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.



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!


The Enigma of Philip Crouse

Just for the record: Enigma – a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand

How can Philip Crouse, my 4X great grandfather be an enigma? He was born about 1761 and hailed from the province of Zeeland, Netherlands, in the southwestern portion of the country.

Zeeland, Netherlands
Source: Google Maps

Philip Crouse, a Loyalist, married Sarah Burt, daughter of Connecticut Loyalist Benjamin Burt, about 1790, and settled in Keswick, York, New Brunswick, Canada.

Philip lived a good long life, passing away on 21 February 1857 in Keswick. He and Sarah were the parents of about 17 children and have hundreds and hundreds of descendants.

So, back to the opening statement – why is he an enigma?

Well, I know virtually nothing about him that I can document before he arrived in Canada.

Here is the family lore:

1. Philip came to the United States as a young child (presumably with parents who have never been identified).

2. He supposedly arrived in Philadelphia and made his way south and settled in Lincoln County, North Carolina. It is said he lived near Beaverdam Creek, near what is today the town of Crouse (named for a later Crouse.)

3. He might have two brothers, John and Peter.

Well, that about sums it up. I haven’t found a single record in the United States that even hints of a relationship with my Philip.

Part of the problem is his age. Being born in 1761, he would have been only 22 when the American Revolution ended. With Tory tendencies, Philip certainly hasn’t been found on any militia lists or military-type records. He was unmarried, so even if taxed, would probably only show up as a male over 16.

Philip and Sarah appear to have named children after themselves and Sarah’s parents (Benjamin, who died in 1785 and Rebecca), so it seems reasonable to believe that two might be named for Philip’s mother and father.

In birth order, we have: Philip, Sarah, Rebecca, John, Darius, Elizabeth, Peter, Huldah, Gould, Thomas, Amy, Urial (known as Royal), Jonas, Richard, Mary, James, Benjamin and Mary again.

We can account for Philip, Sarah, Rebecca, and way down the child list Benjamin (Perhaps because Benjamin died before Sarah was even married, there wasn’t the pressure to name a child for him?)

The less common names of Darius, Huldah and Gould are names of Rebecca’s sibling.

The next three sons after Rebecca are John, Darius – an unusual given name – and Peter.

That still leaves quite a potential named-for-a-relative list with John, Elizabeth, Peter, Thomas, Amy, Urial, Jonas, Richard, Mary and James.  Near the beginning of that list come John and Peter, reportedly possible brothers’ names and tied to the Crouse family.

Looking at the 1790 census, I found a Peter Crouse in Lincoln County, North Carolina:

Lincoln County, North Carolina, 1790 Census
Source: Ancestry

Peter is either an older man with only two children left at home or a young man with a wife and two little boys. However, he is gone in 1800.

Instead, I find John “Corouze”, aged 26-44, in Lincoln County:

Lincoln County, North Carolina, 1800 Census

Having researched Lincoln County, North Carolina in the past, I’ve found evidence of Peter’s death and of John Crouse living there, but absolutely no clues pointing to Philip.

What would certainly help with this mystery would be to know some of Philip’s FAN club. However, few clues are found in that arena. Although he was Dutch, he married a colonial English young lady.

Exactly how Philip got to Canada and when he arrived isn’t known either. He doesn’t surface in records until 1789, when a land petition was denied. Philip Crouse, along with reputed North Carolinians Philip Henry, Christian Knai (Nigh), Jacob Knai and Jacob Ham were co-signers together asking for land. The only Loyalist Philip Henry I can find is a man who served under Col. John Butler, who was from New York. As for the Knais, the only mention of them to be found is in the land petitions.  The Ham/m family appears to have been centered around Rowan County, North Carolina, so it is unlikely that Philip Crouse would have known him during his life there. So, while his co-petitioners are of German or Dutch background, with the exception of Philip Henry, they don’t seem to have been neighbors in North Carolina.

To add the cherry on top of this mess of a sundae, Crouse is not a typically Dutch name, at least not with that spelling. It occasionally appears in Dutch records as Kroeze or Kroes, Kruijsse or more commonly as Krause.

Viewing the limited hits on FamilySearch, there are no John, Philip or Peter Krause, by any spelling, born in the time period before the Revolutionary War.

Given that Zeeland borders Belgium, which in turn shares a border with Germany, is it possible that Philip’s family migrated from Germany through Belgium or even from Germany directly through the Netherlands to the coast? I don’t know.

So. . . . . . . . is Philip Crouse to remain my enigma or am I missing a research avenue? I’d love suggestions.