Count Frederick Benjamin Duvall 1845-1888 :: Genealogy
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Count Frederick Benjamin Duvall 1845-1888

Query by DebNZ

I'm interested in this chap and four other members of his family for no other reason than they are buried "next door" to my gt grandmother and sister in Waikumete Cemetery. Just curious!

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by DebNZ Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-11-12 19:50:55

DebNZ , from Auckland, New Zealand, has been a Family Tree Circles member since Jul 2010. is researching the following names: COLLINS, TODD, CLIFF and 8 other(s).

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by ngairedith on 2011-11-12 20:42:09

taken from AN AUCKLAND ROMANCE 31 May 1892

... A singular case came before Mr Justice North in England a short time ago. In 1895 Mr Benjamin Duvall died. He left his son, F. B. Duvall, the income of 5000 for life (using CPI this equates in 2011 to $903,000, with remainder to his widow, and after her the children. This Duvall resided in New zealand, where for ten years he had lived with a lady who passed as his wife, and by whom he had two children. He made his will in 1887, appointing a life interest in the 5000 legacy to her.
He described he as his wife, and admitted the children were his.

He died in 1888, and some doubt having arisen as to his marriage, an action for the administration of the trusts of the legacy was brought.
The chief clerk found against the existence of a marriage, and Mrs F. B. Duvall now sought to have this certificate varied and herself declared the lawful wife of the late F. B. Duvall, and her children his lawful children.

The evicence of several reputable persons was tendered, all showing that the alleged marriage had never had any doubt cast upon it. Mrs Duvall's account of the marriage was decidedly romantic and had better be described in her own words.
In her affidavit she declares:-
... "On December 5, 1878, he proposed to take me for a drive to Onehunga, a village about six miles from Auckland, together with a Mrs Blades, an elderly woman, who was connected in some way with the Prince of Wales Hotel, at which he was living, and I consented and accompanied him and the said Mrs Blaes to Onehunga, as aforesaid in a cab, and during the journey he proposed that we should be married at Onehunga, and stated that he had made arrangements for the mariage to take place there on that day. We alighted from the cab close to the railway station, and the cab was sent away, and sortly after the Aucland train arrived, and a gentleman, who from his dress and appearance I was satisfied was a clergyman, came out of the railway station and shook hands with me and talked apart to the said Frederick Benjamin Duvall, and I was then introduced to this gentleman, and it was explained that he was to marry us. I then had a conversation with the said F. B. Duvall, and after his entering in a promise to abstain from drink, I consented to marry him, and about half an hour afterwards the said G. B. Duvall took me to a cottage in the vicinity, where luncheon had been prepared or us and after luncheon the clergyman came into the house, and the said F. B. Duvall told him we were prepared for the ceremony, and the clergyman said he required two witnesses, and sent the woman out for two men who were working on the raod close by, and when the men came in the usual marriage service was gone through.
The ring I had previously seen was put on my finger by the said F. B. Duvall, some blue papers were produced, and I distinctly remember the said F. B. Duvall signing a blue paper ruled with columns and bearing a strong resemblance in its appearance to a copy of the entry of death I have seen attache to an affidavit sworn in this matter.
I never inquired the names of the two witnesses, I did ask the name of the clergyman, but have forgotten it; but I recollect the said F. B. Duvall stating that he was on a visit to Auckland, and belonged to one of the southern provinces, and that he had known him in Lyttelton" ...

Mr Justice North held that irrespective of Mrs Duvall's evidence there were many facts showing that the general reputation was that a valid marriage had been celebrated, and creating a strong presumption in favor of the applicant. There were statements before him which were not consistent with some points in her narrative, but even if he came to the conclusion that her account of the marriage was false, or that no marriage was duly solemnised at the time and place she alleged, that would not be enough to displace the very strong prsumption of there having been some valid marriage made between the parties before the first child was born. Upon the evidence before him he must find in favor of the applicant, and vary the chief clerk's certificate

by ngairedith on 2011-11-12 21:33:36



DIED 10th AUGUST 1966 AGED 74

DIED 19th JUNE 1944 AGED 64
DIED 20th JANUARY 1966 AGED 74

DIED 11th MARCH 1995 AGED 62

the DUVALLs mentioned above are at the PRESBYTERIAN DIVISION A at Waikumete Cemetery are:

1845 - 1888 Frederick Benjamin Duvall
- 'Gentleman'
- buried Row 3, Plot 8

1881 - 1944 Frederick Charles Duvall
- 'Chemist'
- married Jessie HUMPHREYS (1881-1929) in 1912. Jessie is buried Block E Row 57 Plot 001A at Purewa cemetery
- Frederick at one time had a chemist's shop in Whakatane
- mmarried Gladys Constance DARROW in 1931
- ashes buried Row 3, Plot 6

1893 - 1966 Gladys Constance Duvall
- nee DARROW, married Frederick Charles Duvall in 1931
- ashes buried Row 3, Plot 6

1933 - 1995 Frederick Benjamin Duvall
- 'Pharmacist'
- he was cremated at Purewa
- his ashes buried Row 3, BETWEEN Plot 6-8

by DebNZ on 2011-11-12 23:28:13

Thanks Ngaire - I had found those things. The thing that interests me is "Count" - what th?

by ngairedith on 2011-11-13 00:49:21

yes, of course, I realise that you wanted to know about the 'Count', so did I. However, my short research could not reveal where he got that title from. Even his father during the court case in England is only called Mr Benjamin Duvall

maybe he was 'self titled' or maybe there is an interesting story yet to be told

The only hint is in his burial records stating he was a 'Gentleman' - as opposed to a 'labourer' :)


* the wide of Frederick Charles Duvall, Gladys Constance Duvall, was actually a widow when she married Frederick. Her maiden name had been Gladys Constance LOGAN, she had married William John DARROW (1871-1927) in Nov 1923 at St Paul's, Devonport Parish (she was then 30, he was 52)

In 1929, two years after the death of William John Darrow (and 2 years before she married Frederick Charles Duvall), Gladys leased a portion of Sections 86 & 86A in the Parish of Waipa from the Governor-General, on behalf of His Majesty the King, and in pursuance of powers conferred upon him by the Public Reserves, Domains, and National Parks Act, 1928
... more here

* the 1st wife of Frederick Charles Duvall, Jessie HUMPHREYS, was one of at least 8 children (that were born in NZ) of Owen (1837-1915) & Jessie (1851-1924) Humphreys

By providing all this extra info I hope that someone out there will recognise 'the Count' and be in touch with you

by DebNZ on 2011-11-13 02:03:56

Thanks for all your hard work. There seems to be no reason that this family should call themselves "Count" - eh? Maybe someone else WILL recognise them. *8-)

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