The Family History of William Jenkins Sarvis and Mary Ann Todd Sarvis 

The first Sarvis family in this area, came from Europe to Georgetown, then traveled up the river to Horry County, where man of them have remained ever since.  The name Sarvis is said to actually be Greek in origin, although our family Coat of Arms, that was developed later, is French and English in design.  Originally, the family is thought to have migrated from Greece to the wine country of France, probably because of the rich farm lands.  As the Coat of Arms shows, the name Sarvis means inn-keepers, tavern owners, and sellers of ale.


After extensive searching, the oldest records we were able to locate, are in the Conway Memorial Library.  The Horry County Court House burned in the early 1900’s, so the records of births, marriages and deaths for the county in the 1800’s are not available.  Fortunately, the census books were not burned, and it is there that we were able to find out a great deal about our family.


The first Sarvis mentioned was a man named John Sarvis, who is listed in the 1830 census as a white farmer, between the age of 70 and 80, with 14 slaves (7male and 7 female).  This means he was born around the year 1755, and is possibly the first Sarvis to come to this area.


The census books of 1850 list a white male, W. J. Sarvis, 24 years old, an Horry County farmer with real estate valued at $400.00.  In another census book for the same year, his family is listed, including his wife, Mary A., and 10 children.


When we started working on this book, we were not exactly sure of our Great-Grandparents’ names, but we knew they were called Pinkney and Polly.  The census books gave us the correct names, because we knew their children’s names, and they were listed as the parents.  William Jenkins was 21 years old at the time his first son Anthony Marsden was born.  We have found several men in the family with the name Pinkney, and it is possible that William Jenkins was called Pinkney either as a nickname or it could have been a family name sometime in the past.  When the census books has Great-Grandmother listed as Mary A., we thought her name was Polly Ann, we looked in the Conway Library and found in a book entitled “The History of Names and Their Meanings”, that Polly is a nickname for Mary. We are not absolutely sure about the place of burial, but it is probably in Horry County, somewhere around the Pleasant Meadow Section.


This information was made available from Martha Sarvis Bruton, Martha Frances Grainger Sarvis, and Francis Sarvis Sugg.

 William Jenkins Sarvis, b: 1826 in Horry County, SC  d: 1892 in Horry County, SC 

William Jenkins, was the son of Samuel Sarvis and Rhoda Watts. William Jenkins (Pinkney), was a farmer and lived in the Hulls Island section of Horry County, near Longs, SC.  A grandchild, who remembered going to their home as a child, said their home was a large, wooden house, and when you entered the front door, there was a long hallway, with rooms along the hall on both sides.  It is not known when they came to the Pleasant Meadow section of the county, or if they did at all, but since most of their children settled there, it is possible they were living somewhere in the vicinity.  Mary Ann (Polly), was thought to be of Dutch ancestry, and she served as a mid-wife for the women of the community.  She was approximately 14 years old at the birth of her first child, which was not uncommon in that day.  During the years between 1847 and 1874, ten children were born to William (Pinkney) and Mary (Polly).  Their children were: Anthony Marsden Sarvis, born 1847, Elizabeth M. Sarvis, born 1851, Nancy Jane Sarvis, born 1853, Samuel Joseph Sarvis, born 1857, John McDaniel Sarvis, born 1858, James Crandill Sarvis, 1860, Kizzie B Sarvis, born 1864, William Gary Sarvis, 1867, Lonnie (Loan) Sarvis, born 1872, and Tilton Jenkins Sarvis, born 1874.  William J. and Mary A. Sarvis are buried in the Dorman Cemetery, located on the Madge Blanton farm.

 William (Will) Gary Sarvis, b: Apr 1867 in Horry County, SC  d: 28 Jan 1925 in Horry County, SC 

William Gary was the 5th child of William and Mary Sarvis.  He married Nancy Jane Boyd of Horry, SC, born 30 May 1874.  He was a tall distinguished man, who was very well-thought of in the community.  He was friendly and thoughtful of his wife and children.  Will was anxious that his children acquire all the education possible.  Will and Nancy Jane had 5 children, 4 living to adulthood.  They were Marie Ann (Mary), born in 1903, Helen Geneva, born in 1904, William (Bud) Simon, born in 1906, Virginia (Hon) Nancy, born in 1908, and an infant, born and died in 1910.  Nancy Jane died 19 Jun 1917 and  Will died 28 Jan 1925, both in Horry County, SC.  They are buried, along with their infant, in Royals Cemetery, Red Bluff section of Horry County.  My mother, Juanita Nancy Bryant, daughter of Virginia (Hon) and granddaughter to Will and Nancy Jane, visited the cemetery while visiting cousins in SC, in Sep 2005.  It is small and very overgrown and in need of much care.

 Marie Ann Sarvis, b: 1 Jan 1903 in Horry County, SC  d:  3 Sep 1984 in Horry County, SC 

Marie Ann (Mary) Sarvis was the eldest daughter of William Gary and Nancy Jane Sarvis.  Mary’s aspirations were to be a good teacher and mother.  She did not get to be a teacher, for she felt her father needed her at home to help with the family after her Mother died.  Mary was 14 at the time of her Mother’s death.  She did become a very good mother and grandmother.  She married Chestley Herman Stevens, born 19 Sep 1895 and died 28 Jul 1968.  They had 3 sons, Willie Vernon, born in 1921, George Herman, born in 1923, and Joseph Paul, born in 1927.  She was a very pleasant and loving person, with a happy disposition and she loved people.  Mary was an excellent cook, and enjoyed preparing delicious meals and having company to share them with.  She enjoyed talking, her church life, and sharing her blessings with others.  She was a happy and very pretty lady.  She lived 81 years.  She so loved her grandchildren, that her grandson, Lenair, son of Joseph Paul resides in the old homestead with his wife.

 Helen Geneva Sarvis, b: 3 May 1904 in Horry County, SC  d: 22 Sep 1979 in Horry County, SC 

Helen Geneva was the 2nd child of William Gary and Nancy Jane Sarvis.  Helen was a very sweet and lovable lady.  She loved her husband, Blon Tim Hardee, born in 1900, and their 6 children, Mildred Louise, born in 1922, Blon Tim (Buck) Hardee, born in 1924, Nancy Wilmina, born in 1927, Billy Raymond, born in 1930, Mary Opal, born in 1933, and Patricia Holmes, born in 1936.  She was also an active Christian, even though she had the devastating experience of losing her husband Blon, at a very young age (35 years old), her children and their families adhered to the fine principles she gave them early in life.  Helen Geneva and Blon Tim are buried in the Good Hope Cemetery, near Conway, SC.

 William Simon (Bud) Sarvis, b: 26 Nov 1906 in Horry County, SC  d: 13 Dec 1957 in Conway, Horry, SC 

William Simon (Bud) was the 3rd child of William Gary and Nancy Jane Sarvis.  He was a farmer, and lived on the old home site of his father Will Sarvis.  Bud married Loula Vurda Stevens, of Horry County, born in 1905.  They raised 3 fine children, Alberta, born in 1923, William George (WG), born in 1927, and Julian Wilson, born in 1930. There were few people in Horry County, who did not know, or had heard nice things of Bud Sarvis.  He was well respected in his community.  Bud died in 1957 and Vurda in 1978.  They are buried in Hillcrest Cemetery, Conway, Horry, SC.

 Virginia Nancy (Hon) Sarvis, b: 22 Apr 1908 in Horry County, SC  d: 17 Aug 1972 in Lakeland, Polk, FL 

Virginia Nancy (Hon) was the 5th child of William Gary and Nancy Jane Sarvis.  She was 9 years old when her Mother passed away and was raised by her father and older siblings.  At the tender age of 16, she eloped to Dillon, SC, to Jesse Judson Bryant, born in 1905.  Between 1925 and 1930, Virginia and Jesse, wanting a better life for their family, moved with their son Raymond, to Lakeland, FL, where Jesse worked for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.  While her husband was at work, Virginia took care of their children, Raymond Keith, born in 1926, Juanita Nancy, born in 1931, Shirley Marie, born in 1938, and Sandra Sue, born in 45.  She took in laundry and ironed for others, to make extra money for the family.  She was an excellent cook and knew how to make the most of the little they had.  She also was a fantastic seamstress, and the girls never wanted for beautiful clothes.  Virginia was always a warm, cheerful, giving person, whom everyone loved and respected.  Virginia was quite active in the Women’s Missionary Society, Women’s Club of Lakeland, Garden Gate Garden Circle and a member of the First Baptist Church of Lakeland.  An avid gardener, she loved to spend hours with her flowers at her lakeside home.  Virginia died in 1972, at the age of 64 and Jesse died eight years later in 1980.  They are buried in the Lakeland Cemetery, Lakeland, Polk, FL.

 Juanita Nancy Bryant Davis, b: 7 Jan 1931 in Lakeland, Polk, FL 

Juanita Nancy Bryant, is the 2nd child of Jesse J. and Virginia (Hon) Nancy Sarvis Bryant.  Juanita was born in Lakeland, FL and graduated from Lakeland High School in 1949.  While growing up, she and her brother Raymond would go to the ballpark, with their wagon, where the Detroit Tigers had their spring training. They would go out behind the outfield fence, which was a cow pasture and pick up baseballs, which they would then sell, so they could go to the movies.  She was taught to drive by her father in an old Model T Ford.  She also learned to cook and sew at an early age and turned into an excellent cook and seamstress.  She always dreamed of becoming a nurse, so while attending high school, she worked for a local Doctor.  After graduating, she applied and was accepted to the Medical College of South Carolina and Roper Hospital in Charleston, SC.  Her parents, having little money to send her to school, Juanita received a partial scholarship, with the help of the Doctor she had worked for in Lakeland.  Nursing School was a 2 year, year round program, with only 2 weeks off in the summer.  To make extra money for school, during the summer, she and some other nursing students would ride the train up to Connecticut, to work picking Cotton.  They lived in cabins with the barest necessities.  The highlight of her trip up north was stopping in New York City, to see the Rockettes, at the New York City Music Hall.  During nursing school, the students also had to work at Roper Hospital.  Sometimes wanting to quit and go home, she stuck it out and graduated in 1952.  During this time she met and fell in love with Robert A. Davis, a handsome man from a small Kansas town, who was stationed in Charleston, at the Naval Base.  They would later marry in 1954 in Lakeland, FL.  They eventually moved to Lawrence, KS, so Bob could finish school at the University of Kansas.  Nancy worked at Lawrence Memorial Hospital for 42 years, as a labor and delivery nurse.  It is said that she helped deliver half of the population in Lawrence.  She and Bob had 5 children, James Bryant, born in 1955, Melissa Ann, born in 1956, Nancy Elizabeth (Beth) Davis, born in 1957, Timothy Keith, born in 1959, and Jeffrey Jerome, born in 1961.  She worked evenings, so she would always have time for her children.  Nancy is very active in her church, the First Baptist Church of Lawrence.  She is very well respected and loved by all who know her and she has many friends.  After Bob died in 1991, Nancy continued working until her retirement on Halloween day of 1994.  She’s an avid gardener and animal lover.  She continues to live in Lawrence, KS, taking care of her dog, Bear and 3 cats, Sarah, Thomas, and Braxton.