Crighton or Creighton

When we started doing family history, soon after we were married, one of the first things we did was to ask Val’s grandmother, Emma le Sueur, (formerly Greene, formerly Chelin, born Decker), about the family. Val’s grandfather was her second husband, Allan Greene, and she couldn’t remember very much about her in-laws, other than that their name was Creighton, and they were leather merchants in Cape Town.

Creighton was the name of a small village in Natal, so we looked in the Natal archives, but none of the Creightons we found seemed to fit. Then we went to Cape Town, and looked in the archives there, and found that the spelling of the name was Crighton, not Creighton (with an exception to be noted below). Henry Crighton (1815-1870) was a saddler in Cape Town (Gran’s “leather merchant” came close enough), and there was even a newpaper obituary, though like many Victorian obituaries, it was full of padding and no substance. His wife was Petronella Francina Dorothea Flamme, whose grandmother was a slave, and probably the most indigenous South African ancestor we have between us.

The eldest son, William John Crighton (1842-1886), married Anna Maria MacLeod (1849-1917), and their eldest daughter Mary Francis Crighton (1868-1957) married Frederick Vincent Greene (1858-1949), and they were the in-laws.

At least three of the Crightons married into the MacLeod famioly, and we have quite a lot of information about the descendants of both families, so if anyone reading this is linked to any of these please get in touch, or at least leave a comment. There were numerous descendants of Charles Augustus MacLeod (1838-1909) and Annie Crighton (1850-c1934).

Both Henry Crighton and his son William John had several children, and so the Crighton family was quite numerous in South Africa. One of William John Crighton’s sons was Daniel John (1880-1939), and in the archives we found correspondence with his granddaughter, Nita Crighton, who lived in America, and was researching the family history too. We were able to make contact with Nita (now Nita Harris of California), and met her when she visited South Africa a couple of years ago.

Daniel John Crighton’s brother Frank Percy (1876-1953), however, adopted the Creighton spelling.

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