Cree Family History Network

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I have lived in "Tusculum" at North Berwick for the past fifteen years and only now am I trying to write a history of the building.

  The building was founded by James Cree (wine merchant) in 1858 and was then taken over by his son James Edward Cree (a rancher and atiquarian) and finally by his daughter Irene Cree.

This line of the family stems from William Cree (born 1791) and Margaret Low (born 1790)

If anybody has information that would fill in the story of "Tusculum" I would be most grateful to receive it. Here is a picture of the house dated 1867.

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Hello Hugh and Welcome to the Cree Family History Network!

It is great that we have the present occupant of Tusculum on the Cree Network, as it is a house that is intimately connected with Cree family history. You should contact Lynda Robertson of this Network as she is very interested in the particular Cree family who lived there. The late Charles Cree of Austin, Texas, a grandson of the rancher James Edward Cree, was a great supporter of Cree family history and the USA representative of the Cree FHS when that organisation was in its heyday. He still owned some of the original family ranch land in New Mexico and even in recent years would visit it every year. For the genealogy please go to http://www.cree.name/person.htm?id=2695 and explore the Cree Genealogy Database by clicking on links (gold text) and on gold family tree icons just below each person's name in blue at the head of their "person details."

Some of his stories appear in the back issues of Cree News on the Cree One-Name Study website www.cree.name. For example http://www.cree.name/news/cnpage.htm?pic=111 .

If you haven't already found it, you should read the full history of that line by the late Brigadier G H Cree in www.cree.name/archives/FifeandDevon.pdf where Tusculum is also mentioned.

You will no doubt have heard of the excavation of the Traprain hoard and a Goggle search on "Cree Traprain" turns up numerous articles on the excavations detailing the role which James Cree played in them. I believe it is one of the most significant archaelogical sites in Scotland.

I look forward to your further contributions.

Best Wishes,

Mike SpathakyCree One-Name Study

Hello  Mike,

thanks for your prompt reply and warm welcome to the site.

I'll follow up the leads you supplied and incorporate them in the "Tusculum" story.

Regards

Hugh

I note that in the update for the Irene M.N.Cree it is suggested that G.H.Cree may have been in error in ascribing "Tusculum " to the younger James Cree. Happily everyone is correct!

James Cree built Tusculum in 1858 and the building is correctly shown in the painting dated 1867. However, in 1902 James Edward Cree returned from New Mexico and built a massive 26room extension on to the 10 room original building.

I will have more exact details when I hear from the Lands Registry. Meanwhile, here is a picture of "Tusculum as it is today. The left -hand side of the building (with reference to the entrance path) is original the right hand side is the extension

 

Hugh,

I have now looked in more detail at the 1867 painting of Tusculum and I believe the signature is E H Cree. This means it was painted by naval surgeon Edward Hodges Cree, who was a second cousin of James Cree. See his biography on page 39 of the Cree Families of Fife and Devon. (Download at http://www.cree.name/archives/fifeanddevon.htm.) Here Brigadier G H Cree wrote:

Some time in 1866 or later... Edward was going for a stay with James Cree in Edinburgh. No sketches
from that visit have survived.

No sketches maybe, but a painting yes!

On p 24 G H Cree (whom I helped to finish and publish the Fife and Devon booklet in 1990) recalls that he stayed with Irene Cree at Tusculum in 1969. It is neat that Hilary's (GH Cree's) grandfather Edward had clearly stayed there with Irene's grandfather James 102 years earlier.

A point of interest is that no Cree ever appeared at North Berwick in the Census as far as I can ascertain. The most recent we have access to of course is 1911. But in 1861, 1871 and 1881 the family were still living in South Leith.

Best Wishes, Mike Spathaky

Cree One-Name Study www.cree.name

Hi Mike

I agree that the painting is most probably by Dr E.H.Cree who had a reputation as an accomplished watercolourist.

It is fascinating to hear that around 1866 he went to stay with James Cree which of course ties in with the date on the painting. There is some speculation that the people in the foreground are family members but that's a hard one to verify.

Thanks  for the feedback...all excellent stuff !

Best regards

Hugh

My latest problem is trying to compose a timeline for Irene Mabel Napier Cree.

From a Census return,we have her living in Crieff with the Arklie family in 1901 aged 7 and then moving on to be educated at Queen Ethelburga's in Harrogate. The problem is that the school was founded in 1912 when Irene Cree would have been aged 19 so that doesnt tie in at all. Any clues?

I believe that I may have located some new information on Ancestry about Irene Mabel Napier Cree. The records show that she arrived in Liverpool on the 10th October 1896 on board the Scythia from Boston. Her age is given as 24 years but this is clearly a mistake since she was travelling with a nurse and described as a child. The other related passengers were:

(i) Agnes Paxton Cree, 63 years, Lady

(ii) James Edward Cree, 32 years, 

(iii) Eliza Mabel Cree, ? years, Wife

(iv) Helen Ross, 32 years, Nurse,

(v) Irene M N Cree, ? years, Child

(vi) James Fleming Cree, 1 year, Infant

Agnes Paxton Cree (Cree No 2612) was clearly the wife of James Cree (Cree No 2611), the father of James Edward Cree (Cree No 2689).

In the 1851 and 1861 census James Cree (Cree No 2611) gives his birthplace as Dysart, Fifeshire, and in the 1881 census he gives his birthplace as Sinclairtown, Fife.

Thanks Trevor  for the additional informatiom. I have Irene Cree's date of birth as 1894 so she would have been aged about 2 years on that voyage having been born in New Mexico. "Tusculum" would have been established for about 36years at that point.

She did however cross the Atlantic to New York on 28th April 1924 on board the Franconia which left Southampton on 19th April 1924. She would have been 30 years old at that point.

There may have been other voyages in-between

Hi Trevor....to tidy up some points of detail.

At the time of the voyage , Eliza would have been 24.

There is really no conflict in the two census results as Dysart is the main town and Sinclairtown is a smaller village a short distance inland. I suspect that Dysart would be the district where registration took place

Hi Hugh

I have am carrying out some research into the Flemings, Napiers, and other lines of my family tree. As for Eliza  she was the youngest daughter of the marriage of George Napier of Dales and Grace Maxton.

She married James Boyd Fleming on 24 Feb 1856 in Edinburgh, and had at least four children, George Napier Fleming born in Secunderabad, Madras, India on 27 May 1861,  who sadly died there on 23 Jun 1862 and was buried there the next day, Grace Fleming born in Secunderabad, Madras, India on 27 Apr 1863, Anna Fleming born in Burntisland, Fife on 13 Jul 1865, and Eliza Mabel Fleming, born on 8 Feb 1872 in Edinburgh.

My godfather is the son of Norna, Irene's sister and I may be able to find out more if you want, I can ask if he has any further information for you.

Regards

James



Trevor Cree said:

I believe that I may have located some new information on Ancestry about Irene Mabel Napier Cree. The records show that she arrived in Liverpool on the 10th October 1896 on board the Scythia from Boston. Her age is given as 24 years but this is clearly a mistake since she was travelling with a nurse and described as a child. The other related passengers were:

(i) Agnes Paxton Cree, 63 years, Lady

(ii) James Edward Cree, 32 years, 

(iii) Eliza Mabel Cree, ? years, Wife

(iv) Helen Ross, 32 years, Nurse,

(v) Irene M N Cree, ? years, Child

(vi) James Fleming Cree, 1 year, Infant

Agnes Paxton Cree (Cree No 2612) was clearly the wife of James Cree (Cree No 2611), the father of James Edward Cree (Cree No 2689).

In the 1851 and 1861 census James Cree (Cree No 2611) gives his birthplace as Dysart, Fifeshire, and in the 1881 census he gives his birthplace as Sinclairtown, Fife.

I am interested in James Fleming Cree named in the above post and can, maybe, add some further information about him.

His name appears on the War Memorial of Northaw Place School, formerly in the village of Northaw in Hertfordshire and now in Hampshire, although known as Norman Court School these days. I know that he was born in 1895, on either 3rd March or 28th March (I'm not quite sure why there is a discrepancy except that as he was born in Galveston, Texas, records are not readily available in England.)  

I know, too that his parents were James Edward Cree and Eliza Mabel née Fleming.  After attending Northaw Place (for I know not how long since all records have been lost) he went to Haileybury also in Hertfordshire but was only there for one term in 1909.  

In the 1911 census he is listed as a student at Tingewick Rectory in Buckinghamshire but it looks to have been quite a small establishment.  His brother(?) Gerald Edward Cree as a pupil at Northaw Place in 1915.  

He enlisted as a Private in the King's Own Scottish Borderers in December 1916 and then was discharged from that regiment in January 1918 upon taking up a commission in the Northumberland Fusiliers.  

He was killed in action on 3rd September 1918 and is buried in Sailly-Labourse Communal Cemetery.  Can anyone shed any further light on him?  I am Chairman of the former pupils' association of the school, hence my interest.

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