This unusual and interesting name has two possible origins, the first of which is early medieval English and is from a nickname for a "bold, fierce" man, originally given to someone thought to possess these characteristics and gradually taken up as a hereditary surname. The derivation is from the Middle English word "Crus(e)", in the northern dialects "crous(e)", meaning "bold" or "fierce". The second possible origin for the surname, found in such varying forms as "Cruise", "Cruse", "Crews", "Crewes", "Cruess" and "Cruwys", is locational from a place in Normandy called "Cruys-Straete", apparently so named from the Gauillic word "Crodiu" meaning "hard".One Hester Cruess married John Chatterton on the 24th August 1786 at St. Georges, Hanover Square, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Crues, which was dated 1214, The Devonshire Curia Rolls, during the reign of King John "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was 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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