Letter from Thomas Ervin to J Willis Ervin 1987

in Miscellaneous

The following letter was sent from Thomas Ervin of San Antonio, TX to J Willis Ervin who at the time resided in Evergreen, CO. Dated October 27, 1987:

I'm sorry to be so late answering your letter of June 7, 1987, my wife Frances and I were in Oregon when your letter arrived in San Antonio and for some weeks thereafter. After that I spent some time in Ohio. Your letter was held at the post office in San Antonio until my return.

I am grateful for your information on your branch of the family and will try to give you some information herein on my branch.

I am 80 years old and did not give much thought to my family history until my retirement in 1972. I was born in Milton Twp., Jackson County, Ohio as were my father, Ora Seldon Ervin and my grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Ervin. My great-grandfather, Alexander Brandon Ervin, Sr., was born 8-31-1811 in Virginia and migrated to Guernsey County, Ohio and thence to Milton Twp., Jackson Co., Ohio. I am enclosing herewith copies of three family data pages giving information on the families of my father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Also a caron copy of some notes I have made that are intended to be helpful in tracing family history in Jackson County, Ohio.

My great-grandfather's first marriage was to Lydia Leamon 1-1-1835 in Guernsey County, Ohio. His second marriage to my great-grandmother Eleanor (Huston) Ervin was in Milton Twp., Jackson Co., Ohio 9-17-1843.

My great-grandfather had a brother, Robert Ervin who was born in Virginia 8-3-1804. He died 7-8-1859 in Milton Twp, Jackson Co, Ohio, and is buried with his wife Sarah (Selby) Ervin in the Zion Cemetery (which is on the former Samuel Tarr farm mentioned in your "query") in Clinton Twp., Vinton Co., Ohio. They were married in Guernsey Co., Ohio 11-1-1838. Robert had a son, John Nelson Ervin, who was born in Columbus, Ohio 2-2-1829 and died in Milton Twp., Jackson Co., Ohio 2-22-1879. Sarah was not the mother of John Nelson Ervin and I do not know the identity or birthplace of his mother.

I do not know the name of the county or town in Virginia where Alexander and Robert were born. However, due to the proximity of the counties in what is now the northwestern panhandle of West Virginia to Guernsey Co., Ohio, I believe it is very likely that they were born there. At the time of the births of Alexander and Robert and until West Virginia was created from parts of Virginia in 1863, these counties were a part of Virginia. A search of the records in Brooke Co., W. Va. and other nearby counties in the W.Va. panhandle, could possibly reveal records of thier births and the identities of their parents.

An investigation for me by Global Research Systems of Salt Lake City, Utah suggested but did not conclusively prove that Alexander and Robert were sons of Robert and Hannah Irvin who migrated from Virginia to Guernsey Co., Ohio in 1829. Real estate in Guernsey Co., Ohio was purchased in the 1830's by Robert Irvin and later sold by Robert Ervin thus indicating that Robert changed his spelling from Irvin to Ervin.

I have examined the General Index of Deeds-Book A in the Jackson Co. recorders office which, they advised me, is the earliest record of Jackson County land deeds kept there. It lists deeds from 1826 to 1881. It indicated that all Ervins who purchased land in Jackson Co., during that period purchased it in Milton or Clinton townships. Clinton Twp. became a part of Vinton County when Vinton county was formed in 1850 from parts of Jackson, Ross and Athens counties.

General Index of Deeds-Book A lists three deeds involving Samuel D. Ervin and Nancy Ervin, his wife. One is dated 11-7-1848 and is from Sarah Ervin my great grandfather's brother Robert's wife, to Samuel D. Ervin. One is from Samuel D. Ervin and Nancy Ervin, his wife, to Sarah Ervin, 11-17-1848. Both of these were witnessed by Thomas Selby who could have been Sarah's brother or other next of kin since her maiden name was Selby. The third of these deeds was dated 1-5-1852 from Samuel D. Ervin and Nancy Ervin, his wife, to James Salmons. Since your letter states that your ancestors Thomas and Sarah Ervin's oldest son was named Samuel D. Ervin it seems to be possible that he is the Samuel D. Ervin in these deeds.

I was told at the recorders office that records of land deeds prior to Index of Deeds-Book A are filed in the Ohio State auditors office and in the Ohio Historical Library in Columbus, Ohio. I have not searched these records of early deeds and land grants in Columbus and I have no information from them.

Since your great-great grandparents Thomas and Sarah Irvin were born in 1790 to 1800 it seems possible that their fathers or grandfathers could have been veterans of the American Revolutionary War. Since the military records of veterans of our wars are considered by some to be among the best sources of information on these veterans, it may be helpful to check the records of Revolutionary War Veterans.

I know of no complete listing of Revolutionary War Veterans. However, I have seen a microfilm record listing those who were eligible for land grants or pensions for their military servicein the Revolutionary war. It was in the Genealogical Library of the Dallas, Texas Public Library. It contained 61 names of Ervins, Erwins, Irvins, Irvines, and Irwins. This list did not contain the names of those who were killed or who died in the war or those who were not eligible for land grants or pensions. I assume copies of this microfilmed list are to be found in other large genealogical libraries.

I have a lot of respect for Marge Newbig's expertise in genealogical research. Incidentally my great grandfathers, Alexander B. Ervin and George W. Phillips, are both Marge's great grandparents.

I will pass on to you any new information I may find on your Ervin ancestry and I will appreciate any such information from you.


Thomas A. Ervin

P.S. I'm enclosing a copy of an article in the Oct 24, 1982 issue of the Columbus Dispatch newspaper concerning the availability in Ohio for public viewing of copies of the records by the Genealogical Society of Utah.


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