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The Crank Family Ancestors Since 1595 & Brief History Compiled and Written by: Richard L. Crank 138 Gants Road Moncks Corner, SC 29461 843-761-6322 E-Mail Knarc1@aol.com December 1, 1997 The most ancient surname of Crank makes an impressive claim to being one of the oldest Angelo/Saxon surnames on record. The history of the name is closely woven into the intricate tapestry of the ancient chronicles of England. The Pipe Rolls, the Hearth Rolls, parish registers, baptismals, tax records and other ancient documents have found the first records of the Crank surname located in the area of Lancashire, England where they were seated since ancient times. A village of Crank was located near Rainford where there is also a Crank Hall and Crank Farm. This would reasonably be the seat of the family name, although they seemed to also have had interest in northern Lancashire in the Silverdale and Furness areas. Many different spellings have been encountered during the search of the surname. Although the name Crank occurred in many of the documents and manuscripts, from time to time the name was also officially spelled Crank, Cranc, Cranke, Cranch, Krank, Cronk, Crunk and others. These variations in spelling frequently occurred over the years since ancient times and the practice continues on into times at present. There were several reasons for this, illiteracy, being spelled the way the name was heard, intentional changing of the spelling in some cases to avoid prosecution for one reason or other. Bear in mind that the English dictionary did not come into existence until the mid 1750s and was mid to late 1750s when the first English Pronunciation Dictionary was published. Although the Saxon Race gave birth to many English surnames. The surname Crank was not one of them. The Saxons were invited into England by the ancient Britons in the 5th century. They were a race of fair skinned people living along the Rhine Valley as far northeast as Denmark. They were led by two Commanders, Hengist and Horsa. The Saxons settled in the county of Kent, on the southeast coast of England. Gradually they moved north and westward and the next four hundred years forcing the Britons back into Wales and Cornwall in the west and Cumberland in the north. The Angles occupied the eastern coast, south folk in Suffolk and north folk in Norfolk. England prospered under the Saxon rule and under a series of High Kings, the last of which was Harold. In 1066 the Norman invasion from France occurred, with the Normans storming the area with 40,000 troops. Their first victory was the battle of Hastings. Many of the Saxon land owners forfeited their land to Duke William and his invading Norman Nobles. The Saxons who remained were not treated well by the present Rulers, and moved northward to Lancashire and Yorkshire away from the Norman oppression. The English name Crank emerged as an influential name in the county of Lancashire, where they were anciently seated. The name Godric Cranc was recorded as being born in 1121, Abby Bury, St. Edmonds. He died in 1148 at same location and was buried there. (Extracted from "Feudal Documents From the Abby of Bury", D.C. Douglas, 1932). When translated the name "Godric" meaning, good ruler. It is reasonable to assume that he was a ruler of some sort. During the middle ages the surname Crank played an important role in local affairs and in the political development of England. During the 14th through the 18th century England was ravaged by plagues and religious conflicts. Puritanism and the remnants of the Roman Catholic Church rejected all non-believers with each promoting their own cause. Conflicts between church groups along with the Crown and political groups making unreasonable demands on the rich and poor alike broke the spirit of the largest portion of the population and many turned against religion and fled to other countries of Europe and to the American Colonies. Some were forced to leave England against their will, being shipped off in bondage and used as slaves in the Colonies or elsewhere for a number of years before being set free. Some were never set free and died under slavery. In 1753 a Thomas Crank was shipped from London England to Virginia in bondage, his only crime was "stealing oatmeal". A John Crank who had joined the opposing forces against King James II only to find themselves loosing the battle , John was captured, chained and shipped off to Barbados as a slave for the remainder of his lifetime. John had been allowed to marry a lady of different race and color during his stay in Barbados and it is believed that some of his descendants came to the American Colonies. One in particular believed to be a descendant of John, named Pelig Crank was a Revolutionary War soldier fighting for the Colonies. Pelig has been listed in some documents as white, others as colored and others as mulatto. It is quite evident that he was a descendant of mixed race parents. A John Crank who was an English soldier was one of the first Cranks to have landed on North American soil according to records and documents found. He arrived in the year 1616 on the British ship Maryland at Jamestown, Virginia from England. John arrived with one gun, one sword, one suit of armor, one keg of powder and thirty bushels of corn. John had arrived on the North American Continent at least 10 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Mass. The first attempt at Colonization was the Roanoke Colony in 1610 whose group had simply disappeared, never to be seen nor heard from again. The next ship arrived two years later only to find the previous group to have disappeared. Where and how did the name Crank originate? The word "crank" is ultimately derived from an old English verb, cranc, not found in any of the other four branches of the root Germanic tongue. Most modern references infer the surname was adapted after the 17th century as either a place name ( as from the "crank" or bend in a stream), a work related name (as from the weavers "crank") or from some other employment of "crank" as a noun. The earliest member of record being in the 12th century (Godric Cranc) along with others recorded as Crank/ Cranc through the 12th and 13th century establishes the living surname well in advance of the 17th century. The OE (Old English) verb , crinc-an, cranc, crunc-en, was a local form of the more general OE, cring-an, crang, crung-en, and meant to "fall in battle". Assuming the surname Cranc referred to one fallen or pledged to fall in battle that inference would have been entirely compatible with the principle of occupation of earlier Cranks who are largely recorded as yeomen. Initially, a yeoman was a freeholder who bore arms as a full-time occupation, a house guard more or less, who also acted as a sergeant in assembling and training tenant farmers when troops were needed. In addition, a yeoman was the only one among common soldiers to go into battle fully armored, a necessary prerequisite to carry out his specific military duty. The German and Dutch derivative adjectives have extended the meaning of krank or kronk to describe a weak or sick object. All early Germanic peoples used patronyms for individual and family reference rather than surnames and those of the Icelandic branch continued to use patronyms well into the 19th century. A surname became the common denominator of participants of land owners and other trusts after 800 AD. After 1600 English Law required use of surnames rather than the use of patronyms for personal identification. All records indicate the Crank surname did emerge early in or prior to the 12th century. That name with its variant phonetic spellings ( Cranc, Crunk, Cronk, Crank, Cranke, Cranch, Craunch) can be considered to have been born as a badge of distinction and probably associated with an hereditary military occupation and ownership of land. After viewing all definitions of the word "crank" and derivatives of which we are aware within the time frames of their appearance we have concluded the earliest meaning of the OE verb, cranc, or "fallen in battle" was concurrent with first use of the surname cranc/crank and the two are contextual. The Immigration to the Colonies Began. Immigration was sparse up until early in the 19th century primarily due to the miserable living conditions aboard ship, before that time frame where the only passenger space available was in the cargo holds of ships, without ventilation, toilet facilities, or enough food or water. There were the hazards of disease and being pirated at sea. A 15 percent passenger fatality rate was not uncommon. A reporter once wrote " If crosses and tombstones could be erected on water... the whole route of immigrant vessels from Europe to America would long since have assumed the appearance of crowded cemeteries". Cranks immigrated to the Colonies from England, Holland, Scotland, Ireland, northern France and Germany. Whatever their point of origin or time most proceeded from a common ancestral heritage centered in northern England. Most German and Dutch emigrants settled in what is known now as the New England states. Virginia received the largest population of Crank immigrants while others settled in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. Thomas Crank and possibly Nathaniel Crank descended from A John Cranch/Crank who was born in England in the year 1595. Thomas and Nathaniel were residents of Middlesex Co. Virginia in 1673 when it was separated from Lancaster Co. Va. Thomas had two sons, Thomas II and Matthew. Thomas settled in the Chowan district of North Carolina in 1717 and the Cranks/Kranks of the Albemarle Sound area are largely descended from Thomas II. Matthews line of Cranks spread through Virginia along the Potomac and James River, then on to Louisa, Albemarle, and Bedford Counties, later spreading on to western Virginia (now West Virginia), Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Missouri. Richard Crank, who was born after 1700 and is the most likely candidate of being the son of Nathaniel, left Virginia about twenty steps ahead of the Sheriffs in 1744 for central North Carolina. Nathaniel was a cordwainer or shoemaker and land speculator. He was illiterate and left his name spelled variously as Crank(e), Cronk, and Crunk on land deeds and court records. Nathaniel died in 1767 in Rowan County North Carolina leaving a large number of heirs who clove to the name Crunk. The surname Crunk stuck with these heirs traveling on to Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, Indiana and Texas. The more interesting one of this group was John Watts Crank/ Crunk, son of Nathaniel. He served in the Revolutionary War and lived at various times in North Carolina, western Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama and numerous locations in Tennessee. John Watts led a colorful and exciting life. It would be a fair assumption that approximately 70 percent or more of all Cranks and Crunks in the United States today descended from the Thomas Crank previously mentioned who was born in 1650. Cranks were not known to own large numbers of black slaves and the few that were owned, most took the name of their owners. Today the heaviest concentration of African Americans carrying the name Crank are located in the Chester County South Carolina area with several being scattered throughout the United States. Prior to the mid 18th century two free black families appeared in Massachusetts and New York. Peleg and Alderman Crank of the Massachusetts family served with distinction in the Revolutionary War with Rhode Island and Massachusetts troops. It appears that the Currituck County North Carolina Cranks had freed most all their slaves sometime after the deaths of Thomas Sr. and Thomas II around 1730. Other North Carolina and Virginia Crank families had freed most of their slaves sometime shortly after 1750. Crank Name and Places: Crank Island: Northumberland County, Virginia, between Henrys Creek and Barnes Creek. Reportedly named after a fight between two brothers around 1900 Cranks Creek: Harlan County, Kentucky, a branch of Martins Fork of the Cumberland River. The name of the creek and nearby Cranks Ridge and Gap is said to have been from Thranks, that of a pioneer surveyor. Yet it could have been named for one or more of the Crank families known to have lived in Knox, Bell and Clay counties in the early 19th century. Cranks Creek Post Office: Established on April 9, 1908 with Harvey L. Ledford as Postmaster. An earlier Post Office on the creek said to be one of the oldest in the county was in operation from May 27, 1848 to September 1849, was relocated to another site from October 25, 1871 to Jan. 8, 1874. Cranks Gap: Lee County Virginia. Cranks Run: Louisa County, Virginia, Cranks Springs, Arkansas: Miller County, Arkansas Crank: Name of town in St. Helens England Crank Hill: Located in Wednesbury, England Crank Wood: Located in Derby, England Crank Road, Crank Hall, Crank Farm and Crank Museum: Located in Lancashire County, England. **Note** Crank Hall was built in the late 16th century as near as can be determined the year was 1575. The type construction and appearance would remind one of our early plantation homes built in America. The home is occupied and lived in today as of this writing ( October 1997). Local residence living in the area today insist that ghost still remain in the home. The Family Lineage: Generation 1: John Cranch, born in Lancashire County, England in the year 1595. Little is known of John Cranch other than records indicate that he was either the father or grandfather of Thomas, and year and place of birth. Given the year that Thomas was born (1650) it is likely that John was the grandfather as he would have been 55 years of age at the time Thomas was born.. ***NOTE: Since this was written it has been clearly established that John Cranch was the father of Thomas Crank, born bc1650 and that his name was later changed to Crank. This is the same man that arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1616. Generation 2: Thomas Crank, born in either Middlesex, England or Lancaster County, Virginia in the year ca. 1650. (Note- Middlesex Co. was formed from Lancaster Co. in 1673). Thomas married at age 25 to a lady named Ann ???. Ann was born in Virginia in the year 1660. They had three children as follows: Elizabeth, born 1685 in Virginia, she married John Davis, born 1703 in Virginia Matthew (Sr), born 1680 in Virginia and married Elizabeth ???. Thomas II, born 1680 in Virginia and married Ann Goodloe, born 1704 in North Carolina. Thomas was granted several hundred acres of land and built a plantation raising tobacco as the primary crop. During this time period tobacco was used in trade as money since money was scarce and tobacco was a principal item of export used as currency until Virginia established its own monetary system. The local legal court system had ordered that he be enlisted in the Militia to bear arms and serve as a footman (foot soldier) to help protect the settlements from the Indians. Thomas prospered during his lifetime leaving a huge estate to his heirs upon his death on October 8, 1721 in Middlesex Co. Va. The land and plantation along with one cow was willed to his grandson Matthew Jr.. His "Negro woman" (servant) was willed to his granddaughter Anne (dau. of Thomas II) . His personal estate, stock of cattle and hogs along with his "moveables" were to be equally divided among Anne Crank, Betty Davis and Sarah Davis. (Betty and Sarah were also granddaughters, children of Elizabeth). Thomass youngest son Thomas II moved south to the Chowan District of North Carolina and established a small fleet of Schooners for ferry service, operating out of Albemarle Sound servicing the coastal areas of North Carolina and parts of the Virginia coast by hauling cargo and passengers. Thomas experienced financial difficulties in 1718 and a lawsuit was brought against him by a group of individuals, evidently ones who had invested money or goods in his business. This same year an epidemic had broken out in Middlesex County and many of the Crank family perished including a brother of Thomas along with nieces and nephews, Thomas left abruptly to give aid to his family, afterwards returning. The various creditors had assumed the worse and their cases were dropped, Thomas then resumed normal business. Thomas II and wife Ann Goodloe had seven children, John, Elizabeth, Mary, Mark, ( Mary and Mark were twins) Ann, Thomas III and Richard. His Schooner Ferry service was carried on into the earlier part of the 20th century by generations of descendants. On May 6, 1727 Thomas II died near his place of birth, Middlesex County, Virginia. Generation 3: Matthew Crank (Sr.) Matthew was born in Middlesex County, Virginia in the year 1680. In 1701 he married a lady by name of Elizabeth (maiden name unknown). Matthew and Elizabeth had six children as follows: Ann Crank born August 22, 1702 in Virginia Elizabeth Crank born July 1704 in Virginia Agatha Crank born May 1707 in Virginia Matthew Jr. Crank born 1709 in Virginia Sarah Crank born Feb. 20, 1715 in Virginia Soloman Crank born July 17, 1718 in Virginia Matthew had acquired several acres of land and farmed it during his short lived lifetime. The epidemic that swept through the area in 1718 was a major tragedy for the entire family. Matthew, son Soloman contracted the decease and died within two months of each other in 1718. Sarah died the following year. Matthew died on the 3rd. day of December 1718 at the age of 38, survived by his wife Elizabeth, son Matthew Jr. daughters Ann and Agatha. Matthew willed his "Negro boy" Dedford to his son Matthew, one two year old heifer to his daughter Agatha, wife Elizabeth was willed his entire estate to be divided equally among the children after her death. Elizabeth later married William Gardner on August 3, 1720. Generation 4: Matthew Crank Jr. was born in Middlesex County Virginia in the year 1708. He married Mary Basket on October 26, 1732. They were married in Christchurch, Middlesex County Virginia. Mary was the daughter of Henry Basket, mother unknown. Matthew and Mary had eight children as follows: Sarah Crank born Dec. 8, 1733 in Virginia Thomas Crank born 1735 in Virginia William Crank born 1740 in Virginia Stephen Crank born 1740 in Virginia Henry Crank born 1741 in Virginia Matthew Crank III born 1750 in Virginia Elizabeth Crank born 1751 in Virginia Josiah born 1765 in Virginia Matthew inherited the plantation estate of his grandfather Thomas Sr. at age 13. at this time in Virginia a man was not considered of legal age until he reached the age of 18. However , if so designated by parents or guardian he could be considered of legal age at 16. The distribution of Thomas Sr.s estate did not occur until 1724 at which time Matthew Jr. would have been age 19. Matthew continued farming the land, raising tobacco crops and other with the aid and assistance of others. On May 9, 1735 Matthew was summoned by the courts to serve on a grand jury along with fifteen others to decide the fate of three people who had committed crimes as follows; Edward Rouse for swearing one oath (cursing), William Hutchinson for not attending church within a period of two months and Jane Ross who brought a mulatto child to bed with her in the home of William Oliver. The 1787 census listed Matthews personal property as; 4 black slaves over the age of 16, four black slaves under the age of 16, three horses and five cattle. Matthew later moved to Caroline County Virginia where he died in 1802 at age 94. No recorded will has ever been found. Generation 5: Thomas Crank, Thomas was born in Caroline County Virginia in the year 1735. At age 30 he married Elizabeth Richardson, age 20, on April 25, 1765. Elizabeth was born in Virginia in 1745. Thomas and Elizabeth had four children as follows: Matthew born April 25, 1765 in Virginia Thomas Jr. born 1767 in Virginia Mary born October 16, 1770 in Virginia William born September 18, 1772 in Virginia Thomas and Elizabeth had led a simple and uneventful lifestyle. They purchased property in Caroline, Fluvanna and Goochland Countys Virginia and spent a lifetime farming as did their predecessors. Thomas died in 1782 at the young age of 47. no will has ever been discovered. Generation 6: William Crank (Sr.) William was born on September 18, 1772 in Goochland County Virginia. He was the third of eight children born to Matthew Jr and wife Elizabeth. When he reached age 21 he married a lady named Tabitha Poindexter, age 19. Together they had seven children as follows: Harriet born 1776 in Virginia William Jr. born 1798 in Virginia Henry born 1799 in Virginia Nathaniel born 1800 in Virginia Samuel born 1800 in Virginia Dabney Harrison born May 31, 1810 in Virginia Mary born 1811 in Virginia Williams wife Tabitha died in 1830 at age 45. William remarried on November 12, 1833 to Rachel Carlton. William and Rachel had no children together. William spent a good part of his life farming but apparently he was well educated. One census listed him as having a "learned profession as an engineer". William died at age in April 1854 at age 82 leaving one third of his estate to his wife Rachel and the remainder divided equally among his children. The following year Rachel died then the surviving children freed the two slave families owned by William and Rachel. Generation 7: William Crank Jr. William Jr. was born in 1798 in Louisa County Virginia. When he reached age 17 he decided to take up the carpenter trade skill. On November 14, 1820 at age 22 he married Elizabeth Ann Hudson, age 20. Together they had five children as follows: Mary born 1821 In Virginia, she married a Walton Elizabeth born 1824 in Virginia she married Tom Jones William T. born June 21, 1826 in Virginia Joseph H. born 1829 in Virginia Hiram Hudson born June 27, 1830 Elizabeth Ann died at the early age of 30. On January 20, 1839 William remarried a lady named A. Martha ( Stephenson) Buckner, age 52. Martha had previously been married to a Stephenson. Together they had one child, Nancy J., born 1845 in Virginia. William worked at his carpenter trade during his years. He moved to Amherst County Virginia for a period of time, later moving to Halifax County. Sometime around 1860 he moved westward to Kanawha County Virginia (now West Virginia). His son Joseph and daughters Mary and Elizabeth remained behind in Halifax County Virginia. The sons, Hiram and William T. moved to Kanawha County. The youngest son Hiram worked as a "boatman" on one of the Kanawha River boats hauling freight down to the Ohio River later he moved on westward to work on the Ohio and Mississippi River boats. He also worked at the carpenter and mechanic trade for a period of time . In 1855 he moved on to Eddyville, Iowa to work with his brother William T. At this time he enlisted in the Union Army assigned to Co. F, 18th Regiment, Iowa Infantry Volunteers and served the entire time of the civil war. William Jr. died in Kanawha County West Virginia in 1865. He had no land of value and only left two shillings to be divided among his survivors. Generation 8: William T. Crank- William T. was born on June 21, 1826 in Halifax County Virginia. At age 24 William married a lady named Anastacia Flick, age 18, together they had two children, Anne E. was born in 1850 in Kanawha County Virginia (now West Virginia) and George W. who was born on May 14, 1852, also in Kanawha County Virginia. William worked in the "cooper " trade ( A cooper was one who made wooden cask or tubs) and sometime before 1850 moved from Halifax Co. Virginia to Kanawha County Virginia. During the time period he lived in Kanawha County, he along with his family were living next door to Absolem and Alcy Bowen what is known now as the Tyler Mountain area. The Bowens had two daughters named Mary and Sarah. Both daughters were near Williams age and at one time he had a sexual encounter with one of the daughters and she became pregnant and bore a child. The child was named Henry C. Crank. (** see note**) Henry was born on Christmas day (25th) in 1853. Shortly after the birth of Henry, William and Anastacia divorced or separated and he moved on west to Wapello County Iowa where he remarried again to a lady named Francis ???? on March 2nd 1854. Together they had two children, one named John born December 1855 in Iowa and a daughter Flora born 1857 also born in Iowa. William T. died in Wapello County Iowa in 1859, leaving his five children and wife Francis as survivors. The oldest child George at age 7 was placed with a family named the Billy Fredericks family and raised. George was always writing letters to his family members inquiring about his mother (Anastacia) and his brother (Henry) in West Virginia in his later years. George never married. **Note** There has been huge controversy as to who the parents of Henry C. Crank. Letters that were written by William T. Crank to the family of Absolem Bowen were found by family members in Iowa, clearly indicate that William T. was definitely the father of Henry and either Sarah or Mary Bowen was the mother of Henry. There are copies of letters in my files written by Henrys half brother, George W. Crank. These letters were written to his uncle, Hiram Hudson Crank inquiring about his brother in West Virginia on several occasions. Generation 9: Henry C. Crank. Henry Crank was born on December 25th, Christmas day in 1853. He was born at Kanawha County Virginia (Now West Virginia). Henry was born out of wedlock to one of two ladies named Sarah or Mary Bowen. The exact mother has not been established at this time. At the age of 24 Henry married Mary Elizabeth Davis together they had ten children as follows: William Lee born 1879 Jennette born Feb. 1882 died 1884 Minnie Osa born Dec. 25, 1886 Dora born July 1887 Summers Wayne born Oct. 10, 1889 **All born in Kanawha Co. WV** Alice born 1882 Earl born Dec. 1893 Ivan born Dec. 1896 Myrtle Alice born 1899 Basil born June 7, 1900 Henry was a farmer beginning at a very early age. He farmed at his grandfathers place (Absolum Bowen) in the Tyler Mountain, W.Va. area until he married his wife Mary Elizabeth. Henry and Mary purchased a farm at Second Creek, near Sissonville, W.Va. he raised vegetables and sold them on the markets in Charleston. My mother Ruth Crank (Reed) had told me she would spend nights with Henry and Mary so to have someone with Mary when Henry departed at 3:00 or 4:00 AM with his vegetables to be delivered to the markets in Charleston. On October 21, 1927 while making a delivery in Charleston, Henry was hit by a Model T Ford truck and died as a result of the accident at age 74. Mary Elizabeth was born in 1854. Some records indicate she was born in Arkansas but I have been unable to establish this as fact. Members of the Payton "Pate" and Pearl Jorden (Davis) family say that Pearl and Mary Elizabeth were cousins and that they were from the Putnam County West Virginia area. Payton and Pearl are buried in the old Crank Cemetery at the head of Second Creek. Mary Elizabeth died on June 11, 1943 at the age of 89 in Kanawha County. Both Henry and Mary Elizabeth are buried in the old Crank Cemetery at the head of Second Creek. The only access to the Cemetery at this date is by following the Ridge Road and taking an old logging road off to the left which leads to a foot trail turning back to the left. A modern headstone has been placed recently at the head of the graves of Henry and Mary most probably by some family members. Generation 10: Summers Wayne Crank Sr. Summers was born on October 19, 1889 in Kanawha County West Virginia. In 1912 at the age of 23 he married a dear lady named Biddie Robinson. Together they had eight children as follows: Clifford Leotis born Aug. 1, 1914 Hansford born July 1916 deceased Dec. 24, 1916 Mary Elizabeth born Sept 12, 1917 Melba Emogene born Aug. 13, 1921 Summers Wayne Jr. born Nov. 29, 1923 Juanita Francis born Jan. 27, 1925 William Keith born Oct. 25, 1927 Ruth Evelyn born Aug.2, 1931 deceased Nov. 9, 1931 Summers spent his earlier years as a farmer after which time he obtained employment with the Diamond Ice and Coal Company in Charleston, West Virginia until he was hit and killed by a train in Charleston, West Virginia and died instantly on July 6, 1944 at age 55. Summers is interred at the Crank Cemetery on Haines Branch near Sissonville, W.Va. Parents of Biddie Crank (Robinson) John Robinson born- 1843 Ireland died- July 22, 1914 Kanawha County West Virginia First marriage- date unknown wife: unknown Second marriage- date unknown wife: Mary Elizabeth Kersey born- 1855 Ohio died- Oct. 26, 1913 W.Va. Children: 2nd marriage: Mahalia born July 22, 1879 mard Bob Moss Missouri born Aug. 28, 1882 mard Felix Burdette Millie born Sept. 27, 1887 mard Fred Burdette Biddie born Dec. 21, 1889 mard Summers W. Crank Sr. John Franklin born April 25, 1892 mard Icy Burgess Josephine born Aug. 19, 1895 mard Charles Webster Boggess 1st marriage: Marcelius
Jim (James?) born 1867 deceased Nov. 18, 1957
Biddie died on July 11, 1978 in Jackson County West Virginia at age 89 and is interred with her husband Summers in the Crank Cemetery on Haines Branch.
The following are some Cranks
of interest. Some are connected
to our lineage, some are not.
Narrative & Obituary of James Riley Crank
born 24 Dec 1837, Adams Co., Illinois
Unabridged, from the newspaper 'Herald' after the death of James Riley Crank on 30 Dec 1922: Mendon, Ill.;
Jan.4. A wonderful man in some respects was James Riley Crank of Mendon, Adams County, pioneer farmer, whose funeral services were held at Mt.Hebron Christian Church Tuesday afternoon at the church he helped build and support. He was buried in Franklin Cemetery not far from the spot where he was born over eighty five years ago. Coming from the hardy stock that settled the great West, Mr.Crank was a well developed man, still vigorous mentally and physically when stricken with the illness that caused his death. Recovering from a severe cold Mr.Crank got about his house too soon contracting more cold and double pneumonia developed. Mr.Crank loved to talk of his early life and his experiences when four times he crossed the plains in the forties. The Herald correspondent is indebted to Mr.Crank's oldest son, Wm.T.Crank, for the following life history of his beloved parent.
James Riley Crank was born near Marcelline (Ill.) in Lima Township Dec. 24,1837 and died in Mendon Township on the farm which had been his home for fifty eight years. In 1845, when a boy of eight years, his father (James Crank, b.1806, Tn.) moved to Oregon settling near Portland, then a village of half a dozen houses roofed with clapboards and in winter, overgrown with moss. The family left Illinois Mar.30,1845 in a wagon drawn by oxen and after leaving Omaha, then a small village of Indian traders, trappers and hunters, struck west into a roadless wilderness.
At times the company of twenty one men with women and children were compelled to halt for several hours at a time for herds of Buffalo to pass. The only people seen between Omaha and the Columbia River were Indians of whom as many as 800 at one or two times were met. These were peaceable and inclined to help rather than hinder the travelers by directing them through level country where grass and water were abundant. At one time a Sioux chief followed the wagon train for a week attempting to steal a daughter.
The company was lost and would have starved in the mountains had not these same good friends (Indians) carried word of their plight to the Methodist mission on the Columbia River. The missionaries sent out a white guide with the Indians who brought them safely through many hardships one of which was the total lack of bread or cereals of any kind for twenty one days.
When Mr.Crank was ten years old in 1847, his father decided to return to Illinois, making the trip in three months on pack horses, the whole company dressed in buckskin and riding squaw saddles. When they reached Missouri settlements word was passed ahead that they were coming and at several places people turned out in crowds to see them, making a showday of it. They furnished the Wild West features with their every-day buckskins and squaw saddle rigs. His mother (Nancy George Crank, b.1808, Tn.) carried a year old child* on her horse riding as did the others from Portland to Quincy (Ill.).
On the return of the family to Illinois they settled on the farm now owned by Ed Pettijohn, later buying what is known as the Crank place in the Mt.Hebron neighborhood. Mr.Crank became affiliated with the Mt.Hebron Christian Church about 1857 and served on it's board of officers for many years in various capacities being a member of the building committee when the chapel was built in 1891.
His people were natives of North Carolina moving from that state to the neighborhood of Knoxville, Tennessee thence to Illinois in 1831**. Adams Co., Ill. has been the family home since that date and Mt. Hebron school district was the family neighborhood for ninety one years.
In the original immigration were Mr.Crank's grandfather, Charles Crank; his father, James Crank and wife; (twin brother) Jesse Crank (and wife); uncle John Crank and wife; uncle Nelson Crank and wife. All settled in eastern Lima and northeastern Mendon Townships. James and Jesse Crank died on farms in the Mt.Hebron neighborhood. They belonged to the race of American pioneer farmers who carved farm homes out of the western wilderness and made of it a fruitful country.
Mr.Crank was married Jan.12,1860 to Nancy Spicer, daughter of Rawser Spicer, to whom were born five sons; William T., James Rawser, Charles O., John F., and Riley S., all of whom are now living. Besides his own sons he reared to manhood and womanhood the three orphaned children of James A. Spicer.
* The child carried on horseback by Nancy George Crank from Portland, Oregon to Quincy, Illinois was John W. Crank, b.Mar.27,1847. He died at age 5, Sept.15,1852.
** James Crank, wife and son arrived in Adams Co., Ill. in 1829. Others mentioned arrived 1833 and later.
*** James Crank, the father died Nov.17,1852. His widow, Nancy, remarried and after the death of her 2nd husband, Thomas White, b.1800, Tn., moved to central Missouri to the household of one of three sons there.
Narrative of George Washington Crank
born 5 May, 1853, DeKalb Co., Mo.
Part One (unabridged):
Nathaniel Crank came to America from Holland with his parents * when he was a young man and they settled in ** Kentucky near Boonevelle where he did farming, hunting and trapping. This is where he became aquatinted with Betsey Hansel of German *** nationality and as time went on they became lovers and were married and to them a son was born.
This was in the first settlement of Kentucky. When the Indians were on the warpath the small fields of corn and grain had to be guarded and watch kept for the Indians while others worked in the fields. There was an Indian raid on the settlement near the Fort and many of the settlers lost their lives by the Indian warriors. Betsey Crank and her baby daughter and others were taken prisoners. The boy, Joseph Crank, was with his father at a neighbor's and were rescued by the soldiers of the fort. Betsy Crank and her baby were taken to the Indian village where the baby died from exposure.
Betsy Crank was a captive of the Indians for seven years and was forced by the chief to marry an Indian and they had two Indian boys. After she had endured all those hard-ships for seven years the Indians moved their village closer to the White village and Betsy Crank hearing the Indians talking about the settlement and Fort, she found out the distance and direction to go as she had learned to talk the Indian language and could understand them and their ways. All the time she had a longing to see her people and bid the time she could get away.
On a dark night when all was still and the Indians were asleep, she took a little kettle and her flint to kindle fires with and slipped out of the teepee or wigwam leaving her man and two Indian boys behind. She traveled all night and part of the next day when she heard the bark of a dog , then she knew the Indians were on her trail. She looked for a place to hide, then she found a stump where a large hollow tree had broken off, she climbed into it and turned the kettle over her head for protection. It was not long till she heard the Indians and their dogs go by. She stayed in her hiding place till night when she started on her journey again, traveling along the river and catching fish and cooking them in her kettle for her existence, when the next day in the evening brought her to the settlement and Fort where she found her husband, Nathaniel, and her friends and enjoyed being with them once more.
Nathaniel Crank had used all means available to find his wife and baby and all had failed to give him any trace of them and he had supposed the Indians had killed them. Being troubled about it he stayed in the settlement and took care of the boy till his wife came back and they lived together for five more years. Then the Indians made a raid again on the settlement killing some of them and taking some prisoners. The same tribe of Indians took Betsy Crank again and for her leaving them and her Indian husband, she was given the death sentence by the chief and was driven full of pine splinters and burned at the stake. When her husband found this out by one of the prisoners who had got away, he hunted Indians as well as game.
Then Nathaniel Crank and son, Joseph, went to the Fort to help fight Indians and became aquatinted with Daniel Boone and went hunting with him several times. Killing deer and black bear in the summer and trapping in the winter was their sport in those days. Nathaniel Crank became sick from exposure and died leaving his son, Joseph, to battle the world alone.
* Father of Nathaniel Crank, bc.1745, was probably John Crank, b.1705,Va., in turn son of Nathaniel Crank of Middlesex Co. and later Hanover Co., Va. It's very possible that Nathaniel Crank(e), bc.1675, and Thomas Cranke also of Middlesex Co., Va., or their forebearers, did emigrate to the colonies from Holland rather than directly from their homeland in Lancashire, England.
The English and Dutch were involved in six wars between the years 1600 and 1700 and an English military presence in Holland was almost continuous during that time. A John Crank, soldier, was part of an English unit in Holland that returned to England in 1684 in an attempt to depose then King James. The coup leaders were beheaded and John Crank was shipped to Barbadoes in bondage. English Catholics and Presbyterians both were considered 'dissenters' and many of both sects fled to Holland to escape persecution. In various parish registers of Lancashire some Cranks whose first names are not given were registered as 'dissenters' at baptisms or other events.
*John Crank was present in western Virginia by the early 1750's, participated in the French-Indian War and the Rev.War, dec'd in Russell Co., Va., 1802.
** The state of Kentucky was initially part of Augusta and, later, Montgomery Co., Va., Kentucky being formed as a State about 1792, after the events described.
*** Germany consolidated as a nation from many independent states ca.1860. Individuals previously identified as citizens of Prussia, Hesse, Bavaria, etc.
Narrative of George Washington Crank;
born 5 May, 1853, DeKalb Co., Mo.
Part Two (unabridged):
Joseph Crank became a great hunter and trapper getting many fine furs and selling them. He became aquatinted with the Masters that had moved into the settlement, the old folks had come to America from Scotland and had two sons and a daughter. Joseph Crank and the Masters became great friends.
John Master would go trapping and hunting up the river and float their furs and honey down the river in a skift or hollow log to some town below. Nearly every town had their strong man or bullie in those days.
Joseph Crank and John Masters went down the river with some fur and honey and stopped at a town and Joe went up town to sell their stuff and while he was gone the bullie of the town came with some others and insulted John and wanted to fight him. John told them to wait till his partner came back and he would fight then. When Joe came, John told him they had insulted him and wanted to fight. Then Joe took a stick and made a big ring on the ground then told John and the bullie to step into the ring and have it out. So John Masters hit the bullie one lick knocking him down and that was enough for he didn't come back.
Then at another time, they went to a town further down the river and John Masters licked their bullie and knocked down five other men as fast as they came at him. Then they treated him and told him they weren't mad at him but wanted to see him fight as they had heard what he had done to the bullie of the other town.
Joseph Crank and Anna Breden * became lovers and were married and settled near Booneville, Kentucky. Miss Breden was also of Scotch descent as her folks had come from Scotland. Joseph Crank got himself a piece of ground and cleared it and built a log house for their home, going through many hardships and fighting.
Joseph Crank went hunting one morning and about two miles away from his house he shot a big black bear, then setting his gun up against a tree he took his hunting knife to stick the bear when the bear got up and ran after him as it had only been stunned. He fell over a small log and the bear bit him through the calves of both legs. Then he killed the bear with his hunting knife and skinned out a hind quarter and carried it home to his wife and children.
His legs had to get well without the aid of a doctor and left deep scars. I, George W. Crank, have his melting ladle the one he carried with him when he went on a hunting trip and melted lead and run bullets over his camp fire. He never forgot the Indians. It is supposed Daniel Boone shot bullets run from this ladle when Joe was at Fort Boonesburro.
Joseph Crank was a soldier in the War of 1812 until it ended. Then he sold his farm and moved to Ohio where he died leaving his wife to care for children. Some of the small ones had to be bound out and Alfred Crank was bound out to a man by the name of Bill Gilruth of Haverhill, Scioto Co., Ohio ...
* Joseph Crank's wife was Anna Masters. George Washington Crank, a grandson of Joseph Crank, son of Alfred Crank wrote this narrative ca.1930. Apparently he confused the maiden name of the mother-in-law of Sylvester Crank, Alfred Crank's older brother and neighbor, with that of his own grandmother, Anna Masters Crank. Anna remarried after Joseph Crank's death to a Michael Bowen, an older man and Rev. War vet. Anna lived in the Alfred Crank household during her last years and was probably the source for the narrative later written by George W.Crank.
Narrative of George Washington Crank
born 5 May, 1853, DeKalb Co., Mo.
Part Three (unabridged):
Alfred Crank was bound out to a man by the name of Bill Gilruth of Haverhill, Scioto Co., Ohio. There he grew to manhood working on the farm and hauling iron ore to the Hickey Furnace with an ox team. When of age he learned to be a pilot on the Ohio River and took barges and flatboats of pig iron and other produce down the river. He was an expert and soon became a pilot on the Steam Boats and had been as far south as the Gulf of Mexico.
On one of those trips he stopped at a tavern in Portsmouth. He got aquatinted with Miss Margaret Henson as she was a waiter on the table in the tavern and talked to her. He made it a point to stop there after that when on his third trip after the first time he saw her he asked her to become his wife. As they had no time to spark they were married and he quit the pilot business and commenced farming in Ohio where his three oldest children were born. Then Alfred Crank sold out and moved to DeKalb Co., Missouri, buying a farm near Maysville. He worked it a few years and sold it.
Then he was going to Oregon *** but changed his mind and bought a farm of 120 acres in Worth Co., Mo. and improved it. This land joined the Platt River and was a fine farm with very rich soil and was stocked with horses, cattle and hogs. It was well watered and had a fine oak grove and apple orchard with some peaches and a farm house and log barn. Our dog's name was Drummer. He would go after the cows alone and drive them home from the field.
Alfred Crank was ordained as a Baptist minister Sept.1,1856 by the conference of Gentry Co., Mo. and had a circuit where he went to preach every Sunday. He went horseback and sometimes his wife would go horse back riding with him as she was a good singer and helped him in his church work.
Then in 1861 the Civil War commenced and Alfred Crank and his son, Joseph, enlisted to go and fight the rebels and free the Negroes. Then Alfred Crank rented the place to Hezikiah Tompson * as they would not have him in the army because of some defect. He tended the place the best he could under the circumstances in time of war. Joseph Crank was married and had to leave his wife and baby girl. Those were times that tried the hearts of men and women. Alfred Crank was with Cornel Curry of Home Guards and was a Captain ** of his regiment and fought the rebels for two years. He caught a severe cold that settled on his lungs and went into inflammatory Rheumatism in the ankles. He could not ride his horse and had to get a parole to go home. He hadn't been home over a week when the rebel soldiers heard of it. They came one dark night and surrounded the house and took Alfred Crank out of the house and left one of their soldiers to guard the house. Then Mrs. Crank was scared and ringing her hands when I, Geo. W. Crank a boy of nine years, said to my mother "Can't you tell some body?", then my mother said "Yes" and told my brother and I to go to the woods and hide till she came for us. She ran a mile to Platt River where John Ham lived and told Ham that the Rebel soldiers had taken her husband toward the school house.
John Ham got on one of his horses and rode two miles to where the Union soldiers were camped and told them what had happened to Alfred Crank. When a lot of them went with him and sentenced him to death by hanging. They had a rope fastened to a joist in the log school, were just putting the rope around Alfred Crank's neck when the Union soldiers surrounded the school house and there were some shots fired through the windows and Alfred Crank's life was saved. The only one that got away was the one left to guard the house.
Then John Ham and the Union soldiers brought Alfred Crank home all right and Margaret Crank had done her part well. She called her two sons home and they came from their hiding places and were together once more. Then Alfred Crank fixed up his business and went to Iowa where Dick Baker lived as his son married one of the Baker sisters. Alfred Crank bought a small farm in the bend of the Des Moines River near the high bridge. Then he sent for his family and Dick Baker's father and they moved with two wagons to Iowa. This was in 1863 or '64. ... Alfred Crank died Sept.25,1886. Margaret Henson Crank died Oct.10,1889, both are buried at Polk City, Iowa, cemetery.
* Note: Joseph Crank, b. June 12,1841 served with the 35th Reg't., Mo. Vols., Inf., Co. D. He served on the Mississippi River gunboats and died Feb.2,1863 at Helena, Ark.
Alfred Crank and his brothers moved from Ohio to central Missouri between 1840 and 1850. The area was largely populated with men from Virginia and their families who moved there to claim Bounty Land Warrants offered for service in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Those several counties are still known as "Little Dixie" and vicious battles were fought in that area throughout the course of the Civil War. Summary executions of captured rebels brought retaliation and after 1861 the war in Missouri was fought at a bitter personal level resulting in incidents such as the one described here. Alfred Crank left "Little Dixie" quickly after his near hanging realizing his life would continue in jeopardy in Missouri. His brother, Sylvester Crank also a Home Guard soldier, left when Sterling Price's Confederates returned to "Little Dixie" ca.1875 after having retired to Mexico as a unit in 1865. Another brother, Enoch, died in DeKalb Co. in 1864, circumstances of his death unknown.
* Hezikiah Thompson was a son-in-law of Albert Crank.
** Cornel Curry was Capt. Curry and Albert Crank a srg't., Co. D., Gentry Co. Reg't, Mo. Home Guard.
*** Nathaniel Crank, older brother of Albert, passed through Mo. at this time after leaving Lawrence Co., Ky. en route to Oregon.
Note the date this man was born and the date that he died.
That makes him 125 years old at date of death.
Seth S. Crank/Crunk
aka Bitsii-Nahaah-Taha or His hair is untied
b. 1842 Williamson Co., Tennessee
Navajo Co., Arizona
dec. Jun 1967 Arizona
mar: ca.1875 wife: Bitter Water Woman, aka Asdiaan-Todachii'Wii
Richard B.Crank/Crunk, b.1814, Tn.
Nancy L. Hardeman, b.1810/20, Tn.
Clod b.1878, Ariz. aka Red Streak Rock
1) 1850 census Tennessee, Williamson Co., p.284: hshld 628, Richard Crank, 36, b.Tn.; ... ; Seth S.,8, b.Tn.
2) Soc.Sec. record #527-24-8735; name Seth Crank, 1850/Jun 1967. SS. card iss'd. Ariz. No zip codes given for place of death.
2a) Note: actual SSA. record reads; b.00/00/1850 as this is the earliest birthdate the system will record. Even using that generic bd. this man would have been 117 yrs old at death. From census records it appears he was actually 125 yrs old at death.
b. 1822 Floyd Co., Kentucky
same location as
Lawrence Co., Kentucky
mar: ca.1845 wife: Mary 'Polly' C. Woods, b.1824, Va.
William Crank, b.1770/75, Va.
Susannah Biggs, bc.1785, Va.
John W. b.1847, Ky.
Christopher Columbus b. May 1848, Ky
Rubin Frank b.May 1851, Ky.
Mary Jane Frances b.31 May 1853, Ky.
Leander M. b.22 Nov 1855, Ky.
Susan (Sara) b.1858, Ky.
Wiley b.1859, "
Laura Ann b.6 Sep 1859, Ky.
others in hshld:
1840; 1 wf b.1780/90 (mother-in-law of Cath.?) 1 wf b.1790/1800 (unidentified)
1 wf b.1800/10 (Catherin Crank Casey ?) 1 wf b.1825/30 (dau of
Catherine ?); 1 wm b.1830/35 (son of Catherine ?) 1 wm b.1835/40
(son of Catherine ?)
1850: Jane Sloane, 8, b.Ky., relationship unknown.
Note: from filing, 13 Aug 1865, Circuit Court, Knox Co., Ky., Cornelious Crank, heir, against other children and successors to dec'd. children of James Crank, b.1779; Jeremiah Crank or his successors not listed. See Order Bk.L., p.280, Box 155, Circuit Court office, Knox Co. Courthouse. Eliminates James Crank as possible parent of Jeremiah.
1) 1840 census Kentucky, Lawrence Co.,
a) p.46, line 9: Jer\a (Jeremiah) Crank, 11001 00100111, total of 7 persons, 1 in agriculture. Indicates 1 wm 20/30 (b.1810/20, Jeremiah), 1 wm 5/10 (b.1830/35), 1 wm -5 (b.1835/40), 1 wf 50/60 (b.1780/90), 1 wf 40/50 (b.1790/1800), 1 wf 30/40 (b.1800/10), 1 wf 10/15 (b.1825/30).
b) p.46, line 8, hshld of Nathaniel Crank, b.1800/10. This Nathaniel Crank was born in Halifax Co., Va. & probably related in some manner to Jeremiah.
2) 1850 census Kentucky, Lawrence Co.;
a) p.86: hshld 471, f.475, Jeremiah Crank, 28, farmer,land @ $200; Mary, 26, b.(Lee Co.), Va., etc
b) p.87; lists Preston Crank, b.1813 as hshld 482.
3) 1860 census Kentucky, Lawrence Co. ,Louisa Post Office, p.651: hshld 171, fam.171, Jeremiah Crank, 38, millwright, per.prop. @ $100, b.Ky; Mary, 36, b.Va; family as above.
4) 1860: Lawrence Co.,Ky. Deed Bk.F, p.388/94;
a) a deed dated 31 Oct 1860. Rueben Biggs, grantor; Jeremiah Crank, grantee. This deed given by Rueben Biggs to Jeremiah Crank as guardian for Catherine (Crank Casey) Biggs, title to farm & house during her lifetime, son Jeremiah & daughter Polly (Mary) Biggs, thereafter. Rueben Biggs reserved right to harvest a specified amount of timber previously sold to Thomas Wallace & others.
b) RAC note: construe this document as evidence Jeremiah to have been a brother to Catherine, dau of Wm.Crank & Susannah Biggs. Catherine first mar'd. to a Casey presumed dec'd. ca. 1838. Biggs son & dau probably named in favor of Jeremiah & his wife Mary Polly Woods. Jeremiah's one son named Rueben, prob. in favor of Rueben Biggs. Mother of both was Susannah Biggs.
5) 1868: Tax List, Lawrence Co., Ky.;
a) Jeremiah Crank pays tax on 1 wm 21+, 7 children age 6/20, 150 bushels corn.
b) Mary Crank pays tax on 4 children age 6/20.
c) Columbus Crank pays tax on 50 bushels corn.
6) 1870 census Kentucky;
a) Lawrence Co., p.267, Prect.9: fam.23, Jerry (Jeremiah) Crank, 48, laborer, b.Ky.; Martha, 33, b.Va.; Reuben, 10; Sarah J., 8; Amanda, 6; all b.Ky.
b) Boyd Co., hshld 165, fam.142: (Rubin) Frank Crank, W, 19, laborer, b.Ky.; (Mary) Polly, 46, b.Ky. (Va.); Mary, 17; Leander, 15, laborer; Susan, 13; Wiley, laborer; all b.Ky. ** Note: family of Jeremiah & Mary Polly Woods split by differing North - South allegences during WBTS. Oldest son remaining at home listed as head of hshld for mother's residence. Martha, age 33, & children listed with Jeremiah may not have been his legal wife & heirs.
7) 1872: Lawrence Co., Ky. Court Order Bk.VI, p.7; 1 Jan 1872, The Commonwealth (of Ky.) vs Jeremiah Crank, Bastardy. Cause is filed away subject to be redocketed.
8) 1880 census Kentucky, Lawrence Co., Prect.3: fam.45, Leander Crank, 24, farmer, b.Ky.; Lora, 22, sister; Wiley, 20, bro.; Mary, 56, mother, widow; Jeremiah, 58, widower, wagon merchant.
9) from 'History of Lawrence Co.': Jeremiah Crank was born in 1822, probably in Floyd Co. (Ky). His wife, Mary (Polly) Woods, was b.1824 in Virginia. Jeremiah was a mill- wright, a carpenter and an excellent wood carver. He made the book case for the 1st church in the Falls of Blaine area. The church was made of logs & the book case walnut (according to J.L. Moore history of Fallsburg). Jeremiah Crank & Tom Wallace purchased the grist mill and saw mill in 1868 the same year it was nearly destroyed by a flood. ... Jeremiah & Mary had seven children ...
10) papers of Jeanne Carter, Ashland, Ky.;
a) Jeremiah the first person to be buried in the Woods Cem. in Fallsburg, Lawrence Co., Ky.
b) Wife, Mary 'Polly' Woods Crank at odds with her husband and did'nt want to be buried in the same cemetery, is interred Falls Cem., Blaine, Ky.
c) History of Lawrence Co. by Geo.Wolford states "... Jeremiah Crank was widely landed " but researcher can find no deeds of Lawrence Co., Ky. in his name.
d) Deed Bk.F, p.388; Ruben Biggs makes Jeremiah Crank guardian of his (Bigg's) wife, Catherine Biggs, and children Jeremiah and Polly.
11) Misc: After birth of their last child in late 1859 a deep rift opened in the marraige of Jeremiah Crank and Mary Woods. Both individuals seem to have been industrious, moral persons and think deeply rooted loyalties to opposing sides of the conflict of 1861/65 poisoned the lives of these people to the extent each declared their spouse to be deceased on later census records. Economic necessity or a sense of obligation to their children or a combination of both reasons may have brought them to continue to live under one roof but their division was deep enough for Mary as the survivor to insist on burial in a cemetery apart from that in which her husband had been interred and in another county.
b. 1765/75 Russell Co., Virginia
Greenup Co., Kentucky
Scioto Co., Ohio
dec. 1824 Lawrence Co., Ohio
mar: 1794 wife: Anne Masters, b.1770
Nathaniel Crank, b.bfr.1745, Va./Pa.
Betsey Hansel, bc.1745
Nathaniel b.1794/1802, Ky.
Joseph b.1794/1800, "
Mary b.1794/1804, "
Sylvester b.28 Jul 1803, "
4th son unidentified b.1804/10, "
Alfred b.12 May 1813,"
Phebe b.1810/20, Ky/Ohio
Elizabeth b.1810/20, " "
** Note: Russell Co., Va. area was in Washington Co., Va. 1776 to 1786; in Fincastle Co., Va. 1772 to 1776; Botetourt Co. 1733 to 1772 and in Augusta Co. before 1733.
1) 1795 &'96;
a) Russell Co., Virginia Personal Prop.& Land Tax Lists, Lower District, 1795 and 1796; Crank, Joseph (1).
b) Virginia Genealogist, 1964-65, do.
a) Ohio Crossroads of Our Nation, Vol.24, p.70: Scioto Co., Ohio; Greene Township list: Settlers in Green Township by 1800, list of 33 families including; ... Joseph Crank, ... , Daniel Van Bibber ... (Note: Elizabeth, dau.of Joseph mar'd. son of Van Bibber).
b) 1803; from Nathaniel Crank's History of the Crank Family, furnished by Virginia W.Knapp: "My father, Sylvester Crank, was born (28 Jul) 1803 in Lawrence Co., Ohio near Hanging Rock on Storms Creek ..."
3) 1805; see affidavit of Joseph Crank (Sr.), 1823, below.
4) 1806; Eastern Kentucky References, Greenup Co., p.99: 1806 tax list for Greenup Co., Ky.; (taxpayer) Joseph Crank.
5) 1807; Ken. Hist. Soc. 'Register' Vol.53, p.369: Greenup Co. Writ of Aquoddamnum & report of the jury, 12 June 1807, concerning erection of a Water Grist Mill on Little Sandy... . 12 man jury including Joseph Crank (moved to Ohio ca.1815).
6) 1807; Northeastern Kentucky Papers, p.242: Greenup Co. judgements, Circuit Court 1807/15, p.32: 7 Aug 1807. David McCoy vs Robert Tabour. Debt. Jury was Richard Deering, Joseph Crank, Peter Due, Wm.Lowery, Moses Kibbe, Seraiah Stratton Jr.,James McGuire, Josiah Davisson, Rezin Davis, John Wells, James Dailor and Job Foster on 5 Aug 1807. (Kentucky).
7) 1810 census Kentucky, Greenup Co., p.273: Crank, Joseph, 21010 21010 00; 1 wm 20/45 (b.1765/90), 1 wm 10/16 (b.1794/ 1800), 2 wm under 10 (b.1800/10), 1 wf 26/45 (b.1765/84), 1 wf 16/26 (b.1794/1805), 2 wf under 5 (b.1805/10). Living in Greenupburg, Ky., a village of 18 families, 104 people.
8) 1811: History of Greenup Co., Ky.,p.39: 1811 census of Greenup Co. contains names of Jacob Crank, John Crank & Joseph Crank. Same ref., p.38; William Crank mar'd. to Sussana Biggs, the 6th marraige license issued by Greenup Co., Ky.
9) 1820 census Ohio, Lawrence Co., Upper twp.,p.102: Joseph Crank, 211201 20110 01; hshld of 2 wm under 10 yrs, 1 wm 10/16, 1 wm 16/18, 2 wm 18/26, 1 wm over 45, 2 wf under 10, 1 wf 16/26, 1 wf 26/45. 1 person in agriculture.
10) 1823: Northeastern Kentucky Papers, ps.238, 242: Greenup Co. Land Suits, Bk.E, 1820/25: Allen & Chas.Womack vs John Young, July 1824, 5000 acres in Greenup Co. (350)... ...(357) Dep. of Joseph Crank of Lawrence Co., Ohio, 10 Oct 1823; says he once lived on Womacks land (about 1805 ) and transferred it to Humphrey Baker...
11) 1824: Ohio Wills & Estates to 1850, an Index, p.80: Joseph Crank, E-1824, LW, a & tr, p.22; indicates death of Joseph, 1824, in Lawrence Co., Ohio. Recorded in Admin-istration & Testementary Record Book, page 22. Died intestate.
a) History of Crank Family, Given by Nathaniel Crank, grdson of Joseph Crank, b.1765/74, (30 Jan 1918), furnished by Virginia W.Knapp, Salem, Oregon.
aa) Note; Text given as follows true to original. Nathaniel was 82 years of age in 1918 when he dictated this to his son John Levi Crank & was in error on several minor points. He was probably unaware of some of the facts regarding his grandfather's (Joseph Crank Sr.) life & may have confused the age of Joseph with that of Anne Crank's 2nd husband, Michael Bowen who was an octogenarian.
ab) Text of Nathaniel Crank's affidavit, see below.
Joe(seph) Crank (Sr.) was Nathaniel Crank's grandfather (son of Sylvester), he lived in Kentucky across the river from Lawrence Co., Ohio. His wife was a Masters (Anne), sister of John Masters. Joe Crank was born about the year 1776 (census records say 1765/74) & died at about 80 years of age (dec.1824). Joe Crank, John Masters & Daniel Boone were very great friends & often hunted together. Daniel Boone was related to John Masters by marraige.
Joe Crank had 5 sons, as follows; Joe (Jr.), Nathaniel, Sylvester & Enoch (also Alfred and 1 other son, according to census reports, the unidentified son may not have survived infancy) & 2 daughters, Mary and Phoeba (also youngest dau, Elizabeth, married to Jonathon Van Bibber. Van Bibber family also acquaintences of Boones, Daniel Boone adopting an orphaned Van Bibber child).
Joe Crank (Jr.) left home & was never heard of again (probable Joseph Jr. emigrated up Ohio River to Beaver Co., Pennsylvania). The family was raised in Lawrence Co., Ohio. My father, Sylvester Crank, was born in Lawrence Co., Ohio near Hanging Rock on Storm's Creek. All of the family moved to DeKalb Co., Mo. in 1847 (Clinton Co.,Mo. first, then DeKalb Co.).
In 1862 Alfred moved to Polk Co., Iowa & there he raised a family of which George Crank is still living at Madrid, Iowa where he has been in the jewelry business for about 30 years. His brother, Floyd, lives in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Joe, son of Alfred, died at Helena, Arkansas. (Also, mother, Anne Masters Crank Bowen lived with Alfred & his family until her death ca.1860).
Enoch died during the Civil War & was buried about 6 miles west of Stewartsville, Mo. He had 2 sons. (One,) Jim Crank went to California about 1852 & family lost track of him. (Enoch was twice married. James, oldest son of the first marraige came west to Missouri with his father & stepmother while two other sons remained with their maternal grandparents in Ohio. Second marraige produced one son and one daughter).
Joe Crank, son of Sylvester, enlisted in the Civil War, serving in the 4th Mo. Cavalry & later died at home of disease (another report states Joseph Crank, son of Sylvester, died in 1845 at Platte City, Mo.) (Nathaniel also served in the 4th Missouri Cavalry, S.(tate) M.(ilitia)).
Sylvester Crank, my father, born in 1803, Lawrence Co., Ohio & moved to Stewartsville, Mo., later moving to DeKalb Co., Mo. & in 1880 moved to Graham Co., Kansas where he died in 1882, burial was at Winslow, Mo. His family consisted of the following children; Mary, Sally, Jessie, Alfred, Pernina, Ruth, Nathaniel, Susan, Joe, James, Eliza, Mahala & John M.Crank.
Mary (Crank Wright) died at 82 years at Anaconda, Montana. Sally married Lewis Sherman (her cousin), had 3 sons & one daughter. Lewis was killed in the battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas during the Civil War (Lewis G.Sherman died in 1855 & Sally died in 1856. Sylvester was administrator of son-in-law's estate & probable guardian of the Sherman children. Lewis Sherman Jr., b.1845, Ohio, was the man killed at Pea Ridge). Jim (Sherman) died in California. Rolan(d Sherman) died in Denver in 1899. Sylvester Sherman lived in southeastern Wyoming.
Jessie (Crank) went to California & family lost track of him.
Alfred died at 14 years of age.
Pernina married Peter Stephens & died at Anaconda, Montana (1st marraige, 20 May 1848 to Archibald Jenkins. 2nd marraige in 1856 to Peter Stephens, husband of Suzanne/Susan Crank, deceased.) Peter Stephens probably son of Phebe Crank, dau of Joseph, and David Stephens, married 1826, Ohio..
Ruth married James Glen & died in Kansas City, Mo.
Nathaniel Crank lives at Hill City, Kansas & was 80 years old Dec.12,1917.
Susan died west of Stewartsville, Mo.
Sylvester (Jr.) died & was buried west of Stewartsville, Mo.
Joe Crank died at Platt(e) City, Mo. at 4 years of age.
James Crank died in Canon City, Colorado. He served in the Civil War & was in the battle of the Big Sandy in Colo. under General Chivington fighting Indians. James was a bugler.
Eliza died near Stewartsville, Mo.
Mahala also died (age 8) at Stewartsville, Mo.
John M.Crank lives at Pueblo, Colorado.
My grandmother Crank/Sherman maiden name was Breeden (Breeding) & came from Rockingham Co., Virginia. My mother's maiden name was Mary Sherman (her mother was Sally Breeding), her father's name was Jessie Sherman & my great grand-father on my mother's side was Fessie (?) Sherman, he served in the Revolutionary War.
Nathaniel Crank & his wife, Sarah Pritchard, had seven children; John Levi, William J.Lingfelter, Jacob Benjanium, Mary Ann & Evalyn. Two baby boys died in infancy, the second one named Samuel Crank.
(signed) Nathaniel Crank
I hereby certify that the foregoing history was taken down by me, John L.Crank, son of Nathaniel Crank, at Hill City, Kansas, Jan.30,1918.
b) papers, Harry W.Crank, Tulsa, Okla.;
ba) Joseph's wife's name incorrectly listed as Anna Breden instead of Anne Masters.
bb) Noted Joseph served in War of 1812. RAC note; official record of service not found but many frontier militia units formed during this war with muster rolls, etc. lost. Probably in Ky. militia of Greenup Co.
bc) names of Joseph's parents.
c) papers of Steven Crank, Santa Paulo, Calif.;
ca) Narrative of Geo.Washington Crank, b.May 1853, Mo., son of Alfred Crank & Mar-garet Henson, grdson of Joseph Crank & Anna Masters. See below for full text.
cb) Joseph's wife's name also incorrectly listed as Anne Breden. Joseph's wife was Anne Masters, sister of his hunting companion, John Masters, as indicated on marraige records of Joseph's son, Sylvester. Sylvester was married to Mary 'Polly' Sherman whose parents were Jessie Sherman & Sally Breeding of Rockingham Co., Va. Sally's surname was variously spelt Bredon, Breden and Breeding in records.
Narrative of George Washington Crank, b.5 May 1853, grandson of Joseph Crank & Anna Masters. Nathaniel Crank came to America from Holland with his parents when he was a young man & they settled in Kentucky (settled in western Virginia, Kentucky was formed from Montgomery Co., Va. in 1792.), near Booneville, where he did farming, hunting & trapping. This is where he became acquainted with Betsy Hansel of German nationality & as time went on they became lovers & were married & to them a son was born. This was in the first settlement of Kentucky when the Indians were on the war path & the small fields of corn & grain had to be guarded & watch kept for the Indians while the others worked in the fields. There was an Indian raid on the settlement near the fort & many of the settlers lost their lives by the Indian warriors. Betsy Crank & her baby daughter & others were taken prisoner. The boy, Joseph, was with his father at a neighbors & were rescued by the soldiers of the fort. Betsy Crank & her baby were taken to the Indian village where the baby died from exposure. Betsy was a captive of the Indians for seven years & was forced by the chief to marry an Indian & they had two Indian boys. After she had endured all those hardships for seven years the Indians moved their village closer to the White village & Betsy Crank, hearing the Indians talking about the settlement & fort, found out the distance & direction to go as she had learned to talk the Indian language & could understand them & their ways. All the time she had been longing to see her people & bide the time she could get away. On a dark night when all was still and the Indians were asleep she took a little kettle & her flint to kindle a fire with & slipped out of the Tepe or Wigwam, leaving her man & two Indian boys behind. She travelled all night & part of the next day when she heard the bark of a dog, then she knew the Indians were on her trail. She looked for a place to hide, then she found a stump where a large hollow tree had broken off, she climbed into it and turned the kettle over her head for protection. It was not long till she heard the Indians & their dogs go by. She stayed in her hiding place till night when she entered on her journey again, traveling along the river & catching fish & cooking them in the kettle for her existence, when the next day in the evening brought her to the settlement & the fort where she found her husband & her friends & enjoyed being with them once more. Nathaniel had used all means available to find his wife & baby & all had failed to give him any trace of them & he supposed the Indians had killed them. Being troubled about it he stayed in the settlement & took care of the boy till his wife came back & they lived together for five more years. Then the Indians made a raid again on the settlement, killing some of them & taking others prisoner. The same tribe of Indians took Betsy Crank again & for her leaving them & her Indian husband she was given the death sentence by the chief & was driven full of pine splinters & burnt at the stake. When her husband found this out by one of the prisoners who got away he hunted Indians as well as game. Then Nathaniel Crank & son, Joseph, went to the fort to help fight Indians & became acquainted with Daniel Boone & went hunting with him several times. Killing deer & black bear in the summer & trapping in the winter & looking out for Indians was their sport in those days. Nathaniel became sick from exposure & died leaving his son, Joseph, to battle the world alone. Joseph Crank became a great hunter & trapper getting many fine furs & selling them. He became acquainted with the Masters (family) that had moved into the settlement, the Old Folks had come to America from Scotland & had two sons and a daughter. Joseph Crank & John Masters became great friends. Joseph Crank & John Masters went down the river with some fur & honey & stopped at a town & Joe went up town to sell their stuff & while he was gone the bully of the town came with some others & insulted John & wanted to fight him. John told them to wait until his partner came back & he would fight then. When Joe came back John told him (how) they had insulted him & wanted to fight. Then Joe took a stick & drew a big ring on the ground then told John & the bully to step into the ring & have it out. So John Masters hit the bully one lick knocking him down & that was enough, he did'nt come back. Then another time they went to a town further down the river & John Masters licked their bully & knocked down five other men as fast as they came at him. Then they treated him & told him they were'nt mad at him but wanted to see him fight as they had heard what he had done to the bully of the other town. Joseph Crank & Anna Breden (incorrect, Anna Masters, sister of John Masters) became lovers & were married & settled near Boonesville, Kentucky. Miss Breden was also of Scotch descent as her folks had come from Scotland. Joseph Crank got himself a piece of ground & cleared it & built a log house for their home, going through many troubles & fighting. Joseph Crank went hunting one morning & about two miles from his house shot a big black bear. Then setting his gun against a tree he took his hunting knife to stick the bear when the bear got up & ran after him as it had only been stunned. He fell over a log & the bear bit through the calves of both legs. Then he killed the bear with his hunting knife & skinned out a hind quarter & carried it home to his wife & children. His legs had to get well without the aid of a doctor & left deep scars. I, George W.Crank, have his melting ladle, the one he carried when he went on a hunting trip and melted lead & run bullets over a campfire. He never forgot the Indians. It is supposed Daniel Boone shot bullets run from this ladle when Joe was at Fort Booneburro. Joseph Crank was a soldier in the War of 1812 until it ended. Then he sold his farm & moved to Ohio where he died (1824) leaving his wife to care for the children. Some of the small ones had to be bound out & Alfred Crank was bound out to a man by the name of Bill Gilruth of Haverhill, Scioto Co., Ohio. There he grew to manhood working on the farm & hauling iron ore to the Hickley Furnace with an ox team. When of age he learned to be a pilot on the Ohio River & took barges & flatboats of pig iron and other produce down the river. He was an expert & soon became a pilot on the steamboats & had been as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. ** Note: the remainder of this narrative deals with Alfred Crank. That text is listed under Alfred Crank's file.
We all owe a debt of gratitude to the following gentleman for his many years
of research of the Crank name. He has probably dedicated fifty years or
more to his research. At present he is retired for medical reasons and living in
Kirkwood, MO. He has undergone surgery several times and at present his
activities are limited due to asbestosis of the lungs.
Raymond Alexander Crank Jr.
b. 27 May 1924 St. Louis City, Missouri
St. Louis Co., Missouri
mar. 21 May 1949 wife: Lorraine A.Pappas, b.1927, Mo.
Raymond A.Crank Sr, b.1894, Lincoln Co., Mo.
Irene V.Boekenkamp, b.1899, St. Louis City, Mo.
Kathryn Marie b.18 June 1950, mar'd. Steven Wintermann.
Thomas James b.14 Feb 1952, mar'd. Nancy Jean Groth
Karen Ann b. 9 Sep 1954, mar'd. Alec Arnold
Susan Ann b 27 Jan 1963, mar'd. Michael Hurley
Jeffery David b. 6 Jan 1967, mar'd. Mary Tureen
Timothy Brian b.26 Feb 1968, mar' d. Kimberley Halloman
1) papers R.A.Crank, Webster Groves, Mo.; provides all names stats above.
This concludes a portion of my research. I have touched on the highlights and
some of the notable people involved. If the information in all my files were printed
out on paper it would consume approximately 12,000 pages. Any information I have is available to anyone just for the asking only please do not ask me to print out the entire
files. It would take me forever and I would have to buy out the local office supply
store for all the paper I would need. However, I can make it available on computer
Even the best of records, and documents that have been searched are not always
accurate, therefore you may find errors in the genealogy records. If so I would
appreciate any corrections that you may have to offer if it is documented information.
Richard L. Crank
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