Finding a place to begin and end is virtually impossible with a family such as the Crippen-Crippins. So much research has been done and redone and redone, that it seems the genealogy on this family will never be finished. But perhaps that is good. The continuing interest of descendants and researchers can only lead to a more credible genealogy to pass along to our own grandchildren.

Samuel Willett Comstock of Devon, Connecticut, was one of the first family researchers to compile a substantial volume of Crippen records. Hoping to publish his manuscript, dated 1946/47, Mr. Comstock died before that was possible. One of Mr. Comstock's heirs kept his material which included his written manuscript and his years worth of correspondence with various family researchers and county officials.

In the 1960s the collection was purchased by Kathryn (Crippen) Warner and her husband Russell, of Eaton Rapids, Michigan — leaders of a new generation of Crippen family researchers. Hoping to correct, add to and finally complete the family history, this dream was also cut short by the early death of Mrs. Warner on 4 May 1973.

Much of Mrs. Warner's work had concentrated on the Michigan area descendants, so those lines of the family are nearly complete. But the branches who migrated to other areas of the country, as the generations continued to produce more and more descendants, are the untold story.

The Russell's collection of material was microfilmed by the Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) and is available to any Crippen researcher. It is unknown if the two reels of microfilm contain all of the Russell's work, but it does contain a substantial portion at least. Also included on these films is a copy of Comstock's manuscript and many of his notes.

But to answer a quesion I know many of you have — to my knowledge no one has published a complete Crippen-Crippin family genealogy.

The following is a compilation of the records I have on the first generations of Crippens on American soil. I offer it only as a beginning — a place to start.

I welcome, without reservation, any additions, corrections and comments our readers might have. Below you will find, in chart form, the family of Thomas Crippen and his wife, Frances (whose maiden name was very possibly Bray). I am hoping that descendants who have researched the various lines will send in their work for publication. As I have said before, I am not an expert, and must count on everyone's contribution to this family history.


Samuel W. Comstock wrote of the history of the Crippen family:

"The Crippen family are of English descent. Thomas 'the' earliest known male member of America came over from England not far from 1665 to Plymouth, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
"During the Third Generation some one of them introduced the spelling Grippen and their descendants followed that but the greater number have spelled the name Crippen —…"

Other descendants use the spelling Crippin. It would appear that the majority of families today use the spelling Crippen, so with no priority given, I will use this spelling throughout unless it is known, by record, that a particular descendant used the "in" spelling.

Comstock's records also included a number of references to early Crippen families in Virginia. Researchers have speculated that these families are actually descendants Thomas Crippen but, to my knowledge, this has not been proven.

Thomas Crippen1 and his wife Frances (Bray?) were in Plymouth, Mass., on 6 March 1665/66. Thomas Crippen and Moses Rowley bought land in the Quaker Colony, Falmouth, Mass. in 1685/86 called Society of Saconesset. Thomas and his family moved to Haddam, Conn. and he died in East Haddam about 1709. His will was dated 10 May 1705; and his estate inventory dated 24 January 1709, gives 47 lbs, 1 sh. The children, as named in the estate settlement, were: Katharine Rowley, Mary Corbee, Mercy Crippen, Experience Crippen, Thomas and Jabez.

And on the lighter side of their lives:

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey, FASG. Plymouth Colony: Its History and People 1620-1691. Salt Lake City, UT
Part Two: Topical Narratives
Chapter 12: Morality and Sex
... Of course, barring confession or a couple being caught in flagrante delicto, it would have been harder to prove adultery than fornication resulting in pregnancy. The Plymouth courts were probably as fair as any courts of the time could be, and the Plymouth magistrates found themselves at times in a very delicate balance between their desire to punish morality crimes and their sense of not wanting to injure the innocent. Sometimes they found a compromise. On 2 March 1651/52 the Court of Assistants ordered Edward Holman, who had been observed to frequent the house of Thomas Shrive "at unseasonable times of the night, and at other times, which is feared to bee of ill consequence," to keep away from Shrive's house, and ordered Shrive's wife not to frequent the house of Holman, and to avoid his company. In another case, on 1 June 1663 the court went one step further, ordering Joseph Rogers to remove his dwelling from Namassakeesett, because he had been keeping company with Mercy, the wife of William Tubbs "after such manor as hath given cause att least to suspect that there hath bine laciviouse acts comitted by them." William Tubbs was ordered not to allow Rogers to come to his house, and Rogers was told that if he should be found at Tubb's house or in the company of his wife, he would be severely whipped. On 6 March 1665/66 the court required a bond of £20 from John Robinson, plus £10 each from two sureties, for his future good behavior, he having been convicted of some lascivious speeches and actions toward Frances, the wife of Thomas Crippin. Crippin was also accused of being a "pandor of his wife in lightnes and laciviousenes," and he, not being able to find sureties, was required to bind over to the court £40 in livestock and other property. Jonathan Hatch was convicted of unnecessarily frequenting the house of Thomas Crippin, giving rise to "suspision of dishonest behavior" towards Crippin's wife, and he was warned to keep away from her or "hee will answare it att his peril."

Their Family:

Catherine2— married Shubael Rowley
Mary2 — married (Samuel?) Corbee 28 Jan 1690. She married second to Moses Rowley (brother of her sister's husband Shubael)
Mercy2 —
Thomas2 —
Jabez2 —born about 1680, married in Colchester, New London, Conn., 9 July 1707, to Thankful Fuller (John3, Samuel2, Edward1 of the Mayflower)

Click here for a list of descendants through the first few generations


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