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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 VANCE CRANE, a farmer residing in the town of Varick, was born on the farm where he now resides, April 18, 1820, and is a son of John and Anna (Williams) Crane, both natives of Morristown, N. J., and who emigrated to Seneca County in the fall of 1817, with a family of four children. Prior to this, however, Daniel and Rachel (Marsh) Crane, the grandparents of our subject, located in the western part of the town of Romulus. They were well advanced in years, and came here to spend their last days. The Marsh family came about the same time as did Daniel Crane.

John Crane, the father of our subject, was in very limited circumstances when he came to Seneca County, and for some years engaged in teaming. He made thirteen trips to and from New Jersey, bringing people who wished to settle in Seneca County. In the spring of 1818 he secured twenty-one acres of land, which he began to clear, and which he added to by subsequent purchase, making a farm of fifty-two acres. In addition to conducting his farm, he also burned charcoal. His death occurred in 1848, at the age of*sixty-one years, his wife having died three years previously.

The parental family included nine children. Deborah, who married Gresham Wolverton, died in Romulus; Abner W. located in the town of Covert, where he died; Abbie married James Osborn, removed to Lenawee County, Mich., and there died; Elizabeth married Alonzo Smead, removed to Illinois, and died in 1892; John V. is our subject; Thomas M. located in Romulus and there died; Daniel, whose son Charles V. is the Postmaster at Romulus, died in 1871; Anna married Daniel Church, and died in June, 1895; and Stephen, who is a Universalist minister, resides in Earlville, Ill. All lived to maturity, but only two now survive.

The subject of this sketch lived on the farm and took care of his father until his death, when he purchased the interests of the other heirs of the homestead, and now has a good farm of ninety acres. Politically he is a Democrat, and has served as Assessor of the town for twenty-eight or thirty years, and two terms as Supervisor, during the years 1879 and 1880. He has ever taken an active interest in political affairs, and was for many years leader of his party in the town of Varick. He has never married, and his niece Addie, the widow of Eugene Haggerty, and a daughter of Daniel Crane, has been his housekeeper for some years.

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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 Seneca County, New York family biographies here: Seneca County, New York Biographies

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

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