119 – Fork Lick Creek 1805

Shortly after 1800, William and Margaret Jarvis had moved a few miles north into Pendleton County. Here they would make their home for the next twenty years.

By 1805, William and Margaret’s family was complete. They had nine children. Sarah, the oldest, was 20. Harvey, our grandfather, the youngest was 2.

  • Sarah b. 1785
  • Elizabeth b. 1790
  • Parker b. 1792
  • James William b. 1794
  • Malinda b. 1796
  • Gilbert b. 1798
  • Margaret b. 1800
  • Susannah b. 1802
  • Harvey (4G) b. 1803

Our fourth great-grandfather Harvey Jarvis was born in Scott or Pendleton County, Kentucky in 1803.

William and Margaret were living on a 100 acre farm on Fork Lick Creek. The land was rented from Samuel McMillan.

Samuel McMillan and James Moody

In July 1784, James Moody had surveyed 31,000 acres west of the South Fork of the Licking River. Moody had five treasury warrants, which were granted to officers who had served in the Revolutionary War.

Moody’s Survey – Fayette County Kentucky Land Survey – Book B, Page 75

One of the surveyors was Samuel McMillan. His father and family had been among the earliest settlers in Kentucky, arriving in Harrison County in the early 1780s. Harrison County is just south of Pendleton, and east of Scott County.

Samuel McMillan was deeded 7,000 acres of the Moody Survey on Crooked Creek and Fork Lick Creek. So McMillan had a huge tract of land, originally part of Scott County, then becoming part of Pendleton County when it was created in 1798.

McMillan rented farmland to new settlers, including the Jarvis, Conyers, Collins, and Wingates.

Pendleton County 1798

In 1777, the entire Kentucky territory was one county of Virginia. By 1792 statehood, Kentucky had fifteen counties.

As the population grew and spread across the state, more and more counties were created and subdivided. Currently, Kentucky has 120 counties.

Pendleton County was formed in 1798 from a complicated heritage of previous counties. It took some of Scott County, where William and Margaret and the Thompsons had been living. It encompassed most of Moody’s survey, and Samuel McMillan’s land.

It was said that, over time, you could live in six different counties and never have moved.

So it’s Pendleton County we’re interested in. It was the home of William and Margaret’s generation of Jarvises.

Scott County had a large population by 1800, newly formed Pendleton was still relatively unpopulated.

Jarvises rented a farm from McMillan

William and Margaret had been living on that rented farm since at least 1807, and probably much earlier. It’s possible that they moved onto that same farm when they first arrived in the 1790s. We don’t know.

Our earliest citations that associate the Jarvises with the McMillan farm are the tax lists of 1807, 1808, 1809, etc. They all refer to William Jarvis living on 100 acres by Fork Lick Creek and owned by McMillan.

William Jarvis – 1808 Tax List – on farm owned by McMillan on Fork Lick Ck.

We have court citations that include William Jarvis and list some of his neighbors. Those neighbors are also living along Fork Lick Creek on farms rented from Samuel McMillan.

William Jervis and neighbors assigned to road work – July Court 1808

In this July 1808 citation, the court orders a group of neighbors to work for Thomas Dance in laying out a road. We will encounter these same neighbors in many upcoming stories – Roberts, DeHart, Robinson, Elder, Wingate, Conyers, Jump, and Zinn.

And in the tax lists we see these same neighbors renting farms from McMillan along Fork Lick Creek.

Fork Lick Creek

Fork Lick Creek was settled by John Ewing, Fogle, Henry, John Conyers, Thompson, Thos. Dance, Hand, and others.

They settled near a spring, cleared a patch of ground, raised corn and vegetables. They raised a patch of flax and a few sheep which constituted with here and there a patch of cotton, and the skins of a deer, the means by which the people were clothed.

Early History of Pendleton County – July 4, 1876 – reprinted in Falmouth Newspaper – 1924
Fork Lick Creek – May 2017

Fork Lick Creek flows from west to east and empties into the South Fork of the Licking River near the hamlets of Morgan and Callensville.

The county seat of Pendleton is Falmouth, located at the confluence of South Licking and Main Licking Rivers. Thence the Licking River flows north 39 miles to Covington, near Cincinnati, and empties into the Ohio River.

The surface of the county is generally hilly, with narrow valleys bordering the principal water courses.

The first settlement was in the valleys of the Main and South Licking rivers and their tributaries. The county then was densely covered with timber of almost every variety found in this latitude.

Early History of Pendleton County – July 4, 1876 – reprinted in Falmouth Newspaper – 1924

William and Margaret got settled on their farm by Fork Lick Creek.

They were close to neighbors, some of whom were Margaret’s brothers’ families and others they had known in Scott County. There was a mutual dependency among neighbors.

Some of their children were of age to help with domestic chores and farming.

We’ll look at their lifestyle in the next few stories.

Nibbles Extra Credit

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln’s grandfather, Captain Abraham Lincoln, moved his family from Virginia to Kentucky in the early 1780s. Captain Lincoln was killed at his home in an Indian raid in 1786. His family witnessed the attack.

Captain Lincoln’s son, Thomas, worked at different jobs around central Kentucky. He married Nancy Hanks in 1806. Nancy was the illegitimate daughter of Lucy Hanks.

A replica of the Kentucky cabin where Lincoln spent his early years, near Hodgenville, Kentucky

The family moved to a one-room log cabin three miles south of Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Abraham Lincoln was born there on February 12, 1809. He was the second of three children – Sarah, Abraham, and Thomas, who died an infant.

They moved to a nearby farm in the valley of Knob Creek when Abe was two years old.  Thomas Lincoln lost most of his land in court disputes, and in 1816 the family moved to Indiana.

In 1818, Nancy Hanks Lincoln died, leaving 11-year-old Sarah in charge of a household including her father, 9-year-old Abraham, and Nancy’s 19-year-old orphan cousin, Dennis Hanks.  Ten years later, Sarah died while giving birth to a stillborn son, devastating Abe Lincoln.

In 1819, Thomas married Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, with three children of her own.  Abraham became close to his stepmother and called her “Mother”.

Abe lived in Spencer County, Indiana, from 1816 to 1830, between the ages of seven and twenty-one.

“I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.”

Abraham Lincoln


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