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By William Henry Crandall
20 April 1953
This is a letter written to RHC by his father, William Henry Crandall, in 1953. RHC has no recollection of asking for this family history. I have changed the paragraphing and punctuation to aid in clarity. 30 March 2004.
It is such an unusual occurrence to have a member of our family want to know something about his ancestors that I hasten to supply you with what information I have available, just in case you should loose (sic) interest. First, however, about our grand parent, the Rev. Joseph, certainly in as far as the Maritime provinces are concerned, well read the enclosed clipping and judge for yourself. Of course, this article tells but part of the story and there are several inaccuracies. For example, the family were not U.E. (United Empire) Loyalists they were out and out rebels, and continued to be until rule by the classes instead of the people was entirely obliterated and the Province today is one of the most democratic in Canada. In the second place, he remained a farmer all his life, for the simple reason that he had a big family to feed and the people in those years could not afford to support a parson as they do today. His "missions", as he called them, were undertaken after the crop was in and after the harvest.
Many, many times during my hunting and fishing trips I have run across roads in the woods known as "Father Crandalls Road or Trail". For example, he travelled from Sackville to Lewisville (Moncton did not exist then) over the high ground between Petitcodiac and Memrancook rivers and the trail that he blazed is today a wood road and is known as the "Crandall portage". In my younger days I have talked to many an older person who remembered him how he would arrive at their fathers farm in mid winter, alone but carrying an old musket to protect him from the "beasts". A person had to have conviction in those days to be a minister.
Some twenty years ago I had a visit from Prof. Roger Crandall from New Jersey, I believe. He was tracing the Canadian branch of the family. He had spent many months in Europe tracing the family origins and from him I learned where we came from and why. I will deal with that briefly later. From the enclosed letters (I have no record of such letters - RHC) you will learn of the first (and only) arrival in America, John Crandall in 1635, also the part he played in his community. Before that and until 1770 was a blank until I talked to Prof. Crandall and he filled in the missing links. Briefly this is the story.
The family name was Crane and they originated in Holland near the Dutch-German border. Early in the 1600s, and in search of freedom they moved over to England and settled in Surrey or West Sussex, perhaps both. In any case John, the one we are interested in, chose a village called Dale and became known as "Crane of Dale"- I suppose to distinguish him from his cousins who had lived, well say, in Shediac. However, when he lft England in 1633 or 4 the name stuck and he remained "Crane of Dale", later Cranedale and through the course of 320 years such spellings as Crandale, Crandell, Crandall, Cranedall and so on. Our spelling is good enough for me, but in Ontario there are quite a number of "Crandells". They are all descended from John's seven sons, but we will be satisfied with our own direct line.
A peculiar feature of the line is that except in the case of my father (who was the second son) all our other ancestors were the first born and up until his death, about ten years ago, I was intimate with a Harry Crandall in Salisbury who was a son of the youngest son of Father Joseph. He was a man about my age and I suppose would be my Great Uncle. Below is the line up from 1635 to the present. My dates may be a little out but near enough for your purposes:
Name Lived in Died
John x Westerly Rhode Island 1676 Born in Holland
David x Westerly Rhode Island 1716
William x New Jersey 1760
Warren x Chester, N.S. 1784
Joseph x Salisbury N.B. 1858
David x Salisbury N.B. 1888
Joseph Moncton N.B. 1908
William Moncton N.B. 1920
William Moncton N.B.
Robert Moncton N.B.
The ones marked "x" were all Baptist ministers. The rest of us worked for a living.
So there you have all I can tell you. The family history, if it was published, would make interesting reading, but I have never had the money to spare to purchase one. I would like to have my documents back, but if you are interested you may have them when I am through with them.
(The letter then goes on to matters of a current nature, and it is not produced here. RHC)