The Spratt = Cruse Family History Website


Research on the Cruse side of the Family Tree -

Somerville / Somerwill / Sumerwill / Upham / Norman / Bowers / Marshall

There are many variants of the Somerwill surname; in our family the name originates from Devon in the northern parishes of Charles and High Bray but the family descendants migrated via Newton Tracy and Tawstock to Thorverton, Raddon Hamlet, and then further south to the city of Exeter.  We have a little difficulty with this line which goes back to the 1400s because there were several John Somerwill marriages to Mary, and without knowing which Mary we are reluctant to accept a particular line.

However, at present the line takes us back to John Somerwill who was baptised in High Bray, Devon, on 13th June 1726.  He married a Mary, but is so often the case we do not know her family name, and they had a son, another John Somerwill, born in Newton Tracy on 27th February 1763.  Newton Tracy is a small north Devon parish and is possibly the home parish of Mary, as her children were all born there and she was buried there on 14th November 1764 when her son John was only eighteen months old. 


After that the family moved to Tawstock where son John married Susanna Upham on 18th December 1773.  John and Susannah had eleven children survive into adulthood, and it is from their third son George who married Frances Norman in Exeter in 1820 that Eileen Cruse is descended. 


When George Somerwill arrived in Exeter he was a Basket Maker  and lived in Fore Street, this is probably where he met his wife Frances. They had twelve children,  including John Upham Somerwill who later still moved to London and the name changed to Somerville, possibly because that was what was heard in a broad Devon accent. 


George Somerwill's brother John was also shown in the 1851 Census as a wheelwright living in Bartholomew Street, Exeter.  Further research into these families is required, particularly into Trade Directories which may give more details of the family businesses.

These are the earliest Somerwill ancestors.  We have no more details for Susanna Upham, Mary Marshall, or William Bowers, but we have the details of more than thirty descendants of Lawrence Norman born circa 1700, probably in Thorverton, a village about six miles  north of Exeter, Devon.






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