Crowe, Crow, Crough, Croagh .... Croak, ... Croke ... and the rest of the Crew?
From an early age I always understood Crow was English and CrowE was Irish. The E was added to differentiate from the English? Maybe, but, as the story goes, the Crows of Norfolk, England also added an E to avoid being associated with the bird (The English bird is smaller, better looking and smarter than the larger Ravens and Rooks, to say nothing of the equivalent American crows!) :)
Growing research shows that the Crowes of Norfolk may be from central, eastern Europe or have been added to ones already in the UK. Also Crow is found later in the north-eastern counties of Ireland? Scottish groups also claim Crow is from the family of Ross. I will leave that for their websites but as yet, no one is linking the English and Irish groups through DNA and of course in the USA there is the native American tribe.
Crowe and Variations Distribution Maps
Crowe and Crow Distribution Ireland 1851 - note the diagonal band of no Crowes from NW to SE? This would support the long standing evolution of the name from Concrada in Clare. Now backed up by DNA evidence.
Croagh Distribution Central Tipperary
Crowe Distribution England, Scotland and Wales 1881 and 1998
Once we look for variations in Crowe and Crow the whole thing becomes a mess of phonetics, literacy, spelling, calligraphy and random human error. Then there is the transcribers problem of interpreting all this information without any knowledge of all the possible names in a register compounding things. The fact the transcribers make something of the registers, often in a poor state, is nothing short of a miracle. However, be open minded about your search criteria
The discovery of the variation Crough as a legitimate one (see link below) for Tipperary, Ireland in the mid-1800s lead to me writing to Ancestry, Find My Past and the Irish Records office to campaign for its inclusion in the search engine variations for Crowe. However, a similar effort for Croagh was not treated the same way and often has to be searched for separately. I have as many as five variations in one family and this is not unusual at all to see different names on different certificates for the same person.
One significant factor here is that there was one variation entry before 1800 (maybe low record numbers) however, the name in the 1901 Census has two entries and in the 1911 census, they cease to exist! Did they all migrate? :) Did they all become Crowe? Standardisation of the names in Ireland became common after the 1863 introduction of mandatory state registers of Birth, Marriage & Deaths. Where the name was carried abroad Crough and some Croagh names thrived, especially in America and Oceania.
Lastly, you will find Crough and Croagh used in the Gaelic naming of mountains in Ireland. To hear people from the British Isles speaking the -ough suffix you can understand that there is an argument about whether there are 6 or 9 different pronunciations. Given the variety of dialects and accents, even now, you will bear in mind that all the variations are possible misrecordings, phonetically and visually? This is the content of the next page and in an appendix (to come) I will provide a list of all the valid variations I have discovered as a plain list - to copy and make your own reference point. Please let me know if you have others
Of course these variations stray into other accepted names, So is Crook really Croak or visa versa? Other tangible evidence needs to be sought or maybe a search will reveal no other Crook is found within 80km (50m) and help a decision?
Details of name variations Click Here