Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Cruwys and Farmer relationships

After a weekend away I’ve been trying to finish off updating my files with all the new data from Vanessa Goodwin. I already had a record of three marriages between the Cruwys and Farmer families of Wiveliscombe but I hadn't appreciated quite how closely the two families were interlinked. Samuel Farmer (born c. 1770) of Wiveliscombe had fourteen children by his second wife Elizabeth (Betty) Nurcombe, and I've now discovered that three of their children married into the Cruwys family of Wiveliscombe.

- Benjamin Farmer married Fanny Cruwys, the daughter of John Cruwys and Martha Wring, on 6th January 1837 in Wiveliscombe

- James Farmer married Mary Ann Cruwys, the daughter of John Cruwys and Martha Wring, on 25th July 1855 in Clifton, Bristol

- Caroline Farmer married John Cruwys, the widower of Martha Wring, in 1852 in Bristol. Caroline therefore had an interesting relationship with her brothers Benjamin and James, as she became their mother-in-law! Sadly her marriage was short-lived as her husband died just one year after the marriage.

The two families were already connected as one of Samuel and Betty's daughters, Betty Farmer, who was born in 1806 in Wiveliscombe, had married William Wring on 26th March 1827 in Wiveliscombe. William was the nephew of Martha Wring, who was in turn the mother of the two Cruwys girls who married into the Farmer family.

The Cruwys and Farmer families were united in grief when two sons died in consecutive years. John Cruwys Farmer (born in 1839), the son of Benjamin Farmer and Fanny Cruwys, died off Cape Apollonia on the West Coast of Africa on 25th April 1861 and was buried at sea. He was just 22 years old. John Cruwys (born in 1844), the son of John Cruwys and Mary Ann Rutherford, died on 7th November 1862 at sea in the Indian Ocean just two days after his eighteenth birthday. According to the Family Bible he had been bathing from the ship the Maitland. The two Johns were first cousins.

There was to be a further marriage between the two families in 1869 when James Cruwys (born in 1842), the son of John Cruwys and Mary Ann Rutherford, married his first cousin Fanny Cruwys Farmer in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire. Fanny was the daughter of the above-mentioned Benjamin Farmer and Fanny Cruwys.

The Wiveliscombe line have also provided my favourite mis-transcription of the surname Cruwys to date. In the 1901 census William Benjamin Farmer Cruwys, 49, a butcher, and his wife Elizabeth Brankley, 47, were living at 26 Oxford Street, Newport, Monmouthshire, with their daughter Elizabeth, 15, but they appear in the index under the surname Ommps! The name appears to have been written as Crumps on the handwritten census page so clearly the clerk had problems reading the name when he copied out the entries.

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