Tales from the Depths of my Gene Pool - Jasper Crane


A Tribute to Jasper Crane (abt 1605-1681)
of New Haven & Newark

I'd love to compare notes with you on this family!
E-mail me [email protected]

"Genealogy of The Crane Family" by Edwin F. Crane as a young man

English Crane Origins || Crayon's Rockaway Records || Calder's New Haven Colony

The Ironworks || The Phantom Ship || Moser's Crane Family of Montclair

EB Crane's Genealogy of the Crane Family

Doremus's Reminiscences of Montclair || Jasper's Will || Interesting E-Mail

Jasper's Life in a Nutshell || 4-Generations of Jasper Crane's Descendants

3/96 Letter from Elsie Savell, Crane Researcher

(1923, American Historical Society)


Jasper Crane, the first of his name so far as we know to set foot in the new world, was born probably about 1605, somewhere near Bradley Plain, Hampshire, England, died in Newark, New Jersey, in 1681. His aunt was Margaret Crane who married Samuel Huntington, whose child, Jasper's cousin, Margaret Huntington, married, May 2, 1592, John, son of Edward and Margaret (Wilson) Ogden, and whose daughter, Elizabeth Huntington, Margaret's sister, married Richard Ogden, the brother of John Ogden, who married Margaret, and the father of John Ogden, the emigrant to Southhampton and Elizabethtown. Jasper Crane's own daughter, Hannah, married Thomas, son of Margaret and Simon Huntington, a brother of Samuel and Margaret (Crane) Huntington.

June 4, 1639, Jasper Crane, who was one of the original settlers of the New Haven Colony, was present at the meeting held at Mr. Newman's barn, and signed the first agreement of all the free planters. He took the oath of fidelity at the organization of the government, together with Campfield, Pennington, Governor Eaton, and others; and in 1644 he was "freed from watching and trayning in his own person because of his weakness, but to find some one for his turn." With Robert Treat he was a member of the general court, and for many years he was a magistrate. In 1651 he was interested in a bog ore furnace at East Haven; and in 1652 he removed to Branford, where he was elected a magistrate in 1658, having held the office of deputy for some years previous to that date.

A tradition with regard to Jasper is that he came to Massachusetts Bay in the ship "Arabella," with Governor Winthrop, etc. etc. etc. (This biography is same wording as the Ellery B. Bicknell's Genealogy of the Crane Family below)

compiled by Frank R. Holmes, publ. by Genealogical Publishing Co., 1974

The name dates back to the Hundred Rolls in the 13th century, when on the records William de Crane's name appears in 1272. The name is derived from town of Crannes, in Maine, a province in northern France; its root is from the Gaelic Cran, meaning water.

  • CRANE, BENJAMIN, b. Eng., 1630, was at Medfireld, Mass., 1649; removed to Wethersfield, Conn., 1655; may have lived later in life at Taunton, Mass.
  • CRANE, HENRY, tanner and currier, b. Eng., 1635, settled at Dorchester, Mass., 1658, and in Milton, Mass., 1667.
  • CRANE, HENRY, ironmaker, brother of Benjamin, b. Eng. 1621; settled at Wethersfield, Conn., 1655; was at Guilford, Conn., 1664, one of the first planters of what is now Clinton, Conn.
  • CRANE, JASPER, came to New Haven, Conn., 1639, removed to Branford, Conn., 1668.
  • CRANE, JONATHAN, married at Norwich, Conn., 1680.

    LDS Film #6911552/6902723 -- Could this be our Jasper?

    18 Jul 1602 - A Jasper Crane is christened in Welwyn Parish, Welwyn, Hertfordshire, England. He was the son of Richard Crane. Apparent siblings were John (chr 25 Jan 1595), William (chr 4 Jun 1598) - Some of the other families listed in these parish records (for the same time period) were Geo. Byrd, Bigge, Best, Wm. Beech, Henry Bull, Thomas Campfield, John Cansbie, Jasper Casse, John/Robt./Geo. Edmond Clerk/Clark, Crawley, Deardes, Field, Gynn, Hale, Harper, Edw. Martin, John Paine (Eliz. 1613, Mary 1614, John 1618), Jasper Wakefield (31 Oct 1602), Wm. Wakefield (1605), Ralph Wakefield (1608), Thomas Ward, Wren

    by Peter Coldham
  • CRANE, Robert, of Great Coggeshall, Essex (daughter wife of Nathaniel Rogers of New England). Probate to Samuel Crane (Mar. 1659)
  • CRANE, Robert of Hadleigh, Suffolk (aunt Rogers in New England). Probate to sister Mary, wife of Lawrence Stisted (May 1669)
  • CRANE, Samuel, of Great Coggeshall, Essex. (Cousin John Rogers in New England) Probate to William Cox the elder and Isaac Hubbert (Aug. 1670)
  • CRANE, Thomas, of Kelvedon, Essex. (Sister Margaret, wife of Nathaniel Rogers in New England). Probate to Robert CRANE and Henry Whiteing, guardians of children of Robert and Mary Crane during their minority (Mar. 1655)

    by Frances Rose-Troup, Grafton Press, 1930

    ROBERT CRANE, of St. Giles, Cripplegate, grocer. Son of Robert Crane, of Great Coggeshall, Essex, grocer, and brother of Margaret Crane, wife of Ezekiel Rogers, therefore uncle of Mary Rogers, who married Rev. William Hubbard, the historian. Robert Crane married Mary, daughter of Samuel Aldersey. He was present 13 May 1629. His will was proved 21 September 1646 [P.C.C. 131 Twisse (Reg. 41, 177.)] H. 25-li; Hub. 50-li (H=Haven's entries in Massachusetts Records omitted in Shurtleff. 30 Mar 1629) (Hub.=Hubbard, History of New England, p. 123)

    SAMUEL ALDERSEY, of Allhallows, Lombard St., haberdasher. Son of John Aldersey of Aldersey, Cheshire, by Anne, sister of Sir Thomas Lowe, Alderman of London. He married first, Mary, dau. Philip Van Oyrle of Nornberg and Antwerp; second, Margaret, dau. Thomas Offspring and sister of Rev. Charles Offspring of St. Antholins, London, widow of William Kedward (she remarried Sir John Melton). Aldersey was a prominent Puritan who contributed to the Impropriations Fund in 1626 and was probably an active worker for St. Antholin's Feoffees as his brother-in-law, Charles Offspring, was rector of that Church. He was an early Adventurer and took active part in the Company's work.

    By the marriages of his sisters and of his children he was closely connected with a number of persons interested in the settlement of New England. His sister Elizabeth married 1st, William Pitchford and 2nd Sir Thomas Coventry, the Lord Keeper. Allice married Thomas Moulson and her son Sir Thomas was the husband of Anne Ratcliffe, the patron saint of Radcliffe College. Her daughter Rebecca married Nicholas Raynton, famous as a London Puritan. Another sister of Samuel married Francis Webbe; Mary married Sir Thomas Knatchbull and Dorothy, as her second husband married Sir Henry Capel. Still another sister seems to have married Henry Parkhurst as his son, Sir Robert, mentions his aunt Aldersey and nearly all the married Aldersey sisters in his will in 1636. As William Spurstowe married Sir Robert's sister he was in a way connected with Alderey, as were also the Byfields.

    Aldersey had one son, John and four daughters; Mary married Robert Crane of St. Giles, Cripplegate (see below), Anne married Robert Eyre of Salisbury, son of Robert Eyre one of the Feoffees for Impropriations; Elizabeth married Thomas Lee of Downhall; Margaret married Rev. Thomas Bletchingdon, Canon of Christ Church Canterbury.

    Aldersey's will was proved 13 July 1633 (P.C.C. 61 Russel), by Robert Crane and his son John Aldersey. By it he left L20 to Mr. Davenport, the minister; he had witnessed this minister's signing of the Articles in 1628.

    30 Mar 1628/9 - Subscribers to the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company

    William Backhouse 25, Owen Rowe 25, John Bowles 25, Robert Crane 25, Daniel Winche 25, Joseph Caron 25, Richard Tuffnayle 50, John Davenport 25, Samuel Aldersey 75, Richard Peerye 25, Nathaniel Wright 25, Richard Davis 25, Increase Nowell 25, Edmond White 25, John Humfrey 25, Hugh Peter 25, Joas Glover 25, John Pococke 25, George Foxcroft 25, Daniel Hodson 25, Mrs. A.C. 25, William Crowther 25, John Venn 50, Richard Young 50, Thomas Hutchins 25, Nathaniel Manesty 25, Theophilus Eaton 25, Christopher Coulson 25, Charles Whitchcote 50, Edward Foorde 25, Samuell Vassall 50, Simon Whitcombe 85, Edward Ironside 25

    Page 142 JOHN GLOVER OR JOSSE GLOVER. In Felt's list John Glover occurs and in Haven's Joas occurs. Possibly both were subscribers. Josse was the eldest son of Roger Glover and John, a younger son of the same, was a "Petter" Barrister of Lincoln's Inn and married Jane, daughter of Francis Dorrington; there was also a John Glover, of London, merchant. For Josse see usual sources. John: F. 50-li; FF. 25-li; Joas: H. 25-li

    Page 162 THE FAMILIES GROUP. By marriage were related: Aldersey, Thomas Andrewes, Burnell, Crane, Crowther, Flyer, Foxcroft, Glover, J: Anson, Manisty, Oldfield, Spurstowe, Webbe, Winch, Whichcote, James Young. To these may be added others who were either emigrants or closely associated with the Company: Byfield, the Lord keeper Coventry, Eyre, Hubbard, Moulson, Offspring, Parkhurst, Ratcliffe, Rogers, Wyn. Perhaps there was a cousinship between Harwood, son of Elizabeth Greenham and Cradock, son of Dorothy Greenham.

    by NYGBR 1991

    20 May 1686, I Nathaniel Mickelthwaite the elder of London, Merchant, give unto my wife Joanna L1250; to my son Nathaniel L1250, including the lease of the messuage in Coleman Street wherein I now dwell, or if he die I give the said messuage to my son Jonathan, or in default to my friends Mr Thomas Cubben and Joseph Sibley and my brother in law Mr. Francis Crane in trust for my daughter Sarah Benson, wife of Joseph Benson. To my son Jonathan L1100 over and above what I have given with him in placing him apprentice to Mr Archer, my messuage in Pye Ally in Fanchurch Street to be reckoned part of the same. My sisters Anne Knight alias Whiteman of New England, Elizabeth Tue alias Coleman (elsewhere "Cole") of London, widow, and Hester Crane, wife of the said Francis Crane. My nephew William Tutty of Cheshunt, co. Hertford, baker. Nathaniel Benson my grandson, son of my daughter Sarah Benson....

    by Joseph Percy Crayon 1902

    Gen. (maybe gentleman?) Josiah Crane, whose son Jasper emigrated with his family from London to America at an early date, and was one of the founders of Newark, NJ, in 1666, was related to William Crane, who married, Margaret, daughter and co-heir of Sir Andrew Butler, Knight. There were several branches of the Crane family, the Cheshire and Chilton branches, became most noted and numerous, who settled in the several counties of England, and who were originally Franks, freemen, and related to, and holding high positions under the long line of Pharamond Kings. The motto of the Cheshire branch was Qui pascet corvus non oblivis citus grus (He that feeds the crows will not forget the Crane.)

    The home lot that fell to Jasper Crane at Newark was directly north of the Essex county court house, and is now the site of St. Paul's Episcopal church. The meeting house was nearby and surrounded by a palisade, and in the cupola a guard of settlers kept watch for hostile Indians, while the worship was in progress.

    Excerpts from "THE NEW HAVEN COLONY"
    by Isabell MacBeath Calder, published by Yale Univ. Press in 1934

    In the seventeenth century Coleman Street was "a faire and large street, on both sides builded with diuerse faire houses." John Davenport was the son of Henry and Winifred (Barneby) Davenport. He had been baptized by Richard Eaton, vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Coventry on Apr 9 1597. In 1622 he became a member of the Virginia Co. of London. In 1624 he was elected as Vicar of St. Stephens on Coleman St. in London, but before he could begin his duties, he was charged with Puritanism by King James I, which he denied. About 1630 Theophilus Eaton (son of Richard Eaton) took over the house vacated by Sir Richard Saltonstall in Swanne Alley (off Coleman St.) He had served as Deputy Gov. of the Eastland Co. at Elbing. The group received a grant of territory from the Council for New England and as "the Gov. and Co. of the Mass. Bay in New England" on March 4 1629 received a charter from the crown.

    Mathew Cradock was appointed the first governor of the company. Sir Richard Saltonstall, Samuel Aldersey, Theophilus Eaton and George Foxcroft represented St. Stephens, Coleman St., in the first court of assistants, and John Davenport, Robert CRANE, Owen Rowe, William Spurstow, Edmund White, all living in Coleman St., and possibly Francis Bright of Swanne Alley represented the parish among the commonality.

    In Nov. of 1633, Davenport fled to Amsterdam to escape increasing disapproval of the Crown where the group organized their move to the New World. The group included: John and Elizabeth Davenport (left infant son in care of noble lady); Theophilus Eaton, Anne Eaton, dau. of George Lloyd, Bishop of Chester, and widow of Thomas Yale, the second wife of Theophilus Eaton; old Mrs. Eaton, his mother; Samuel and Nathaniel Eaton, his brothers; Mary Eaton, the dau. of his first wife; Samuel, Theophilus and Hannah, the children of his second wife; Anne, David and Thomas Yale, the children of Anne Eaton by her former marriage; Edward Hopkins, who on Sep. 5, 1631 had married Anne Yale at St. Antholin's in London; and Richard Malbon, a kinsman of Theophilus Eaton. Also many inhabitants of the parish of St. Stephen, Coleman St. Nathaniel Rowe (son of Own Rowe who intended to follow); William Andrews, Henry Browning, James Clark, Jasper CRANE, Jeremy Dixon, Nicholas Elsey, Francis Hall, Robert Hill, William Ives, Geo. Smith, George Ward and Lawrence Ward.

    Others (probably from the neighborhood, but not members of St. Stephens): Ezekiel Cheever, Edward Bannister, Richard Beach, Richard Beckley, John Brockett, John Budd, John Cooper, Arthur Halbidge, Mathew Hitchcock, Andrew Hull, Andrew Low, Andrew Messenger, Mathew Moulthrop, Francis Newman, Robert Newman, Richard Osborn, Edward Patteson, John Reader, William Thorp and Samuel Whitehead.

    The group chartered the "Hector" of London. On June 26, 1637, John Winthrop recorded the arrival of the group from London at Boston.

    In Aug. of 1637, Eaton and several others traveled south to view the area around the Long Island Sound. They left members of their party there over the winter to retain possession. Many from the Bay Colony chose to leave for New Haven with Eaton and Davenport: Richard Hull, William Tuttle and William Wilkes of Boston; Anne Higginson and her family, Jarvis Boykin, John Chapman, John Charles, Timothy Ford, Thomas James, Benjamin Ling, John Mosse and Richard Perry of Charlestown; John Benham, Benjamin Fenn, Thomas Jeffrey, Thomas Kimberly, William Preston, Thomas Sandford, Thomas Trowbridge and Zachariah Whitman of Dorchester; John Astwood of Stanstead Abbey, Hertfordshire and Roxbury; Thomas Baker, John Burwell, Jasper Gunn, John Hall, John Peacock, William Potter, Edward Riggs, Thomas Uffot and Joanna and Jacob Sheaffe of Roxbury; Mark Pierce of Newtown; and Nathaniel Turner of Lynn.

    Another company headed by Peter Pruden was a notable addition to the group. Perhaps the son of Thomas Prudden of King's Walden, Hertfordshire and a kinsman of William Thomas of Caerleon, Monmouthshire, Prudden was the minister of the Providence Island Company. In 1637 with fifteen Hertfordshire families - among them Edmund Tapp of Bennington, Hertfordshire, James Prudden, William Fowler, Thomas and Hanah Buckingham, Thomas Welsh, Richard Platt, Henry Stonehill and William East - he left England for Massachusetts and went with Davenport's group to Connecticut in March of 1638.

    Staying behind in Massachusetts was Nathaniel Eaton, Nathaniel Rowe, Edward and Anne (Yale) Hopkins and John Cotton. Eaton became the "cruel" master of a new college in Newtown. Later he and Anne migrated to Hartford, CT.

    In 1641 a 3-year mortgage was given to George Fenwick of Saybrook, John Haynes, Samuel Wyllys and Edward Hopkins of Connecticut and Theophilus Eaton, Stephen Goodyear and Thomas Gregson of New Haven for much of Long Island.


    Long interested in the production of bog iron in New England, John Winthrop, Jr. (metallurgist & physician) visited the New Haven Colony on a prospecting tour in the spring of 1655. Discovering a convenient place for an ironworks and a furnace between New Haven and Branford, he succeeded in interesting John Davenport, Theophilus Eaton and Stephen Goodyear of New Haven and Jasper CRANE of Branford in the project. On February 13, 1656, John Winthrop, Jr., Stephen Goodyear, undertakers of New Haven with John Cooper as their agent, and undertakers of Branford with Jasper CRANE as their agent, organized an ironworks company. New Haven and Branford granted the undertakers permission to procure wood, water, ironstone, ore, shells for lime, and other neccessaries within their limits, five-eighths from New Haven and three-eighths from Branford. New Haven had long tried to induce John Winthrop, Jr. to settled there. In order to direct the ironworks from a nearby location, Winthrop bought the Malbon house and paid for it in "goats". By spring of 1657 the ironworks were in operation, but Winthrop left to become Governor of the Connecticut colony. Interest in the ironworks lagged. Winthrop leased his interest in the undertaking to Thomas Clarke and William Paine of Boston.

    After more than six years of endeavor, the founder of the New Haven Colony was able to inform Winthrop that they were finally ready to manufacture pots. The colony suffered more than it gained from the enterprise, however, for not only were the neighboring lands, highways and fences injured by the dam at the works, but a group of turbulent, disorderly, non-assimilable workers was introduced into the colony and remained there long after the jurisdiction of New Haven had come to an end.


    More daring than the ironworks was the attempt to build transatlantic vessels on Long Island Sound. As early as 1644 Theophilus Eaton, Stephen Goodyear, Richard Malbon, Thomas Gregston and perhaps other merchants at New Haven entrusted the construction of an ocean-going vessel to John Wakeman, Joshua Atwater, Jasper CRANE and Richard Miles. Though ill built and very "walt-side," in due course the ship was completed. Entrusted with a cargo of wheat, peas, hides, beaver and peltry and manuscript writings of John Davenport at New Haven and Thomas Hooker at Hartford, about the middle of January, 1646, the vessel ploughed its way through three miles of ice in New Haven harbor and tackled the stormy Atlantic. On board were Thomas Gregson, Nathaniel Turner, George Lamberton, the wife of Stephen Goodyear, and Francis Austin. After many months, a mirage of the ship was said to have appeared over the harbor at New Haven, but the vessel itself neither reached its destination nor returned to its port of departure. Despite this initial setback, on October 7, 1646, a second vessel was about to be launched at New Haven; in the summer of 1648 a third vessel was under construction; and in the spring of 1661 Charles Glover laid a fifty-foot keel at Southold.

    by Peter Doremus

    Jasper Crane, whose name heads the list of the first twenty-three Colonists from Branford, Conn., emigrated from England and is named as one of the New Haven Colony, June 4th, 1639. He is mentioned as one of the most influential and active men in the new Newark Colony. His name is the first of the list of signatures for the original church in Newark dated January 20th, 1667. This church building, in size thirty-six feet by thirty-six feet, was located on the west side of Broad Street, south of Market Street, on a six-acre lot set apart by the Colony for a church and burying ground. This church building of frame was superseded about 1708 by a much larger one of stone with steeple and bell. The present church edifice, the First Presbyterian Church of Newark, locate nearly opposite the original buildings, was a bold undertaking for those early days, but was carried through with heroic energy at great personal sacrifice, a building of such proportions and architectural taste that it is at this day an ornament to the city of Newark. It was dedicated under the pastorate of Dr. MacWhorter, January 1st, 1791.

    Jasper Crane died in 1681. His will, dated 1678, mentioned his children John, Azariah, Jasper and Hannah Huntington. He bequeathed to his son John a silver bowl, which afterward was inherited by his brother Azariah, who gave it to the First Church of Newark and which is still in use in this old church as a baptismal font. Azariah Crane, son of Jasper, married Mary, daughter of Robert Treat, and is later mentioned as living at his home place at the Mountain (that is, now Montclair) in 1715. He was interested and active in town and church development; a deacon in the Newark church till his death. A deed conveying land to his son Azariah, Jr., dated "in the 26th year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the Grace of God," may be seen hanging in the public library of this town. He, with his brother Jasper were evidently the first white settlers at the foot of the Mountain. He died November 5th, 1730, in his eighty-third year. His children were Hannah, Mariah, Nathaniel, Azariah, Jr., Robert, Jane, Mary and John. Historic records state that Nathaniel, oldest son of Azariah, was born in 1680 and settled near a spring at the foot of the Mountain. The old house, about which I played in childhood, was located on the Orange Road near to the present Myrtle Avenue, about two hundred feet west from the road. It was a two-story house with double pitched roof, large hall in the center with rooms each side. At the rear of the house stood a small building occupied in the early days by slaves and by their descendants as family servants through several generations. At the south end of the house stood the cut stone milk house built over the spring mentioned above. On the shelves of this cool milk room, I remember seeing the large pans of milk and rolls of new-made butter. The clear stream flowing from this spring was one of the heads of the brook now running across Church Street and Bloomfield Avenue near Park Street. The last occupant in the family line of the old Crane homestead was Major Nathaniel Crane, who died childless. He was the fourth descendant from Nathaniel, son of Azariah. The house was remodeled several times by successive owners after it passed from the Crane family. In later years it was known as the Frost house, Mr. Frost having owned and occupied it for a number of years. It was taken down about 1900 to give place for new improvements, with but little knowledge that it probably was the first house building in Montclair.

    from NJ Colonial Documents, Calendar of Wills

    1678 Oct 1. Craine, Jasper, of Newark, aged in years; will of. Sons -- John, Azeriah, Jasper; daughter Huntington; granddaughter Hanah Huntington; children of dec'd daughter Bell, son (?-in-law) Huntington. Real and personal estate (a silver "Bole" and cup). Executors -- son John and son Thomas Huntington. Witness -- John Ward senior and Michell Tompkins. N.J. Archives, XXI., p. 45, and Essex Wills.

    by G. Vance Moser, Jr.

    The origins of Jasper Crane and his wife, Alice, are not certainly known. In fact, there are no clues at all for Alice except that she was the wife of Jasper, and therefore of the same geographical area. With respect to Jasper there is a tradition that he came from London or vicinity. Amos Crane's Trigonometry Book, now in the possession of the Montclair Historical Society, includes a handwritten page of the male descendants of Jasper and repeats the phrase that Jasper came from London in 1637-8. Ellery B. Crane, the Crane family genealogist of the late 19th century, added that Jasper may have been the brother of John Crane who was recorded in Boston by January 1637. As an aside there has also been speculation that Stephen Crane of Elizabeth was a son of Jasper, since both were in New Jersey and they used some common family names. There is no supporting evidence to any of the above, except to say that Jasper, as a man of affairs, had many normal business contacts in London.

    What we do know suggests that Jasper's origins may be found in Hampshire County, England. The Ogden Family in America by William Ogden Wheeler, published in 1906, brings to light the marriage of Samuel Huntington and Margaret Crane. Their daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth, married John Ogden of Bradley Plain, Hampshire and Richard Ogden of Wiltshire. John Ogden was the progenitor of the Elizabeth, N.J. Ogdens and his cousin Richard the progenitor of the Fairfield, Connecticut and southern New Jersey Ogdens. Margaret Crane, wife of Samuel Huntington, was according to Wheeler, the Aunt of Jasper Crane and he quotes an unreferenced document as follows: "Margaret Crane's nephew Jasper Crane, emigrated to Newark, NJ and his daughter Hannah married Thomas Huntington, son of Simon, who emigrated to Massachusetts, but died on the passage from England to Boston in 16333." Wheeler does reference the Berry Visitation of Hants, 1634 and a New York genealogist, Gustave Anjou, as confirmation of the Ogden data from Hampshire. With respect to the quote, we know that Jasper did not emigrate directly to Newark and was certainly in Connecticut long enough for his relations to be aware of his standing in New Haven. It is true about the marriage of Hannah and Thomas Huntington the nephew of Samuel and Margaret Crane Huntington. It may also be significant that the records of Hampshire contain old Crane references; particularly to a 14th century Sheriff named Hugo de Crane. Unfortunately there were enough Cranes spread around England in Jasper's day to make this lead inconclusive.

    The first factual item we have concerning Jasper Crane is his signature on the compact founding the Colony of New Haven signed June 4, 1639 in the barn of a Mr. Newman. Even though New Haven was founded by Puritans from the congregation of Rev. Davenport of London this does not mean that Jasper was associated with them previously or had emigrated with them. However, Jasper is said to have been the steward of the Rev. John Davenport's property in 1639.

    We have considerable record of Jasper's public life which shows him to be a well respected leader of the community in which he lived. The record reads as follows:

  • 1653 -- represented Branford at the General Court in New Haven
  • 1658 -- elected a Magistrate of the New Haven Colony and served for 5 years.
  • 1664-5 -- chosen Justice of the County Court at New Haven. Served as a Magistrate to the Connecticut Colony from New Haven.
  • 1665-7 -- continued as assistant or Magistrate for the Connecticut Colony.
  • 1668-9 -- Elected with Robert Treat as first Magistrates of Newark.
  • 1668-70 -- represented Newark in the New Jersey General Assembly
  • 1673 -- chosen a Magistrate under the short resumption of Dutch rule
  • 1675 -- again chosen as a Deputy to the Assembly and a Magistrate in Newark
  • Jasper Crane's personal and private life is as obscure as his public life is open. Likely he was a sober, industrious and devout Puritan, typical of his day. We can have some assurance of his strong religious beliefs as religious control of political affairs was a part of the Newark colonists desire to break away form the Connecticut Colony.

    Jasper was a surveyor and a merchant or trader. He and a Mr. Myles were responsible for the layout of New Haven. In March 1641 he was granted 100 acres of land in the East Meadow, and in 1643 his tax valuation was 480 pounds, a comfortable sum for those days. In 1644 we find he was excused from "watching and trayning" due to weakness, but he was required to furnish a substitute. 1644-5 he was granted 16 acres of upland in East Haven where he removed. In 1651 he was known to have an interest in a bog furnace in East Haven. Jasper sold the house and land in East Haven September 7, 1652 and moved to Branford where he joined with about 20 families from Southhampton, Long Island under the leadership of Rev. Pierson, and a group of families from Wethersfield led by Samuel Swaine. Both groups had come to the area to escape the more liberal religious policy of the Connecticut Colony. When New Haven was united with Connecticut in 1662 many leaders were dismayed that their pure government by the church would be corrupted. Through the leadership of Robert Treat and some Elizabethtown settlers, many who had come from Southampton, Long Island, a site was found for a new settlement. In the Spring of 1666, 41 families, led by Robert Treat took up the area now known as Newark. Included in this group was Azariah Crane, son of Jasper. Jasper Crane, Rev. Pierson, Samuel Swaine and 20 more families followed the next Spring. A total of 64 families in all. The settlement was first named New Milford, but soon changed to Newark in honor of Rev. Pierson's former home in England.

    In Newark, besides his public duties, Jasper was a merchant, and had obtained permission to make and sell spirits in 1673. At the drawing of home lots, February 6, 1667, Jasper was assigned lot #49, located near the present Court House. May 26, 1673 he drew lot #10 of 100 acres. August 25, 1675 Jasper received 168 acres in 13 parcels including 20 acres at the head of Second River which I believe is Toney's Brook.

    Jasper made his will dated October 1, 1678, and died in 1681. He may have been buried in the "old Burial Ground" of Newark, which was taken over for business use in 1888, however on Dr. Condit's list of 1847 there was no record of his stone or marker. Nothing is known of his wife Alice's history. They had seven children.

    by Ellery Bicknell Crane, 1900


    JASPER CRANE was one of the original settlers of the New Haven Colony, June 4, 1639, and signed the first agreement at a general meeting of all the free planters held in Mr. Newman's barn. He took the oath of fidelity at the organization of the government, with Campfield, Pennington, Gov. Eaton and others. In 1644 he was "freed from watching and trayning in his own person because of his weakness, but to find one for his turn." Was a member (with Treat) of the General Court, and many years a magistrate. Was interested in a bog-ore furnace at East Haven in 1651. He removed to Branford in 1652. He was elected a magistrate in 1658, and held the office of deputy for some years previous to that date.

    In a note-book kept by Thomas Lechford, Esq., a lawyer in Boston, Massachusetts Bay, from June 27, 1638, to July 29, 1641, we find the following: "Samuel Searle of Quinapeage Planter in behalfe of Jasper Crane of the same, Agent or Attorney for Mr. Roe Citizen of London Demiseth unto Henry Dawson and John Search of the Same one house and house lott and three acres of land lying in Boston wherein William Herricke now dwelleth from 29 Sept. next for five years four pounds ten shillings rent half yearly, to fence to the value four pounds ten shillings, to repaire 21-6-1640."

    This transaction, showing his connection with a gentleman of London, England, would lead one to think that he certainly was known there, and might have lived there. Whether or not the above record furnished the foundation for the tradition that he came from London to America, we do not know. But such a tradition has been cherished by some of his descendants. Extensive research among the record offices in London has thus far failed however of finding any trace of him there. It is also said that he came over from England with Winthrop in the ship Arabella.

    But the date of Jasper Crane's birth, or the place in which he was born, have not been fixed. Whether he came from parents occupying high or middle stations in life can as yet only be determined by the records revealed to us. He assuredly was one of the staunch and active men among the first settlers of the New Haven Colony as well as one of the fathers of the new settlement in New Jersey. He, with Capt. Robert Treat, seemed to have a large share of the weight of responsibility of that young colony upon their shoulders, and its success at heart. Mr. Crane did not go, it is said, with the first company to "Milford," as the first settlement at Newark, NJ, was called, but signed, with twenty-two others, the first contract in 1665. Jan. 20, 1667, he headed the list of signers and church members of the first Church at Newark, and became one of the most influential and active men of the new colony. Jasper Crane and Robert Treat were the first magistrates in Newark. It is said that Mr. Crane was dissatisfied at the New Haven Colony becoming united with the Connecticut Colony; he preferred to have the New Haven Colony remain separate.

    He was a surveyor and merchant, as well as a magistrate, and with Mr. Myles laid out the most of the New Haven town plot, located grants, established division lines, and settled disputed titles. It is said that he was steward of Rev. John Davenport's property in 1639. In March, 1641, he received a grant of 100 acres of land in the East Meadow. He was one of the New Haven Company concerned in the settlement on the Delaware River in 1642, who were so roughly handled by the Dutch. In 1643 his estate was voted at L480, with three persons in his family, -- self, wife and son John. In 1644-45 he received a grant of 16 acres of upland, situated in East Haven, upon which he built a house, in which his son Joseph was born. While residing at this place he was in trade as a merchant, but not being satisfied with the location he sold this place Sept. 7, 1652, and became one of the first planters of Branford, Conn., a new settlement then just being instituted by families from Wethersfield, Conn., under the leadership of Mr. Swayne, and a few from Southampton, L.I.

    Jasper Crane, Esq., and Mr. Wm. Swayne were the first deputies to the General Court of Electors from Branford in May, 1653, Mr. Crane being returned during the four succeeding years. In May, 1658, he was chosen one of four magistrates for the New Haven Colony and held the office by appointment until 1663; also one of the magistrates called together by the Governor, at Hartford, in 1665-67. In the union of the Colonies he was chosen one of the assistants, was also Trustee of County Court, New Haven, 1644. His house lot in New Haven was located on what is now Elm Street, at the corner of Orange Street, the same now occupied by the Church of St. Thomas.

    The first Church of Newark was founded in 1667, and a building erected, about 1714 or 1716, a second meeting-house was built, and the third erected about 1787 to 1791. The people of Orange, Bloomfield and Montclair communed with the Newark Church until about 1716. In fact, for considerably more than a hundred years after the founding of Newark the crest of the first mountain was the western boundary of the town, and until the year 1806 the town of Newark was divided into three wards: Newark Ward, Orange Ward, and Bloomfield Ward. That year Orange became a separate town, and six years later Bloomfield Ward became the town of Bloomfield. This part of Newark took in the territory from the Passaic on the east to the crest of the first mountain on the west, and as this section was so thoroughly occupied by the descendants of Jasper Crane it was early called Cranetown.

    Jasper Crane, Sr. was one of the purchasers of the "Kingsland Farms," an immense estate near Newark, now known as Belleville.

    The exact date that Jasper senior took his leave of Branford has not been definitely fixed. In the spring of 1666, the people of Branford, becoming dissatisfied about the union of the New Haven and Connecticut Colonies, and particularly on account of granting the right of suffrage to the inhabitants not members of the church, resolved at once to remove to New Jersey, as agents, who had been sent thither, came back bringing favorable reports of the new country. In October, after adopting a code of laws for their government, Mr. Pierson with a portion of his congregation left Branford for their future home, Newark, NJ. Jasper senior although one of the original twenty-three who signed the first contract in 1665, still was active in public affairs in Branford, holding the office of assistant magistrate in 1666 and 1667. But in Jan. 30, 1667, he headed the list of signers to a new covenant and disposing of his property at Branford that year took up his permanent home at Newark and became very prominent in all transactions of the town, especially during the first fourteen years of its growth and development. He was the first president of the town court, and first on the list of deputies to the General Assembly of New Jersey for several years. At the drawing of Home Lots, Feb. 6, 1667, Lot 49 fell to the senior Jasper Crane, No. 40 to Deliverance Crane, and No. 62 to John Crane, they being his two eldest sons.

    At a town meeting of Newark, held January, 1668, Jasper Crane, with Robert Treat, were chosen magistrates for the year ensuing, and also deputies or burgesses for the General Assembly for the same year. This Robert Treat was the first recorder or town clerk for Newark, and was exceedingly prominent in all public matters while he remained in the settlement. But in 1671 he returned to Connecticut, where he was held in high esteem, and for several years was Governor of that Colony, proving a faithful and conscientious worker for the interest of the inhabitants under his charge. From January, 1668, until his death, Jasper Crane senior was given a prominent part to perform in the settlement of Newark. May 20, 1668, he as one of a committee signed an agreement fixing the dividing line between Newark Town and Elizabeth Town. July 28, 1669, he with Robert Treat was chosen by the town to take first opportunity "to go to 'York' to advise with Col. Lovelace concerning our standing. Whether we are designed to be a part of the Duke's Colony or not, and about the Neck, and liberty of purchasing lands up the river, that the Town would petition for." Re-elected magistrate January, 1669, "and Deputy to the General Assembly if there shall be any." He with Robert Treat were chosen to be moderators of town meetings for the year ensuing. Jan. 2, 1670, again chosen magistrate and deputy, serving in latter capacity annually until 1674, and at the town meeting Feb. 20, it was voted that the governor be requested to confirm Jasper Crane and Robert Treat magistrates or justices of the peace. The same honors were conferred in 1671, and in addition it was voted Jan. 22, 1671, that "every man should bring his half bushel to Henry Lyon & Joseph Waters and have it tried and sealed when made fit with Mr. Crane's, which for the present is the standard." Mr. Crane was also one of a committee to see to burning the woods for a year. May 13, 1672, Mr. Crane and Lieut. Swain were chosen representatives for the town to consult with other representatives of the country to order matters for the safety for the country. June 17, 1672, Mr. Crane was again chosen magistrate, and also chosen "President of the Quarterly Court to be held in Newark to begin September next." He was also given "liberty to sell liquors in the town till the country order alter it."

    At a town meeting July 1, 1673, Mr. Crane was chosen to serve on a committee, with Mr. Bond, Mr. Swain, Mr. Kitchell and Mr. Lyon, to consider with messengers from other towns about sending a petition to the Lords Proprietors in England for the removal of grievances; and July 5th the town agreed to pay for sending the messenger to England, as the above committee had agreed with Mr. Delevall about money to cover that expense.

    August 4th the town chose Mr. Crane, Mr. Bond, Lieut. Swain and Sergeant John Ward deputies to treat with the generals about having a privileged county between the two rivers Passaic and Araritine. August 12 again chosen magistrate; September 6th, on committee to try and secure the "Neck" to add to the possessions of Newark; and September 16th instructed by the town to "treat with the generals, and, if they can, to buy it." It would seem the committee were successful, for October 25th Mr. Crane, Mr. Molyns and Mr. Hopkins were chosen to look after the confirmation of the purchase of the Neck and sue for further easement in respect to pay. November 17th Capt. Swain and Mr. Crane were chosen to continue the trade for the Neck. The following year (June 29, 1674) the town voted to have Mr. Crane and Mr. Pierson, Jr., carry the petition and present it to the Governor and Council at North Orange to "obtain confirmation of their bought and paid for lands." August 10, 1674, was again chosen magistrate. Mr. Crane was now becoming quite advanced in years, and the important and exacting services required of him by the town must have proved a heavy tax upon his strength, for he now dropped out of political office, while his sons, John, Azariah and Jasper, Jr. began to work in. Feb. 19, 1678-9, it having been discovered that many of the settlers had taken up lands contrary to a town agreement, Mr. Crane stated at a town meeting that he would lay down all lands so taken if others would, and March 10th following he was chosen, with Robert Dalglesh and Jasper Crane, Jr., to lay out Samuel Potter's lot again. This entry, so far as the public records of Newark shows, closes the public life of the senior Jasper Crane.

    If we may judge from the entries upon the Newark Town Records we should say that, next to Robert Treat, Jasper Crane was the most prominent figure in the early settlement of that town. After Treat returned to Connecticut, Jasper Crane's name came first in the filling by popular vote the highest and most responsible positions of public trust in the settlement. That he held the confidence of the people is clearly manifested by their returning him annually for so many years, and until the infirmities of age unfitted him for further public service. But the family name and traits of character were appreciated, for no sooner than the name of Jasper senior disappears from the proceedings of the town meetings than the names of John, Azariah and Jasper, Jr., are brought into recognition. The patents for land in Newark to Jasper Crane, Aug. 25, 1675, covering one hundred and sixty-eight acres, are as follows: "House lot 14 acres, 17 a. his first division on great Neck, 11 a. in part for his second division on said Neck, 6 a. on said Neck, 4 a. at bottom of the Neck, 20 a. for his second division by Two Mile Brook, 26 a. his third division by head of Mile Brook, 20 a. for his third division at the head of the branch of Second River, 14 a. of meadow for his first division at Great Island, 12 a. of meadow for his second division by the Great Pond, 14 a. for proportion of bogs, 5 a. of meadow near the Great Island, 1 a. of meadow at Beef Point, 4 a. of meadow near Wheeler's Point, yielding 1/2 penny lawful money of England, or in such pay as the country doth produce at merchants' price, for every one of the said acres, the first payment to begin the 25th of March, which was in the year 1670." These lands were taken up and occupied some time prior to date of the patents. Another warrant seems to have been issued to Jasper Crane, May 1, 1675, for 103 acres of land in Newark.

    At a town meeting held Aug. 24, 1670, an agreement was made with Mr. Robert Treat and Sergt. Richard Harrison to build and maintain a sufficient corn-mill upon the brook called Mill Brook. They were given sole privilege of this brook, with all the town grists, and all stone within the town limits suitable for millstones, with all the timber that was prepared by Joseph Horton for the mill, and two days' work of every man and woman that holds an allotment in the town, with all the lands formerly granted to Joseph Horton. They were to hold this land as their own so long as they held and maintained the mill, and not to dispose of the mill without consent of the town. The town was also to give thirty pounds in good wheat, pork, beef, or one-fourth in good Indian corn, at such prices as would enable them to exchange it for or procure iron, millstones, or the workman's wages, &c.: Winter wheat 5 shillings per bushel; summer wheat 4s. 5d.; pork 3d. per lb.; beef 2d.; Indian corn 2s. 6d. per bushel. As Mr. Treat was to return to Connecticut, Jasper Crane assumed his portion of the contract.

    From Jasper Crane we have a large number of descendants -- one branch of them located westward of Newark, and five or six miles distant, calling the lace Cranetown. Some of his descendants located four miles southward of Newark, at a place called Elizabeth Town. Among those who settled here was Stephen Crane, who there is good reason to believe was an elder son of Jasper, born in England about 1630.

    From these points members of the family pressed their way further westward, crossing the Passaic River, settling Morris County. They were all remarkable for frugality, honesty and piety, and were mostly Presbyterians. It has been said by one, not a member of the family, "no more respectable people, no better citizens, are found in our communities than those who bear Crane blood in them."

    Oct. 30, 1666, at a meeting in Branford, Conn., the preliminary agreement outlining the conduct of the proposed new settlement upon the "Passiack River in the Province of New Jersey" was signed by many Branford people, among them Jasper Crane senior and his sons John and Delivered.* These three names appear among the first proprietors of the town of Newark, and at the town meeting held Feb. 6, 1667, Mr. Jasper Crane, John and Deliverance* appear to have been present. Thenceforth for more than a century the name of Crane occupied a conspicuous place in the annals of the town, and scarcely a town meeting was held during a period of one hundred years that there was not a Crane chosen to fill some town office, and it was not unusual to elect to public positions several of the name at one meeting. But March 13, 1759, the family seemed to have reached the zenith of its popularity, for at that meeting by vote of the town eight different offices were filled by Cranes. As it appears, however, that John Crane was chosen collector and John Crane to serve on a committee to settle a line in the parsonage land, it may have required but seven Cranes to fill the eight positions; so that the election held this day exceeded but a trifle that held March 12, 1754, when six Cranes were elected to fill seven public positions. Their names were: John, for collector; Timothy and Ezekiel, surveyors of Highways; Elijah and William, overseers of the poor; John, clerk of strays; Noah, on committee to settle the line between the towns of Newark and Elizabethtown.

    Jasper Crane's will, dated 1678, named children John, Azariah, Jasper and Hannah Huntington, and granddaughter Hannah Huntington; John to have his "silver bole." Mr. Crane was probably born about 1605, and died 1681, his will having been proved that year, and names wife Alice.

    You are the [an error occurred while processing this directive] visitor to this page since 2/24/01

    This site was created by Joanne Todd

    The Gene Pool | Quaker Corner | Oregon Genealogy | NJ Founders | Ball Room
    AmeriSlang | Ye Olde English Sayings | What's the Meaning of This? | Surnames
    Research Aids | Gifts from Forefathers | Favorite Websites | What's New | Guide