John Craggen/Cragon – Are You Related?

First of all I want to welcome the new subscribers to this list! Thanks for joining this collaborative adventure! PLEASE let me know which Scottish POW you are related to and I will add you as a contact person.

Today I am featuring this particular Scottish POW who was in the Battle of Worcester on 3 Sep 1651. His name was spelled John CRAGON on the NEHGS list but his descendants know him as John CRAGGEN. If you are related or have anything to add to his story please let me know off-list at “”

“Royalist soldier captured at Worcester. Transported from Gravesend to Boston on the “John and Sarah”, master John Greene, 13 May 1652. (NER) This comes from a book titled “Scots Banished to the American Plantations 1650-1775” by David Dobson. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore. 1983. pg. 234.” “John Craggen/Cragon had at least one daughter, Sarah who married, Francis NURSE, son of Rebecca Towne NURSE, hung as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts.” – submitted by David Edwin Hill

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10 Responses to John Craggen/Cragon – Are You Related?

  1. says:


    I have an Elizabeth Cragin b. Woburn 3 Aug 1666 married John Shepard, Jr b 26 Oct 1661 West Concord died 15 Dec 1699. The Shepards were the second family into West Concord. John Law was the first.

    John Cragin b 25 March 1701 Woburn died 23 Jan 1794 Temple, New Hampshire married Judith Barker 1727. They had 9 children. Their 7th child Francis b Acton 2 Mar 1742 Acton died 26 Aug 1826 New Ipswich married 6 Sep 1766 in Acton Elizabeth Law, great granddaughter of John Law and older sister of Reuben Law.

    Reuben Law and his younger brother Andrew removed to southern NH (Sharon, Temple, Peterborough) and there are several Cragins who died in those neighboring towns in the late 1700s early 1800s

    Alfred Woollacott, III genealogy, family history, historical narratives

  2. Brian Bean says:

    Hi Teresa – I am a descendant of John Bean / MacBean of Exeter, NH. All other histories of the man that I have seen state his as having been a passenger on the “John and Sara” and not the “Unity”. Can you shed some light ? – Thanks, Brian Bean

    • Hi, Brian, The main source for my “UNITY” list is from the research of Elizabeth (French) Bartlett. Her 59 boxes of research became part of the R. Stanton Avery Library collection and is now the property of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society. I do not do individual research on each of these POWs (except my direct ancestor, John Hamilton). I am trying to create a single location or clearing house for all information about our Scottish POWs which came on the “Unity” and “John and Sara.” The ORIGINAL list of passengers for the Unity, which left England in November 1650, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, has NEVER been found. What I have found is a compiled list based on the research of Elizabeth (French) Bartlett. I am in the process of putting together a page on my site here with more information about Elizabeth French and her research. Based on her research she has put John Bean on the Unity list along with John Sinclair and Henry Magoon. According to other sources, these three men came over together on the same ship. If you look on the list for the John and Sara provided by the NEHGS, you will not find John BEAN, Henry MAGOON, or John SINCLAIR. So at this point, I lean towards these three men as NOT being on the John and Sara and as more likely coming on the ship UNITY. If you have a better understanding then PLEASE tell me and I will post it on this site! I have NO agenda but ultimately the truth. 🙂 I hope this helps a bit! Stay tuned for more information about Elizabeth French Bartlett and her research and why I think she should be held in high esteem.

  3. bob ganley says:

    Hello all,

    John Craggen is my 8th great-grandfather. My paternal family is Woburn/Burlington Massachusetts. They haven’t ventured out much the last 350 years!

    There seems to be a lot of misinformation floating around about John’s military engagements. A lot of people have confused him as being involved in the Battle of Dunbar one year before the Battle of Worcester. While he very well could have been a veteran of that battle, he was not taken prisoner and subjected to the “Death March to Durham”. It seems that a few people have taken bits and pieces of his history and blended it with other stories. I am happy to finally get to the bottom of this! I am a history teacher in Boston, and will be creating a separate Wikipedia entry for the Death March to Durham in the next few weeks, so be on the lookout.

    Bob Ganley

  4. Mahlon Bickford says:


    Just signed on to the list. Both Duncan Steward, #101 on the list, and John Cragin are my ancestors. Haven’t done much research on John, but in my charts I have a John Cragin of Acton, MA in the 16980-90s. His daughter, Dorothy Cragin (1728-1813) married into the Cleveland family of Acton. Will look forward to reading more about these lines in the future. Thanks for such a great site!

  5. Becky McKenney says:

    My husband is descended from John McKenney (Mackane) on the John and Sarah. I have seen on someone’s geneology page that Robert Mackane on the same ship was his father. The ages seem right–John was 21 and Robert 43 when they were brought to the colony. Does anyone else have verification of this?

  6. DOROTHY N. McKenney(Makane ) Chapman says:

    my reply is to Becky McKenney. How is your husband related to John McKenney? What is his genealogical line? I was pleased to hear about Prisoner Robert possibly being Johns father. How did you find there ages? I know the name Robert was carried down for Four generations through John.

  7. DOROTHY N. McKenney(Makane ) Chapman says:

    Please follow,up my request by comments as well as e- mail Thank you

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