John Croucher (Crowcher) (1834-1905)


Birth: 13 December 1834 Old Kiln or Old Pottery, Churt, Surrey, UK
Father: Charles Croucher 1790-1843
Mother: Charlotte Shrub 1801-1895

Christening: 11 January 1835 St Mary the Virgin, Frensham, Surrey, UK

Marriage: 4 March 1859 St Mary the Virgin, Frensham, Surrey, UK
Wife: Elizabeth Baker 1835-1909

Death: 11 October 1905 Pond Cottage, Churt, Surrey, UK
Buried: 15 October 1905 St John the Evangelist, Churt, Surrey, UK


William Croucher 1859-1882
James Croucher 1860-1939
Esther Croucher [McNamara?] 1863-c1920
Ann (Annie) Croucher [Ford] 1865-c1940
Caroline Croucher 1867-1944
Charles Croucher (Crowcher) 1870-1952
Emily Croucher [Teasdale] 1874-1929
Ernest Croucher 1877-1970


Born at either a cottage where Old Kiln now stands or on the site of the Old Pottery on the Thursley Road beyond Pitch Place in Churt Place (however I think the christening would have been at Thursley in the latter case). The entry in the IGI for the christening is for John Crowcher in January 1835 in Frensham, Surrey, parents John Crowcher and Charlotte. It is also in my father's records of the Frensham Parish Registry which give the 1st January. There is no date on the handwritten entry (No 843) in the Frensham Bishops Transcripts (LCC 1962), but the previous and next entries are 11th January. The parents are Charles Croucher (labourer) and Charlotte of Frensham. The entry in West Surrey Family History Society Frensham Baptisms is for John Crowcher, son of Charles and Charlotte Crowcher on 11 January 1835. The date of birth comes from a family bible that belonged to Robert Bishop which has 13th December 1833 or possibly 1835?. The first three digits were written first and the fourth added later - the former is probably too early for the christening and the latter definately too late. This is believed to have been written by Abednego Bishop who was the father of the husband of Caroline.

Entry in Ancestry England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 for John Crowcher baptised in Frensham, Surrey, parents Charles and Charlotte Crowcher. No date is given.

Entry in Ancestry Surrey, England, Baptisms, 1813-1912 for John Crowcher in 1835 in Frensham, parents Charles and Charlotte Croucher. "Page 106 [...] 1835 [...] Baptisms folemnized in the Parifh of [blank] in the County of [blank] in the Year 1834 [...] 1835 [...] No. 843 John, son of Charles, a Labourer, and Charlotte Crowcher of Frensham." There is no date but the previous and next entries are Jan 11th.

In the 1841 census as John Croucher aged 5, born in Surrey, and living with Charles and Charlotte (parents?), Stephen (brother?), Charlotte (sister?), Charles (half-brother?), Elizabeth and Mary (half-sisters?) and Ann Luff (married half-sister?) and family in Lower Churt, Frensham, Surrey (Old Kiln is in Lower Churt).

His father died in 1843.

In the 1851 census as John Croucher aged 16, born in Frensham, no stated employment, and living with his widowed mother (Charlotte), brother (Stephen), two sisters (Charlotte and Clara) and a visitor (James Thompson aged 10 months and born in Kingslar, Surrey) in Lower Churt, Frensham, Surrey.

Two entries in FreeBMD for the marriage of John Croucher and John Cromcher (both entries on the handwritten original) and Elizabeth Baker in January-March 1859 in Farnham (2a 98).

Marriage of John Croucher and Elizabeth Baker in the IGI on 4 March 1859 in Frensham, Surrey. The same information is in Ancestry England, Select Marriages, 1538–1973.

Entry in Ancestry Surrey, England, Marriages, 1754-1937 for John Croucher aged 24, father Charles Croucher, and Elizabeth Baker aged 24, father Edward Baker, on 4 March 1859 at Frensham St Mary. "Page 126 1859 Marriage solemnized after Banns in the Parish of Frensham in the County of Surrey No 251 March 4th John Croucher aged 24, a Bachelor and Dealer of Churt, father Charles Croucher, a potter, and Elizabeth Baker aged 24, a Spinster of Churt, father Edward Baker, a labourer. Married in the Parish Church according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church in the Presence of us, Harry Matthews and Clara Croucher."

In the 1861 census as John Croucher aged 26, born in Frensham, employed as a dealer in poultry, and living with his wife (Elizabeth), two sons (James and William) and (step)daughter (Maria) at Barford, Headley, Hampshire. This would have been at the Lower Mill, Barford from my father's records as he states his father was born there.

In 1871 census as John Croucher aged 36, born in Chute (sic - in the index, Churt in the original), employed as a farm labourer, and living with his wife (Charlotte -(sic on original), four daughters (Ann, Caroline, Esther and Maria - Maria was his step-daughter) and three sons (Charles, James and William) at Frensham Pond, Surrey.

In the 1881 Census as John Croucher, aged 46, born in Churt, employed an agricultural labourer and living with his wife (Elizabeth), two sons (Charles and Ernest) and daughter (Emily) at Keepers Cottage (this would have to be the same as Pond End and Pond Cottage for my fathers records to be correct), Frensham, Surrey.

He was present at the death of Edward Baker, his father-in-law, on 17 April 1884 in Churt according to a copy of the entry of death.

Five entries in Ancestry Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962 for John Croucher occupation of tenement in 1886, dwelling house thereafter, Near (in 1886) Pond Tail, Churt, Frensham, Farnham, Guildford from 1886 to 1890.

In the 1891 census as John Croucher, aged 36 (sic - in the index, 56 on the original), born in Churt, employed as a labourer, and living with his wife (Elizabeth), two sons (Ernest and James) and daughter (Carrie) at an unspecified address between Swiss Cottage and Hooks Cottage, Churt, Frensham, Surrey.

Nine entries in Ancestry Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962 for John Croucher dwelling house, Pond Tail, Churt, Frensham, Farnham, Guildford from 1891 to 1900.

He was stated to be the father of James Croucher who married Ellen Fullick on 26 June 1897 on their entry of marriage. His occupation was stated to be a labourer.

In the 1901 census as John Croucher, aged 66, born in Frensham, employed as a jobbing gardener and living his wife (Elizabeth) at Pond End, Churt, Surrey.

Five entries in Ancestry Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962 for John Croucher dwelling house, Pond Tail, Churt, Frensham, Farnham, Guildford from 1901 to 1906.

Death in FreeBMD in October-December 1905 aged 70 in Farnham District (2a _3 - from the image I think it is page 93)

Entry in Ancestry Surrey, England, Burials, 1813-1987 for John Croucher on 15 October 1905 aged 70 at Churt, St John the Evangelist. "Page 33 Burials in the Parish of Churt in the County of Surrey in the Year 1905 [...] No. 264 John Croucher of Keepers Cottage Churt on Oct. 15 1905 aged 70 years".

The following is from my father's records:
He lived for 35 years to the day at Pond Cottage Churt (from 11 October 1870). He leased a few acres of woodland where Woodcote now stands, and also a meadow or copse opposite Churt House where he grazed his pony. He was responsible for emptying the Great Pond for fishing every 5 years. He snared hares on the common, up to 30 in a night which were sold to the Officers' Messes in Aldershot. He cut grass and corn in Sussex (probably near Chichester) with a scythe. He was on the electorial role in Churt (unusual for a labourer, due to being a leaseholder). He acted as an agent for the Lord of the Manor at Pierrepont collecting 1/- per cubic yard (cartload) of sand taken from the shore of Frensham Pond - the sand was used for building purposes.

The following is taken from Frensham Then and Now Baker and Minchin Revised Edition 1948: 'The fishing occasioned great excitement, and was eagerly anticipated. People from the neighbouring towns and villages used to flock to see it, and the Frensham school-children were given a holiday on the occasion. As many as a thousand people would be gathered together on the chief day - a large crowd in view of the then existing population and the comparative inadequacy of transport. Elaborate preparations were made lor the event. The stew-ponds were cleaned out, the main stream from Hindhead was diverted directly through them to the Sheepwash, and thence to the river. Gratings were placed across the ditch leading from the Pond Penstock, a few yards below the culvert's outlet, and a hut was errected alongside them, in which a watcher, the late John Croucher, lived night and day until the fishing was finished. On the Pond Penstock being opened, the rush of water carried with it great quantities of mud and weeds, together with large numbers of fish, which, being stopped by the gratings, were taken out and put in the stewponds. When the water level of the Pond was sufficiently reduced, men entered and waded up the Trench with barn shovels and threw out the heavy silt which the current had not carried with it when the Penstock was opened. This in the course of centuries has formed banks on either side, thereby adding to the danger to bathers.

From the opening of the Penstock it took about six weeks for the Pond to be sufficiently drained to allow the actual fishing to begin. Before this, at about the end of the fifth week, a structure consisting of four upright posts about 8ft. high with a cross bar at the top, from which two large wooden scoops were suspended by chains, was erected between the Basin and the Trench. When the water ceased to flow by gravitation, generally about three days before that fixed for the actual fishing, these scoops were worked by relays of men, who continued baling until the completion of the fishing. In the meantime the fish had followed the falling water to the deepest part of the Pond, now reduced to very small dimensions. By the day of the fishing this small area of mud and water, immediately behind and in the Basin, had become a seething mass of fish; men provided with landing nets and baskets waded into the mud and scooped up the helpless prey. They were brought ashore, where farm carts were waiting to take them to the stew-ponds. There they were sorted, the large ones placed in one stew-pond for the market, the lesser in another for re-stocking the Little and other Ponds in the district.'

Matthew Savill has an entry in Ancestry Public Member Trees for John Croucher born in About 1835 in Churt, Surrey, son of Chjarles and Charlotte Croucher, his marriage to Elizabeth Baker on 4 March 1859 at St Mary the Virgin, Frensham, Surret, his son James, the census entries, his death on 11 October 1905 in Churt and his burial on 15 October 1905 aged 70. Shirley Dave has similar information but giving 7 children - incorrectly including Maria, and not including Emily or Ernest.There are some sixty other entries.


John Croucher.


John Croucher was my great grandfather.

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