Edward Crafts History (from Craft Family History 1893)

Text version of Pages 122-124 of the Craft Family History 1893 PDF LINK

DSC00147 001Edward Crafts' (son of Thomas') (31) Born in Boston, Mass. 12 Oct., 1740, at his father's mansion-house on Back St., now Salem St., still standing. He married in Lexington, Mass., 16 June, 1708, Eliot Winship, daughter of John and Bethia Winship of Lexington, granddaughter of Edward and Rebecca (Barshaw) Winship and great-granddaughter of Lieut. Edward Winship of Cambridge, Mass., who was made Freeman in 1635.

She was born 28 Jan., 1745, and is said to have been a woman with an exceptionally fine education for that period. An anecdote of her bravery and fortitude during the war, is preserved in the family annals. She had been busily engaged for three days and nights running bullets for the army. A British officer came in while she was at work, and asked "what are you doing?" She replied. " I am running bullets to shoot your soldiers with, and were I a man, I would use them, too." He replied, "you are a brave woman," and went out, but her prompt avowal of the purpose of her work, accompanied with a dignity of manner, so impressed the officer in command, that he allowed the women their freedom, and spared the premises from destruction.

When a young man, Edward Crafts, imbued with the spirit of the times, entered as private in Paddock's Artillery Co. of Boston, (origanized in 1763) in which his brother Thomas was then a lieutenant. Just prior to the beginning of the Revolutionary War he moved to Worcester, Mass. He entered the Continental service from Worcester on the 19th of April, 1775, as private in Capt. Benj. Flagg's company of minute-men, at the time of the "Lexington Alarm" and was on duty five days. He was present at the battle of Bunker Hill, as captain in Col. Woodbridge's regiment. At a later date he was captain of a company of artillery in Col. Richard Gridley's regiment. A return of his company is on file at the State House in Boston. It is dated " French Lines, Oct. 12, 1777". His lieutenants were Wm. Damon and Jonas Simonds. A later report gives them as Wm. Treadwell and Wm. Stevens, all of Worcester.

At the close of the War of the Revolution, all the captains of early date were brevetted majors, and afterward lield that title by courtesy. Hence he has always been known by his descendants as Major Edward Crafts. He continued in the Continental service for a long time after the above date, as is shown by his returns in the state records at Boston.

He wrote a fine hand, and his returns show excellent education and business ability. He was by trade a "tinner" having learned that trade when a youth in Boston, and seems to have continued at it until he entered the Continental army.

The fatigue and exposure incidental to his long term of service, however, affected his health, and his heavy losses caused by the depreciation of the Continental currency caused him to become involved financially. Saving what he could from his estate, he removed with his family from Worcester to Murrayfield, Hampden Co., Mass. and purchased 600 acres of land there, mortgaging same to Timothy Payne of Worcester, Apr. 6, 1781. Murrayfield was incorporated in 1795, and the name changed to Chester, in 1783. He lived there about ten years, removing thence, in 1792, to Middlesex, Ontario Co., N. Y. During this journey, his daughter Hannah, then fourteen years of age, was captured by the Indians.

As soon as her loss became known, her brother Edward, then twenty-three years of age, started in pursuit, and after following them for a week, succeeded in re-capturing her, and returning in safety to their parents.
That his wife was a woman of sterling qualities cannot be doubted when we consider the perilous journey of 1792, made in wagons with a family of nine children, the youngest of whom was only three years of age.

DSC00148 001Major Edward Crafts died in Middlesex, N. Y., 11 Apr., 1806, 60yrs. After his death, his widow Eliot lived with her daughter, Nancy Keyes, at Palmyra, N. Y. She went with her to Auburn, Geauga Co., Ohio, where she died 17 Dec, 1833, 87yrs, full of years, and greatly beloved. They had eleven children. The three eldest are supposed to have been born at either Boston or Lexington, and the four youngest at Chester, the others at Worcester.



They were:

Edward Crafts, b. 7 Mch., 17G9. ti3o]
John " " 2 Nov., 1770. [131]
Nancy " "32 July, 1772. [132]
Elizabeth " " 3 Sept., 1774. ti33]
Sarah •' " 7 Feb., 1776. [134]
Hannah " " 24 Nov., 1777. [135]
Mary •• " B Sept., 1779. [136]
Thomas " '*' 14 June, 1782. [137]
Eliot " " 1 Nov., 1786, d. 19 Dec, 1787.
Eliot " " 23 Jan., 1788, d. 14 June, 1788.
William ' ••21 Dec, 1789. [138]