Sunday, March 13, 2011

Crans Family (and some related families)

I think a little history is appropriate for this family line. The German Palatinate (Pfalz) was a part of Germany (in fact two parts, Upper and Lower Palatinate) whose inhabitants suffered from a variety of ills. The Palatines became followers of Martin Luther's beliefs and then came under religious persecution from the Catholics. The area suffered from numerous wars as they were an area prone to plundering from the opposing armies. On top of religious persecution and the ravages of multiple wars, the people were heavily taxed. Then came the winter of 1708-09. It was reportedly the harshest winter seen in 100 years, with one source even reporting “birds freezing in mid-air”1. Many of these people fled the area, going on to England.

In addition to hardships imposed on the Palatines, several people, including William Penn had printed and distributed literature extolling the virtues of the colonies. Queen Anne, married to a Lutheran husband was open to the petitions asking her for relief for the refugees and so about 7000 Palatines were offered assistance in the spring of 1709. They were to be given passage and tools and in return were to reside in established work camps in America to produce naval stores for England. The destinations were primarily Pennsylvania, New York and North Carolina. In New York two camps were established on opposite sides of the Hudson River, West Camp and East Camp.

Johannes Heinrich Krantz, reportedly a tailor, emigrated to New York, probably arriving 14 June 1710 on the ship Fame. This information has been gathered, not from passenger lists- which no longer exist, but from “Hunter's subsistence list”. Subsistence lists were logs that a designated passenger of a ship kept2. Johannes was part of the largest group of Palatine emigrants to arrive within a very short period of time. German records of his family were kept in the church at Unterreichenbach. He was listed as from the village of Fischborn. Johannes father is reportedly Ernst Krantz, a court servant at Unterreichenbach in 16643. The subsistence list reports that he was a widower, his wife having died before 1710. A sad but interesting note is that the emigrants in England were so numerous that many of them lived on the ships, boarding as early as December 1709, but not sailing until April, 1710. Many were in a weakened state by the time they sailed, with a number of them dying before reaching America. Johannes arrived with at least two children, Michael and Elizabetha, although the subsistence list also reports two younger children, Sebastian (4) and Johannes (1). Johannes settled in West Camp and once there, married a second time to Anna Schaurmann on 25 July 17104. Anna, the daughter of Henrich Schaurmann, was probably of the family listed as fellow passengers on the Fame. See Appendix for a copy of the list of heads of families in West Camp in the winter of 1710.

Johannes and Anna eventually had 5 children: Johann Heinrich (1712), Johann (1713), Maria Elizabetha (1715), Johann Wilhelm (1717) and Johann Heinrich (1720). The work camps were halted in 1712 because the products required by England were not suited to production in the area. The settlers then dispersed. Johannes and son Michael were naturalized on 8 and 9 September 1715 and Johannes is listed on the Ulster County tax list in 1718-19 and again in 1720-215. They were apparently still in Ulster County when son Michael married Charlotte Frolich, daughter of Valentin and Apolonia, on 12 Sept 17266. The Frolich family were also Palatine emigrants, arriving on 30 June, 17107.

The family moved once again to Hanover Township (now Montgomery) in Ulster (now Orange) County. A Palatinate settlement had sprung up at Germantown about 1727, south of the village on the Wallkill River, on the Harrison Patent8. Michael and Johannes, sons of the emigrant Johannes and half brothers are listed as 2 of the first members of the newly founded Brick Reformed Church, 1732. In fact the first marriage of the church on 23 October, 1734 was between Johannes Krans and Elizabeth Klaarwater. The same Johannes later married Christina Millspaugh as his second wife in 1742.

Our line is descended from Michael, Johannes' first son. Michael and Charlotte had 6 children that I have found beginning with Johannes, born 1728. His baptism is not found in the Kingston registers, and as the Brick Church was not yet founded he is not listed there either.9 The family may have been members of the Lutheran Church established at Germantown. That church blew down before the Revolutionary War and was not rebuilt.10All of Michael and Charlotte's subsequent children (Michael, bp 1735, Nicholas, bp 1736, Annatje, bp 1740, Geertrug, bp 1742, Lydia, bp 1744) were baptized in the Brick Reformed Church in Montgomery.11 Henry Jones lists three other children: Henrich, no dob; Jacob, bp 11 February, 1733 in Kingston and Valentin, bp 11 June 1739.

Michael's first born son, Johannes married Catherine Alsdorf in 175512 and they proceeded to have 11 children from 1756 to 1779. Catherine was the daughter and 1 of 8 children of Lorentz Alsdorf, also from Germany, first noted in 1733 in Kingston. Lorentz (Lawrance)and his wife are buried in the New Hurley Reformed Church Cemetery in the Town of Plattekill.13 14 Below are the pews of the Brick Reformed Church in 1760 with Johannes' and sons' pew circled. 15 A Jacob Crans also has a pew nearby, possibly the son of Michael's half brother, Johannes or possibly another son of Michael.

No more is heard of Michael, whose death date is not known by me. We will now follow his son Johannes, with the 11 children. Land records show that Johannes, John McHendry and Stephen Chrest (Crist) applied for “a grant of 1,000 acres of land in the county of Ulster, between the old and new north-west lines”.16 The boundaries between Orange and Ulster Counties changed several times, with the most significant change being in 1799 when Orange gained land that had been Ulster County, so you will see some ancestors born or marrying or buying land in Ulster and dying in Orange County.17 Michael (1756) married Hester Smith and had 10 children. Laurence is of the right age to be the husband of Hannah Smith with 7 children; There are several men named Jacob Crans(1765)-one was the right age to have married Hannah Wyant with a son, Jeremiah; there was also more than one Catharine Crans (1768) who married; it's not known if Annatjen, probably Catharine's twin, married; Eva Crans was the wife of Jacob Low with 9 children. Gertrude, possibly also called Charity has a couple of possibilities for husbands. Lea (1776) is the right age to be the wife of Robert Gillespie with 7 children; Rachel, probably Lea's twin (1776) does not have any records in the Montgomery Reformed Church, which is where the others' children were baptized, so no husband is noted. Elshe (1779) may have been married to Andrew Gillespie with 7 children.

The son that we are descended from is another Johannes, born 1 March 1761. He was also christened at the Montgomery Reformed Church, on 8 April, 1762. He is buried there as well. Notes from Elizabeth Horton at OCGS indicate that he married Christine Trumpour on 15 January, 1789 in Montgomery. The Trumpour family was another Palatine family. Niclaus Trumpour (Drumbaur) arrived in 1709. He married twice and his son Andreas, born 1725 was with his second wife, Elizabetha Krantz, daughter of Johannes Krantz and Elizabeth Clearwater. Andreas and Elizabetha had 5 children (he also had children by his first wife), which included Christine.

 Johannes and Christine had 11 children, although the first Hiram (1791) and Hannah
(1802) died in early childhood. Andrew has been reported to have died in
1820 in
Elizabeth Horton's notes, having had 3 children with wife, Nancy Ward. But, there's an
Andrew Crans who entered into land transactions with Hiram(2
nd) after 1820 and
reportedly had more than the three children and th
ere is a son Andrew baptized in
Montgomery in 1822, so the 1820 death date is doubtful. A family group sheet is
attached with the names and spouses of their children.

Johannes, by now also called John, and Christine's son Hiram (the second one)
was born on 20 January, 1799 and christened in the Montgomery Reformed Church.
Hiram married Christina Rainey on 15 March, 1824 according to the Crans Bible
18 Christina was the daughter of David Rainey and Susannah Yeckley. The
Rainey family will be covered in another chapter. By the 1830 census Hiram is
found in the Town of Wallkill with Chrissy and three children: Renwick, born 6
April 1825; Theodore, born 20 April 1827; and Susan Jane, born 24 May 1829.
He lived next to John Crans, pro
bably his father, looking at John's age. 19 By 1840
Hiram was now in the Town of Montgomery, his father having died in 1835. In 1836
Hiram is recorded as having purchased 3 separate land items in the Orange County
records.20 All the records are very close in date so he presumably was building
up his
farm land at this time. Listed on the 1840 census with him are Chrissy and
5 children, presumably Renwick, Theodore, John Knox, Susan, Mary Catherine.21
In 1849 Hiram purchased land from George Tears22and in the 1850 Census Hiram
is in the Town of Crawford.23He is listed with Chrissy, Susan, Mary, John, Elizabeth
and Sarah. The family is living next to the George Niver family, mentioned because the
Niver family comes into play soon. Sons Renwick and Theodore areno longer listed
with their parents. In 1850 the Federal government also took census information
other than population. In the 1
850 Agriculture census we can find information about
Hiram's land and farming. He is listed as having 250 improved acres at a value of
about $10000, and reported having livestock valued at about $
4500, including 28
milk cows, 30 sheep, 50 swine and a few oxen,horses and othercattle.24
As mentioned above Renwick is no longer listed with Hiram. On 20 December 1849 he married Letty Niver, daughter of George mentioned above25 (Niver family to be discussed later). In the 1850 census he is listed as living in the Town of New Windsor with Letty.26 Renwick is also listed in the 1850 Agriculture census with an impressive farm holding of 114 acres worth $20000 . He has less livestock than his father, valued at $725, but is producing a good amount of wheat, rye, corn and oats. Not seeing any land purchases for Renwick up to this point, I don't know how he had such an impressive holding at age 25 (could an extra zero have been added?). Hiram's brother Theodore was also married, in 1851 to Nancy Low.

By 1860 Hiram continues to farm, now in the Town of Montgomery, living with Chrissy, Elizabeth, Sarah, John and Susan Rainey (possibly the wife of David, Christina's brother).27Since borders changed, this doesn't necessarily mean Hiram moved, although he did purchase land again in 1858.28 Renwick has moved to the Town of Crawford, with a farm now worth $800, although n o land purchases are seen as yet in Orange County records (Did he move onto the land his father owned?). He and Letty now have Mary Irene, Emogene and Frances.29

In 1870 Hiram is still listed as being the head of household and a farmer, but he has his
son-in-law, Elmeron Decker (married to Sarah) and Elmeron's brother George helping
out on the farm. In addition, daughter Mary (Hunter) and her two children are living with
them.30 Hiram died in 1871. Theodore was named as his executor and his deposition
states that he is living in Newburgh in 1871. Christina died in 1873. Both Hiram and
Christina are buried in the Rainey Cemetery, betweenWalden and Pine Bush. There's no
evidence left of any graves, with only the gate remaining.

Hiram's daughter Susan married John Nelson Crist and had two daughters, Linda and
Estelle and son John before her death in 1870. Their daughter Estelle married Ben
Odell, but she was killed in a steamboat accident in 1888. In 1891 Estelle's sister Linda
married Mr. Odell. In 1901 Benjamin Odell became Governor of New York. He served
through 1904. See the Appendix for a small part of Gov.
Odell's biography regarding his
Renwick is still in the Town of Crawford in 1870, farming on a holding worth $6000, living with Lettie, daughters Mary Irene, Emogene, Frances and sons George and Nelson; Alfred Niver (Letty's brother who helped with the farm- he died in 1878); and C. Faulkner (a female aged 48 listed without occupation??).31 Emogene, Frances and George have likely married by now. Nelson disappears with no evidence of a wife and may have died young. Mary Irene married William H. Owen before 1871. Their descendants have been discussed in the Owen posting. By 1880 we have some confusing land exchanges (probably due to Hiram's death) and Renwick has returned once more to the Town of Montgomery and is living with Letty, Frances and George.32 The agriculture census of that year indicates a much smaller farm, which is natural as Renwick is now 55 years old. His holdings consisted of 70 acres tilled and 8 acres woodland, valued at $3120. He only had 2 horses and only grew hay. The total value of farm products sold amounted to $645.33 Letty Niver Crans died on 30 May 1898 and is buried in the New Brick Reformed Church Cemetery in Montgomery, NY. By the time of the 1900 census Renwick was about 75 and was living with son George and his wife Julia (Eade)in Walden.34 By the 1910 census Renwick is back in the Town of Crawford, living with his sister Elizabeth Crans Ward, wife of James Ward. Elizabeth is 65, James is 75 and Renwick is now 85! The Ward family is also an old Montgomery family, for whom “Ward's Bridge”, the original name of Montomery is named. Renwick died on 28 February 1913 and is buried in the New Brick Reformed Church Cemetery in Montgomery.

Heads of Palatine Families in West Camp, 1710:

Excerpt from The New York Red Book
(Murlin, Edgar L, JB Lyon Co., Albany, NY, 1904)
"Mrs. Odell is a woman of charming manner. She is highly educated and has been conspicuous in the social and church life of Newburg for years. Mr. Odell's first wife was Miss Estelle Crist to whom he was married in 1877. His bride came, like himself from one of the old families of Newburg. They had three children, the eldest of whom, Walter, died in Washington, early in 1809. Mrs. Odell lost her life in an accident on the Hudson in June, 1888. A yacht in which she and a number of friends were sailing was struck by one of the Hudson river night boats. Mr. Odell married a second time. He chose as his bride Mrs. Linda C. Traphagen, a widowed sister of his first wife. Mrs. Odell is liked by every one for her many high qualities of heart and mind. She is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Newburg, at which Mr. Odell is a frequent attendant."

1 Causes of Palatine Emigration, excerpted from Early Palatine Emigrati

on, Walter Allen Knittle, Ph.D., Philadelphia, 1937 (

2 The Palatine Project, New York:

3Jones, Henry Z, Jr: The Palatine Families of New York- A Study of the German Immigrants Who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710: Universal City, California, 1985

4Jones, Henry Z, Jr: The Palatine Families of New York- A Study of the German Immigrants Who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710: Universal City, California, 1985

5Jones, Henry Z, Jr: The Palatine Families of New York- A Study of the German Immigrants Who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710: Universal City, California, 1985

6 Baptismal and marriage registers of the Old Dutch Church of Kingston : Ulster County, New York, 1660-1809 [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

7Jones, Henry Z, Jr: The Palatine Families of New York- A Study of the German Immigrants Who Arrived in Colonial New York in 1710: Universal City, California, 1985

8Locke, Emma K: A Short History of Montgomery, NY.

9Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.

10 Walden and its environs : with pen and camera., Vol 2, Walden, N.Y.: Wallkill Valley Pub. Association, 1914.

11 Worden, Jean D, Brick Reformed Church, 1982

12 Yates Publishing. U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2004.


14 Jones, Henry Z, Jr: More Palatine Families, Universal City, California, 1991

15 Walden and its environs : with pen and camera., Vol 2,. Walden, N.Y.: Wallkill Valley Pub. Association, 1914.

16 Calendar of N. Y. colonial manuscripts - indorsed land papers ; in the office of the Secretary of State of New York. 1643 -1803 at The Internet Archive:

17 New York County Maps and Atlases:

18 Crans Bible record as reported by Elizabeth Horton at OCGS.

19 1830 US Federal Population Schedule, Wallkill, Orange, NY, image 25/48 Database:

20Deed from Andrew Crance & wife to Hiram Crans, 1836, Orange County Deed Book 57, p 347, Recorder’s Office, Goshen, Orange, New York; Deed from Wm. Bradford to Hiram Crans, 1836, Orange County Deed Book 57, p 348, Recorder’s Office, Goshen, Orange, New York; Deed from John Boak & wife to Hiram Crans, 1836, Orange County Deed Book 57, p 350, Recorder’s Office, Goshen, Orange, New York

21 1840 US Federal Population Schedule, Montgomery, Orange, NY, image 33/45 Database:

22Deed from George Tears to Hiram Crans, 1836, Orange County Deed Book 98, p 351, Recorder’s Office, Goshen, Orange, New York;

23 1850 US Federal Population Schedule, Crawford, Orange, NY, image 21/46 Database:

24 1850 US Federal Non-Population Schedule (Agriculture), Crawford, Orange, NY, image 2/5 Database:

25Crans Family Bible records in Elizabeth Horton Notes from Orange County Genealogical Society, Goshen, NY

26 1850 US Federal Population Schedule, New Windsor, Orange, NY, image 10/59 Database:

27 1860 US Federal Population Schedule, Montgomery, Orange, NY, image 31/100 Database:

28Deed from James C Bull & wife to Hiram Crans, 1858, Orange County Deed Book147, p 541, Recorder’s Office, Goshen, Orange, New York

29 1860 US Federal Population Schedule, Crawford, Orange, NY, image 47/51 Database:

30 1870 US Federal Population Schedule, Montgomery, Orange, NY, image 106/114 Database:

31 1870 US Federal Population Schedule, Crawford, Orange, NY, image 9/52. Database:

32 1880 US Federal Population Schedule, Montgomery, Orange, NY, District 42, image 37/42 Database:

33 1880 US Federal Non-Population Schedule (Agriculture), Montgomery, Orange, NY, image 15/33 Database:

34 1900 US Federal Population Schedule, Montgomery, Orange, NY, District 30 (Walden Village); image 60/63 Database: