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Crapser Family Genealogy

a branch of Penny's Genealogy Pages

Brick Wall

My family, like many others, contains a brick wall. I have an great-great-great-grandfather, Timothy Crapser, who according to all reasonable record sources has no parents. His wife bore a son, Melbourn Washington Crapser (who may also be known as Melvin) who carried on the Crapser name.  Over the years his descendants have been told they were descended from the one and only Crapser who came to America, a mister Johannes Krapsen von Rotenflau.  But after searching, I still find no definitive record of Timothy's parents.  So here I sit, trying to find the connection between what I've been told and what the records say.

Timeline    Facts    Sources    Other items


  • 1825- about 1885 - Lived in New York
    • 1871- at least1885 - Lived in Catskill area
  • sometime between 1886 - 1895 - Moved to Illinois
  • 1895 - Died in Boone County, Illinois

The facts that have been proven:

  • Notes from Allevia Gillespie (granddaughter of Minnie who is the daughter of Melbourn and Elizabeth) indicate Timothy Crapser was born on the 27th of May in 1825  and died on 23rd of July in 1898.5   (same dates are recorded on Timothy's headstone4)
  • According to the will of Gilbert Lane of Catskill, New York, his daughter Louisa J. Lane was married to a Timothy Crapser.1
  • Timothy and Louisa had two daughters that died quite young and were buried in old burying ground in the Town of Catskill.  The record states:
    • Rosa Eveline,  daughter of Timothy and Louisa J. Crapser born April 6, 1874 died Jan 1, 1882
    • Lizzie Jane, daughter of Timothy and Louisa J. Crapser born Oct 18, 1850 died Feb 8 18712
  • Allevia's notes also indicate that Timothy and Louisa Crapser had a son, Melbourn (my great-great grandfather).  Melbourn was born May 27, 1858.5
  • According to the 1885 tax records of the Town of Catskill, Timothy Crapser owned a farm of 114 acres and 1 dog with a real value of $3100.  Mrs. Timothy Crapser was assessed tax on $1000 of personal property. 3
  •  On the 28th of September in 1886, Melbourn married Libbie Walker in Cook County, Illinois.6  The Marriage license indicates both were from Poplar Grove, Boon County, Illinois.  A Miss Laura (or Louisa, handwriting is debatable) witnessed the marriage.8
  • Timothy died on the 23rd of June in 1895 in Illinois.  He was buried in Round Prairie Cemetery, LeRoy Township, Boone County, Illinois.  He is buried in the same plot as a Robert H Crapser, the son of MW& E, age 2yrs 1m 24 days.4
  • Census Records7 indicate
    • 1860 - in Catskill, Greene, NY. Household members are Timothy, Louisa, Melbourn, and Lizzie Crapser and Edward Agan (sp?). Neighbors were William, Catherine, Augustus, Frances, Josephine, and Isabel Crapser. The families of Joseph Lane, Joseph A. Lane, and Joseph Sax are also listed as neighbors - these families are Louisa's relatives.
    • 1870 - Catskill, Greene, NY. Household members are Timothy, Louisa, Melbourn, and Lizzie Crapser and Leon Wulford.
    • 1880 - Catskill, Greene, NY. Household members are Timothy, Louisa, and Rosa Crapser. Melbourn, Minerva, and Percy L Crapser are listed seperately
    • 1890 - census records destroyed in fire, nothing available for NY, IL, or SD.
    • 1900 - Medary township, Brookings, SD - Household members are Melbourn, Lena, Minnie, Delbert, Laura, and Lewis Crapser.

The Sources for the proven facts:

  1. Wills of Greene County Abstracts from 1861-1870. URL:
  2. Unnamed Cemetery #1 URL:
  3. Town of Catskill Tax Assessment 1885. URL: _1885_a_to_l.htm
  4. Round Prairie (aka Coynes) Cemetery. Transcribed by Helen Maxwell Williams. URL: rndprair.txt  Viewed: 4/5/2006
  5. Notes from Allevia Gillespie given to Donald Crapser after 1980 (actual date unknown).
  6. Illinois Statewide Marriage Index 1763-1900. URL:
  7. Census records from
  8. Marriage License of Melbourn W. Crapser and Libbie Walker.  Copy from Illinois Regional Archives Depository at Northeastern Illinois University. License dated 28 September 1886. Received February 2009.

Other Items - unverified

  • Census 1850 - Catskill, Greene, NY - Household members Charles (age 65), Catherine (64), Timothy (25) and Charolette (19) Crapser.
    • If Charles & Catherine are Timothy's parents, is Timothy one of the youngest children in his family?
    • Are Timothy and Charolette living with Grandpa & Grandma? Why? Parents die? Grandparents needed help?
  • Will of Charles Crapser, dated August 18, 1858 (year hard to read), administrated by Timothy Crapser.

The Family

 +Louisa LANE
      Lizzie J
      Melbourn W
       +Minerva LEWIS
             Percy L
             Charles M
             Nathan L
       +Elizabeth WALKER
             Minnie Louise
             Robert H
             Adelbert Timothy
             Laura Ann
             Lewis W
       +Teolina KJOLSETH
             Lawrence Melvin
             Cecil M
             Harold Leslie
             Oral Percy
             Lyle C
             Roy Erwin
      Rosa E