William Jarvis - "Mystery Man"... c. 1840 to 1821 :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy
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William Jarvis - "Mystery Man"... c. 1840 to 1821

Journal by lollyrock

I have a great grandfather whose real name I don't know, and can't track down. He went by the name of William Thomas Jarvis, sometimes William Henry Jarvis. He always said his real name wasn't Jarvis, but never revealed coherently what it really was .. only when drunk would slur something that the family thought was "MacGregor". I have had two of his male descendants do Y-DNA tests, and no McGregors show up - however, Cole, McColl, McKellar, do .. and another derivative of this name I have heard is "McKeblar" - which would sound like McGregor to those unfamiliar with the McKeblar name. This is all conjecture on my part. But certainly his name according to DNA result matches was not McGregor ! He died at 80 years of age in January 1921, having had only "20 birthdays" - i.e., a leapyear birthday, 29th February ... so birth calculated back to 1840.
He related his life story to the local newspapers in Adelaide: That he was born in Aberdeen, and schooled in England. He joined the Royal Navy at Woolwich in 1859, and served on the "Fisguard" and "Termagant" - guarding the English consul during the American Civil War. He later went on to the New Zealand Wars under the command of Sir William Wiseman of the "Curasao" (pronounced "Kurasore" according to the newspaper journalist taking notes). This was about 1864, when he took part in the siege of Gate Pa near Tauranga, and skirmishes afterwards - the only time the "blue jackets" (ie.., naval men) ever fought on land. He reported that he was on the "Falcon" when it docked in Adelaide in 1865, went ashore, and "failed to return". I.e., he deserted. He hid out for a few days in the local cemetery, fed and watered by a local farmer's daughter, Emma Stone, who later became his wife (they had 14 children). The ship sailed without him, and he from then on as far as we know, went by the alias "William Jarvis".
I have had contact with the N.Z. Waiouru Army History Museum. My contact there found that "William Jarvis was wounded on 21st June 1864, and died on 23rd June 1864". This then was a good safe name to go by - a dead comrade's name!
It brings me no closer to finding out just who he was - just who he wasn't! I need a sleuthing historian who can troll through the above mentioned ships' records for perhaps a William McKeblar/McKellar ...
Anyone out there can help ?!
Laurel Rockliff
Blenheim, N.Z.

GREAT NEWS ! August, 2022. A Mystery no more.!!
He was born Thomas Williams, on the 20th February 1844, in Wokingham, England. Birth registered on 29th March….. Hence the possible mix up re being a leap year birthday. “Sleuths” have found Thomas Williams on all ships mentioned, and indeed he was listed as a deserter in Port Adelaide, April 1865. HIs mother was Sarah Goddard Smith; probably not married to his father Thomas Williams. Sarah died when Thomas was nine, and so her mother, Esther, raised him, along with Esther’s second husband Richard Jarvis. Hence the Jarvis name comes into play, He then named his eldest daughter after his grandmother - Florence Esther Jarvis.

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by lollyrock Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2016-04-02 04:58:52

lollyrock , from Born and raised in Adelaide South Australia. Now residing in New Zealand., has been a Family Tree Circles member since May 2015.

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by janilye on 2016-04-02 11:02:08

Port Adelaide News Friday 2 November 1917
Mr. William Jarvis

A very active man for his age is Mr.
Wm. Jarvis, one of the most respected
residents at Alberton, who is now 77
years of age. He was born at Aberdeen,
and has had a career full of interest.
In 1859 be joined the British Navy, and
went on board the warship Fishguard, at
Woolwich. He went to America in the
Termagent at the time of the civil war,
and was also at sea during the New
Zealand War from 1863 to 1865, Sir Wm.
Wiseman, of the Kurasore, being then
Commodore of the Fleet. 'The bluejackets
fought ashore and Mr. Jarvis,
who was now on the Falcon, was one of
those who participated in the charge of
Gatepar-Taranga. From New Zealand,
he came in the Falcon to Port Adelaide,
where he secured his discharge in 1865.
After working at the quarries on the
South Road, and for a time as coachman
for the late Dr. Burton, of Marion, he
returned in 1867 to Port Adelaide, and
secured employment on the tugboat
"Young Australia," owned by the late
Mr. Wells. He left the boat to accept
employment at Dunn's Mill- when it was
opened, and later was for 10 years employed
at the Bowden Gas Works. Next
he drove a donkey engine at the Port
Adelaide Wharves. Later he was working
off and on for the Railways Department
until in 1883 he 'finally secured a
permanent position aS engine-driver in
the locomotive branch. He spent several
years driving on the north and south
lines, and a few years at Islington. He
has the good record that during his long
service on the railways, he never had an
accident. He married at Portland in
1867, a daughter of the late Mr. Geo.
Stone, of Cheltenham, who is 10 years
younger than him. Mrs. Jarvis was
born in Lincolnshire and came to Port
Adelaide with her parents in 1854 in the
ship Olivia, she being at that time four
years of age. Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis, who
reside at Duke Street, Alberton, celebrated
their golden wedding on August
1. last, having resided the whole of the
period in Port Adelaide. Their sons
and daughters took the opportunity to
celebrate the occasion by a reunion of
descendants in Rosewater District Hall,
and congratulations and telegrams were
showered on them, particularly from
their children in various parts of South
Australia and Western Australia, Mr.
and Mrs. Jarvis' family consists of seven
sons and six daughters—Messrs. W. J.
and G. Jarvis (Prospect), J. B. and W. H.
Jarvis (Rosewater), A. J. Jarvis (Alberto®),
J. H. Jarvis (Coolgardie), and A.
S. Jarvis (Perth), and Mesdames W.
Smyth and L. Pilton (Croydon), C.
Schomburg (Rosewater), E. J. Rowett
(Exeter), W. H. Baker (Semaphore), amd
S. Butler (Alberton). There are also 40
grandchildren (31 in this State and 9 in
Western Australia), and two great grandchildren.

Another article in the Observer, Saturday 5 February 1921 p 34. states "his parents died when he was quite young, and joined the Navy at 19".
Jarvis was perhaps the name of the people who raised him.

Not to be confused with this Sydney crook below

SYDNEY, May 21, 1918
At the quarter sessions to-day William Henry Jackson (alias Major 'Jackson, alias Captain Jarvis, alias William Jarvis, alias William Middleton, alias Walter Jarvis, alias James), one of the cleverest crooks known to the Australian and British police, and oftentimes the despair of Scotland Yard, was sentenced to two years in gaol for having stolen a pocket book, containing £30, from the pocket of a coat belonging to Sir Thomas Hughes, a Sydney merchant, which was hanging up in a barber's while its owner was being shaved.

by lollyrock on 2016-04-02 11:37:04

Many thanks for your response Janilye. I do have a copy of this newspaper article. He seems to have been "interviewed" several times over his lifetime, and I was impressed that the stories all were consistent - until I was told that in those days they just copied from previous interviews! The first newspaper article was on his retirement - no date given, but he was over 70 and had worked 31 years on the railways. Another article was on the celebration of his and wife's 50th wedding anniversary, August 14, 1917, which states "he retired 3 years ago". All up I have four different newspaper cuttings and I believe there to be another, as in it it is stated that he was educated in England. Re the name Jarvis - it has been stated by other family descendants that "he took his mother's maiden name", but I find it curious and co-incidental that a William Jarvis was killed in the Maori Wars in 1864. Other anecdotal stories: that he was sent to sea at an early age for his health... my grandmother, one of his younger daughters, told that he went to sea at age 12 as a cabin boy in the Crimean War. (age 14 would be more in keeping with his birth year of 1840)
I wonder if I will ever find out his real name! DNA is somewhat helpful, but I need to look through all the ships' records of their "blue Jackets" to see if one name sailed on all three ships.

by janilye on 2016-04-02 12:51:28

The Advertiser Friday 29 March 1929 p 13 Article

Mrs. William Jarvis, of "Imilda," Coburg-road, Alberton, will celebrate her 79th birthday to-day. Born in Lincolnshire in 1850. she came to South Australia in the ship Olivia in 1854, with her parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. George Stone, and settled at Cheltenham. She was married to Mr. Jarvis in the year 1867, and has resided in Alberton more than 45 years. Mrs. Jarvis was left a widow eight years ago.
The family consists of seven sons and
six daughters. - Messrs. W. T. and G. E. Jarvis (Prospect), J. B. Jarvis (Rosewater). W. H. and A. J. Jarvis (Alberton), J.H. Jarvis (Kalgoorlie, W.A.), and
A. S. Jarvis (Perth, W.A.), and Mesdames W. Smyth (Grange), C. Schomburg (Rosewater), E. J. Rowett (Sema
phore), W. H. Baker (Mile-End), S. B. Butler (Billaricay. W.A). L. G. Pilton (Alberton). There are 44 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Emma A. Jarvis, nee STONE was three years of age when she arrived in Port Adelaide with her Parents on the Olivia 900 tons (779 tons), Captain Thomas Williams, from London / Plymouth 30th July 1853, arrived at Port Adelaide, South Australia 14th November 1853. They never set foot in New Zealand. They took up farming in the Cheltenham district.(Lincoln Farm, Baroota) She was born at Hainton, near Grantham, Lincolnshire. She married on August 14, 1867, at the Primitive Methodist Church, Portland.
Mrs. Jarvis was in her 91st. year when she died on 7 Octobet 1940. She, at the time had been living at McNicol Terrace, Rosewater. j

by janilye on 2016-04-02 13:11:57

above I have the marriage at Portland! I mean the 'Portland district' which is Port Adelaide.

by janilye on 2016-04-02 13:23:25

Here is a timeline for the 'Falcon'
Commander George Parkin
7 – 9 February – at Auckland, New Zealand
Feb - Kawau
24 Feb – 1 March - Auckland
12 – 22 Mar –Hobart
2 - 4 Apr - Adelaide
26 Apr - 17 May – Melbourne
... May – 30 June Sydney
17 Jul - Kawau
18 – 22 Jul – Tonga
2 - 7 Aug - Auckland
13 Aug – 15 Sep – Sydney
24 Sep – 7 Oct - New Caledonia
11 – 13 Oct - Norfolk Island
18 Oct – 22 Nov - Auckland
27 Nov – 6 Jan - Wellington
14 Jan – 9 Feb – Auckland
27 Feb - 2 Mar - Sydney
11 Mar – 3 Apr - Hobart (two men - AB James Price and OS Alexander Gomes - lost overboard during a stormy passage on 8 March)
10 – 23 Apr - Adelaide
12 – 13 May - Fremantle (carried £30,000 for the local banks)
30 May – 29 June – Sydney
16 – 28 Jul - Auckland
(Aug) - Norfolk Island
11 Aug – 29 Oct - Auckland
- 7 September Commander Blake assumed command
6 Nov – 1 Dec - Wellington
6 - 8 Dec – Tauranga
10 Dec – 12 Jan 1867 – Auckland
21 Jan – 25 Apr - Sydney
24 – 30 May – Tahiti
5 Jun – Malden Island
6 Jun – Starbuck Island
8 Jun - Peurghyn Island (sic)
19 – 26 Jun – Humphreys Group
6 Jul – Vavau
..Jul - Fiji
22/23 Jul - Annietum & Tanna
1 - 3 Aug – Hinchinbrook, New Hebrides (at this place armed party was landed and several houses burnt as punishment for attacking trading vessels)
9 Aug – New Caledonia
26 Aug - arr Sydney
26 Aug – 28 Sep – Sydney
2 – 10 Oct -Sydney
13 Oct – 17 Oct - Melbourne
20 – 25 Oct – Sydney
5 Nov - 31 Dec- Auckland ; Commander Henry Percival assumed command
6 Jan – 14 Mar - Wellington
18 Mar – 2 Apr – Auckland
4 - 7 Apr – Wellington
13 Apr - Hokitiki
24 – 26 Apr – Auckland
5 May – 6 June - Sydney
6 June – sailed for England.

Source; navalis Rear-Admiral

by janilye on 2016-04-02 13:46:29

Jumping ship was quite commonplace, both here in Australia and in New Zealand; you could go through these articles and see if there is any mention of it. Falcon in Adelaide

by lollyrock on 2016-04-02 16:56:49

I have a copy of those sailors who jumped ship from the Falcon during 1865 and 1866 from Police Headquarters Adelaide. It's dated October 1980; perhaps I should ask them if they have found any more deserters in the interim, because non listed fit any names I would recognise! My grandmother (Mrs. S. Butler btw) said "four of them deserted together and hid out in the Portland Cemetery" (yes, Portland is near Alberton, Cheltenham area towards Port Adelaide) In April 1865 there are four listed: George Young,Henry Ebery, George Bolton, and George Needham. Warrants issued on 13/14th April 1865.
I find it fascinating to know my Stone forebears used to run a farm at Cheltenham/Portland in those years! So very urbanised now, for more than a century part of old Adelaide suburbs. Yes, William and Emma married in a private home of Mr and Mrs. Rady, in Portland area.
Emma lived with her daughter May, Mrs. Schonberg, for the last years of her life. May's daughter was my godmother, and through her, I have inherited what little bits and bobs that were Emma's - such as her ring. I'm not sure it it's Emma's, or May's scrapbook of newspaper cuttings that I have.

by janilye on 2016-04-04 00:18:43

deserters Falcon see Wallaroo Times for a very strange story about a man named Matthews and sending police in the wrong direction.

by lollyrock on 2016-04-04 11:26:25

That was interesting reading, about the deserters! Interesting that a McGregor was mentioned ... but I doubt if he was our man because his first name was Robert - and none of my great uncles were named Robert. (in keeping with Scottish naming lore ...)

by janilye on 2016-04-04 20:18:19

Yes I agree with you about the name.
I was also having a quick look at deserters in N.Z.and Hobart who were recaptured and sent back on ship. Sometimes they try it again. Nothing yet.

by lollyrock on 2022-09-01 09:15:40

GREAT NEWS!!! August, 2022. A MYSTERY NO MORE!!!
He was born Thomas Williams, on the 20th February 1844, in Wokingham, England. Birth registered on 29th March….. Hence the possible mix up re being a leap year birthday. “Sleuths” have found Thomas Williams on all ships mentioned, and indeed he was listed as a deserter in Port Adelaide, April 1865. HIs mother was Sarah Goddard Smith; probably not married to his father Thomas Williams. Sarah died when Thomas was nine, and so her mother, Esther, raised him, along with Esther’s second husband Richard Jarvis. Hence the Jarvis name comes into play, He then named his eldest daughter after his grandmother - Florence Esther Jarvis.

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