Cree Family History Network

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

Northern Ireland Cree birth, marriage and death datasets now on-line

During my visit to Ireland last month I managed to copy all the Cree entries from the birth and marriage indexes at  the General Register Office, Belfast (GRONI), which took me almost two full 6-hour days. I have now typed these into spreadsheets which I have uploaded to the Datasets section of the Cree Surname web site at http://www.cree.name/indexes/ire.htm alongside the Cree marriages which I extracted last year. This will hopefully give a further boost to the construction of family trees which Trevor Cee, Adam Trevor Cree, Leonard Cree and others are actively engaged in at the moment. It was good to meet both Leonard and Adam while I was in Ireland, We had some good discussions and both agreed to take the Genealogy DNA test to see if we can link their Northern Ireland ancestry to other lines, whether in County Down, the USA or Scotland. We all await the results with interest.

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Comment by Mike Spathaky on October 21, 2013 at 16:58

I agree with Trevor that it is still reasonable to assume, as a working hypothesis, that William Cree (Cree ID #9456) and John Cree (Cree ID# 9706), both of Lisburn, were brothers. William was the great-great-grandafther of Cree FH Network member Leonard Cree while John was the grandfather of Thompson Cree who died in 1960 leaving three married daughters.

The problem I now have is that there were three more Cree males who were born in the same period and have associations with Lisburn. So now we have five male Crees:

  • William Cree born c 1819 who was a weaver in Lambeg, Lisburn;
  • John Cree born c1823, a coachman and later a cab driver in Lisburn;
  • James, born c1806, a grocer and later a muslin manufacturer in Lisburn;
  • John Cree b. c1815 who died in 1869 in Lisburn;
  • Alexander Cree Cree b.perhaps around 1815 who lived in Legacurry, near Lisburn and whose fourth daughter Rachel Cree married in 1873 (although Alexander had died by then).


We know that the father of the second of these Crees was William Cree (Cree ID 9705) who must have been born around 1780. But he cannot have been the father of all five of them because two are called John. However we do have another male Cree who could be the father of some of them. He is another John Cree who died in Lisburn in 1865 aged 87. So he was born in 1777 or 1778.

Going another generation back we have a possible grandfather of the five Crees. He is the William Cree whom Leonard Cree discovered as the first entry in the Lisburn 1st Presbyterian Church register. The entry was dated 1768. But was this a baptism, a marriage or a burial - or some other event that William Cree was involved in? That would be veryu useful to know.

We now need to find further records of all these Crees so we can work out the relationships between them. The records I have been using are as follows:

Cree Birth. Marriage and Death Indexes at http://www.cree.name/indexes/ire.htm
Ireland Census records for 1901 and 1911 at http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/
Ros Davies' Surnames of Co. Down web pages at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~rosdavies/SURNAME...

The Cree ID numbers referred to above are the reference numbers of the Cree Genealogy Database at http://www.cree.name/genealogies/index.html. Enter a person's Cree ID in the Quicksearch box on that page to see the information we have so far on that person.

Members of this Cree Family History Network who live in Ireland may have access to records which Trevor and I cannot easily get to from over here in England, such as church records. Together it should be possible to construct a complete family tree of the Lisburn Crees.

Comment by Trevor Cree on October 18, 2013 at 20:32

Correction to Previous Analysis.

When John Cree married Susannah Douglas in 1848 I read the parish as Magheragall, which is close to Lisburn. However when I looked at my copy of the original marriage certificate I see that his residence at the time of marriage was actually "Mountalto, Parish of Magheradroll. It is now clear that John Cree was actually a coachman at Montalto House which is situated adjacent to Ballynahinch. Details of Montalto House can be found on the following links: 

http://www.montaltoestate.com/about.aspx

http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/yourplaceandmine/down/bhinch_m...

We know that John Cree and his wife Susannah had a son Alexander Cree born in 1864 in Castle Street, Lisburn. This is the same street as shown in the photograph of James Cree submitted by Leonard Cree. The question is now "Did James Cree live in Castle Street, Lisburn, and if so do we have any record of other Cree individuals living in the street at an earlier time, hopefully in the 1800's".

In the 1901 census the Cree families in Lisburn are recorded as living in Millbrook Road (Thompson Cree) and Wesley Street (William Cree), Lisburn, but not in Castle Street. It is interesting to note that Thompson Cree (son of John Cree & Susannah Douglas) states that he was born in County Antrim whilst William Cree gives his birthplace as County Down and Lisburn is not in County Down. To confuse matters in the 1911 census William Cree states that he was born in County Antrim. No Cree were recorded in Castle Street, Lisburn, in the 1911 census.

This does seem to weaken the Castle Street connection between the family of John Cree and Susannah Douglas and the Lisburn Weavers line. However, since John Cree settled in Lisburn it could be that Lisburn was his home town before he took up the post of coachman at Montalto House, Ballynahinch. Until we can find new evidence of a definite I think we will have to put things on hold. 

Comment by LEONARD CREE on October 18, 2013 at 0:06

Sorry I did not see any email about this.i am only seeing this now .give me over the week end and i will take it to my ant who will know who thy are for sure.it all looks good i am happy with it.good work thank you.

Comment by Trevor Cree on October 16, 2013 at 17:28

Lisburn Cree Research 16th October 2013

Today I was looking through my 1997 Scotland visit notes when I came across a Glasgow Poor Law record.

1. Poor Law Record

D-HEW 10/4/93 page 140. Davies Cree

Application: 8th October 1896

Davies Cree, 39 Watson Street Home.

Place of Birth: Lisburn, County Antrim, Ireland.

Condition: Single

Age: 30 years (b circa 1866)

Occupation: Labourer

Parents: John Cree, a cab driver in Lisburn, and Susan Douglas, dead.

He left Ireland 8 years ago. Then Liverpool, then Coatbridge, then Ireland, then Whiteinch, then Knackerty, then Inverness, then Ireland and unsettled since. 

Died: 18 April 1897.

I undertook a search for the 1897 death certificate of a Davies Cree in Scotland without success. However I did find the correct death certificate under David Cree, which was probably his real name.

2. Death Certificate of David Cree, 1897, St Rollux, Glasgow.

David Cree. Pauper formerly a labourer. Single. Died 18th April 1897 at City Poorhouse, Glasgow. 30 years of age. Parents: John Cree, cab driver & Susan Cree (Douglas) (deceased). He died of phthisis: a progressively wasting or consumptive condition, especially pulmonary tuberculosis, which had been reported for 7 months.

3. Marriage Certificate of John Cree & Susanna Douglas. (1848)

The above David Cree's mother and father married in Ballynahinch, Downpatrick, on the 7th April 1848, Church of Ireland, by licence.

7th April 1848. John Cree, 24 years (b circa 1824), bachelor, coachman, residence: Magheragall. Father: William Cree (deceased), farmer.

Susanna Douglas, full age, spinster. Father: John Douglas, farmer. Witnesses: John Barnes & John Bailey.

Since Ballynahinch is some distance from Lisburn it is assumed that this was the brides residence since John Cree's residence is given as Magheragall, close to Lisburn. 

4. Birth of Alexander Cree, son of John Cree & Susannah Douglas, Castle Street, Lisburn. 23rd July 1864.

We have the birth certificate of Alexander Cree, son of John Cree, coachman, and Susannah Douglas in 1864, at Castle Street, Lisburn. Unfortunately birth registrations did not commence until 1864 and since John and Susannah married in 1848 it is highly likely that there were a number of births to them between 1848 and 1864, some who will have survived, including the David Cree who died in Glasgow. No other births to John and Susannah Cree are recorded after 1864. We know that Susannah Cree (Douglas) had died by 1897 and no record is found of her husband John in the 1901 census, and so it is assumed that he had also died by that date.

Fortunately we can locate some of the children of John Cree & Susannah Douglas by their marriage records and coachman clue.

23rd October 1872. George Hinds, Full age, bachelor, flax dresser. Father: Thomas Hind, weaver.

Agnes Cree, Minor, spinster, Residence: Lisburn, Father: John Cree, coachman.

11th July 1888. Thompson Cree, 23 years (b. circa 1865), bachelor, labourer, Lisnagarvey, Lisburn. Father: John Cree, coachman.

Wilhelmina Taylor, 22 years, spinster, weaver. 12 Shiels Street, Belfast. Father: Johnston Taylor. Church of Ireland.

5. Castle Street, Lisburn.

On the 14th May 2013 I wrote to Leonard (Cree) to make the following possible connection between his photo of James Cree in Castle Street and John Cree and Susannah Douglas.

"The location of Castle Street, Lisburn, is interesting because in the 1861/62 Griffiths Valuation a John Cree is recorded in Castle Street, whilst in the 1863 by-election a John Cree of Castle Street voted for Mr Verner, presumably the same man. On the 23 July 1864 Alexander Cree was born at Castle Street, son of John Cree and Susannah Douglas."

6. Branch 23b: The Lisburn weavers line.

We know from the 1848 marriage certificate of John Cree and Susannah Douglas that John reported his age to be 24 years (b. circa 1824) and that his father was named William Cree, farmer. The current head of Branch 23b is William Cree, weaver, born in about 1819/1820. Due to the rarity of the name Cree in Lisburn and the dates of birth (1819/20 & 1824) this William Cree could well be the brother of the John Cree who married Susannah Douglas, and their father could be William Cree, farmer.

7. Inclusion of family of John Cree and Susannah Douglas in Branch 23b: The Lisburn Weavers line.

Based on the above evidence, particularly the Castle Street connection with Leonard Cree, it might be possible to include the descendants of John Cree and Susannah Douglas in Branch 23b and commence the tree with William Cree, farmer, the potential father of William Cree (Cree.name No 9456) and the John Cree who married Susannah Douglas (A note could be included to state the hypothetical basis for the link). 

We know that John and Susannah had three known children, Agnes Cree who married in 1872, Thompson Cree who married in 1888 and David Cree who died in Glasgow in 1897. Thompson Cree is located in the 1901 census at 61 Millbrook Road, Lisburn. He is also recorded in the 1911 census at 30 Tullynacross Lower, Drumbeg, with his family. There are therefore likely to be Cree descendants of this line.

8. Possible connection between Branch 23a: The Lisburn Grocers Line and Branch 23b: The Lisburn Weavers Line.

The Lisburn Grocers Line commences with James Cree who was probably born about 1800. Again, since the name Cree is rare in Lisburn he could well have been the brother of William Cree, farmer, above, the proposed head of Branch 23b. This is clearly hypothetical but it is worth considering.

Comment by Trevor Cree on June 10, 2013 at 8:25

Excellent work Mike. Hopefully it should now be possible for any Ulster Cree to create comprehensive family trees up until the present day.

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