Crumpler Family of Dorset, England – A Revision of Published Family History. Update.

Update, May 2017

This an update of my original Blog dated 29 January 2016. New online data which is now being produced in great measure by the likes of Ancestry, Find my Past, British Newspapers, Papers Past in New Zealand and Trove in Australia has created the need for more regular updating. In addition, responses with corrections and comments communicated through the social media have become a valued asset as we seek to complete a robust data base with important “lives and times” commentaries.

At this point I also wish to make a major correction to my earlier work. For this I am greatly indebted to Anne Den Toom whose father, Cyril Stanley Crumpler was the son of Robert George Crumpler the younger brother of my great-grandmother Annie Hannah Crumpler.

A vital lesson I have learnt here is that guessing (sometimes excused with the phrase “a calculated guess”) has no place in family research which is an exact science.

My mistake related to two family members, and there are many others, carrying the first name “Thomas”. Anne has drawn my attention to having incorrectly selected Thomas Crumpler (1725 – 1784) of Morden and not a Thomas, born 1763, who with his wife Anne Elliott founded the Church Knowle branch of the family.

Both Anne’s ancestral line and mine can be traced back to Richard Crumplehere who died 1595 at Winterborne Kingston. The ancestral line may be seen here.

The Descendants of Richard Crumplehere of Winterborne Kingston, Dorset, England, born about 1560

I have used the last name “CRUMPLER” in my Blog heading but one should be aware that there are many variations in the spelling in the public records dating from the mid 1500s. The publication by T. L Stoate, “Dorset Tudor Muster Rolls 1539 1542 1569′ has the surname of Thomas of Winterborne Kingston spelt “CROMPELHEARE” as are 2 named William of Puddletown and Sturminster Marshall Tithing, where Thomas of Come Almer Tithing (Combe Almer in Sturminster Marshall) is spelt “CRUMPLERE”. What is patently clear here is that the Parish registrars have recorded the name as they have heard it pronounced. Transcriptions have later given permanence to “Crumpler”. This makes sense when looking closely at the many spellings and finding that there is less variance with pronunciation than with spelling. Around the mid 1700s the last name gathered consistency as “Crumpler”. This most probably destroys the claim found in a number of USA Crumpler Trees that the name derives from the English word “crumpet”!

Another challenge leading to different spellings comes with the translation and transcription of the Latin in which early parish entries were recorded.

Here you will find for reference purposes a map of the area of Dorset in which the Crumpler families resided.

My connection to the Crumpler families of Dorset stems from my great-grandmother, Annie Hannah Crumpler(1851 – 1924) who married Harry Vine (1855 – 1931) on 13 September 1871, Christ’s Church, Christchurch, Hampshire, England.

To prove conclusions I have endeavoured to use only public records and have avoided sourcing unidentified data in published Trees.

Amongst the challenges met in the course of this research was the absence of Baptism (1641 – 652) and Burial (1676 – 1753) records for Winterborne Kingston, and the Almer Registers which begin in 1598 but are imperfect between 1599 & 1613 and between 1675 & 1696. This is most unfortunate and has created a gap also in the family records contained in Dorset Online Parish Clerks and the History Centre Dorset in Dorchester; both most valuable sources of family research data.

The earliest verified direct ancestor I have identified is Richard Crumpleher who was buried at Winterborne Kingston 13 January 1595. Further research is required to find his ancestors. Possibilities include the following from the Dorset Muster Rolls 1539, 1542, 1569 authored by T. L. Stoate:
1. Tho Crumplere, Come Almer Tithing (Sturminster Marshall),
2. Wm Crumpelheare, Sturminster Marshall Tithing and
3. Tho. Crompelheare, Winterborne Kingston who by his place of residence must be considered the most likely.

I can find nothing positively relevant in Domesday Descendants – A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066 -1166c and II – Pipe Rolls to Cartae Baronum by K.S.B. Keats-Rohan.

Here you will find the Group Sheet covering the 4 generations of the Crumpler family commencing with Richard Crumpleher who died in 1594.


My major conclusions which vary from the most common public Tree records are:

  1. Richard, who died Winterborne Kingston, 1595, was the father of William Crumpelhere, born about 1560, died Winterborne Kingston 1614. The most common entries incorrectly name William’s father as Thomas, who died 1570. In his Will, 31 July 1570, Thomas names a son Stephen and a daughter Luce thus seriously questioning the veracity of this entry. Of interest is that in the Will a “Richard Cromplehere” is cited as an “overseer”. This is the Richard I now claim to be the father of William born 1560. To find the true relationship I have relied on the Wills of William (Died 1614) and Marie Crumpelhere, the second wife of Richard, who died in Winterborne Kingston, 1595. In his Will William asks that “my body be buried in the church litten of Kingston aforesaid a neere unto the place as my father was buried”. Taking this to a logical conclusion reveals the burial of Richard Crumpleher, 13 January 1595, Winterborne Kingston, as the only burial that meets the request.

Further, William as the son of Richard is substantiated in Marie’s, Richard’s wife’s Will of 1595, which contains the following: “I geve to W[illia]m Crumplehere my husband_ beste coate and shirt.” There is a strong tail at the end of ‘husband’, though it definitely doesn’t loop, nevertheless it indicates a gentival ‘es’, making it ‘I give to William Crumplehere my husband’s best coat and shirt.‘ So here we have William being honoured with his father Richard’s best coat and shirt. * Many thanks to a Rootsweb message by Tompkins, M.L.L. for this interpretation.

2. John Crumpler christened at Winterborne Kingston 25 February 1594 (born 1590?) and his descendants: In most cases I have been able to find persons missing from Parish Records, from alternative records, including Wills. I suppose an advantage in our favour here is that we are generally dealing with relatively wealthy families and people. Wills and associated documents have proved most productive in progressing this research.

i) Married Margarett about 1615, with children:

Elizabeth Crumplerc. 15 Sept 1615, Winterborne Kingston, Dorset, England,

Anne Crumpler,   c. 3 Nov 1616, Winterborne Kingston, Dorset, England

Margaret Crumpliere,   b. 1618

John Crumpler,   c. 7 Jun 1621, St Nicholas, Winterborne Kingston, Dorset, England, bur. 3 Nov 1691, St Nicholas, Winterborne Kingston, Dorset, England (Age ~ 70 years)

ii) Married Elizabeth (Unknown) Born about 1635, with child:

Jane Crumpler, born 1635, buried  8 March 1640, Winterborne Kingston, and

iii) Married Julian Squibbe, (1618 – 1692) 1 July 1639 at Winterborne Kingston with children:

“Dead borne” Crumpliere, b. May 1641, Winterborne Kingston, buried 11 May 1641,
Winterborne Kingston,
Julian Crumpler, Identified from Will of John Crumpler, dated 1723, as “my Sister Julian Small” to whom he bequeathed “the yearly Sum of forty shillings to be paid for         yearly during her natural life by four quarterly payments in Her years.“,
John Crumpler, born about 1645, Winterborne Kingston, Dorset, England, died
1723, Mapperton, Dorset.

Much confusion has been created through the fact that we have five of the Crumpler family bearing the first name “John” and living mid 1600s. This confusion has been exacerbated through missing Winterborne Kingston Baptism records 1641 – 1652, which would have contained data essential to research in relation to John Crumpler (3. immediately above):

John Crumpler (1590? – 1660),
John Crumpler 1621 – 1691, son of John b. 1590 and Margarett,
John Crumpler, born about 1645, son of John Snr and Julian Squibbe,
John Crumpler, christened 1667, son of John Crumpler (1621 – 1691) and Dorothe, and John Crumpler, christened 12 April 1680, son of John 3. above and Christian.

A principal reference point used to form my conclusions was The Will of John Crumpler dated 19 August 1723: By applying a process of elimination it can be confirmed that this relates to John Crumpler who would have been born “about 1645”, the son of John Crumpler Snr. A Crumpler death in 1723 rules out both John Snr. born 1590 and John, born 1621 who would have been 102 years of age. The Will of John’s son Nicholas Crumpler (1682 – 1746), dated 18 December 1741, identifies family with positive links to a “John” who would have been born about 1645.

The Will of John Crumpler (1645? – 1723) also furnished more sound referencing of  family members by way of Court of Chancery Bill dated 1756, Lawrence v Crumpler: Plaintiffs: Martha Lawrence (widow of Philip Lawrence, yeoman deceased, late of Batcombe, Somerset, and daughter of John Crumpler (1645? – 1723)

There is a Parish Register entry, Winterborne Kingston 1657, which refers to John, born 1621, the father of Dorothe Crumpler as “John Crumpler Junior“. By a process of elimination “Senior” could only be his father John born 1590. John born 1645 would have been age 12 at the time of Dorothe’s birth, so cannot be considered as the father.

The latter document also identifies John’s (b. 1645) wife as “Christian” a fact which I cannot find in published trees. I have yet to confirm her maiden surname.

William Crumpler, born 1659

Many of the public Trees vary between John, Senior and Julian née Squibbe on one hand, and John, Junior and Dorothe on the other, as being the parents of Captain William Crumpler I who emigrated to Virginia, USA. The fact of the matter is that John and Dorothe can be confirmed as his parents and his Birth Date was 1659, Winterborne Kingston, Dorset, England. It is proving extremely difficult to verify marriage details. Further research is required on this point.

Elizabeth (Betty) nee Bastard

There are a number of stories surrounding Elizabeth (Betty) née Bastard who married Nicholas Crumpler, my half cousin 8 times removed, at Morden, 10 October 1722.

Birth details do not seem to have been recorded in a Parish Register – at least not one that I can find. In my quest to prove birth/baptism details I became aware that many of the Bastard family details were not recoverable through Parish Records. The following, obtained from the Dorset OPC website Blandford Forum could offer a part answer:

“Blandford Forum (or Chipping Blandford) is a market town and parish in the east of the county and lies between Wimborne and Sherborne. The town stands on the River Stour, and formerly on the Dorset Central Railway (later the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway). It has an unfortunate history having been nearly destroyed by fire in 1579, plundered by Parliamentarian forces in 1644 and almost totally destroyed by fire in 1731, at which date all the Bishop’s Transcripts for the county deposited in Blandford were lost to the flames. Consequently the town dates from 1731 and the parish church of Sts Peter & Paul was rebuilt in 1732. Within the town was also a Congregational Chapel in Salisbury Street, a Primitive Methodist chapel in Albert Street, a Wesleyan Chapel in The Close and the Open Brethren also had a meeting room. There are several cemeteries in the town.”

Other research material confirms that the principal property owners in Blandford Forum were the Bastard family. In fact one commentator suggests that the family owned the whole the town. This extract from Wikipedia is also of interest:

“John (ca 1668-1770) and William Bastard (ca 1689-1766) were British surveyor-architects, and civic dignitaries of the town of Blandford Forum in Dorset. John and William generally worked together and are known as the “Bastard brothers”. They were builders, furniture makers, ecclesiastical carvers and experts at plaster work, but are most notable for their rebuilding work at Blandford Forum following a large fire of 1731, and for work in the neighbourhood that Colvin describes as “mostly designed in a vernacular baroque style of considerable merit though of no great sophistication.”. Their work was chiefly inspired by the buildings of Wren, Archer and Gibbs. Thus the Bastards’ architecture was retrospective and did not follow the ideals of the more austere Palladianism which by the 1730s was highly popular in England. The brothers, the sons of Thomas Bastard (died 1720), a joiner and architect, the founder of a family firm of provincial architects in the area. However little remains today of the works of the brothers’ ancestors, chiefly as the result of the 1731 fire and a previous fire in the town in 1713.”

Betty’s parents were Thomas (the elder) Bastard (1720 – 1771) and Bridget Creech who died in 1730. Bastard descendants of Samuel, father of Thomas the Elder, can for convenience be accessed on my website in this Group Chart “Descendants of Samuel Bastard“.

Researching the relevant obtainable Wills and associated documents reveals an interesting story which has its genesis in the deaths of John Crumpler (1723), his sons Daniel (1734) and Nicholas (1746), and involving Christian (née Joyce) Daniel’s wife. The scene centres on a Court of Chancery Bill dated 1756, Lawrence v Crumpler: Plaintiffs: Martha Lawrence (widow of Philip Lawrence, Yeoman deceased, late of Batcombe, Somerset, and daughter of John Crumpler (1645 – 1723).

In the Bill addressed to the Lord High Chancellor, Martha Lawrence, the daughter of John Crumpler (b. 1645) seeks payment of the legacy of Fifty Pounds which she was to receive “after the Death of her present Husband” and which was to be paid to her by the Executor, her brother, Daniel CRUMPLER. Martha sought, after the deaths of her brothers, Daniel (intestate in 1734) and Nicholas CRUMPLER in 1746, the legacy of Fifty Pounds and all Interest thereon from the death of her husband, Philip Lawrence in 1750. The Bill outlines an alleged sad tale of mismanagement of the Will (1723) of “John Crumpler late of Maperton in the Parish of Almer in the County of Dorset”.

Martha complained that Daniel Crumpler (her brother) the sole executor of their father John ‘s Will, had proved the Will in the Blandford Ecclesiastical Court whereupon he had possessed himself of all the testator’s real and personal estates and all and singular the goods and chattels left worth 2,000 pounds and upwards.

The situation had been compounded by the early death of Daniel in 1734, and further by the death of brother Nicholas in 1746.

Following Daniel’s death in 1734 his widow, Christian along with Henry Croft of the Parish of Winterborne Stickland, Dorset and John Croft of Blandford Forum, had taken out administration to him in which she, as Administratix of the goods, chattels and credits of her late husband Daniel was  obliged to pay the sum of £2,236.7 shillings to Curow Roynoll, Doctor in Divinity, Vicars General Principal Official of the Lord Bishop of Bristol and to make an inventory of these assets by the last day of July 1736. This latter action appears to have been defaulted and as Martha states in her Bill of Complaint, Christian had “possessed herself of the estate and chattels“.

Martha had applied to Christian for her legacy of 50 Pounds bequeathed by her father John, but this had been declined. The related document is dated 3 July 1735 . On Daniel’s death in 1734 it seems that his brother Nicholas assumed ownership of some of the leasehold tenements with the situation being further compounded by Nicholas’ early death in 1746.

Nicholas’ Will clearly demonstrates a real decline in cash value of the estate following his grandfather John’s death: only one Shilling to each his mother Christian Crumpler, his brother Daniel (there is some confusion here in that the records show he had died earlier in 1734) and sisters Christian and Sarah.

His wife Elizabeth (Betty) was appointed Sole Executrix and bequeathed residual personal estate, goods and chattels. The value of these was the subject of an Inventory sworn by Betty Crumpler in 1754. It would seem from this inventory that chattels at that time were basically the same as those bequeathed by William Crumpler three generations back in 1614.

Nicholas’ impecuniosity as a result of mismanagement and early demise of beneficiaries under the Will of John Crumpler (1723) is highlighted in documents including:

“Articles of Agreement made earlier to the Marriage of the said Nicholas Crumpler to his Accountant (Betty Bastard) bearing Date the Sixteenth Day of March in the Year of our Lord 1722 between the said Nicholas Crumpler of the one part & John Bastard of Blandford Forum in the County of Dorset Signed and William of the same Place Signed & this Accountant of the other part by which said Articles the said Nicholas Crumpler did among other things covenant promise and agree to & with the said John Bastard & William Bastard that this Accountant his then intended Wife should in Case she should happen to survive the said Nicholas Crumpler have take receive and enjoy During her life the whole & intire the Benefit and Advantage of the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Pounds then received by the said Nicholas Crumpler and also of all such sum and Sums of Money which he the said Nicholas Crumpler shall Hereafter receive in Right of this Account his then intended Wife by virtue of her late Father’s Will or by any other Item or Items whatsoever” .

A transcription of Betty’s Account and Declaration, dated 22 June 1734 claiming Interest may be sighted here.

This brings me to the end of a review of just one small part of the Crumpler Branch of my Family Tree. However as anyone who has become addicted to the vicissitudes of family research will tell you, this chapter cannot be regarded as a final episode. Online access to public records is expanding exponentially and brings with it opportunities to take research to new levels. The big plus is the need never again to rely on other people’s guesses and non-verified data for additions to your Trees. I generally try to follow a principle of only using this data type for discovery and deeper research. I am hopeful that this Blog among other things will result in contacts bringing attention of interested parties to new and reliable data. I offer my thanks in advance to respondents.

My Genealogy site may be found at