Sunday, June 28, 2015

Children of Joseph Ors Crane and Catherine Williams
Sandra Hildreth Ball
June 4, 2015

I decided to look for the sons of Joseph in case some other relative may have information such as letters, bible record, etc. 

This paper summarizes the research to this point on the possible whereabouts of the children of Joseph Ors Crane and Catherine Williams as listed in the Clove Valley Dutch Reformed Church records:

Aaron Crain(Crane)   b 7 Sep 1788 baptized 29 Jan 1792 in Wantage, NJ
John Crane                 b 25 Mar 1791 baptized 29 Jan 1792 in Wantage, NJ
Sarah Crain(Crane)    b 27 Jun 1793 baptized 3 Nov 1793 in Wantage, NJ (my ancestor)
Samuel Crane             b 18 May 1799 baptized 13 Oct 1799 in Wantage, NJ

I have not cited all the census records at this point --they are easily obtained on

1. Aaron Crane (Crain), son of Joseph and Catherine was born 7 Sep 1788 and baptized 29 Jan 1792 in Wantage, New Jersey.[1] 

There is an Aaron Crain buried in Millcreek Cemetery, Scioto, Delaware County, Ohio.  The gravestone is inscribed "Aaron Crain died  Aug 7, 1844 age 55." [2] This places his birthdate about 1788. This is not conclusive evidence but a very good possibility.

The following excerpt from History of Delaware and Ohio. D.G.[3]

"Aaron and Elizabeth Crain... came from New Jersey to Ohio in an early day."

I've not listed the detail of the following census' at this point

1820 Census Jackson, Muskingum, Ohio 

1830 Census Violet, Fairfield, Ohio
1840 Census  not found

1841 "1841 - Carr, Benjamin from Aaron Crain, Vol. 22, p.53, Quit Claim,"[4]
1842 Postmaster - Little Mill Creek from 03 Feb 1842 to 24 Oct 1843 (Age 53) Ostrander, Delaware, Ohio, USA[5]

Aaron died 7 Aug 1844, buried in Millcreek Cemetery, Scioto, Delaware County, Ohio.

There has been an ongoing discussion about whether a different Aaron Crane/Crain is the son of Joseph Ors Crane. 


2. John W. Crane, son of Joseph and Catherine, was born 25 Mar 1791 in New Jersey and baptized 29 Jan 1792 in Wantage, New Jersey.[6]

John W. Crane's gravestone at Balcom Cemetery, Berlin Center, Ionia County, Michigan is inscribed "Died John W. Crane, Nov __ 1858, age 67 years 8 months 2 days. Sarah J, his wife died Mar 4 1876 age__ 11 mo 12 days". [7] Given the birthdate from Clove Dutch Reformed Church of our John Crane as 25 Mar 1791 and using the age of John W at death, the death date is Nov 27, 1858. This is convincing evidence that this John W. Crane buried in Michigan is the same John Crane, son of Joseph and Catherine Crane.

1830 Census, Hartland, Niagara County, New York: John W. Crane.  We know he was here because his land purchase entry below states he was from Niagara County, New York.

16 Oct 1835  "John W. Crane of Niagara County, New York" purchased 40 acres in Oakland County Michigan.[8]

1840 Census Novi, Oakland County, Michigan

1850 Census Novi, Oakland County, Michigan. Record enumerates him as born in New Jersey. 

            Crain   John    59        1791    M        New Jersey (note transcription shows New York)                                                                          R/E $2000
            Crain   Sarah   58        1792    F          New York
            Crain   Aaron  24        1826    M        New York
            Crain   Louisa 14        1836    F          Michigan

John died 27 Nov 1858, probably Ionia County or Oakland County, Michigan. Buried in Balcom Cemetery, Berlin, Ionia, Michigan.

In the book "Portrait and Biographical Album of Ionia and Montcalm Counties, Michigan," Chicago, Chapman Bros., 1891, p. 763-65, sketch of John W. Crane's son-in-law, William P. Mitchell (husband of Louisa S. Crane), it says: ...Mrs. Mitchell's father, a stonemason was born in New Jersey, and her mother was a native of New York. They came to Michigan in 1834 and settled in Novi Township, Oakland County, upon a raw farm which he proceeded to improve and lived there until his death in 1858. His wife survived him  until 1877. Of their eleven children seven are now living. Mrs. Mitchell was the tenth in order of birth."
I have written the person who was looking for his parents.  She provided the land purchase record and the above description.  She was excited that she finally knew who his parents were.
I haven't verified the children of John, yet, but Deb says he had children named, Aaron, Catherine and Sarah. She has information on 8 of the 11 children, which I am following up on.


3. Samuel M. Crane, son of Joseph and Catherine Crane was born 18 May 1799 in New Jersey and baptized 13 Oct 1799 at the Clove Valley Dutch Reformed Church at Wantage, New Jersey.[9]

His gravestone in Boughton Cemetery, Riley, Clinton, Michigan states  "Samuel M. Crane Died Mar 23, 1856, age 56 yrs 10 mos 5 dys".[10] The name on the gravestone is difficult to read in the picture on findagrave.  The date and age at death exactly coincides to his birthdate.

1840 Census, Novi, Oakland County, Michigan living next door to John W. Crane

1850 Census Westhalia, Clinton County, Michigan

            Crane  Samuel M       51        Male    New Jersey R/E 600
            Crane  Sarah               49        Female            New Jersey
            Crane  Ira                    10        Male    Michigan
            Crane  Charlotte         8          Female            Michigan
            Crane  James E           5          Male    Michigan

The children are so young, it should be verified that these aren't grandchildren.  Sarah would have still been within child bearing age.  Perhaps she was a second wife and they got married later or they are adopted.  Research will continue at some point on the children.

Samuel died 23 Mar 1856 -- no place listed yet--he was buried in Boughton Cemetery, Riley, Clinton County, Michigan.

I have contacted various people who may be related, but have had no answer as of yet.

4. Francis W. Crane (son or grandson?)

Francis W. Crane was born 1 Feb 1811 according to his gravestone and listed as b in NJ about 1812 in census records, all listed below.

He married Polexany Burton 8 Feb 1838 Detroit, Wayne, Michigan. [11]

He is enumerated next door to Samuel M. Crane (above).  Perhaps he is a brother?  We don't know if Joseph and Catherine had more children and who they might be?  Could he be son of Aaron (b 1788) who would have been 24 when he was born?  John W. Crane (b 1791) would have been 20 when Francis was born.  My guess is he is either a son of Aaron Crain or of father Joseph Ors Crane.  Could the W stand for Williams, mother's maiden name? Note that Francis has a son named Joseph O Crane.  To me, this may point to Francis being a son of Joseph Ors Crane rather than a grandson.

1850 Census, Westhalia, Clinton County, Michigan next door to Samuel M. Crane
            Crane  Francis W       38(b 1812) Male b. New Jersey (no real estate)
            Crane  Polexany         33        Female    b. New York
            Crane  Nancy              16        Female    b. Michigan
            Crane  Abigail            11        Female     b. Michigan
            Crane  Mary L            8          Female    b.  Michigan
            Crane  Joseph O         5          Male        b.  Michigan
            Crane  Francis            2          Male        b.  Michigan
    Mortality schedule shows Francis Crane (age 2 in 1850) died Apr 1860 in Lyons, Ionia, Mich of pleurisy.

1860 Census Lyons, Ionia County, Michigan

            Crane  Francis W       48        Male           b    New Jersey R/E 1500 Pers 500
            Crane  Electa              43        Female       b    New York
            Crane  Abigail            20        Female       b    Michigan
            Crane  Joseph O         15        Male           b    Michigan
            Crane  Margaretta      5          Female        b    Michigan

Francis W. Crane died 18 Apr 1869 probably Ionia County, Michigan

Francis W. Crane
Feb 1, 1811
April 18, 1869

Amiable and beloved husband farewell! Thy years were few but thy virtues were many; they are recorded not on the perishing stone, but in the book of life, and in the hearts of thy affectionate children.[12]

As mentioned earlier, I will continue to research these "sons" in hopes to find other relatives, but will spend most of my time on Joseph Crane in the near future, since I'm going to New York in the fall.

[1] Clove Valley Dutch Reformed Church records  FHL film 599308  Baptisms: 29 Jan 1792 Joseph Ors Crane and Catharien Williams: Aaron, b. Sept 7, 1788; John, b. March 25, 1791
[3] 'David G. Cratty, merchant,' History of Delaware and Ohio published by O. L. Baskin's Co., Historical Publishers, 66 Dearborn St, Chicago 1880, p. 721 "Aaron and Elizabeth Crain... came from New Jersey to Ohio in an early day." Source:,
[4] Early Deed Records of Delaware County, Ohio
[5] Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971. NARA Microfilm Publication, M841, 145 rolls. Records of the Post Office Department, Record Group Number 28. Washington, D.C U.S., Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971
[6] Clove Valley Dutch Reformed Church
[7]  # 73548487
[8]  John W Crane Issue Date: 15 Oct 1835 Acres:40 Michigan-Toledo Strip  County: Oakland Township: 1-N Range: 8-E Section: 30 Accession  Number: MI0180__.488 Land Office: Detroit  April 24, 1820: Sale-Cash Entry (3 Stat. 566) Document Number: 8966
[9] Clove Valley Dutch Reformed Church
[10] # 5970624
[11] "Michigan Marriages 1822-1995," database, FamilySearch; Francis W. Crane and Polexena Burton 8 Feb 1838 Detroit, Wayne, Michigan
[12] 132762908

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