Thursday, 29 January 2009

Irish BMDs online

The Irish Civil Registration Indexes for have now gone online on the Family Search pilot site. The indexes include births from 1864 to 1958, marriages from 1845 to 1958 and deaths from 1864 to 1958. I've done a quick search to establish the distribution of the variant spellings in the Irish records. The total number of birth, marriage and death events for each spelling are as follows:

Cruise 2982
Cruse 107
Crews 12
Cruce 14
Cruwys 4
Crewes 1

It does not seem to be possible at present to search separately for births, marriages and deaths. The four Cruwyses in the Irish indexes are all in my own family tree. I have not yet had the chance to explore any of the other Irish lines.

The surname in Ireland, as in England, has a very long history. It seems likely that the name arrived in Ireland following the Anglo-Norman invasion in 1169. The earliest reference to the surname I have found in the Irish records relates to a Philippum de Cruce of Dublin who is mentioned in the Patent Rolls in 1229. A Miles de Cruys is noted as holding lands in the manor of Balimaglassan in County Meath in the Patent Rolls in 1277 and 1279. Cruys seems to have been the predominant spelling in the medieval period, whereas today the Cruise spelling is the one most commonly found in Ireland. The family has given its name to a small parish in County Meath which is known as Cruisetown. Another branch seems to have settled in Dublin. The chief seat of the family was at Naul, and the ruins of their castle can apparently still be seen today.

In order to keep the one-name study to a manageable size I have deliberately excluded the variant spelling Cruise because of the numbers involved both in Ireland and America. I do however have some Cruises in the DNA project, and I have acquired a few Irish records in the last few years so I am always pleased to hear from anyone researching the surname Cruise. My hope is that one day someone might be interested in taking on Cruise as a separate one-name study!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Latest Guild marriage challenges

I've received a bumper crop of marriage details from the latest Guild marriage challenges in recent weeks. I have put outline details of the various marriages below, together with the name of the tree, where known, in brackets. I have sent copies to researchers of the relevant trees. If anyone else is interested in any of these marriages do get in touch. I'd like to thank Colin Ulph for finding the Brighton marriages, Ian Preece for the Pershore marriage, and Sian Plant and Mary Ghrist for the Marylebone marriages.

Brighton Registration District

- 1840 St Nicholas, Brighton: Edmund Cruse, labourer, son of Samuel Cruse, grocer, and Ellen Lock, daughter of Luke Lock, hairdresser (I have established from the censuses that Edmund was born c. 1819 in Brighton but I cannot yet link him into any of the existing Cruse trees.)

- 1849 St Nicholas, Brighton: Jane Cruse, daughter of Samuel Cruse, grocer, and Charles William Galliers, tailor, son of John Galliers, servant

- 1855 St Nicholas, Brighton: Mary Cruyes, daughter of Joseph Cruyes, shoemaker, and Richard Hallett, carpenter, son of Richard Hallett, carpenter

- 1859: St Nicholas, Brighton: Elizabeth Cruse, daughter of Richard Cruse, labourer, and James Weller, labourer, son of Thomas Weller, labourer (Elizabeth is the daughter of Richard Cruse and Mary Mitchell from the Chailey, Sussex, tree)

- 1863 St Nicholas, Brighton: Ann Cruse, daughter of Thomas Cruse, organist, and George Michael Baldwin, fisherman, son of Michael Baldwin, tinman. (Rode, Somerset, tree)

- 1873 St Nicholas, Brighton: Emma Nowell Cruse, daughter of Edward Cruse, organist and Henry Husband, officer in the Royal Mail service, son of William Della Husband, surgeon (Rode, Somerset, tree)

Marylebone Registration District

- 1850 Holy Trinity, Marylebone: John Cruse, smith, son of Richard Cruse, smith, and Jane Rees, daughter of Benjamin Rees, baker

- 1855 St Marylebone Church, London: Emma Cruze, widow, daughter of John Bedford, baker, and William Dowsett, groom, son of Edward Dowsett, labourer

- 1856 St Marylebone Church, London: Richard Cruse, draper, son of Harry Cruse, solicitor, and Henrietta Cruse, daughter of John Cruse, accountant (Richard and Henrietta are first cousins. They are from the Rode, Somerset, tree.)

- 1857 St Marylebone Church, London: Elizabeth Cruwys, daughter of Thomas Cruwys, tailor, and William Wotley Baker, omnibus conductor, son of Richard Baker, cab driver (I think this is Elizabeth Cruwys, born c. 1815 in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, the daughter of Thomas and Hannah Cruwys. I can however find no suitable matches in the censuses. In 1851 Elizabeth, 36, was working as a barmaid at the Bell Inn, Kilburn, and living with her brother John who was the landlord)

- 1871 St Marylebone Church, London: Edward John Cruse, valet, son of George Cruse, butler, and Louisa Beardmore, daughter of William Henry Beardmore, grainer (Edward's parents are George Cruse and Sarah Wedlake. George is one of the Berkshire Cruses.)

- 1872 St Matthew, Marylebone: Margaret Cruse, daughter of Thomas Cruse, labourer, and Frederick George Bryant, hairdresser, son of George Bryant, hairdresser

- 1873 St Marylebone, London: Elizabeth Louisa Cruwys, daughter of Robert Cruwys, tailor, and Joseph Wright Dungate, french polisher, son of Joseph Wright Dungate, french polisher (This certificate relates to the Cruwys line originating in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.)

- 1888 St Marylebone Church, London: Francis Edward Cruse, widower and builder (from Kintbury, Berkshire), son of Daniel Cruse, a builder, and Alice Giles, daughter of Charles Giles, baker (Berkshire Cruses)

Pershore Registration District

- 1844 Parish Church, Pershore St Andrew: Mary Ann Cruse, daughter of Edward Cruse, proctor, and Henry Stroud, Captain in the Royal Navy, son of John Stroud, banker

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Tom Rutherford Cruwys

John Reis has also sent me some lovely photographs of Tom Rutherford Cruwys, the second son of Tom Cruwys (1853-1896) and Ruth Pearce (c. 1862-1901).Tom was born on 16 December 1888 at 14 Maygrove Road, Kilburn, London. He last appears in the English records in the 1891 census as a two-year-old boy. I've not been able to find him in the 1901 census, and had always wondered what became of him as there is no record of his death in the General Register Office indexes. John has now solved the mystery. He tells me:
Tom went out to Russia to work for the Anglo Maikop Corporation developing oilfields at Apsheronskaya as a 'petroleum mining engineer'. During the First World War he joined 'the British Military Forces in Mesopotamia' attached to Colonel Baltine's Military Mission at Krasnovodsk as an interpreter with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. He died from malaria at Krasnovodsk on 28 September 1918. His younger sister, Dorothy Rutherford Cruwys, used to tell me when I was a child how her brother Tom had risen from his sick bed and ridden off to carry some desperate warning to a town and that he got through in time but died soon afterwards and became quite a hero. There was even a very grainy photo of a memorial which had been raised to him. We have had no luck in finding any more details of this story but there might be something out there.
In 1918 Krasnovodsk was in Russia. Today it is known as Türkmenbasy and is in Turkmenistan. The photograph below of Tom on horseback was probably taken in Russia. John still has some of the letters which Tom sent home to his family, including the last letter he ever wrote which is "complete with a perfect impression in lipstick where it was kissed by his mother". Rather oddly Tom is not listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website, and there is no record of him in the WWI Army Deaths. Can anyone tell us more about Tom's heroic deeds? Where is his memorial?

See also the posting on the WW1 letters of Tom Rutherford Cruwys

Tom Cruwys and Ruth Pearce

John Reis has sent me some lovely photographs of his family. John is the grandson of Fannie Ruth Cruwys (1882-1943) and Arthur Montagu Reis (1857-1941). Fannie was the daughter of Tom Cruwys (1853-1896), a school furniture manufacturer, and Ruth Pearce. Tom was born in Newport, Monmouthshire. His line goes back via Wiveliscombe in Somerset to Oakford in Devon. The first photograph shows Ruth Cruwys née Pearce with her four children Fanny (b. 1882), James (b. 1885), Tom (b. 1888) and Dorothy (b. 1890). The second photograph, below, is of Fannie Reis née Cruwys, the eldest daughter of Tom Cruwys and Fannie Pearce. Fannie was born on 18th February 1882 at Whyteleaf in Warlingham, Surrey. The photograph bears a stamp from Beirut in the Lebanon, though we don't know why or when she visited the country.Fannie went out to Alexandria in Egypt in about 1905 to join her partner Arthur Montagu Reis. Arthur had previously married his cousin Lilian Samuel in 1879 in Liverpool. Lilian did not die until 1955, and they do not appear to have divorced. We have not been able to find any record of a marriage between Fannie and Arthur. Arthur was a stock and share broker, banker and fancy goods dealer. After running into financial difficulties he was declared bankrupt, and went out to Egypt in around 1905 where it is understood he set up in business as a cotton dealer. It is said that Arthur "made and lost a million". Arthur and Fannie's eldest son, Spencer, was born in England, but their three other children, Dennis, Enid and Brenda, were all born in Alexandria. Further information on the Reis and Samuel families, including numerous transcriptions of articles from The Times concerning Arthur's tangled financial affairs, can be found here.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Frank Cruwys the royal tailor

The Cruwys genealogy group on Facebook has been very active over Christmas and I was very pleased to make contact with some newly found relatives who are all descendants of my great-uncle Frank Cruwys. Frank was born on 22nd March 1882 at 62 Lower Ashley Road in Ashley, Bristol. He married Elizabeth Seymour in 1908 and they had four children: Francis Seymour (born 1909), Richard Augustus (born 1910), Frederick "John" (born 1913), and Andrée (born 1918). The three eldest children were born in England, but Andrée was born in France. Francis, the eldest, died as a baby of scarlet fever. Frank and his family moved to France during World War I, and Frank set up in business as a tailor in Paris. He is reputed to have held three royal licences for the Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII), the Duke of Luxembourg and the Japanese Imperial Court. The photograph below shows Frank and his daughter Andrée on holiday in France in about 1924, and already looking very French.Further family photographs can be seen on Facebook in the Cruwys genealogy group. (You will need to set up an account in order to view the photos.) During World War II, probably in about 1940, Frank and the family returned to England. We have an old newspaper cutting from a local Gloucestershire newspaper recording the story of their dramatic escape:
Escaped from France

Among the visitors to Cheltenham in the past few days is Mr. Frank Cruwys, whose tailoring establishment has been one of the best known in Paris since he started it there nearly 30 years ago.

In spite of his 60 years he joined up at the outbreak of the war as an interpreter with the R.A.F. He stayed in Paris until the Germans were actually thundering up the streets and then made a dash for Nantes with his wife and 22-years-old daughter. Later on they got to England in an R.A.F. machine.

Since his return to this country Mr. Cruwys has been spending a few days in Cheltenham with his brother, Mr. H. F. Cruwys, of 238 Gloucester-road, who recently took over the business of W. Thomas at Montpellier.
During the war Frank, Richard, John and Andrée all worked at RAF Innsworth as interpreters. After the war they returned to France. Frank died in 1953 in Paris.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Frederick and Emma Cruwys in 1911

I have finally managed to find my elusive great-grandparents Frederick and Emma Cruwys in the 1911 census along with my grandfather Herbert. Their surname was mistranscribed as Crenny, which is a totally new mis-spelling to add to my ever-growing collection. They were eventually located by means of an address search. They were living, as expected, at 35 Byfield Gardens in Barnes. The address search was not as straightforward as might be expected as most of Byfield Gardens, apart from three houses, was transcribed as Byfeld Gardens. I'd like to thank fellow Guild member Ken Toll for pointing out the Byfeld spelling which eventually led me to find the entry for Frederick and Emma.

In 1911 Frederick, 50, was working as a tailor's cutter. His wife Emma (née Gough) gave her age as 52, though she was in fact 55. Their two youngest sons were living at home: Herbert (my grandfather), aged 24, who was also a tailor's cutter, and Tom, 21, a designer of house furniture. Their two eldest sons, Frank and Bob, were already married in 1911 and were living nearby in Hammersmith.

I have a lovely picture of Frederick, Emma and the four boys which I have reproduced below. I don't know the exact date of the photo but, judging by the age of the boys, I would guess it was probably taken within a few years of the 1911 census. It might possibly have been taken later that same year to commemorate Frederick's 50th birthday. In the photograph from left to right are: Tom (born 1890), Emma (born 1855), Frank (born 1882), Bob (born 1883) and Herbert (born 1886). Frederick (born 1861) is seated in the centre of the photograph.
Frank, Bob and Herbert were all tailors. Frank went to work in France, Herbert had a shop in Cork in Ireland, and Bob had a shop in Old Bond Street in London. Tom was a child singing star and went on to enjoy a varied career as an artist and designer. I have written about him separately in another post which can be found here.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

1911 census

The long-awaited 1911 census was officially launched today. I had the chance to have a sneak preview of the census just before Christmas as part of the beta-testing programme so I have already spent my first £24.95 and downloaded the census images for most of my grandparents and great-grandparents. I've only this week had the chance to start sorting through all the pages. Not all the counties were available at the time of the beta-test, but fortunately the first counties to be uploaded were all in the south and west of England which is where all my family lived and the vast majority of Cruwyses and Cruses too. With the official launch today a few more counties are now available and the remainder will follow in the coming weeks. I have not yet been able to locate my grandfather, Herbert Cruwys, or my great-grandparents Frederick and Emma Cruwys. They should be living in Barnes or Hammersmith in London. I'm not sure yet whether their names have been transcribed in an unexpected way or if they were living somewhere I had not anticipated. Unfortunately it's not possible to search by Christian name, and the wild card searches have been temporarily disabled for the launch to cope with the heavy traffic. I will check back in the coming weeks to see if I can find them.

One of the big bonuses of the 1911 census is that for the first time we get to see our ancestors' own handwriting whereas in previous censuses the householders' returns were copied out by the census enumerator. The images have been reproduced in colour for the first time too, which makes it much easier to read the writing. The 1911 census also provides additional information such as the number of years a couple have been married and how many children the mother has had, including those who have since died. Caution is required however when using this information. My great-grandparents, James Lymer Ratty and Alice Maud Trask, are living in Newington in 1911 with their three sons. They claimed that they had been married for 18 years, but I know from their marriage certificate that they did not marry until 1922! Inevitably new information will solve some problems and pose more questions. Alice Maud stated on the census form that she had had a total of five children, two of whom had died. I know that by 1911 she already had four living children: the three sons who were living with her in 1911 and also a daughter, Laura Pemberton née Trask. Laura emigrated to America in 1911. I cannot find Laura and her family in the census so I presume that they were already in America by the time the census was taken. I now have to find the identity of the fifth child, and I have just put through a certificate order for a likely candidate.

In previous censuses I have always had great difficulty finding anyone with the surname Cruwys and the name was more often than not mis-spelt. I have therefore been surprised to find a large number of Cruwyses in 1911. I can only think that the Cruwyses took particular care when filling out their census forms and used their best handwriting! The fact that the census is only one stage away from the original probably helps too, whereas the earlier censuses have effectively been transcribed twice, firstly by the enumerators and secondly by the paid transcribers. From the counties so far available in 1911 I have the following statistics:

Crewys 9
Cruwys 135
Cruys 5
Cruse 1097

It will be too expensive to download every single Cruwys and Cruse image so I will wait until the census becomes available on subscription on Find my Past later this year. In the meantime I have copied all the index entries for Cruwys, Cruys and Cruys into a spreadsheet, and have sorted them into family groups, helped by the fact that it is possible to refine searches by combining names with other family members. If anyone would like a copy of this spreadsheet please get in touch. I hope to complete a similar exercise for the Cruses but will probably wait until all the counties have been uploaded so that the process will be more manageable. In the meantime if anyone has purchased an image for any Cruwyses or Cruses I would be most grateful to have a copy for my records.

The official website can be found here. There is also a 1911 census blog with supplementary information which can be found here. Happy hunting!