80 – Jervis World 1300s & 1400s

We found the “progenitor” James Jervis of Chatcull, born around 1490. Did the Jervises live in Chatcull before that?

Ed. footnote in History of Pirehill Hundred

James Jervis of Chatcull

In the last post, we found James Jervis as head of the Chatcull family.

James was born around 1490, so we know the Jervis families were in Chatcull in early 1500s.

Louise’s ancestors were born and lived within five miles of Chatcull for two hundred years, back to 1600. So it’s likely they are related to the Chatcull Jervises.

And since DNA predicted that Louise and Mark have a common ancestor 10-15 generations ago, Mark’s Jervis family was probably from this area too.

Can we find any evidence that the families lived here earlier?

Luckily, we can.

In the book “Collections for a History of Pirehill Hundred”, we find a court action where Robert Jervis of Chatcull bequeaths his estates to his brother James in 1551. And we get a treasure trove of genealogical relationships – Robert Jervis has two brothers James and Thomas, and two uncles Robert and John.

So we can extend the family tree…

And Even Earlier…

Let’s search further. We’ll consult two authoritative sources:

  • The History of Standon, Edward Salt 1888
  • Collections for a History of Pirehill Hundred, Walter Chetwynd 1697

Collections for a History of Pirehill Hundred

Walter Chetwynd

Walter Chetwynd was a member of a gentry family seated at Ingestre Hall, near Stafford.

Chetwynd was also a historian of his native Staffordshire. In 1679 he began work on “A Short Account of Staffordshire”, but by 1688 he had only covered Pirehill Hundred in the northwest of the county. His work remained unpublished until the William Salt Archaeological Society published it in 1909 and 1914.

Pirehill Hundred

Pirehill is a hundred in the county of Staffordshire, England. The Hundred is located in the north-west and toward the upper centre of Staffordshire.


“Hundred” was a subdivision of a county. Staffordshire had five “hundreds”. Hundreds were used in Europe and America but fell out of use.

Coincidentally, the Pirehill Hundred encapsulates “Jervis World”, the area that’s been subject of all our research so far.

Jervis References in Pirehill Hundred

Here are some interesting excerpts:

Sure, sure. Just another example of disrespecting the Jervises. The bishop granted lands in Chatcull (a small place) to inferior persons (Jervises). And most of the lands are in the hands of petty Copyholders (Jervises). And (Jervises) are not worth taking notice of.

In 1312, Roger, son of Richard Gervys, was in custody of land of other Jervis relatives. The land is in Podmore, a village one mile northwest of Chatcull.

The tax rolls of Podmore include Thomas Gervys, just after the lord Robert de Podmore. And Thomas was son of Thomas Gervys, who owned land here long ago. “The Geryvs family certainly held land here in 1299 A.D.”

In 1296, Thomas Jervis married the daughter of Robert of Podmore, thus becoming a feudal lord. But his son Thomas sold the estate in 1343 to John, Lord of Bromley.

The History of Standon

We’ve already had a look at this book in the last post. Recall that Standon is just a mile from Chatcull, and the Jervises recorded many family events at the church in Standon.

In 1888, Edward Salt published “The History of Standon: Parish, Manor, Church, with Two Hundred Years of Registers.” He was the church rector, and had access to parish registers, which began in mid-1500s. But he also had access to court records that went back hundreds of years earlier.

Here are some interesting excerpts:

In 1361, Richard Gerveyse rents pasture in the lord’s fields for his swine.

In 1356, Richard Gerveyse, Chaplain, is fined one penny because his cattle have been found several times in the lord’s corn fields. I presume he was chaplain of Standon church.

In 1286, Robert Gerveis is one of the witnesses in a court case involving land transfer from John, lord of Wetemor, to Lord Robert de Staundon. Note that most of the people aren’t referenced with surnames.

In 1293, there’s a reference to Thomas, son of Gervase de Staundon. The author associates Gervase de Staundon with the Jervis family of Chatcull and Admiral John Jervis.

This is the oldest Jervis reference I’ve found. If Gervase de Staundon was an adult in this 1293 citation, then he was born around 1240-1270.

Gervase de Staundon was the way to identify someone before surnames became common. (See Surnames below)

Perhaps Gervase de Staundon is a common ancestor for later Jervis families.


Surnames were uncommon prior to the 12th century, and still somewhat rare into the 13th;


For example, the 1293 court citation above references lord Robert de Staundon without a surname.

In England, the introduction of family names is generally attributed to the preparation of the Domesday Book in 1086, following the Norman conquest. Evidence indicates that surnames were first adopted among the feudal nobility and gentry, and slowly spread to other parts of society.

Some of the early Norman nobility who arrived in England during the Norman conquest differentiated themselves by affixing ‘de’ (of) before the name of their village in France.


Read the court case above about the poor soul who broke open the mill of Standon and was later beheaded. Several people are referred to without surnames – Robert de Porcher, Philip, son of Hamon, and John, son of Robert de Swynnerton.

By 1400 most English families had adopted the use of hereditary surnames.


Jervis References 1300s and 1400s

The Times

Closing Argument

Let’s plot three data series on a map:

  • Louise’s Jervis ancestors
  • Jervis gentry estates
  • Jervis references 1300s and 1400s
Jervis World – 1300-1900

The map is over-simplified, because there are very many Jervis families living in this area that aren’t shown on the map. Most of the Jervis families weren’t gentry, but farmers or tradesmen or servants.

We can draw some conclusions:

  • Gervase de Staundon was one of the earliest Jervises in this area
  • Gervase de Staundon may be one of our early Staffordshire ancestors
  • Our Jervis families likely share a common ancestor with Admiral John Jervis’ line


  • Collections for a History of Pirehill Hundred, by Walter Chetwynd of Ingestre. Esq. A.D. 1679 (Continued from Vol. XII, p. 273.   This is included in the book Collections for a History of Staffordshire Edited by the William Salt Archeological Society 1914. London: Harrison and Sons, St. Martin’s Lane, 1914
  • A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain & Ireland by Sir Bernard Burke, C.B., LL.D., Ulster King of Arms, Edited by his Son in Two Volumes, Ninth Edition. London: Harrison & Sons, 59 Pall Mall, 1898
  • The History of Standon: Parish, Manour, and Church, With Two Hundred Years of Registers, by Edward Salt, B.A. Rector of Standon, Birmingham: Cornish Brothers, New St., London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. 1888
  • Image of Walter Chetwynd, by Robert White
  • Pirehill Hundred quotation – Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirehill_Hundred
  • Surname history quotations – BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/familyhistory/get_started/surnames_01.shtml
  • Surname history quotations – Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surname
  • Timeline – some events based on Project Britain- British Life and Culture – by Mandy Barrow – http://projectbritain.com/history/tudorbritain.html

2 thoughts on “80 – Jervis World 1300s & 1400s

  1. Louise Jervis Longworth June 6, 2020 / 5:24 pm

    It’s just staggering, Mark, the amount of fascinating genealogical information about our Jervis’s that you, and Celia have unearthed, and, what’s more, made sense of ! It’s a delight to peruse !
    Many thanks !


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