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The Family Tree Jigsaw - how apparently

unconnected information can suddenly

come together

Putting together a Family Tree is, in many ways, like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle. Often there are pieces that do not appear to fit and only when other pieces are discovered do the originals finally take their place. Let me give you an example to illustrate the point.

 

If you have already read the ‘1881 Census’ article on this website you will be aware that our surname has been transcribed/spelt in many and various ways. One of the varied spellings that I reviewed closely was Kervell. One particular entry intrigued me.

 

Harriet Kervell aged 20 Birthplace stated as Sheen Berkshire

 

A housemaid in the service of Alderman, J P and Banker Charles Halsted from Chichester Sussex.

 

Nothing unusual in that you may think. Kervells do exist in the south of England and they are not all related to us. However I had never come across them in Berkshire. Also I was certain that there was no place called Sheen in Berkshire. Could the entries have been transcribed/spelt incorrectly? Could Kervell really be Kearvell? Could Sheen really be Speen Berkshire? I knew of Speen. It is a village on the north west outskirts of Newbury. I also remembered that William Kearvell (1840-1915) from West Stoke Sussex had married Amelia Parsons, who had been born at Shaw-cum-Donnington Berkshire. Like Speen, Shaw is a village on the northern outskirts of Newbury. However, no Harriets matched on our Family Tree and with nothing further to connect this Harriet, the information went on to the "back burner".

St James Winterbourne Berkshire
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