130 – Harvey Jarvis and Sarah Robinson 1830s

Harvey Jarvis and Sarah Elizabeth Robinson (4G) married in Pendleton County, Kentucky in 1822. Harvey was 19, Sarah was 20.

Sarah’s nickname was Sallie.

Three of Sarah’s siblings had married three of Harvey’s siblings.

Sometime after 1822, Harvey and Sarah moved to Ripley County, Indiana. Harvey’s brother James was already there, as were Harvey’s two sisters Malinda and Margaret who were married to Sarah’s two brothers Armit and Joel Joseph Robinson.

In 1825, Harvey and Sarah were age 22. They were living in Ripley County, Indiana. Harvey was working as a stone mason.

A son James Parker was born in 1827. Another son William Conner followed in 1829.

1830 Census

In the 1830 census for Ripley County, Indiana, Harvey and Sarah Jarvis were living near their siblings Joseph and Margaret Jarvis Robinson.

1830 US Census – Ripley County, Indiana – Harvey Jarvis and Joseph Robinson

The census for Harvey Jarvis’ family listed 2 males under age ten. Those were sons James Parker, age 3, and William Conner, age 1.

The census listed one male and one female, ages twenty to thirty. Those are Harvey and Sarah. They were both 27, born in 1803.

Five of the Jarvis siblings were living within a few miles of each other. And their extended in-law families Robinson, Conyers, and Benham were living there too.

Where were they living?

We don’t have any land deeds for Harvey and Sarah in the 1820s, so they were probably renting a farm. But where?

We can see from the census that they were in Ripley County, and living near Joseph and Margaret Robinson. But where? The 1830 census doesn’t mention the township or give any other details. But it does list others on the same page. Presumably, the other families on the same page are living nearby. If we can locate any of those other families, we can get an idea where Harvey and Sarah were living.

We can use a map of Ripley County land patents. It shows the name and location of those who got original land patents, most of which were issued in the 1820s and 1830s.

Map of land patents – highlighting 1830 Census neighbors of Harvey and Sarah Jarvis

We found some land patents whose owners were listed on the same census page with Harvey and Sarah – John Hunter, John Grimes, James Blair, James Wright, and David Osborn. The census taker enumerated them on the same date, which often implies that they live in the same proximity.

I think we can assume that the Jarvises and the Robinsons were renting farms a few miles east or southeast of Versailles.

A lot in Versailles, Indiana

In 1831, Harvey and Sarah bought lot 106 in Versailles for $12. Versailles is the county seat of Ripley County.

Ed. Note: Versailles is pronounced ‘vuhr-sales’, not ‘vurh-sigh’. It’s in Indiana, not France.

Deed – Harvey Jarvis – Lot 106 in Versailles, Indiana – 1831

Perhaps they intended to build a house and live in Versailles. Harvey was a brick and stone mason, so there were more opportunities for work in a town. But that didn’t happen because Harvey and Sarah sold the lot a year later for $13.

A growing family

In the 1830s, Harvey and Sarah had three more children:

  • Joseph R (3G) born 1830
  • Lafayette H born 1834
  • Milton T born 1836

Meanwhile, back in Kentucky…

Sarah Jarvis Hazlewood was the only Jarvis sibling that remained near Fork Lick Creek in Pendleton County, Kentucky. She and her husband John Hazlewood had a bought a farm back in 1819 that was almost adjoining the Jarvis farm.

After William Jarvis (5G) died in 1823, his wife Margaret Thompson Jarvis (5G) moved to live with Sarah in the Hazlewood household.

1830 Census – Margaret Jarvis living with John and Sarah Hazlewood

Nibbles Extra Credit

Versailles, Indiana

Versailles was chosen as the county seat of Ripley County in 1818, and streets were laid out in 1819. 166 lots were sold in 1818 for the sum of $815. 

On August 14, 1820, it was ordered that the agent John Ritchey have a courthouse built in the center of the public square in the town of Versailles.

A post office opened in 1823.

As the county seat, Versailles attracted residents, shopkeepers, and tradespeople. For Harvey Jarvis, there were more opportunities to ply his trade as a brick and stone mason.

By 1850, 81 families were living in Versailles, a population of 412.

Versailles, Indiana – Main Street looking north – ca 1880
Versailles, Indiana – Main Street looking north – 2020

The Michigan Road

In a fortunate circumstance, the path of the Michigan Road was routed through Versailles.

In 1821 the Indiana general assembly allocated funds for several roads, most linking the borders of the state with the capital of Indianapolis. The north-south road was the Michigan Road. It would link the Ohio River port town of Madison to centrally-located Indianapolis, then reach further north to Michigan City on Lake Michigan.


The Michigan Road was probably the most important transportation route in the fledgling State of Indiana.

It connected the Ohio River to Indianapolis to Lake Michigan, opening the state to commerce and settlement. It was used by the pioneer, as a path to freedom by the runaway slave, and as the trail down which the Native American was removed from their lands.

Historic Michigan Road Association

Before these roads were constructed, Indiana’s settlement and commerce were limited to the Ohio and Wabash Rivers on the south and Lake Michigan on the north

The Michigan Road was completed by 1836. It was the main north-south road in the state, directing commerce right through Versailles.

Now Versailles was directly connected by road to the state capital of Indianapolis, 76 miles away. And the booming river port of Madison was a short trip of 26 miles.

Almost all of the Michigan Road’s original route has survived to this day. From one end, you can drive straight through to the other end with only a few brief detours.

Michigan Road – National Park Service

Timeline 1830s


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