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Valerie Purvis (View posts)
Posted: 966599431000
I am a wife of a Purvis. I've been trying for years to get somewhere in this Geneology thing with the Purvis Family. I have found very interesting reading here but no clues. Maybe someone can help??? My husband is Jesse A. Purvis b. 1952, His Father is Everett Calvin Purvis b april 1916 or so. His father is John F. Purvis born 1863. This family lives in Kentucky throughout Own County, Harmnoy, Ky, Camp Pleasant, Franklin County and Frankfort. I cannot find any references to ANY of them and I'm way confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks...

Purvis family

Posted: 966865608000
Edited: 1001551260000
Hello Valerie!

I have quite a bit of information on your husbands line:

Samuel Purvis
Born: 1842 in Bath county, Kentucky
Married: about 1860
Father: Samuel Purvis
Mother: nancy Rutherford

Wife: Parthenia Reeves
Born: about 1840 in Kentucky
Fathe: Lewis Reeves
Mother: Elizabeth Purvis


1. John F. Purvis born: 1862 in Owen county, KY
2. Ann Purvis born: 1870 in Owen county, KY
3. Charles Purvis born: July 1871 in Owen county, KY
Married: ida (born: Aug. 1875 in Kentucky _
Children: 1. William Purvis ( b: June 1893)
2. Omar Purvis ( b: Jan. 1897)
3. Charles Purvis ( b: July 1899)
4. Calvin Purvis born: 1873 in Owen county, KY
5. Maranda Purvis born: 1875 in Kentucky
6. Maggie B. Purvis born: 1878 in Owen county, KY

Samuel Purvis as a teamster with his brother in law, Dudley spurr in a brigade organized by General Buford and was captured by union forces near harmoney, KY ( in Owen county). They were soon released and did not serve after that.

Now, Samuel's parents ( Sanuel and Nancy ) were also my ggg grandparents through Samuel Jr.'s brother James. I do not have any information any LATER than above, but I can take the line back until the mid 1600s!

Note: Samuel and Parthenia Reeves were first cousins, once removed, no Kentucky jokes please!

Before I go father back in time, I will give you what I have from the census records of this family.

1. Samuel and Parthenia were living in Owen county in 1870 at Harmoney. John F. Is listed as 8 years old and Ann as 4 months.

2. In the 1860 census of Owen county, Samuel is still living with his mother, widowed

Nancy Purvis...... Age 49
Polly ................... Age 18 ( married Dudley Spurr, also in my line)
Samual ..... 16
Margaret J. 14
Alvin 12
Alford 12 ( twins)
Eber .........11 ( or Ebin)
Nancy ellen ( I THINK is Polly's daughter)

3. Samuel is not in Owen county in 1880

The following is an outline of ten generations of the Purvis family. Generations 1 - 5 apply to Samual, 6-10 apply to my descendents.





John Purvis came to North America as an indentured servant about the year 1675. His origin, and that of his branch of the Purvis family, is unkown. In 1674, he was named along with 30 other servants in a headright list made by the colony of Maryland, confirming a land grant to Captain William Barrot of London, England for his expense in transporting them to the province. Whether or not he traveled with Barrot from London is not indicated. It is possible that he came to Maryland from the island of Barbados. A large exodus of white settlers were leaving that colony in the late seventeenth century for North America. A family of tobacco planters named Parvis were living on Barbados in the mid seventeenth century, and their home was shown on the northeast shore of the island on Richard Ligon's map of the colony drawn about 1650. John Purvis may have been a brother of James Purvys, who came to South Carolina from Barbados in Aug. of 1673. Shortly after coming to Maryland, he was taken to Virginia. In 1675, a headright for John Purvis was given to Thomas Seawell. The title to Seawell's headright was eventually transferred to Abraham Bradley, who registered the grant in the Gloucester County Courthouse on May 6, 1682.
After his period of servitude was over, John Purvis remained in Gloucester County, Virginia. The district in which he lived was eventually designated as the county of Middlesex. He evidently was a tobacco farmer, and rented lands from others. In 1686, he married Mary Shippey. The remainder of John Purvis's life is obscure. He was undoubtedly dead by October 10, 1716, since by that date the Christ Church vestry was providing funds to buy wine and other goods for Mary Purvis. His widow, Mary Purvis, died in Christ Church, Middlesex County, Virginia on Dec. 14, 1720.

John Purvis (died in infancy, Jan. 22, 1686/7)
John Purvis (about 1690-1740)
George Purvis (about 1690-?)





John Purvis married his first wife in Middlesex county, Virginia when he was about 21. He continued living in that county until sometime after his first wife died on March 15, 1717/8. A notation in the Christ Church vestry minutes of March 31, 1718 ordered that one of the churchwardens take care of his newly born twins, indicating that he was not present in the neighborhood, or incapable of taking care of them. On October 7, 1719, the vestry records ordered reimbursement given to two men who were caring for his son George and another child, again indicating that he had left the county by then.
John Purvis moved west into the unsettled region around present day Frederickburg, Virginia sometime in the late 1710s. He was probably preparing a place to bring his family when his first wife died in 1718. He was able to accumulate a large amount of land, and rise above his former situation. On February 4, 1729./30, he transferred 770 acres of land in St. George's Parish, where he lived, to a carpenter named Phillip Walters. It was later said among the Purvis family in Virginia that a Purvis had built the first wood frame house in Fredericksburg. This transaction may have been part of the compensation given the carpenter for building this house, which expressed John Purvis's new status as a successful tobacco planter. This family tradition about building the first frame house in Fredericksburg was recorded in 1870 by George E. Purvis in his book, GENEALOGY OF THE PURVIS FAMILY FROM THE YEAR 1739-1870 , after speaking with the oldest members of the family in Nelson county, Virginia. Although he had been born the son of a tenant farmer, John Purvis accumulated a respectable amount of wealth during his life, and helped all his sons become prosperous planters and farmers.

John Purvis (March 24, 1711/12 - ?)
Winifred Purvis ( March 24, 1711/12 - ?)
Alice Purvis (Dec. 6, 1713-September 5, 1715
George Purvis (October 17, 1715-December 1794
Henry Purvis (March 12, 1717/18 -? )
Robert Purvis (March 12, 1717/18 - May 24, 1718)
Francis Purvis ( about 1730 - 1789)
James Purvis (about 1730 - Dec. 18, 1797)
William Purvis (about 1730-1815)


1730-about 1813

William Purvis was a tobacco farmer in Culpeper County, Virginia and little more is known about him including the name of his wife. He appeared to have gone to Kentucky with his son William in 1795.

James Purvis ( about 1755- October 1811) married Cassandra Briscoe
John Purvis (about 1756 -1717) Died in the revolutionary war
William Purvis ( 1758- Dec. 4, 1835) married 1st ? Married second: Jane Burk
Susan Purvis ( about 1759 - about 1850)


1758- DECEMBER 4, 1835

JULY 19, 1792

William Purvis was enlisted by his brother, Sergeant James Purvis, on August 4, 1776 in the First Virginia Regiment of the Continental Line. His brother John also served in the same company until his death in 1777. William Purvis participated in much of the fighting in the middle states against the British. He participated in the battles of Brandywine Creek, Pa., Monmouth Courthouse, N.J., the storming of Stony Point, N.Y., and several minor skirmishes; he served at Valley Forge during the winter encampment of 1777-8. He was discharged after three years service on Aug. 1, 1779, at Smith's Clove, N.Y. He returned to Culpeper County, where he married his first wife about 1781, and he farmed there for about 15 years.
In the fall of 1795, he sold his land in Virginia and prepared to move west, forming a party with his second wife's kinsman, William Burk, and his nephew John Purvis. They traveled through the mountains of Maryland and Pennsylvania, and floated down the Ohio River on a flatboat. They disembarked at Maysville, Kentucky, and traveled to the vicinity of Flemingsburg, Kentucky. William Purvis farmed for the rest of his life in Fleming County, eventually purchasing a 197 acre farm along the Licking River where he died.

George Purvis (1783 - 1865) m. 1st Sarah Franklin; 2d: Unity Patrick
James Purvis (1785-1852) m. 1st Sarah Garrard; 2nd Elizabeth Hood
Nancy Purvis ( 1786-1845) m. John Cooper
Jenny Purvis ( about 1786-1845) m. Jonathan Gillespie
William Purvis (178801855) m. Malinda Jones
Eleanor Purvis ( 1790-1845) m. William McGlothlin
Thomas Purvis (1794-1885) m. Polly Warren
John Purvis (1795-1855) m. 1st Ann Gillespie; 2nd Margaret Proctor
Permelia Purvis ( 1800-about 1855) m. John Spurlock
Susan Purvis ( 1803-Aug. 17, 1852)
Samuel Purvis (1809- about 1855) m. Nancy Rutherford
Matthew Purvis (1811- about 1890 m. Rebecca Gillespie




Samuel Purvis farmed most of his life in Bath County, Kentucky. In 1860, his widow Nancy was living near Harmony, in Owen County, where he may have died. It appears that Samual died in ether Bath or Owen county around the year 1857. Nancy died sometime after the 1871 tax list of Owen county, the last time she is recorded in the records.
Nelly Purvis (1830- )
Thomas Franklin Purvis (January 22, 1830 - June 1, 1895) m. Margeret Sorrel
Asa Purvis ( Sept. 1833- ) m. Mary J. Otis
James Purvis ( 1835- ?) m. Sarah Purvis
Elizabeth Purvis ( 1837 - ?)
Mary "Polly" Purvis ( 1839 - ?) m. Dudley Spurr
Samuel Purvis ( 1842- ? ) m. Parthensia Reeves
Margaret Purvis ( 1844-?)
Alford Purvis (May, 1848 - ?) m. Julia Ann Sorrell
Alvin Purvis (May, 1848, - ?) m. Mary
Eben Purvis ( May 1850- ?) m. Maranda




In 1860, James Purvis was living in Fleming County, Kentucky, working as a basketmaker. He moved to Pendleton county in the 1860s where he was a farmer. James married Sarah, the daughter of Francis Purvis of Rowan County, Kentucky.
At a early date in his life he was crippled. He was out hunting in the middle of winter and suffered frostbite to both feet that crippled him for life. They were very poor tenet farmers and just made it. James was often living close to his brother Frank through 1880. During the Civil War, he guarded the farms of Francis Purvis, Sarah's father, and 3 other family members as they went off to War for the Union. Francis and Frank Purvis most likely lended finacial support throughout their life. The injury to his feet provented him from becoming a successful farmer. In the 1870s tax lists of Pendleton county; the most sucessful year had him owning 3 dogs and $5 dollars worth of valuables. He owned no land, no cattle, no horses; not a good thing for a farmer.
Around the year 1882, James and Sarah Purvis moved to Rowan county and lived near Sarah's father Francis and numerous relatives. It is not known if Joseph was still alive at this date. Another Joseph was living in the county and was the son of Matthew Purvis, the brother of Samual Purvis who was James father. But, 18 year old Ben Franklin Purvis was living with his father (and mother?) at this time. Ben appears to have moved to Owen county with his uncle Frank by 1884, as he is no longer with his father. James Purvis is listed in the Rowan county court records of August 2, 1882 as a pauper and George Nickell is paying him $3 per month for his support. I tend to believe that Sarah Purvis died before this date. James Purvis family is last listed in Rowan county for the 1888 tax list and then is no longer seen. He may have moved to Mt. Sterling in Montgomery county during the last part of his life. As Ben's daughter Isibel says that she could last remember them living their when she was asked on the death certificate of her father in 1935.

Joseph S. Purvis ( 1855- ?)
Joseph is listed as the 23 year old son of James and Sarah when he is listed in the Pendleton county census of 1880. There is no word of him after that date. It is said (source unknown) that he died in a knife fight over a girl at a barn dance. But, when this is is unknown. I have not been able to confirm this. Most likely this was between 1880 and 1882.. Not in the court records of Pendleton or Rowan county.
Benjamin Franklin Purvis ( Oct. 1, 1859- Dec. 21, 1935) m. Nancy Ellen Spurr




ABOUT 1888
Benjamin Franklin Purvis married his cousin Nancy Ellen Spurr, the daughter of Dudley Spurr and Mary Purvis. Nancy E. Spurr had been previously married to a man named George Thacker and they had twin children. Richard, who died as a baby. And Rose Thacker, born Aug. 8, 1885. Rose married Otto Johnston in 1907 and they moved to Louisville. Benjamin F. Purvis was working on farms near Gratz, Kentucky until about 1888. His uncle, Thomas Franklin Purvis, was living near Harmony, in owen county during this time period and he may have been living with him at some point in time, though I have not found evidence of this yet.
In the Owen county courthouse, there is no record of Ben Purvis's marriage to Nancy or of Nancy's to a Thacker. They are also not listed in the Henry County Courthhouse records as well. They may have been married in another county. His brother, Joseph S. Purvis, the only other sibling is said to have died in a knife fight over a girl at a barn dance. If this is true, and if I can narrow it down to the county this happened in, there should be a court record of this act. There is no 1890 census to track the early years of his family, but he is recorded in the 1900 and 1910 Census of Henry county ( see census section). His family is recorded there.
Nancy lists her father as being born in Scotland, even though this seems to contradict the evidence for her ( see SPURR) section. Also, with Nancy, there is a question about if Dudley was her father. The 1860 census already shows Nancy as a baby born in Oct. of 1858 in Polly Purvis's mother Nancy's household. Also, Nancy's first husband seems to be unkown even to people researching the Thacker family. . Even in later life, Rose still went under the name of Thacker on her marriage license of 1907 ( see document section). So, she may have never been officially adopted by Ben or still felt close to her father even though she does not list him on her marriage license of 1907 and she does place in bold letters : THE DAUGHTER OF NANCY E. PURVIS. Also, the 1900 census list Rose as being born in Sept. 1884 and not Aug. 1885. And her tombstone says Aug. 6, 1886!
Rose Zella Thacker............born Aug. 6, 1886...........died Dec. 12, 1949
Walter.................................born June 5 1889...............died Aug. 14, 1941
Kightley..............................born July 30, 1890..........died July 2, 1980
Olvine (girl)........................born Feb. 1892.................about May 1906 ? Sallie...................................born Aug. 1894.................died Dec. 26, 1918
Kate....................................born April 1897................died April 3, 1971
Issibla.................................born June 15 1899..................died Oct. 14, 1983




MARCH 12, 1910

Kightley Purvis was the second son of Ben and Nancy Purvis, born on July 30, 1890. As it was common during the time he did not attend school past the third grade, but despite this he did teach himself to read and write over the years. His brother Walter and sister Issabell never did learn to read and write and signed many official documents with a "x". His wife, Icey, could read and write as well, but not very well . He married Icey on March 12, 1910 and later in life Icey said that she first fell in love with him the first time she saw him shoveling manure on a farm. In the marriage license, she is listed as 19, even though in later years many said that she was several years older than Kight. The records of her death give a date of 1887 for her birth, even though this is two years before the listed marriage date for her parents in the 1910 census and 5 years before the official date in 1892 according to court records. But, you must give all age dates with a grain of salt, since they tend to vary widely. Icey died on March 15, 1972, after 62 years and 3 days of marriage.
In June of 1910, a few months after their marriage, they are living with Kight's father, Ben and Nancy, and they are both listed as 19 years old and Kight is listed as a farmer along with his father. There is a Ester A. Purvis also living in the same household that I have not been able to track down as to her relationship. His older brother, Walter, is also listed in the 1910 census and is working as a Sexton hand for the railroad. Buy the 1920 census, Kight is also listed as a sexton hand for the railroad, so it is very possible that his older brother got him the job sometime between 1910-1920. He was let go after 19 years as a sexton hand, probably to avoid paying him a pension, even though he earned awards for his service. Including as safety leader in March 1927 ( see document section).
In later years, he worked on the farms of Worth Ellis. In 1920, he is living on 107 O'Bannon Street in Eminence. In later years, during the 20's and 30's, he lived on the old fairground property where Brunswick is today. He was in involved in cleaning the fairgrounds. It took years for the fairgrounds to pay him and the check he recieved years later was the largest paycheck to that date. In the late 1930s, he was living were the radio station in Eminence is now. A fire started in the Chimmey and quickly spread through the house. The fire department he to convince him to give up his effort to take out a old leather couch that was lost in the fire along with most of their belongings. On wonders how many pictures were lost. Around 1941, he moved with his family to the house he lived in until his death in 1980 on main street in Eminence. Worth Ellis, who owned the house, saved a few dollars out of his pay ( until it reached about $2500) and signed it over to him on March 16, 1946. This was the first house that he ever owned.
Kightly and Icey had nine children together, but it was not without tragedy His daughter Mabel, died around the age of 2 ½ on November 17, 1921 of Diptheria, though I have not been able to find the exact date in the Local during this time. Hubert died on June 19, 1934 of Tuburculosis of the bone ( see document section). On Dec. 21, 1932 the doctor wrote Icey a very sad letter on how critical his condition actually was. It is possible that the Kosair Crippled Children Hospital would still have records on him, something perhaps for further research. The following is a listing of children for Keighly and Icey:


1. BEN PURVIS...................BORN MARCH 13, 1911...............DIED AUG. 24, 1989
(named for Keight's father)
2. JOHN PURVIS................BORN MARCH 1, 1913..................DIED NOV. 10, 1982
(named for Icey's father)
3. WALTER PURVIS.........BORN April 9, 1916.........................DIED JUNE 7, 1987
(named for Keight's brother)
4. MABEL...........................BORN Feb. 13, 1919..............DIED Nov. 17, 1921 ?

5. LULA...............................BORN Nov. 20, 1921.......................

6. ISABELLE "DOLLY"...BORN MARCH 20, 1926..................DIED JULY 9, 1993

7. MARTHA ELIZABETH "SIS"......BORN June 22, 1927........DIED JULY 9, 1975

8. HUBERT PURVIS...........BORN June 24, 1930..................DIED June 19, 1934

9. DONALD LEE PURVIS....BORN AUG. 11, 1933...................

Kight and Icey were around the age of 43 when Donald was born in 1933.

During the 1950s, Kightly traveled out west with his son Walter, many pictures show them near many monuments out West. One of his most prized things was a Brown Bear rug that he often posed with that he ordered through the mail. During the 1950s, 60s, and 70s he often built cabinets, worked in his garden in back of his house, pictures during the 1960s show many beautify fruit trees over the area. He also liked to fish and made many trips to Dale Hollow near the Tennessee boarder with his sons. It was during one of these trips to Dale Hollow that he heard of Icey's illness before her death in 1972.
A interesting hobby of his was bee keeping. He had many hives near his garden and would walk to his hives and reach in bare handed with no protective clothing and collect the honey. His jars of honey would have not only the honey but the very decorative cone as well. When he was very old, he once collected all the queens in one jar. This must have been very painful considering how the hive will protect the queen.
During his later years during the 1970s he became quite feeble with arthritis and old age. He still played with his grandchild by pushing them on the swing by his house. He would often take an old coke bottle and play it like a musical instrument and would often play a game of "pee-pie" with little babies. In 1975, over a hundred people attended his 85th birthday party. I can still remember the huge swarms of people there that day. He died at his daughter Doll's house on July 2, 1980.

1645- DEC. 14, 1720

Mary Mills Shippey's life before she married John Purvis on Dec. 27, 1686 is of interest as well. Mary Mills Shippey was the widow of Richard Shippey. Mary was also imported as an " indentured " servant in 1657 to Maryland by Robert Cole of ST. Clement's Manor in St. Mary's county. She was named a kinswomen of Robert's wife, Rebecca who died in 1682.
The Cole family had emigrated from Heston Manor in Middlesex England. This was the teritory of the Duke of Northumberland. Mary Mills Shippey was also probably from the western part of that shire. Whe was a very young girl when she was brought to America, perhaps about 12. She married Richard Shippey by 1659, they resided in St. clement's until 1661 when they relocated to Newton Hundred in Maryland. They left Maryland for Middlesex County,, Virginia by Aug. 16, 1682, where their daughter Letitia was christened at Christ Church. Richard Shippey died in the mid 1680s.
Very little is known about the lives of John and Mary Purvis. They evidently lived near Mickleborough bridge in Middlesex County, Virginia near Dragon Swamp. From the name of the location one might figure that this was not exactly the high rent district.

Purvis Family

Valerie Purvis (View posts)
Posted: 966930899000
WOW... that is more than I'd ever hoped for. I wonder why no one kept very good records after coming to Kentucky?? Where would I look to find more information on John F. Purvis and Forward. And tell me if I have this correct... The Purvis began in Barbados??? I am amazed and My husband will be most enthused over the whole thing. It seems that names have been used over and over.... even to todays generations probably without anyone even knowing it!!:) Thanks so much I appreciate all the work that you have done.

Purvis Connection to SE Alabama

Posted: 966965050000
Edited: 993348642000
You certainly seem to have quiet a large amount of information on the origins of the Purvis Family and have put lots of work into it. Thanks for posting the very informative and historically interesting note on the Purvis message board. I was wondering if you have any information on how my ancestors made it to SE Alabama, specifically Geneva and Coffee Counties. I don't seem to find any record of them being there in the 1850 census, but there were a few in the 1860 census. My Grandfather was John Benjamin Purvis b. 11-22-1872 and d. 1944 he was married to Winnie L Helms b.1-22-1875 and d.1948. My Parents Bible only listed my G Grandparents as Barney and Pollie Purvis. Do you have any information in your data about a Barney and Pollie Purvis prior to 1870?? I cann't seem to get anything on these two people. Contact me at my e-mail


Johnny Purvis

Calvin Purvis/Cecil Purvis

margaret Pennington (View posts)
Posted: 967219434000
Valerie, My sister and I have been enjoying searching the message board for our families. My sister's first husband and father of her son was Cecil Purvis. He died at age 34. We know his gfather was named Calvin and that he married a girl with last name of Baker In Vernon's message to you there is a Calvin born 1873 to Samuel and Parthenia Reeves Purvis. Cecil's family was from around Owen County, KY.
Do you have any information about any of Samuel and Parthenia's children. Would love to find anything at all.

Calvin Purvis

Valerie (View posts)
Posted: 967220539000
I don't have any information as of yet. Although I will let you know when I do. Appearantly all kinds of records have been lost or at least not clearly kept. A cousin of my husbands is helping me with this as is Vernon... :) Take care.. happy hunting

Purvis family

Posted: 967630047000
Edited: 993473015000
I am just beginning my maternal family history. My gfather was David Andrew Purvis. I found him listed in the 1920 Trimble Co., KY census, but no prior listings. Anyone familiar with this name if you could give me a hint where to start looking next?? Also, I came across a Calvin Purvis (56 y.o.) listed as the uncle of Charles W. Purvis (37 y.o.) in 1910 Trimble Co., KY census. There was no Purvis listed before 1910. Where did they come from where did they go to????

Purvis Family history

Don Purvis (View posts)
Posted: 967644246000
The Purvis Family history begins in England and Barbados. It then moves to Virginia. The descendents went from Culpeper county, VA to Owen County, KY. Descendents from that group moved to Sangamon County, IL....My GGF left there and moved to Iowa......

Intereresting connections

Don Purvis (View posts)
Posted: 967644731000
The PENNINGTON line mixes with the PURVIS line through the WILLS Family line. THey all tend to blend together when we look long enough, don't they.

Zacheriah Taylor Purvis

Posted: 969815315000
Edited: 1018572270000
Zacheriah Taylor Purvis was my great-grandfather. He was born May 9, 1849 and married to Frances Jane Phillips, born June 16, 1848 or 1851. He and Frances had 15 children, Abraham, Charlie W., Alford, Jinnia, Elizabeth "Beth", Nancy, Martha, Zachary Taylor, Martin Luther, Dovie Frances, David Andrew, Hannah Jane, Elye Harrison, Monroe, and Virgie Mae. Dovie was my grandmother. Zacheriah was a Baptist minister for 30 years at Sand Ripple, KY. I would appreciate any information one might have about this family. Please contact me at
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