A-Z Challenge- Surnames

Forgive the early entry but can’t do a post tomorrow!


Curgenven is a very rare and strange surname.

It’s probably true that ALL CURGENVEN’s are related. It appears to have been invented by the Rev. Thomas LEAN who was born in 1644 in Lelant, Cornwall. He died in 1712. No one knows WHY he changed his surname to CURGENVEN and there is no prior record of this surname. His brother William LEAN went by the alias VENVYN..

Rev. Thomas CURGENVEN and his wife had no children. When his brother died in 1689 and his widow died in 1692, leaving their 3 children John, Thomas and Peter orphaned, they were looked after by the Rev. Thomas and given the new surname CURGENVEN. His brother’s 4th son Richard also took up the surname CURGENVEN. Even Rev. Thomas’s older brother took up the new surname.

Richard inherited from his youngest brother Peter, who died in 1729 leaving no children, £1,000 and from his father £3.

The family tree continues through the fifth child John who married Elizabeth Ball on the 12 December 1747 in Veryan.

He and Elizabeth had six children – Susanna 1747, John 1754, Elizabeth Ann 1756, Jenkin 1760, Thomas 1763 and Richard John Jenkin Ball 1766. (Elizabeth had a child prior to marriage – likely Richards’ as he was named Richard Curgenven Ball in 1743).

Richard obviously had time on his hand as he also had an ongoing relationship with an Elizabeth Wakeham with whom he fathered three other children – Peter 1757, Mary 1759 (d 1761), Mary 1761. John died 29 November 1794 and Elizabeth (Curgenven) in 1793. He also inherited the Calendra properties in Veryan from his father in 1745.

Veryan is one of the prettiest villages I have ever visited. We were lucky enough to go there in 2004. We went to the farm house that my husband’s great grandmother worked at as a servant and we took a stroll through an amazingly old, and enchanting cemetery FULL of my husband’s ancestors! This particular branch of his family (DUNN, BALL, CURGENVEN etc.) had stayed in this same village from the early 1600s until his great grandmother emigrated in 1910.



We loved exploring the old St. Symphorian cemetery and finding my husband’s ancestors! Below is a photo of my husband crouched between 2 of his ancestors and my youngest peeking over another one behind!

You can see that the stone on the right below shows his ancestor Elizabeth DUNN who died in 1818 almost 200 years ago! She was born Elizabeth Ann CURGENVEN in Veryan on the 27th of August, 1756. Her son is buried to the left. How cool it is to be able to set foot on the same ground his ancestors lived on 300 years ago!



Here is a link to another CURGENVEN who has done extensive research about her family . We are related through Richard and Frances Curgenven.


I have to say, I’m so grateful to my husband for providing me with such amazing characters to research! My family tree pales in comparison.




About tiesthatbindsite

I'm a genealogist with a passion for Scottish and English ancestry. I'm trilingual so I can also do research in French Canadian records and Italian records. My love for family history began 35 years ago and continues to grow every day. My family is very important to me and I hope to instill in them a love for "where they came from" so that they can better understand who they are. I also want to share my love of family history with anyone who understands how important it is to not lose site of their ancestors. They all have a story to tell.
This entry was posted in April 2016- A-Z Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A-Z Challenge- Surnames

  1. cassmob says:

    Now that’s a surname I’ve not encountered before.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Me either until I researched his family tree!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wendy says:

    It amazes me how often the oldest stones are easier to read than newer ones.

    Liked by 1 person

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