Crackston Close

Located just off Speedwell Crescent, Eggbuckland, Crackston Close is one of a dozen or so streets in that area to be named after one of the so-called Pilgrim Fathers. Thousands of US citizens delight in tracing their lineage back to one or other of those founding figures of modern America, but it is unlikely that any of them have ever claimed a link with John Crackston, senior or junior.

Not much is known about either of the John Crackstons (or Crackstones) and even less is known about Mrs Crackston, although the general supposition is that she died sometime before her daughter, Ann, was married, in 1618. The marriage took place in Leiden, Holland, on 12 December 1618.

Ann’s husband was Thomas Smith and her marriage record suggests that she, and doubtless her father too, were from Colchester.It is possible that there are still descendants of John Crackston, via that union, that were born in the Netherlands, however the American connection was soon curtailed, John senior was one of fifty Mayflower passengers to die that first winter and son, John, died, unmarried, some six years later – “having lost himself in the woods, his feet became frozen, which sent him into a fever of which he died.” One can only wonder if his sister ever learnt the fate of her adventurous father or brother.