indicating that Jonathan made his way to Australia – has been known, along with the first of his Australian marriages but all too many of the family trees have not caught up with the correct version. Because my 2 x Great Uncle Edwin Jarvis was instrumental in perpetuating the wrong story, here is a chance to get it right. Uncle Edwin had lived in South Africa for some time, and about 1939, visited his New Zealand relatives in Dunedin. The family there had the impression he was rather grand, and may have ‘money’. They entertained him with some family parties and there is a reunion photo very handy for family historians. This one is a bit less formal – it’s my grandparents Mabel and John Thomas Jarvis and their three children including my mother (her brother, the youngest child was not yet born) at a family cottage ‘down the kaike’ with Uncle Edwin.
In order to find out how Florence Bamford may have become part of this story, I sent for her marriage certificate.
But in all fairness, there are other 'Jonathan Jarvises' in Kingsbridge, Devon. A couple are pilots and sail-makers, although the two I have found lived long lives and don’t seem to have been lost at sea as given available records and including a search in the British Newspaper Archive. I have not been able to connect these with John Edward Jarvis, who was originally a shoemaker like his father but changed his profession to become a photographer. John Edward Jarvis may have connected something his father said – a lost cousin, or young uncle perhaps. While I have not found a baptism for a Jonathan Jarvis contemporary with John Jarvis Snr who was born in the 1820’s, this does not mean there was no such person in Kingsbridge, Devon.
Jonathan Jarvis, son of Thomas Jarvis (1789 – 1867) and Elizabeth Billings (1788 – 1875) married Sarah Hill on the 6th January 1850, with brother Mark Jarvis and his wife Ruth as witnesses. Jonathan could well be a boilermaker, with wife Sarah in the 1851 census in Surrey, but there is no additional evidence for it. No-one has been able to find a death for Sarah Jarvis although there are a few women deceased of that name who could be her in the London area in the early 1850’s. There is a marriage of a possible Sarah to a certain Archibald Richard Buxton Rice in St Pancras, London 1858 which looks promising, and will bear further investigation. Intriguingly, there are a number of people with this slightly unusual name.
Jonathan died on the 1st October 1909 at Smith Street, Parramatta, the home of his eldest son, Thomas. His death certificate gives his age as 84, and his date of arrival in the colonies as approximately 1854. His son Thomas, as informant on the death certificate, was a little hazy about his father’s marriages, only recalling his own mother’s name and not Jonathan’s subsequent marriage to Ann.