“John” Crane is the ancestor by which the Crane family claims a tie to England. John Crane of the “Muddy Brook” section of Boston is thought to be the father of Benjamin and brother Henry. According to E. B. Crane, ancestors “claim decent from a John Crane from Norfolk County, England” (p. 47). Nash claims decent from Suffolk County, England.
The following has been transcribed from “Genealogy of the Crane Family. Volume I.”
Crane, Ellery Bicknell. Genealogy of the Crane Family. Volume I. Pages 49-50.
As to the ancestry of Benjamin and Henry, whom we find in Wethersfield, Conn., in 1655, and whom we claim to have been brothers, the records are neither complete or satisfying. Messrs. Trumbull and Hinman, historians of considerable repute, both claimed that they were from Massachusetts. And Benjamin Crane, believed to have been the person who settled at Wethersfield, testified on May 15, 1653, at Flushing, “that he had lived some time at Dedham with Mr. Joseph Clark (nine years) and with Mr. Howard of Dorchester (one year), then aged twenty-four years. Also that he lived up Hudson River ten miles with one Mrs. Vandunkes daur Mr. Daughty that his Mrs. could speak good Indian, and that she told him 3 Sagamores that lived up the country said that the Dutch Govr had hired them to cut off all the english and kill all they could, for which they were to have a shipload of powder, kettles, &c.” Putting this with the tradition that has long existed in the family, that they were descendants from John Crane, and supported by the fact that the families who settled Wethersfield went there mainly from the eastern portion of Massachusetts, it would rather lead us to connect them with John Crane of the “Muddy Brook” section of Boston, which is now known as Brookline, where, January 8, 1637, he was the possessor of sixteen acres of land adjoining the homes of Benjamin Ward* and Robert Houlton, family names that were more or less associated with that of the Cranes in their Connecticut homes. Other families went from Muddy Brook district to Connecticut. This John Crane was, about 1642, recorded as having 26 acres of land in Roxbury. He must, however, have died or returned to England, for the latest date in which his name appears is 1649, as Deputy to the Great and General Court.
At this time Benjamin was about twenty years of age and Henry about fourteen. They doubtless were either bound out to serve until they were of age, or taken into the family of some friend who should properly care for them during their minority. Nothing is known of their early life, except what is given in the deposition of Benjamin at Flushing. Thus, in the absence of complete or specific data, the parentage of Benjamin and Henry Crane of Wethersfield, Conn., has been accounted for. That there was a kinship existing between them and the family of Henry Crane of Dorchester, Mass., there appears strong probability, not only in the close proximity of their first settlement, but in similarity of the Christian names adopted in their several families.
The following has been transcribed from “Fifty Puritan Ancestors.”
Nash, Elizabeth Todd. Fifty Puritan Ancestors, 1628-1660: Genealogical Notes, 1560-1900. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Company, 1902. Internet Archive. Web. 2014. Page 93.
John Crane came from Suffolk County, England, to America, and by 1637 he was living at Muddy Brook (now Brookline, Mass.). In 1642 is recorded as having land at Roxbury, was “Deputy to the Great General Court” in 1649. He had two sons: Benjamin, born 1630, and Henry.