David Crockett
Privacy Level: Open (White)

David Crockett (1786 - 1836)

Colonel David "Davy" Crockett
Born in Limestone, Greene County, Tennesseemap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 16 Aug 1806 (to 11 Jun 1815) in Dandridge, Jefferson, Tennessee, United Statesmap
Husband of — married 1815 in Lawrence, Tennessee, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 49 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texasmap
Profile last modified | Created 11 Mar 2011
This page has been accessed 37,271 times.
David Crockett is a part of United States history.
Join: United States Project
Discuss: united_states



Notables Project
David Crockett is Notable.
4th Sgt David Crockett served for Tennessee in the War of 1812
Service started: 1812
Unit(s): 2nd Regiment, Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Riflemen, Battalion of Mounted Gunmen
Service ended: 1815

David Crockett (known to posterity as "Davy Crockett") was born in eastern Tennessee on August 17, 1786, son of pioneer parents, John and Rebecca (Hawkins) Crockett.[1][2] He was one of nine children. As his parents worked to make ends meet, David often hired out to earn some pay, therefore he did not receive a formal education. Instead he became a woodsman, hunter and scout.[3] [4][5][6]

In 1812, David Crockett enlisted as a scout in the Tennessee militia. During the War of 1812, he served in Capt. John Cowan's Company of the Separate Battalion of Volunteer Mounted Gunmen and the Second Regiment, Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Riflemen. In 1815, he was discharged as 4th Sergeant. [4] David Crockett enlisted in Franklin County, Tennessee, as a volunteer to serve in the Indian wars from 1813 to 1815. After those wars, he was elected a lieutenant in the Thirty-second Militia Regiment of Franklin County.[7] [3]

David Crockett represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served in the 20th US Congress (1827–1829), 21st (1829–1831), and 23rd (1833–1835). [8]In Congress, he opposed the Indian Removal Act. [5]

His autobiographical A Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, of the State of Tennessee, written with the help of Thomas Chilton, was published in Philadelphia in 1834.[9][7] The title page features an often-quoted motto of his:

I leave this rule for others when I'm dead,
Be always sure you're right--THEN GO AHEAD!

Crockett's opposition to Andrew Jackson led to his defeat in the 1834 elections, which prompted his angry departure to the Texas Colony of Mexico. He entered Nacogdoches, Texas in 1836 and from there joined the Texas Revolution.[5][8][3]

Marriage and Issue

In his autobiography, David Crockett discussed his courtships and marriages, his sorrow at the loss of his first wife, and other aspects of his married life,[9] but he did not mention the names of his wives.

Marriage 1
David married his first wife, Mary “Polly” Finley on August 14, 1806,[10][11][12] in Jefferson County, Tennessee. [5] [13] They lived in East Tennessee until 1811, when they removed to Lincoln County, Tennessee, with their young sons John Wesley Crockett and William Crockett. In 1813 they moved to Franklin County, Tennessee. Polly gave birth to daughter Margaret, their third child in Franklin County about 1815(?) and died that summer. [5][4] Children were:

  1. John Wesley Crockett
  2. William Finley Crockett
  3. Margaret Finley Crockett

Marriage 2
The following year (1815), David married Elizabeth Patton,[14][15][16][17] a widow with two children. The family moved to Lawrence County, Tennessee, in the fall of 1817.[7] [4]

  1. Robert Patton Crockett
  2. Elizabeth Jane Crockett
  3. Rebecca Elvira Crockett
  4. Matilda Crockett


  • Tennessee
  • Texas


  • Colonel: militia of Lawrence County, TN
  • Tennessee state legislature: 1821[8]
  • Colonel: Texas Revolution and Battle of the Alamo.[5]


Died for Texas

January, 1836 David reached Nacogdoches, Texas Colony. Nacogdoches is in East Texas, thus within a month David and the Tennessee Volunteers (who consisted of friends and a nephew) reached the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. [6] (They would have been traveling on foot or horseback at that time). From Nacogdoches, Crockett and friends went to Washington-on-the-Brazos. [6]Crockett then joined the Texans in their fight to hold the Alamo against a Mexican army. [6][18][19] [3]

David Crockett brought with him a group of 12 Tennessee Mounted Volunteers (other adventurers). They joined the garrison on February 8, 1836, prior to the arrival of Santa Anna's army in San Antonio de Bejar to begin the Siege of the Alamo February 23, 1836. [6] [19] [3] When Crockett joined the Alamo, he asked for the difficult assignment of defending the outside perimeter. [3] He stood by his word. [6][20] In the first week of March, Crockett and the other defenders of the Alamo died during the siege and capture of that fort by Mexican troops.

Colonel David Crockett was killed at the Battle of the Alamo, March 6, 1836, along with the other Alamo Defenders.. [8][6][3][21][22][23][24]

Statements of Susannah Dickenson, wife of Almaron Dickinson as well as the diary of a Mexican officer, Lt. José Enrique de la Peña and Joe, a slave reported seeing David Crockett near the Alamo building, and then lying dead with some slain Mexican army lying nearby. Read for yourself the reports of his death.[25]


Excerpt from David Crockett to James Lockhart Totten

11 Feb 1825.
Dear Sir.
I recd your polite favor 13 Jany and purused it. Old Hickery is like a daimond in the hill of no value until its rubed and polished. So with Gen Jackson the harder they rub him the Brighter he shines.
I have the subject of [our] vacant land under train and litle doubt of obtaining a relinquishment. I wish you to write me often.
Lenthy tender my best regards to all friends excuse my scrall i am in great hast.
your friend & humble servant.
signed David Crockett. jan lala (ID *****7442), Re: 4 BIRD LOCKHARTS AND THE TOTTENS, July 26, 2008, [26]


After his death, popular culture turned David Crockett into "Davy Crockett," a folk hero commonly called "King of the Wild Frontier". The process of turning his life story into folklore actually began during David Crockett's lifetime. He developed a homespun public speaking style that made him a popular public speaker and politician, and he entertained East Coast audiences with funny stories portraying himself as an ignorant backwoodsman and boasts about his exploits as a frontiersman. In 1831 Crockett was the model for Nimrod Wildfire, the hero of a play, "The Lion of the West" by James Kirke Paulding, as well as numerous books and articles. Crockett claimed that he produced his autobiography to counteract outlandish stories told about him in "Sketches and Eccentricities of Col. Crockett, of West Tennessee," published in 1833. Anonymous writers spun out tall tale yarns for the Crockett Almanacs (1835-1856). After his death, his story expanded into a legend. Crockett could “run faster, jump higher, squat lower, dive deeper, stay under longer, and come out drier, than any man in the whole country,” and he could save the world by unfreezing the sun and the earth from their axes and ride his pet alligator up Niagara Falls.[7][27]

Crockett County, Texas is named in Davy Crockett's honor." [28]"Crockett County, Tennessee is named in Davy Crockett's honor.[29]

Bounties Heirs Received:

Research Notes

The Crockett pedigree, published in Wikipedia and in numerous other venues, that traces his ancestry to a French (Huguenot) family named de Crocketagne, has no documentary basis. See the WikiTree page The alleged French origins of the Crockett family in America.

Earlier versions of this profile gave him the middle name "Hawkins Stern," which is not supported by reliable sources. In general, middle names were exceptionally rare before about 1800.


  1. Shackford, page 5.
  2. John Crockett on wikipedia
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 David Crockett, age 49, Colonel, Tennessee Defenders of the Alamo
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Davy Crockett on History.com site, Original Mar 5 2010, Updated Aug 9 2022
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 David Crockett (1786-1836) on Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) site, article written by Michael Lofaro, Published 1976, revised by William Davis, Updated Sep 2019
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 The Myth and Legend of David Crockett] on the Alamo site, written by Dr R Bruce Winders, Former Alamo Director of History and curator
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Lofaro, David "Davy" Crockett, Tennessee Encyclopedia
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Davy Crockett on wikipedia
  9. 9.0 9.1 Crockett, David. Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, of the State of Tennessee. Philadelphia: E. L. Carey and A. Hart; Boston: Allen & Ticknor. 1834. Online at https://archive.org/details/narrativeoflifeo00croc/
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett
  11. "Family Data Collection - In>dividual Records," database, David Davy Stern Crockett marriage to Mary Polly Finlay on 12 Aug 1806; citing Birth year 1786, Birth city Green Co, Birth state TN. (Ancestry Record 4725 #606549 : accessed 30 April 2023), Note - These are not reliable sources, given here
  12. "U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900," database, (Ancestry Record 7836 #295929 : accessed 30 April 2023), David Crockett marriage to Mary Polly Finley in 1806; citing Source number 1541.000, Source type Electronic Database, Number of Pages 1, Submitter Code PJN. Note - These are not reliable sources
  13. https://gw.geneanet.org/tdowling?lang=en&n=crockett&oc=0&p=david+stern
  14. https://gw.geneanet.org/tdowling?lang=en&n=crockett&oc=0&p=david+stern
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davy_Crockett
  16. "Family Data Collection - Individual Records," database, (Ancestry Record 4725 #606550 : accessed 30 April 2023), David Crockett marriage to Elizabeth Patton in 1816; citing Birth year 1786, Birth city Limestone, Birth state TN. Note - These are not reliable sources, and some of these linked pages do not support the content given here
  17. "U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900," database, (Ancestry Record 7836 #295930 : accessed 30 April 2023), David Crockett marriage to Elizabeth Patton in 1815 in TN; citing Source number 1507.000, Source type Electronic Database, Number of Pages 1, Submitter Code PJN. Note - These are not reliable sources,
  18. Battle of the Alamo 'condensed history' of the Battle and Defenders
  19. 19.0 19.1 Death of David Crockett on Explore Southern History site
  20. David Crockett Biography on Sons of Dewitt Colony site
  21. Davy Crockett on history net site Facts, information and articles about Davy Crockett
  22. Davy Crockett on New World Encyclopedia site
  23. Find a Grave, database and images (accessed 05 March 2021), memorial page for Davy Crockett (17 Aug 1786–6 Mar 1836), Find A Grave: Memorial #2308, citing San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .
  24. "Handy Book of American Authors, 1907," database, (Ancestry Record 4874 #246 : accessed 30 April 2023), Name David Crockett, Birth Date 17 Aug 1786, Birth Place Limestone, Greene county, Tennessee, Residence Date 1907, Residence Place USA, Death Date 6 Mar 1836, Death Place Texas; citing Louis Harmon Peet. Handy Book of American Authors. New York, USA Thomas Y. Crowell and Co., 1907.
  25. Davy Crocket, death at the Alamo is now a case closed - or is it? on historynet site
  26. Lockhart messages on genforum, accessed 23 Feb 2015
  27. Blakemore, Erin. Davy Crockett was an Early P.R. Genius, History.com. Published Aug. 7, 2017, updated Sept. 1, 2018.
  28. Genealogy Trails
  29. Crockett County, Tennessee is named in Davy Crockett's honor on wikipedia

See Also:

Family Histories:

Sponsored Search by Ancestry.com

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with David by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with David:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 22

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
I have restored David Crockett-311 to format it was in. It is PPP. There were misspelled words, and the Headers were missing. Col Crockett gave his life for Texas.
posted by Mary Richardson
The above list of siblings characterizes Sarah Elizabeth Crockett as sister and Margaret Jane Crockett as half sister. I believe this to be incorrect.

John Bennett Boddie's Historical Southern Families, Volume IV, page 54, notes:

<quote> "John Goodgame, b Augustus, Ga., m. Sarah Crockett (daughter of John Crockett and Rebecca (Hawkins) Crockett), b. 1779/80 in Virginia, d. at Clanton, Ala., Chilton Co., Sept. 30, 1858." </quote>

To the best of my knowledge, this is the best 'evidence' for Sarah being David's sister, even though there appears to be nothing that supports the parenthetical claim.

At the same time, one can find a conflicting claim in "Biographical & Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas"; Chicago, Illinois: Goodspeed Publishing, 1890. In a discussion about Capt. John A. Goodgame, the author writes:

<quote> "The paternal grandmother of our subject, who name was Sarah E. Crockett, was a second cousin of David Crockett, and was born in Georgia, and died in Alabama when about seventy-five years of age. She was a member of the Baptist Church." </quote>

It should be noted that this Crockett-311 sibling list differs from the list found in Wikipedia's "Davy Crockett" entry, where Margaret is identified as a sister -- rather than half-sister -- and Sarah Elizabeth is nowhere to be found. So, how is Margaret's "[half]" sister status explained?

There is a single entry under (Margaret Jane) Crockett-3109 Sources. It reads: "Unsourced family tree handed down to Ann Holt."

Similarly, there is but one Comment, that by Linda (Carruth) Peterson, which reads: "Have you got any sources to link this person to the Crockett parents that it is linked to? The Crocket children were born in Tennessee, not North Carolina? It looks like you have wrong parents connected."

The claim that Margaret is a half sister appears to stem from the assertion that she and David had the same mother but different fathers, so the next step should be to take a look at this father, John Crockett-1098. Let me quote the Research Notes in full:

<quote> "This profile has been returned to close to its original condition because changes have been made that have not been documented and conflict with other profiles.

There is no documentation confirming that this John Crockett (1754-1834) was the son of Joseph Crockett and Jeanne de Vigné. To the contrary, there is no son John mentioned in joseph Crockett's will, 1767. Also, at the time of John's birth (1754 or 1755), Joseph Crockett was living in Augusta County, in the region later to become Montgomery County, so he could not have had a son born in Frederick County or Clarke County.

There is also no evidence that this John Crockett was married to Rebecca Sullivan Hawkins, who was married instead to John B. Crockett (abt.1753-abt.1834).

These links (added in 2020) have been removed, as well as the inconclusive sources that accompanied them, that appear to have confused this John Crockett with another one.

The original parents (Father: Dorothea Meyer; Mother: Bennie Mills) were also wildly mistaken and were removed in 2019.

A daughter Margaret Jane Crockett was added in 2021, also without documentation." </quote>

In short, the claim that Margaret is a half -sister appears to be literally baseless.

So, where do we go from here? Perhaps the answer can be found at https://erenow.net/biographies/david-crockett-the-lion-of-the-west/3.php

<quote> "The identity of the eldest Crockett sibling, always believed to have been a daughter, remained unknown for many years. This mystery was resolved only in July 2008, at a three-day gathering of the Direct Descendants and Kin of David Crockett (DDDC) at Crockett’s birthplace on the Nolichucky River. For the first time, indisputable evidence was presented that David’s elder sister was Margaret Catharine Crockett. She was born to John and Rebecca Crockett at Womack’s Fort, built by Jacob Womack as a refuge from Indian war parties in the northeast corner of what eventually became Tennessee.

Identification of Crockett’s long “unknown” sister surprised the organization’s members, including Joy Bland, DDDC historian and a fourth great-granddaughter of David Crockett. “I don’t have a doubt,” Bland replied, when asked if enough evidence existed to authenticate the discovery. “Great descendants are coming from her [Margaret Catharine] and contributing to our history. There is a bible record that proves this.”3 This record was found in the family Bible of Louisa Taylor Lemmons, granddaughter of Margaret Catharine, and was brought to light by Timothy E. Massey, a great-grandson of Margaret Catharine." </quote>

The answer seems to be (a) to acknowledge Margaret as David's full sister, (b) thereby bringing this wiki page into closer alignment with the Wikipedia entry, and (c) to recognize that the the parents of Sarah Elizabeth Crockett Goodgame have yet to be firmly identified.

I am somewhat invested in this if only because Sarah was my 4th great-grandmother.

posted by Jay (Wright) Frank
The "claim" that Margaret was a half-sister is merely an artifact of someone having created an unsourced profile for Margaret that they somehow managed to connect to the profile for David's father, but not also to David's mother.
posted by Ellen Smith
Thank you, Ellen.

How should one proceed to correct the profiles involved?

posted by Jay (Wright) Frank
No more half siblings!

Neither of his parents had a child in South Carolina or Pennsylvania. There are other people with same names in other parts of the country, but the names match to this 'more famous family'. So they connect without looking at locations.

Unfortunately this happens frequently on wikitree with lack of sources, other than family trees, on profiles in 1700s and 1800s.

Thank you.

So what can I do remove Sarah Elizabeth from the Crockett-311 sibling list and, perhaps, establish Margaret Catherine Crockett in her place, thereby aligning the profile with the Wikipedia entry on Davy Crockett?

posted by Jay (Wright) Frank
This is a work in progress. I have unlinked Sarah because there is quite a bit of info already in her profile stating that she was not the daughter of John and not sister of David Crockett.

I do NOT research or update quickly. Please review changes that have been made to John B Crockett. I found the "Lion of the West" online, so I have added several citations to that source, which is very nicely sourced. I have included the sources from that item in John's profile for his siblings, wife, and children. Part of the information about the children, which is in Research Notes of John's profile is information about Margaret Catherine being the oldest sibling.

If there is no profile currently created for Margaret, why don't you create one, so it could be linked to the profile?

There was a profile for a daughter named Margaret (Margaret Jane Crockett (1792-1867)), but it was disconnected within the last couple of days. Wrong Margaret?
posted by Ellen Smith
Margaret Catherine is the daughter of this family. That Margaret Jane has a birthdate of 1792 in North Carolina. Margaret Catherine is the 'eldest' sibling, so her birth year would be closer to 1776 or so, since there marriage was abt 1775
My goal was to either (a) justify the inclusion of Sarah Elizabeth Crockett, or (b) remove her from the list of siblings and continue my search for her parents.

Thank you sincerely for helping me achieve the latter.

As for Margaret Catharine (c 1778-1792), I know nothing beyond what I've quoted above. I'll reach out to Joy Bland and see if there is more information.

posted by Jay (Wright) Frank
edited by Jay (Wright) Frank
If Joy could help, that would be great. I have her name in the source info for John because of the quote in the book when Margaret Catherine was identified.
If you go to Sarah's profile, there are 3 old G2G questions about her. I have not reviewed them to see if anything was stated, other than what is in her profile currently. I am sure there are some people trying to connect her to the parents. https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Crockett-342
Comparing the Crockett Family Tree in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Crockett_%28frontiersman%29) to John Crockett-318 children, ie David and siblings, there is a Wilson and Sarah Elizabeth that are not included and missing are Margaret Catharine and Elizabeth. Those all need to be researched.

I did a brief search and did not find profiles for Margaret or Elizabeth that match the dates listed, but there are also no sources listed for those individuals.

Remember that wikipedia is just like wikitree. Any user can update it, which does not mean the pages are always correct. It is NOT a reliable source for changes to wikitree profiles.

The above profile of David Crockett is excellent - in particular the last sentence.

I did some research on Col. Crockett recently in order to answer a question from someone else about his alleged middle name of "Stern." I came away 100% convinced that he had no such middle name. (For example, he does not allude to it in his autobiography, and even though many instances of his signature survive, he never signed his name with any middle name or even a middle initial.)

His autobiography is available on the gutenberg project (free) and well worth the read.


posted by Barry Wood
The profile picture being used on this profile is also being used on profile Doane-315 obviously the same picture?
posted by Cliff Truesdale

Rejected matches › David B. Crockett (1786-1844)