Sunday, 21 September 2008

Cruses of Imber, Wiltshire

I've been working on and off for the last couple of months on the tree of the Cruses from Imber, Wiltshire, and have now finally finished inputting all the data into my Family Historian database. David Cruse has once again done all the hard work on this tree by extracting the parish register entries and assembling the tree with the help of the censuses. Unfortunately David's copy of the tree was stored in an old drawing package on an ancient computer and it wasn't possible to transfer the tree to his new computer so it has all had to be entered from scratch. Lynn Ellison contacted me back in August about the Imber Cruses and I have now finally been able to send her a report on this line. Lynn has also kindly provided some additional information on the more recent generations of her family.

The Imber Cruse tree begins with John Cruse and Eleanor Gambon who married in about 1760. They had three children, William (born 1761), Betty (born 1763), and John (born 1775), all of whom were baptised in Chitterne, Wiltshire. Both John and Eleanor were buried in Chitterne, John in 1804 and Eleanor in 1806, but unfortunately the burial registers do not record their ages. Of their three known children only one lived to adulthood. John junior died in infancy, and Betty died in her teens. However, William, their first-born son, lived to the ripe old age of 74 years. He married Jane Potter in 1785 in Chitterne and they went on to have nine children, all of whom were baptised in the nearby village of Imber. Cruses appear in the Imber registers right through until the 1920s, and they are all descended from William and Jane. The Cruse spelling was not used consistently until 1840, and many of the parish register and civil registration entries prior to this time were recorded under the spelling Crews. Some of the earlier parish register entries were recorded as Scuse, Schuse, and Squse.

I suspect that the Imber Cruses are related to the Urchfont Scruse/Cruse tree. The John Cruse who married Eleanor Gambon is very probably the John Cruse, son of William and Elizabeth Cruse, who was baptised on 24th February 1733 in Urchfont, Wiltshire. Unfortunately the surviving parish register entries do not provide conclusive proof, and I suspect that we will have to wait for DNA evidence to provide the answer. A test is under way for a Scruse from the Urchfont tree, and the search is now on for a living Cruse from the Imber tree.

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