Recorded in many spellings including Crew, Crouse, Cruise, Cruse, Cruwys and Crouse, this surname is English. It has however three possible origins. Firstly, it may be of locational origin from the town of Crewe, in the county of Cheshire. This town is recorded as Crev in the famous Domesday Book of 1086, and as Crue in 1346 in the Index to the Charters and Rolls, in the British Museum. It is composed of the Welsh word "cryw", meaning 'stepping stones'. Secondly, the surname may derive from the Medieval English "crouse", meaning bold, a nickname for a 'hard man', perhaps somebody to be kept clear off. Finally the surname may be of French habitational origin from the village of "Cruys-Straete" in the department of Nord. In this case the development is from the Gaul word "crodiu", meaning hard, not unlike the medieval English meaning of 'bold'. Examples of early recordings include Richard de Crues in the Curia Rolls of Devonshire of 1214, whilst the Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire list a Robert Cruse in 1275. Other examples are those of Sir Thomas Crew or Crewe (1565 - 1634) the Speaker of the House of Commons, and Elizabeth Crews, who married James Kiff on February 14th 1830 at St. James church, Paddington. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas le Criuse, which was dated 1213,in the Curia Rolls of Bedfordshire. Throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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