Patrick Russell Cruise – From Ireland to America


On 11th August 1825 Patrick Russell Cruise married Teresa Johnson in Warrenstown House, the ancestral seat of the Johnson family in county Meath.[1]  The marriage united two ancient families, with origins in competing cultural and political traditions.

Left: reproduced with the permission of the board of Trinity College Library
Below: marriage record for Patrick Russell Cruise and Teresa Johnson

The Johnson family were descended from the O’Neill of the Fews, and could trace direct descent back to Níall Glundubh (d. 919) high king of the northern Uí Néill Gaelic princes of Ulster.[2]  The Cruise family could trace their origins in Ireland to the 1170s and the Anglo-Norman invasion,[3] while the Russell family (the other ‘name’ in this double-surname) are first visible in the Irish records in the 1200s.

Left: the Battle of Kinsale. Reproduced with the permission of the board of Trinity College Library

These families had survived the bloody Tudor conquest, and the religious wars of the 1600s, with differing fortunes.  The Cruise and Russell families held fast to their catholic religion, and consequently lost much of their Irish lands.  The marriage that united these two families also revived both their fortunes, and they lived comfortably in Drynam House, a large Jacobean Manor house built in 1627 by the Russells to the south of the town of Swords, in North county Dublin.  By contrast the Johnson family seized on the opportunities opening up in the new American colonies, and by the early 1700s the family were trans-Atlantic, with a foot-hold in Ireland and in New York State.  Teresa Johnson was born ca. 1805 in New York, but her father Charles Johnson maintained links on both sides of the Atlantic, and it is probable that Patrick Russell Cruise and Teresa Johnson first met in Ireland.

Right: Drynam House, home of the Russells

In 1825 the young married Russell-Cruise couple determined that their future was in the United States of America.  They sailed for America settling in Haverstraw New York, and began to raise a family.  Their first son Robert was born ca. 1826, and their youngest known child, a daughter Mary Pauline Russell Cruise was born ca. 1832 in New Jersey.[4]

[1] Dunshaughlin RC parish registers, private marriage recorded in Warrenstown House.
[2] National Library of Ireland, Genealogical Office Manuscript 177, pp. 114-9; also G.O. Ms. 165, pp. 221-3.
[3] Augustino de Cruce witnessed a grant of land in Dublin, by Strongbow, [no date but prior to April 1176], for a transcript of this deed see J.T. Gilbert (ed.) Register of the Abbey of St. Thomas Dublin (London, 1889), p. 370; See also An Archaeological and historical assessment of Cruicetown church and graveyard (Kilkenny, 2005), Discovery Programme, Dr. Niall Brady et. al.
[4] Mary Pauline Russell Cruise gives different ages in different official records, but her year of birth is given most consistently as 1832.