Pam Robins from Beaudesert, Queensland, Australia, has been in touch about the early Cruses of Landkey in Devon, and we have had a most useful exchange of information. Unfortunately the Landkey registers have only survived from 1602 onwards so the Landkey tree begins with Anthony Creuse who married Johan (or Joan) Cornish on 22nd June 1603. Anthony and Joan had six children, all of whom were baptised at St Paul's Church in Landkey:
1. William, baptised on 18th April 1604
2. Anthony, baptised on 17th November 1605
3. Wilmot, baptised on 22nd November 1607 and buried on 1st December 1607
4. Elizabeth, baptised on 8th June 1611
5. Archelaus, baptised on 9th April 1614 (his name appears in the records with a variety of spellings such as Achilles, Archilles, Archillis, Archerlus and Archalus)
6. James, baptised on 25th March 1616.
The eldest son, William, married Ann May on 17th January 1634/5 in Landkey. They only appear to have had one son, William, baptised on 2nd May 1639 in Landkey. This particular Cruse line comes to an end with William junior as he had five daughters from his marriage to Damarus Smitham and no sons.
Anthony married Mary Lewes on 23rd April 1660 in Landkey. By this time Anthony would have been in his fifties so it was possibly a second marriage. This couple, too, only appear to have had one child, another Anthony, who was baptised on 11th December 1661 in Landkey. We have no further information on this line at present.
Elizabeth married Hugh Fry on 7th November 1640 in Landkey. Pam is descended from their daughter Joan Fry who married William Morrish on 17th May 1676 in Barnstaple.
Archelaus married Joan Blackmore on 1st April 1647 in Landkey. They appear to have settled in the nearby town of Barnstaple after their marriage, and their daughter Joan was baptised on 26th February 1650/1 in Barnstaple. She died at the age of ten or eleven and was buried on 6th August 1661 in Barnstaple. Archelaus and Joan also had a son called James though so far his baptism has not been located. James married Eleanor Jones from Llandue, Wales, on 21st September 1679 in Barnstaple and the marriage record conveniently provides confirmation that James was Archelaus's son. Joan Cruse née Blackmore was buried on 3rd December 1664 in Barnstaple. At some point in the next five years Archelaus married again, but we have no record of the marriage and the name of his second wife is not known. There were two daughters from the second marriage, both of whom were baptised in Barnstaple: Anne on 2nd March 1669/70 and Elizabeth on 20th February 1672/3. Archelaus possibly did not live to see the birth of his daughter Elizabeth as his will was proved in 1673 at Barnstaple. Unfortunately his will has not survived as all the Barnstaple wills were stored at the Exeter Probate Registry which was bombed by the Germans in World War II.
As many of you will know the name Archelaus also appears in the tree of the Cruse family from Rode in Somerset. We believe that Archelaus Cruse the newsvendor of St Botolph, Aldersgate, was born in 1760 in Rode, Somerset. The Rode tree goes back as far as a John Cruse who married a Susannah in 1686. However, at the moment there is no obvious connection between the two branches.
Anthony and Joan's youngest son, James, disappears from the records and we have no further information about him.