Arian Smit has been in touch and has provided some most welcome information on the history of the surname Cruys in the Netherlands from the Dutch surname database. Cruys (or Cruijs) in the Netherlands is a spelling variation of the name Kruis, meaning cross. The explanation for the origin of the name is given as:
1) A person living near a place known as "The Cross" (more usually a cross on a signboard)
2) The professional name of one who makes crosses.
The earliest known occurrence of the surname in Holland appears to be from the sixteenth century with a reference to Christiaen Adriaensz Cruys, who was born in 1533 in Delft, the son of Adriaen Claesz or Cruys. The name Cruys also started to appear in Amsterdam in the sixteenth century and Rotterdam in the seventeenth century. Later on more common spellings were Kruijs/Kruys and Kruis.
The most well known bearer of the surname in Holland is Cornelius Cruys (1655-1727), Vice Admiral of the Imperial Russian Navy and the first commander of the Russian Baltic Fleet. He was half-Norwegian and half-Dutch. He was in fact born as Niels Olsen (Olufsen) but for some unknown reason changed his name to Cruys when he moved to Amsterdam. There is an interesting article on Wikipedia about Cornelius Cruys. There is also a somewhat melodramatic video clip from the forthcoming Cornelius Cruys project on YouTube:
The video is partly in Dutch and partly in English, with possibly some Norwegian thrown in for good measure too. It does however provide a useful opportunity to discover the pronunciation of the surname in Holland - Crows with a sibiliant s - which is very different to the English pronunciation cruise.
Cruys quite possibly developed as a separate surname in Holland, but it is interesting to note that both Cruys and Cruwys are derived from the word cross.