• Donna Hechler Porter

William Cruse (1840-1909) possible grandson of Jeremiah Cruse & Elizabeth Harland

A continuing series on the possible children and grandchildren of Jeremiah Cruse of Madison County, Kentucky, and Vigo Couty, Indiana, and his wife Elizabeth Harland. This information courtesy of Marian Kay Abbott, with a bit of extra information based on my research.

William Cruse was born on 8 April 1840 (1) in either Sullivan County, Indiana (2) or Vigo County, Indiana (1), to David Cruse and Jane Jewell (13).  David Cruse was believed to be the son of Jeremiah Cruse and Elizabeth Harland. William was preceded into the family by three brothers - Josiah Cruse, Jeremiah Cruse, and Zachariah Cruse. While his Civil War pension records give his birthplace as Vigo County, his father is living in Sullivan County in 1840 (1). Shortly after 1840, however, his parents moved from Sullivan County to the Honey Creek Township in Vigo County. His father died about 1845, when William was about five, and he is found living in his mother's household in Vigo County in the Honey Creek Township in 1850 (3). He was still living with his mother when the 1860 census was taken as well. That year his age was given as 20 and he and his mother were still living in the Honey Creek Township in Vigo County, Indiana (5).

On 5 February 1863, during the Civil War and at the age of 23, William married Permelia Moore in Vigo County, Indiana. The Rev. Samuel Hayworth officiated the ceremony (4).

Permelia was the daughter of Samuel Moore and Eddy Kirby (14, 15, 16, 17) and the  sister of Edith Moore who by this time was the wife of William's younger brother, James Cruse. 1870 and 1880 census records (9, 10)  indicate that Permelia was a year older than William, with a birth year of 1839 and a birthplace of Indiana. The 1900 census (11), however, gives a birth year of 1848, with a birth month of February. This is an error in light of  the census records as well as Permelia's death certificate which gives a birth date of 18 Feb 1839 (17). 

Permelia was born in Vigo County,  Indiana (17).  Her mother is absent from both the 1850 and 1860 census, so it appears she probably died after 1845 and the birth of Permelia's youngest sister and sibling Edith Moore (15, 16) and before the census was taken in 1850.

About a year after their marriage, in 1864, William and Permelia's first child, Harrison Cruse, was born (9).

Two years after his marriage, on 15 March 1865, twenty-five year old William Cruse was mustered into Company C, 31st Regiment of Indiana Volunteers at Terra Haute, Indiana, by Lt. Conover. He is recorded as having dark hair, dark eyes, and a dark complexion (6). Charges of desertion at New Orleans on 9 July 1865 were later dropped (7). 


After the war, on 18 July 1866, William bought 20 acres in Section 30, township 11 N, Rrange 9 W, in the district of land formerly sold at Vincennes, Indiana. He purchased the acreage from brother-in-law Samuel Moore for $500. Five months later, on 15 November 1866, William and Permelia sold to his brother, James Crews, for $135, an  undivided one-sixth part of 27 acres off the south and west part of the southwest quarter of Section 28, and also an undivided sixth part of 12 acres in the southeast corner of the southeast quarter of Section 27, all in township 11 N, Range 9 W, Vigo County, Indiana (8). 

Two years later in 1868, a daughter, Annie Cruse, was born (9). 

In 1880, when the federal census was taken again, William and Permelia were still living in Honey Creek Township in Vigo County, Indiana. That year, son Harrison Cruse is listed with them as a sixteen year old male. Daughter Annie, who would only have been twelve years old, is not listed, so it is possible she had died by this date (12).  Nephew Joseph Crews, also sixteen, was living with them as well (10). Obviously, this Joseph was the son of one of William's brothers, but I am not certain at this time which brother.

William later received a Civil War pension for services rendered during the war because doing so resulted in a partial disability. He suffered from rheumatism, heart disease as well as a disease of the stomach, and he had an injured finger. After his death, Permelia continued to draw his pension, which was $12 a month (1). 


William died 11 September 1909 of "chronic nehpritis" in Honey Creek Township in Vigo County at the age of 69 (13). He was buried in the Hull Cemetery in Vigo County, Indiana.

In 1910, Permelia is found living with her son Harry Cruse, his wife Cora, and their four children in Linton, Vigo County, Indiana. Harry was a mail carrier.(18). 

Permelia survived William by six years, passing away of apoplexy two days before Christmas on 23 December 1913 in Linton, Vigo County, Indiana  (17).  She was buried beside William in the Hull Cemetery in Vigo County, Indiana. A shared marker stands over their grave.





(1) Civil War Pension Records for William Cruse, courtesy of Marian Kay Abbott. Month and year further supported in the 1900 census (see #11 below), and year is also supported in the 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870 census records which are all cited below as well.

(2) 1840 U. S. Federal Census, an enumeration for a child his age is found in that census in David Cruse's household.

(3) 1850 U. S. Federal Census, Jane (Jewell) Cruse's household.

(4) Vigo County Marriage Document, courtesy of Marian Kay Abbott. Also found at ancestry.com as Vigo County, Indiana; Index to Marriage Record 1840-1920 Inclusive Volume W. P. A. Original Record Located: County Clerk's O; Book: 3; Page: 14

(5) 1860 U. S. Federal Census, Jane (Jewell) Cruse's household.

(6) File with the Indiana State Archives, courtesy of Marian Kay Abbott. 

(7) Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Indiana, Vol. 5, 1861-1865, 1866.

(8) Information courtesy of Marian Kay Abbott.

(9) 1870 U. S. Federal Census, William Cruse's household.

(10) 1880 U. S. Federal Census, William Cruse's household.

(11) 1900 U. S. Federal Census, William Cruse's household.

(12) The 1900 U. S. Federal Census supports this idea, citing that Permelia had given birth to 2 children, but that only 1 was living at that time.

(13) Ancestry.com. Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Williams' death certificate  Death certificate found here is an original copy and details his parents' names, birthdate and birthplace, death date, death place, cause of death, and wife's name.

(14) Dodd, Jordan. Indiana Marriages to 1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1997.

(15) 1850 U. S. Federal Census, Samuel Moore's household. 

(16) 1860 U. S. Federal Census, Samuel Moore's household.

(17) Ancestry.com. Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Permelia Moore Cruse's death certificate.

(18) 1910 U. S. Federal Census, Harry Cruse's household.

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