I am very fortunate that David Cruse has already done most of the hard work on the Cruses of Berkshire over the last twenty years or so. He has very kindly given me a large tree with details of the big Berkshire family from which nearly all the Cruses in Berkshire originate. I have now finally finished inputting all the data into my family history program so that I can prepare reports on this line if any enquiries are received. The Berkshire tree can be traced back to William Cruse and Mary Cooper who married in Compton Beauchamp, Berkshire, on 10th November 1706. William is possibly the William Cruse, son of William and Katharine, who was baptised in the nearby Wiltshire parish of Ogbourne St George in 1680.
William Cruse and Mary Cooper had five known children: William (1707-1798), Miles (1709), Mary (1714), George (1719-1719) and Richard (1720-1757). The children were all baptised in the small village of Aldbourne in Wiltshire. Aldbourne is very close to the Berkshire border and the nearest town is Hungerford. William and Mary seem to have lived for their entire married life in Aldbourne. Their eldest son, William, married Ann Long in 1733 in Aldbourne. William and Ann went on to have ten children. Their eldest seven children were baptised in Aldbourne and their youngest three children were baptised in Ramsbury, Wiltshire. William and Mary's second son, Miles Cruse, married Jane Brown on 23rd April 1728 in Ramsbury. Their twelve children were all born in Ramsbury, but later generations gradually moved across the county border into West Berkshire, settling mainly in Boxford, Welford, Lambourn, Hampstead Norris, Kintbury and Speenhamland. The descendants of Miles Cruse and Jane Brown account for most of the Cruses found in the Berkshire records.
Interestingly the surname is often spelt Cuss, Curse or Curs in the early Wiltshire records with the Cruse spelling predominating from the 1800s onwards. In one of the later generations the spelling seems to have changed to Cruce. George Cruce and Sarah Chivers married in 1846 in Welford, Berkshire. The births of some of their children were registered in the name Cruce and this spelling appears to have been adopted by their descendants.