Category Archives: Crouse

Maternal Branches on the Family Tree: Sarah Moriah Crouse (1833-1930)

Sarah Moriah Crouse, c1850

Sarah Moriah Crouse, one of my maternal 2X great grandmothers, had a bumpy start to life. She was born 7 May 1833, in the small town of Keswick, in York County, New Brunswick, Canada and was the daughter of Peter Crouse and Rebecca Jones, themselves children of Loyalists who fled to Canada at the close of the Revolution.

Sarah had little or no memory of her father, who reportedly died about 1835. She was the youngest of four children born to Peter and Rebecca, as she had three older brothers – Elias (c1828- before 15 February 1866), Dean (c1829-between 1861-1870) and Samuel (c1831-Between 1865-1880). When looking at Sarah’s brothers’ relatively short life spans, Sarah was quite remarkable, living to the ripe old age of 97 1/2 years.

Her mother, Rebecca, married (2) Benjamin Blyther, who lived in Red Beach (today part of Calais), Maine, before c1835 and the young family moved across the Canadian-U.S. border to Red Beach, Washington, Maine, which today is part of the city of Calais.

Sarah would have had no memory of her life in Canada, but she was very familiar with Keswick village, as she made frequent visits there throughout her lifetime, as related to my grandmother, Hazel.

Benjamin Blyther would be the only father Sarah ever knew and the small Crouse family grew into the large extended Crouse-Blyther family with the arrival of Sarah’s five half sisters – Mary Elizabeth (1836-1893), Martha (1838-after 1930), Helen Marr (1842-1930), Ruth (1844-1939) and Henrietta L. (1847-1944) – and her little half brother, Albert F., born in 1851, but who sadly died in 1858, aged only 6 years old.

Aside from the loss of little Albert, Sarah grew up in a large, happy household, which provided much more stability than her early life and the loss of her father.

Benjamin Blyther was a farmer who owned a small piece of land in Red Beach. Next door to the Blythers lived the family of Thomas and Mary Elizabeth (Astle) Coleman. They were the parents of one son, William (1834-1905).

Sarah ended up marrying the proverbial boy next door, William Coleman, on 6 February 1855 in Calais, Washington, Maine.

Sarah’s marriage to William was a happy one, although William decided the life of a farmer wasn’t for him and decided to work at sea. He became a master mariner, piloting a tugboat along the St. Croix River, dividing New Brunswick, Canada and Washington County, Maine.

Sarah Moriah (Crouse) Coleman, c1895

William and Sarah became the parents of six children, although two died in childhood and their eldest, daughter Mary Adelaide, died of goit, aged 39 years, leaving a husband and seven children.

Children (All events in Calais, unless otherwise noted):

1. Mary Adelaide, born 2 December 1855; died 16 January 1895; married George Morton Redding, 5 November 1878.
2. Alvin D., born 27 November 1857; died 16 April 1858
3. William Edgar, born October 1859; died 20 November 1931, Gardner, Worcester, Massachusetts; married Louise M. Gould, 9 June 1880
4. Samuel Jones, born October 1863; died 9 January 1935, newton, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Lulu Viola Rapley, 14 February 1885
5. Hartwell Thomas, born 27 December 1869; died 30 March 1938; married (1) Anna Elisabeth Jensen/Johnson, 14 July 1892 (2) Lydia J. Wilson, 12 September 1918 (3) Sadie Edna Staples, 30 March 1924, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts

After William died in 1905, Sarah lived the rest of her life with son Hartwell and his family, even moving for a short time to Massachusetts, when Hartwell worked as a master mariner in Boston Harbor.

Last photo of Sarah, taken in the summer of 1930

I am fortunate that my grandmother, Hazel, knew her grandmother well (Hazel was 29 years old when Sarah died) and that I am now the caretaker of these old family photos.

Sarah Moriah (Crouse) Coleman lived for almost a century, passing away from myocarditis and arteriosclerosis. Her short obituary was published in the Bangor News:

Mrs. Sarah M. Coleman, widow of the Capt. William Coleman, passed away Saturday afternoon at the home of her son, Hartwell T. Coleman, after an illness of seven months. Deceased was born at Keswick, N.B., in 1833, but the greater part of her 97 years were spent in Calais, where she made many warm friends. She was a constant member of the Union church, the pastor of which, Rev. H.L. Buzzell conducted the funeral services Monday afternoon, the attendance and beautiful floral offerings attesting to the esteem in which she was held.

It is odd that no mention is made of where she was buried. I believe she is buried in Calais Cemetery with husband William, but her death record doesn’t indicate her burial location.



Maternal Branches on the Family Tree: Sarah Moriah Crouse (1833-1930)

Sarah Moriah Crouse, my maternal grandmother’s grandmother, is another ancestor who I almost feel like I personally knew. That’s because Sarah lived to be 97 years old and Grandmother was 29 years old when her grandma passed away.

Let’s jump back in time to the 1820s. Peter Crouse married Rebecca Jones c1828, probably in York County, New Brunswick, Canada and settled down in the small town of Keswick, also in York County.

Peter and Rebecca became the parents of four children – three sons and one daughter, my 2X great grandmother Sarah Moriah Crouse. She was born on 7 May 1833 in Keswick.

The young family would have had a wide support network nearby since Peter Crouse was one of seventeen children born to Philip Crouse and Sarah Burt. That support became necessary when Peter died c1835, leaving his widow, Rebecca, and children Elias, Dean, Samuel and Sarah. It’s doubtful that Samuel and Sarah had any memories of their father. Elias and Dean were just enough older that they could.

Rebecca did what most young widows of that era did – she remarried. However, her second marriage must have been somewhat jarring for her four children because Rebecca married Benjamin Blyther of Red Beach (today aprt of Calais), Washington, Maine as his second wife and made the move across the border into the United States.

Benjamin must have been a loved stepfather because all three boys dropped Crouse as their surname and instead became Blythers. Sarah married on 6 February 1855 when she was not quite 22 years old and was recorded as Sarah Crouse.

Sarah Moriah Crouse, c1850

Although born in Canada, Sarah was so young when her mother remarried that she probably didn’t have any memories of her life there. However, the family kept in touch with relatives in Keswick and Sarah probably visited her uncles, aunts and cousins many times.

Benjamin and Rebecca had six children together – Mary Elizabeth, Martha, Helen Marr, Henrietta and Albert F. Blyther. Little Albert died when he was only 7 years old, but the girls all lived to adulthood and married. With ten children, Rebecca would have been a very busy mother and farm wife. Sarah was then able to grow up with many siblings.

However, Sarah didn’t look to Canada for her husband. Instead, she married the boy next door – William Coleman. William was about a year younger than Sarah, having been born on 10 June 1834. Besides growing up in Red Beach, William and Sarah shared another fact in common. William, too, was born in Canada, in the little town of Nelson, Northumberland, New Brunswick. His parents moved to Maine about the same time as Sarah’s mother. Their farms were adjoining so William and Sarah knew each other for most of their young lives.

William and Sarah began married life on a small piece of land in Red Beach, with William toiling as a farmer. Children arrived quickly with their first daughter, Mary Adelaide (aka Addie) arriving on 2 December 1855, just ten months after they married.

It wasn’t long, though, before William decided farming wasn’t for him. He decided to follow the occupation of many others in the Calais area. The sea called him, but he became a mariner rather than a fisherman. William wasn’t always home at night because part of his job was operating the tug that helped larger vessels navigate the Bay of Fundy and the St. Lawrence River.

It would have been Sarah’s responsibility to care for the small crops and animals and the children while William was at work. Family support was close by as not only Ben and Rebecca Blyther, but also William’s parents, Thomas and Mary Elizabeth Coleman, lived next door to them.

William flourished as a mariner. By the time he died on 30 May 1905, he was always referred to as Captain Coleman. Sarah outlived William by many years!

Children (All events in Calais, Maine unless otherwise noted):

  1. Mary Adelaide, born 2 December 1855; died 16 January 1895; married George Morton Redding, 5 November 1878. they had 8 children.
  2. Alvin D., born 27 November 1857; died 16 April 1858
  3. William Edgar, born October 1859; died 20 November 1931, Gardner, Worcester, Massachusetts; married Louise M. Gould, 9 June 1880
  4. Samuel Jones, born October 1863; died 9 January 1937, Newton, Middlesex, Massachusetts; married Lulu viola Rapley, 14 February 1885
  5. Hartwell Thomas, born 27 December 1869; died 30 March 1938; married (1) Anna Elizabeth Jensen, 14 July 1892 (2) Lydia J. Wilson, 12 September 1918 (3) Sadie Edna Staples, 30 March 1924, Malden, Middlesex, Massachusetts
  6. Ethel H., born 30 December 1873; died 15 March 1880

Although Sarah lost two young children and her eldest daughter only aged 39, Sarah had a remarkably happy life. She had 23 grandchildren, most of whom were born in Calais so she was able to see them grow up.

Sarah, in later life, c1890s

In her later years, Sarah lived with son Hartwell and his family, first in Calais, spent a few years in Massachusetts with him before they both returned to Calais. Hartwell, like his father, became a master mariner, working both the Calais waterways and Boston Harbor.

Sarah died on 18 October 1930 in Calais, where she had spent almost her entire life. Her obituary, from The Bangor News, provided only a small glimpse into her long life:

The “Union” Church was the Calais Unitarian Church and the obituary gave me this new fact, as her church membership wasn’t evident in any other record I have found.

This photo was the last taken of Sarah (Crouse) Coleman, not long before she passed away:

Sarah (Crouse) Coleman, seated

Sarah’s son, Hartwell, is directly behind Sarah with other family members surrounding them. Sarah not only lived a long life, but was very healthy if the onset of her final illness didn’t happen until March 1930!

Loyalist Philip Crouse & Early Crouses in North Carolina: 12 for ’22

Next up in my 12 for ’22 deep dive is Loyalist Philip Crouse, born c1761 in Zeeland, Netherlands.

It is said he came to America as a young boy, probably arriving first in Pennsylvania, although nothing is certain about his parents, so that isn’t a fact!

Quite a bit is known about Philip, his wife Sarah Burt, daughter of Loyalist Benjamin Burt, their seventeen children (yes, Sarah was the mother of all 17!) and their lives in New Brunswick, Canada.

However, Philip Crouse’s name doesn’t appear in Canadian records until 1789 and almost nothing is known about his life in the colonies, except for the fact that he had previously lived in North Carolina and supposedly had a couple of brothers who remained there when the American Revolution ended.

His birthplace is known, thanks to family lore. His son Gould, in 1840, named the area in which the family lived “New Zealand Settlement” in honor of his father’s birthplace.

One of my blog readers recently left a lengthy comment about families who lived in Captain John Lopp’s district in Rowan County, North Carolina te the time of the Revolutionary War.

Previously published family histories on my Crouse family suggested – with no sources of any kind noted – that Philip lived in Tryon County, which later was abolished and renamed Lincoln County, North Carolina.

As you can see from this 18th century map, the two counties bordered each other at the time and, between them, covered most of western North Carolina.

Map in the public domain

My current Crouse deep dive consisted of in-depth (online) research in both Rowan County and Lincoln County, which also holds records created in the abolished Tryon County.

There wasn’t much to be found, aside from the nugget provided by my reader.

First, let’s review what is known about Philip and his life in North Carolina. He was born c1761, reportedly in Zeeland, Netherlands. There are no clues as to his parents, nor when he settled in North Carolina, which happened no later than his teen years.

My golden nugget, so to speak, is the list of those in Roman County in 1778 who refused to sign the Oath of Allegiance. “Phillip Crose” is on that list in Captain John Lopp’s district.

Philip does NOT appear on any of the tax lists in Rowan or Tryon/Lincoln County during the war period or on lists well into the 1790s.

So, why would he be on the list of those who refused to sign the oath, but not on the tax list?

If he had reached the age of 16, he would be eligible for militia duty and, thus, be asked to sign the Oath of Allegiance. Being under the age of 21, he wouldn’t yet be a taxable.

Although he is considered a Loyalist today (and he settled in New Brunswick, Canada), he doesn’t appear to have provided any military aid to either side and it’s possible that his family might have belonged to the Moravian, Mennonite, Quaker or Dunker religions that opposed armed warfare.

Now, let’s review Rowan County, North Carolina records.

The tax records for Rowan County seem reasonably complete for 1778 and there isn’t ANY Crouse who appears in any of the military districts.

There is a Philip CRUSE/GRUSE who lived in Captain Berger’s district. This man received a land grant in 1783 and part of his property bordered the land of Jacob Fisher, who also appears in Captain Berger’s district. It is said that Philip lived in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania before settling in North Carolina.

This Philip died in 1804, leaving a will that named wife Catherine, sons Henry and Peter and other unnamed heirs. It is also believed that this man arrived from Germany (not the Netherlands) in 1754. Furthermore, his descendants continued to spell their surname as CRUSE at least into the 1880s.

The “unnamed heirs” leaves the door open for a relationship with my Philip Crouse and I have found no source documentation for the statement that he was from Germany.

There are a handful of land deeds in Rowan County for Jacob Crouse, Jacob Cross, John Gross and Philip Croose on Dutchman’s Creek and Abbott’s Creek (where my Philip lived in Captain Lopp’s district, but these land records are all dated after the end of the war, from 1783 to 1795.

Given that it was wartime, my Philip could possibly have been living outside his parents’ home because extended family or neighbors needed extra hands.

There is a Franey (possibly short for Veronica) Crouse who died and left a will dated 13 October 1815, also in Rowan County. She named her son William and grandson James Cavender along with Caty March, Mary Hendricks, Frany “Crows” and Barbara “Crows.” She is said to be a Welty by birth and the widow of Jacob Crouse, who migrated from York County, Pennsylvania to North Carolina between 1773 and 1795. These Crouses might have been members of the Brethren Church.

Jacob, born c1738, is just old enough to be the father of Philip. However, he left no will, dying sometime between 1800-1810, and if Philip was his son, Franey made no mention of him in her will.  I think it’s unlikely Philip belonged to this family.

William Crouse who married Beckey Cross on 13 July 1789 in Rowan County is probably the son of Jacob and Franey.

Next, let’s look at Lincoln County Crouses. There are two men who are said to be the brothers of my Philip Crouse – John and Peter Crouse.

Yes, both of those are names that my Philip gave to two of his sons and Tryon/Lincoln County does border Rowan, so it is certainly possible that Philip might have been related to John and Peter.

On the other hand, there are no documents to be found suggesting any relationship between them. There still could be – there just isn’t anything to support or disprove the theory.

Peter Crouse married Ann (Nancy) Zimmerman (Carpenter, which is the English translation of Zimmerman and some family members went by the Anglicized version of their surname.) Peter left no will, but died before 8 April 1800, when his estate inventory was filed in Lincoln County.

His heirs – Ann and Barbara – sold some of his land in 1810 (Lot 15 in Lincolnton to Martin Shuford) and there is a Barbara Crouse who married Jacob Tutherow (Dotherow) on 30 March 1812 in Lincoln County, North Carolina.

This may be Peter’s daughter, but Barbara died soon, as Jacob married (2) Nancy Weathers, c1814 and migrated to Tennessee.

This theory is supported by the fact that Ann Crouse left a will dated 12 July 1828, proved in 1839 in Lincoln County, in which she left her entire estate to her brother, Jacob Carpenter.

Therefore, IF Peter Crouse was indeed a brother of my Philip, he has no known descendants as it seems that Barbara was his only surviving child.

John Crouse of Lincoln County also left a will, dated 1817, but the paperwork isn’t posted in where it should be online in File C. The 1810 census calls John “esquire” in the enumeration.

John is said to have married Sarah Mauney, which may be correct as the real estate that Ann Crouse left to her brother joined the property line of Michael Mauney.

This might also indicated that John and Peter could be related. They were of an age to be brothers and they lived in the same neighborhood.

Lastly, there was an Elizabeth Crouse who left a will – which also should be found, but isn’t, in File C in Lincoln County, dated 1811. The only heir named was Ann/Anna Crouse and it’s possible she was an unmarried daughter of Peter and Ann, who left what she received from her father’s estate to her mother.

Circling back to my original premise that my Philip Crouse is the Philip Crose who refused to sign the Oath of Allegiance, I feel quite comfortable accepting this because of the FAN club. Three other men – Jacob Hamm, Philip Henry and Jacob Kani/Noy and extended family members – were also Loyalists who settled in Canada after the war. Where did they live? In York County, next to Burtt’s Corner and Keswick, which are the two villages where Philip Crouse and his wife Sarah Burt had settled.

Finally, there is one more tantalizing tidbit that I found on JSTOR – Dunker Beginnings in North Carolina by Roger E. Sappington, The North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. 46, No. 3 (July, 1969), pp. 214-238.

There is no land deed found for this John Crouse, but he is elderly and not well-to-do. He left no will or probate. Could this man be the father of my Philip Crouse? I don’t know!