Ten Generations of Americans

This family tree identifies direct line, male descendants of Colonel Wilheim Christman.  This site should not be considered a complete Christman/Chrisman/Crismon genealogy study, rather a compilation of stories about a very close and extended family.  The photo on the left is reputed to be an image of a portrait painting of the Colonel.  Here is the story line as this writer understands it.  In the early 1700's the nation of Prussia (now part of Germany) was the only major power in Europe without colonial interests in the New World.  King Frederick II was envious of the Spanish, English, French, and Portuguese New World colonies. King Frederick commissioned Colonel Wilheim Christman of the Prussian Army to investigate and submit his report with regard the establishment of, or perhaps invasion and conquer of an established colony in America.  Allegedly, in order to keep his mission secret, Colonel Christman (possibly a widower) came to America with his three sons.  Around 1709-1710 the four were disguised as deck hands aboard a trading ship owned by Jost Hyte, who later became the father-in-law of the Colonel's son, Jacob.  Within several years, Colonel Christman and his youngest son returned to Prussia, the two older sons remained in the Colonies. We do not know the details of the Colonel's report to the King.  However, it's interesting to note that Prussia nor Germany never did attempt to establish a colony in America.  The Colonel's son Jacob Christman (our ancestor) was part of the first wagon train of 16 families that around 1731 opened and settled the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  Jacob changed his name to "Chrisman" when he became a citizen of the Virginia Commonwealth in 1744. 

When Jacob actually immigrated to America continues to be a mystery.  His name does not show up on any ship manifest.  Records indicate a Johannes Hans Christman and his family immigrated in 1710 with a son named Johan Jacob.  Johan Jacob married (not to Magdalena Hite) and died in 1790 in New York.  He was obviously not our Jacob. 


Another possibility references Elizabeth Christman (presumed widow) who also immigrated to New York in 1710 with two unnamed children.  However, Germany (Sandhausen area) parish records show earlier baptism of female children of Bernhard and Elisabeth (Meyer) Christman.  Obviously, Jacob could not have been one of these female children. 


A recent position is the Colonel was not from Prussia but actually a member of the Germany army.  If Germany was interested in establishing a presence in the New World and sent the Colonel on a clandestine mission, it is logical that the Colonel would not disclose the nation he represented.  This theory is re-enforced with the fact that Jacob declared at the time of his naturalization that he was born in the town of Worms, Germany. 

It has been stated Jacob's father was Johannes Peter Chrisman who was born and died in Germany with no record of him being in America.   We haven't seen any possible explanation why Jacob spelled his name 'Christman' when he came to America.  If Johannes was Jacob's father why and when did Jacob add a "T" to his surname?  Also, there is the question of Jacob not being listed on any ship manifest - how and when did he arrive?  Jost Hite came to America in 1709 when Jacob was perhaps three years old.  Did Jacob immigrate with Jost? 

Since our study begins with Jacob, we will leave his parent's identification a matter for others to sort out.  Albeit sketchy, the highly interesting Colonel story, passed down from generation to generation, is more entertaining than some other explanations and probably carries as much credibility as any. 

Jacob Christman's children were born with the Chrisman surname.  Around 1822, at the time they immigrated to Missouri, two Chrisman brothers, William Wayne and Gilbert, changed their last name to "Crismon".  There were probably other descendants of Jacob who also changed their name to Crismon.  It has been claimed that Jacob had a brother named 'Michael'.   A Michael Chrisman did settle in the North Carolina Mecklenburg County but his birth date is questionable.  However, over time some of that Michael's descendants also took the Crismon name.  This fact indicates that the ever expanding Christman/Chrisman/Crismon family probably stayed in touch with each other then, as many do today.  While this site features the family of William and Bessie Crismon, we have many distant cousins.  A complete genealogy of all related people would be huge.  For example, a Google search of the name "Christman" resulted in 300,000 hits, "Chrisman" 371,000 hits, and "Crismon" 24,000 hits. 




Jacob  Christman

Jacob Chrisman

Married Magdalena Hyte (9/6/1713 - 1777)

Settler of Shenandoah Valley, Farmer

Builder of the famous Chrisman Springs Home

Born in Germany, buried in Virginia

9/12/1706 - 10/12/1778 - [72 years]

Isaac Chrisman, Sr.

Married Jane Scott (unknown - 1825)

Frontiersman, Indian Fighter, Fort Builder

Massacred by Cherokee Indians July, 1776

Born and buried in Virginia

11/9/1736 - 7/4/1776 - [40 years]

Isaac Chrisman, Jr.

Married Judy Wallen (1768 - 1840 )

Frontiersman, Trapper, Farmer

Born in West Virginia, buried in Missouri

11/25/1767 - 11/3/1838 - [71 years]


William Wayne Chrisman

William Wayne Crismon

aka "WW  Sr."

Married Margaret Peggy Wrattles (1808 - 1886)

Early Settler of Missouri in 1822

County Judge, State Commissioner, Farmer

Born in Tennessee, buried in Missouri

9/26/1804 - 12/17/1886 - 82 years]

William James Crismon

aka "WW  Jr."

Married Nancy Elizabeth Morrow (1/3/1852 - 4/4/1937)

Soldier in Confederate Army

County Sheriff Lawman, Farmer

Born in Missouri, buried in Arkansas

7/16/1844 - 4/12/1906 - [62 years]


Austin Milroy Crismon

aka "Catt"

Married Elizabeth Jane Abbet (1873 - 5/4/1901)

Farmer, Businessman

Born in Missouri, buried in Arkansas

10/1/1869 - 3/10/1965 - [96 years]


William Crismon, Sr.

aka "Pop"

Married Bessie Zulema Stull (4/17/1911 - 4/28/1999)

US Army Soldier 1912-1943, Gambler

Born in Missouri, buried in Texas

8/15/1894 - 9/29/1980 - [86 years]


Robert Wayne Crismon


Born in Kansas, living in Arizona

8/24/1931 -


Samuel Wayne Crismon

Engineer, Computer Programmer

Born in Texas, living in Arizona

01/29/1952 -

Michael Wayne Crismon

Manufacturing Solution Engineer

Born in California, living in Arizona

06/22/1979 -