A Branch of the Jarvis Family

Janet Robinson

The Jarvis family feature three times in my family tree.

The first was in 1720, on the 24th October, when Ann Jarvis married William Pointer at Monkton Church.  I had originally thought that this Ann was the daughter of Daniel Jarvis of Birchington, which is why I started collecting material on this particular branch of the family.  As I researched further I discovered that this was the wrong Ann, but as I had so much information I decided to finish the story.  I still don’t know who my Ann’s father was; perhaps eventually I will find the clue I need.

The second connection with the Jarvis family comes on the 9th June 1840, at Birchington church, when Jarvis William Holness, son of Jarvis Holness, sailor, married Sarah Robins, daughter of Edward Robins, shipwright. Jarvis William Holness was a descendant of Anna Jarvis (daughter of John 3rd) who married Thomas Holness. The Robins family are another of my branches.

The third marriage was at the Emmanuel Church in Margate, on the 7th April 1894, between my widowed great grandfather, Vincent Andrew Pritchard, and Annie Jarvis.  Annie was the daughter of Edward Jarvis and was born at Nonington in Kent. More research needs to be done to see if there is any connection with the Thanet branches.

The Jarvis Family Tree
The Jarvis Family Tree

1. The Jarvis Family in Birchington and Margate

The oldest readable headstone in Birchington churchyard belongs to John Jarvis.  It stands opposite the choir vestry door.

Jarvis Gravestone
Headstone of John Jarvis in Birchington churchyard
Jarvis Gravestone
Inscription on headstone of John Jarvis in Birchington churchyard

In the church register his burial entry is given as 23rd December 1692, not 1698, which if the age is correct would make his birth year 1602.

The discrepancy in the date could be because a son, or even a grandson, had the tombstone erected and gave the wrong date to the stonemason.

John married Mary, but no further details are known, and they had two sons, John and Daniel.  They lived in the house next to the church, beside the green, which later became the New Inn, and changed again to The Powell Arms in 1824.

It is not known if John ever had a licence to sell liquor from his house while he lived there, as Dover, the licensing authority at that time have lost all the early licensing documents.  His two sons, John and Daniel were definitely running it as an inn in the 1700s, because the Church vestry used it for their meetings.  As it was called ‘The New Inn’ this implies that there was at least one other licensed house when it first opened.  The name was changed to ‘The Powell Arms’ to honour the fact that John Powell Powell of Quex Park had been made Lord High Sheriff of Kent.

The house had a large garden at the rear with a laburnum tree in it, and later he had a new house built at the end of the garden, this house came to be called Laburnum House.

In 1662, John had to pay a hearth or chimney tax.  “Every house, chamber and lodging was charged with two shillings yearly for every fire hearth and stove therein”.  John Jarvis is listed as having 6 hearths, one of the largest in the village.

 By 1665 John Jarvis held 19 acres of land around the village, for which he paid a sess (a tax) of 1d an acre, making a total of 1s. 7d.

In 1666 he was elected as overseer to the poor in Birchington.  From 1601 to 1834 the system of poor relief consisted of the levying of a poor rate, and the distribution (by the overseers) of the income to needy parishioners, (whether their poverty was caused by sickness, unemployment or old age) or to pay for paupers’ medical treatment.  This was an annual appointment and he served with John Neame, who owned the farm we now know as ‘The Smugglers’ but was then known as Neame’s Farm.

In 1670 he signed an agreement to repair the Church’s poorhouse.

On the 10th November 1670 John acquired more property.  The following is an abstract from the title deeds.

By Indenture of Feoffment of this date Thomas Parker of Nash in the parish of St John the Baptist in Thanet, Yeoman, in consideration of £11 4s did grant, bargain, sell, alien, enfeoffe, deliver and confirm unto John Jarvis of Birchington in Thanet, Yeoman, and Mary his wife, All those two pieces or parcels of arable land containing by estimate one acre and ten perches more or less, with the appurtenances lying and being in the parish of Birchington aforesaid.  Whereof one piece or parcel thereof contained by estimation three roods more or less, abutteth the lands of the heirs of Sir H.J.Crispe, Knight, towards the north and west, and to the lands of John Laming towards the south and to the lands of Thomas Kerby towards the west or howsoever otherwise the said bargained premises or any part or parcel thereof doth adjoin abut or bound or is described, called or known, and late in the tenancy or occupation of John Ramswell or his assigns.  To hold unto the said John Jarvis and Mary his wife and their assigns for and during the … of their material lives and the life of the longer-lived of them and either of them.  And from and after the decease of the said John Jarvis and Mary his wife and the longer lived of them and either of them, to the sole and only proper use and behoof of the heirs of the bodies of the said John and Mary lawfully begotten and to be begotten between them for ever and for the want of such heirs to the only use of the right heirs of the said John Jarvis for ever.

Duly executed attested receipted and livery of seizing indorsed.

By 1671 he had acquired another three acres of land and paid a sess of 1s. 10d.

In 1674 he was elected Churchwarden with William Jordan his neighbour, and purchased more land.

25th July 1674.  By Indenture of Feoffment of this date John Witherden of Broadstairs in the parish of Saint Peters in Thanet, Mariner, and Hester his then wife, daughter and heir of said John Twyman late of the parish of Saint Nicholas in Thanet, Yeoman, deceased, in consideration of £100 did grant (bargain) sell, alien, enfeoff, deliver and confirm unto John Jarvis of the parish of Birchington in Thanet, aforesaid, Yeoman, all that messuage or tenement, the barn, buildings, place and three roods of land by estimation be there more or less to the same messuage or tenement belonging or appertaining, together with their and every of their appurtenances situated, set, lying and being in the parish of Birchington aforesaid.  Abutting to the Kings Highway there towards the north, to the lands of Henry Spratling towards the east, to the Church yard of Birchington aforesaid and the lands of Thomas Crispe Esq. Towards the south, and to he lands of the said Thomas Crispe towards the west.  And also all that pieces and parcel of land containing by estimation one acre and a half lying and being in the parish of Birchington aforesaid at or near a place there called The Butts, abutting to the Kings Highway leading from Birchington Church to Gore End towards the south west, to the church lands towards the north west, to the lands of John Laming towards the north east, and to the lands of John Hayward towards the south east.  And also half an acre of land by estimation in Birchington aforesaid lying towards the sea, abutting the lands of Thomas Kerbie towards the east and south, to the lands of John Laming towards the west and to the lands heretofore the lands of Robert Sayer towards the north, or however otherwise the said messuage, lands and premises are bounding or abutting or are distinguished, described or known.  And all which bargained premises then were in the tenure or occupation of Sarah Smith (wife) or her assigns, and were the lands and tenements of the said John Twyman, deceased.  To hold unto the said John Jarvis, his heirs and assigns forever.

Duly executed and attested and livery of seizing endorsed.

26th January 1674 (1675 new calendar)

Bond from said John Witherden to said John Jarvis in £200 for performance of covenants in last abstracted deed.

1st October 1677

By Indenture (forefite) of this date made between Daniel Wyborne and Mary his wife therein named, and Robert Stone and Anne his wife therein also named, the first part, and the said John Witherden and Hester his wife of the second part, and the said John Jarvis of the third part, reciting (inter alia) That the said John Jarvis had lately purchased of the said John Witherden and Hester his wife, all that messuage and tenement, the barn, outhouses, edifices, buildings, orchard place and two acres of land, by estimation, be there more or less to the same messuage or tenement belonging or appertaining, together with their and every of their appurtenances, situate, set, lying and being in the parish of Birchington aforesaid, and then in the tenure of (blank space) or his assigns.  It is … between said parties to levy a fine before the end of Michaelmas term then next ensuring unto the said John Jarvis and his heirs of all the premises therein mentioned and the uses of said tine as to the said messuage and premises to purchased by the said John Jarvis of said John Witherden and Hester his wife are declared to be to the use of the said John Jarvis, his heirs and assigns for ever.

Duly executed and attested by all the parties.

Michaelmas Term

19th car 2nd    Indenture of a fine accordingly.

(The Butts was a piece of land, which though privately owned was originally used by the villagers for practising their archery skills.  It was situated at the botton end of what is now Station Road, more or less opposite dog acre.  The Jarvis family sold the plot, along with others, and eventually in 1899 it was sold as building land.)

In 1675 he was again elected as Churchwarden, this time with John Blaxland.

A John Jarvis was elected as surveyor of Birchington, with Robert Covell, in 1679, but this may have been his son John, as by now he would have been 77 years old.

John Jarvis died, and was buried in Birchington churchyard on 23rd December 1692.

His wife, Mary, was also buried there on 25th April 1697.

Birchington Church
Birchington Church
From ‘The History of the Isle of Thanet’ by J. Lewis

This extract is from John’s will of 1st March 1691/2: -

I give and bequeath to John Jarvis, my sonne, and to Daniel Jarvis, my sonne, the house I now live in, with the barn and stable and game spot or backside, and with two acres of arable land (one and a half acres lying neere the But Acre in Birchington). The said house and barn and stable and game spot or backside and the above two acres of land to be equally divided between my two sonnes John and Daniel abovesaid and to their heirs for ever, “subject to the payment of a legacy of £20 to Mary his wife in case she survived him”

…. I give to Mary my beloved wife, one acre of arable land lying neere a place by the sea called Epall at Birchington, during her natural life and after her death to my sons John Jarvis and Daniel Jarvis equally to be divided between them and their heirs forever.

Duly executed and attested by three witnesses.

Birchington Map
Map of Birchington, 1688

On this map of 1688 in the top right hand corner can be seen Epald Bay, with an area marked as J. Jarvis.  The house shown to the right of the church would be John and Mary’s.  The dotted line shows the extent of their garden, where the new house was built.


 Details of the life of John Jarvis and land documents courtesy of Jennie Burgess and Birchington museum.