This interesting surname, with Crew, Cruise, Cruse, Cruwys, Croose and Crouse has three possible origins. Firstly it may be of English and locational, from the town of Crewe, in the county of Cheshire. This is recorded as Creu, in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and as Crue in 1346, in the Index to the Charters and Rolls in the British Museum. The placename is composed of the Welsh word "cryw", meaning stepping stones. Secondly, the surname may derive from the Medieval English "crouse", a nickname for a fierce bold and daring person, or perhaps given the robust humour of those days, the absolute opposite! Finally, the surname may be of French habitational origin from the village of "Cruys-Straete" in the departement of Nord. This is from the Gaulish word "crodiu", and means hard place. Richard de Crues was recorded in the Curia Rolls of Devonshire in 1214, whilst the Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire list Robert Cruse in 1275. Sir Thomas Crew or Crewe (1565 - 1634) was a speaker of the House of Commons. On August 3rd 1618, Francis, son of Robert Crews was christened at St. Pancras, Soper Lane, London and Elizabeth Crouse married James Kiff on February 14th 1830 at St. James, Paddington. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas le Cruise. This was dated 1213, in the Curia Regis rolls of Bedfordshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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