I have spent some time over the last week or so looking at the family of James Cree, weaver from Lisburn, County Antrim since Theresa Black, a descendant. emailed me. It turns out that two brothers John and Thomas Cree, both joined the Royal Marines in Lisburn, though at different times, and both ended up in Devon. John, the older by about seven years, was Theresa's great-great-gradfather. He joined up in 1847 and after 21 years service settled in Devon. By then he had married Susan Denslow in 1861 and they had six children. Of these, William Cree passed the surname to his children but it seems it may have died out after that.
I had a faint memory of a Cree of Lisburn being a prison warder at Dartmoor in the 1881 Census. After some searching I found Angela Cree's transcription of the entry in the old Cree Census project (from 1994 before all these things were on-line). This turns out to be John's younger brother Thomas Cree who was in the Marines from 1856 to 1876. Clearly Thomas had joined the prison service after leaving the Marines. He married Wilmot Seddon in 1866 and they had twelve children! With six boys I would be surprised if there were no Cree descendants today.
Theresa was unaware of Thomas Cree's existence. However she has provided valuable information about John's branch while Trevor has been looking into the Irish ancestry. We are hopeful that the Lisburn branch can be linked to one of the nearby County Down Cree lines as there is is no evidence of Crees in Lisburn much earlier.
While Trevor and Theresa have done most of the research, I have been trying to keep up with updating the Cree Surname web site. Start with James Cree of Lisburn, the father of John and Thomas, at
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