Crowther


Select Crowther Surname Genealogy

The surname is derived from crowder, a musician who played a 14th century three string violin called a crowd or crowthe. 

Select Crowther Resources on The Internet

Select Crowther Ancestry

England.  The West Ridings of Yorkshire, especially Huddersfield where the name is believed to have originated, has by far the greatest concentration of Crowthers.  A novel, The Crowthers of Bankdam, written in 1940, describes the woollen industry of Huddersfield in the 19th century.  John Crowther made his money as a mill-owner later in the century.  He used his wealth to buy Yorkshire football teams.

There are also clusters of Crowthers in and around Halifax, dating from the 1500's.  A Crowther family held lands in Elland nearby and Jane Crowther founded the local almshouse in 1610.  Another Crowther family lived at the Steps in Sowerby Bridge in the late 1500's.  And a Crowther family in Cleverly can be traced to the early 1600's.

The 19th century records one sad Crowther story.  Philip Crowther, who had fought in the Peninsular War, had met and married an Irish Catholic girl.  This aroused much hostility in his home town of Todmorden. One day around 1839, he was walking to Rochdale to collect his army pension, but never returned home. Many years later, a dying man confessed that he and another worker at the Summit tunnel had lured him into their huts, robbed him, and left his body hidden in a dump cart.

There were a number of Crowthers who emigrated from Yorkshire in the 19th century. 

America.  Thomas and Sarah Crowther from Worcestershire, who had converted to Mormonism, set off west for Utah in 1855.  Sarah died enroute but Thomas and his young daughter Mary Ann made it to Salt Lake valley.  Thomas was the forebear of the Fountain Green Crowthers, including the present-day Mormon writer Duane Crowther.

Africa.  We find Crowthers also in Africa.  Samuel Adjai Crowther had escaped from slavery and, in 1825, was converted to Christianity, taking his name from the Anglican minister in Sierra Leone.  Some twenty years later, he became the first native African to be consecrated as a bishop.  All of his children inherited his adopted Crowther name.
 

The Crowther name lives on in what is now a war-torn country.  American news reporters encountered John Crowther, aged 68, ruefully surveying the wreckage of his house in Freetown after it had been burnt down by anti-Government forces with his sister and children inside. 

Australia.  William Crowther embarked for Australia in 1825 and he settled in Hobart to pursue his profession as a doctor.  However, he was a man of violent temper who got into fights and this blighted his career.  His son William was more even-tempered and prospered as a medical practioner.  He had a fascination with Aboriginal skins and skeletons and achieved a minor celebrity with his exhumation of the last full-blood Aborigine in Tasmania (her skeleton became the most popular exhibit in the local museum).

New Zealand.  Samuel and Eliza Crowther from Halifax emigrated to New Zealand in 1841.  Two Crowther brothers from Bradford came in the 1860's to be sheep farmers in Wainuiomata near Wellington.  There is a Mary Crowther Park there today.  However, this Mary Crowther grew up when it was still a rather isolated community and she complained about the lack of eligible men.

Select Crowther Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:


Select Crowther Names

John Crowther
was a wealthy Huddersfield mill-owner who acquired Yorkshire football clubs in the 1920's. 
Arnold Crowther
was a stage magician with interests in paganism and witchcraft.  His career peaked in 1938 when he was invited to Buckingham Palace to entertain the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret.
Geoffrey Crowther from Leeds was the editor of The Economist from 1938 to 1956 and later the author of the Crowther report (which raised the school-leaving age to sixteen).    
Leslie Crowther
, born in Nottingham, was a popular British TV presenter from the 1950's to 1980's.


Select Crowthers Today
  • 16,500 in the UK (most numerous in Yorkshire)
  • 1,500 in America (most numerous in Utah).
  • 3,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)



PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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