A number of people seem to disappear from the English records and it is often difficult to establish if they have gone overseas or are simply in hiding under a previously unconsidered mis-spelling of the Cruwys surname. Samuel Steer Cruwys was for a long time on my list of missing persons. He disappeared after the 1871 census and there was no record of his death in the GRO indexes. I have now finally managed to track him down in Australia.
Samuel was born in 1850 in Halberton, Devon. He was the youngest of six children born to Sarah Steer and Robert Cruwys from the prolific Mariansleigh Cruwys family. After a short spell as a publican at the Stuckley Inn in West Worlington Samuel's father became a farmer. The family lived at Alstree Farm in Halberton, which is probably the present-day Alstree House in the Lower Town. By 1871 Samuel had left home and found employment as a wine merchant's assistant working for William Bartlett, a wine merchant and town councillor living in Fore Street, Tiverton. We know that Samuel married in 1873, either to Sarah Ellis or to Marion Helen Jamieson. It was probably around this time that Samuel set himself up in business as a tobacconist and ale, wine and spirit merchant in Bideford. His business did not prosper and Samuel's final appearance in the English records is in 1878 in the London Gazette when his business goes into liquidation. We next find Samuel's name in the indexes to wills in the Queensland State Archives in Australia
I have been unable to find out anything further about Samuel's life in Australia. There are, however, seven people with the surname Cruwys living in Queensland who are listed in the current telephone directory who might well be Samuel's descendants.