Crabtree Family History
During the 1400s and 1500s, the surname was almost entirely restricted to two small areas of the West Riding, one on the west side in the Halifax and Bradford area, and the other on the east side around Snaith. There was also a toehold gained on the north-eastern side of Lancashire, but dispersion to the rest of the country was minimal.
The 1600s saw considerable increase in the number of Crabtree families, including some distribution of them through the middle part of Yorkshire. The growth in numbers in Lancashire was also strong, still mostly limited to the north-eastern corner of the county. There were several appearances in other parts of the country, including London, but the numbers were limited to a handful of families.
The first Crabtree to emigrate to America was Edward in 1635, but there is no record of his survival. At about the same time, John arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, and with his wife Alice started a family line that is still strong in New England today.
The 1700s brought an even faster growth, still mainly concentrated in the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. During this century, there were approximately three times as many Crabtree baptisms in Yorkshire as in Lancashire, and three times as many in Lancashire as in the rest of the country combined.
Emigration was sparse in the 1700s. There were a few who sailed to America, the most notable being William and Jane who settled in Maryland about 1705 and gave birth to a family that multiplied and spread to such an extent that many Crabtrees in the United States today can trace their roots to this family. This century saw the arrival of the first Crabtrees in Canada when John and his daughter Sarah settled in Nova Scotia in 1767.
This page was first published on the 18th November 1998, and was last updated on the 25th June 2012. Additions since last update: paragraph on Ireland; marriages for 1911; random partners.