The Crane Family

The Crane family likely settled in northern New York in the Finger Lakes region sometime in the late 1700s or early 1800s. We believe they are likely descended from the prominent Crane family from New Jersey, originally descended from Jasper Crane, immigrant ancestor from England who settled in Connecticut.

The earliest known Crane in the Finger Lakes region we have been able to find is Ezekiel Crane. Ezekiel came to the area in 1794 and settled on lot 48 in Tyre. Four years later Stephen Crane and his wife Polly settled on lot 49 in the same town. Ezekiel was later shot and killed by a local Native American in 1803. We believe that Stephen is the likely progenitor of several children, among them Stephen B. Crane, whom we have learned much more about, and it is he and his wife and children who eventually made the long journey to settle in southwestern Michigan.

The Finger Lakes Region of New York

The Finger Lakes region of New York was a very lively region in America in the first half of the 19th century. The region was a central parto of what was considered the "burned over district," where numerous religious and social reform movements developed, and was a central location for the religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. Seneca Falls is considered the birthplace of the women's suffrage movement, when the first women's rights convention was held there in 1848. New religions, such as the Church of Latter Day Saints, and other utopian movements developed in the area, and the abolitionist movement was also very active in the area.

How members of the Crane family may have been involved in some of these movements is not known, although there is one reference to Deming Boardman, husband of Polly Crane (daughter of Stephen and Polly Crane, and sister of Stephen B. Crane), having left the Seneca Falls Methodist Church in 1843 and joining instead the Wesleyan Methodist Church over the issue of slavery.

Reading More About Them

To learn more about the members of the Crane family, you can start with reading about Stephen B. Crane or his wife, Eunice Crane, or you can start with one  of their children:

  • Their oldest son, Thomas C. Crane, who along with his father, purchased land in Kalamazoo County, Michigan in the 1840s. He later moved to Van Buren County, and eventually settled in Shiawassee County. He served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and was killed during the Battle of Nashville.
  • Their second oldest son, Stephen Crane, who became a farmer, but died relatively young at age 49, leaving several children to be raised by his second wife, whom he had only recently married.
  • Their next son, Joseph Delevan Crane, who served in the Union Army for nearly the entire Civil War, surviving without injury, although later claimed a pension due to illness contracted during the war. He married Lucyette Parmeter, whom he later divorced, but then remarried when they had both reached an advanced age.
    • His son, Horace William Crane, who at some point lost his left arm, although we don't know how.
    • His daughter, Mary Alice Crane, who married John Grant, and had several children with him, lived in several places in southwestern Michigan and northern Indiana, but eventually settling in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she was born.
  • Their only daughter, Ann Crane, who married Charles Williams, and late in life apparently developed a morphine habit owing to chronic illness.
  • Their son, Martin Crane, who was killed by a confederate sharpshooter less than 2 weeks before the end of the Civil War.
  • Their son, Ira M. D. Crane, who was wounded twice during the Civil War, but survived, and later went on to work as a mattress weaver in Cleveland, Ohio.