curgenven cornwall genealogy - family history.
The Premise: all Curgenvens and their descendants are related.

The very Cornish sounding name CURGENVEN appears to have been an invention by the Reverend Thomas LEAN (born 1644 in Lelant, Cornwall - died 1712 at Folke, Dorset), Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, in 1680 Married Dorothy PITT (of the family that produced the two William PITTS ). Headmaster of Sherborne school Dorset (1683 - 1695) and then Rector of the nearby Parish of Folke.

It can only be speculation as to why he changed his name, perhaps he thought LEAN too common a name for his position, but why CURGENVEN? there is no prior record of this name. His brother William had married a Rachel RICHARD whose family had earlier used the alias VENVYN but why would that be a reason to change your own name?

Rev Thomas and Dorothy had no issue, so how did the name created by him propagate? His brother William died in 1689 and William's widow Rachel died in 1692 leaving their children orphaned, William and Rachel's sons John, Thomas and Peter were looked after (no record of adoption found ) by the Rev Thomas ( their names changing to CURGENVEN ) and were found positions with the East India Company ( Rev Thomas's brother-in-law was Thomas 'Diamond' PITT, Governor of Madras. ) William and Rachel's fourth son Richard also took up the alias CURGENVEN as did the family of the Rev Thomas's other brother John.

From the above information, all the people who started the Curgenven name were related,
[] any person with the surname Curgenven is genetically related (except previously unrelated females who married into the Curgenven name).
[] any descendent of any Curgenven, no matter what their subsequent surnames become, are genetically related.

It seems that the premise is proven, but genealogical knowledge & data can often be erroneous, we must allow for:
[] non paternal events (a stranger creeping into the marital bed)
[] a non related Curgenven wife becoming widowed, having an illegitimate child by a non Curgenven man, but passing her "married" name on to that child.
[] a non Curgenven child adopted by a Curgenven family but no subsequent records or mention of such adoption.
[] did any other person or family not related to the original Lean family take up the name Curgenven? but not leave any trace of such a name change in wills, deeds or other official documents.

When I started to look at the premise that all Curgenvens are related, it seemed it would be a "doddle" to prove, but now I'm not so certain. If you have any ideas or information, especially if you know of persons other than the original Lean family that took up the name of Curgenven please please contact me.

  see two articles: Curgenven: Ancient or Modern? CFHS Journal, March 1988 by Alan Kent
Memorial to Peter Curgenven.    CFHS Journal, March 1989 by Alan Kent
see webpage: Peter Curgenven's Memorial Inscription  (on this website)
  book: Thomas Curgenven and Three Nephews. by A. J. Curgenven  

Alan Kent, Cornwall Family History Society, member no. 00026 is an acknowledged expert on the Curgenven name.
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