Bitton Families



by John Crates

In Britain, most persons named CRATES whose birth, marriage or death is registered after 1800 or who appears in censuses from 1841 can be traced back to residents around Bristol in the 1700s. Although there are various earlier mostly unconnected CRATES registrations in England (e.g. Alice CRATES d. of Robt CRATES, chr 1545 Broadwell, Glos), the proliferation of registrations (with various spellings: CRETS, CREATS, etc.) after 1700 around Bristol with occupations mainly as brassworkers and with first names like Hooppart and Eneas, lead us to assume that they may have immigrated from Netherlands with Abraham Darby's recruits to start the brass industry in Bristol around 1700, but no definitive evidence of this migration has yet been found.

So far most UK CRATES can be attributed to some dozen family groups with origins in Bristol (one in Birmingham) before 1800, and it is likely that they stem originally from only one or two families in 1700 and any pointers, links or relationships are invited which would assist in proving relationships between these groups.

The earliest registration is the baptism of Eneas CRATS in the parish of St Philip & Jacob in 1723 where are later recorded the baptisms of five children 1745-57 attributed to Anthony CRATES, John CRATES marriage to Ann MOOR in 1750, Eneas CRATES marriage to Rachel HARDING in 1751 with baptism of three children attributed to them 1752-59, Hooppart CREETS marriage to Sarah HARDING in 1750 with six children baptized 1750-66. A John CRATES was baptized there in 1751 and there is a marriage of a John CRATES to Ann HARPER in 1773. Another John CRATES marries Ann FRY in St George in 1778, and numerous baptisms are attributed to John/Ann parents. From 1800 registrations become frequent in Siston and, after national registration in 1837, Keynsham becomes a habitual district for events. One family was raised in Saul, Glos between 1775-1800 before returning to St George. Censuses from 1851 show a migration of family members to South Wales, Shropshire, Birmingham, London and Kent and all CRATES later found living in the Colonies can be traced back to these groups.

Although a few CRATES found their way from Britain to USA, and can still be identified there, most CRATES in USA derive from immigrants from mainland Europe, usually Germany, and can be seen to have changed their name rather deliberately from names like KRATZ or GRAT.


Click on the names of researchers to see their additional interests and contact information on the Researcher page.

I have been researching all CRATES since the 1970s and, like nearly all Crates, I trace my family back to its base around Bristol in the 1700s, and I am still trying to find evidence of links before then, whether they be in Netherlands or any other part of Europe which different family folklores suggest.

My great grandfather moved from Bristol to Kent in the 1860s before he was 16, with his uncle to whom he was apprenticed as a plumber and he later became a founder member of the Institute of Plumbers, and established his own building business employing over 200 men.

In order to satisfy myself who is and who is not related directly to me, I have built a database of all BMD registrations I can identify, and maintain trees and histories (with photographs and illustrations where appropriate) covering every individual who can be allocated, and I maintain a hunt to try to resolve any unallocated individual registrations. So far I have a dozen main British families which I am sure can be merged if more was known of their earlier relationships. I also maintain records of CRATES worldwide and have a network of fellow researchers all with an interest in, or connection with, the CRATES name. I regularly help persons who find they have links to CRATES in the past as well as any persons still bearing the CRATES name.


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