A Brief Biography of William Jarrett

William Jarrett, and his wife, Elinour Norris the father of John Jarrett, as well as other sons & daughters (10 children total) was from Maryland, so he may be descended from the Jarrett family of Harford County, MD, where four of these Harford County Jarretts headed families in the 1790ís His father, John Jarrett was originally French Huguenot, and fled from France to avoid Catholic persecution. The Jarretts moved first to England, then to Scotland, and, finally, to America. The first records of William Jarrett are from the 1770ís. On 14 Feb. 1771 Benjamin Norris, Senior of Frederick County, MD (now Montgomery County, MD) sold his daughter, "Elinour" and his son-in-law William "Jarrat,"(the misspelling of surnames was common during this time) a blacksmith, of the same county five acres for five shillings. The 1772 & 1773 tax rolls of Frederick County may reflect this purchase since William Jarrett paid tax on part of a tract of land named "Good Hope" .In 1777 William "Jarett"(sp.) took an oath of allegiance to the rebellious United States in newly created Montgomery County, MD. William Jarrett ( -1815) and Eleanor Norris (1749-1810), his wife, were from the Barnesville, Beallsville, and Germantown region of Montgomery County, MD. They resided in Sugar Loaf Hundred. The 1790 Montgomery County census the Jarrett household had four white males over 16, three white males under 16, and four white females.

Tombstone of Eleanor Jarrett, October 19, 1749 - July 16, 1810
wife of William Jarrett
Buried in Baker Cemetery, Morgantown, WV

Photo courtesy of Al Jarrett, a descendant of Thomas Jarrett

William Jarrett was a blacksmith. Blacksmiths were extremely important in colonial America. They shoed horsesí repaired ploughs, sickles, saws, and other farm implements; and forged iron products such as nails, chains, and hoes. Like other southern blacksmiths, William used black slave labor in his business. The 1790 census shows William Jarrett as the owner of ten slaves. The 1793 tax list of Sugar Loaf Hundred provides other information about William Jarrett. By 1793 he owned his deceased father-in-lawís 175 acre "Hopewell" Plantation. He also owned 45 additional acres of unnamed lands. Williamís personal property was valued at 60 pounds. Additionally, he owned 200 pounds worth of slaves. Although William Jarrett is not on the 1795 tax rolls, the last Montgomery County records listing William Jarrett came after that year. In 1796, however, he received 3 pounds, 13 shillings from George Norrisí estate. Norris was his wife, Eleanorís brother. The last mention of William Jarrett in Maryland records was in 1797. In the 19 Oct., 1796 edition of the Frederick County, MD newspaper "Rights of Man" has a notice from William Jarrett forewarning person not to purchase bonds from Hugh McFarson.

The earliest record of William Jarrett in Monongalia County, Virginia is from 10 May 1796. Monongalia Cntyís Order Book records the following sworn statement:

"I, Wm Jarrett do swear that my removal into state of VA was with no intent of evading the laws for preventing the further importation of slaves nor have I brought with me any slaves with the intent of selling them nor have any of the slaves which I have brought with me been imported from Africa or any of the West India Islands since the first day of Nov. 1778."
Sworn Statement of William Jarrett

The Jarretts first appear in Monongalia County tax records in 1797. William Jarrett had 5 white tithables, 3 black slaves over 12, 3 black slaves over 16, and 4 horses. In 1805 William Jarrett first appears as a ferryman. He had 1 white tithable, 6 black slaves over 12, 4 black slaves over 16, and 1 horse. In 1807 William Jarrett, a ferryman, was exempt from being taxed, so he had no white tithables. The earliest land records of the Jarretts in Monongalia County, WV is on 10 June 1799. Eleanorís brother, William Norris lived in Monongalia County, and the Jarretts settled near William Norris east of the Cheat River. A 10 April 1802 court record mentions William Jarrett, Sr.ís house on the Cheat River. Monongalia County court records have much information on the Jarrett family with references to loans, debts, & land sales.

Eleanor died on 16 July 1810 and is buried in the Baker Cemetery on the old William Norris farm. William Jarrett outlived her is listed in the 1810 census and the head of household with one son aged 26 to 44 (perhaps John) and nine slaves.

Biography courtesy of Dave Farner, a descendant of Thomas Jarrett

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