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Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published by Chapman Publishing Co., in 1895.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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JOHN CRANE, a retired farmer living in the village of Catharine, was born August 16, 1814, in Seneca County, N. Y., and is a son of David and Polly (Whitney) Crane, and the grandson of Belden Crane, who was of English descent. When our subject was but five years of age the family removed to Tompkins County and located in the town of Hector, where the father purchased a tract of land and engaged in farming. Thirteen years later he removed to Schuyler County and purchased a farm in the town of Catharine, and here our subject remained, assisting in the cultivation of the farm until thirty-two years of age. On the 6th of December, 1846, he was united in marriage with Elizabeth Sidney, who was born in the town of Newfield, Tompkins County, but which was then a part of Chemung County. By this union there were born four children, two of whom are now living: Cora, the wife of Myron Hewitt, a farmer in the town of Catharine; and David B., a merchant in the village of Catharine, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work.

After their marriage Mr. Crane still remained on the home farm, which he operated, on account of the fact that his father was incapacitated by age from taking charge of the work. On the death of the father, he sold his interest in the estate and purchased one hundred and twenty-acres of land east of Catharine, which was his home until 1891. That year he sold out and removed to the village of Catharine, where he has since lived a retired life. In politics he was originally a Henry Clay Whig, with which party he voted until its dissolution, when he became a Republican, and has since voted that party’s ticket. Both Mr. and Mrs. Crane have been members of the Methodist Episcopal Church for forty years. He has been a Master Mason for many years, holding membership with Myrtle Lodge No. 132, F. & A. M. For the past four years Mr. Crane has been disabled from any active work by the rheumatism, but he bears his afflictions with Christian fortitude and with the blessed assurance that in the “home over there” he will be free from pain.

Zebulon Crane, the great-grandfather of our subject, removed to this locality from Tompkins County in 1814, and for many years was engaged in the mercantile business in partnership with his brother, Judge Samuel Crane. They were both members of the Presbyterian Church, and were men of high Christian character and integrity. It is a remarkable fact that no member of the Crane family was ever arrested for any crime. They have always been honest, God-fearing men and women, and have lived in such a manner as to win the respect and confidence of all those with whom they were brought in contact.

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This family biography is one of the numerous biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Record of Seneca and Schuyler Counties, New York published in 1895. 

View additional Schuyler County, New York family biographies here: Schuyler County, New York Biographies

View a map of 1897 Schuyler County, New York here: Schuyler County, New York Map

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