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This page was last revised on November 20, 2017
Send email to: John Knouse.
This work covers four family groups:
The origins of the Clowdis/Crowdus family are obscure. See the link below for the only available story of family origins. I am assuming that all these groups are related. The family groups included here are:
The person who so far appears earliest in the records, William Cloudas/Croudas, who bought land in Essex County in 1707 and died in 1709, was undoubtedly part of the Cloudas family, but I think that he was a dead end. He apparently owned no land before 1707. His will mentions Sarah, pregnant with unborn child, and leaves everything to Sarah and the child, and mentions no other children. I believe that this would have been his first and only child, and that he probably did not marry Sarah until after he'd bought the land (which was a very common practice back then!). I had at first thought that William and John who are represented in the Christ Church records might have been twins from that pregnancy, but there is absolutely no evidence linking them with William and Sarah in any way. In fact, when Sarah sold the land, there was absolutely no mention of an heir, and it's my assumption that William and Sarah's child may have died young, may have been a girl, or, possibly, may have even been Isaac Bradburne, named as Sarah's only heir in her will when she died in old age (after William Bradburne, her second husband). In any case, Sarah remarried William Bradburne, and apparently died in 1771--so she MUST have been quite young in 1709. Also William Croudas, who was married to Elizabeth, had his presumably first child in 1729; if he was born in 1710, then he would have married at about 18--certainly not unheard of, but still somewhat unusual for a man then, ESPECIALLY someone whose father had died young.
And on top of all that, George Croudas of Goochland County had to have been born around 1710 or before, which makes three Croudas/Cloudas men born 1700-1710. Therefore, it's my assumption that William Croudas who died in 1709 had a brother who was the father of George, William and John. Sure enough, old Essex County, Virginia records show a George and Sarah Cloudas living there; the last record is in 1734 of George. This also clears up another little mystery, because the Christ Church records show a Sarah Cloudas dying in 1733, and the only other Sarah was William's wife, who remarried in 1734, and died in 1771! I'm quite sure that this George is the brother of William, and the father of John, William and George.
There is also an individual, transcribed as Abraham "Cluniss", who was undersheriff of Essex County in 1680. I haven't been able to examine the original record, so I don't know if this might be the missing father of George and William or not.
The ONLY modern-day descendants of the Essex/Middlesex group who still carry the Cloudas name and who have a PROVEN connection are the descendants of Pitman Cloudas, who moved to Kentucky in 1810/1811. They are also the only Cloudas descendants still using that spelling, but there are only a couple of dozen individuals, period, with that name spelling.
ALL the other Cloudas descendants still using some variation of the name in North America arebelieved to be descendants of George Cloudas, thought to be a grandson of the original George Cloudas and son of William Cloudas of Middlesex County.
Little is known about George Cloudas. He ran an "ordinary house", or inn, in Charlotte Court House in Virginia until his death in 1775. A notice of his death was posted in the Virginia Gazette in May, 1777, and an inventory was done in 1782-1783. Since his wife Mary shows up as administratix of his estate (and this is the ONLY mention of her name I've found) in 1775, then she apparently died in 1781/82. Charlotte County court records show that sons William and James were bound out to learn a trade in 1776, and son Francis was bound out in 1782. William is thought to have been the oldest, James third, and Francis fifth. The William CROWDUS who moved to Kentucky is presumed to be the son of George; his wife stated in a document that he was born in Charlotte County. James, Edmund, Francis and Wiley were known to have lived together in Halifax County, Virginia, adjacent to Charlotte County; Edmond's widow Judith with family and one of James' sons is known to have moved to Kentucky to live as neighbors to William. Further, James and Francis were at Edmond's wedding.
Wiley Spencer Cloudas and Mary Cloudas were mentioned in William Wily's will in Halifax County in 1783, as being children living with him. Since NO other Cloudas families were known from that area of Virginia, they are presumed to be George's children; further, Wiley lived in close proximity to his brothers in Halifax County according to the tax lists. One of Edmund's sons was also named Wiley. Mary is apparently the woman listed as "Polly Crowder" who married John Boyd in 1789 in Halifax County. The published (print) indexes list her as "Crowder", as she is listed in the original bond book, but the original marriage record (separate from the bond book) lists her as "Crowdes". There also were apparently no Crowder families living in Halifax County in 1789. And, of course, females named Mary at the time were almost invariably called "Polly".
Only one Halifax County mention exists of John, but it ties him to the family, because it is of a suit he filed against the William Wiley estate. Since George was probably the elder William's son, and there's no trace of his brother John after 1727, this John MUST have been an older son of George. This actually dovetails nicely with the presence of John Crowdass of James City County, born apparently around 1765/66. It had been a real puzzle where this John came from, and this connection explains it well. The spelling of his name as Crowdass also fits with his being George's son, since only George's branch was using the Cr- from of the name after about 1740.
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