The great mystery is what happens to us before death?

May-Tzu

Ella M. Edgins Crane Mowell


Ella Edgins was born in November of 1865 in Richmond or Portsmouth, Virginia, at the end of the Civil War. Her father was an English immigrant. His name may have been John H. Edgins. Her mother was a Scottish and/or English immigran
t, whose name may have been Fannie L. Griffith, 1834 – 17 January, 1907, who died in Somerville, Massachusetts. Fannie’s father may have been Jackson Griffith and her mother, Frances Little. Griffith is a Welsh name. A majority of my W1 mtDNA matches believed that their mitochondrial DNA line descended from Scotland or Ireland, based upon their furthest-in-time known female-line ancestor. Ella Edgins’ tentative antecedents are taken from the Family Search website.

Ella Crane Edgins’ first husband died, sometime after the birth of Martha Stratton Crane in June, 1885 in Camden, New Jersey (her 4th child, but 3rd who lived) fathered by William Crane, Jr., a.k.a., Charles William Crane, then a Camden sign-painter, but in 1880 a New York City engraver.

By 1889 Ella had no doubt been left in poverty by the death of her first husband and with no means to support her 3 Crane children. When her first child, Charles William Crane, was born Ella was only 14 or 15 years old.

She abandoned her 3 children completely. Florence L. Crane was placed in a Brooklyn, NY. orphanage, later to be ‘adopted‘ by Hiram Porter McGinnis of Crown Point, New York, who would marry her and murder her. Martha S. Crane was left somewhere in Camden, N.J., according to her marriage record. 

Ella Crane nee Edgins, now a Brooklyn, New York resident, married a man 25-years older, named William H. Mowell, who was born in 1842 in Ulster County, New York. He was then employed as someone who wrapped boilers and pipes in asbestos and later worked as a cooper.

Ella had 6 children by husband William H. Mowell. In 1905 she died at age 39 after the birth of her 10th child, counting both marriages. Very shortly after her death, her last-born child also died. William H. Mowell died later, at an unknown date and place.

Probably ashamed and wishing to avoid social stigma, in all records Ella Edgins Crane Mowell disavowed ever having had her first marriage and 3 Crane children: Charles W. Crane, born in April of 1880 in Manhattan, Florence L. Crane, born in March, 1882, perhaps in Brooklyn, and Martha Stratton Crane. Ella Edgins Crane Mowell indicated on various censuses that she had married William H. Mowell in 1880 (when she was in fact married to Charles W. Crane, Jr.), but suddenly began having children in 1892, 12 years after the supposed 1880 marriage to Mr. Mowell, then having 6 in rapid succession. In fact an 1889 Brooklyn City Directory lists “Ella Crane, widow of Charles.”

Ella Crane née Edgins, Florence Crane’s mother

Ella Edgins was born in April of 1865 in Richmond, Virginia. Her father was an English immigrant. Her mother was a Scottish immigrant, names unknown to me. 

Sometime after 1885, and the birth of Martha Stratton Crane in Camden, New Jersey, her 4th child, but 3rd child who lived, fathered by husband William Crane, Jr., a.k.a., Charles William Crane, her husband, then a sign painter, earlier an engraver in NYC, died. In 1892 or 1891, Ella had no doubt been left in poverty by the death of her first husband and with no means to support her 3 Crane children.

She abandoned them completely. Ella Crane nee Edgins, a Brooklyn, New York resident now, married a man 25-years older named William H. Mowell, who was born in Ulster County, New York. He was then someone who wrapped boilers and pipes in asbestos and later worked as a cooper.

Ella had 6 children by husband Mowell.  In 1905 she died at age 39 after the birth of the 10th child, counting both marriages. Very shortly after her death, the last-born child also died. When Ella’s first child, Uncle Charlie Crane was born, Ella was either 14 or 15 years old. Mowell lived longer after 1905.

Probably ashamed and wishing to avoid social stigma, in all records she disavowed ever having her first marriage and 3 Crane children, Uncle Charlie Crane, born in 1880 in Manhattan, Florence Crane, born in 1882, perhaps in Brooklyn, from whom we both descend, and Aunt Martha Stratton Crane. Ella Crane Edgins indicated on various censuses that she had married William H. Mowell in 1880 (when she was in fact still married to C. William Crane, Jr.), but then suddenly began having children in 1892, 12 years after the supposed ‘1880 honeymoon’, having 6 children in rapid succession.

We have some half-cousins descended from William H. Mowell and Ella Edgins Crane, half-siblings of Charles W. Crane, Florence Lillian Crane and Martha Stratton Crane. One of our half-cousins solved the mystery of what became of Ella Crane nee Edgins by looking on the Ancestry website for someone with an Ella Edgins Crane on their family tree who was also her genetic relative by DNA testing. That was me.

I met my mother on the Mother List, at least she claimed she was my mother. — Now I grieve for all those who have never been conceived and all those living I’ve never met. And for the dead who died before my birth. And so many billions upon billions who will perish after I do, my never having known them. And I grieve for the multitude of planet-bearing suns and life forms unknown throughout the Many-Worlds, all dying, not even forgotten by me.

May-Tzu

No reasonable definition of reality, subliminal music not yet composed, expressing all possible thoughts in the empty space between two letters which have been erased, could be expected to permit reality.

May-Tzu

No reasonable definition of reality,

dancing to subliminal music not yet composed,
in the space between two letters which have been erased,

could be expected to permit reality.

May-Tzu

It’s all now.
It’s all never.

I would like to express all possible thoughts in the empty space between two letters which have been erased.

No reasonable definition of reality could be expected to permit reality.

We are instruments for subliminal music not yet composed.

The scriptures of all religions are true, literally, but life in the world is an allegory. 

Dance!

May-Tzu