Category Archives: Jarvis

Jarvis Family: Revolutionary War Era MD & NC

My husband’s Jarvis family has been a tough family to research.


First, the earliest (reputed) ancestors, James and Sarah Jarvis, lived in Frederick County, Maryland, where no marriage record has been found for them nor are the church or vital records for their children. Second, the Jarvis clan has left no early probate records. Third, they likewise left few land records. Fourth, they don’t seem to have been a litigious family and don’t appear in court records.

That doesn’t leave much to go on, does it?

I am currently trying to find documentation proving James and Sarah Jarvis to their children and the purported son, Zadock, to his children.

Details for which there is documentary proof are highlighted in blue.

James Jarvis can be proved to have lived in Frederick County, Maryland by 1770, when he leased Quince Orchard from Henry Clagett, who left a will dated 1777. Henry mentioned that the widow Jarvis was still living on the land, so James was clearly married.

I have no idea where the detail that Sarah Kelly or Pelly (there is a Jarvis FAN club in North Carolina that includes both Kelly and Pelly families) married James Jarvis, but so it is said.

One Sarah Jarvis married James Barnes in Frederick County, Maryland on 27 May 1783.

On 6 September 1776, Montgomery and Washington Counties, Maryland were set off from Frederick County. Maryland took a census of all inhabitants in August 1776 and the enumeration contains a section of those who were in Frederick County, but were then in the portion to become Montgomery County.

The bad news is that there is no James Jarvis, Sarah Jarvis, or even Elisha or Zadock Jarvis. Not in Frederick County, nor Montgomery County nor any other county in Maryland. Where were they? Elisha and Zadock appear on the 30 August 1777 militia list of Montgomery County. I wonder if some inhabitants were missed, maybe because of the county split?

However, there may be another explanation. I’ve seen online sources confidently state that the Jarvis clan left together with extended family members on 1 October 1781, moving en masse from Montgomery County, Maryland to Rowan County, North Carolina.

That statement might or might not be true. There is an image posted online of the marriage bond for Lewis Mullikin who was due to marry Susannah T. Jarvis. The image is cropped, with citation, other than Bute County, North Carolina, but dated 9 November 1775:

North Carolina State, Bute County
Know all men of these presents that we Lewis Mullican and John Jarvis are held & bound unto Josiah Martin, Gov. of said State in the sum of five hundred pounds. Given under our hands and seals this 9th day of Nov. 1775. The condition of the above obligation is such that a marriage is shortly expected to be soleminized and had between the above bound Lewis Mullikin & Susannah T. Jarvis. Now if their be no lawful cause to obstruct the said marriage the above obligation is to be void and otherwise to remain in full force and (due?).

Susannah T. Jarvis is the reputed daughter of James and Sarah (Kelly/Pelly) Jarvis.  She would have been a teenager and I am 100% positive that she didn’t wander off to North Carolina on a joy ride with friends.

Also, Bute County is unique in North Carolina history.  It was set off from Granville County in 1764 and only existed until 1779, when it was re-divided, becoming Warren County in the northern section and Franklin County in the southern portion.

Bute County is roughly 180 miles from Rowan County, where Zadock first appears in the 1790 census.

I think the Jarvis family is missing from the Maryland 1776 census because they had already gone to check out North Carolina as a possible new home.

They may have temporarily returned to Maryland later in 1776 with the start of the American Revolution.

This situation may well explain why there is no probate record for James Jarvis, either. He had minor children in 1777 (Zadock is said to be the eldest child, born c1755), but there are no court records for an estate inventory, no guardianship records, nothing.

I think it is certainly possible that he didn’t die in Maryland, but in North Carolina or somewhere along the road as the family headed south.

It would also explain how Zadock and Elisha Jarvis appeared on the 1777 militia list in Montgomery County, Maryland.

I can understand how Elisha and Zadock were linked to James Jarvis because of location. However, I can’t find a single document proving a familial connection.

Reputed children of James Jarvis and Sarah Kelly/Pelly:

1. Zadock, born c1755, probably Frederick County, Maryland; died probably in Union County, Indiana after the 1830 census; married Unknown, who predeceased him, probably in Rowan County, North Carolina. Zadock appears on the 1777 militia list of Montgomery County, Maryland, but apparently never applied for a Revolutionary War pension. Zadock appears on the Rowan County, North CArolina census rolls in 1790, 1800 and 1810.

2. Elisha, born 14 December 1757, Montgomery County, Maryland [It would have been Frederick County at the time of his birth]; died 4 September 1837, Pickens County, South Carolina; married Drucilla Smith, 6 May 1780, Rowan County, North Carolina.

Elisha gave his date and place of birth in his pension application; he further stated that in January 1776, he enrolled as a substitute for Joseph (Alest?) and served three months in the Maryland militia under Colonel Mordock and General Smallwood. In August 1776, he was drafted back into service under Colonel Mordock and took part in the Battle of Germantown.

He moved to Rowan County, North Carolina in 1781 and lived there until 1790, when he moved to Wilkes County, Georgia and then to Clark County, Georgia, where he lived until 1827. He then moved to Pickens County, South Carolina.

The application further stated that he was illiterate, had no education and his memory was bad.

Elisha ended with the statement that he was very poor and had a wife and daughter at home who were “unable to do anything for support.”

3. Susannah T., born c1761, probably Frederick County, Maryland; reportedly died c1843 but is living with her son, Lewis S. Mullikin in Davidson County, North Carolina in 1840; married Lewis Mullikin, soon after 9 November 1775, Bute County, North Carolina, when their marriage bond was posted. Lewis likely died in early summer 1836, as inventory of his estate was entered by his son, Lewis S. “Mullican”, during the August term of court. The proceeds of the estate sale were recorded at the November 1836 term of court.

4. James, born c1762, probably Frederick County, Maryland; died before 3 October 1837, when his estate inventory was filed with the Stokes County, North Carolina court; married (1) Unknown (2) Sallie Padgett, 6 January 1795, Rowan County, North Carolina (3) Sarah Cheshire, before Oct 1831 when she is given land by her father, Jonathan Cheshire, who calls her daughter Sally Jarvis.

5. Margaret, born c1770, probably Frederick County, Maryland; married Benjamin Mullikin, c1792, probably North Carolina. Margaret died before the 1850 census; Benjamin died after 1850, probably Anderson County, South Carolina.

There is also a DNA connection to this family, noted in the comments below, through Sarah Jarvis, born c1758, who married David Rainer on 4 March 1779 in Duplin County, North Carolina.

If Susannah and Sarah are sisters and children of Zadock Jarvis, then the Jarvis family covered a fair amount of ground in North Carolina before settling in Rowan County, North Carolina.

Check out this map showing North Carolina counties in 1780. Bute County became Warren and Franklin Counties, on the eastern side of the state on the border of Virginia.

Duplin County is due south, several counties, while Rowan County is in the kind of western-central area of the state.

During the American Revolution, North Carolina had a lot of wild, unsettled areas, so to make the trip from Maryland through each of these areas was an arduous journey!




Abraham Douthit (1797-1863) Updated + Burton Family Name Clues: 12 for ’22

So far this year, each my 12 for ’22 deep dives into long-ignored branches on my family tree has resulted in the discovery of interesting tidbits and new leads for further research.

My previous one-month dives have all related to people in my own family tree. Today, it’s time to look at my hubby’s tree.

Abraham Douthit, born 11 April 1797, probably in Rowan County, North Carolina, died on 17 February 1863 in Newton County, Missouri.

These dates are known from his gravestone, which still stands in the Van Buren town cemetery.

Abraham Douthit married Valinda Jarvis on 29 December 1816 in Rowan County, North Carolina.

Much less is known about Valinda, aside from her unusual given name, as she died sometime after the birth of her youngest known child, a son born 1836-1840, probably in Arkansas.

Valinda was the daughter of Zadock Jarvis, born c1750, possibly in Montgomery County, Maryland and who died after 1830, probably in Indiana. The names of her mother – both given and maiden names – are currently unknown, but I’ll be talking about my theory in this post.

Abraham and Valinda were the parents of nine children, although before my recent visit to this family, I only had knew of seven children.


1. Valinda, born c1817, probably Rowan County, North Carolina; died between 1840-1850, probably Washington County, Arkansas; married Daniel Alberty, 17 March 1834, Davidson County, North Carolina
2. Thomas, born 29 October 1819, North Carolina; died 7 January 1897, Washington County, Arkansas; married Sarah Alberty, c1841
3. Susannah, born 3 July 1821, Rowan County, North Carolina; died 19 October 1883, Newton County, Missouri; married (1) John S. Alberty, c1840 (2) Isaac Sturgell, 30 September 1867, Newton County, Missouri
4. Henry Burton, born 25 January 1823, North Carolina; died 12 November 1882, Newton County, Missouri; married Matilda A. Clark, c1848, probably Newton County, Missouri
5. Amos, born c1825, North Carolina; died before 19 September 1865, probably Newton County, Missouri; married Unknown, c1852
6. Elizabeth, born February 1827, North Carolina; died after 1900, possibly in Barry County, Missouri, where she lived with her daughter Lou Hartley’s family; married Jesse Adams, 27 May 1846, Newton County, Missouri
7. Andrew, born 29 March 1829, North Carolina; died 13 August 1916, Newton County, Missouri; married Mary Reynolds, 22 January 1852, Newton County, Missouri
8. Zadock, born 19 January 1831, Davidson County, North Carolina; died 4 January 1895, newton County, Missouri; married Thirza Mariah Hancock, 30 September 1866, Newton County, Missouri
9. Son, born 1836-1840; died before 1850

What new information have I learned about Abraham and his family?

Two books on the Douthit family were published in the early 1980s. I glanced through at least one of them at the Family History Library years ago and took notes. However, I was mostly interested in my husband’s direct line, which is through Abraham and Valinda’s daughter, Susannah, so I didn’t delve much into collateral lines.

Here are some of the new details I’ve been able to document:

I never really looked into how Abraham’s residence in Rowan County, North Carolina became Davidson County, North Carolina. Nor did I look into exactly when the Douthits and extended family left North Carolina and settled in Washington County, Arkansas before making the final move to Newton County, Missouri.

First, Davidson County, North Carolina was formed from Rowan County, North Carolina in 1822. There is no evidence that Abraham Douthit lived in what remained of Rowan County – he just lived in the portion that became Davidson.

A quick search of Davidson County land deeds turned up two transactions in which “Abram” Douthit sold his land. The first sale was dated 14 April 1828 to Ransom Ellis. The second one is dated 1 October 1834 to Mulican Lewis. However, both deeds were registered in 1835 – the first on 11 December and the second on 18 April.

That may well indicate that the Douthits left North Carolina, probably in the spring of 1835, and the new land owners wanted to make sure their deeds were filed with the county clerk.

The 1840 census of Washington County, Arkansas shows Abram Douthit in Vineyard Township. Valinda is not in the census, but there is a son, born 1836-1840. His name is unknown, as he is not found at home in 1850 and likely died young.

There are seven children at home, which supports the facts that daughter Valinda was already married and daughter Susannah married John Alberty, c1840. John is enumerated, also in Vineyard Township, with a female aged 15-20, which fits with Susannah’s birth year of 1821.

Further, the 1830 census in Davidson County, North Carolina confirms children in the home matching the ages of their first seven children. The wife’s birth year is 1791-1799. Given that Abraham was born in 1797, it is reasonable to believe that Valinda was born c1799.

Next, son Henry B. married Matilda, whose maiden name was unknown to me. In 1880, Henry is called Burton Douthit, which will become important in this sketch.

There is a marriage record for Henry’s and Matilda’s son, James, in Logan County, Oklahoma dated 14 May 1896. His parents’ names are recorded as H.B. Douthit and M.A. Clark.

Next, I previously had a death date of Amos Douthit in 1865, with no other details. Further digging found Amos, unmarried, living in Newton County, Missouri in 1850 with brother Henry’s family.

The 1860 census brought a surprise! Amos was living with John and Susannah Alberty, but with him was 7 year old Thomas Douthit. Amos apparently married c1852 to an unknown woman who seems to have died before 1860. Newton County, Missouri had a courthouse fire in 1862 and lost many records. Thomas, later called Thomas Burton Douthit, died by 31 March 1874, still a minor, when Henry Burton Douthit administered his estate.

While searching for Thomas Burton Douthit, a second Thomas Burton Douthit popped up – the two were first cousins and the younger Thomas Burton, born 1858, was the son of Andrew Alberty and Mary Reynolds.

Finding three members of Abraham Douthit’s family who bore the middle name of BURTON gave me pause.

Why was Henry Douthitt given the middle name of BURTON? None of his siblings have middle names and he was the fourth born child. There must be a reason why a middle child, out of the blue, is the only one of nine children to have a middle name.

Furthermore, not Henry, but Amos and Andrew, continued to use BURTON, naming their sons Thomas Burton Douthit.

There is one commonality here – Henry, Amos and Andrew were brothers. Could Henry have been named BURTON in honor of a grandparent and did Amos and Andrew continue the tradition by giving their sons the same middle name of BURTON?

Abraham Douthit was the son of Abraham Douthit and Catherine Stoehr and the Burton name doesn’t appear in those families.

Valinda Jarvis was the daughter of Zadock Jarvis and an unknown mother. Might Burton be her mother’s maiden name?

What is known about Zadock Jarvis? Some details are sketchy, but Zadock, born c1750, served in the Montgomery County, Maryland militia in 1776.  He is said to be the son of one James Jarvis, who died in the 1770s.

If Zadock’s wife was a Burton, are there any Burtons to be found in Rowan County, North Carolina or in Montgomery County, Maryland?

A quick check of the 1790 census of Rowan County showed only one Burton. That was Isaac Burton, who continued to appear in the Rowan County censuses through 1820. His birth year is uncertain, but he was probably born c1750.

Online information shows him to be the son of William Eller Burton; one of his siblings was Basil Burton, who fought in the American Revolution. Now for the big question – where did this Burton family live during the war??? MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND and they served in the same militia unit as Zadock Jarvis.

William Eller Burton left a will filed in Frederick County, Maryland, which named sons and one daughter, Drusilla. However, he died in 1762, long before Zadock Jarvis married.

Could Drusilla Burton have later become the wife of Zadock Jarvis? I think it’s a definite possibility. Zadock’s birth year of c1750 is just an estimate. He wasn’t born any later than that, but he easily could have been born in the 1740s, as was Drusilla.

Drusilla did inherit some land from her father, but Maryland records are locked on FamilySearch. This is definitely on my “to do” list when I get to a family history center in person. Perhaps she maintained ownership of the property until she married and, when sold, identified her by her married name.

I’ve seen unsourced comments that his wife was a Burch from Montgomery County, Maryland, but that sounds suspiciously like Burton, so more research is needed. Given that Burton was used in the Jarvis family, I’m more inclined to believe that her name was indeed Burton.

This clue of BURTON is the best I’ve found for the Jarvis family, ever. No one seems to have ever found any documents that give even the slightest hint of the name of Zadock Jarvis’s wife!










Zadock Jarvis of Rowan County, North Carolina

Zadock Jarvis is one of the more mysterious of my husband’s ancestors, as there is little definitive information about his life.

First, it is said that he came from Montgomery County, Maryland and settled in Rowan County, North Carolina. Zadock Jarvis is not a common name in any time period. Given that there is a Zadock Jarvis on the list of men who took the Oath of Fidelity on 2 March 1778 in Montgomery County, Maryland, I am inclined to believe that this is my husband’s Zadock Jarvis.

Revolutionary War Records of Maryland
Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh
Source: FamilySearch

It is said that Elisha Jarvis was his brother and I imagine that statement came from finding Elisha’s name just five names past that of Zadock on the same Oath of Fidelity list.

Zadock is said to be the son of James Jarvis and Sarah (Pelly or Kelly) and to have had a second brother named James.

The 1790 census of Montgomery County, Maryland has but two Jarvises – Elinor and Jarrott. The Rowan County, North Carolina census has three Jarvises – Elisha, Zadock and James.

The Oath of Fidelity list in addition to the 1790 census showing Zadock Jarvis plus an Elisha Jarvis (not the most common name around, either) leads me to believe that they were probably brothers.

However, since the 1790 census only indicates males over 16, it is impossible to figure out if this James is a brother or their father. I think it was more likely a brother, as there was no James Jarvis on the Oath of Fidelity list, which would mean this James was a younger sibling and not yet 21 in 1778.

If Elisha Jarvis was the brother of Zadock, while they migrated together to North Carolina, Elisha moved on to Anderson County, South Carolina, where he died in the 1830s.

What I find most maddening about this family is that even though Zadock Jarvis appears in the Rowan County, North Carolina censuses in 1790, 1800 and 1810, I can’t find a single land deed for anyone named Jarvis in that time period.

Nor does the name appear in any probate records. Ugh!

Although people have commented online that Zadock Jarvis left North Carolina after the 1820 census, in which he appears, the Zadock who is enumerated is much younger and more likely the son of Zadock Jarvis. One Zadock Jarvis married Lucy Owens on 13 February 1813 and is probably the man who is enumerated in Rowan County in 1820. He is aged 26-44, which fits the profile of a man who married in 1813.

It would be easy to assume that the elder Zadock Jarvis died between 1810 and 1820. The surprise is that a Zadock Jarvis was enumerated in the Union County, Indiana census in 1830 as head of a household with himself,

Zadock Jarvis, Union County, Indiana, 1830 Census

This Zadock Jarvis is aged 80-90 with a female aged 70-80 and a female 20-30 years old. Because Elisha served in the American Revolution and stated he was born in 1757 in Maryland in his pension application, it seems likely that Zadock was also born in the 1750s, say maybe c1755. That would mean he was somewhere in his later 70s in 1830, not 80-90 years old.

If James was their younger brother, he might have been born c1759 and would only have been 19 years old when the others took the Oath of Fidelity.

Another issue hampering the search for factual information about Zadock’s children is the fact that several of them died before 1850.

Nowhere have I seen any document – marriage, land, court, probate – giving the slightest clue as to the name of Zadock’s wife. (She is often named as Cynthia Valinda Frye, but THERE IS NO PROOF.)

Further, I have never seen any documentation for the names of Zadock’s children. In a way, I feel very lucky because my husband’s ancestress, Valinda Jarvis, has her marriage recorded to Abraham Douthit on 29 December 1816, placing her birth likely c1795. Given that her youngest child was a son, Zadock Douthit, born in 1831, and Zadock isn’t a name found anywhere in the Douthit family before this time, I feel quite sure that she was the daughter of Zadock.

Census records from 1790-1810 indicate children (likely Zadock’s) in those households. From that data, it appears that he had the following children. I’ve inserted a possible sequence of birth years that would fit the census pattern. Marriage dates are found in the Rowan County, North Carolina records:

1. (1778) Son, born before 1790 (Benjamin, born c1781, Maryland; married Sally Job, 26 September 1811?)
2. (1780) Son, born 1774-1784 (James who married Ruth Stalling, 12 November 1804?)
3. (1782) Daughter, born 1774-1784
4. (1784) Son, born 1784-1790 (Zadock who married Lucy Owens in 1813?) This family was in Berrien County, Michigan in 1850.
5. (1787) Daughter, born before 1790
6. (1789) Daughter, born 1784-1790 (Peggy who married Conrad Myers, 7 November 1810?)
7. (1792) Son, born 1791-1800 (Nathan who married Sally Peck, 26 September 1811? He reportedly died c1829.)
8. (1795) Daughter, born 1791-1800 (Valinda who married Abraham Douthit Jr. on 29 December 1816?) Valinda died fairly young, but the Douthits settled in Newton County, Missouri.
9. (1798) Daughter, born 1791-1800 (Nancy who married Abraham Douthit Sr. on 6 August 1818?) Abraham Douthit Sr. died in Davidson County, North Carolina in 1828.
10. (1801) Daughter, born 1801-1810

Now, here’s the $1,000,000 question – does anyone have any documented proof for either Zadock’s wife’s name or those of his children? I would love to hear from you!