Saturday, August 10, 2013

James Jarrett of Greenbrier County

My interest, or should I say obsession, with the Carnes/Jarrett family continues! I found the Greenbrier Historical Society on Facebook. Wow, from what they have pictures of they must have an amazing collection! Back in June they had a gala called ‘Lemonade and Lavender Homes Tour’ and the Jarrett House was included in the tour. They have a beautiful picture posted on their website Jarrett House
On their website they have a little Jarrett history, some I knew… some I did not! According to their information James Jarrett came to the Greenbrier Valley with 3 brothers (note to self… check census for other Jarretts) by 1771. They settled on Wolf Creek and built Jarrett’s Fort. History tells us that Indians were a ‘problem’ (that’s another story) at this time. What is interesting super cool is that Daniel Boone commanded the fort during an Indian raid in 1774. GHS goes on to say that James claimed his first land by right of settlement in 1774 along Muddy Creek. I’ve read in other places that his first house was built of logs so the stone house probably wasn't his first home in the area. He began building the stone house around 1815 and the house first appeared on the tax rolls in 1820. Sadly it seems that he died in 1822 two short years after the house was most likely completed. In his will he left the house to his 2nd wife, Rosanna and his two sons, Levi and Vincent.
James Jarrett was born in 1750. A lot of people seem to think that he was a French Huguenot but I really haven’t seen any real proof other than what others say. On the 1880 census his son, Vincent, names England as his father’s place of birth. According to GHS he lived in Berks County PA before moving to what is now West Virginia. He was married twice, first to my 5th great grandmother, Elizabeth Griffey then to Rosanna Vincent.  He is said to have had 24 children but I have only been able to document nineteen (only 19?).  James was also a slave holder. He mentions the names of several slaves in his will. I must admit it was a bit unnerving to read about people being left to his children in the same manner as a kitchen chair or cow. I would like to find out what happened to the slaves living on the Jarrett Plantation. The will was written in January 1821 or 1822 (hard to read) and he died in 1822. I guess it is possible that some of the younger slaves lived to be free, definitely something that I’d like to look into.

In the book written by Ruth Dayton in 1942 entitled, Greenbrier Pioneers and Their Homes Elizabeth Griffy was referred to as a ‘devout Presbyterian’ who would walk 12 miles over Muddy Creek Mountain to church in Lewisburg. She did not ride a horse because she felt that the horses needed a day of rest. Okay, I believe she was a devout Presbyterian and I even believe that she felt the horses needed a day of rest….. but 12 miles? Guess it's possible.... very different times!

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog by googling the name Jarrett in Greenbrier County. I am a descendant of Vincent Jarrett, son of James Jarrett and Roseanna Vincent ( i am assuming his mother was Roseanna and not Elizabeth, as he was born in 1815) . Vincent and his wife ( Rebecca Collison) had 13 children, including a son- George Washington (1860-1946). George was married to Nellie Francis Collison and my grandmother, Grace Irene was one of their three children. It was very interesting seeing your history of the Jarretts in this blog post, as I am in possession of some of the same information. 😃