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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Ranken

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[This information is from Vol. I, pp. 182-183 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

John Ranken, founder of the Troy family, and a pioneer woollen manufacturer, was born at Wood Bank, near Garvah, Londonderry, Ireland, February 26, 1810, died at Albia (Troy), September 10, 1864. He came to the United States when he was twenty-one years of age, located in Albany, afterward in Troy. He had learned his trade in the woollen mills at home, and began in Troy his long and successful business career as an employee of the Troy Woollen Company. He was connected with this corporation for a period of about fifty years, becoming a partner and in full charge of the Troy plant. A few years before his death he sold his interest and retired. He possessed a large estate and was a leading citizen of the city. He married Nancy McNally, born May, 1816, at Auburn, New York, died March 20, 1890, at Albia, New York. Children:

  1. Hugh Fulton, born June 13, 1835; he shipped on a whaling vessel bound for the polar seas, and was never after heard from, nor was the ship on which he sailed.
  2. Hannah Delia, born October 8, ————; married Dr. George Billings, of Troy, New York.
  3. Henry Stearns, see forward.
  4. William John, see forward.
  5. Robert Brown, born January 2, 1842; married Maggie Walker.
  6. David Molyneux, born May 16, 1843; married Mary Morrison; child: Fred Ranken, the well-known dramatic critic; nom de plume, "Ginger Bread."
  7. Elizabeth Jane, born March 8, 1845; married J. R. Betts, of New York.
  8. Peter B., born February 6, 1847; a resident of Troy.
  9. Sarah L., born November 20, 1848; married J. McDowell, child: Lulu, married James Van Kuren.
  10. Mary, born September 26, 1850; married Martin McLane.

(II) Henry Stearns, son of John and Nancy (McNally) Ranken, was born at the Ranken homestead, Albia, near Troy, New York, May 26, 1836. He was educated in the public schools and at the boarding school at Sand Lake, New York. After an initial business experience, he entered into a partnership with William J. Ranken, and his uncle, Hugh Ranken, forming the firm known as the Ranken Manufacturing Company, of Cohoes, New York. They were a successful corporation, and for over thirty years Mr. Ranken was connected with the manufacturing business in Cohoes, and the wool business in Troy. He then retired to the Ranken estate at Albia, of which he is manager. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, and a Republican in politics. He married (first) Eliza Kerr Wickes, born in Sand Lake, New York, died in Albia, New York. He married (second) Victoria Charlotte Nanson, born in Buffalo, New York. Child of first wife: Jessie Wickes, married Arthur J. Rockwood, and has Arthur (2), Jessica and Elizabeth Rockwood. Children of second wife: Victoria Charlotte and Henry Nanson.

(II) William John, son of John and Nancy (McNally) Ranken, was born at Albia, New York, February 10, 1840. He was in business with his father, then in connection with his brother, Henry Stearns Ranken, and uncle, Hugh Ranken, he formed the Ranken Manufacturing Company, of Cohoes, New York, where they carried on a successful business for thirty years. He was a man of influence and wealth, closely identified with various business interests. He married Sylvia Jane Bowen, born in South Adams, Massachusetts, died in Troy, July, 1905. Children:

  1. Grace, married William J. Gurley.
  2. Emma G.
  3. William John (2), of Seattle, Washington; married Helen Hastings; children: Paul C. and Jack Ranken.
  4. Thomas Bowen, of Toledo, Ohio; married Cora Hill, of Chicago.
  5. Herbert, of Troy.

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