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We believe that our origins are in Sweden where the name was spelt "SELVS". At some point they married into French nobility and moved to France but in the revolution inserted the second "e" as a disguise! Fearing for their lives and that the ploy had not worked they fled to Norfolk, England and lived in a castle but there the story dries up.

We pick it up with my great grandfather, William John Selves who was a London docker and died aged 90 on 23rd October 1952. He was married to Susan "Big Nannie" Porter who had a brother named Arthur who ran a business known as South East London Timber Company in Croft Street, Rotherhithe, London SE16. Gandi, as my great grandad was known, worked for the Port of London Authority for the last 50 year of his working life, retiring aged 84.

The family were all based around Rotherhithe and Deptford where my Grandfather, another William John set up a saw bench operation in Deptford which flourished and made him very wealthy, but which was commandeered by the Government at the outbreak of World War 2.

I have found 49 entries in the UK phone book for Selves and am contacting them, but am sure based on the dominance of South London and North Kent addresses that their roots will be in Gandi's generation or one back.

The mystery is what happened between Norfolk and London. Maybe they fled again to the USA, there appear to be a number listed. Maybe one of them came back to the London docks and settled.

My instinct tells me there is a story in this and that there is something in the past which we do not know. My godfrather, a cousin of my deceased father, is now 77 and tells me that he was always told that it was better not to know some of the past "for fear of what he might learn"!

We shall see!

I love London and hate Paris and always have!!
The SELVES Family - United Kingdom
Updated January 7, 2001


David Robert John Selves
Queen Square
North Curry, Somerset TA3 6JS
Great Britain-England
Fax: 07000.782523

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