Amanda Cook Gilbert and I are compiling an extensive genealogy record of the Cromartie family that will include over 33,000 individuals. It traces the ancestry of William Cromartie to the Orkney Islands of Scotland and of his wife Ruhamah Doane to Stephen Hopkins, who was stranded on Bermuda for nine months after his ship, the Sea Venture, crashed on the reefs near the island. His adventures and the mutiny that he led are believed to have inspired William Shakespeare to write The Tempest. Although Hopkins was sentenced to death, his life was spared; and he and the other survivors completed their voyage to Jamestowne in 1609. He returned to England, but subsequently came back to America on the Mayflower in 1620. This lineage qualifies for membership in both the Jamestowne Society and the Society of Mayflower Descendants. William served as a Revolutionary War soldier, and his progeny are eligible for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Sons of the American Revolution. The three volumes of books will also document the descendants of William and Ruhamah to present times. When completed, the books will be available for purchase from the Cromartie Family.
Most Caucasian people in the United States with the surname Cromartie are descendants of one man who migrated from the Scottish Orkney Islands to the colony of North Carolina. William Cromartie was born on the island of South Ronaldshay in the Orkney Islands on May 1, 1731. He worked as a sailor until he met a beautiful woman on a voyage to America. They married and settled on South River in Bladen County, North Carolina. Tradition holds that she was of royal blood in the Stuart family. Her grave was called “the grave of the princess.” He received numerous grants from the king and owned large tracts of land in eastern North Carolina. Their sole son, William Jr., was born September 10, 1765. After serving in the Revolutionary War, he took to sea and traveled to Canada and India before settling in the Orkney Islands.
After the death of his first wife, William Sr. married Ruhamah Doane on April 22, 1766. She was a direct descendant of Stephen Hopkins, whose shipwreck on Bermuda inspired Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Hopkins reached Jamestown in 1609, but went back to England, and later returned to America with his wife and daughter Constance Hopkins on the Mayflower in 1620. Ruhamah was born October 31, 1745 and died December 26, 1813.
William Cromartie served in Coleman’s Company during the revolution. He and Ruhamah Doane had twelve children: James, Thankful, Elizabeth, Hannah, Alexander, John, Margaret, Catherine, Jean, Peter, Ann, and Mary. He died September 21, 1807. Legend dictates that he was an earl, and his grave was called “the grave of the earl.” She died December 26,1813.
Sam Cromartie (Robert Samuel Cromartie III) is a descendant of William through the line of William’s son John and John’s son William James Cromartie. He is a member of the Mayflower Society and the Jamestowne Society through Ruhamah’s line, and his daughter Kimberly Cromartie is a member of the DAR through William’s service.
This blog will delve into the ancestors and descendants of William Cromartie and Ruhamah Doane.