The now and then postings of the discoveries and contributions of the Miller and Bechtold families .

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spotlight on Persons: Capt. Elisha Cranson

Elisha Fought in the French and Indian War and in the Canadian Expeditions of the Revolutionary War

Elisha Cranson  Abigail Baldwin
Sarah Cranson  Lemuel Phillips
Nabby Phillips Nathan Howes (I)
Nathan Howes (II) Erede Baker
Jennie Howes  Emil Bechtold
Frederick Emil Bechtold  Marie Caroline Dresser
4 Bechtold Children
Bechtold-Miller, Cary-Bechtold, Bechtold-Immel, Bechtold-Connolly

[Abigail Baldwin: her family documentation goes way back. More on another post]

Elisha is buried at Spruce Corner Cemetery in Ashfield. It is perhaps about the time of his 1st wife, Abigail's death in 1792, that he alloted part of his farm for a cemetery, since, according to Darius Taylor, who was an old settler, the Spruce Corner Cemetery once belonged to Capt. Elisha, whose plot is in the highest place there.

Elisha settled in that part of Leicester that, in 1753, was set off as the town of Spencer. The history of Spencer by Draper 1841, pg. 130, states that Elisha was living on the east end of Lot 50 in 1748, and that he removed to Ashfield, where he died in 1804. . There are several land transactions from 1746-1771 involving Elisha Cranson in Worcester County Deeds. He is described as a blacksmith in some.
Elisha served in both the French and Indian War, and in the Revolution as follows: "Elisha Cranson, return dated Worcester, 11 Apr 1759, under Col John Chandler, Jr, for invasion of Canada, aged 37, residence Spencer, enlisted 02 Apr 1759, had his own fire arms. He also appears on a billoting roll dated 30 Apr 1759 as a member of Capt Samuel Clark Paine's Co., Col. Timothy Ruggles' regt, 2 - 30 Apr 1759, 29 days service, 1st Battalion. Also, he appears on a billoting roll, at Worcestor, as member of same co., and regt., 30 Apr - 10 May 1759, 10 days. As Elisha Cranston he is listed on a muster roll, dated Boston, 13 Feb 1760, as a private in the same co & regt, residence Spencer, from 2 Apr - 30 Nov 1759, on the expedition to Crown Point". (Mass Archives, 9:122,185,233,302.)
According to the Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution, Volume 4, Page 89:
Cranson, Elisha, Captain, 11th (also given 12th) co., Col. David Field's (5th Hampshire Co) regt; list of officers of Mass. militia dated Deerfield, April 22, 1776; ordered in Council May 3, 1776, that commissions be issued; reported commissioned May 3, 1776; list of men appointed on a committee from Hampshire Co. to raise men to go to Canada (year not given); petition dated Ashfield, April 13, 1780, signed by said Cranson, requesting permission to resign his commission as Captain of the 11th co., Lieut. Col. David Well's (5th Hampshire Co.) regt.; resignation accepted in Council April 25, 1780."
...... Syl's note: the National Archives does not have a Rev War pension file for Capt. Elisha Cranson. He probably died before pensions were available.
In the census of 1790, Capt Elisha Cranson headed a family in Ashfield consisting of himself and wife. Also in Ashfield were the households of Major Amasa, Elisha Jr, Abner, Jonathan, David, & Asa. Only one other Cranson appears in the Massachusetts Census of 1790 - Joel of Marlborough.
In the 1800 census for Ashfield, Elisha Crans(t)on was listed between sons, Asa and Abner, and then crossed out. It appears that he & his wife were counted in the household of son Jonathan Crans(t)on.
In 1743, "Huntstown" had a grant of 8000 acres, and on July 21, 1765 was formally established as Ashfield, then in Hampshire County; the deeds being filed in Springfield and the probate at Northampton. Although Franklin County was not set off from Hampshire until 1812, the deeds are recorded at Greenfield from 1787. Elisha Cranson was one of the pioneer settlers of Ashfield, where he owned a large farm. . There is no estate for Elisha on file at either Northampton or Greenfield, but land records appear in the Registry of Deeds at Greenfield; also an estate deed.
.....25 July 1792 Franklin Co Deeds 19:323. Elisha Cranson of Ashfield sold to Jonathan Cranson of Ashfield, for L200, land there, ack. 25 Aug 1792, recd 04 May 1804 by warranty deed.
.....18 Apr 1801 FD 19:300. Elisha Cranson of Ashfield, gentleman, for $400, sells to David Cranson, Abner Cranson, Elizabeth wife of Samuel Guilford, and Sarah wife of Lemuel Phillips, the southern half of Lot #62; recorded 08 June 1801.
.....14 May 1804 FD 20:351 divide up the land described above by quitclaim deed of partition involving David Cranson, Abner Cranson, Elizabeth Guilford, Sarah Phillips. (Jonathan Cranson's land is one of the boundaries).
.....27 Feb 1805 FD 21:2_8. Lemuel Phillips and his wife Sarah sell to Jonathan Cranson part of lot #62.

1 comment:

  1. It's very refreshing to see actual documentation, on the internet, of an ancestor's life. Good solid work, as far as it goes. SInce the French left what was known to English speakers as Crown Point, NY, before the British-Provincial forces arrived, Elisha may not have fired a shot in battle. Released by the British commander, Gen. Amherst, at the end of November 1759, he was credited with having served 34 weeks and 3 days (one can quibble with that).

    For the context of Elisha's role--however limited--in the French and Indian War, the 1759 Crown Point Expedition is discussed in, among other places, Fred Anderson's exhaustive "Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766." Moreover, Anderson has published one or two excellent shorter works on the topic.