Thursday, 22 January 2009

Tom Cruwys and Ruth Pearce

John Reis has sent me some lovely photographs of his family. John is the grandson of Fannie Ruth Cruwys (1882-1943) and Arthur Montagu Reis (1857-1941). Fannie was the daughter of Tom Cruwys (1853-1896), a school furniture manufacturer, and Ruth Pearce. Tom was born in Newport, Monmouthshire. His line goes back via Wiveliscombe in Somerset to Oakford in Devon. The first photograph shows Ruth Cruwys née Pearce with her four children Fanny (b. 1882), James (b. 1885), Tom (b. 1888) and Dorothy (b. 1890). The second photograph, below, is of Fannie Reis née Cruwys, the eldest daughter of Tom Cruwys and Fannie Pearce. Fannie was born on 18th February 1882 at Whyteleaf in Warlingham, Surrey. The photograph bears a stamp from Beirut in the Lebanon, though we don't know why or when she visited the country.Fannie went out to Alexandria in Egypt in about 1905 to join her partner Arthur Montagu Reis. Arthur had previously married his cousin Lilian Samuel in 1879 in Liverpool. Lilian did not die until 1955, and they do not appear to have divorced. We have not been able to find any record of a marriage between Fannie and Arthur. Arthur was a stock and share broker, banker and fancy goods dealer. After running into financial difficulties he was declared bankrupt, and went out to Egypt in around 1905 where it is understood he set up in business as a cotton dealer. It is said that Arthur "made and lost a million". Arthur and Fannie's eldest son, Spencer, was born in England, but their three other children, Dennis, Enid and Brenda, were all born in Alexandria. Further information on the Reis and Samuel families, including numerous transcriptions of articles from The Times concerning Arthur's tangled financial affairs, can be found here.

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