Fonds ID418 - Jarvis family

Title proper

Jarvis family

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  • Textual record

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  • 1763-1922 (Creation)
    Jarvis family (Saint John)

Physical description

2.7 m of textual records

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Name of creator

(Branch begins 1742)

Biographical history

Merchant and politician Munson Jarvis, the son of Martha Seymour and Samuel Jarvis, was born 11 October 1742 in Norwalk, Connecticut. In 1770 he married Mary Arnold (1752-1831), and they had no fewer than four children: Mary, Ralph, William, and Edward James.

In 1783, at the end of the American Revolutionary War, the family moved to what is now New Brunswick, settling in Parrtown (Saint John). Jarvis opened a hardware establishment which proved lucrative, and he also became involved in the West Indies trade, having purchased the brig "Lively". Slaves were included among his trade goods. Jarvis' son Ralph Munson joined him in the firm of Munson Jarvis and Son, which dissolved in 1810. Later both Ralph and William worked with him in Munson Jarvis and Company. William was still working with him at the time of his father's death.

Munson Jarvis was active in local politics, winning a seat as an alderman on the first Common Council (1785-1790). He was instrumental in the founding of Trinity Anglican Church, where he sat as a vestryman and a warden. Jarvis was also involved in provincial politics, winning a seat in Saint John County and City in the by-election of 1804. He died at Saint John on 7 October 1825.

Munson and Mary's son William Jarvis (1787-1856) was born in New Brunswick. He married Mary Caroline Boyd (1798-1867), and his brother Edward James (1788-1852) married her sister Anna Maria (1787-1841).

William and Mary Jarvis' son William Munson (1838-1921) was a barrister and the general agent for the Maritime provinces for the London, Liverpool and Globe Insurance Company. He also held several other prominent positions, including lieutenant-colonel in the New Brunswick militia (1866), member of the town council of Portland (1871), vice-president of the Diocesan Church Society of New Brunswick, president of St. George's Society, president of the Board of Trade of the Maritime provinces (1898), and vice-president of the New Brunswick Historical Society.

"Munson Jarvis," "Dictionary of Canadian Biography," Vol. VI

Custodial history

The custodial history of this fonds in not known, but it appears that William Munson Jarvis may have acted as executor for the estates of relations in the Boyd and Scovil families.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of legal, business, and personal records relating primarily to Munson Jarvis, his son William Jarvis, his grandson William Munson Jarvis or members of their families.

The bulk of the fonds consists of hundreds of personal and business letters addressed to John Murray Bliss, Albinia Boyd, Amelia Janetta Haviland, Mary Caroline Boyd Jarvis, Edward Boyd, Isabella Jane Boyd, Jane Barclay Boyd, Jane Boyd, John Boyd Sr., John Boyd Jr., Anna Maria Jarvis, Mary Rowe Boyd, James William Boyd, Helen Leith B. Brecken, Frederick de St. Croix Brecken, Robert Fraser Hazen, William Hubbard, William Jack, Edward James Jarvis, Henry Fitzgerald Jarvis, Munson Jarvis, Ralph Munson Jarvis, Samuel Jarvis, Stephen Jarvis, William Jarvis, or William Munson Jarvis.

Legal records include documents and correspondence relating to the estates of Dr. John Boyd, Jr., Albinia Wright Boyd, Jane Barclay Boyd, Isabella Jane Boyd, John Boyd, Sr., Mary Rowe Boyd, Laura Boyd Scovil Wall, and William Henry Scovil. They also include promissory notes; bills of sale for slaves, ships and other items; agreements; contracts; deeds; powers of attorney; depositions; arrest warrants; return of votes at elections; convictions; orders; examination of witness (bastardy case); and rules and orders of the Friendly Fire Club.

Business records include Munson Jarvis' account books for various transactions, some of which record names of customers and items sold; insurance on vessels; rentals of stoves, bellows, and anvils; stock in his shop; and wages of workers and servants.

Personal records include William Munson Jarvis' lecture and research notes on New Brunswick history and the development of the Church of England in New Brunswick; his addresses, lectures, and speeches on various religious themes including Sunday schools; correspondence pertaining to religious issues; and printed religious material primarily relating to the Church of England and its societies. They also include Jarvis genealogical material, correspondence relating to the New Brunswick Rifle Association, William Munson Jarvis' grammar school reports and attendance cards, and newspaper clippings.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from Mrs. Philip Ross-Ross of Lancaster, Ontario (nee Mary Percy Domville). It came in two lots (October 1959 and December 1967), along with eight other items donated in October, 1969


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

S 86

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick have a microfilm copy of this fonds (MC 1804)

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No restrictions

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