The past is the present for future generations who do not know their history

Rubber biscuit…

sweet potato pie, and hush my mouth – these boys are from the south! Their mama must be sooooo proud. May I add, and they are on a MISSION OF FUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!

Justin Crisler who protrays Elwood and Jamey Crisler who portrays Jake, are the Blues Brothers – Alabama style that is. The Alabama Blues Brothers are a performing tribute group that flatters the Belushi/Akroyd team from the 80s movie by the name of The Blues Brothers. They know Redneckology and Redneckism and they originate from Town Creek, Alabama. Ah, Sweet Home Alabama.

They dress the part. They look the part. And they perform the part with excellence. Jake even does cartwheels. The band comes  out appropriately dressed in convict jumpsuits; they are from Tampa Florida, Hartselle, Town Creek, Arab and Huntsville Alabama. This is a fun show and well worth more than the cost of admission. There is a lot of audience participation and they even occasionally polish a bald head in the audience. The dance routines were energetic and very much on par with the original Jake and Elwood performances.

Alabama Blues Brothers

Justin and Jamey Crisler’s family originates overseas. Their earliest known ancestor is Mathias Crisler born 1664 in Bresleu, Schlesien, Germany and died  1759 in what is now Madison, Madison, Virginia. Some researcher give Mathhias Crisler birthplace as Switzerland. Mathias Crisler married fifteen-year-old Barbara Von DerSchellenberg in 1687. Barbara was born about 1667 in Allenstein, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Barbara Crisler died Oct 1709 onboard the vessel Swift while at sea between Rotterdam, Pennsylvania. She possibly died during or shortly after childbirth judging by the birthdate of her youngest child.

Matthias and Barbara Crisler had a large family of children: Catherine Christler, Elizabeth Christler, John G Chrisler, Mary Christler, Leonhard Christler 1686 – 1746, Fawatt Chrisler 1700 – 1759, David Crisler, 1703 – 1755, Michael Crisler 1705 – 1759, and Theobold Fawatt Crisler 1709 – 1776.

They came to America! The main passenger listed on the mandate was Matthias Crisler and he and his relatives arrived in Virginia in the year 1734. 1734 was the date of arrival at the colony at Germanna, Virginia. In 1725 the entire colony moved to the Robinson River near the foot of the Blue Mountains, in present Madison County, Virginia. The group is known historically as The German Colony.

Son Leonhard Christler was born 1686 in  Canton, Bern, Switzerland  and died  1746 in Franconia Township, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Lenhard Crisler married Anna Maria Bender in Lambsheim, Ludwigshafen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany in 1708; he was twenty-two years old.  In 1719 the main port of arrival was Pennsylvania for Leonard and Anna Maria Bender. obviously since Anna Maria Crisler came to America in 1719, it is unlikely that she died overseas.

Leonard and Anna Maria Crisler had nine known children: Johann Theobald Crisler 1709 – 1776, Tosanus Christler 1713 –   , Anna Ursula Eichelberger 1715 – 1780, Johannes Paulus Eichelberger 1717 – 1717, Christianus Christler 1717 –  , Anna Catharina Eichelberger 1718 – 1721, and Maria Eva Eichelberger 1720 –  . Perhaps family members can provide an explanation of why some of the children are listed with surnames of Eichelberger; seems an awful lot like where they were born in Eschelbach, Hohenlohekreis, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany to me. Anna Maria Bender’s parents were Johann Kaspar Bender 1672 – 1741 and Anna Helena Eschelbacher 1656 – 1706. Perhaps the  Eichelberger children are not Anna Maria’s; they are her children by a marriage to an Eichelberger, or they were named her maiden name. There seems no space of time for a first marriage for Anna Maria Bender. Researchers link those children to Leonard and Anna Maria Crisler as their parents. Could the researchers be wrong?

Another possibility is that they are Anna Maria Bender’s siblings. Anna Maria Bender was born to parents Johannes Kasper Bender born 24 Feb 1672 and died 29 Aug 1741 Eschelbach, Hohenlohekreis, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany while her mother Anna Helena Eschelbacherwas born  1 Dec 1656 in Hanau, Main-Kinzig-Kreis, Hessen, Germany and died 1706 in Eschelbach, Hohenlohekreis, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany.

The children of Johannes Kasper and Anna Helena Bender are named by researchers as: Maria Eva Bender1670 – 1670, Ursula Bender 1679 – 1754, Anna Katharina Bender 1680 – 1734, Johann Michael Bender 1681 –  , Anna Catharina Brucher 1682 – 1749, Margaretha Bender 1683 –  ,Claus Bender 1684 –  , Anna Maria Bender 1685 – 1723, Anna Catharina Bender 1690 – 1764, Johann Christian Bender 1695 – 1755, and Anna Catharina Brucher 1698 – 1760. Readily evident is that researchers either do not agree on the children, or there was more than one child with the same name. In the early days when the infant mortality rate was high, parents would name children the same name to ensure that the legacy of a family name was preserved.

Leonard and Anna Maria Crisler’s son Johann Theobald Crisler, called Theobald, was born 18 Aug 1709 (one record listed birth as 1700) in Lambsheim, Ludwigshafen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany and died 20 Feb 1776 in Culpepper, Virginia which is now Madison County, Virginia. He married Rosina Gaar who was born 11 Aug 1713 in Illenschwang, Ansbach, Bayern, Germany and whose death 1778 occurred in Madison, Madison, Virginia. They married in Culpepper, Virginia  in 1736. The Gaar family is a fascinating history. Johann T Crisler arrived in America in the year 1734. Theobodt Fawatt Crisler served in the Revolutionary War, his wife was Rosina Gar. So, evidently the name was Johannes Theobolt Fawatt Crisler. Descendants would be eligible to join the DAR from this record.

The children of Johannes Theobald and Rosina Crisler were: Dorothea Christler 1735 – 1777, John George Cryesler Crisler 1738 – 1818, Leonard Crisler 1745 – 1824 who died in Kentucky and left a large family of children, Margaret Crisler 1748 – 1835, Andrew Crisler 1750 –  , Elizabeth Crisler 1750 – 1807,  and Michael Crisler 1752 – 1836.

Way back then, the people of arrived in America were proud to become citizens. They were required to go through denization processes and naturalization processes. Often these processes took years. The denization or naturalization often did not take place for years or in their native state. But, for Theobald and Leonhard Crisler this was not true. Denization and Naturalization records show that Theobald Christle was naturalized in Orange County, Virginia on 28 January 1742 and the process evidently went into the following year o f 1743. The records show that Leonhart Christler was naturalized in Pennsylvania on 19 March 1739 and was from Philadelphia.

Son John George Cryesler Crisler 1738 – 1818 married Anna Magdalene Smith 1747 – 1824 in 1766 or 1767 in Culpepper, Virginia. There is one record that shows she died in Kentucky, he died in Culpepper, Virginia. Their known children were: Nancy Crisler 1759 – 1764, Julius Crisler 1767 – 1833, Elizabeth Crisler 1769 – 1844, Abraham Cristler 1771 – 1795, Benjamin Crisler 1773 – 1780, Absolom Crisler 1775 – 1854, Rosina Crisler 1778 – 1804, Joel Crisler 1780 – 1781, Julianna Cristler 1781 – 1863, Susanna Crisler 1783 – 1859, Jonas Crisler 1785 – 1858, Lucy Crisler 1787 – 1850, Anna Crisler 1790 – 1791, Mary Crisler 1792 – 1866,  and Abram Crisler 1803 – 1894.

There are generations yet to go before we get to present day Crislers, so hang in there. Son of John George and Anna Magdalen Smith,  Absolom Crisler, was born  1775  and died 1854. His wife, Anna Souther, was born  1778 and died a year earlier in 1853. Absolom Crisler was born in Culpepper, Virginia and died in Jackson County, Georgia. They were married 31 August 1801 in Madison County, Virginia. Their children were: Nancy Crisler 1802 – 1865, Abram Crisler 1803 – 1894, Jonathon Crisler 1806 – 1885, Absolem Christler 1807 – , Mary Smith Christler 1809 – 1892, Polly Souther Crisler 1809 – 1890, Joel Souther Crisler 1811 – 1853, Rosanna Crisler 1814 – 1865, Jeptha Smith Crisler 1816 – 1854, and Addison Crisler 1820 – 1892. For those interested in further research, the children’s names give clues as to ancestors.

An abstract of Absalom Crisler yield further information. Absalom Crisler, of advanced age provides for in his will of 3/14/1853 : 4/3/1854 for his wife of 50 years Anna; for the children of his deceased son  Joel S.; and for the minor children of deceased daughter Rosanna Dunson. The Executors were his son Jeptha S. Crisler and  his friend H. A. Bennett. Witnesses to the will were E. D. Yarborough, Seaborn M. Shankle, and W. M. Hunter. Often there are family connections to those associated with a will or a marriage license.

Son of Absolom and Anna Magdalene Crisler, Abram Crisler, was born 6 November 1803 in Georgia  and died 1894 in Town Creek, Lawrence County, Alabama. Abram has also been recorded as Abraham Crisler. Abram Crisler married Lucretia Jane “Lucy Jane” Howell  who was born 28 March 1820 in either Georgia or North Carolina and died in 1903 in Lawrence County, Alabama. Abram and Lucretia Jane married 3 Feb 1746 in Randolph County, Alabama. Abram lived in Jackson County Georgia, Cleburne County Alabama, Randolph County Alabama, and Lawrence County Alabama. He was buried in the A S Crisler Cemetery in Jackson County, Georgia according to one researcher; that cemetery could not be located by this researcher.

Of interest is Abram Crisler’s military service. He enlisted at age 57 and fought in Battle of Shiloh. He and a George A Crisler were both ranked as Privates on enlistment into the 22nd Alabama Infantry Regiment; both belonged to Company D. Abram Crisler  was invalidated out due to his age. The 22nd Infantry Regiment completed its organization at Montogmery, Alabama, in November, 1861, then moved to Mobile. Its companies were raised in the counties of Walker, Clarke, Cherokee, Mobile, Pike, Choctaw, Montgomery, Calhoun, and Randolph. The unit suffered severe losses at Shiloh under General Gladden, then saw action in Bragg’s Kentucky Campaign under General Gardner. Later the 22nd was attached to Deas’, G.D. Johnston’s, and Brantley’s Brigade, Army of Tennessee. It fought in many conflicts from Murfreesboro to Atlanta, was part of General Hood’s winter operations in Tennessee, and ended the war in North Carolina. After the Battle of Shiloh, the regiment reported only 123 men fit for duty. It sustained 94 casualties at Murfreesboro, and lost fifty-three percent of the 371 engaged at Chickamauga. In December, 1863, it totalled 272 men and 171 arms. It reported 5 killed and 35 wounded in the fight at Ezra Church; many were also disabled at Franklin and Nashville. The regiment was included in the surrender on April 26, 1865. Its field officers were Colonels Zach C. Deas, B.R. Hart, John C. Marrast, and Harry T. Houlmin; Lieutenant Colonels E. Herbert Armistead, Napoleon B. Rouse, and John Weedon; and Majors Robert B. Armistead, Robert Donnell, and T.M. Prince. Abram Crisler’s displeasure with Reconstruction prompted him to relocate; he sold his farm and went to live in the wilderness between Hatton and Town Creek.

The children of Abram S and Lucretia Jane Crisler were: Ellender Malinda Crisler 1846 – 1927, Nancy Love Crisler 1848 – 1873, Anna Souther Crisler 1851 – 1899, Absalom Milton Crisler 1854 – 1915 or 1940, Cynthia Ann Crisler 1856 – 1934, Eli Pickens Crisler 1860 –  , William Crisler 1868 – 1915, Cynthia Ann Christler 1874 –  , and William Addison Christler 1886 –  .

 Abram and Lucretia Crisler’s son, Absalom Milton Crisler, was born 2 Jan 1854 in Randolph County, Alabama and died Absalom Milton Crisler26 Jul 1940 in Town Creek, Lawrence County, Alabama.  He married Martha Elizabeth Burden 25 Feb 1861 and died  5 Jan 1932 in Lawrence County, Alabama. They married 30 April 1878 in Lawrence County, likely in Town Creek. Their children were: Mary Naomi Crisler 1879 – 1953, Eliza Jane Crisler 1883 – 1955, Cynthia Ella Crisler 1885 – 1926, John Hiram Crisler 1887 – 1966, Julia Ann Crisler 1890 – 1980, Absalom Benjamin Crisler 1892 – 1983, Walter Sherman Crisler 1895 – 1981, Samuel Ralph Chrisler 1897 –    , and Arthur Hurley Crisler 1900 – 1992.
Absolom Milton and Martha Elizabeth Burden Crisler’s son, Walter Sherman Crisler, was born 31 Jan 1895 and died 25 Mar 1981 in Town Creek, Lawrence County, Alabama.  On his 5 June 1917 registration card for World War I the following information is given: born 31 January 1895 in Lawrence County Alabama, if a farmer for himself, is described as short with medium build with blue eyes and black hair, he reports he has pain in his left side; has a wife and one child dependent upon him.
 Martha Elizabeth Burden Crisler
Walter Sherman Crisler married first on 20 December 1914 to Dottie Leigh Lansdell. They had the following children: Harold Grady Crisler 1916 – 1985, Fred Crisler 1918 – 2003, Haskell W Crisler 1921 – 1987, Clifton C Crisler 1922 – 2008, Clementine Crisler Scoggin Smith 1925 –  2006  , Flossy Fay Crisler Gibson 1927 – 2008, Betty Theola Crisler 1930 – 2000, and Martha Leigh Crisler 1933 – 1984.
Walter Sherman Crisler married secondly to Maggie Lena Peebles who was born 4 Jun 1904 in Tennessee and died 16 Jul 1993 at Oakcrest Nursing Home in Tuscumbia, Colbert County, Alabama. The text of her obituary follows:
TIMES DAILY newspaper published  July 17, 1993 Maggie L. Crisler
TUSCUMBIA — Maggie Lena Crisler, 89, Oak Crest Nursing Home, formerly of Town Creek, died Friday, July 16, 1993, at Medical City Shoals, Muscle Shoals.
She was a native of Tennessee, housewife, and the daughter of the late Dan and Lula Peebles.The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church, Town Creek, with the Revs. Redmond Talley and Ed Marston officiating. Burial will be in Elmwood Cemetery.Visitation will be 6-9 p.m. today at the funeral home. The body will be placed in the church one hour before the service.Survivors include sons, Ussery Crisler, Billy Crisler, Greer Crisler, Sherman Crisler, Clifton Crisler, all of Town Creek, Fred Crisler, Memphis, Tenn.; daughters, Patricia Cleveland, Moulton, Betty Cross, Town Creek, Hazel Gray, Sheffield, Betty Huddleston, Mount Juliet, Tenn., Flossie Gibson, Decatur, Clementine Smith, Russellville; Margie Dell Brackin, Huntsville; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; great-great-grandchildren.Bearers will be Scotty Crisler, Jamie Crisler, Bradley Crisler, Ashley Crisler, Justin Crisler and Brian Anderton.
She is buried at Blackground Cemetery in Lawrence County, Alabama . Now, this is where I become very interested in these Crisler boys. Maggie Lena Peebles was the daughter of Edward DANiel and Lula Peebles. Dan Peebles was my mother’s Uncle Dan. Mother would often speak of her Uncle Dan and his family; there is a photo of him posted in an earlier article here on Remembering the Shoals. There are other family connections as well: Brackin,Burden,  Birdyshaw, and Terry to name a few. It is a small world after all. Maggie Peebles was first married to Thomas Gilbert Birdyshaw who was born 1898 and 1936 in Lawrence County, Alabama.  She had four Birdyshaw children.
Walter Sherman and Maggie Peebles Birdyshaw Crisler had four children. They are:  Patricia Ann Crisler, Sherman Edward Crisler, Franklin Greer Crisler,  Truman Ussery Crisler, and Billy Glenn Crisler. It is Billy Glenn Crisler that is the father of the now famous Jake and Elwood Blues Brothers. Billy Glenn and  Betty Jean Crisler are the parents of Justin, James, Robin Nicole, and Darrell Crisler if my info is correct.  Betty Jean’s maiden name is Terry. Don’t get me started about all the connections to the awesome Terry family of Lawrence County, Alabama.
Break a leg, Elwood and Jake and the boys in the band.

Remembering the Shoals

by Carolyn Murray Greer


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