Richard CRIPPS of the Town of Root
Donated by David Cripps of Hobart, Tasmania
A descendant of the British Cripps Family
From David Cripps:
"I had three ancestors, two brothers and a sister, that emigrated to
New York State sometime before 1855. Emma Cripps settled in the Schenectady
area, and eventually married a farmer by the name of Daniel Slover. Both
Daniel & Emma and some of their children are buried at nearby Grosvenors
Corners Cemetery. One of the other two brothers, Richard Cripps [of
whom this document is about] settled in the area of Brown's Hollow in the
town of Root, Montgomery County, married one Charlotte White, and had one
child only, Fanny Cripps. Richard it seems had a controlling interest
in the Grist Mill that operated on Flat Creek. Of the other brother Edward
Cripps, I know very little, except to say that he lived (for a while) near
his brother and sister. At the time of Emma's death in 1913, Edward was
a beneficiary in her will, but he couldn't be found to collect the proceeds!"
RICHARD CRIPPS 1823 - 1900
Born on 25 December 1823 in
Sussex to Thomas & Frances Cripps.
Richard emigrated to the
United States, and whilst we know he was a fully Naturalized American by
the year 1865, his Declaration of Intent dated 12th Nov. 1857 states that
"I came to the United States of America in the year 1835, and that I am now
aged about thirty three years."
I find this arrival date
of 1835 extremely un-likely, as Richard would have been only 10 years of
age at the time and his father Thomas was still gainfully employed as a
Railway Porter in Brighton, Sussex; It being more credible for Richard
to leave home after his father's death in 1841. The above Declaration
of Intent no doubt required the applicant to have been resident in the
United States for a set number of years before the naturalization process
could begin, so we could perhaps forgive Richard for stretching the truth
a little bit.
Richard married a Charlotte White sometime
before 1855 and had one child, a daughter named Fanny (born in 1856), however
Fanny's death is recorded by the Reformed Churches of Woestina & Glenville
on the 14th April 1883, being aged 26yrs. Fanny was buried in the Methodist
Episcopal Church Cemetery in Glenville, New York State on April 17th 1883
and her full age was given as 26 yrs. 7 months and 17 days (very accurate
Richard on the New York State
Census in 1855 is recorded as a Miller, Aged 30yrs, Married, Born in England,
Alien, and has spent the last 8 years in the town of Root, Montgomery County.
Once again in one of Frances
Cripps's letters (Richard's mother) she makes mention of Richard in America
and the fact that he was living in Brown's Hollow; Further research proved
Brown's Hollow to be an out-lying suburb of Root in Montgomery County.
A look at some Title Deeds
within Root proved very fruitful, showing Richard to be indeed a Flour
Miller, with the present owners John & Maggie Brown selling their half
share in Brown's Mill for the sum of $2200. This sale of the Grist
Mill as it was called occurred on 16 June 1858 and it entitled Richard
also to use one half of all the waters dammed from Flat Creek for the sole
use of the Flour Mill. Another Deed shows us that on 10th April 1860 Richard
& his wife Charlotte sold their half share in the above Mill to Francis
& James W. Gordon for $2100.
F.W. Beer's "History of Montgomery & Fulton Counties", dated
"Brown's Hollow is a little village in the southeast part
of the town. Here was early erected, by Henry Lyker, a Flouring Mill on
Flat Creek. John Brown brought the concern, and at a large expense
increased the water-power by building a tunnel a thousand feet in length
through the hill, lining it with stone work, which is still in good preservation.
The Mill was burned many years ago, and rebuilt by Mr Brown, with three
run of stones. It has since had several owners, and is now doing
a small business."
Richard also sold other property,
the first to Jacob W. Montaney, (the date illegible in the index) and to
David Chambers in 1895, both in the town of Root. The first property
he bought in Root is dated 1855 and was purchased from a Van Valkenburgh.
It's difficult to trace Richard's
movements in Montgomery County, but another lucky find of a "Gazetteer
& Business Directory of Montgomery and Fulton Counties, N.Y., 1869-70,"
by Hamilton Child, lists Richard Cripps as a Miller & Farmer, with
the address in nearby Argusville, Schoharie County.
Charlotte Cripps is buried
also at the above Methodist Church in Glenville, and the cemetery details
reveal that Charlott (sic) was born on 22nd Jan 1825 & died Oct 10th
1887 aged 62 yrs. 3 months and 8 days.
Luckily the Schenectady County
Historical Society has uncovered a detailed article on the above Methodist
cemetery written in 1942; remarkably nearly half of its contents refers
to the site's kind benefactor Richard Cripps.
LONG NEGLECTED GLENVILLE CEMETERY RECEIVING CARE
By Percy M. Van Epps 1942
Closely parallelling the highway leading
westward from the village of West Glenville to the City of Amsterdam is
a notable series of hillocks, once a very prominent feature but now nearly
all of them exploited for their content of sands and gravels, so desirable
for road building and concrete work. Indeed, two or three of the
highest of these curious hillocks have been well-nigh trucked away even
to that extent that deep pits or excavations mark their site.
On one of the smaller undisturbed
hillocks is a once-neglected cemetery, formally known as the "Methodist
Graveyard". Thus named because many adherents of the now long-abandoned
Methodist Episcopal Church of the Village of West Glenville were buried
In the northeast corner of this
half acre plot, well back from the bordering highway, there is a small
group of tombstones marking burials of a Lovett family. This group
of burials represents a private or farm burial plot of the Lovetts, a New
England family that came into this region at an early date and acquired
a farm of 100 acres first settled by Harmanus Van Vleck who came into this
then wild and uncleared part of Glenville just prior to the war of the
Revolution while the area was yet the haunt of the bear, wolf and panther.
In the year 1843 a Methodist Church
edifice standing on the Touareuna road, exactly on the boundary line between
Schenectady and Montgomery Counties was abandoned, its members and adherents
building a new brick church in West Glenville. Then, or perhaps a
few years prior to this removal, additional land adjoining the Lovett burial
plot was donated to the Methodist Church by that family, thus making it
all a rectangular plot of nearly a half-acre.
A stone fence with a central gateway
was built along the roadside frontage of this plot, and along its northern
boundary a row of Lombardy Poplars, then a popular tree was planted.
A very few scraggly poplars yet remain. Several handsome marble monuments
were shortly erected, notably by the Dawson, the Cheeseman and the Collins
families, and the yard was well cared for for several decades.
Then nearly 60 years ago, through
the interest and generosity of one Richard Cripps, a Miller and native
of England and who was in some way connected with the Weaver family of
Glenville, an additional piece of land adjoining the cemetery to the west
was acquired from Charles Conde of the Sacandaga road, then owner of the
north part of the Lovett farm, thus making the total area of the cemetery
about an acre. The stone wall fronting the old part was removed and
a neat fence built along the roadside front of both old and new portions.
Cripps also caused the placement of an expensive wall of cut stone surmounted
with iron posts and chains, enclosing a lot selected by him and on which
he erected an elaborated monument bearing his family name, evidently expecting
to be buried there, but for some reason or other, the only burials made
by him on this plot was that of his wife Charlotte, and his daughter, Fanny.
At the time of his interest in
this little Glenville cemetery, Cripps was living somewhere in the vicinity
of Canajoharie where he operated or had operated a Grist Mill. Altogether
he expended a considerable sum in the acquisition of the added land and
other improvements he financed, finally, it is said, going back to England
where he died.
For a few years after the enlargement
of this cemetery it was well cared for by the trustee of the local Methodist
Church. The new part was laid out with lots and walks. Several
lots were sold and a number of burials made therein. But with the
closing of the Methodist church, about 40 years ago, and the death or removal
of the greater part of its supporters interest in the care of the cemetery
waned and nearly ceased; a thick growth of locust and brambles soon grew
into a jungle covering all of the new area as well as much of the older
The painted fence of pine with
its posts and gates decayed and dropped apart and shortly not a trace of
it remained. The area remained in this deplorable condition for well
over 20 years.
Today in conformity with that section
of the state laws relating to the care of abandoned cemeteries, B.U. Tulloch,
former Superintendent of highways with his force of assistants recently
cleared the neglected cemetery of its dense growth of bushes and brambles,
repaired and set up broken and overgrown tombstones and for several years
past have kept the area mown and well cared for.
The care and restoration of this
abandoned cemetery has elicited favourable comment from the residents of
The above article mentions
the Weaver family and Richard's possible connection. Daniel Slover's
sister-in-law Margaret Weaver, would be Richard's only direct relationship
with this family, however Richard was quite friendly with other members
of the Weaver family. Richard's Will (1900) reveals considerable sums of
money bequeathed to the Weaver family; As in Selva Weaver's case who gratefully
received £1000. Albert & William Weaver plus Bertie Weaver were
all bequeathed lesser amounts.
English descendants have
discovered papers that suggest that Richard later adopted a son; On the
1865 Census, we see a Nephew, John White living with the family then aged
10 years old.
After his wife's death in
1887, Richard decided on a return visit to England, leaving his adopted
son (possibly John White) in charge of his business affairs.
Family papers suggest that
Richard's "son" promptly sold the business & absconded with all the
assets, leaving his father stranded in England. Richard then stayed
in England and lived for the remainder of his life with his sister Frances
Ann at 1 The Steyne, Worthing, Sussex.
Richard Died on 9/10/1900
at 1 Steyne, Worthing, Sussex aged 75yrs, and he was subsequently buried
at Broadwater Cemetery in South Farm road in Worthing, Sussex.
In appearance & manner,
Richard was said to be very American, and strikingly like "Uncle Sam",
'However he was very fond, perhaps too fond, of playing poker'.