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 d├ępartemente 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

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