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;,. / V^"/ ^^^»?>^ ^!raphical. and Historical matter as may be relied on (or accuracy and authenticity, but
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^fiiralogtcal anb ^iogra||icaI Retort.

Vol. L. new YORK, JANUARY, 1919. No. i


Contributed by Rufus King,

Albert Crane, A.B., LL.B., a Life Member of the New York
Genealogical and Biographical Society, died at his home, Rock-
Acre, Strawberry Hill, Stamford, Conn., September 21, 1918, after
a long and severe illness which he endured with courage and

Mr. Crane, born in New York City, December 30, 1842, the
son of Thomas and Clarissa Lawrence (Starkey) Crane, was de-
scended from a New England family of the name, whose founder
was Henry Crane of Dorchester and Milton, Mass., born about
1621; he was a large landowner and evidently a man of education
as indicated by documents in his handwriting found in the
Massachusetts Archives as early as 1677; his first wife was Tabitha,
the daughter of Elder Stephen Kinsley, a wealthy and prominent
resident of Braintree, Mass. In this line Albert Crane descended
through six generations of sturdy New Englanders.

His first maternal ancestor in New England was John Starkey
of Boston, born in England about 1638 and, according to tradition,
related to a family of the name settled in Standish, County Lan-
caster; the particulars of these lines of descent have already been

Albert Crane's early education was received at the famous
Mount Washington School, located on Macdougal Street, opposite
Washington Square, in New York City. It was at this school
that he and the writer formed a friendship which lasted for more
than half a century.

Mr. Crane matriculated at Tufts College, Medford, Mass., and
was graduated in the Class of 1863; while there he joined the
Zeta Psi Fraternity.

Having decided on the law as a profession, he entered Colum-
bia College Law School where he was graduated in 1866 and
admitted to the New York Bar the same year. Later on he be-
came a member of the American Bar Association, New York State
Bar Association and The Association of the Bar of the City of
New York.

2 Albert Crane. [Jan-

After a few years, however, he retired from active practice
and soujjjht the more congenial atmosphere of country hfe and
foreign lands where he could gratify his love of literature and art.

Mr. Crane was an energetic and appreciative traveler and had
made considerably more than two score voyages across the
Atlantic; his wanderings ranged from southern Europe and Africa
to the rock-bound coast of Norway and Sweden. He was very
fond of England (an ancestral inheritance perhaps) which he fre-
quently visited; on one occasion he became a householder in
London during the season, was presented at Court, joined the
Thatched House Club on St. James Street, entertained liberally
and enjoyed many opportunities of seeing English life from the

Mr. Crane was a lover of music, especially of the classical
school, a Life Member of the New York Oratorio Society and a
Director of the New York Symphony Society, where he became
the warm personal friend of Theodore Thomas.

As indicating his enthusiasm for the art, it may be recorded
that in 1876 he made a special trip to Bayreuth to attend the first
performance of Richard Wagner's great music-drama "The
Niebelungenlied " and again in 1882 for the first hearing of

Mr. Crane married January 24, 1884, Ellen Mansfield, daughter
of Colonel J. Mansfield and Martha M. (Brooks) Davies of Fishkill-
on-Hudson. Mrs. Crane died January 5, 1893, and on February lO,
1902, Mr. Crane married Fanny, daughter of George Lyman and
Elizabeth Neal (Ames) Starkey of Boston, who survives him.
There were no children by either marriage.

For many years Mr. Crane divided his time between his home
in New York City and his country place at Stamford, but he finally
disposed of the former and made Rock-Acre his home when he
was not enjoying the diversion of residence abroad.

Mr. Crane's benefactions were numerous. In 1882, he joined
with the members of his family in erecting at Quincy, Mass., his
father's birthplace, a beautiful memorial building known as the
Thomas Crane Public Library, said to be one of Richardson's
finest designs, and described by Charles Francis Adams at the
dedication as: " In itself an education in art."

In igo8, this building was enlarged and adjoining land pur-
chased involving a total cost of about one hundred and forty
thousand dollars.

Later on, with a gift of one hundred thousand dollars, Mr.
Crane endowed, at Tufts College, the Crane Theological School
in recognition of his father's life long adherence to the Univer-
salist faith. Stamford was also generously remembered by a fund
which provided for the purchase of a site for Stamford Hospital.

Mr. Crane had further contemplated a larger gift to Stamford
in the shape of a public Park; a suitable tract of land in the
residential section of the city was decided on and, it is stated

19 ig.] Albert Crane. 3

that Mr. Crane authorized the purchase of the property, only to
learn that it was not for sale; he was therefore, much to his dis-
appointment and regret, compelled to abandon the project.

Along with his interest in the company of his friends, Mr.
Crane found no little pleasure in his affiliation with the numerous
societies and clubs to which he belonged, and he retired from
these activities only when obliged to do so by failing health.

He was for many years a Life Member of the Society of
Colonial Wars as a descendant of Major Simon Willard of Con-
cord, Mass., who was member of the State Legislature in 1636,
also of John Starkey of Boston.

Mr. Crane, in 1893, joined the Sons of the Revolution as a
great-grandson of Sergeant Joseph Crane of Col. Phinney's
Battalion, 1775, and Private Daniel Lawrence, Col. Robinson's
Regiment, Mass. Militia, 1776. Limit of space prevents anything
more than mention of the following societies and clubs to which
Mr. Crane belonged: — New England Historic Genealogical Society,
Stamford Historical Society, Stamford Hospital Corporation.
New York Historical Society, Blue Anchor Society, American
Geographical Society, and Union Club of New York City since


He was also for seven years (1863-1870) a member of the 22nd
Regiment, New York State National Guard, in Captain Henry K.
Howland's Company.

Mr. Crane's will, dated November 11, 1912, carried on the
benevolent work begun during his life time.

Mrs. Crane receives a substantial share of the estate including

Among other beneficiaries are the Thomas Crane Public Lib-
rary, The Chapin Home, Tufts College, Ferguson Library of
Stamford, Second Universalist Church of Stamford, Stamford
Children's Home, Stamford Day Nursery, Blue Anchor Society,
and Belfast Free Library to establish the Albert Boyd Otis Fund
for the purchase of books.

There are also legacies to relatives and friends of the testator.

Funeral services were held at Mr. Crane's home and though
announced as private, a large number of friends and neighbors

Rev. Francis A. Grey, D.D., of Stamford Universalist Church
made an impressive address followed by Rev. Lee S. McCollester,
D.D., of the Crane Theological School, Rev. Dr. J. Smith Dodge
pronounced the benediction.

The honorary pall bearers were: Rev. Dr. J. Smith Dodge>
Edward Holbrook, Dr. Charles E. Fay of Tufts College, Walton
Ferguson, L. Bradford Prince, Daniel Seymour, Rufus King, George
Welvvood Murray, Homer S. Cummings, Gutzon Borglum, Harold
Roberts, Dr. Raymond R. Gandy, Frederick C. Taylor and Dr.
Samuel Pierson.

The interment was in the family plot in Greenwood Cemetery.

/}rr/is and Crests for Americans. (Jan.


Report of Committee on Heraldry,

Submitted by the Chairman,

John Ross Delafield, A. M., LL. B., Colonel, C. A. C, N. Y. G.,

Major, U. S. Army.

As the United States has made no provision for the grant or reg-
istration of arms or crests, it is of interest to note under what cir-
cumstances Americans may bear them, and even sometimes acquire
them. The great majority of our people are descended in the male
line from ancestors who lived in Great Britain or Ireland, making
the treatment of this subject as it relates to these countries the more
important ; and this report is limited accordingly.

That many of our ancestors in the Colonial days of America
bore arms is well established, and was so firmly rooted and recog-
nized that the separation from the old country and the formation of
the Republic did not do away with the practice, but recognized and
tacitly confirmed it. The new country adopted the arms of the
Washington family, with its stars and stripes, as the basis of the flag
we love so well. And the new State of New Jersey for a time offi-
cially used as its seal the arms of the Livingston family, because of
William Livingston, the famous war governor of that State. The
use of arms by those entitled to bear them has not since diminished
in favour in this country.' Indeed the custom has grown to be so
popular that many persons who are not members of armigerous
families have assumed and used arms, and by doing so unintelligently
tend to bring the custom into disrepute. Why the United States
Government has failed to recognize officially and systematize the
use of family names and family marks, such as arms and crests, is

Online LibraryNew York Genealogical and Biographical SocietyThe New York genealogical and biographical record (Volume 102) → online text (page 1 of 52)