Friday 28 March 2008

Cruse resources

I am very grateful to David Cruse who has very kindly shared with me some of the files and databases which he has compiled and collected over the course of the last 30 years. Thanks to David's hard work I now have a database of all the Cruse references from the General Register Office indexes for births from 1837 to 1900, marriages from 1837 to 1940 and deaths from 1837 to 1930. The GRO indexes cover births, marriages and deaths for both England and Wales. These indexes are the backbone of a one-name study and are a very important resource. It is hoped that in the long term it will be possible to complete the extraction of Cruse entries from the GRO indexes right through to the present day. David has also sent me a substantial collection of transcriptions from parish registers and other sources for the Cruse surname. The largest collection is from the county of Berkshire, but there are also a sizeable number of transcriptions from Wiltshire, Berkshire, Somerset and London. He has also sent me photocopies of all the certificates he has acquired over the years in his research. I am now in the process of collating all the data and updating my files.

Although the one-name study originally focused specifically on the surname Cruwys I found that as my research progressed I was becoming increasingly involved in work on various Cruse lines, and I have now registered Cruse as a variant spelling with the Guild of One-Name Studies. Cruse was the more usual spelling prior to the introduction of civil registration. Some families – generally those with their roots in Devon – changed the spelling of their name to Cruwys, whereas in other lines the Cruse spelling became standardised. Some Cruse families have always believed that they were related in some way to the Cruwys Morchard family, but so far we have not yet had a single Cruwys/Cruse match in the DNA project. Indeed, the early results suggest that Cruse is a multiple-origin surname as none of the lines tested are related.

Wednesday 12 March 2008

Another exciting DNA result

We now have another exciting result from the DNA project with a Cruwys in England and a Cruwys in America matching on 36 out of 37 markers. Based on this result, the Family Tree DNA calculator indicates that both these men have an 88.06% probability of sharing a common ancestor within eight generations. This fits in perfectly with the paper trail which indicates that both men are descended from William Cruwys and Margaret Eastmond who married in 1814 in the small village of Rose Ash in North Devon. William and Margaret had eight children, two of whom died in childhood. The English tester is descended from the youngest surviving son, Thomas Cruwys, who was baptised on 19th June 1831 in Burrington, Devon. Thomas was a tailor. He moved to Bristol where he married Anne Wall in 1860. The American tester is descended from William Cruwys and Sarah Burrows who married on 21st November 1848 in Prince Edward Island, Canada. The Canadian tree is now very well documented and accounts for nearly every single person in America and Canada with the surname Cruwys. We believe that the William who emigrated to PEI is the third son of William Cruwys and Margaret Eastmond, who was baptised on 21st January 1821 in Burrington. William junior makes his last appearance in the British records in the 1841 census when, at the age of 20, he was a male servant living in Chulmleigh, Devon. His mother Margaret and brother John were living in the same village. No trace of William can be found in any of the subsequent British censuses and there is no matching death registration in the General Register Office indexes.

Canadian research is particularly difficult because the civil registration system in PEI did not commence until 1906, and there are very few surviving passenger records. William's departure from England and his arrival in Canada are therefore not documented. His earliest appearance in the Canadian records is in 1848 with his marriage to Sarah Burrows. I have a copy of the marriage certificate from the PEI Archives but, unfortunately, unlike a British marriage record from this date, the certificate does not provide the fathers' names. There are however a number of clues which link William with Burrington, the first of which is the use of the distinctive name Augustus, which is used exclusively by the Burrington Cruwys family and was the name chosen by William and Sarah for one of their sons. William died on 19th October 1873 in Kingston, Queens, PEI. His age at death was said to be 52 years, which matches perfectly with the presumed 1821 baptism in Burrington. I have transcribed his will and published it online on Genuki. The Canadian records provide no clues as to the origins of Sarah Cruwys née Burrows. The censuses merely indicate that she was of English origin. It is however surely no coincidence that a Sarah Burrows was baptised on 3rd June 1822 in Burrington. It therefore seems highly likely that William and Sarah were childhood friends and it is quite possible that they sailed to PEI together on the same ship.