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Theophilus Crusse

This compilation was done by: Kurt Cook
(Great-Great-Grandson) 336 I Street #A
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
Phone: 801-366-5240

© 1999 - 2013 ľKurt Cook

Part One: Word of Mouth

According to oral family history, passed down through the grandchildren of Rev. Theophilus Crusse, Theophilus was born on July 23, 1823 in Germany to the family of a catholic Baron. (The family name was supposedly Von Crussen.) Theophilus entered the Catholic priesthood, but after some undetermined time, left and married. His father, being of sufficient authority, had the marriage annulled and sent Theophilus to America, where he became a Lutheran minister and also taught german in school.

At some point in the oral story, Theophilus married Christina Reiniger and had 7 children: Theodore, Herman, Louis, Mathilda, Pauline, Lydia, and Marie (also known as Mary). Of these children only Theodore, Louis, Mathilda, Pauline, and Lydia are known to have married and have had children of their own. The children of Theodore, Pauline, Louis, and Lydia all heard the above story in remarkably the same version. Contact has been lost with Mathilda's children, so it is not known what, if anything, they had been told about their ancestor. Marie was known to have married, but it isn't known whether or not she had any children.

Margaret Elizabeth Crusse Chrisman, a daughter of Theodore, had made an attempt at keeping genealogical notes about 15 years prior to her death. In these notes she had written next to Theophilus' name "1823- Sept 9, 1883 60 yrs-1 mo-9 days". Next to Christina's name was written "1843- Oct 30, 1893 50 yrs-6 mo-29 days". In 1975, when asked about these papers, she could not remember from where or from whom she had received this information. The dates, and accompanying ages give the impression of coming from either headstones or county death registers, though the county death registers would probably have clearly stated the entire date of birth. In these notes Margaret also listed all of her grandchildren, so it is possible, by looking at the birthdates of the grandchildren she did list, versus the dates of the next born grandchild not listed, to figure that this genealogical attempt was made sometime between 1965-1967.

From the recollections of Margaret's sister, Marie Margaret Crusse Richard, (in the period from 1985-1988), Marie remembered that their aunt, Pauline Crusse Stamm (Theophilus' daughter) made a visit to the Aurora/Lawrenceburg Indiana area in the early to mid 1960's. (Margaret lived in Aurora and Marie lived in Lawrenceburg, both towns are in Dearborn County.) It seems very probable that Margaret got these dates from her Aunt Pauline either at the time of the visit, or through later correspondence. Neither Margaret, Marie, or any of the children of Louis Crusie, Lydia Crussen Drout or Pauline Crusse Stamm claimed to know where their grandparents had died or were buried.

Another interesting facet of the "Crusse Legend" is Theophilus' son, Herman. In Margaret's genealogical notes, she has him listed as "Herman Crussen (Capt) went back to Germany to claim estate, not heard from since." (no dates or other references as to when this inheritance claiming trip took place.) Marie remembered "Uncle Herman coming around to ask my father (Theophilus' eldest son Theodore) for some money to help with the passage fare for the trip back to Germany." Marie was unsure how old she was when this happened, but she was born in 1898 and her father died in 1913, so it was sometime in this timespan.

In the Chrisman notes on the Crusse family, one other child appears, Mary (also known as Marie) Crussen. The Chrisman notes indicate that Mary married Charles Brown and that they did not have any children. No other information on Mary is contained in these notes, nor did the children of Lydia Crussen Drout or Pauline Crusse Stamm recall ever hearing about her.

The grandchildren of Theophilus Crusse who have perpetuated the oral story in the above paragraphs are Margaret Crusse Chrisman, Lydia Crusse Edwards, Kathryn Drout Herbert, Marie Crusse Richard, Frances Crusse Shehane, Jack Stamm and Buelah Drout Wray. All are deceased.

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