My three times great grandmother, Susannah Divall was probably born in Lewisham Village in Kent at the end of 1820 as she was baptised in St Mary’s, Lewisham on the 15th January 1821. Her parents were John Divall and Mary Ann, and her father was an innkeeper in the Village. She joined siblings John (born 1815), Fanny (born 1817) and Maria (born 1818); John’s baptism record is the only one to place the family at the Castle public house, while they all say he is either a Victualler or an Innkeeper. At first glance Fanny’s name does not appear in the baptism register, instead a Job Divall is baptised on the 16th February 1817. There is no further trace of Job and I believe this record should be for Fanny and that the register entry is incorrect. The following record is for a Fanny Trevett born to parents Job and Sarah from Sydenham. In the 1871 census there is a Job Trevett born in Sydenham in about 1821. I think the Vicar (Ed. Offord) or whoever wrote the transcript, got the christian names of the babies transposed as Fanny Divall definitely did exist! The Divall children’s grandparents were Henry Grubb and his wife Fanny, and their mother was Henry and Fanny’s daughter Mary Ann who married John Divall on the 18th March 1813 in Southwark. An inscription on a tomb in Lewisham churchyard explains what has happened to the family and also looks ahead: 112. Flat tomb In memory of | Fanny GRUBB | who died August 7th 1802 in her 39th year. Also Mary Ann DIVALL daughter of the above who died October 2nd 1824 in her 33rd year. Also John Divall husband of the above Mary Ann Divall who died September 27th 1827 aged 48 years. Also John Divall son of John and Mary Divall who died 16 November 1841 aged 26 years. Also Henry Grubb husband of the above Fanny Grubb who died July 29th 1845 in his 82nd year. Also Henry Grubb son of the above died September 30th 1863 aged 77 years. In the 1841 census Susannah, with her brother John and sister Maria are living with their grandfather Henry Grubb, and their uncle of the same name in Lewisham village next to the Black Bull. The Grubbs are both Greengrocers, while John Divall is a Collector. Their sister Fanny had married Kemsey Ingersoll on the 6th August 1839 at St George the Martyr in Southwark. She is 23, and he is 21 and a Farrier; one of the witnesses is John Divall, presumably her brother. Kemsey and Fanny went on to have ten children all born in Lewisham, and by one of those strange genealogical coincidences their son Frederick Riley Ingersoll, born in 1857, went on to become the step-father of my grandfather who married one of Fanny’s sister Susannah’s great grandchildren! Susannah’s brother John died in November 1841 from a ruptured blood vessel. On his death certificate his occupation is given as Gentleman and the informant is a neighbour, Isabella Turpin. There’s more about the Turpins on the Grubb page. Their sister Maria Divall seems to disappear from the records, though a possible candidate was buried at St Alphege, Greenwich on 14 July 1854, age 32, from the Workhouse. Susannah gave birth to a daughter Louisa Frances Robson on the 31st December 1843 in Lewisham Village. She was baptised at St Mary’s Lewisham on the 31st January 1844. On both her birth certificate and her baptismal register entry her father’s name is given as John Robson, Coachman. However so far I have been unable to find a marriage for Susannah Rosina Divall and John Robson. Considering how well known the Grubbs, Divalls and Ingersolls must have been in Lewisham Village at this time, it would be surprising if she was not married, unless of course the families closed ranks ... The problem is not helped by being unable to find her and her daughter in the 1851 census, and no likely John Robson either. Susannah and Louisa re-appear on the 1861 census lodging at 87 Railway Grove, Deptford. Susan Robson is a widow, 39 and a needlewoman; Louisa Robson is 18. They were both to get married in the October of that year at St Paul’s, Deptford. Susan married William Charles Cater, a widower and a Labourer “of this parish” on the 13th. A week later on the 20th Louisa married Isaac Cattley. Each couple acts as witnesses to the other couple’s weddings. In early 1864 letters of administration were granted to Fanny Ingersoll and Susannah Rosina Cater, both of Lewisham, the nieces of Henry Grubb the younger who died intestate. Documents relating to the disposal of the estate are at Lewisham Archives, and at some stage I must get there to look at them to see if there is any clue to Susannah’s whereabouts between her marriage in 1861 and her death on the 10th March 1875 in Angus Street, Deptford which was registered by her husband. The most likely couple in the 1871 census are a Charles and Susan Cater living in the parish of Horton in Bradford. Charles is an excavator, aged 50 and born in Cambridge; Susan is a laundress, aged 40, and born in Kent. They are both a long way from home, and if this is them they were back in Angus Street, Deptford by 1875, when Charles registered Susan’s death from cancer. Louisa and her family are all living in Deptford in 1871, and her story is continued on the Cattley page. William Divall a Victualler of Lewisham wrote his will on the 29th March 1831 and died shortly afterwards as it was proved on the 19th April of the same year. The coincidence of name, occupation and place makes it almost certain that he is a brother of John Divall senior. His will is quite detailed: he probably never married as he doesn’t mention children and leaves all his property to his brothers and sisters and also to the orphaned children of his brother John - which would fit in with the death of John Divall senior in 1827. His executor is Henry Grubb the elder. Will of William Divall Victualler Lewisham 1831 This is the last will and testament of me William Divall of Lewisham in the county of Kent victualler. First I direct that all my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses may be fully paid and satisfied as soon after my decease as conveniently may be and after payment thereof and subject thereto I give and bequeath to my brother James Divall the sum of ten pounds of like lawful British money for his absolute use. Also to my brother Stephen Divall the sum of thirty pounds of lawful money for his absolute use. Also to my brother David Divall the sum of fifteen pounds of like lawful money for his absolute use. Also to my sister Martha Randall the sum of twenty pounds of like lawful money for her absolute use. Also to my sister Mary ....... late Mary Divall Spinster the sum of twenty pounds of like lawful money for her absolute use and to my niece Helene Divall the sum of five pounds of like lawful money for her absolute use and which said six special Legacies I direct may be paid to my respective Legators as soon as the sum may be conveniently raised by my Executor after my decease. Also I give to my said brother the said David Divall all my wearing apparel of every kind and description whatsoever to be delivered to him immediately after my decease for his absolute use. Also I give to my said brother the said Stephen Divall my watch and whatever appendages may be attached thereto to be delivered to him immediately after my death for his absolute use. And as to all the Rest, Residue and Remainder of my goods, chattels, debts, credits, Estate and Effects and property of every description whatsoever and wheresoever which I shall be possessed of and not ..... before by me disposed of I give and bequeath the same respectively and the whole and every part thereof and all my right title and interest therein and thereto with the appurts unto and equally between all and every the lawful child and children of my late brother John Divall deceased who shall be living at my death if more than one share and share alike and if only one the whole thereof to such only one absolutely. And I so hereby nominate constitute and appoint Henry Grubb the Elder of Lewisham aforesaid Yeoman sole Executor of this my will and I direct that my said executor, his executors and administrators shall be answerable only for so much monies and property as shall come to his or their hands by virtue hereof. And that he and they shall and may retain to and reimburse himself and themselves out of the monies which shall come to his or their hands under this my will all loss costs and expenses which he or they may sustain or be put to in the execution of ..... this my will or relating thereto. And lastly I do hereby revoke and make void all former wills, codicils, testamentary dispositions by me made and do publish and declare this only to be my last will and testament. In witness whereof I the said William Divall the testator have to this my last will and testament set my hand and seal this twenty ninth day of March one thousand eight hundred and thirty one Wm. Divall [signed] Signed sealed published and declared by the said William Divall the testator as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us the words "Mary Divall Spinster" having been first interlined in the first side. Geo. Parker Lewisham [signed] James Richards Lewisham [signed] Proved at London 19th April 1831 before the Worshipful John Danbary Dr of Laws & Sur. By the oath of Henry Grubb the sole executor to whom admon was granted having been first sworn duly to administer. There’s enough collateral information here to suggest that this Divall family came from Cuckfield in Sussex, and were the children of Thomas Dival (b. 1744) and Mary King who married in Cuckfield on the 10th April 1782. Their children were: James (baptised on the 12th February 1786); William (baptised on the 1st July 1787 and the writer of the will above); Stephen (baptised on the 16th November 1788, and married Susan Davey on the 7th February 1821 in Clayton, Sussex); David (baptised on the 28th November 1790); Mary (baptised on the 7th October 1792, who may or may not have married according to the will above); and Martha (baptised on the 22nd March 1795, who married James Randall 13th October 1813 in Clayton, Sussex). William’s late brother John, as referred to in the will, was born in 1778, and was the only child from Thomas’s first marriage. Thomas Divall was born in Bolney in Sussex and baptised there on the 20th November 1744 to parents Thomas and Martha Divall (née Miles), who, though both of Bolney, had married in Itchingfield on the 15th January 1729/30. Thomas Divall junior went to Cheam in Surrey where he worked for a Mr Warren* in the 1770s. He married Fanny Standing in St Mary Lambeth on the 28th December 1778 while their son John had already been baptised in St Dunstan, Cheam on the 6th August that year. The family soon returned to Bolney, where Fanny (Frances) sadly died and was buried on the 1st February 1780. The widowed Thomas married Mary King two years later. *Poor Law Record, Reference Number: Par/252/32/4/1/26. Parish: Bolney. Order type: Settlement examination 3 Feb 1796 https://www.sussexrecordsociety.org
Murray families: The Divalls of Lewisham and Cuckfield
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