Sharon Hindmarsh in Australia has been in touch and sent me some interesting information about a Cruwys family from Shrewsbury in Shropshire. Sharon's mother-in-law is descended from John Cruwys and Elizabeth Prichard who married on 10th February 1817 at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square, London. John and Elizabeth's daughter-in-law, Sarah Ann Cruwys née Harris, emigrated to Australia in 1879 with her five sons Colin, John, Ralph, Ernest and Arthur. Sarah's daughter, Selina, had emigrated to Australia the previous year with her new husband John Parkes, his parents and his brothers and sisters. Nearly all the Cruwyses in Australia are descended from John Cruwys and Elizabeth Prichard. Interestingly Sharon tells me that her mother-in-law's family have always pronounced the surname Kruse, whereas elsewhere in Australia it is pronounced Crewiss. Judith Bowen is the expert on the Cruwyses of Australia and she has over the course of the last 30 years recorded nearly all the Australian descendants. However, the birth and death of the John Cruwys at the head of the Australian tree remain as elusive as ever.
Sharon has only recently made contact with Judith and wasn't aware of all the research which had already been done on the Australian family. In the quest for the elusive John Cruwys she purchased a number of certificates for a family from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, before she realised that the timeline did not work out. She has now very kindly sent me copies of all these certificates which have all proved very useful.
I have not so far heard from anyone who is researching the Shrewsbury Cruwys family so I will publish some details below in the hope that other researchers will be able to get in touch and provide further information.
The Shrewsbury tree begins with Thomas Cruwys, a tailor, who was born about 1768. In the 1841 census he is living in the Parish of St Mary's in Shrewsbury with his wife Hannah and their children Richard, 25, a gardener, Harriet, 15, a female servant, and Robert, 15, a tailor's apprentice. Thomas stated in the 1841 census that he was not born in Shropshire. Unfortunately he died in 1848 and we therefore have no further clues as to his place of birth. I have not been able to find any record of Thomas and Hannah's marriage but we now know that they had the following children:
1. John Cruwys, born about 1804 in Shrewsbury. John moved to London where he appears to have worked first as a tailor before becoming the innkeeper at the Bell Inn in Kilburn. John seems to have married three times. He married Margaret Taylor in 1829, Mary Ann Farnsworth in 1836 and Eliza Plumridge née Brown in 1843. All the marriages took place at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square.
2. Elizabeth Cruwys was born about 1815 in Shrewsbury. In 1851 she was living at the Bell Inn with her brother John and working as a barmaid.
3. Richard Cruwys was born about 1815 in Shrewsbury. He worked variously as a gardener, seedsman and police constable. He married Margaret Sanderson in 1851 at St Martin in the Fields.
4. Ann Cruwys, was born about 1816, probably in Shrewsbury. She married Alfred Lloyd, a painter, in 1838 at St Martin in the Fields.
5. Harriet Cruwys was born about 1823 in Shropshire. She married James Walsh, a leather breeches maker, in 1843 at St Martin in the Fields. By 1851 they were living in Westminster St James and had three children.
6. Robert Cruwys was born about 1824 in Shrewsbury. He was a tailor. He married Eliza Tomson in 1851 at St Martin in the Fields.
Intriguingly we know that Thomas Cruwys was sent to Gaol in 1811. The full details are not yet known but "Thomas Cruwys, late of Shrewsbury, in the county of Salop, Tailor" was included in a list of "Prisoners in the Gaol at Shrewsbury in and for the County of Salop" which was published in the London Gazette on three separate dates in July 1811. Thomas's absence in prison might well account for the gap between the births of John in 1805 and Elizabeth in 1815.
I've had great difficulty tracking Thomas and Hannah's children beyond the 1851 census and would be very interested to hear from anyone who is related to any of these families.