Today I’m going to talk about Elder John Crandall of Westerly, RI. John was born in 1617 in Wiscombe, South Leith, Devonshire, England to James Crandall and Elizabeth Drake. He died Nov 29, 1676 Newport, Newport Co., RI. He mostly lived in Westerly, RI. He was married 2 times. To Hannah Gaylord and to Mary Opp. He is buried in the Crandall Family Burying Ground in Westerly which is just a little ways from the house he built. This house still stands and is still occupied by a member of the Crandall family. A few years back the family donated the land to the local native american tribe in order to avoid the town of Westerly repossesing the land for back taxes owed. Here are a few pictures of the House, built by Elder John Crandall also his barn and the family cemetery:
OK, I’m copy and pasting in how I’m related to Old John Crandall. Here’s how it goes.
Elder John Crandall 1617-1676…My 8th Great Grandfather. Married two times: To Mary Opp & Hannah Gaylord
Mary Opp 1620-1670(My 8th Great Grandmother) Hannah Gaylord 1646-1678(My 8th Great Grandmother)
John & Mary had: John & Hannah had:
Rev. Joseph Crandall 1661-1737 Peter Crandall Sr.1654/5-1734
Joe married Deborah Burdick1660-1737 Peter married Mary Babcock 1672-?
Joe and Deborah had 3 children: Peter & Mary had:
#1.Deborah Crandall 1675-1737 Peter Crandall Jr.1690-1734
Deborah married George Stillman II,1678-1760 Peter married Mary Burdick 1695-?
(See Stillman pages for the rest) Peter and Mary had:
#2. Joseph Crandall II 1684-1750 Samuel Crandall 1724-1813
Joseph married Ann Langworthy 1690-1773 Samuel married Hannah Clark abt 1747-?
Joseph & Ann had: Samuel and Hannah had:
Joseph C. Crandall III 1716/7-1792 Jane Crandall 1765-?
Joseph married Elizabeth Crandall 1717/8-1772 Jane married ?
(They were 1st Cousins. See Below) Jane and ?? had:
#3. John Crandall 1682-1767 Brg.General Clark Crandall 1785-1862
John Married Mary Yeomans 1685-? Clark Crandall married Amelia Jane Vincent 1788-1869
John & Mary had: Clark & Amelia had:
Elizabeth Crandall 1717/8-1772 Orpha Crandall 1814-1880
Elizabeth married Joseph C. Crandall III 1716/7-1792 Orpha married Phineas Crandall Stillman 1809-1892
Joe was her 1st cousin, see above They were distant cousins, see other side
Elizabeth & Joe had:
Phineas Crandall 1743-1821
Phineas Crandall married Ruth Rogers 1748-1783
Phineas & Ruth had:
#1. Lydia Crandall 1782-1865
Lydia married Russell Wells 1780-1859
Lydia and Russell had:
Jonathan Russell Wells 1819-1864
Jonathan married Martha Ann Rogers 1830-1903
Jonathan & Martha Ann had:
William Rogers Wells 1855-1926
William married Pauline Rudiger Stillman 1855-1922
#2. Esther Crandall 1775-1864
Esther married Maxson Stillman Sr. 1774-1857
Esther & Maxson had:
Phineas Crandall Stillman 1809-1892
Phineas married Orpha Crandall 1814-1880
Phineas and Orpha had:
Pauline Rudiger Stillman 1855-1922
Pauline married William Rogers Wells 1855-1926
Pauline & William had:
Elliott Ellsworth Wells 1900-1951
Elliot married Florence Weber 1902-1961
My Mother married MY FATHER-
Me – Jennifer!
Here are a bunch of references to John that I’ve found over the years.
From: Representative Men and Old Families of Rhode Island: Genealogical Records, By Higginson Book Company, 1997 (In the Newport Public Library)
Reverend John Crandall the first American ancestor of the Crandall’s came from Wales to Boston, Mass in 1634/35. He was a Baptist minister and was among those that were persecuted in the Boston Colony and so fled to Rhode Island to find the freedom of thought denied them in Mass. He settled first in Providence in 1637 and later in Westerly, R. I. where he became the first elder.
On July 21, 1651 he and John Clarke and Obediah Holmes were thrown into prison in Boston for preaching and on July 31 he was sentenced to pay a fine or be publicly whipped. He and his followers were instrumental in the settlement of Westerly but later he and his family moved to Portsmouth to escape the Indians and there died in 1676. He was one of the first preachers of the old Seventh Day Baptist Church.
Twice married, his second wife’s name was Hannah Gaylord and his children were John, Jane, Sarah, Peter, Jseph, Samuel Jeremiah and Eber. From this source came all the early families of the name in Rhode Island and Conn. as well as those that settled in New York. Pg 1115 of same book John Crandall appears at Newport R.I. as early as the year 1651 where he was associated with the Baptists. He subsequently became the first elder of that denomination at Westerly. He was a freeman in 1655, was commissioner several years 1658 – 1662 inclusive. He had a half a square assigned to him at Westerly in 1661, was deputy in 1667 and again in 1670-71, He died in Newport having moved there on account of the Indian War.
From: Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants, by John Cortland Crandall, New Woodstock, New York, 1949
JOHN CRANDALL, Colonial pioneer, First Baptist Elder, Deputy Commissioner, and statesman of Newport and Westerly, Rhode Island, the head of the Crandall family in America, was born in Monmouthshire, England, on the line between England and Wales in 1612. His mother is supposed to have been a Scotch lady. He came to Boston within a very few years after the landing of the Pilgrims, in 1634. Several writers have ascertained that he was associated with the Congregational Church at Salem as 1635 and that “he was certainly living in Providence as early as 1637” and while there are many reasons for believing these statements correct and that John Crandall was a close associate of Roger Williams was one of the founders of Providence, unfortunately it seems impossible certainly to confirm them. Many of the original Providence records were early destroyed.
The first valid documentary account of John Crandall in New England shows him to have been actively identified with the Baptist Church in Newport, July 21, 1651. His name next is found, with that of Matthew West in the Freemen’s list of Newport, 1655.
John Crandall was the first Baptist Elder at Westerly, “Elder Crandall was well calculated both by talent and sufferings to lead his people in their devotions. He took an active part In the border difficulties between Massachusetts and Connecticut and subsequently between Connecticut and Rhode Island, concerning the lines between the states.”
“With other founders of Westerly Mr. Crandall settled on the Misquamicutt land before 1665. He was commissioner for a number of years, served as deputy from both Newport and Westerly, and in other capacities which evidence that he was a man of importance. Through the seven sons of Elder Crandall the name became a common one and the family numerous in Rhode Island.” (From “Representative men and old families of Rhode Island”.) ………
Elder John Crandall died before November 29, 1676 at Newport where he was sojourning on account of the Indian War (King Philip’s War).
The “Journal of American History” gives the following sketch of the life of Elder John Crandall, which is substantially correct with the probable exception of the account of his activities prior to 1651
As early as 1635 Rev. John Crandall, who is believed to have been of Welsh ancestry, was living in Salem where, as elsewhere in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, there was at this time much opposition to all dissenters from the authorized tenets of the Puritans. John Crandall was the minister of the Salem church, but he adopted the opinions of the Baptists, which were very obnoxious to the Congregationalists, and in the autumn of 1635 he was dismissed as pastor. As did so many others of the early Baptists of New England he determined to settle in the Narragansett country. The Indians proved friendly and he obtained from them a grant of land. He has been called one of the founders of Providence. He was certainly living in Providence as early as 1637.
In 1669 he appears in “a list of the Free Inhabitants of the Town of Westerle” May the 18, (John Crandall’s name headed the list). Directly after this he, with Tobias Saunders, was authorized by the colony to summon juries and hold corts, they being appointed “Conservators or His Majesty’s Peace.”
John Crandall was one of the original purchasers from Chief Sosoa of Narragansett of the Misquamicutt tribe, of the land comprising Westerly, from which Hopkinton was later formed. The townships of Westerly, Hopkinton, Charleston and Richmond, as they now are, were a tract called by the Indians Misquamicutt and on August 27, 1661 John Crandall was one of the nine signers of a petition to the Court of Commissioners for the Colony of Providence Plantations, in session at Portsmouth, for the purchase of that part of the tract which became Westerly. His house was near Burdens Pond and a part of it now stands, as one room in the homestead occupied by lineal descendants, of the ninth and tenth generations. Across from the house in the old orchard field is the original cemetery, in which twenty seven bodies are buried. There are three rows of graves containing nine bodies each. These rows of graves run parallel with a swamp near by. Elder John is buried in the row nearest the swamp in the end grave to the left as one stands facing the swamp. Next to his grave is that of his son John. Each of the twenty seven graves is indicated by a field stone some 14 inches in width, appearing four to eight inches above the ground set at the head while a smaller stone marks the foot of the grave. There is no inscription on any of the stones. On the 6th day of October 1932 A. Julian Crandall of Ashaway, Rhode Island and Rev. Wm. S. Crandall of Binghamton, New York, standing in the little historical burying ground, agreed that a suitable marker should be placed thereupon. They further concluded that a large native field granite boulder with a bronze plaque properly lettered, embedded in the same would be most suitable. The two third cousins resolved that they would sponsor the project. He was the first Baptist Elder at Westerly and held a number of public offices at various times. In 1658, 1659, 1662, 1663 he was a Commissioner, and was a Deputy to the General Court in 1667, 1670 and 1671, representing Westerly during the two latter terms.
He had lived prior to his settlement at Westerly, at Newport.
There was much dispute between the colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut as to their jurisdictions, and especially as to jurisdiction over grants in Rhode Island, which however, had been confirmed by a royal charter to their purchasers. A claim was made in 1662 by Connecticut of land reaching beyond Misquamicutt to Narragansett Bay. On October 17, 1667, a letter was sent by the Connecticut authorities, to those of Rhode Island complaining that John Crandall had taken possession of about a square mile of land, which he had laid out to his sort, on the west side of the Pawcatuck River. On May 14, 1669 he and Joseph Torrey were appointed commissioners for the purpose of conferring with the Connecticut authorities concerning these land disputes. Certain individuals lent thirty five shillings to the Colony of Rhode Island in order to pay the expenses of Mr. Crandall to Connecticut. A few months later, on November 18, the governor and assistants of Connecticut sent a letter complaining that John Crandall and some others had appropriated a large tract of land in the township of Stonington, Connecticut. A reply to this complaint was sent by the Town of Westerly on March 11, 1669, signed by John Crandall and Tobias Saunders, in which all illegal seizure of land or other offense against the Colony of Connecticut was denied, and a counter charge was made; “but we are very sensible of great wrongs that we have sustained by them for many years.” In 1671 the dispute grew so serious that Mr. Crandall, with others, were actually carried off by the Connecticut authorities and was imprisoned at Hartford. On May 2, of that year the Rhode Island assembly advised him not to yield to Connecticut’s claims and assured him of the Colony’s support and that his financial losses would be borne by the Colony.
The Reverend John Crandall was twice married. The name of his first wife is unknown, but she died in 1670 and was buried on August 2 of that year. He married, second, Hannah Gaylord.
The subjoining summary recorded events in the later life of John Crandall “of Newport and Westerly, Rhode Island” is from Austin’s Authoritative Volumes “Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island,” and “One Hundred and Sixty Allied Families of Rhode Island.”
John Crandall was early associated with the Baptists, at Newport, subsequently becoming the first Elder of that denomination at Westerly.
1651, July 21. He, with John Clarke and Obediah Holmes, “being the representatives of the Church of Newport, upon the request of William Witter, of Lynn, arrived there, he being a brother in the Church, who by reason of his advanced age, could not undertake so great a journey as to visit the church. William Witter lived about two miles out of Lynn and the next day being Sunday, they spent in religious services at his house, and were there apprehended by two constables at the instance of the Massachusetts authorities, while Mr. Clarke was preaching, and the next morning they were sent to prison in Boston. For the dire offense of holding this little meeting, and on other frivolous pretexts Obediah Holmes was fined, imprisoned and whipped.
1651, July 31. He was sentenced to pay a fine of 5 pounds or be publically whipped. He was released from prison upon his promise of appearing at next court.
1658; 59; 62; 63 Commissioner.
1661, August 27, he and eight others signed a letter of the Court of Commissioners of Rhode Island, concerning a tract of land at Westerly, that they and others desired approbation and assistance of Rhode Island in settling upon.
1661, September 9. He had half a share at Westerly assigned him.
1667, October 17, Westerly. He was complained of in a letter from Connecticut to Rhode Island authorities, for having come on west side of Pawcatuck River and laid out about a mile square of land to his son.
1669, May 14. He and Joseph Torrey were appointed Commissioners to treat with Connecticut relative to jurisdiction of lands. The sum of 35 shillings was lent to the Colony of Rhode Island by individuals for John Crandall’s voyage to Connecticut.
1669, May 18. His name was on the List of Inhabitants. (Westerly)
1669, November 18. A letter was sent him by Governor and Assistants, of Connecticut, complaining that he and others had appropriated a great parcel of Stonington township, and seeking for satisfaction.
1669, March 11. He and Tobias Saunders answered on behalf of Westerly denying any guilt in matter complained of, “but we are very sensible of great wrongs we have sustained by them several years.” The letter closes: “As for your advice to agree with those, our neighbors of Stonington and the other gentlemen we hope that your colony and ours, will in the first place lovingly agree, and then we question not but that there will be an agreement between us and our neighbors of Stonington, and the rest of the gentlemen.”
1670, June 19. He as Conservator of the Peace of Westerly, wrote a letter a little prior to this date, to the Governor of Rhode Island, informing him “of an entrance made into our jurisdiction by some of Connecticut, and of their carrying away some inhabitants prisoners.”
1670, August 2. His first wife was buried.
1670, October 3. He deeded eldest son, John of Newport, “for love &c., all my good, chattels, debts, household utensils, and all other personal estate, movable or immovable quick or dead putting him in quiet and peaceable possession by payment of is in silver, by his son.”
1670, 1671. Deputy from Westerly.
1671, January 30. Bills were allowed by Assembly, for hire of a boat to go to Narragansett with Mr. John Crandall Sr. in the year 1670 and for hire of Sarah Reape’s horse for use of Mr. John Crandall to go to Hartford.
1671, May 2. He, having been “as is asserted” apprehended and now is in durance, by the Colony of Connecticut and having desired the advice of the Governor &c. of Rhode Island whether to give bond or abide imprisonment, the Colony will bear his charges and endeavor to justify his actings therein.
1671, May 6. He was allowed 20 shillings, to bear his charge to Connecticut.
1675, January 23. In a letter from Ruth Burdick, to her father Samuel Hubbard, of Newport, she says, “Brother Crandall hath the ague and fever still, and have been but little amongst us this winter, Sister Crandall is brought to bed with a son, and is in a hopeful way.” (Ruth Burdick’s daughter Deborah (Samuel Hubbard’s granddaughter) later married Elder John Crandall is son (by his first wife) Joseph. He died in Newport, having moved there on account of the Indian War.
1676, November 29. Under this date Samuel Hubbard, writes from Newport to Mr. Edward Stennitt in London, and after speaking of the devastation caused by King Philip’s War, he recounts the recent deaths in the First Baptist Church: He says: “of the old church, First Mr. Joseph Torrey, then my dear brother John Crandall, then Mr. John Clarke, then William Weeden, a deacon, then John Salmon; a sad stroke in very deed, young men and maids to this day I never knew or heard the like in New England.” Samuel Hubbard also wrote a few years later; “my dear brother John Crandall of Squamicut, is dead and his first wife a Sabbath keeper, the first that died in that blessed faith in New England.”
His second wife was Hannah Gaylord, born 30 Jan. 1647, and probably was daughter of William and Ann (Porter) Gaylord, of Windsor, Connecticut. The said Hannah married a Crandall as is shown by the settlement of her brother Hezekiah Gaylord’s estate in 1677.
The Incident in Boston
From: “State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation at the End of the Century: A History” edited by Edward Field; 1:89; The Mason Publishing Company; Boston, Massachusetts; 1903 (974.5 RI/History SCGS)
“To all of these assignments of her territory, Rhode Island made a vigorous protest. At this time when the interchange of warnings and summons could have engendered little good feeling between the two
colonies, there occurred an exhibition of Puritan intolerance which must have obliterated what little friendship there was left.
1651, July: Three members of the Newport church John Clarke, Obadiah Holmes, and John Crandall were deputed to visit an aged fellow member, who was residing near Lynn. Scarcely had they arrived and begun holding worship in the house when they were arrested, “being strangers“. A few days later they were tried at Boston, charged with being Anabaptists, and heavily fined. Holmes, for refusing to pay his fine, was so unmercifully beaten with a corded whip that it was a torture for him to move for many weeks afterwards. Thus did the Massachusetts clergy, through the fear of being deprived of their
temporal power, repress those who dared to worship God in their own manner. Bigoted as they were, they could not heed Clarke’s prophetic warning that the “forcing of men in matters of conscience towards God to believe as others believe, and to practise and worship as others do, cannot stand with the peace, liberty, prosperity and safety of a place, commonwealth, or nation”.
From: A Crandall Heritage and Legacy, by Julian Titsworth Crandall
1651 July 21 – He, with John Clarke and Obediah Holmes being the representatives of the Church or Newport, upon the request of William Witter, of Lynn, arrived there, he being a brother of the Church who be reason of his age could not visit the Church. William Witter lived two miles from Lynn and the next day being Sunday they spent in religious services at his house and were apprehended by two constables at the instance of Mass. authorities, while Mr. Clare was preaching and the next morning they were sent to prison in Boston For the dire offence of holding this little meeting and on other frivolous pretexts, Obehiah Holmes was fined and imprisoned and whipped.
From: Swamp Yankee from Mystic, A Family, A Region and It’s Roots, By James H Allyn,Page 7:
Although the Congregationalists had renounced the forms of the Church of England, they insisted that all should follow the Congregational rules of conduct. Sixty people were excommunicated from the church. There were too many to banish, but they were forbidden to bear arms. They were not the only ones with whom the Boston authorities had to contend. A small group on Noodles or Noddles Island, in what is now East Boston, had formed a Baptist Church. They were a branch of the church formed some years before in London, and held meetings in Bell Lane, Smithfield. The Baptists and Quakers were outlawed in 1644. Whatever chances there might have been to compromise were lost when Winthrop died in 1649. The next year Endicott banned all churches except the Congregational.
Roger Williams had moved across the Sekonk to settle Providence. In 1638 other Baptists settled on the north end of Aquidneck Island. Three of them, John Clarke, John Crandall (Elder John Crandall) and Obediah Holmes, went to visit an aged brother, William Witter, living in Swampscott outside of Lynn, to preach to him and his family. The three were arrested and brought to court. Cotton charged that the enormity of the crime, denial of infant baptism, would overthrow religion and the government, and was a capital offense. He argued that the prisoners were self-murderers. Governor Endicott pronounced the death sentence, but changed it to whipping or fines. Holmes’ fine was 30 Pounds, a ten years’ income for a person on relief. Clarke’s fine was 20 Pounds and Crandall’s 5 Pounds. Clarke proposed that the three of them debate with three Boston ministers, to which Cotton agreed. However, the three ministers could not agree on their arguments, so the debate did not take place. Without his knowledge or consent, some of Clarke’s friends paid his fine and he was released. Holmes was whipped unmercifully and could not rest, except on his hands and knees for some weeks. When Holmes was untied from the whipping post, a Mr. Hazel, cousin of Samuel Hubbard, shook his hand. Hazel was so severely beaten because of this handshake that he died at the home of a friend in Boston.
Winthrop as mentioned in the previous reference is: John Winthrop: One of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Winthrop arrived in 1630 aboard the flagship Arbella. As governor of the Colony, he established the center of government at Boston. On board the Arbella, he prepared and delivered his famous sermon “A Model of Christian Charity.” In this speech, without using those words, Winthrop introduces the concept of Manifest Destiny: “For wee must consider that wee shall be as a citty upon a hill. The eies of all people are uppon us.”
Baptizing the Rogers
From: History of the Rogerenes, Pages 131-132
(1674) Near the close of this eventful year, Mr. James Rogers sends for Mr. John Crandall to visit at his house. Mr. Crandall has, for some time, been elder of the Baptist church at Westerly, an offshoot of the Baptist church of Newport. He has recently gone over with his flock to the Sabbatarian church of Newport. If the subject of possible persecution in Connecticut is brought up, who can better inspire the new converts with courage for such an ordeal than he who has been imprisoned and whipped in Boston for daring to avow his disbelief in infant baptism and his adherence to the primitive mode by immersion? The conference is so satisfactory, that Mr. Crandall baptizes John Rogers, his brother James, and the servant Japhet. — (Letter of Mr. Hubbard.)
News of the baptism of these young men into the Anabaptist faith by Mr. Crandall, at their father’s house, increases the comment and excitement already started in the town. The minister, Mr. Simon Bradstreet, expresses a hope that the church will “take a course” with the Rogers family. The Congregational churches at large are greatly alarmed at this startling innovation in Connecticut.
From: Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America: A Series of Historical Papers
By Albert N. Rogers, Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, Pages 646-
While the beginning of the history of Seventh-day Baptists in the vicinity of Waterford was in 1675, only nine years after the members of the Baptist church began to keep the Sabbath in Newport and Misquamicut. Just how the people about New London had their attention directed to the subject does not appear in the original documents, but we know that they were only twenty miles from the Sabbath-keepers in western Rhode Island and fifty from those in Newport and that the families were connected by marriage. The first mention of Sabbath observers here is in a letter which Ruth Burdick wrote March 6, 1675, from Westerly to her father, Samuel Hubbard, in Newport. The letter reads:
“I judge it my duty to make use of this opportunity to impart to you the dealings and good hand of our God unto us. He hath been at work, as we believe, in the hearts of some of the inhabitants
of New London, and bowing their hearts to be obedient unto the Lord Jesus. The names of them is John Rogers, James Rogers his brother and the third an Indian whose name is Japheth: who gave a very satisfactory account of the work of grace wrought upon his heart. There be four more that sent to us desiring our prayers for them, and as for our part, we five are in love, and with one heart in what is revealed. As for Brother Randall he is highly displeased with brother Maxon about the Sabbath. Brother Crandall hath the ague and fever still, and has been but little amongst us this winter. Upon the I3th day of this month our brethren came again from New London to give us a visit and to partake in the ordinance of breaking of bread : with them another young man who is satisfied as to baptism but judges himself unfit. They declaring what joys and comforts they have found, and what they have met with from the sons of men. Mr. Bradstreet. the minister of the place, being enraged threatened them, warning them not to speak to any of his church, railing against us all that profess believers only to be baptized. Threatened Brother Crandall, saying he shall be ordered next court. Mr. Fitch of Norwich also said lie did hope the next court would take a course with Brother Crandall. Many such like words from many others we hear of. They have earnestly (requested) us to give them a meeting at our brother John Rogers’ house; but I fear brother Crandall’s weakness of body will hinder him, and here is none able to carry on the work there among them. For my part and I think many more would be very glad to see brother Hiscox here, and one more with him, and send them word a week before to give the people notice: they judge there would be many that would be there to hear and some to be baptized.”
It appears from this letter that Elder John Crandall had already been in New London witnessing for the truth, that he had baptized and received into fellowship John and James Rogers and an Indian named Japheth, that he had been threatened by the authorities, that there were others who were interested, that those received into fellowship had been to Westerly twice, joining with the Sabbath-keepers there in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and that it was desired that some one be sent from Newport to New London to carry on the work already commenced. The Newport church responded at once to the request and Mr. Hiscox, Mr. Hubbard and Joseph Clarke were sent this same month.
From: “Early Settlers of Westerly, Rhode Island” by J. D. Champlin of Stonington, Connecticut” from the “Genealogies of Connecticut Families: from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register” Gary Boyd Roberts; p. 673;
1669, May 18: John Crandall appeared on “A List of the free inhabitants of the towne of westerle” as the owner of lot #36 in the Westerly purchase.
From: Colonial Baptists: Massachusetts and Rhode Island, By: Edwin S. Gaustad [Ed.]: Arno Press, New York, 1980. p 119.
On 14 Apr 1668 he participated in a religious debate in Boston, MA. He is called “Grendall of Narragansett.”
*This is a pun referring to the character “Grendel” in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf.
From: Civil and Military List of Rhode Island 1647-1800 by Joseph Jencks Smith, 1900, Page 6
The First Officers of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
1669: General Sargent: James Rogers
Conservators of the Peace:
Misquamsacutt & Westerly:
John Crandall, Tobias Saunders
From: Civil and Military List of Rhode Island 1647-1800 by Joseph Jencks Smith, 1900, Page 7
1670. June Messengers to Connecticut:
John Crandall, Joseph Torrey, Jr.
From: Elder John Crandall, the Miller, By Judith C. Harbold, November 2000…This article appeared in the Dec 2000 issue of the C.F.A. newsletter.
We can learn some things about our ancestors by looking into the lives and writings of people who lived in the same places at the same time. Thomas Minor was a contemporary of our immigrant ancestor, John Crandall (1617/8 – 1676). They lived in the same early Colonial area and certainly knew one another. And, fortunately for us, Thomas Minor wrote a diary.
Thomas Minor came to New England in 1629 from Somerset County, England. First in Salem, he also lived in Charlestown and Hingham, Massachusetts. After a grant of land by the General Court of Massachusetts, a group of men including Thomas Minor founded a plantation in the Pequot territory, now New London, Connecticut. Later, about 1653, Thomas Minor made his permanent homestead in “Quiambaug,” in the town of Stonington, Connecticut. It was then he started his priceless diary, which he continued until 1684. Later Thomas’s son Manasseh also wrote a diary from 1696 to 1720.
Calendars and almanacs were not readily available and the diaries served to mark the days and briefly record events of family and community interest. We learn when Thomas sowed “turneps,” visited with Mr. Winthrop and less famous friends, when his wife fell off her mare and when she fell out of the “canoow.” We learn of marriages, births, baptisms, deaths of family and associates. He tells us of snowstorms, floods and stolen shirts. Thomas Minor mentions the price of land, tax rates, town meetings and murder investigations.
This selection of events is meant to supplement information about the family of John Crandall, a first settler of Westerly, Rhode Island, however the entire diary is fascinating and informative. Thomas Minor is an ancestor of many of us who are also descendants of John Crandall.
1667 July…..”saterday the .20 day I was at Crandals mill wensday night 24th the great land fflood” p. 80.
1667 August…..”wensday the .7. I was at mr Stantons as I went to Crandalls” p. 80.
1668 July…..”wensday the 8. I was at Crandals mill” p. 85.
1668 August…..”the ffifte day wensday I was at Crandals mill saterday the .8. Crandall and his wife was heare” p. 86.
1669 December…..”wensday .29. I was at Crandals mill” p. 93.
1670 July…..”thursday 21. mr Crandale was heare I had fouer loads of oats” p. 97.
1670 August…..”The 2 day of Agust 1670. Crandals wife was buried” p. 97.
1671 January [new style dating]…..”The .10. day of Januarie 1670. the Court about Crandall and lewis was at mr stantons house.” p. 100.
1671 April…..”the .8. day saterday we wer Laying out Land at the Est side poquatuck River” p. 102.
1671 May…..”munday .29. the Towne meeting wenesday 31. we wer at Crandalls and sanders to serve Summons.” p. 103.
1671 July…..”The 24 day wensday samuell was at Crandals mill::” p. 104.
1673…..”wensday .24. I was at Crandalls mill” p. 119.
1675-6 [The Indian wars were heating up and endangering scattered homesteaders in Westerly. As a consequence, many settlers, including John Crandall, moved to Newport safely located on the island of Aquidneck. John Crandall died while he was in Newport.]
1681 July…..”the 30 day I was at Crandalls mill” p. 167.
1681 August…..”Tusday .23. I was at Crandals mill” p. 168.
1682 September…..”the .7. day I was at Crandals mill” p. 174.
1716 June, Manasseh Minor’s Diary…..”22 I went to Crandals mill” p. 131.
This seems to indicate that the elder John Crandall was a miller in his years at Westerly. In these entries, Thomas Minor does not mention wood or timber that one might take to a sawmill, but he does mention farming oats, wheat, and “corne.”
There was only one Crandall family in the New England Colonies in the 1600s. We know that the first John Crandall in Westerly spent a good deal of time on civic and religious activities, and all colonists participated in farming, but did our ancestor have another profession? What do you think? Was Elder John a miller? Who carried on the mill after Elder John died?
John Crandall’s first son, John Crandall was born about 1649, and would have been 18 or 19 years old in 1667, the first time Thomas Minor mentioned Crandall’s mill. Furthermore, we know from Land Evidence records that John2 became a blacksmith. Thomas Minor mentions Crandall’s wife in 1668 and 1670. John2 was not married until 1672.
The other sons would have been 16 years old and younger.
The mention of Crandall’s wife’s burial date is certainly John’s first wife. It seems likely to me that if there were more than one Crandall in his writings, Thomas Minor would have distinguished them in various entries as has been seen in certain public records where the son John is listed as Junior.
There is a Rhode Island historical marker on Route #3, between Westerly and Ashaway, at the intersection of Chase Hill Road. It marks the location of an early ford of the Pawcatuck River, the first mill dam and grist mill. It is at the foot of a knoll where Peter Crandall, son of Elder John, in 1680, donated land for the first church in that area, a Seventh Day Baptist Church. There are many references in the early town records of Peter Crandall’s mill.
All the evidence indicates that it could be only Elder John who owned and operated the mill. He was not, of course, “Elder” then. But that is another story. The entries above which do not mention a mill, show involvement that both John Crandall of Rhode Island and Thomas Minor of Connecticut had in the historical boundary disputes between the two states. There are many other entries on that subject. Again, that is another story.
Reference: The Minor Diaries, Stonington, Connecticut; Thomas 1653-1684; Manasseh, 1696-1720. Originally published in 1899. [Re] Published by John A. Miner, Boxborough, Massachusetts, 1976.
Note: The scarcity of punctuation and run-on sentences make it difficult to distinguish exact dates in some cases. For some generations, the Babcock name was spelled Badcock.
From: The Early History of Narragansett, By: Elisha R. Potter Jr. Published MDCCCXXXV, Collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society Vol. III, Page 241-242
Petition to the Assembly.
To the Honorable Gentlemen of the Court of Commissioners ,assembled together in his Majesty’s name for the colony of Providence Plantations at Portsmouth the 27th of August, 1661.
Please ye honored Gentlemen, there being an opportunity or presentment of a certain piece or tract of land, lately discovered or made known; which tract of land lyeth in a situation in the furdest or remotest corner of this Colonies jurisdiction, called by the name of Ascomicutt: which tract of land is fairly promised or ingaged to a sartaine number of adventurers upon the design of purchase of it: which adventurers are members of this Colony and well wishers thereto: who desire to do nothing that shall prove prejudicial to the interest and honour of the Coloneys privileges or advancement : but are now confronting the adversaries of the Colony : which by a species of intrusions are seeking to make inroads upon our privileges of Colonies jurisdiction; the premises considered, your petitioners are bold under correctin to pray in ease we can make the adversarie: which is both to the colony and us to retreatt, which we question not: in point of right and title from the natives: therefore we being willing to proceed in all poynts of loyallity that may suit with the advance and honor of the colony, we humbly crave your favorable approbation countenance and assistance to us in the settleing of a plantation on Towneshepe: in or upon the above said tract of land called by the name Aacomieutt, which number of persons may probably extend to the number of 80, 40 or 50 or thereabout which are thence to inhabit, thearof many of an persons constrained to make inquisition and seek out for land for a comfortable livelyhood. So honored gentlemen if it be your pleasure to grant your petitioners request or petition as we are, so we subscribe and remain your humble petitioners and servants to our power for ourselves and in the behalf of the rest of our company.
WILLIAM VAHAN, + his mark.
JOHN CRANDALL, HUGH MOSIEUR,
JAMES BARKER, CALEB CARE,
JAMES ROGERS, I B his mark.
JOSEPH TORRY, JOHN CRANSTON.
From: The Early History of Narragansett, By: Elisha R. Potter Jr. Published MDCCCXXXV, Collections of the Rhode Island Historical Society Vol. III, Page 250-251
These articles of agreement made in the year one thousand six hundred and sixty or sixty-one, March the two and twentieth, between us whose names are underwritten, about a tract of land bought of an Indian captain called Sosooa, of Narroganset, the land being called Misquamakuck, as appeareth by deed by us John Fairfield, Hugh Mosher,. Robert Stanton and James Longbottom:
First, that we whose names are abovewritten, do give, grant, ratify and confirm the same privileges with ourselves, unto all those names are underwritten, according to their proportion of land in the aforesaid purchase.
2ly. That all we whose names ate underwritten, or the major part of us may transact any thing that we see cause in or about the aforesaid land.
3ly. That if any of us transact any thing about the aforesaid land, without the consent of the whole, or the major part, shall be disowned and of none effect.
4ly. That all charges that hath been already out about the aforesaid land, shall be repayed to the disbursers suddenly without delay, so soon as the disbursers bring us their account to the rest of the company.
5ly. That each of us whose names are here underwritten, or shall be hereafter added, shall bear equal charges to what have been out already, or shall be out hereafter, In any case about the land aforesaid, according to the proportion of land they have.
6Iy. That what changes shall be out from time to time, shall be brought in twenty days after they shall have warning from us or the major part of us.
71y. In case that any bring not their money as is above-said, nor give satisfaction to the company, shall forfeit their land, and what they have been out already.
81y. That the deed and all other writings about the aforesaid lands, shall be kept in William Vaughan’s house, and that each of the purchasers shall have (if they desire it) a
copy of the deed or any other writings that thereto belong, paying for the draught thereof.
9ly. The parties that have interest in the aforesaid land are, William Vaughan having a whole share, Robert Stanton having a whole share, Hugh Mosher having a whole share, John Fairfield having a whole share, James Longbottom baying a whole share, Shubal Painter having a whole share.
lOly. Whosoever that we shall agree with, shall have a proportion of the land aforesaid, shall have the same privileges as ourselves, provided that according to his proportion he set to his band to these or the like articles.
11ly. That we shall meet to consult about the aforesaid land so often as occasion shall present, at William Vaughan’s house.
l2ly. That to all the aforesaid articles we engage each to other to be faithful and true to perform the aforesaid articles that here Is above written, whereto we set to our hands.
Hugh Mosher, William Helmes, William Vaughan, William Weeden,
John Fairfield, John Maxson, James Longbottom, Joseph Clark,
John Green, Pardon Tillinghast, Jeremy Willis, John Nixson,
John Coggeshall, Antony Ravenscroft, Edward Smith, James Babcock, Sen’r.
John Crandal, John Room, James Rogers, William Codman,
James Barker, William Dyre, Sen’r. William Slade, George Bliss,
Henry Timberlake, John Richmond, Junr. Ed. Greenman, James Sands,
Fit. Richmond, John Tiler, Edward Larkin, John Lewis,
Sbubal Painter, Hugh Parsons, John Cranstone, Francis Braiton,
Caleb .Carr, William Foster, Joseph Torry, John Havens,
Robert Carr, Jefferey Champlin, Tobias Saunders, Richard Morris,
Henry Basset, John Tripp, William Gingill, Lawrence Turner,
Obadiah Holmes, Robert Burdick, Jireh Bull, Emanuel Wooley,
From: Westerly and It’s Witnesses, Page 282
Crandall Ground (2): This is found about forty rods west of the Pound Road, and west of the Old Crandall house (now the residence of Mr. Charles Crandall), and without inclosure. None of the fifteen or twenty graves are lettered.
Here lie the remains of John Crandall, 1st, and his two wives; (Mary Opp & Hannah Gaylord)
John Crandall, 2nd, and his wife Anna; Esther, Lewis, Hannah and Joshua Crandall;
Lydia Crandall, lst wife of Charles; John Crandall, son of Charles.
From: “Early Settlers of Westerly, Rhode Island” by J. D. Champlin from the “Genealogies of Connecticut Families: New England Historical and Genealogical Register” Gary Boyd Roberts; p. 676;
1676, November: In a letter from Samuel Hubbard to Dr. Edward Stennett, pastor of a Baptist Church in Bell Lane in London, England, dated Newport, Rhode Island, appears the following:
“Now, dear brother, although we are not destroyed by the Indians, God hath visited this land by taking away many by death and, in this place of all sorts. Of the old church, first Mr. Joseph Torrey; then my dear brother John Crandall; then Mr. John Clarke; and then William weeden, a deacon; then John Salmon.”
During King Philip’s War, there were several deadly encounters that pitted colonist against colonist and even Native American against Native American. Ironically, King Philip was the name given the Native American leader named Metacom (Metacomet). Legend has it that Elder John Crandall died as a result of an infection from wounds he suffered fighting with the Narragansetts against militia from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Plymouth and their Pequot and Mohican allies in the Great Swamp Fight in December of 1675. The tragic war claimed over 600 colonists and 3,000 Native American lives, caused devastating damage to the colonies and nearly wiped out the Narragansett and Wampanoag as organized tribes.
.( 8/1/2011 NOTE: If you’re interested in this post, check out my post on June 30, 2011 with Elder John’s Baptismal Records)
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