Crowther Surname Genealogy

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

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
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

William Crowther embarked for Australia in 1825
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.

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

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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
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)




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