What is our Crandall connection?
Alfred W. Betterley c1824-1880 of Milford Twp, Otsego Co, NY married in succession two daughters of Robert Crandall 1791-1860 and Rebecca Ransom 1797-1871. He first married Mary Crandall 1829-1852 in the mid-1840s and had two children. She is buried in the Milford churchyard near father-in-law George Betterley 1790-1858. It is presumed that Alfred's mother, Dimmis Whipple 1792-1864, is also buried there. Alfred then married sister Maranda Crandall 1837-1909. They had at least five children and moved to Mt. Pleasant Twp, Wabasha Co, MN in 1856 and then Maiden Rock Twp, Pierce Co, WI in the 1870s. After their apparent divorce, each remarried. Alfred is buried at Maiden Rock Cemetery in Maiden Rock, WI. Maranda is buried at Ono Methodist Cemetery in Salem Twp, Pierce Co, WI.
The Crandall family in early America
The authority on the Crandall family in America is the Crandall Family Association, and from them I have gleaned most of what I know of this family. Elder John Crandall 1617/8-1676 was baptized in Westerleigh, Gloucestershire, England and was noted as a grand juror in Newport, RI in 1643. When exactly he emigrated is not known. Some claim he was in Salem, MA circa 1634 and in Providence, RI with Roger Williams circa 1636, but there is no proof for these claims. His first wife, some claim she was named Mary Opp, died prior to 1670. He then married Hannah Gaylord 1647-1678.
Elder John is noted as accompanying two others to Lynn, MA on Baptist church business in 1651, after which they were arrested and fined for being anabaptists. He was one of four men appointed to write a letter in 1658 to be presented to the English king. Claims that he travelled to England to secure the charter for Rhode Island are unfounded. He was one of the original nine petitioners for the settlement of Askomicutt or Misquamicutt (Westerly, RI) in 1661, having secured it from the Narragansetts in 1659, and built a house there circa 1665. He is said to be one of the few to actually pay the natives for the land. Elder John switched from being a first-day Baptist to embracing the Seventh-Day Baptist movement. He is said to be the first elder of Westerley and supposedly held meetings at his home. Connecticut authorities arrested him in 1671 when they laid claim to the Westerly settlement. He moved to Newport because of the King Philip Wars and died there, possibly from a wound suffered while the Crandalls fought with other families alongside the Narragansett Indians against soldiers at the Great Swamp Fight of 19 Dec 1675.
The Crandall homestead located at 105 Pound Road in Westerly, RI stayed in the family for 332 years until owners Irving and Arlene Crandall gave their land back to the Narragansetts in 1991, since they had been unable to pay the overdue taxes of over $5,500 annually. The 350 acres was estimated to be worth $1.37 million. This move thwarted the City of Westerly's threat to seize the land, as well as the speculators who hoped to make a killing. The Narragansetts agreed to pay all back taxes and allow Irving's heirs lifelong rights to occupy the homestead. He and Arlene have no children. Narragansett plans include raising horses, holding pow-wows, and creating a museum in the colonial house.
Elder John Crandall, his two wives, and other family are buried in Rhode Island Historical Cemetery #15 on the old homestead in Westerly.
Elder John Crandall homestead on Pound Road, Westerly, RI [photos by Loren Dahling, Aug 2004] east side of house north, front of the house along Pound Road south, back of the house a shed, perhaps the old ell from the house an old barn
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