109 – James Jervis’ Generation

Joseph Jervis died in 1752.

Esther and her younger children continued to live on their land in White Horse. Esther was age 54. Caleb, Joshua, Catherine, and James (6G) were in their teens.

Joseph Jr., John, and Solomon, and William were in their twenties, so were probably living on their own.

Orphan’s Court

When a father died, his children under age 21 had to have a guardian. That was true even if the mother and/or step-father were taking care of the children.

The Orphan’s Court presided. For children under age 14, the guardian was appointed by the court. For those age 14 to 21, the child could name a guardian of their choice to be approved by the court.

Orphan’s Court citations are great for genealogists, because it dates the child between ages 14 and 21.

Caleb and Joshua choose guardians

When their father died in 1752, Caleb and Joshua Jervis were over age 14, but not yet 21. So they could choose their own guardians.

They appeared in Orphan’s Court in September, six months after Joseph died.

Lancaster Orphan’s Court – 1752 – Caleb and Joshua Jervis

Both boys chose a neighbor as guardian.

James (6G) chooses a guardian

In 1752, James was age 12. So the court appointed a guardian for him. In 1756, at age 16, James appeared at Orphan’s Court to choose a guardian.

It could be that his previously-appointed guardian wasn’t able to continue, or James didn’t like him, or any other reason.

James chose Isaac Whitlock and James Smith.

Other children are of full age

In 1752, Joseph Jr was about age 30, John 28, Solomon 25, William 22. So they were all the age of majority. By 1760, Joseph, Solomon, and William had moved to Maryland.

If Catherine was age 14, we didn’t find an Orphan’s Court record for her.

Esther lives in White Horse

Esther is on the tax list for Salisbury Township in 1757, so she’s still living on what remains of the Jervis land in White Horse.

But her sons are leaving the nest.

John, James, Joshua to Uwchlan

By 1760, sons John, James, and Joshua Jervis are on tax rolls in Uwchlan Township. It’s about 18 miles east of White Horse, and back in Chester County.

Ed. Note: Uwchlan  is pronounced “uke’-lin”. It means “upland” or “land above the Valley” in Welsh, who were the first settlers in the area.

I don’t know why they’ve moved to Uwchlan, and haven’t found land deeds or other citations. Maybe one of the boys married a girl who lived there.

Here’s a summary of the Jervis brothers on the tax rolls in Uwchlan:

  • 1760 – James and Joshua (renter)
  • 1762 – James (single), John, and Joshua
  • 1763 – James, John, and Joshua
  • 1764 – James and John

James marries and has a son

James Jervis (6G) had a son William (5G) in 1760. That’s documented. But we don’t know who the mother was. James was 20 years old in 1760.

I posit that James’ wife died at William’s birth or shortly thereafter. As we will see later, James didn’t have any more children for 12 years, and then had three children in a short time span with his wife Elizabeth. I believe that Elizabeth is James’ wife from a second marriage.

How could James care for a child from infancy until twelve years old? I posit that James’ mother Esther (7G) came to live with James and was young William’s caretaker. Esther was age 62. As we will see later, Esther lived in James’ household the remainder of her long life.

Colonists fed up with British taxes

During the 1760s, a series of acts and taxes by Parliament had provoked resentment in the American colonies. The Currency Act of 1763 forbade the colonies to designate paper currency as legal for payment of public or private debt.

The Stamp Act of 1765

Notice of Stamp Act
in a newspaper

In 1765, the British Parliament imposed direct taxes on the colonies for the first time. The Stamp Act taxed all documents – newspapers, almanacs, pamphlets, even decks of cards.

The English Bill of Rights 1689 had forbidden the imposition of taxes without the consent of Parliament. Since the colonists had no representation in Parliament, the taxes violated the guaranteed Rights of Englishmen

No taxation without representation – Wikipedia

This gave rise to the colonist’s objection of “No taxation without representation”, because the colonies had no voice in Parliament.

After demonstrations, boycotts, and threats of violence, Parliament repealed the tax in 1766, but reserved the absolute right to tax anything.

The Townshend Act of 1767

In 1767, the Parliament passed the Townshend Acts which placed duties on a number of staple goods, including paper, glass, and tea. The colonists attempted to boycott these British goods, but the boycotts were feckless because these goods were in demand in the colonies.

The Treason Act of 1769

By the late 1760s, resistance movements were growing among the colonists, and direct acts of protest were increasing. In response, in 1769 Parliament reactivated the Treason Act that applied to subjects outside Britain to face trials for treason in England. Although not widely enforced, the act caused outrage in America.

There were dark clouds of unrest on the horizon. How will this affect James Jervis and his siblings?

Nibbles Extra Credit

The Strange Case of Banty Hoover

Harvey Bantleon Hoover. Bantleon was his mother’s maiden name. People called him Banty.

We were childhood acquaintances

I’ve known him from the time I was 7 or 8. We grew up in the small town of Salina, Kansas. Our parents were acquainted. We attended each other’s birthday parties.

And best friends for a time

My family moved across town when I was in 9th grade, and I changed schools. Banty was one of few people I knew at North Junior High, and we started “running around” together.

Banty Hoover 1966 Mark Jarvis

For those of you who remember the TV show “Leave it to Beaver”, I would have been Wally, and Banty was Eddie Haskell. We were best friends for a couple of years.

We stayed in touch over the years

We went our separate ways, but we’ve always stayed in touch. We see each other at high school reunions.

A DNA shock

I’ve written some stories about DNA. You recall that Joe Jarvis says it’s the genealogical “gift that keeps on giving.”

As I was perusing DNA matches on one of the websites, you can imagine my surprise to see a match “Harvey Bantleon Hoover – 2nd-4th Cousin.”

There’s no one else named Harvey Bantleon Hoover. And his DNA test was managed by mnothern. Sure enough, Banty had a sister Marianna that married Austin Nothern. She was mnothern.

If we’re 2nd-4th cousins, we share a great-, 2nd great-, or 3rd great-grandparent. If we’re also “removed”, it could go back further.

Relationship of cousins

How are we related?

I wrote to Banty and Marianna about the DNA surprise. They were as surprised as I was. And we all wanted to know who it was that connected us.

Marianna had done some research. I started with her info, and traced the Hoover line back to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. But there were so many Hoovers (Huber, Hoober) in Lancaster County that I wasn’t able to conclude any one particular family.

Here are two possibilities…

1. Esther Jervis’ (7G) was a Hoover

I don’t know Esther’s family name, or where she’s from. But she and Joseph began having children in the 1720s, after Joseph moved to what would become Lancaster County.

Esther was born in 1698, before Lancaster County was settled. Esther may have been born in Germany and immigrated with her Mennonite parents to Pennsylvania. There was a large immigration to Lancaster County area around 1710.

Esther’s parent or grandparent could be the common ancestor of Banty and me.

2. James Jervis’ (6G) first wife was a Hoover

Earlier in this post I proposed that James Jervis had children with two different women.

James’ son William Jervis (5G) was born in 1760 in Lancaster County. James was 20, having been born in 1740 in Lancaster County. So his wife was likely from Lancaster County, and likely born there.

James’ wife, the mother of William Jervis, may have been a Hoover. Her parent or grandparent could be the common ancestor of Banty and me.

A small world after all

What a small world story. You grow up knowing someone, become their best friend, and stay in contact with them over a lifetime. And then you find out you’re cousins.



2 thoughts on “109 – James Jervis’ Generation

  1. Louise Longworth September 23, 2020 / 10:38 am

    Fascinating stuff as the story creeps ever nearer to you
    and your family !
    I love the story too of your school friend turning out to be a
    cousin ! How amazing is that !


  2. Mark Jarvis September 23, 2020 / 11:21 am

    Yes it keeps creeping nearer. And I’m glad you’re creeping along for the ride.

    Just like when we looked at your family, I wish we had more of the grandparents’ own words and thoughts. But we’ll have to let their lives speak through birth and death records, court cases, and land deeds.


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