Jarvis Family Stories

Sunday Afternoon at Grandma's

The family members pictured above were the most important people in the world to me as a kid - my parents, my brother and sisters, my uncles and aunts, all my cousins, and of course, my grandparents. That's me on the front row, first girl on the left (without the baby), and the boy in the center with his hands on his hips is my cousin, Billy Wayne Jarvis. If you want to know who everyone else is, you can go to the end of this page.

If you've looked around the Jarvis page long enough to end up here, you probably know who I am and who most of my ancestors and relatives are. This section of the homepage is dedicated to someone you haven't met before, William (Billy) Wayne Jarvis, my first cousin, deceased in 1974.

It is because Billy took the time to write down what he had learned, mostly from our Grandfather John Jarvis, that you are reading the stories presented in this section. In a handwritten book, completed just weeks prior to his death, Billy left the Jarvis family the greatest gift - a family history that has a life to it. Anyone can record the marriages, dates of death, etc. - but to give your family history a life of it's own is something special.

Before you read the Jarvis Family Stories, let me tell you something about Billy Wayne, my favorite cousin. That way his history will not be lost.

Billy Wayne was a wonderful, fun loving, intelligent, and mischevious playmate of my childhood. We were about the same age, and I'm sure he had better friends than me (me being a girl and all) but I didn't know about them at the time. The worst thing he ever did was push me from the barn loft into the cow pen. The best thing did was to share his great sense of humor and laughter. We not only played together, we also worked on Grandad's farm, either in the tobacco fields, the hen house, or in Grandma's garden. It was a great childhood for both of us. Billy worked a lot year-round with our Grandparents since he lived just down the road.

My very best memory is from any Sunday evening long ago. Just about every Sunday was the same - always at Grandma's (just like in the picture above, except it is summer time in the photo ). Most of the family had gathered around our Grandparent's wood stove and we're listening to the stories. Grandma had stuffed us with her usual Sunday dinner, it is warm by the stove and it is "family time." We didn't know then that we were getting history lessons, but indeed we were. Mostly Grandpa John Jarvis talked about his Dad and his Granddaddy and also told tales about the "older Jarvises" - how they came to NC, built a house in one day, settled in, and made a life for themselves; how Gussie Norman Jarvis died having a seizure, scaring James Edward so bad that his heart was in his throat; and how John Jarvis was speechless the day he saw his Dad (who was in his 70s at the time) knock a man down twice his size. Billy Wayne and I sat there, bright-eyed, soaking it all up.

Well, Billy Wayne not only absorbed all of these stories, he wrote them down for us. Billy Wayne Jarvis, son of Harold and Mary Welfare Jarvis, died in a tragic car accident in November, 1974 . I am so grateful for the days we had together. Here are, in Billy's own words, the Jarvis Family Stories. Others will be added soon.

Harold Curtis Jarvis World War II Remembrances

Letters from Tenison Jarvis and Mary Jane Boyer Jarvis during the Civil War

Memories of Grandpa and Texas

The Cowboy and the Heiress by Betty Gilmore Hodge

A Civil War Story, written by James "Ploughboy" Jarvis

James Jarvis (1762-1837) - The advanced thinker

Susannah Jarvis (c. 1757-1843) - The Indians, the panther, and the bear

Tennyson Jarvis (18271863, Richmond VA) - An untimely death

Mary Jane Boyer Jarvis (b. 1829) - Respect and love

Warren Jarvis (1825) - Death on a steamboat

James Jarvis, son of William Jarvis (1833) - writer for UNION REPUBLIC

Elizabeth Jarvis Warner (1852) and Bessie Jane Warner - A mother and daughter story

Ann Foster and Tom Dula Submitted by John Fletcher

(Photo, back row from left to right): That's Uncle Jim, Aunt Gladys, Aunt Carolyn (holding baby), Grandma, Uncle Raymond, Grandpa, Aunt Barbara, Aunt Mary, Uncle Harold, Aunt Glenola, Uncle Tennyson, Aunt Lorraine, Uncle Thurmond (holding cousin Steve), my brother, Larry, my Dad and my Mom.

(First row, left to right:)Me, my sister, Dale, my cousin Karen (standing in front of Karen is my sister, Pennie), my cousin, Billy Wayne, cousin Ricky, cousin Buster. I'm not sure who Aunt Carolyn is holding - it could be her son, Mark, or cousin Myra.

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