This interesting surname, with variant spellings Crew, Cruise, Cruse, Cruwys and Crouse may be of three possible origins. Firstly, it may be of English locational origin from "Crewe", in Cheshire, recorded as "Crev", in the Domesday Book of 1086, "Crue" in 1346 in the Index to the Charters and Rolls in the British Museum. The placename is composed of the Welsh word "cryw", stepping stones. Secondly, the surname may derive from the Medieval English "cr(o)us(e)", bold, fierce, a nickname for a fierce bold and daring person. Finally, the surname may perhaps be of French habitational origin from "Cruys-Straete" in Nord, from the Gaulish word "crodiu", hard. One Richard de Crues was recorded in the Curia Rolls of Devonshire in 1214, while the Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire list a 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 Crews 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 Criuse, which was dated 1213, Curia 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 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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