The most interesting aspect of compiling a Family Tree is to discover the personal
stories of our ancestors. Such things as where and how they lived, what were their
occupations and what happened to them during their lifetime. In our great Family
we have many unique people. People such as William David Kearvell who was to lose
his life during the 20th century conflict of World War One, Edward and Alice Kearvell,
the first family emigrants to Australia in the late 19th century, Tom Kervell, the
Bosham Parish Clerk, who is alleged to have burnt some of the parish records in the
early 19th century and the brothers, Francis and Richard Kervell from Bosham, who
set out to walk to London at the end of the 18th century.
In many cases the personal information and stories have been handed down through
the generations and it is not always easy to find accurate, corroborating evidence.
From the middle of the 19th century the going gets somewhat easier. The National
Census Returns start to reveal evidence of our ancestors every 10 years from 1841.
The latest Census to be available is the 1901 Return that was released in 2002. As
you can see from the dates, a period of 100 years must elapse before the information
is released. Therefore any of our descendants trying to compile information about
family members in 2001 will have to wait till 2101 for the release of public information.
However, one of the greatest changes to affect our lives in recent years has been
the phenomenal growth in the speed and extent of communications. In particular the
use of the Internet, where a vast amount of information is now recorded and can be
available around the World in seconds. Could our ancestors have possibly comprehended
this modern day phenomenon? How the death of William David on the battlefields of
Flanders would now be instantly known around the world. Edward and Alice would be
the subject of documentary makers. The deeds of "arsonist" Tom would be front page
news and the journey of brothers, Francis and Richard, probably a news item on local
tv and radio.
Now, in the space of less than one second, an Internet search engine (in this case‘Google’)
can list hundreds of entries that contain reference to and information about family
members around the world. References that show how diverse family occupations and
interests have become since those early artisan days in rural and coastal West Sussex.