For our Family there are still many "brick walls" within our Tree that, over time,
may be eventually broken down. However, the most important of these is that surrounding
the origins of our oldest known ancestor, Francis Kervil. He didn't come from an
alien planet (at least I hope not!) but in many ways he does seem to just surface
in West Sussex with little or no earlier evidence in that area. Unfortunately his
probable birth date would seem to fit into the time known as the 'Commonwealth' period
- when the religious upheavals meant that many clergy stopped recording christenings,
marriages and burials.
However, I have come across two burial entries in records of Bosham Parish Church
that may throw a 'chink of light' against the Family "brick wall". I have spoken
with Gordon Kearvell from Slough, who was one of the architects of the earliest family
tree compiled in the 1970/80s, and he was unaware of these entries from his research.
The two burial entries are:-
1690 Henry Kervill 4 May 1690 son of Francis alias GRILL
1708 Martha Kervill 3 Sept 1708 daughter of John
What could these entries tell us?
Firstly, the existence of a son of Francis in 1690 points to the 1st marriage to
Mary Wiles (at Chidham West Sussex in February 1687) not being childless as previously
believed. Secondly, and more excitingly, if the entry refers to our Francis it reveals
that he was also known by an alias. At that time of religious and political unrest
it was not uncommon for people to use an alias and maybe we are now also looking
for someone called Francis Grill.
The entry for Martha points to a slight possiblity of John being another child of
Francis's 1st marriage - he would be in his late teens and it was not uncommon for
teenagers to marry in those days. More likely I believe, it may signify a previously
unknown (younger?) brother of our Francis. A fact that is further borne out by the
discovery from a Sussex Marriage Licence Index of a licence granted in 1728 to a
John Kervill and Mary Screvens of Angmering. One of their sponsors is a John Kervill
(groom's father?) and this indicates that there was a John Kervill living in and
raising a family in West Sussex in early 1700s.