Truth Be Known

I’m happy after several years of research to connect my roots to Elder John through my mother, 11 generations back.   However, since I’m hopelessly ungrateful, all I can think of is that bleak adage, “Be careful what you wish for.” In hindsight, I should have asked the universe for a connection to Elder John through my father.  After all, he is the official Crandall with the authentic moniker.  If only my dad’s cousins and I could share the fun of belonging to The Crandall Association as true descendants and maybe even attend a reunion together, not as the real McCoys exactly, but you catch my drift…

In an 1880 census, a gg-aunt Frances stated that her parents, my ggg-grandparents on my father’s side, were born in Massachusetts.  Alas, we descendants don’t know where in the State of Massachusetts and other than paternal surnames, we have no idea who John and Phebe’s respective parents were.  The earliest solid evidence we have turned up regarding Capt. John and Phebe Freeman Crandall is the date of their intention to marry (05 Nov 1801) and the date of their actual marriage (03 Jan 1802), both duly noted in Town Record of Dighton, Bristol County, MA.  Elder Enoch Goff presided.  Nothing else concrete, nada en absoluto.

As for flimsier evidence, we’ve found a John Crandle and Elisebeth Prat who were married on 18 Sep 1772, Dighton Town Record.  The date and their intents in August were documented by an Ezra Richmond. This second couple may or may not connect to my family. We find no mention of Elisabeth having borne children.  However, from his grave marker in Bristol, Ontario County, NY, we estimate our John’s birth year (the one who married Phebe) to be 1778/9.  Since Elisabeth Pratt’s christening is documented in Dighton, we know she would have been at least 41 years of age.  Although her candidacy to be our John’s mother seems unlikely, Capt. John and Phebe’s last child, my gg-grandfather David Freeman Crandall, was born when Phebe was, according to her gravestone, almost forty-two.  What’s probable can differ from what’s possible!

Uncertainty aside, I’m pleased someone has been researching the line through which my mother connects to Elder John.  Thank you to that person for posting on Rootsweb the information below!  I appreciate all the effort and I especially appreciate knowing my mother’s 8th great-grandparents are Deborah Burdick and Rev. Joseph Crandall.   I’ve read several interesting details about Rev. Joseph on various websites. What a fine man he appears to have been!  I’m anxious to learn more about Deborah. is researching this line. 12/14/2014 3:09 PM[Second Generation]6. Rev. Joseph CRANDALL (John) was born 1661 in Westerly, Kings Co., Rhode Island. He died 12 Sep 1737 in Newport, Newport Co., Rhode Island.Crandall Genealogy, page 7 & 8.
Rev. Joseph Crandall was an ordained minister of the Seventh Day Baptist Chruch in Newport RI, May 8, 1715.
Joseph married Deborah BURDICK, daughter of Robert BURDICK and Ruth HUBBARD, about 1681 in Westerly, Kings Co., Rhode Island. Deborah was born about 1662 in Westerly, Kings Co., Rhode Island. She died 1734 in Westerly, Kings Co., Rhode Island.Crandall Genealogy, page 3.
7. (Rev.) Joseph b. 1661; m. Deborah Burdick.
page 7.
//of Newport, Westerly, and South Kingstown, RI, son of Eld. John. b. abt. 1661 in Westerly RI; d. 12 Sept. 1723; m. abt 1681, Deborah Hubbard Burdick, dau. of Robert and Ruth (Hubbard) Burdick. b. 11 Jan. 1640.

They had the following children:

+ 31 M i John CRANDALL was born about 1682 and died Jan 1767.
+ 32 F ii Lydia CRANDALL was born about 1683 and died after 11 Feb 1720.
+ 33 M iii Joseph CRANDALL was born 1684 and died 17 Feb 1750.
+ 34 F iv Mary CRANDALL was born about 1686 and died 1763.
+ 35 F v Deborah CRANDALL was born about 1688 and died 12 Sep 1737.
+ 36 F vi Thankful CRANDALL was born about 1685 and died 1713/1715.
+ 37 F vii Tacy CRANDALL was born about 1692.
+ 38 F viii Jane CRANDALL was born about 1694. m. Cyrus Richmond



John Crandall: Same Tree But Where?

My ggg-grandparents:

JOHN CRANDAL/Crandle/Crandall b. MA (US Census 1880); b.1778/9; d. 20 Aug 1830 (g.s) ae 51 yrs; Evergreen Cemetery, Ontario Co, NY; marr. int. 5 Nov 1801 Dighton “Massachusetts, Marriages, 1695-1910”; marr. 3 Jan 1802 Dighton (town record) PHEBE FREEMAN b. MA (US Census 1880); b. 1785 d. 7 Nov 1842 (g.s) ae 57 yrs; Evergreen Cemetery, Ontario Co, NY

Are these two individuals my gggg-grandparents? (Many possible spellings include Crandal/Crandle/Crandol and Elisabeth/Elisebeth/Prat)

JOHN CRANDAL/Crandle b.?; d.?; marr int.. 27 Aug 1772 Town Record Dighton, Bristol Co, MA; marr. 18 Sep 1772 Town Record Dighton, Bristol Co, MA ELISABETH PRATT b. 1737 Town Record Dighton, Bristol Co, MA; chr. 10 Nov 1737 Town Record Dighton, Bristol Co, MA; d.?

If so, who are parents of John Crandall who married Elisabeth Pratt?  Are they  Esther & Col. John Crandall (Peter Crandall; Eldr John Crandall)?

Name: John Crandall; Gender: Male; Birthdate: Jan 1732; Birthplace: Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island; Father’s Name: John Crandall; Mother’s Name: Esther

Indexing Project (Batch) Number C50201-1, System Origin: Rhode.Island-      ODM,GS Fil number: 930814 Rhode Island Also, Births and Christenings, 1600-1914

Who, then, is this Elizabeth Crandall?   Elizabeth Crandall is listed as early settler 1803 in this book I can’t find online:  Early Settlers of New York State: Their Ancestors and Descendants, Volumes I-VI (PART I – i-iii) Janet Wethy Foley; Heritage Books,ISBN 0788437119, 9780788437113

Historical & Anecdotal Information about John Crandall & Phebe Freeman

daughter Francis Durgan reports in US Census 1880 they were born in MA

married by Eldr Enoch Goff (Dighton Town Record), pastor of the (West) Dighton Christian Church, 7th Day Baptist

grave markers in Evergreen Cemetery in Ontario County, NY note ages in years

Capt. John’s military service Military Commissions of Early 19th Century Ontario County = JOHN H. CRANDELL CAPTAIN 05/08/1815 39TH INF. REG

Capt. John’s intestate paper and Phebe’s will are available

Phebe Crandall is mentioned in Ontario Co history:  “On February 7, 1805, the First Baptist Church of Bristol was organized, with 34 members: …and Phoebe and Margaret Crandall.  Reverend Solomon Goodale became their pastor and held regular and stated meetings in different locations.” “Sylvanus Jones and John Crandall were settlers in 1802” = Story of Bristol, New York from History of Ontario County New York Edited by Conover & Compiled by Aldridge, D. Mason& Co, 1893

Are John and Phebe Crandall listed on any tax rolls in Ontario County, NY?

infant son Leonard died in MA: A cousin read this in family Bible now lost

John drove a 4 horse stage coach and was a tavern keeper (page no longer accessible)  “Crandall, John— About 1802.  Tavern keeper; ran a four horse stage”

Capt. John’s middle H might be for gg grandmother to Elizabeth Pratt who was Elizabeth Harvey.  Elisha Harvey was a well-known Rev. War hero in Dighton, which is another possibility.  Maybe H in his honor.

Elizabeth Pratt Crandall’s brothers came to Ontario County from Dighton in about 1806 but didn’t stay: Jabez (1745-1827) and Jonathan (1748-1822) Pratt brothers married respectively Hopestill Eddy and Elizabeth Luther (Dighton Town Record).

Did Phebe Freeman Crandall’s brothers come to NY State?

Phebe and John’s Children middle names, birth & death dates unproven

  1. Leonard Crandal 1802-1802 no proof
  2. Phebe Freeman Crandal 1804 -1875
  3. John Harvey Crandal 1806 -1873
  4. Elizabeth Pratt Crandal 1810-1859
  5. Francis Marie Crandal 1812-1885
  6. Caroline Matilda Crandal 1815-1833
  7. Charles Goodale Crandal 1816-1873
  8. Sarah Ann Crandal 1819-1884
  9. Ann Janette Crandal 1823-1853
  10. David Freeman Crandall 1827-1873

Additional Notes

John Crandall in Dighton may have served in Revolutionary War as his name is             associated with RI, MA, and Dighton and appears in muster & pay rolls.

Are Elizabeth Pratt or John Crandall listed on MA tax rolls in Dighton or          surrounding MA towns?  Probate?  Wills?  Deeds?

Documented info re Elizabeth Pratt’s Wetheral, Pratt and Cobb family trees is      available. Maybe Elizabeth, John (either one), or Phebe are mentioned in will or probate of one of these relations?

Elizabeth Pratt and John Crandall’s marriage was recorded in Dighton Town record as officiated by Ezra Richmond.  The Sylvester Richmond family was associated with the Pedo Baptist Congregational Church there.  Were Elizabeth and John Crandall members of this church or another in area?

A cousin points out that very few Crandalls in this time frame died or were buried in Massachusetts. After having lived in MA, are their deaths and burials recorded in RI, CT, or (less likely) NY?

Wending through Westerly

Spooky Saga  (click the title Spooky Saga to see slide show)

Spooky Saga is a short photographic essay. Think Andrew Wyeth and Christina’s World in Cushing near Rockland, Maine.  Although my photos are of Westerly, Rhode Island, similarities abound beyond the physical challenges of both my dad’s distant Crandall relation and my husband’s mother’s neighbor Christina Olson. The raw beauty of both properties (my photos don’t do justice, over-focus on things), the salt air and remoteness plus eery loneliness linger at both sites.

See more by venturing onto youtube.  According to instructions provided in The Crandall Corner, the Crandall Family Association’s newsletter Volume 27, Issue 3, October, 2014, (at the top of the page), type in vewee99 which will bring up a list (with photo and description): Click on the one for EldJohnCrandall.

Thank you to David Crandall, Jr. CFA #079, of Rhode Island who put together this video that does do justice to breath-taking scenery!

Book Talk

Last night at book club, we talked about bigamy as revealed in Silver Sparrow by Atlanta author Tayari Jones.  Our group shares both a natural curiosity and a mutual history from reading the same books. Members of other groups to which I’ve belonged might have looked at me like I was the odd crone out or talked amongst themselves about something else entirely if I’d told my story to them. Instead and since Iliana had already laid out an-everyone-serve-your-self repast of sparkling cider with shortbread cookies and b/c most of us are on arthritis, heart or other meds and don’t do libations, we stone soberly considered bigamy or as in my telling, near bigamy.

My husband’s father Sonny was a vigorous, tanned, and energized senior who passed suddenly, now nearly two decades ago. He was, as one of the speakers at his funeral quipped, “a man on top of his game.” In fact, at 83, Sonny’s golf scores the week before his catastrophic heart attack were his best ever.  As we survivors afterward stood stiffly in the church hall line to receive attendees, I located a chair for my mother-in-law who’d been ailing recently and, understandably, wasn’t herself. What we didn’t know was my father-in-law had been covering up her advancing Alzheimer’s about which we then had no idea.

At any rate, Bets sat tall and proud, flowered handkerchief in hand, without tears. I thought she was so brave when in trounced a younger woman who might have been wearing a big hat? In October? Really? Sunglasses for sure, strange for our small coastal town in Maine…

Sobbing profusely, she declared, “I loved Sonny, I truly loved Sonny…”

My husband muttered barely under his breath so perhaps the woman heard his terse words. “Who is she?  Do we even know her?” Without missing a beat as I shook my head indicating definitely not, she announced herself.

“I’m Karen Rigatoni.” Whatever her actual last name, we totally forgot so out of place was hers among those we recognized of family members and friends gathered there.

“Didn’t your father say anything about me? Didn’t he tell you anything?”

No-oo.  Only later did we find tucked into Dad’s desk a birthday card addressed to him signed “Love, Karyn.”  It was a retro looking card featuring a brown photo of some random uniformed WW II pilot, marginally appropriate in that Dad had been a flight instructor in San Antonio when my husband was born in 1944….  Still boisterous, Karen/Karyn flounced in front of my mother-in-law restating loudly so heads turn ’round, “I loved Sonny, I just loved Sonny, so much!”

How old was this person?  How unbelievably tactless. Maybe in her thirties?

Remaining poised and calm, Bets rose up to sit higher and straighter in her chair than before. She was a distinguished, patrician figure. Her hair shone strikingly white as she distinctly and precisely pronounced, “Well, EVERYone loved MY husband.”

We would have noticed a pin, total silence.  Everyone heard. End of story except for one postscript.

To answer a book club member’s question: We read in the local newspaper a couple years later that a Ms. Rigatoni married a Mr. Smith but nothing more….  More importantly, since that moment crystalized in time, Bets has remained forever perfect and distinguished in memory. She became my guiding star… You go, girl!  But then I guess she did… go… gone.

I miss her.  We all miss Bets.

Back toTayari Jones and her book about bigamy.  It’s a quick but definitely a worthwhile read with a bonus after-charge: Take heed, beware!