Ann Cross An Enigma by Virginia Everding
Who was Ann (e) Lane Looney Cross? It is known that she was first: the wife of Samuel Looney and after Samuel's death, she married Elijah Cross I. . .
I have found nothing to indicate exactly when or where Ann was born, but have guessed it might be the southwestern part of Virginia, ca. 1758-1759. I have also guessed the date of her marriage to Samuel Looney to have been ca. 1774-1775. It is known to that Samuel and Ann had two sons, Moses and Samuel, Jr.. The date of Samue's birth is known 30 November 1777. (Information sent me by Ms. Elizabeth Looney from Stephen Easley Bible records).
Samuel Looney was killed by Indians, probably early 1779. At a court held in Washington Co., VA, 18 May 1779, Anne Looney was granted administration on the estate of Samuel Looney, deceased. (Annals of Southwest Virginia 1769-1800 by Summers)
A short family tale about Ann was recounted in a write-up of a Cross Family Reunion held August 29, 1946 at the Cross Methodist Church near Blountville, as follows:
Legend has it that when Ann Looney Cross went to the burial of her first husband, Samuel Looney, she rode horseback with two of her children born of her marriage to him. At the burial grounds she was captured by Indians, but her life was spared.
Genealogists have never been able to ascertain Ann Looney's maiden name, although the Looney family at that time, lived mainly around the locality of Buchanan, Virginia." (Border-The Magazine of Bristol, August, 1946).
At a court held for Washington Co., VA, 21, May. 1782 on the motion of Moses Looney in behalf of Ann Cross, administratrix of Samuel Looney deceased, the court requested Sullivan County to choose guardians and settle with the said Administratrix. (Annals of Southwest Virginia 1769-1800 by Summers).
Ann was now married to Elijah Cross I.mAnn and Elijah Cross I had five sons: Jesse, Abraham, Zachariah, Elijah II (my ancestor), and David Looney Cross, and two daughters, Rachel who married Thomas Jones, and Amanda who married Ezekiel Keys.
I have found no records to indicate when Ann died, but on the 1840 Sullivan Co., TN census, Elijah Cross I is living with his son, David L. Cross.
The only clue I have found to indicate that Ann's maiden name was Lane came from information written by John Franklin Cross, great grandson of Ann and Elijah I, and son of Thomas Jones Cross and Martha Wright Cross.John Franklin Cross filled out the Civil War Questionnaire for the State of Tennessee, Tennessee Historical Committee, Department of Libraries, Archives and History. The form was received back by this Committee on 14 Sep 1922.Under Question 9, "Remarks on Ancestry" John F. Cross wrote:
Grandfather Cross his name was Elijah. Great grandfather Cross name was Elijah. Grand Mother Cross maiden ( name) was - (Cook). Great grand Mothers maiden name (Lane) was of the Pochantas (sic) Tribe Cherykee (sic) Indians
This information indicates that Ann's maiden name was Lane and that she was either full-blooded or part Indian. The reference to Pocahontas has caused many to believe that Ann was a descendant of Pocahontas, daughter of Powhatan. The fact that John F. Cross identified Ann as being of the Cherokee Indians has led me to another conclusion.
I believe the Pocahontas John F. Cross was referring to was Nancy Ward who is known as "Tennessee's Pocahontas." One account of Nancy Ward indicated her father was a British officer named Ward and her mother was a sister of Ata-kullakulla, "leading Chief of the Cherokees during their most troublesome times." (Page 57, Historic Sullivan by Oliver Taylor, King Printing Co., Bristol, TN 1909).
Another account indicates Nancy acquired the surname Ward through a second marriage to Brian Ward, a white trader. Nancy's first marriage was to Kingfisher of the Deer Clan. Kingfisher was killed at the Battle of Taliwa, fought in 1755, between the Cherokees and Creeks, a battle in which Nancy distinguished herself with the Cherokees. Nancy was a member of the Wolf Clan. (Page 51, Valley So Wild: A Folk History, by Alberta and Carson Brewer, East Tennessee Historical Society, Knoxville, TN 1975).
Even earlier references to Nancy Ward as "another Pocahontas" and "the Cherokee Pocahontas" appear on Pages 144 and 161, respectively, of The Annals of Tennessee by J.G.M. Ramsey; A.M., M.D. originally printed in 1853 by Walker & Jones, Charleston, S.C. Reprinted 1967 with the addition of a biographical introduction, annotations & index for the East TN Historical Society, Knoxville, TN.
It is not beyond the realm of possibility that John F. Cross had read The Annals of Tennessee and Historic Sullivan and was proud of the fact that his great grandmother was of the same tribe (clan) as Tennessee's Pocahontas, Nancy Ward.
It was remembered in my family line that my grandmother, Elizabeth Wright Mitchell. (great granddaughter of Ann and Elijah Cross I), said she (my grandmother) was l/16th Indian from her Great Grandmother Cross (which I interpret to indicate that Ann would have been half Indian). (Carol Burgess Martin's taped interview with her aunt, Miss Sallie Dexter Roach, 14 March 1969-not publicly available). (Sallie Roach was a third great granddaughter of Ann and Elijah Cross I.
My research has revealed that there were Lane (Laine, Layne) families living in the area of Washington Co., VA; Sullivan Co., TN, and other southeastern counties of Tennessee (North Carolina). Some of these Lanes were in Baltimore Co., MD at the same time the Cross family was there. Although I have found nothing to indicate any of the Lane men might have married an Indian maiden, I wonder if it is possible that Ann was the child of such a union....