Sunday, 31 May 2009

Dorchester district marriage certificates

I have received two "faux" marriage certificates from Guild member Mary Brinson which she found for me in her recent Dorchester Marriage Challenge. The details are as follows:

- 1855 Melbury Bubb, Dorset: Maria Cruse, daughter of James Cruse, blacksmith, and James Cooper, railroad labourer, son of James Cooper, labourer.

- 1882 Christ Church, West Fordington, Dorset: Robert Edwin Cruse, guard, son of Jacob Cruse, market gardener, and Elizabeth Louisa Hawkins, daughter of James Hawkins, stonemason (Imber Cruse tree of Wiltshire).

I did not previously have Maria Cruse in a tree in my database, but after some preliminary research it appears that she is the daughter of James Cruse and Maria Shepherd who married on 12th April 1830 in Burlescombe, Devon. Maria's father James Cruse was born about 1807 in Milverton in Somerset. The Milverton parish registers have been transcribed by David Cheek and made available online. There is however no sign of James's baptism so I presume he was baptised in another nearby parish instead. As always, if either of these certificates is of interest please get in touch.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Bristol marriage certificates

Guild member Derek Allen very kindly offered to look up some Cruwys marriages for me at the Bristol Record Office, and an envelope arrived in the post from him this morning with an exciting pile of "faux" marriage certificates. Many thanks to Derek. The details of the latest certificates are given below.

- 1855 St Andrew's, Bristol: Mary Ann Cruwys, daughter of John Cruwys, accountant, and James Farmer, son of Samuel Farmer, foreman in a slate quarry. (Wiveliscombe tree)

- 1859 St Barnabas, Clifton: Alfred Cruwys, shipwright, son of John Cruwys, tailor, and Elizabeth Morgan, daughter of William Morgan, founderer [?].(Wiveliscombe tree)

- 1870 St Paul's, Bedminster: Susanna Cruwys, widow, daughter of Thomas Ascott, builder, and James O'Hara, master of workhouse, son of Michael O'Hara, ship carpenter (deceased). (Mariansleigh tree)

- 1881 St Michael on the Hill, Bristol: William Cruwys, widower, warehouse man, son of James Cruwys, carter, and Mary Patterson, spinster, daughter of James Patterson, farmer. (Wiveliscombe tree)

- 1888 St John's, Bedminster: Alfred John Cruwys, ship's smith, son of Alfred John Cruwys, shipwright, and Annie Crouch, daughter of George Crouch (deceased), commercial traveller. (Wiveliscombe tree)

- 1891 St Paul's, Bedminster: Albert Cruwys, fitter, son of Alfred Cruwys, shipwright, and Maggie Clara Horne, daughter of John Horne, pensioner. (Wiveliscombe tree)

- 1911 St Thomas, Bristol: Elsie Gladys Cruwys, daughter of Alfred John Cruwys, ship smith, and Sidney Saxton, son of William Saxton. (Wiveliscombe tree)

Copies have been sent to the relevant researchers, but as always I would be delighted to hear from anyone else researching any of the above lines.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Herbert Felix Cruse 1863-1921

Kit Elliott has sent me this lovely photograph of his ancestor Herbert Felix Cruse, who was more usually known by his middle name Felix. The photograph was taken in the garden of the family home at 3 Newby Terrace, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, and was sent by Felix as a Christmas greeting, presumably to family members, in 1915. Herbert Felix Cruse was the son of Edward Cruse (1807-1879) and Hannah Mary Brown (c.1826-1891). His father Edward was in his day a well-known organist and composer. Felix was born on 3rd August 1863 at 39 Buckingham Road, Brighton, Sussex. We understand that Felix was named after the composer Felix Mendelssohn. He also had an older brother named John Sebastian Cruse after J S Bach! The house in Brighton was known as Bach House for obvious reasons! Felix clearly inherited his father's musical talent and by the age of 17 he was working as an organist. Some time before 1891 Felix was appointed as the organist of St Peter's Church in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham. The church was also the venue of Felix's marriage to Katherine Brown in 1894. Felix and Katherine had just one child, a daughter called Joan, who was born in 1896 in Stockton-on-Tees. Felix must have struggled to make money as an organist and by the time of the 1901 census he had taken on a job as a teacher of music to supplement the income from his organ playing. Felix died at his home at 3 Newby Terrace, Stockton-on-Tees, on 13th December 1921 at the age of 58 years. At the time of his death he was described as a chartered accountant's clerk. The reason for his change of career is not known.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

WW1 letters from Tom Rutherford Cruwys

I wrote in a previous post about Tom Rutherford Cruwys who served with the British Military Forces in Mesopotamia in World War I and sadly died of malaria on 28th September 1918 at Krasnovodsk. John Reis has now very kindly sent me copies of the three surviving letters which Tom sent to his mother Ruth Wood née Cruwys, and I have transcribed the letters below. Tom's mother was at that time living at 10 Hillfield Road, West Hampstead, London NW. The letters provide a poignant combination of everyday trivia and unimaginable horror. In WWI Krasnovodsk was in Russia. Today it is known as Türkmenbasy and is in Turkmenistan. Apsheronskaya, now known as Apsheronsk, is a town in Krasnodar Krai in western Russia near the border with the Ukraine.

Letter 1

2nd Lieut T. R. Cruwys
[Special Service, Mesopotamia - crossed out]
My dear Mother

I take this first opportunity of writing you that I have had for some months. It is only possible to write you now because I have joined the British Military Forces of Mesopotamia. I am at present attached to Col. Baltine's Military Mission at Krasnovodsk as interpreter with the rank of 2nd Lieut. Life is quite OK & I shall now be longing to know if you get this letter and to receive a reply from you. I had a very bad time during the last few months with the men on the fields & I am very glad to have handed over the property to other people. Write with all news and then I will give you a nice long letter.

Love and kisses

Your affect. son


Letter 2

c/o Anglo Maikop Corp Ltd
Kuban Province, Russia

14th Jan 1914

My dear Mother

Many thanks for your Xmas card letter also for the pudding which I have not yet received. It has got as far as Apsheronskaya and am afraid will remain there for some time as we are snowed up and cut off from outside communications. Anyway I hope to get it within the next week or ten days.

We have just had a five days blizzard and all our bridges, derricks, telephone wires, houses, etc, etc have been blown down and we cant see anything for snow. During the last week I have worked 20 hours a day for 5 days. This would not [have] been anything much under ordinary circumstances but added to this you must also remember that one is soaked through to the skin, frozen to the bone and ravishingly hungry. I often think of that splendid tomato soup you can make. Five of our men were caught in the blizzard frozen to death. Cheerful, what! On top of that I had a man mangled to death on one of the machines right in front of my eyes and this was on Christmas Day when I had to work all day and night.

Anyway, Mother dear, I have at last got £50 in the Bank here or at least shall have by the time you get this note, so shortly I shall be sending you a draught for £40 and keep £10 here to keep my account open. I will drop you a line when I send it off.

Perhaps it will please you to hear that your dear little son Tommie has passed his exam and is now a fully fledged "Petroleum Mining Engineer? Bow wow! Let's hope it will soon mean a rise.

Good bye, mother dear, best of luck.

Your loving son.


Letter 3

19th August 1915

Anglo Malkop Corp. Ltd
Fields D-pt

Telegrams: IKOPAM

My darling Mother,

Just a line to let you know I am still going strong and hope you also are in the pink of health. Have written Jim insisting that you draw six pounds per month from my a/c to help you along over this trying time. Am sure everything must be very expensive now and don't see how you can refuse. Don't always think of we youngsters, we can all look after ourselves. You just go ahead and take things easy and if there's anything you fancy buy it. Don't look at the cost. Mother dear, you have been a good pal to me. No one knows how you have done your best for me. Let your goodness go one step father and accept my offer. I can afford it, Mother, for I have close on £200 in the bank here. Why should you eke, scrape and stint for the sake of putting away for us youngsters when we are all healthy and capable of looking after ourselves. You have given us all a start and there your duty to us should end. I was young at the time but I remember it as well as if I it was yesterday the way you struggled to get me to Watford and the hours you used to spend on those poor legs of yours in your endeavours. You have done your share and more than your share for us so let us now do a little for you. Enjoy yourself and get about more and don't worry your head about those damned houses. You are worth more to us than any pile of bricks and mortar. I do wish I could come home and cheer you up. Never mind, when I do arrive we'll have the time of our lives all the jolly lot of us together. Did you and Doll get my photos. Write soon with all the news.

A great hug and heaps of kisses.

Your loving son


Jim is Tom's brother James Cruwys, who was born on 25th October 1885 in Kilburn, London. Doll is Tom's younger sister Dorothy Rutherford Cruwys who was born on 7th August 1890 in Kilburn.