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The KEARVELLs of Bosham - Descendants of Francis Kervil

Updated December 29, 2002

*** NEW HOMEPAGE now available at ***
(this site will not be updated after October 2002)

The worldwide Kearvell Family is indebted to Gordon Kearvell from Slough England and Mary Voyle (nee Kearvell) from New Zealand, the architects of the earliest family trees put together in the 1970/80s. Their careful research connected our name back to the one marriage in 1693 at Bosham in Sussex, England between FRANCIS KERVIL (unk-1715) and ELIZABETH CUPIN (1671-1707).

Back in 2000, I set myself the target of contacting as many Kearvells worldwide as I could find with the intention of updating Gordon and Mary’s earlier work. I also undertook research at a Family History Centre to infill the Family Tree with all 19/20th century family members. From a Tree with a few hundred names it has now grown to one of over 800 names with the help of the responses from family members in England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA and even Mexico! The present Tree is now comprehensive enough to enable any family members to quickly identify their particular branch. The only known gaps are with our Adelaide, South Australian cousins where we do not have full details of the decendants of Edward and Alice Kearvell who emigrated to Adelaide in the early 1890s.

What do we know ?

* Firstly, we truly are a unique family. Everyone in the world with our surname is related and a descendant of Francis Kervil who married Elizabeth Cupin in Bosham, Sussex in 1693

* Francis Kervil’s in-laws were Stephen and Rose Cupin from Bosham.

* The spelling of our surname has seen many variations recorded over the years with the "modern-day" KEARVELL first used in 1752

* A family bible entry recounts the story of the brothers who set out to walk from Bosham to London in the late 18th century. Francis and Richard Kervell did indeed reach London and, after marrying, settled in Linchmere, Surrey and Warfield, Berkshire. They were the first family members to live outside the county of Sussex

* Tom Kervell, Parish Clerk, is infamous in the 19th century for (allegedly) setting light to Bosham Parish records

* Victorian Census Returns show we were predominantly artisans – in particular Carpenters and Wheelwrights

* The first Kearvells to emigrate to Australia were Edward and Alice who settled in Adelaide, South Australia in the early 1890s

* William David Kearvell was the only member of the family to lose his life during the Two World Wars of the 20th century. Uniquely, The War Graves Commission has confirmed that our surname is the only one in their records with a single entry

* The Family Web Page contains family anecdotes, historical articles and family photographs as well as the updated Family Tree.

* The Family Tree now numbers over 800 names

I guess you just never know what you are going to uncover when you start looking into the vast jigsaw that is a Family Tree. For me, perhaps the greatest find has been to discover a late 19th century photograph of my Great Grandfather John.Remarkably, this is the first time that most of my family branch have ever seen his photograph.

For our Family, the Million Dollar question must be "Where did Francis Kervil originate from?" There are many theories within the Family but, so far, no proof. Please see Related Files on this webpage for a review of the theories.

I hope this Family Home Page will enable the family to keep in touch, share stories and update research. If you have photos, stories, information or just want to say hello please send me an e-mail.

© Mike Kearvell Wantage Oxfordshire UK April 2002

TIP: Opening (clicking) InterneTree.
Then open 'Search' and 'Find Person'. Find Francis Kervil in list of names and click OK. The full Tree will open. Use 'Maximise' for easier viewing.
Double clicking names will reveal information held.
Mike Kearvell

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My Family History


Family Photos

  • Henry John Kearvell 1889-1935 (27 KB)
    A young Royal Engineer pictured in 1910. Born in Bosham, Henry was a regular soldier and was recalled for service at the start of WW1. He was wounded and convalesced in Wantage, then in Berkshire, where he married and settled down.
  • Douglas Ede Kearvell (1891-1969) (89 KB)
    20 years-old Douglas Ede Kearvell (the left hand of the two men in the centre) pictured in 1911 at Inlands Farm, Nutbourne with vegetables loaded on carts for Portsmouth market. The traction engine was known as the Little Giant. The farm was owned by the Wakeford brothers.
  • Eliza Kearvell (1813-1891) (63 KB)
    Eliza (daughter of John Kearvell and Martha Copus) was a 1st cousin once removed of her husband, George Florance Kearvell (1810-1883). They lived at West Stoke and were the parents of a family, said to be 15 children, but records of only 14 have been found.
  • Eliza Kearvell 1848 - 1925 (22 KB)
    Eliza was one of the fourteen children of George Florence and Eliza Kearvell from West Stoke. She is pictured here with her husband, Thomas Read, who was Head Gardener at Slinfold Lodge.The photo (taken before 1890)is reproduced from "Memories of Yesterday" a book by Pansy James, a granddaughter of Eliza.
  • Edward Albert Kearvell (1936-1995) and family (53 KB)
    Edward Albert Kearvell, a former police officer, and his wife, Merle Foot, pictured with their children at home in South Australia. Steven(1967- ), Deborah (1963- ), Leslie (1961- ) and Ashley (1959- )
  • Ethel Florence Kearvell (1885-Unk) (43 KB)
    Ethel is pictured here with her husband Horace Evans. She was a daughter of Frederick Kearvell and Kate Simmonds.
  • South Australian Youngsters (81 KB)
    The grandchildren of Edward Albert and Merle Kearvell - Michael (1989- ), Nathan (1989-), Justin, James. Son Steve holding Brendan (1997- ), Tina (1993- ), Samantha (1992- ) and Alex (1994- )
  • Family Group of Kate Kearvell (1852-1938) (42 KB)
    Kate Kearvell(nee Simmonds)- centre, left - was the wife of Frederick, one of the West Stoke large Kearvell family. One of her three daughters, Lucy Florence (1883-unk)is centre, back and her only son, Frederick Florance is at the front. His wife, Adeline Ralph is centre, right. Their twin sons, Frederick Francis and Ronald William are in the back row and their daughter, Florence Ada is alongside her father. The two girls on the outsides of the back row are believed to be the girlfriends of the twins (future wives Betty and Aileen?) and the young lad in the front is unknown. (June 01)
  • William George Kearvell (1881-Unk) and son Edward (42 KB)
    William George was born in 1881 at West Ashling Sussex and emigrated to Australia in early 1890s with his parents, Edward and Alice. He is pictured here in South Australia with his son Edward. They also can be seen, in earlier times, on the Adelaide Garden Party photo
  • Emily Kearvell (1854-unk) (61 KB)
    Emily Kearvell was the youngest daughter of George Florance and Eliza Kearvell from West Stoke. She married Jessie Shepherd and had three sons. Photographs of her sister Eliza (1848-1925) and her mother, Eliza (1814-1891) are on this Family Page.
  • Elsie Winifred Kearvell 1900-1981 (38 KB)
    Elsie Winifred was the youngest child of William George Kearvell and Clara Smith. She is pictured here at the age of 21, six years before she married Robert James Payne - she had met her future husband when he delivered meat to the house in Redhill where she was in service.
  • Lisa Kearvell (157 KB)
    Lisa Kearvell is pictured on her marriage to Glen Humphrey in Canada on 10 June 2000.
  • Garden Party Adelaide South Australia c 1920 (80 KB)
    William George Kearvell (1881-unk), the 3rd son of Edward and Alice (first family emigrants to Australia), is standing top left with his foot up on the seat. His wife, Victoria Menz, is seated. Their only son, Edward, is lying on the ground in front of them. At one time I wondered if the others in the photograph were members of Edward and Alice's large family, but now an Australian contact has confirmed that they are all from the Menz family. As the contact said "we should have known since William George is the only handsome one in the picture!". (09/01)
  • Edward George Kearvell 1899-1980 (28 KB)
    Edward George is pictured here in profile and inset is his wife, Edith Mabel Payne (1896-1974). They had met at the wedding of Elsie, Edward's sister, to Edith's brother, Robert.
  • Annie Caroline Kearvell 1893-1971 (12 KB)
    The eldest of three daughters of George Girdler Kearvell and Agnes Parvin, born in Bosham. Annie spent much of her life in Domestic Service and lived for many years in Eastbourne Sussex.
  • Edward Kearvell and 2nd wife Iris Jean Howe (48 KB)
    Edward from South Australia pictured with his 2nd wife Iris. Edward was the son of William George Kearvell and Victoria Menz and the grandson of Edward and Alice, the first Kearvells to emigrate from Sussex England to South Australia in the 1890s. (07/01)
  • Steven Kearvell and Sharon Dixon marry July 2002 (40 KB)
    Alan and Maureen Kearvell from Blackburn Lancashire UK at the marriage of their son, Steven to Sharon Dixon. Completing the Kearvell family clan are Steven's two sisters, Susan (on left) and Selena (on right).
  • Tyne and Wear Family Wedding (49 KB)
    Robert William 'Bob' Kearvell, with his middle son Alan and daughter in law Valerie and his youngest son Brian and daughter in law Marie and their two children, Scott and Shona, pictured at the recent wedding of his grandaughter Lucy Joanne.
  • Lucy Joanne Kearvell on her wedding day (27 KB)
    Lucy Joanne Kearvell, second daughter of Kenneth and Lorna Kearvell from Tyne and Wear pictured on her recent wedding day with younger brother Kenneth.
  • Alfred George Kearvell (1865-1952) (28 KB)
    Alfred George is pictured with his wife Sarah Jane Holloway at Xmas 1917. The picture was taken in a studio in Balham, London.
  • Funtington Parish Church and War Memorial (52 KB)
    This is the memorial that bears the name of William David Kearvell - see Related Files, The Ultimate Sacrifice
  • William Richard Kearvell 1887-1956 (35 KB)
    William Richard, eldest son of William George Kearvell and Clara Smith, is pictured here in his postman's uniform. He married Catherine Louise James
  • William John "Jack" Kearvell 1916- (15 KB)
    BSM "Jack" Kearvell, Royal Artillery, pictured in the Middle East during WW2. Born in Wantage Berkshire, "Jack" was a keen sportsman at school and a renowned goalkeeper in the local football league.
  • Lydia Kearvell (1867-1943) and her Mother (61 KB)
    Lydia Kearvell was the youngest daughter of Frederick Kearvell(1825-1868) and Louisa Tillwood(Abt 1828-Unk) from Bosham. She is pictured here with her mother(?), possibly in the early 1900s. Lydia married George Henry Stoveld from Bosham in 1886.
  • William George Kearvell 1862-1941 (70 KB)
    William George is pictured here with his second wife, Matilda Gunner. Matilda, a widow and family friend, had helped nurse Clara Smith, William's first wife, until her death in 1902
  • Coat of Arms of the Ancient Surname Kervil (145 KB)
    Coat of Arms researched by Hall of Names Inc. Please also see Related File - 'The Ancient History of the Distinguished Surname Kervil'
  • Bosham Church on the Sussex Coast (53 KB)
    The Saxon Church at Bosham, one of the oldest religious sites in Sussex, and probably the most familiar landmark during the past 300 years for our Bosham ancestors
  • David Kearvell and Catherine Harrison (48 KB)
    David John Kearvell, son of Michael and Claudine Kearvell, pictured in April 2000 at his marriage to Catherine Harrison.
  • Bob Kearvell and Sons, Tyne and Wear, UK (85 KB)
    Robert William Kearvell (1922-2002 ) with his three sons Brian (1965), holding son Scott, Kenneth (1945- ) and Alan (1954- ) (Feb 2002)
  • Tyne and Wear Family Wedding (60 KB)
    Carina Kearvell and husband Paul Martin pictured at their wedding in 2000 with Carina's sisters, Lucy and Julie
  • John Kearvell (1859-1908) (83 KB)
    John Kearvell, Shipwright Journeyman, from Bosham. Son of Edward Kearvell and Ellen Ansell. He is the webpage author's great grandfather and this is the first time that my branch of the family have ever seen a picture of him!
  • Robert William Kearvell and his wife, Irene Hall (68 KB)
    Born in Bosham, but having spent most of his life in Tyne and Wear, Robert William Kearvell (1922-2002) is pictured here with his wife Irene Hall (1922-1998)
  • Frederick James Kearvell (1876 - abt 1900) (42 KB)
    Frederick James, known as "Harry", was the son of Charlotte Kearvell from Bosham. He was killed in action in the Boer War.
  • Michael John Kearvell (1947- ) (53 KB)
    The Author of the Home Page.
  • John Kearvell (1889-1969) and family (44 KB)
    John Kearvell, Farm Carter, from Bosham pictured with his wife, Edith Puttock (1896-1960) and their first two children - Albert John (1917-1974) and baby Ralph (1919- ).
  • William Kearvell (1890-1976) and bride (72 KB)
    William Kearvell from Bosham, youngest son of Thomas Kearvell and Mary Ann Hacking, with his new bride, Daisy Kate (1899-1922), pictured on their wedding day in September 1919 at Funtington Sussex.
  • Thomas Kearvell (1856-1935) (56 KB)
    Born in Bosham, one of the ten children of Edward Kearvell and Ellen Ansell. Thomas was a Carpenter.
  • Mary Ann Kearvell (nee Huckin) and family (74 KB)
    Mary Ann Huckin (1854-1934) was the wife of Thomas Kearvell from Bosham. She is pictured here with four of her younger children, Winifred (1897-Unk),William (1890-1976), John (1889-1969), Lillian (1888-1954) and grandson Robert William (1922-2002 )
  • Gordon William Kearvell (1914-1964) (39 KB)
    Gordon William was the son of William Richard Kearvell and Catherine James. He is pictured here with his wife Edith Redfern. The photo was taken in 1961 on a boat on the Thames in London by their son Alan - the day he received his Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award.

Related Files

  • The first Kearvells to emigrate to Australia (2 KB)
    Some of the history of Edward and Alice Kearvell who settled in Adelaide in the early 1890s.
  • Meet the In-Laws (1 KB)
    We meet Francis Kervil's in-laws, including his mother-in-law the 'formidable' Rose.
  • The KEARVELL family of Bosham (6 KB)
    Article about the Family submitted to Angela Bromley-Martin, Local Sussex Historian, for inclusion in the future edition of the 'Bosham Omnibus'.
  • Ancient History of Surname Kervil (7 KB)
    Interesting text from a scroll researched by Hall of Names Inc. giving information into 'The Ancient History of the Distinguished Surname Kervil'. Please also see Family Photographs section of our Family Page for the Coat of Arms that accompanies this text.
  • Who really burnt the Bosham Parish records? (5 KB)
    Parish Clerk, Tom Kervell, is infamous in C J Longcroft's 19th century book about Bosham as the man who set light to the Parish Chest. But which Tom Kervell was he? and was anyone else to blame? Fascinating information has been supplied by one branch of the family on!
  • 'Power of the Pen' moves a Southerner to the N.E. (2 KB)
    Some of the personal history of Robert William "Bob" Kearvell (1922-2002), born in Bosham but who spent much of his life in the North East of England.
  • Where in the World are the Kearvells? (1 KB)
    A look at where the Kearvells on our database are to be found in the World
  • **** Latest Family News **** (1 KB)
    An update of news from around the Family
  • Where do you suppose your DIY skills come from? (1 KB)
    The Victorian Census Returns give an insight into the occupations of some of our ancestors.
  • The Family Tree Jigsaw (3 KB)
    How (apparently) unrelated family information can suddenly come together!
  • 1881 Census (78 KB)
    The Kearvell Family Members identified on the 1881 Census
  • What's in a Name? (3 KB)
    A look through the many variations of recorded spellings of our Family Name and modern-day pronounciation.
  • Francis Kervil - our oldest known ancestor (7 KB)
    There are many theories within the Family as to the origins of Francis Kervil. This is a summary of the theories and research to date.
  • Who, What and Where on the www (4 KB)
    The results of a 'Google' search on the Internet in November 2001
  • A Bible Story told .......... (3 KB)
    A Family Bible recounts the story of the two brothers who set out on foot from Bosham in the late 18th century to head for London
  • Kearvell used as a Christian name (3 KB)
    Whilst compiling the Family Tree it has been interesting to see occasions when our surname has been used as a Christian name.
  • The Ultimate Sacrifice (4 KB)
    The story of Gunner William David Kearvell in WW1. The only family member to lose his life during the two World Wars of the 20th century.

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