Contrasting Emigration for CRYMES, CHRYMES, CRIMES and CHRIMES

Many uk-born people covered by this research emigrated to Australia, Canada and United States, mainly during the period 1850 to 1950. There is however a remarkable difference between the emigration outcomes for the four variant surnames.

For the CHRYMES surname, we should not be surprised that there are no known emigrations, given that there are so few people with this name and that the surname largely expired before the advent of mass travel.

The same might have been said of the CRYMES surname, were it not for the emigration of just one person. William CRYMES b.1646 emigrated to the English colony of Virginia, now part of the United States. William and his descendants became wealthy plantation owners and raised large families. They kept the surname CRYMES, to this day. William's descendants are included in this research as the "Virginia" branch which currently has 534 people named CRYMES, and seems set to continue well into the future. There are also several smaller groups of people with the name CRYMES or CRIMES who are black and are believed to be descendants of enslaved people "owned" by William's early descendants.

The remaining two surnames, CRIMES and CHRIMES, might be thought to reveal roughly equal numbers of emigrations - after all the total numbers of CRIMES and CHRIMES in the UK between 1850 and 1950 was about the same and their backgrounds were broadly similar. However, for reasons which are difficult to understand, the emigration outcomes for CRIMES and for CHRIMES are vastly different. Whilst researching the data for this website, I noticed a lack of records of CRIMES emigrations, so this story tries to set down some actual numbers to back up my "gut feel". We are mainly interested here in emigrations of males, who could potentially carry the surname forward, though both male and female emigrations are enumerated here for comparison. Where someone emigrated with family, just the head of the family is counted. Females who had married before emigration are not counted. Here are the numbers:

Total emigrations from the United Kingdom to all countries:

CHRIMES males25
CRIMES males11
CHRIMES females2
CRIMES females6

These numbers do not tell the whole story, as 11 CRIMES male emigrants could potentially have produced a large number of present-day descendants in their adopted countries (as with William CRYMES) - but they haven't! From the 11 CRIMES males only 8 sons were born. Of these 8 sons, one died in infancy, one died age 23 and there are no records of the other 6 having children, so the CRIMES name appears to have expired after just one generation in their adopted countries. This is in marked contrast to the CHRIMES name - not surprising, given the 25 male emigrations - as there are thriving present-day populations of CHRIMES in both Australia and the United States, and a relatively small number in Canada.

So in summary:

CHRYMESNo presence outside of United Kingdom
CRYMESA large presence in United States based on just one emigration
CHRIMESSignificant presences in Australia, Canada and United States based on many separate emigrations
CRIMESVery small presences in Australia, Canada and United States based on a small number of emigrations

Note of caution:
Because birth records are not easily available for Australia, Canada or the United States covering the last 50 years, there may be more people named CRIMES than are recorded here - but then the same could be said of people named CHRIMES, so the difference between the two names is likely to remain.

Remaining Questions:

  • Why have so many more CHRIMES than CRIMES emigrated?
  • Why did the CRIMES who did emigrate not raise large families?
  • Why did more CRIMES than CHRIMES females emigrate?

Other interesting aspects of emigration:

  • There are several cases where siblings emigrated separately - the first presumably convincing the second to follow (the 2 CHRIMES females were sisters, there are other examples amongst the CHRIMES males and there are 2 pairs of brothers in the 11 CRIMES emigrations)
  • The most internationally mobile family was that of John William CHRIMES b.1878 Manchester (Tarvin branch) who emigrated with his wife to Canada c.1914. In 1920 they moved to the United States and during the 1920s they were resident in San Francisco, as were John William's two brothers Harold and George Fred, who had emigrated to the United States with their wives. However, John William eventually settled in Australia c.1940 and died there in 1951.

David Chrimes

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