Cruzan Genealogy

Marvin C Cruzan, Shell Knob, MO

The Cruzan family immigrated to the new world from Europe before the American Revolution. Colonial records show a variety of spellings including Cruzon, Cruzen, Crusen, Crusan, Kroesen, Krusen, Kruzan, Kruzon and Crewsan. Continental Army records even show my Great-Great-Great Grandfather's name as Benjamin Cruidson. This was no doubt caused by the general illiteracy of the times and his heavy Dutch accent.

Many of the civil records, including birth and marriage records which were maintained by western European countries, have been destroyed over the past several centuries due to wars. Because of these unfortunate circumstances, the actual family origin has not been successfully traced. The best speculation to date is that the name, based on the various spellings, has it that they were originally French Basque Protestants from the Pyrenean region in southern France. From there, they would have emigrated to Holland to escape the religious persecution of the late sixteenth century. Then, late in the seventeenth century, they emigrated to the new world where they settled in the Carolina colony.

Over the next half century they spread from the Carolina colony north to New Jersey and New York, west into Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Ohio, and south into Georgia, Alabama and what is now Louisana. Doubtless, they faced each other on the battlefields of the Civil War. Now we decendents are dispersed from Florida to the state of Washington; from New York to southern California.

My earliest documented direct ancestor is Benjamin Cruzan, Sr., 1753-1843, the one whose name was misspelled by the Continental Army. Benjamin Cruzan, Sr. served with the 1st Regiment Light Dragoons during the Revolutionary War. I have been told by family members that his father was killed with the British General Edward Braddock during the French and Indian Wars while crossing the Monongahela River on the way to attack Fort Duquesne in 1755. This has never been documented, but the story does come from several sources.

In 1992, before I retired from The Department of the Army, I visited the Grave site of Benjamin Cruzan, Sr. The marker for Benjamin Cruzan, Sr. is on my left and that of his oldest son, Isaac, is on my right.

They are buried in the cemetery at Cross Plains Methodist Church, Cross Plains, Ripley County, Indiana.

His third son, Benjamin Cruzan, Jr., 1790-1843, my Great-Great Grandfather, is buried in Old Salem Cemetery near Plymouth, Indiana, in Marshall County. In 1956, while I was attending Valparaiso University in northern Indiana, I visited this site with my father, Benjamin Edgar Cruzan, 1895-1986. Benjamin Cruzan, Jr. served with the Kentucky Volunteers during the War of 1812.

Also buried in Old Salem Cemetery is my Great Grandfather, Lemuel Cruzan, 1826-1850. Lemuel died of typhus but his first son, William Manton Cruzan, 1846-1936, my Grandfather, fought in the Civil War with the 12th Indiana Volunteer Cavalry. Only one anecdote was passed on to me by my Father about my Grandfather. While marching through Tennessee, his troop passed a farmhouse where the farmer's wife had placed some freshly baked apple pies on the kitchen windowsill. The troops helped themselves to the pies and had their first "home cooked" meal in months. Such was the life for the dismounted cavalry.

After the war, William moved to Norwood, Missouri, in Wright County, where he built a log home for his new bride. There my father was born in 1895. In 1966, the old log home was still standing though Grandfather had converted it to a barn when he built a new house for his growing family. In 1912 he moved his family to Kansas City, Kansas, where he went to work for the Department of the Interior. It was from there that my father went off to World War I in 1917.

My father, in uniform, is standing with an older brother, Harry Cruzan, and my Grandfather is seated.

He served in France with the 89th Division during the St. Mihiel offensive and later with the occupation army. In 1963, he retired from the Department of Agriculture after 42 years.

Benjamin, Sr., Benjamin, Jr., Lemuel, William and Benjamin Edgar are my connections with our great nation and some of the wars that we have fought. In all, the Cruzan family has shared a long and interesting history in these United States. We are in-laws to President Ulysses S Grant and have competed with Alexander Graham Bell for the first successful telephone. We've served our nation in military and civilian capacities. And we have our black sheep as well. A military deserter and two outlaws, one of which is buried along with the Hole-in-the-wall gang in Arizona.

But most of all, I'm proud of our military tradition.

Revolutionary War
Benjamin Cruzan, Sr., Co. "C", 5th Troop, 1st Regiment Light Dragoons, Continental Troops
War of 1812
Benjamin Cruzan, Jr., Dowden's Company of Infantry, 4th Kentucky Volunteers
Isaac Cruzan, Dowden's Company of Infantry, 4th Kentucky Volunteers
Israel Ross Cruzan, Coe's Company, Steven's Regiment, Ohio Militia
John Wesley Cruzan, Collier's Regiment, Ohio Militia
Civil War
Alfred J. Cruzan, Co. "C", 9th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry
Amos Cruzan, Co. "C", 130th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry
Benjamin Cruzan, Co. "C", 125th Regiment, Illinois Infantry
Charles Cruzan, Co. "D", 48th Regiment, Indiana Infantry
Charles E. Cruzan, 11th Regiment, Indiana Infantry
Elias Cruzan, Co. "F", 155th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry
Henry Cruzan, Co. "C", 21st Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry
John Cruzan, Co. "C", 130th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry
John A. Cruzan, Co. "F", 3rd Regiment, Iowa Infantry
Oliver Henderson Cruzan, Co. "D", 73rd Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry
Rozman Cruzan, Co. "E", 12th Regiment, Kansas Infantry
Thomas Cruzan, Co. "D", 146th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry
Thomas Lee Cruzan, Co. "F", 7th Ohio Cavalry Regiment
William Cruzan, Co. "G", 87th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry
William Edward Cruzan, Co. "K", 58th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment
William Henry Cruzan, Co. "K", 138th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry
William Harvey Cruzan, Co. "K", 131st Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Cavalry
William Manton Cruzan, Co. "E", 12th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Cavalry
Indian Wars
Alfred Jacob Cruzan, Co. "C", 1st United States Infantry Regiment, Arizona Territory
Spanish-American War
Clarence Kyle Cruzan, Co. "B", 10th United States Regiment
Charles E. Cruzan, 38th United States Regiment, Infantry
World War I
Benjamin Edgar Cruzan, Pvt., Battery "F", 341st Field Artillery, 89th Division, 3rd Army, AEF
Benjamin Franklin Cruzan, Pvt., Co. "C", 342nd Machine Gun Battalion, 89th Division, 3rd Army, AEF
Charles W. Cruzan, United States Navy, AEF
Charles Milton Cruzan, AEF
Jacob W. Cruzan, Pvt., 89th Division, 3rd Army, AEF
Levi Morton Cruzan, AEF
Ray Ivan Cruzan, Co. "A", 312th Engineer Battalion, 89th Division, 3rd Army, AEF
World War II
Cecil Wesley Cruzan
Charles Grant Cruzan, Cmdr., United States Navy
Clare Cruzan, Cpl., United States Army
Clifford Cruzan, S1/C., United States Navy
Clyde Oliver Cruzan
Donald Cruzan
Edward M. Cruzan, BMC., United States Navy
Halbert B. Cruzan, Lt., United States Navy
Harold L. Cruzan, Pvt., United States Army Air Force
Harry Arthur Cruzan
James Franklin Cruzan, Jr., United States Navy, MIA and declared dead February, 1942
James M. Cruzan, Cpt., 514th ATC, United States Army Air Force, KIA 1945, CBI Theater
John Sargeant Cruzan, Maj., USMC
Joseph Albert Cruzan
Kenneth Irvin Cruzan, Sgt., United States Army Air Force, who died in a Japanese POW camp
Leonard F. Cruzan, Sgt., United States Army Air Force, POW, Stalag Luft IV, 1944-1945
William R. Cruzan, Cpl., Co. "A", 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Division, United States Army, Bronze Star
Korean War
William R. Cruzan, Sgt., Co. "A", 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Division, United States Army, MIA at Pork Chop Hill,
                          July 6, 1953. Declared KIA July 7, 1954
Vietnam War
Allen Wesley Cruzan, PO4, United States Navy
Marvin C Cruzan, 3276th SchRon, 3275th Group, Air Training Command, USAF; 91st Ranger Battalion, ARVN,
                          MACV; Co."B", 937th Signal Battalion, MoANG
Gulf War
David Michael Cruzan, Cpl., United States Marine Corps

These records have been compiled from the records of the National Archives, the St. Louis Record Center and from family members. Unfortunately, over the years, many government records have been lost. First when the British sacked and burned Washington during the War of 1812 and later when a fire spread through the St. Louis Records Center destroying many of the records from World Wars I and II and the Korean conflict.

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