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There are three known centres to which early members of the family migrated, Michigan (from Manchester) Utah (from Birmingham) and New York (from London). Descendants of the initial settlers are now to be found in a number of locations across the country.

Salt Lake City, Utah

As with other members of the family who migrated away from Buckinghamshire, arrival in Utah was via another initial destination. Frederick Crowton was born in Cuddington in 1837 to Joseph (b.Cuddington, 1814) and Alice. Joseph moved with his family to the Birmingham area (Often called the Midlands in the UK.) in the late 1830s. Frederick married Amelia Brindle in Birmingham on 7th June 1857. The following year, a daughter, Amelia Julia was born, sadly Amelia died soon afterwards. On 4th October 1858 Frederick married Sarah Ann Hall at St. George's Parish Church, Birmingham. To this couple were born fourteen children, three in England before emigrating in 1863, four in Utah, three in St.Louis and four more upon their return to Utah.

Frederick and his family sailed from London on board the ship Amazon, on the 4th June 1863 and arrived in New York 44 days later on 18th July. The American ship Amazon was a famous packet of some 1,771 tons. her fame was added to by a visit by Charles Dickens and other prominent individuals to see what a Morman emigrant ship was like before she sailed from London.

When Frederick and Sarah arrived in Utah they settled originally in Woods Green, a suburb of Salt Lake City. Soon after arriving Frederick had an argument with Brigham Young over a cow. The outcome was that they decided to go back to England. They got as far as St.Louis, Missouri where they stayed for a few years as they had run out of money.

1870 Census - St. Louis, Missouri

Fred Crowton 32 Esquire b. England
Sarah 32   b. England
Celia 11   b.England
Fred 9   b.England
Silas 19   b.England
Sarah 6    
Richard 4    
Frank 3    
Alice 1    
Ann Hall 69   b.England


They then turned aroun d and headed for California. they stopped in Salt Lake enroute and decided to stay. Frederick lived in Salt Lake City for the rest of his life.

1880 Census - Salt Lake City, Utah

Frederick Crowton Head 43 Engineer b.England
Sarah Wife 43 Keeping House b.England
Salina Dau 21 At home b.Canada
Frederick Son 19 Labourer b.England
Cyrus Son 18 Labourer b.England
Richard Son 15   b.Utah
Franklin Son 12   b.Utah
William Son 10   b.Utah
Charles Son 5   b.Utah
Ernest Son 4   b.Utah
Nellie Dau 6mths   b.Utah

1880 Census - Escalante, Iron, Utah

Henry White Head 41 Sawyer b.South Africa
Susannah Wife 24 Keeping House b.South Africa
Robert Crowton Boarder 17 Labourer b.England

1900 Census- Salt Lake City, Utah

Frederick Crowton Head 63 Plumber b.England
Sarah Wife 62   b.England
Frederick Son 39 Miner b.England
Ernest Son 22 Tinner b.Utah

1900 Census - Salt Lake City, Utah

Robert Crowton Head 68 Day Labourer b.England
Mary Wife 35   b.England
William Son 19 Teamster b.England
George Son 11 At School b.Utah
Ernest Son 8   b.Utah
Violet Dau 5   b.Utah

Is Robert's age correct, should it be 38 years?

Immigration year is given as 1887.

When he died on 19th December 1934, he was hailed as the oldest inhabitant at 101 years. An orbituary in the local newspaper stated,

He never considered himself to be an old man, and seldom talked about his younger days in England, as he considered such reminiscing " a sign of infirmity".

A steam and electrical engineer by profession, he retired 20 years ago, but in his case retirement did not mean spending his time bundled up in bed or in a wheel chair. At the age of 100 years he found his recreation in sawing wood, a pastime often considered too strenuous by much younger men of less hardy disposition. Mr Crowton was a building engineer 55 years ago for the old Walker House and Continental Hotel, installing an hydraulic lift, said to have been the first elevator seen in Utah. He also installed the first gas lighting plant seen in Utah providing lights that could be turned on in any room and put in the hoist and rigs when the Bingham mines were being equiped for machine operation.

Having seen the world pass through a multitude of critical periods, Mr Crowton refused to consider the present depression anything but "talk" and was positive that in a few years time it would be viewed as nothing but an incident. Worlf peace was seen by the centenarian in the same light, "Everything will come out alright, it always has." was his philosphy.

At his death, 10 children, 22 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 8 great great grandchildren survived him. He left a great heritage to all of his family. The majority of his descendants still live in Utah and California.

Upon the death of Joseph Crowton (b.Cuddington, 1814) in 1872, his wife, Alice decided to emigrate to the United States. She left on board the Minnesota, a steamship of 1869 tons, on 4th September 1872, arriving in New York on 17th September. She lived with Frederick in Salt Lake City for a time until she married George Clisshold in 1876. She died in 1885 and was buried in Salt Lake City Cemetary.

The next member of the Crowton family to migrate to the United States was Alice Crowton. She had married William Fidkin in West Bromwich in 1871. Alice was the youngest living daughter of Joseph and Alice. Alice, her husband and two small children, Leah Rebecca and William left England on the 10th June 1874 on board the Nevada from Liverpool, arriving in New York on the 21st June. Alice and her family settled in the Salt Lake City area.

William was a cabinet maker and builder, and built their first home on West 1st South. In October 1891 William Jr died of peritonitus just six months after a tiny adopted daughter, Ella, was buried. In 1892 Leah married George Ashton, leaving Alice and William alone. In 1917 Alice died, having suffered ill health for a number of years. She left one daughter, eight grandchildren and a bereaved husband. Willaim maintained the English traditions of roast with Yorkshire pudding for Sunday dinner, fish on Friday, and buttermilk for all the family.

Alice was a woman who knew how to dress and loved things in proper order, she was always frugal and hard working. She learned these virtues when working in the Brussels Carpet Factory in Birmingham, where she worked from the age of seven until her marriage. Once in the united States she worked hard to assist her married brother and sister (Robert and Harriet) to emigrate. She now has numerous descendants, one of whom is Paul Hanks. It was the desire of Alice's daughter Leah, that the family be connected, that has led to Paul's interest in the Crowton family.

Robert Crowton (b.Cuddington, 1835) and son of Joseph (b.Cuddington, 1814) moved intially with the family to Birmingham, where he married Ann Marie Allport on the 19th May, 1855. He was converted to the Latter Day Saint faith in 1857. During the course of the next 26 years, Robert and Ann had fifteen children, three of whom died in infancy. Joseph Hyrum (b.1857) and Thomas (b.1874) died as young men. His wife Ann died in 1887. On 21st August 1887, in Birmingham, Robert married Mary Ann Steadman, a young friend of one of his daughters. Shortly afterwards they emigrated to the United States. Most of the older children, except Heber (b.Birmingham, 1869), who remained in England and is an ancestor of Kathleen Hancox (nee Crowton).

Robert Crowton (b. Cuddington, 1835)

Robert Crowton and family c.1913

Rose Ellen, George, Robert, Violet, Mary Ann (nee Steadman), Ernest and Burt


Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City

Paul Hanks and family, Salt Lake City, 1989

Detroit, Michigan

Abraham (b.Cuddington, 1820) and Amos Crowton (b.Cuddington, 1824) had initially moved from rural Buckinghamshire to the mill towns (Stalybridge, Dukinfield, Padfield etc) south east of Manchester. There was at the time a strong demand for labour in the booming cotton industry and the promise of employment, housing and a better lifestyle. The American Civil War resulted in a much reduced supply of raw cotton and a depression in the industry. Mills closed or went to part time working. For many families life became extremely difficult.

Abraham and Joseph must have been very close. They both relocated to work in the cotton mills, they both married at Manchester Cathedral and they both decided to move with their families to the U.S.A.

Amos Crowton and family, Detroit, 1866

Anne(b.1846), Jane(b.1852), George(b.1861), Amos, Thomas(b.1858), Jesse(b.1855) and Ellen (nee Jolley)

The 1870 Census shows him to be living Hamtramck, near Detroit, as do the probate records for Wayne County for 1875, when he died. Hannah Crowton from Glossop, who I met in 1985, said that there is a family tradition that one member of the family in the U.S.A. froze to death in a snowstorn whilst out delivering milk, possibly this was Abraham. His widow, Emma, died in Detroit in 1898, they had no children.

1900 U.S.A. Census Returns

Oakland County, Michigan

George Croton Head b. January 1861 England
Jesse Son b. July 1886 Michigan
Clarence Son b. April 1889 Michigan
Lawrence Son b. November 1891 Michigan

No wife is shown as being at home on Census day but it is quite possible that she was an inmate of the Eastern Michigan Mental Asylum:-

Mary Croton b. June 1863 England

Also listed in Oakland County:-

Thomas Croton Head b. September 1858 England
Menniah Wife b. October 1864 Michigan
Charles A. Son b. September 1890 Michigan
May Daughter b. July 1892 Michigan
Fred Son b. July 1895 Michigan

When Amos died in Detroit on 5th August 1894, he had an estate valued at $30,000. This was a good sum of money for someone of a poor agricultural labouring background and the cotton mills. he must have worked hard in the U.S.A., acquired land and became a farmer. His wife, Ellen, died on 29th June 1898. She was living with her youngest daughter, Emma, when she wrote her will, dated 17th November 1896. She is buried in the Mt. Elliot Cemetary, Detroit, where she has a headstone.

Michigan stage coach, 1865

1910 Census Return

Greenfield, Wayne, Michigan

Jesse Crowton Head 26 Foreman Autofacing b. Michigan
Dolly Wife 31    
Gertrude Dau 4    
Chester Foreman Boarder 25    
James Allison Boarder 49    
Jacob Cedar Boarder 32    
Edward Schlisley Boarder 23    
Frank Jewell Boarder 28    
Henry Leardle Boarder 21    

The World War draft (1918) for Jesse gives his occupation as chauffeur.

Royal Oak, Michigan

Thomas Crowton Head 51 Farm Gardner(?) b. England
Mennah Wife 45   b.Michigan
Charles Son 19   b.Michigan
May Dau 17   b.Michigan
Fred Son 14   b.Michigan

The immmigration year for Thomas Crowton is given as 1870.

Royal Oak, Michigan

George Crowton Head 48 Farm Gardner(?) b. England
Tellie Wife 34   b.England
Raymond Son 7   b.Michigan

The immigration year for George Crowton is given as 1862.

Thomas and George are shown in the Census as living next door to one another.

In attempring to piece together the lives of the Croton family in Detroit, indiviual references have been found, in addition to the parish records:-

U.S. Passport Application, 21st March 1923

Georgia Croton, b. 28th August 1878, Brussels, Canada, residence - New York, Spouse = Jesse Croton, b.Hiopland Park, Detroit

Detroit in Victorian times

Modern Detroit, Michigan

New York

John Croton was born in Fulham, London in 1899 to George Croton and Elizabeth Pepper. Donald (Philadelphia, b. 1925) says of John, ....it turned out he hated his tyrannical grandfather who was a Methodist preacher and thereby hated the religion that came with it......At the present time little is known of John' parents but this will be researched and added in due course.

John was a fascinating character, who perhaps had a spirit of adventure or was simply trying to escape life at home. Donald adds,.....that underlying restless energy that drove him as a sixteen year old Brit to lie about his age and go to war in time to fight the bloody Somme campaign, drove him after the war to sign on as a deckhand for a voyage from England to Canada, abandon ship when it reached port, sneak across the border, bum his way across the US of A to Los Angeles then years later make a journey to Manhattan ..... only pausing for breath in whatever temporary holding bins or cellars he found himself.

Don's early life was one of challenge and survival in the Great Depression of the U.S.A. He provides a detailed and enthralling account of his early childhood in his book, Outside/Inside : Growing up in the Great Depression, available from Amazon. A great read!

U.S. Census Return 1930

New York, Bronx

John Croton Head 30 Milkman b.England
Beatrice Wife 26    
Donald Son 5    
Raymond Son 3    
Gloria Dau 2    
Norma Dau 5mths    

The immigration year for John Croton is given as 1921. John was married when he was 24 years of age.

Donald provides an extremely detailed description of his life growing up in the U.S.A. during the Depression.