Friday 14 December 2007

Annie Elizabeth Cruwys and Frank Chilcott

Richard Chilcott has contacted me about the Cruwys family of Witheridge, Devon. Richard is the grandson of Annie Elizabeth Cruwys (1884-1966), the eldest daughter of John Cruwys and Sarah Quant née Chown. Annie married Frank Charles Chilcott in 1906. I had previously been unable to allocate Annie to a specific tree as she does not appear with her family in the 1891 or 1901 censuses, so I'm delighted that I've now found out where she belongs. In the 1891 census Annie, age 6, is living with her uncle and aunt, James and Anne Richards, at Clogsmoor in Templeton. The census was taken on 5th April and just one week earlier, on 29th March, Annie's four-year-old brother, George Herbert Cruwys, was killed in a fire. Annie had perhaps been sent to stay with her uncle and aunt while her parents dealt with the aftermath of the fire. Richard recalls that the story of the death of George Herbert was drummed into him as a child as a consequence of playing with matches.

Richard has sent me some wonderful photographs which he has kindly allowed me to reproduce here. The first picture below shows Annie Elizabeth Chilcott née Cruwys (standing upright) with her husband Frank Chilcott beside her. At this time Annie and Frank were living with her parents John and Sarah Cruwys at Jurishayes Cottages in Withleigh. The other people in the picture are believed to be Annie's brothers, her father John Cruwys (on the right) and her mother Sarah Cruwys and perhaps her mother-in-law. The second picture shows Annie's mother Sarah Cruwys née Chown (1851-1921). Sarah married John Henry Quant in 1871 and bore him three children. John died in 1881 and the following year Sarah married John Cruwys (1860-1919), a mason. She and John had eight children.

Monday 3 December 2007

Cruwys of Shrewsbury

Sharon Hindmarsh in Australia has been in touch and sent me some interesting information about a Cruwys family from Shrewsbury in Shropshire. Sharon's mother-in-law is descended from John Cruwys and Elizabeth Prichard who married on 10th February 1817 at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square, London. John and Elizabeth's daughter-in-law, Sarah Ann Cruwys née Harris, emigrated to Australia in 1879 with her five sons Colin, John, Ralph, Ernest and Arthur. Sarah's daughter, Selina, had emigrated to Australia the previous year with her new husband John Parkes, his parents and his brothers and sisters. Nearly all the Cruwyses in Australia are descended from John Cruwys and Elizabeth Prichard. Interestingly Sharon tells me that her mother-in-law's family have always pronounced the surname Kruse, whereas elsewhere in Australia it is pronounced Crewiss. Judith Bowen is the expert on the Cruwyses of Australia and she has over the course of the last 30 years recorded nearly all the Australian descendants. However, the birth and death of the John Cruwys at the head of the Australian tree remain as elusive as ever.

Sharon has only recently made contact with Judith and wasn't aware of all the research which had already been done on the Australian family. In the quest for the elusive John Cruwys she purchased a number of certificates for a family from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, before she realised that the timeline did not work out. She has now very kindly sent me copies of all these certificates which have all proved very useful.

I have not so far heard from anyone who is researching the Shrewsbury Cruwys family so I will publish some details below in the hope that other researchers will be able to get in touch and provide further information.

The Shrewsbury tree begins with Thomas Cruwys, a tailor, who was born about 1768. In the 1841 census he is living in the Parish of St Mary's in Shrewsbury with his wife Hannah and their children Richard, 25, a gardener, Harriet, 15, a female servant, and Robert, 15, a tailor's apprentice. Thomas stated in the 1841 census that he was not born in Shropshire. Unfortunately he died in 1848 and we therefore have no further clues as to his place of birth. I have not been able to find any record of Thomas and Hannah's marriage but we now know that they had the following children:

1. John Cruwys, born about 1804 in Shrewsbury. John moved to London where he appears to have worked first as a tailor before becoming the innkeeper at the Bell Inn in Kilburn. John seems to have married three times. He married Margaret Taylor in 1829, Mary Ann Farnsworth in 1836 and Eliza Plumridge née Brown in 1843. All the marriages took place at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square.

2. Elizabeth Cruwys was born about 1815 in Shrewsbury. In 1851 she was living at the Bell Inn with her brother John and working as a barmaid.

3. Richard Cruwys was born about 1815 in Shrewsbury. He worked variously as a gardener, seedsman and police constable. He married Margaret Sanderson in 1851 at St Martin in the Fields.

4. Ann Cruwys, was born about 1816, probably in Shrewsbury. She married Alfred Lloyd, a painter, in 1838 at St Martin in the Fields.

5. Harriet Cruwys was born about 1823 in Shropshire. She married James Walsh, a leather breeches maker, in 1843 at St Martin in the Fields. By 1851 they were living in Westminster St James and had three children.

6. Robert Cruwys was born about 1824 in Shrewsbury. He was a tailor. He married Eliza Tomson in 1851 at St Martin in the Fields.

Intriguingly we know that Thomas Cruwys was sent to Gaol in 1811. The full details are not yet known but "Thomas Cruwys, late of Shrewsbury, in the county of Salop, Tailor" was included in a list of "Prisoners in the Gaol at Shrewsbury in and for the County of Salop" which was published in the London Gazette on three separate dates in July 1811. Thomas's absence in prison might well account for the gap between the births of John in 1805 and Elizabeth in 1815.

I've had great difficulty tracking Thomas and Hannah's children beyond the 1851 census and would be very interested to hear from anyone who is related to any of these families.

Sunday 2 December 2007

Peter Cruwys the unsung hero of sport

My father, Peter Cruwys, was both surprised and delighted to receive a nomination in the BBC Midlands Sports Personality of the Year Awards for 2007. He is one of five nominees in the category "Unsung heroes of sport". Details of the awards can be found on the BBC Midlands website. The video in support of the nomination can be seen here. The awards are being presented this evening at a special presentation dinner. He seems to be up against some stiff competition and is not expecting to win, but will no doubt enjoy the evening and the nomination is a reward in itself for all his hard work. There was also a brief story published in the Gloucestershire Echo about the award which can be read here.