General Crapo History

From a history written by Janette L. Crapo Miller and a letter sent to Jean May by Ralph Harmon Crapo. More information on the early American ancestors can be found in the book "Certain Comeoverers" by Henry Howland Crapo.

Pierre or Peter Crapo and Penelope White

The Crapo family were originally from Bordeaux, France. The early Crapo's of America were fishermen, lumbermen and farmers.

Pierre or Peter Crapo, a boy of about 10 or 12 years of age, was the first Crapo in America. Peter was an orphan living with his aunt and uncle at Bordeaux, France. He had a brother Nicholas who was captain of a ship in the French navy. This brother's ship was in port being overhauled and supplied for a cruise somewhere but no one, even the captain, knew where.

Nicholas took his little brother Peter around and showed him a good time. Peter wanted to sail with him, but he captain said "no". The time arrived to sail. The captain took sealed orders and sailed. On the third day out the orders were opened and they found they were to go to America where the French had colonies.

A day or two later Peter came out of hiding among the rigging where he had stowed away with a bottle of water and some food that he had carried onto the ship. Nicholas could not go back now so he was forced to take his brother along with him or throw him overboard.

The ship, some weeks later, arrived at Boston harbor and anchored. One night a big storm blew in off the Atlantic and tore the ship from its anchors and drove the wooden ships on the rocks at Cape Cod and wrecked it completely. All on board were cast into the water.

When morning came the wreckage of the ship was lying along the shore near the town of New Bedford and on the shore were 6 persons. The Captain, his brother, Peter, and four sailors. The Captain had lashed Peter to a floating mast and hung on to the ropes until the mast floated in the gale to the shore. The Captain found a home for Peter with a farmer signing papers for him until he was 21 years of age. He said he would write, but was never heard from by Peter. (Nicholas sailed back to France to report the loss of his ship.)

When Peter became 21, he was his own master. He got some land, bought a house, and married an English girl, Penelope White, who was the daughter of Samuel White and Rebecca Green. Samuel was the son of Resolved White and Judith Vassell. Resolved White was the son of William White and Susanna Fuller White who came to America on the Mayflower.

During that first hard winter after the landing of the Mayflower many of the Pilgrims died and among them was William White and also Elizabeth Barker Winslow, the wife of Edward Winslow, Jr. Later Edward Winslow, Jr. Married Susanna (the widow of Wm. White) and took her two sons Resolved and Perigrine to live with them. Later both sons married and reared families. Resolved married Judith Vassall and they had eight children, one of them Samuel, the father of Penelope White, who married Peter the first American ancestor.

Peter reared a large family. A strange coincidence was when Peter's oldest daughter Susanna married one of the four sailors who had all remained in America after being shipwrecked. Susanna's husband was 75 years old. They reared a family of 13 children and he outlived his wife. He died at the age of 110 years. (Their work has been done in the temple. His name was De Maranville.)

The fifth generation from Peter (Pierre) Crapo is Jonathon Collins Crapo. He was born 4 February 1830 at New Bedford, Massachusetts. His parents had a large family and when my great-grandfather was about twelve years old he went to live with his grand-parents Charles Crapo and Sally Lucas Crapo, who lived a few miles out of the city of New Bedford on a farm.

He helped them at various chores and also delivered milk into the city. He remained with his grandparents until he was twenty, when his father told him that they (the rest of the family) had heard the Gospel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly called Mormons) and they believed its teachings and had been baptized and were preparing to go west with the family and he would like Jonathon to go with them. He went west with them but did not join the church until after they arrived in Utah. His grandparents felt pretty bad and thought they were disgracing the family by joining the Mormons. Jonathon received a letter from one of his aunts begging him to leave the Mormons and come back and join the Seventh Day Adventists. The aunt was getting real old and was much concerned about Jonathon who she said was more like a brother than a nephew. She hoped he had never been so foolish as to join the Mormons and if he had she felt it was not too late to repent and come to Jesus, who would forgive. The dear old soul seemed very sincere and very devout in her belief.

Joseph George Crapo and his family (wife Mary Hicks Collins) were the only Crapo's to join the Church that we know of.

The Crapo genealogy for those in America has mostly been compiled and the temple work done. In the Crapo history we find that many of them fought in the Revolutionary War and one was killed in the Battle of Bull Run. The family connects up with the Edward Winslow Family in two places. It also connects up with many other prominent families of early settlement of America. From Massachusetts they scattered into Maine and Michigan and New York and later almost all over the United States.