Cree Family History Network

The search for your Cree, Crie, Crea, Cre, Crey and Chree origins

Originally posted on September 11, 2012 at 17:28 by  Trevor Cree.

    On the 17 January 1904, John Chree, hand loom weaver, single, aged 85 years, died of acute pneumonia at Back Close, Strathmiglo. (It will later become apparent that John Cree was not as old as 85 years and this mistake may have been because the informant was a neighbour and not a family member.) The Strathmiglo, Fife, location immediately rang a few bells since we already knew that one or two Cree/Crie families have been associated with that location in the distant past. John Chree's father was stated to be John Chree, hand loom weaver, deceased, and his mother was Catherine Chree (McKay), also deceased. A few years earlier, in 1896, a Christian Cree had also died in Strathmiglo, aged 75 years. Her death certificate described her as Christian Cree, pauper, formerly hand loom weaver and single. The informant on the death certificate was John Cree, brother, who was present at her death at Back Close, Strathmiglo. Her parents were stated to be John Cree, hand loom weaver, deceased, and Catherine Cree (McKay), deceased. It was therefore very clear that John Chree and Christian Cree were actually brother and sister, and also that neither had ever married. Clearly all very straightforward since neither would have present day descendants.

    However, as we know from previous examples, life is often not as straightforward as it seems. In the 1871 census John Cree, 48 years, hand loom linen weaver, is shown as the head of the household at Back Close, Strathmiglo. His sister Christian Cree, 50 years, housekeeper, is also present but of particular interest is that there is one other person present, namely James Cree, 13 years, who is recorded as the son of John Cree. The evidence that John Cree had a son was further supported by the 1891 census that recorded the same three individuals at Back Close, Strathmiglo, where James Cree, tailor, 31 years, was again described as the son of John Cree. On the 22 September 1893, James Cree, tailor, aged 35 years died at Back Close, Strathmiglo, Fife. The informant was John Cree, father, who was present at his death. Of particular interest is the fact that James Cree had actually been previously married to Catherine Lawson and his death certificate also stated that he was illegitimate, the son of John Cree, hand loom weaver, and Margaret Miller, linen yarn winder, deceased. Clearly what is important is that John Cree openly admitted his fatherhood and named the mother.

    Further research located the marriage certificate of James Cree and Catherine Lawson which took place on the 19 December 1877 in Auchtermuchty, Fife, a short distance from Strathmiglo. The marriage certificate confirmed that James Cree's father was indeed John Cree, weaver, and his mother was Margaret Miller, weaver. At present we have no information about whether or not James Cree and Catherine Lawson had children but by the 1881 census it would appear that James "Crea", tailor, 23 years, born in Strathmiglo, was lodging in Dennistoun, Glasgow, with William Reid and his family.

    Tracing the family line back to the 1851 census we now find Christian Cree, 30 years, and John Cree, 28 years, hand loom weaver, living at Main Street, Strathmiglo, with their father John Cree, 76 years, "fatuous pauper was a weaver", and sister, Isabella Cree, 33 years, hand loom weaver. Clearly the census enumerator was not impressed with the father, John Cree! Further back to the 1841 census we again find the family, including the mother, living at Stratho South Side Street, Strathmiglo. John Cree, 65 years, labourer, is the head of the household and his wife is confirmed as Catherine Cree, 55 years, linen hand loom weaver, with their children Isabel, Christian and John all linen hand loom weavers. Fortunately we have good information on the christenings of the children of John Cree and Catherine McKay in Strathmiglo, as follows:

    OPR No. 835. Ann Cree, John Cree and Catharine McKay, f.c., 22 August 1802, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    OPR No. 847. Helen Cree, John Cree and Catharine McKay, f.c., 11 November 1804, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    OPR No. 881. James Cree, John Cree and Catharine McKay. m.c., 7 November 1813, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    OPR No. 894. Betty Cree, John Cree and Catherine McKay, f.c., 17 September 1815, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    OPR No. 917. Isabel Miller Cree, John Cree and Catherine McKay, f.c., 1 February 1818, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    OPR No. 930. Christian Cree, John Cree and Catherine McKay, f.c., 19 March 1820, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    OPR No. 946. John Cree, John Cree and Catherine McKay, m.c., 12 January 1823, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    From the above we can clearly identify the christenings of Isabel Miller Cree, Christian Cree and John Cree. Betty Cree was still living in Strathmiglo in 1891 having married William Simpson. It would appear that James Cree died on the 21 May 1818 since the death record states that his father was John Cree. Further research has revealed another son, David Cree, who married Mary Philp who was herslf born in Abernethy. David Cree died on the 25 April 1863 in Freuchie, Fife, 56 years, pensioner, private in the 72nd Regiment, linen weaver, married to Mary Philp on the 19 July 1851. Mary Philp was the widow of Alexander Liddel, ploughman, with whom she had had two children, Janet and Christian. The David Cree death certificate states that his father was John Cree and his mother was Katherine McKay which confirms the family relationship although christening record has been found. David Cree's military service is confirmed by:

    David Cree, 72nd Foot Regiment.

    "David Cree, born in Strathmiglo, Fife, served in the 72nd Foot Regiment, service period 1824-1843, discharged age 36 years." (born approx: 1843 - 36 = 1807).

    The story of the Cree family of Strathmiglo, Fife, can almost certainly be traced back further in history because of the following marriage records:

    19 November 1713, David Cree, married Margaret Williamson, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    25 January 1746, Helen Cree, married George Smart, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    5 May 1754, Margaret Cree, married Gilbert Dron, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    3 July 1757, William Cree, married Mary Mories, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    30 December 1767, David Cree, married Bathia Forsaith, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    It is interesting to note that the christian name David seems to be a common factor in the family. When Helen Crie  married George Smart on the 25 January 1746 it stated "25 Janry 1746 George Smart, weaver, & Helen Crie daughter to the deceast David Crie both in this paroch Gave in pledge six lib: to the poor". We also have the following records indicating the dual use of the surname Cree and Crie:

    22 March 1719, Baptism of Walter Crie, son of David Crie, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    29 April 1722, Baptism of William Crie, son of David Crie, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    21 July 1728, Baptism of Ann Crie daughter of David Crie, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    26 December 1725, Baptism of Jannet Crie, daughter of David Crie, Strathmiglo, Fife.

    We know for sure that David Cree and Bathia/Betty Forsaith/Forsyth had at least two sons since Andrew Cree (pauper) died in 1856, age 89 years, and John Cree (pauper) died in 1859, age 87 years, both in Strathmiglo. Their father was described as David Cree, ploughman, deceased, and their mother as Betty Cree (Forsyth). The informant for both deaths was John Cree's son, John Cree.

    The question now relates to the origins of David Crie who married Margaret Williamson in Strathmiglo in 1713. However, that will have to wait for another day.

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Originally posted by Trevor Cree on September 14, 2012 at 9:26

The Cree Families of Strathmiglo (continued)

    The question now relates to the origins of David Crie who married Margaret Williamson in Strathmiglo in 1713. In 1699 a marriage took place in Perth between Patrick Crie and Janett Normand. The interesting fact about this marriage is that it would appear that Patrick Crie was originally from Strathmiglo. This fact could possibly make Patrick the father, uncle or possibly close relation of David Crie in Strathmiglo based on the marriage dates of Patrick (1669) and David Crie (1713).

    Cree Vol 2, No. 88. Patrick Crie & Janett Normand, H.M. 29 April 1699, Perth, Perth.

    "Att Perth the forth of May 1669 Compared Patrick Crie in this parish? and prod.....from the par... of Stramiglo...testimonial...."

    The original OPR record is quite difficult to read but it would appear that, compared to other marriage entries on the same page, a particular issue was made about Patrick Crie originating from Strathmiglo. In April 1670 Patrick Crie and Janet Normond had their first child christened in Perth named Patrick but we have no record of any further births to the couple.

    Unfortunately the first marriage records for Strathmiglo only commenced in 1702 and baptisms in 1719. We are therefore unlikely to be able to gain more information on Crie/Cree individuals in Strathmiglo prior to those dates unless it relates to some other historical sources. However based on the later Strathmiglo church records written down during the 1700s we might make the preliminary conclusion that David Crie and Margaret Williamson were the sole procreators of the later Strathmiglo Crie/Cree. It would also appear that their predominant trade was hand loom weaving, a profession that was in steady decline from the Guild Brethren of the 1600s until the 1800s when many of the Strathmiglo Cree were described as paupers.

Originally posted by Trevor Cree on September 19, 2012 at 16:25

    The Cree Families of Strathmiglo (continued)

    We have now located the 1801 OPR Aberdeen marriage record of John Crie and Catherine McKay.

    "Upon the Fifth day of June One Thousand Eight hundred and one. By the Rev. Mr Rob one of the Ministers of Aberdeen Were lawfully Married in the house of the Said Mr Rob in Aberdeen after due proclamation of Banns, John Crie Soldier in the 5th Regiment of North British Militia and Catherine McKay in Aberdeen, Daughter of James McKay, Chaise Driver there. In presence of these Witnesses Robert Adam and Alexander Anderson both Soldiers in Said Regiment."

    Clearly, shortly after their marriage, John Crie/Cree and his wife Catherine McKay went to live in Strathmiglo, Fife, the birthplace of John Cree.

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