Saturday 29 November 2008

More Tiverton marriages

Guild member Barbara Roach has sent me the final batch of faux marriage certificates from her recent Tiverton Marriage Challenge. The outline details are as follows:

- 1879 Parish Church, Kentisbeare: Jane Crews, daughter of John Crews, sawyer, and Charles William Field, butcher, son of Edward Field, farmer

- 1882 St Peter's, Tiverton: John Cruwys, mason, son of George Cruwys, labourer, and Sarah Quant, widow, daughter of John Chown, mason (Witheridge tree)

- 1891 St Catharine's, Withleigh: George Cruwys, carpenter, son of George Cruwys (deceased), and Hannah Jane Darch, daughter of John Darch, dairyman (Witheridge tree)

- 1894 St Andrew's, Cullompton: Harriett Louisa Crews, daughter of Thomas Crews, gardener, and David Bastone, farm labourer, son of David Bastone, dealer

- 1906 St Catharine's, Withleigh: John Sidney Cruwys, mason, son of John Cruwys, mason, and Lily Mary Stoneman, daughter of John Stoneman, labourer (Witheridge tree)

- 1906 St Catharine's, Withleigh: Annie Elizabeth Cruwys, daughter of John Cruwys, mason, and Frank Charles Chilcott, dairyman, son of William John Chilcott, soldier (Witheridge tree)

- 1909 St Catharine's, Withleigh: Sarah Elsie Cruwys, daughter of John Cruwys, and labourer, and Frank Allan George Collard, labourer, son of Isaac Collard, labourer (Witheridge tree)

- 1910 St Peter's, Tiverton: Thomas Edwin James Cruwys, labourer, son of John Cruwys, mason, and Edith Baker, daughter of John Baker, labourer (Witheridge tree)

All of the Cruwys marriages from this challenge relate to the Witheridge Cruwys tree and I have sent copies to all my contacts who are researching this line. If anyone else would like copies of any of the above certificates do please get in touch.

There are a number of other Guild marriage challenges in the pipeline, most notably those for the Brighton, West Derby, Toxteth, Birmingham and Cheltenham registration districts. I have also submitted entries for the second phase of the Shoreditch marriage challenge which covers the period from 1861-1880. I hope to receive some further certificates from these challenges in due course so watch this space!

Friday 28 November 2008

DNA discounts for Christmas

Family Tree DNA, the company we are using for the DNA project, have announced price reductions for DNA tests ordered through surname projects in the run up to Christmas. The 37-marker test is reduced from US $149 to just $119. If you have not yet joined the project this is an ideal opportunity to take advantage of the lower prices or perhaps you can buy a kit for a male relative with the surname as a Christmas present. You can read more about the project on the DNA website. Make sure you check out the pedigrees to see which lines are already included. If your line is not yet represented I would love to hear from you. If you have any questions do get in touch. I have provided a copy of the letter from Family Tree DNA below with full details of the Christmas pricing.
Dear Family Tree DNA Group Administrator,

In keeping with our end-of-the-year tradition, effective November 26th, 2008 we'll institute special pricing at Family Tree DNA for your new-kit-purchasing participants.

The products that will be offered at the special prices are:

Y-DNA37 $119
Y-DNA37+mtDNAPlus $199
Y-DNA67 $218
Y-DNA67+mtDNAPlus $308
mtDNAPlus $139
Full Genomic mtDNA $395
SuperDNA $613

This offer is good until December 31st, 2008 for kits ordered and paid for by that time.

Monday 17 November 2008

Charles Kingsley and the Cruse tapestry

I've been a member of the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society for nearly a year now but have only just got round to adding my interests to the society's website. Shortly after submitting my post, I received an e-mail from none other than the Society's webmaster Alan Brown whose wife coincidentally has Cruses in her ancestry from Clovelly in North Devon. Alan has put details of his wife's Cruses and various other lines on his website. He has also kindly sent me a Gedcom file of the Clovelly Cruse line which has saved me a lot of hard work inputting all the data into my family history program.

Clovelly is a picturesque fishing village on the North Devon coast, and is now a popular tourist attraction. Not surprisingly the Clovelly Cruses feature several mariners and fisherman, with a number dying at sea at a young age. On one tragic evening on 17th May 1917 Thomas Cruse and Catherine Tucker Howard lost two of their sons, James Thomas Cruse and William Thomas Cruse, when their ship the SS Kilmaho was torpedoed by a German UB20 submarine just off the Cornish coast near Lands End. Only one of the crew of 21 survived.

The Clovelly Cruses have a particular claim to fame with a link to Charles Kingsley, the author of The Water Babies and Westward Ho! Kingsley spent much of his childhood in Devon. His father was the rector of Clovelly from 1830-1836 during which time the Kingsley family lived at the Rectory. Elizabeth Cruse née Hickling (1807-1886) was Kingsley's nursemaid during the early 1830s. Elizabeth was born in 1807 in Teigh, Rutland. She married Richard Cruse, a merchant seaman, on 8th December 1831 in Clovelly, and continued to work for the Kingsleys for a short time after her marriage. Charles Kingsley's christening gown is still owned by the Cruse family. His cradle was also stored in the family's shed for many years but was sadly broken up for firewood and burnt by someone who didn't realise its significance! The photograph below of Elizabeth Cruse née Hickling was kindly supplied by Alan Brown and is reproduced with his permission.Alan's wife's family also have another treasured heirloom, the Cruse tapestry (below), which has a most interesting history. Alan tells me: "A few years back a solicitor's office in Bideford were having a clear out and threw an old framed picture in a skip. The whole thing broke and the tapestry was revealed, being used as a backing. Fortunately one of the office staff knew my wife's uncle, and passed it to him."The Cruses recorded on the tapestry are not the direct ancestors of Alan's wife, but it is still very fortunate to have such an unusual possession in the family. William Cruse the head of the family on the tapestry, was a farmer. He married Jane Martin in 1825 in Langtree, Devon. They moved away from Clovelly and settled in Frithelstock. One of their sons, Oliver (born 1833 in Langtree) emigrated to America, where he settled in Seattle, Washington. He married Jane Sowton and had nine known children.

Sunday 16 November 2008

Shoreditch marriages

A batch of faux marriage certificates has arrived from Guild member Howard Benbrook following his recent Marriage Challenge for the Shoreditch Registration District. I have provided an outline of the certificate details below together with the name of the tree, where known, in brackets:

- 1840 St Mary Haggerston – Sarah Dunsford Cruwys, daughter of William Cruwys, wheelwright, and Joseph Lake, tailor, son of Joseph Lake (Thorverton tree)

- 1845 St Leonard's, Shoreditch – Thomas Cruse, cellarman, son of John Cruse, carman, and Mary Ann Furze, braidmaker, daughter of John Goode Furze, shoemaker (John Cruse and Mary Rook line)

- 1849 St Leonard's, Shoreditch – Frederick Martin Cruse, cooper, son of George Cruse, cooper, and Harriett Huntley, sempstress, daughter of Thomas Huntley, fishmonger

- 1855 St John the Baptist, Hoxton – George James Fordree, carman, son of George James Fordree, general dealer, and Martha Cruse, daughter of Edward Cruse, carman (John Cruse and Mary Rook line)

- 1856 St Leonard's, Shoreditch – George Cruse, scaleboard cutter, son of John Cruse, box maker, and Mary Ann Kelley, servant, daughter of John Kelley, dyer

- 1857 St John the Baptist, Hoxton – Henry Cox, firewood cutter, son of Henry Cox (deceased), firewood cutter, and Mary Ann Cruse, daughter of Edward Cruse, carman (John Cruse and Mary Rook line)

I have sent copies to those people who are researching these lines. If you are interested in any of the above marriages and would like a copy of the certificate please get in touch.

Thursday 13 November 2008

DNA pedigrees

I have been busy revamping the DNA project website and preparing outline pedigrees for the participants. The pedigrees can now be found on the website, and can be located by clicking on the results tab at the top of the page. Some project members have only just started out on their research, whereas other project members have been researching for 30 years or more. I have done extensive research on some of the lines, whereas others, and in particular the American lines, are completely new to me. The length of the pedigree does not however always reflect the time devoted to the research. Some lines are lost in London in the early 1800s whereas others go back for many centuries. The American research is particularly problematic because so many records were lost in the Civil War, and the records which are available are not as informative as their British counterparts. It's interesting to see the results in outline form because you can see at a glance how the surname has evolved over the years, often in different ways in different counties and countries. In one line in Wiltshire Cruse changed into Scruse, in two of the American lines Crews changed to Cruse, and in Newfoundland in Canada, Cruse changed to Crews. There is also the unusual Cruwys spelling which was only used from the late 1700s onwards to conform with the spelling used by the family at Cruwys Morchard in Devon. To complicate matters further the Cornish branch of the Cruwys Morchard family predominantly adopted the spelling Crewes. No doubt other evolutions of the surname will come to light as research progresses.

When I started the DNA project back in September 2007 I really had no idea what to expect, but the response has been most gratifying. We now have an astonishing 44 project members, far more than I ever anticipated. We've made some very interesting discoveries with matches linking together trees which were not previously known to be connected. We still have a number of people with no matches, and I hope that as more people come forward for testing they will get matches in due course which will enable them to progress their research. There are also a number of kits still being processed, some of which could potentially provide some interesting results. Do check out the pedigrees and if your line is not included do get in touch.