Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Cruse/Scruse of Wiltshire

I have been in contact with Carol Patis via the Wiltshire Rootsweb mailing list and Carol has kindly sent me details of her Cruse/Scruse tree from Wiltshire. Carol is descended from Thomas Scruse who was born on 2nd February 1799 and baptised on 10th February 1799 in Maddington, Wiltshire. Thomas was the eldest son of Oliver Cruse and Ann Feltham who married on 19th March 1798 in Maddington. Although Oliver's name was spelt Cruse in the marriage register, the spelling changed to Scruse when Thomas was baptised which is perhaps not surprising as the surname would have been spelt as it sounded and the final S in Thomas could easily have blended with the surname Cruse to form the name Scruse. The Scruse spelling was used consistently by Thomas's descendants and also by the descendants of his brother Joseph Scruse who was born on 11th August 1802 and baptised on 29th August 1802 in Orcheston St George, Wiltshire. The Wiltshire Scruses seem to account for a large majority of the Scruses who appear in the civil registration indexes from 1837 onwards, and some of this family have also settled in Australia.

Ann Feltham was probably Oliver's second wife. An Oliver Cruse married Sarah Topp on 18th April 1792 in Fishton Delamere, Wiltshire. They had three children: Thomas (baptised 3rd February 1793 in Orcheston St George), Hannah (baptised 9th November 1794 in Orcheston St George) and Elizabeth (probably born in 1796 in Orcheston St George). Sarah and the three children died on 13th January 1799 in Orcheston St George. The sad story of their deaths is recorded in the following poignant entry in the parish register:
Thomas, Hannah and Elizabeth Cruse, son and daughters of Oliver and Sarah Cruse who were burnt to death by their mother in a fit of insanity Jan 13th and buried Jan 15th. Sarah the wife of Oliver Cruse and mother of the above three children died in consequence of a wound she gave herself on Jan 13th and was buried 24th.
It has not yet been possible to determine the ancestry of Oliver Cruse with confidence. An Oliver Cruse was baptised on 30th November 1747 in Netheravon, Wiltshire, the son of Robert Cruse and Hannah Silverthorne. This Oliver married Joyce Peircey on 12th May 1770 in Orcheston St George. No record has been found of any children from this marriage. Joyce died in 1791. Did this Oliver Cruse then go on to marry Sarah Topp in 1792? By this time Oliver would have been around 44 or 45 years old. I only have details of Oliver's three marriages from various indexes and there is no indication that he was a widower, though this information was not always provided in the early registers. If the three Olivers are indeed all one and the same person then we can trace the line back a further two generations to Robert Cruse and Sue Hill who married on 9th October 1665 in Urchfont, Wiltshire.

As an interesting aside on the surname Scruse I have discovered that Scruse is the maiden name of Katherine Jackson, the mother of the singer Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson's grandfather, Prince Albert Scruse, was apparently born on 16th October 1907, and his Scruse family appear to be from Alabama. There seems to be very little information on this line and it would be interesting to do further research to see if there is any connection with the Wiltshire Cruses/Scruses, perhaps through a family of slave owners.

4 comments:

Jon said...

Hi Debbie,

Thanks for archiving an important part of our American "Screws" relationship with the Isles. We hope to make a direct connection soon. Great job on the website!

Jonathan

Tonya said...

hi ,my name is tonya scruse of detroit mi via eufala ala,pre clarence scruse my grandfather, my greatgrand father from russell county will screws, leona screws,on cedar ht road, we owns most of that land my great uncle robert screws

tonya scruse said...

HI , HOW IS EVERY ONE THERE IS A SCREWS FAMILY REUNION IN WEST CHESTER,OH AT THE WINATE BY WYNDHAM 7500 TYLERS PLACE BOULEVARD . CONTACT rosetta11939@sbcglobal.net july 1-4, this is away to connect and keep in touch , family from all over will there ,just an FYI.

Debbie Kennett said...

Tonya, Thanks for letting us know. I've done a blog posting to help get the word out.