Saturday, June 27, 2015

Joseph Ors Crane and Catherine Williams family

I've had a dead end on my Crane side for a very long time.  This blog will outline the research I'm doing and hopefully help someone else to connect to my ancestors!

The research is difficult during the time period because New Jersey census records are unavailable until 1830.

Joseph Ors Crane and Catherine Williams were parents of the following children, all baptized in the Clove Valley Dutch Reformed Church in Wantage, Sussex County, New Jersey. The entries also included their birthdates.

Aaron, b. 7 Sep 1788, baptized 29 Jan 1792  parents Joseph Ors Crane and Catherine Williams.
John,   b. 25 Mar 1791, baptized 29 Jan 1792, same parents
Sarah, b. 27 Jun 1793, baptized 3 Nov 1793, same parents
Samuel b. 18 May 1799 baptized 13 Oct 1799

History of the Clove Dutch Reformed Church

The Clove Dutch Reformed Church was organized April 16, 1788 by Rev. Elias Van Bunschooten who remained pastor until 1812. When it was organized they had "upwards of thirty communicant members amongst us."

Because the Wantage Church couldn't afford his salary, they formed a union in 1791 with the Dutch Reformed Church of Westtown, most likely located in Westtown.  This ended in September 1799, however Van Bunschooten continued to serve the Westtown church after the separation until at least May 4, 1802.

The reason I'm researching the history of the church is to see if we have all the records of the children and to see if we can deternune where Joseph actually lived. Note the first child was baptized soon after the organization of the church and the last recorded was in October 1799 at the separation of the churches.  Since Rev V.B. continued to preach until 1812, it is surprising to me there were no other children baptized. Perhaps he moved away.

Note that Sarah Crane/Crain married Daniel Hildreth in Westtown 3 Jun 1815, so I would think that Joseph would have stayed in the area.  Of course, there is a possibility that he died and Catherine remarried.

In 1793 There was a Joseph O. Crain and a Thomas Crain listed on the Wantage New Jersey Militia List. 

1793 they are both on the tax list for Wantage.  Could Thomas be a brother?  There are no other Cranes listed.  Please note that in both cases, the transcription is OcrainJos---obviously a transcription error. The O is the middle initial

Note the spelling of Crain.  A few of the children also would sometimes spell it Crain.  

Resources checked so far:
  • New Jersey, Probate Records, 1678-1980 Sussex Estate index 1804-1974 A-H -- 
  • 1798-1971 Deaths in New Jersey--compilation of obituaries, wills and probate and Social Security Records. (
  • New York Census Records - 1800, 1810, 1820--just in case he moved to New York.
  • Sussex Co Marriages & Obituary Dates 1814-1903 -- There is a John Crane died age 60 22 Apr 1859 in Wantage (he is buried in Beemer Cemetery.  Many Cranes died in Branchville (part of Wantage) but no Joseph or Thomas Crane
  • Old Sussex County Families-- Obadiah Crane family, buried in Beemer Cemetery
  • 1895 History of Sussex, N.J. by Stickney 
  • Sussex County New Jersey marriages by Howard Case: 
    • 22 Sep 1821 Crain, Thomas to Elizabeth Collum
    • 24 May 1829 Crane, Catherine (Wantage) to John Gould
    • 24 Dec 1839 Crane, Eliza (Wantage) to John B. Ackerman


  1. Hello:
    I am researching a family named DeGroat who lived in Hainesville, Sandyston. I have a marriage record that may interest you. I transcribe here the pertinent lines from the original:

    The Clerk of Sussex will please to record the following
    marriages solemnized by me
    16th May 1805 Samuel Degroat of Sandiston to Elizabeth
    Crane of Wantage

    With this snippet can you confirm who Elizabeth's parents are?
    You may reply to

  2. This is very, very interesting! This Elizabeth must have been born about 1780-86 perhaps. I have now researched as many of the children of Joseph and Catherine (above) as I could and traced them into the Midwest. This may be a possiblity for an oldest child. However there is another person who was probably about the age to be your Elizabeth's father also--a Thomas Crane who was in the militia with Joseph in 1793. I'll email you.