Wednesday 17 December 2008

The Cruwys coat of arms

Joseph M. Crews in Texas has sent me the most stunning drawing of the Cruwys arms, which he did while on a recent visit to Cruwys Morchard in Devon. The drawing is a copy of the Cruwys arms as depicted in a stained glass window in the church. I liked the drawing so much that I have now decided to use it on my Guild profile page, and I am very grateful to Joseph for giving me permission to reproduce his artwork. The picture can only be reproduced as a thumbnail image on the profile page so I have also provided a full-size copy below.In heraldic terms the Cruwys arms are described thus: Azure. a bend per bend indented argent and gules between six escallops or. Escallop is the heraldic word for a sea shell or oyster shell. The shell was used as a badge by palmers on their way to and from Palestine and is thought to be connected in some way with the crusades. It is therefore quite possible that the first bearer of the Cruwys arms was involved in the Crusades, perhaps accompanying Richard the Lionheart on the Third Crusade. Richard I reigned from 1189 until his death in 1199. If the Cruwys arms were adopted during the later Crusades there are two possible candidates: Richard Cruwys and Robert Cruwys. Margaret Cruwys advises in A Cruwys Morchard Notebook that a Robert de Cruwys was mentioned in a Pipe Roll in 1175, and that in 1198 a Robert Cruwys was an undertenant of Henry Pomeroy. Richard de Cruwes, who was most probably Robert's son, was "taken into custody being accused of the death of Jordan de la Cell on Exmoor in 1200". This is probably the same Richard de Cruwes who witnessed the Tracy Deed, the earliest document in the Cruwys family papers. The document was also witnessed by Alexander de Cruwes who is probably Richard's son. I have provided a transcription of the Tracy Deed for Genuki Devon and it can be seen here. Richard was appointed as a justice of assize by the King, and there are many references to Richard de Crues in the early 1200s in the Patent Rolls. There is still a lot of work to be done on the early records, but it is unlikely that we will ever know for sure which Cruwys was the original bearer of the arms.

Thursday 11 December 2008

The will of David Crews
of Madison County, Kentucky

Marge Crews Telerski has kindly sent me her transcription of the will of David Crews of Madison County, Kentucky. David Crews was born on 3rd February 1739/40 in Henrico County, Virginia. He was the son of David Crew or Crews and Mary Stanley. He married twice. His first wife was Annie Magee or McGhea who was also his stepsister. Annie died in about 1801, and David then re-married, some time between 1801 and 1804, to Mildred Wilford. David was one of the first settlers in Kentucky along with the legendary pioneer Daniel Boone. He settled in Boonesborough, which was founded by Daniel Boone in about 1775. David helped to defend the community against attacks from the natives led by Chief Blackfish during the siege of Boonesborough in 1778. David reputedly fell out with Daniel Boone and decided to move to what is now Madison County, Kentucky, where he built Crews Station. He seems to have been a man of some wealth, and in the 1810 census he was living in Madison County, Kentucky, with 15 slaves in his household. He was said to have built a beautiful mansion house for his second wife Mildred near Richmond, Kentucky. The Crewses from Henrico County were all Quakers, and much of the family tree is recorded in the early Quaker records. Suzanne Johnston has transcribed some of the Quaker Henrico County Monthly Meetings for the period from 1699-1757 and a Word file can be downloaded from here. Paulette Smith provides an excellent account of the early generations of the Henrico County tree on her website.

David Crews died in 1821 though the exact date of his death is not known. He and his wife Mildred signed a deed dated 9th March 1821 and his will was proved on 5th November 1821 so we know that he died somewhere between these two dates. David's original will can be found in the Madison County Will Book C on page 192. The will is a particularly important document for this line because a lengthy court action ensued, providing vital genealogical evidence. The full text of the will is as follows:
In the name of God, Amen. I David Crews of Madison County and State of Kentucky do hereby declare this to be my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former Wills by me theretofore made.

In the first place I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Newland one dollar having heretofore advanced to her all I intend giving her.

Secondly I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mildred Beth [or Bell?] my Negro woman called Sarah to her and her heirs forever-

Thirdly I give and bequeath to my son Jeremiah Crews one dollar having heretofore advanced to him all I intend giving him.

Fourth I give and bequeath unto my son Elijah Crews one dollar having heretofore advanced to him all I intend.

Fifth I give and bequeath unto my son David Crews the land I purchased from Will [or William] Hay [Hoy?] being the land whereon I formerly lived lying on the west side of Tates Creek.

Sixth I give and bequeath unto my Daughter Nancy McQuin [McQueen?] one dollar having advanced to her heretofore all I intend giving her.

Seventh I give and bequeath to the heirs of my beloved son John Crews one dollar having heretofore in the lifetime of my said son John advanced to him all I intend giving him.

Eighth I give and bequeath to my daughter Rody one dollar having heretofore given her all I intend giving her.

Nineth It is my will and desire that my beloved wife Mildred remain on the plantation whereon I now live during her natural life or widowhood and that the stock and negroes --- by my executors kept on the plantation and that out of the proceeds arising from the farm my wife --- have a comfortable support during her natural life or widowhood. And that the ballance of the proceeds arising from the Farm, I wish my Executors to make use of in raising and educating my children by my last wife giving them a good English Education.

Tenth It is my will and desire that my negroes not be sold due that so soon as all my children by my last wife become of age that if it is possible they be equally divided between them.

Eleventh It is my will and desire that my negro man Jupiter be permitted at my death to make choice of which of my children by my first wife he pleases to live with and to the one he makes choice of I give and bequeath him and their heirs forever.

Twelvth I give and bequeath unto my son Andrew my tract of land lying on Muddy Creek to him and his heirs forever.

Thirteenth I give and bequeath unto my son Temple the tract of land whereon I now live on [at?] the death or intermarriage of his mother which ever may first happen.

Fourteenth It is my Will and desire that residue of my Estate both real and personal be equally divided between my children by my last wife towit, Andrew, Temple, Anna , Sophia, China to be equally divided amongst them when they become of age all of them.

Lastly I do hereby institute and appoint John Pace and David Irvine my Executors of this my only true will and Testament. In Testimony -- hereof I have thereunto set my hand and affixed my seal to this my last will and testament this 12th day of May 1819.

David Crews

Signed sealed and ask-- In presence of R C Holder, William [or Will] Jenkins, Jno. Duncan, Thos. I Gentry, R. A. Sturgus Kentucky, Madison county

I David Irvine----- of the court for the county aforesaid do hereby ---- that at a county court held for Madison county on Monday the fifth day of November 1821 this Instrument of ----- was produced in open court and proven to the last will and testament of David Crews Deceased by the oath of John Duncan and Thomas I. Gentry both subs--- we ---- thereto and order to be recorded and the same has been done accordingly.

Update on Cruse's Stores

I have now made great progress on the line of Cruses who ran Cruse's Stores in Rottingdean, Sussex, for most of the twentieth century. Andrew Millard very helpfully reminded me of the Historical Directories website . Kelly's Directory of Sussex for 1911 and 1915 lists a Walter Cruse, grocer, at 14 Upper St James' Street, Brighton. Jimmy Cruse, the founder of Cruse's Stores, was said to have had a grocer's shop at this address before opening the Rottingdean store in 1918. There are no matching entries in the GRO indexes in Sussex for James or Jimmy Cruse, but there are corresponding entries for Walter Cruse, so it seems certain that Jimmy and Walter are one and the same person. Walter Cruse was born in 1870 in New Shoreham, Sussex. He was the son of Richard Cruse, a gardener, and Mary Jane White. Walter married Laura Holford in 1904 in the Brighton Registration District. The mother's maiden name is unfortunately not given in the GRO indexes before 1911, but the birth of an Eric Walter Cruse is registered in Brighton in the September quarter of 1905 who is almost certainly Walter and Laura's first child. From the death indexes I know that Eric was born on 9th July 1905 and that he died at the age of 92 in Lincoln in 1998. Ronald Thomas Cruse, Walter and Laura's second son, was born on 19th August 1909 and died in 2004 aged 95 in the Worthing Registration District. Walter and Laura did not enjoy such long lives as their sons. Laura died in 1918 at the age of 48, leaving Walter to raise his two young sons on his own and manage the grocery business. Walter died in 1931 at the age of 61 supposedly from "overwork".

Walter's father Richard Cruse was born about 1832 in Chailey, Sussex, and was the son of Richard Cruse, an agricultural labourer, and Mary Mitchell. The Chailey tree can be traced back to Thomas Cruse and Joan Wood who married on 18th November 1688 in Chailey. Richard Cruse worked for most of his life as a domestic gardener. He married Mary Jane White in 1858 in the Tavistock Registration District in Devon. Mary Jane was born in 1838 in Winchester, Hampshire. It seems likely that both Richard and Mary Jane were in service in Devon and that this is probably where they met. Richard and Mary Jane had eight children: Caroline, born in 1862, Charity Clara, born in 1864, Elizabeth, born in 1867, Walter (Jimmy), born in 1870, William Henry, born in 1872, Thomas, born in 1876, Edith Ellen, born in 1879, and Gladys, born in 1887. Caroline was born in Brighton and the other seven children were born in New Shoreham, Sussex. Two of the children died at a young age: William Henry died in 1899 at the age of 27, and Edith Ellen died in 1902 aged 22. Elizabeth married John Thomas Foster in 1900 in the Epsom Registration District. In the 1901 census John and Elizabeth Foster were living at Wateringbury Road, Nettlestead, Kent. John, 32, was a grocer's manager. He is therefore the Jack Foster, brother-in-law of Walter/Jimmy, who subsequently ran Cruse's Stores in Rottingdean. Mary Jane Cruse née White died in 1893 and Richard died in 1910. Their deaths were both registered in the Maidstone Registration District.

Monday 8 December 2008

Cruse's Stores, Rottingdean

Valerie Hedgecock has sent me an interesting article, dating from June 2001, which was published in one of the local Brighton newspapers. The article relates the history of two village stores in Rottingdean High Street which are remembered with great affection by their old customers and were renowned for their tradition of great service. Richardson's Stores was established in 1823 though under a different name, and continued to trade until 1962. Cruse's Stores opened in 1918 at 14 High Street on the opposite side of the road to Richardson's, and the two businesses enjoyed a friendly rivalry.

Cruse's Stores was founded by Jimmy Cruse, who had previously worked as an assistant at Richardson's Stores. By the time the Rottingdean store had opened Jimmy already had a shop at 14 Upper St James's Street, Brighton. His ambition had been to open ten branches but he apparently died by 1931 from overwork. The Brighton store was managed by Jimmy's brother-in-law Jack Foster, who was joined in 1928 by Jimmy's son Ron. It traded as a grocer's until the end of 1962, when it was converted into a greengrocer's by Ron's son Alan. The greengrocer's store continued in business for a further 16 years before closing in 1995.

I've not yet been able to work out which tree these Rottingdean Cruses belong to. From the GRO indexes I've been able to establish that there was a Ronald Thomas Cruse born on 19th August 1909 in the Brighton Registration District. He died in October 2004 at the age of 95. The only James Cruse I can find in Sussex in the 1901 census was born c. 1857 in Chailey. His wife Alice was already 40 in 1901 and would possibly have been too old to be the mother of the Ronald Cruse born in 1909. I cannot find a record of the death of Jimmy Cruse in the GRO indexes up to 1931, and I have not yet extracted the deaths after this date. I suspect I will need to wait for the release of the 1911 census before solving this problem. In the meantime I would be very pleased to hear from anyone with further information about this line. I have now scanned the article and can send out copies on request. The article has some lovely old photographs of the store and pictures of Ron Cruse and his father Jimmy.

A Cruwys calendar girl

Judith Bowen has kindly alerted me to a story in the North Shore Times in Australia about Joan Cruwys, a sprightly 94-year-old who is one of the calendar girls featured in the 2009 Senior Road Safety Calendar. You can read the full story here. The calendar is available free of charge from a number of local councils in North Sydney and through local senior groups and centres, retirement villages and council facilities across the northern Sydney region. Joan is the widow of Harold Herbert Cruwys (1908-1986), who is descended from the Brushford tree from Somerset. Joan and Harold emigrated to Australia in 1959.

Friday 5 December 2008

Margaret Cruse of Essex and Virginia

I came across the following interesting posting on the Rootsweb mailing list for Madison County, Kentucky:

The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Volume XIII (July, 1905), No. 1, pages 53-64, "Virginia Gleanings in England," has the following:

DANIEL LLUELLIN of Chelmsford, Essex, planter. Will 6 Feb 1663/4; 11 Mar 1663/4. Lands, tenements, hereditaments in Charles county in upper part of James River in Virginia, to wife Anne for life, then to son Daniel LLEWELLIN. Ditto as to goods, but to daughter Martha JONES his sister two seasoned servants. Also to son Daniel LLLUELLIN best suite, cloake, coate and hatt, second best hatt with silver hatband, all Linnen, and my sayle skinn Trunk. To friend Mary ELSING of Chelmsford, spinster, for care, one of best white ruggs and my new peece of Dowlas, saving sufficient for a winding sheet to bury mee. To Mary DEERINGTON of Chelmsford, a widow one of wurst white ruggs. To daughter Margaret CRUSE 40s. for ring and to her husband ditto. To son-in-law Robert HALLOM ditto. To master Chr. SALTER living in Wine Court wiwthout Bishopgate and Anne his wife 10s. each for gloves. Goods sent over this spring and summer to be sold for debts due. Rest to son Daniel.

Executors: Thomas VERVELL of Roxwell, Essex, gent., James JAUNCY of Cateaton Streete, London, Merchant, Giles SUSSEX of Thames Street, London, Hottpresser, and Master William WALKER of Colchest:, Essex, Shopkeeper. To be buried in parish church of Chelmsford neare the Reading deske and friend Doctor John MICHELSON to preach.

Witnesses: Robert LLOYD, Tim CODE, senior, scrivenor.
The names CREW, CREWS and CRUSE start to appear in Charles City County, Virginia in the late 1600s but as yet we have been unable to find their place of origin. DNA testing shows that nearly all the CREWS of Virginia are related. An ancestral file on the IGI suggests that Margaret LLEWELLYN married a James CRUSE. I've no record of such a marriage and wondered if anyone had any further information.

Tuesday 2 December 2008

A Cruwys connection with Charles Darwin

I had a long chat on the phone the other night with Norman Cruwys who has provided me with some further anecdotes about his family. I was intrigued to learn that one of his relations, Elizabeth Ann Cruwys née Bradford (1856-1939), the wife of his great uncle John Albert Cruwys (1858-1933), had supposedly at one time worked for the naturalist Charles Darwin, author of The Origin of the Species. I therefore decided to do some research to see if there was any truth in the story.

I already knew that Elizabeth Ann Bradford married John Albert Cruwys, a coachman, in 1886 in the Bromley Registration District. John was the son of William Henry Cruwys, a farmer, and Mary Jane Wonson, and is from the tree which originates in Brushford, Somerset. According to the 1891 census Elizabeth was born in about 1856 in Swaffham Bulbeck, Cambridgeshire. I discovered from the IGI that she was baptised on 24th August 1856 in Swaffham Bulbeck and was the daughter of William Bradford and Jane Hullyer. Her birth is registered in the June quarter of 1856 in the Newmarket Registration District. In the 1861 census Elizabeth, aged four, was living with her parents, William and Jane Bradford, at Hare Park, Swaffham Bulbeck. Her father, William, 50, was a farmer's labourer. Her mother, Jane, was 40. Elizabeth had a brother, Walter, aged two, and a sister, Silina, aged nine months. By the time of the 1871 census Elizabeth, now aged 14, had left home and was working as a domestic servant. She was living with Harriet Palmer, 63, a clergyman's widow, and her daughter Sophia Palmer, 23 at Shrey's Almshouses in the parish of St Giles in Cambridge. Once we get to the 1881 census the story suddenly becomes very interesting. Elizabeth Bradford, now said to be 26 (though in reality she was only 24 or 25), was a housemaid living at Down House in Downe, Kent, which was none other than the home of Charles Darwin and his wife Emma. It was a very large household, and I have provided a full transcription of the census entry below.

Down House, Cudham Road, Downe, Kent
Charles Robert DARWIN Head M Male 72 M.A., L.L.D., (Cambs) F.R.S., J.P. Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Emma DARWIN Wife M Female 72 b. Maer, Staffordshire
Elizabeth DARWIN Daughter U Female 33 b. Downe, Kent, England
William E. DARWIN Son M Male 41 Banker B.A. (Cantab) b. St Pancras, Middlesex
Sara DARWIN Daughter-in-law M Female 41 b. United States
George H. DARWIN Son U Male 35 Barrister M A (Cant), F.R.S, b. Downe, Kent
Francis DARWIN Son Widower Male 32 M.A. M.B. (Cant) b. Downe, Kent,
Bernard R. M. DARWIN Grandson Male 4 b. Downe, Kent
Herman FRANKE Visitor M Male 33 Music Director and Violinist b. Saxony, Germany
Rose C. FRANKE Niece M Female 34 b. Etauria [Etruria], Staffordshire
Charles Wood FOX Cousin U Male 33 Barrister b. Hampstead, Middlesex
James JOHNSON Servant U Male 23 Footman Domestic Servant b. Marylebone, Middlesex
Frederic HILL Servant U Male 20 Groom Domestic Servant b. Bromley, Kent,
Margaret EVANS Servant U Female 49 Hedgebottom, Shropshire, Cook Domestic Servant
Augusta DICKSON Servant M Female 44 Ladies Maid Domestic Servant b. Hamburg, Germany (British Subject)
Elizabeth BRADFORD Servant U Female 26 House Maid Domestic Servant b. Bullbeck [Swaffham Bulbeck], Cambridgeshire,
Harriet IRVINE Servant U Female 23 House Maid Domestic Servant b. Offham, Kent
Mary WILKINS Servant U Female 19 Kitchenmaid Domestic Servant b. Sundriger [Sundridge], Kent
Pauline BADEL Servant U Female 29 Nurse Domestic Servant b. Switzerland
Harriet WELLS Visitor U Female 24 Ladies Maid (Domestic) b. Portswood, Hampshire,
Leonard DARWIN Son U Male 31 Royal Engineers Lieutenant b. Downe, Kent

Charles and Emma Darwin moved into Down House in 1842. Some of their children were born at the house and it was here that Darwin worked on his theories of evolution and natural selection. We do not know how long Elizabeth Bradford was employed in the Darwin household, but Charles Darwin died at Down House on 19th April 1882 at the age of 73. Elizabeth quite possibly continued to work at the house after Charles's death, but would almost certainly have stopped working either upon her marriage to John Albert Cruwys in 1886 or upon the birth of her first child, Bessie, in 1889. By 1891 John and Elizabeth Cruwys and their two-year-old daughter Bessie were living in the High Road in Farnborough, Kent, and John was working as a coachman (groom). John and Elizabeth went on to have just one other child, a son, William John Cruwys, who was born in 1891 in Farnborough. Bessie married William Rice in 1919, and William married Doris Gregory in 1919. I do not know if there are any living descendants but I would love to hear from anyone who has further information about this family and the Charles Darwin connection.