen years as a widow after her husband died in 1894. Both she and her husband are buried in the New Hope Presbyterian Church cemetery.

There were many Craigs, Blackwoods and Strayhorns who made their home in the New Hope community. They were instrumental in the founding and continued support of New Hope Presbyterian Church [1] [2].

Biographical Data

Important Dates

Martha Jane Craig was born on September 23, 1838, in New Hope, NC. She died on August 11, 1912, and was buried in New Hope Cemetery in New Hope, NC.

Places of Residence

Schools Attended



  1. Mary Claire Engstrom. The Book of Burwell Students: Lives of Educated Women in the Antebellum South. (Hillsborough: Hillsborough Historic Commission, 2007).