Towards the end of last year I was contacted by Michael Freeman who has been helping Pieter Cruse in the search for his great-grandfather Henry Cruse. Henry sailed from England to South Africa in about 1841 or 1842 when he was around 16 years old. The name of the ship is unknown. It is believed that Henry transferred to a small coastal or fishing vessel for the final stage of his journey. This latter boat was shipwrecked off the coast of South Africa, 50 miles east of Cape Town, near the small fishing village of Hawston, and Henry was the sole survivor. The spot where he came to shore is known as Harry's Bay in his honour.
One of the first challenges of the New Year is to try to find Henry's parents. Henry married Anna Petronella Christina Symington in Worcestor, South Africa, in 1848, when he gave his age as 22. He died in 1862 aged 36. According to the death certificate his father was Harry Cruse. We are therefore looking for a Henry Cruse, son of Henry, born somewhere in England in the 1820s. A number of potential candidates have now been identified and are currently under investigation.