Friday 28 May 2010


Thanks to the help of Andrew Millard, the location of the place name Creus-anisy mentioned in my last post has now been identified as Anisy which is just north of Caen in Normandy.

We've now located a further reference to Creus-anisy in the book British Family Names – Their Origin and Meaning with Lists of Scandinavian, Frisian, Anglo-Saxon and Norman Names by Rev. Henry Barber, published by E Stock, London, 1903. The entry for the surname Cruse is as follows:

CRUSE. From Creusanisy. Norm. N.Fr. De Creus; a p.n.
De Crus in Rot. Obl. Et Fin., Devon, 1199.

In  Reaney and Wilson's A Dictionary of English Surnames (3rd rev. edn. Routledge, 2005, p119) Cruys-Straete in the départemente of Nord, midway between Dunkirk and Lille in Northern France, was suggested as a possible origin of the surname.

It is clear from the large number of genetic groups in the DNA project that the surname Cruse has multiple origins. In contrast, all the Cruwyses tested to date (apart from one known illegitimate line) fall into two distinct genetic branches, each with deep roots in North Devon. It therefore seems plausible to think that the surname Cruwys has a single origin, and that the link between the surname and the Y-chromosome was broken in one of the Devon lines. It remains to be seen whether the surname Cruwys or any of the Cruse branches originated in Cruys-Straete or Creus-Anisy. In the long run I hope that more people from France will participate in DNA testing so that we might eventually know the answer.

© Debbie Kennett 2010

Thursday 27 May 2010

More early Cruwys references

A researcher in Australia has kindly sent me some interesting early references to the surname Cruwys and variants which he found in the book The Norman people and their existing descendants in the British dominions and the United States of America published by Henry S. King & Co. in 1874. The references are as follows:
Crewe, a branch of DE LA MARE or Montalt, whose arms it bore, with a slight difference (Ormerod, Cheshire, iii. 165). Crewe was in the barony of Malbanc, and was possessed c. 1150 by Henry de Criwa, who attested a charter of Hugh Malbanc. Sire Thomas de Crue was living after 1241. Hence the Lords Crewe of Stene, maternally represented by the Lords Crewe.

Crews or Crewys. Hugh de Creus and Richard de Creos were of Normandy 1198 (Mag. Rot. Scac.). Creus-Anisy was in Normandy (Ib.). Richard de Crues also occurs in Devon 1199; and the family has remained there ever since.
The abbreviation Mag. Rot. Scac. is explained as Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae sub Regibus Angliae in Memoires de la Societe des Antiquaires de la Normandie which is translated elsewhere as "Great Roll of the Norman Exchequer under the English Kings". These were the Norman Pipe Rolls of 1183-1184. I've not as yet been able to discover the modern spelling of Creus-Anisy in Normandy or its location. Does anyone have any suggestions?

© Debbie Kennett 2010

Thursday 20 May 2010

Domesday descendants

A friend in Devon has very kindly sent me a photocopy of a page containing the Cruse entries from the Katherine Keats-Rohan book Domesday Descendants. Keats-Rohan is a fellow of Linacre College, Oxford, and has pioneered the use of prosopography in historical research. If you are not familiar with the term prosopography it is explained in this Wikipedia article. Keats-Rohan has written two very important books which are very useful for anyone with a genealogical interest in medieval history:

 - K.S.B. Keats-Rohan.  Domesday People: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166. Volume  I: Domesday Book.  Boydell Press, 1999, 572pp.

-  K.B.S. Keats-Rohan. Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of People Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166. Volume  II Pipe Rolls to Cartae Baronum. Boydell Press, 2002, 1179pp.

The entries of interest to me were found in the second volume on Domesday Descendants. I have copied the details below:
de Cruce, Rainald
Attested several of the charters of Roger earl of Hertford (d.1173), from whom he held half a fee de novo in 1166. Perhaps the same as the earl's steward Rainald. Geoffrey de Cruce held half a fee of Clare in Walton, Surrey, in 1242 (Fees, 685).

Harper-Bill and Mortimer, Stoke by Clare Cartulary, nos 28, 30-31, 36; Hart, Cartularium Monasterii de Rameseia, no. CXCIII; Red Book of the Exchequer, ed. Hall (1897), pp. 403-7; Stenton, Documents illustrative of Danelaw (1920), no. 333.

de Cruce, Ricardus
Mentioned in charters of Ranulf I of Chester as having given land at Mostyn to St Werburga when he became a monk. Father of Norman.

Barraclough, Charters of Anglo-Norman Earls of Chester, nos 13, 28, 49.

de Crues, Ottuel
Attested Colne charters of c.1160. Held half a fee de novo from Oliver de Tracy of Barnstaple in 1166, at Cruwys Morchard, Devon. This was held for one fee by the heirs of Alexander de Crues in 1242 (Fees, 748). In 1242 Richard de Crues held one fee of Barnstaple in 'Nytheresse' (Fees, 773).

Fisher, Cartularium Prioratus de Colne, nos 36, 65; Pipe Roll 9 Henry II, 24-e/ht; Red Book of the Exchequer, ed. Hall (1897), p. 255.
I've come across early references to the surname de Cruce when searching the online Patents Rolls database. As far as I can establish there is no connection with the Cruwys family from Cruwys Morchard. It is however possible that the de Cruces are the ancestors of some of the present-day Cruse lines, which clearly have multiple origins.

Keats-Rohan makes no mention of two early references to the Cruwys surname which were quoted by Margaret Cruwys in her book A Cruwys Morchard Notebook: 1066-1874 (James Townsend and Sons, Exeter, 1939):
c. 1175 Robert de Cruwys, mentioned in a Pipe Roll of 1175, and Robert Cruwys, an undertenant of Henry Pomeroy, 1198, probably father and son.
Unfortunately Margaret Cruwys does not provide any sources for these references. The Pipe Rolls have been transcribed and published and are available at my local record office. I hope to check them out at some point. It seems strange that Keats-Rohan did not discover these other two early references.

The earliest references to the surname in the family collection of papers held at Cruwys Morchard House in Devon are found in the Tracy Deed which probably dates from the early 1200s. The names of Richard de Cruwes and Alexander de Cruwes appear as witnesses to this deed. I have made a transcription of the Tracy Deed available online on Genuki Devon which can be read here. The Tracys were a powerful baronial family. A William Tracy or William de Tracy was one of the four barons who assassinated Thomas Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury, in Canterbury Cathedral on 29th December 1170. There is an unsubstantiated story that a member of the Cruwys family was present at this event.

The pedigree of the Cruwys family, as recorded at the College of Arms, is believed to commence with the Richard de Cruwes mentioned in the Tracy Deed. I have not seen any document confirming the relationship between Richard de Cruwes and Alexander de Cruwes. Richard appears in numerous documents around this time as he was a justice of the assize for the county of Devon. The earliest reference dates from 1200 when, according to Margaret Cruwys,  he was  “taken into custody being accused of the death of Jordan de la Cell on Exmoor" though again rather frustratingly the source is not given. The most recent reference I have found is in the Patent Rolls when Richard de Crues was appointed a justice for the assizes of novel disseisin at Exeter in the twenty seventh year of the reign of King Henry the Third [1242/3]. Alexander de Cruwys was probably either the brother or son of Richard de Cruwys. He is mentioned in an Assize Roll dating from 1238 which is summarised in The Cruwys Morchard Notebook. Clearly much more work remains to be done to unravel this early part of the Cruwys family tree.

© Debbie Kennett 2010

Saturday 15 May 2010

An intriguing marriage at St George's Hanover Square

Guild member Sian Plant has found another marriage for me in the registers of St George's Hanover Square which has led me on an interesting search through the censuses. Frederick Thomas Cruse married Catherine Harriet Frances Pringle on 6th June 1853 at St George's Hanover Square. Frederick was a bachelor of full age living at Charlotte Street, Pimlico. His occupation was given as "Bank of England". He was the son of Thomas Cruse, a land surveyor. Catherine was a spinster of full age living at Bentinck Street, St Marylebone. She was the daughter of William Henry Pringle, a lieutenant colonel. I didn't have any record of Frederick Thomas Cruse in my database but I've now located him and his wife Catherine in the 1861 census living in Greenwich. Frederick is now known as "Fred". He is a clerk at the Bank of England and obviously a man of some substance as he has sufficient means to employ a live-in cook and housemaid. Fred and Catherine have a six-year-old daughter Harriet Margaret Cruse. Harriet's forenames are mistranscribed as "Hartwig" which is understandable when you look at the census image as both names are abbreviated and are quite difficult to read. I wonder if the transcriber had been reading too much Harry Potter and was subconsciously thinking of Harry's owl Hedwig! Frederick was born about 1818 in Somerset. I've not been able to decipher his place of birth. If anyone can read it do let me know. The census image can be viewed here if you have an Ancestry subscription. The transcriber had similar difficulties and transcribed the place as "Kateth". I cannot check the place of birth in any subsequent censuses as Fred sadly died in 1864. In 1851 he was lodging in St Pancras but only gave the county of Somerset for his place of birth. I've been unable to find a suitable match in the 1841 census. It seems likely that Frederick is in some way related to the Cruses of Rode in Somerset.  Jeremiah Cruse (1758-1819) of Rode was a well-known land surveyor, but without a baptism for Fred or the 1841 census entry I am unable to link him into the tree. I don't have any record of a Thomas Cruse of the right age working as a land surveyor.

© Debbie Kennett 2010

Friday 14 May 2010

West Ham marriages

I have received a big envelope in the post from Guild member Peter Copsey containing a large number of faux marriage certificates from his recent Marriage Challenge for the West Ham Registration District. I would like to thank Peter for all his hard work locating all these marriages in the parish registers at the Chelmsford Record Office. I have provided outline details of all the marriages below with the name of the tree in brackets where known. Copies of the certificates can be supplied on request.

- 1858 St John the Evangelist, Stratford: James Cruse (widower), a re???er officer, father dead (name not given), and Charlotte Margaret Goodwin Hitch, widow, daughter of John Hunt, a re????er officer.

- 1866 St John the Evangelist, Stratford: Mary Ann Elizabeth Crews, daughter of George Richard Crews, lighterman, and Edmund Franklin, son of Edmund Franklin, farmer.

- 1878 St Mary's, Wanstead: Sarah Cruse, daughter of Thomas Cruse, labourer, and Henry White, son of Ezekiel White, gardener.

- 1888 Annie Ada Louise Cruse, daughter of George Cruse, gentleman, and William Henry Jolly, ship builder, son of George Jolly, retired civil services.

- 1893 All Saints, West Ham: Albert Garrick Cruse, warehouseman, son of Henry Cruse, silversmith, and Caroline Abra Herridge, daughter of Francis Herridge, carpenter (William Cruse and Mary Ann Guildersleve line).

- 1897 St Gabriel's Church, Canning Town: John Charles Cruse (widower), lighterman, son of George Cruse, labourer, and Hannah Coughlin, daughter of Jeremiah Coughlin, stevedore.

- 1901 All Saints Parish Church, West Ham: Edward Thomas Cruse, printer, son of Edward Thomas Cruse, beadle, and Janet Frances Amelia Gillard, daughter of Arthur Gillard, carpenter (John Cruse and Mary Rook line)

- 1903 All Saints Parish Church, West Ham: Charles William Cruse, tram conductor, son of Silas Cruse, engineer's foreman, and Eva May Humphries, daughter of William Thomas Humphries, painter (Imber Cruses from Wiltshire)

- 1903 St Mary the Virgin, Plaistow: Henry Goodwin Cruse, agent, son of Henry Goodwin Cruse, agent, and Beatrice Rose Titin, daughter of George Titin, piano maker. (William Cruse and Mary Ann Guildersleve line).

- 1906 All Saints Parish Church, West Ham: Edward Thomas Cruse (widower), printer, son of Edward Thomas Cruse, beadle, and Louisa Edith Carswell, daughter of Arthur Carswell, deceased. (John Cruse and Mary Rook line)

1909 St Barnabas, Walthamstow: James Henry Crewes, clerk, son of James Eastlake Crewes, turner, and Julia Sophia King, daughter of Joseph King (profession illegible).

1911 Sarah Louisa Cremer, bookfolder, daughter of James Cremer, brewer, and Adam William John Lopez, printer, son of Samuel Lopez, painter.
(Note this marriage was incorrectly transcribed on FreeBMD under the surname Crewes. The register clearly shows that the surname was Cremer not Crewes. A copy of the faux certificate can be supplied on request to any interested researchers.)

© Debbie Kennett 2010

Thursday 13 May 2010

Award from My Heritage

I'm delighted to report that the kind people at My have chosen this blog as one of their top 100 genealogy sites of 2010. My Heritage "wanted to identify and give recognition to websites which offered high-quality content, were innovative in topic or design, and which were frequently updated with new content". They were also putting some emphasis on "finding hidden gems in the community".

The full list of award-winning websites can be seen here.

Top genealogy site awards

© Debbie Kennett 2010

Saturday 8 May 2010

Another Marriage from St George's Hanover Square

Guild members Sian Plant and Mary Ghrist have kindly sent me details of another marriage found in the St George's Hanover Square Marriage Challenge:

- 1867 St Michael Chester Square: Henry Cruse, son of Stephen Cruse, gardener, and Martha Margaret Elcock, daughter of John Elcock, gardener

Henry Cruse was born about 1839 in Teddington, Middlesex, and was the son of Stephen Cruse by his first wife Elizabeth Pasco. Stephen was born about 1806 in Teddington, and was the son of William Cruse, who was also a gardener. No baptism has yet been located for Stephen and we are currently unable to trace this line back any further.

© Debbie Kennett 2010

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Marriage certificates from the Shrewsbury tree

Just before the cost of ordering certificates from the General Register Office went up at the beginning of April I put in a large £119 certificate order. I purchased three Cruwys marriage certificates for some puzzling Cruwys marriages which I had been unable to place. Outline details of the marriages are provided below:

- 1846 The Register Office, Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Thomas Cruwys, widower, tailor, son of Thomas Cruwys, innkeeper, and Hannah Walton, spinster, daughter of Corbet Walton, tailor

- 1860 The Parish Church, Chatham, Kent: Henry Cruwys, Private 53rd, son of William Cruwys, dyer, and Sarah Maile, daughter of Edward Maile, shoemaker

- 1860 Register Office, Stoke Damerel: Henry Cruwys, widower, sergeant in ??? Regiment, son of William Cruwys, master dyer of Wellington, Shropshire, and Ruth Badger, widow and licensed victualler, daughter of William Hugoe [?]

Although the marriages took place in different parts of the country it turns out that all three marriages relate to the Cruwys tree from Shrewsbury in Shropshire which I wrote about in an earlier posting.

The 1846 marriage certificate of Thomas Cruwys is particularly useful as it gives us the name of his father, though I am still not as yet able to link him into one of the other Cruwys trees. In the 1841 census Thomas was living in Shrewsbury with his presumed wife Hannah and three children. It would therefore appear that both of Thomas's wives shared the same Christian name. However, I have not been able to find any record of the death of the first Hannah in the GRO indexes. Thomas died in 1848 but I cannot find his widow Hannah in any of the subsequent censuses, and there does not appear to be a matching death registration on Free BMD.

The Henry Cruwys who features in the other two certificates I purchased is, I believe, the grandson of Thomas and Hannah Cruwys of Shrewsbury. Henry was born on 7th November 1833 in St Chad, Shrewsbury, and was the son of William Cruwys (1809-1870) and his wife Elizabeth. William was born c.1809 in Shrewsbury, but I have been unable to find a record of his baptism to confirm his parentage. Henry Cruwys and his second wife Ruth Badger née Hugoe can be found in the 1861 census in St Chad, Shrewsbury, hiding under the mistranscription of Crump. Henry was a soldier, but I cannot read the name of his regiment. Henry and Ruth then seem to disappear from the records. I can find no trace of them in any of the subsequent censuses and there is no record of their deaths in the GRO indexes.

This Shrewsbury line is particularly problematic and I would be very pleased to hear from anyone researching this tree or any of the other associated surnames.

© Debbie Kennett 2010

Three more marriage certificates

I've received a further three certificates this week from three separate Guild marriage challenges. Outline details of all the certificates are provided below.

Faversham District
 - 1931 Saints Peter and Paul, Ospringe, Kent: Frederick Harry Cruse, window cleaner, son of Harry Cruse, gentleman, and Doris Lilian Friday, daughter of George Friday, labourer. [Kenton tree from Devon]

St George's Hanover Square Registration District
 - 1851 St George's Hanover Square: Catherine Russell Cruise, daughter of Robert Russell Cruise, esquire, and Thomas Wallace, esquire, son of Thomas Wallace, clerk

West Derby Registration District
- St Mary Edge Hill: 1862 Susannah Cruse, daughter of George Cruse (deceased), and William Pritchard, commercial traveller, son of James Pritchard, commercial traveller.

Only the Faversham marriage can currently be allocated to a specific tree. If anyone would like copies of these certificates do get in touch.

Thanks to Shelagh Mason for the Faversham certificate, Sian Plant for the St George's Hanover Square certificate and Susan Atkins for the West Derby certificate. There should be more certificates to come from West Derby in due course but the Liverpool Record Office is going to close shortly for two and a half years for refurbishment so the second phase of the West Derby Marriage Challenge has been suspended.

Family Finder test now on sale

I wrote in detail in a previous post  about the new autosomal Family Finder DNA test from Family Tree DNA. I am pleased to advise that the test has been officially launched and is now on general sale. Up until yesterday sales were restricted to existing Family Tree DNA customers. The official press release can be read on Dick Eastman's online genealogy blog. The FTDNA home page does not appear to have been amended as yet and the test is still shown as "coming soon". The test can however be ordered via the products page or through one of the many FTDNA projects. I will be writing more about this new test in the coming months as more results are received and I can see how it works, both for my own research and in a wider context within my Cruwys/Cruse DNA Project and in my Devon DNA Project.

© Debbie Kennett 2010