SUBMITTED BY: Wilma Jarrell Hiatt (edited and vetted by Cheri Todd Molter)
Ellis Franklin Jarrell (1836-1923) was of English descent. He was the son of Fountain and Fanny (Francis) Jarrell, grandson of William P. Jarrell, great-grandson of Alexander Jarrell, Sr., and great-great-grandson of James Jarrell. He was born in Rockingham County on July 15, 1836. He married Nancy Susan Senter in 1858, probably in Surry County, N.C., or Carroll County, Virginia. Their children were Hiram Ellis, William A., Fannie Laura, Rebecca C., Richard (Dick) Walter, Lafayette Fountain, Mary A., Sidney Franklin, and Grover C. W. Jarrell.
[Below are photos of Ellis and Nancy. Click on images to enlarge.]
Before Ellis was married to Nancy, as of Feb. 22, 1858, he was bondsman for Jeremiah Shropshire and Dicy F. Lewis in Surry County.
In the Surry County 1862 Tax List, Ellis was listed as the owner of 200 acres of land, valued at $300, in the Beaverdam Creek location.
Ellis enlisted in the Confederate Army at Independence, Virginia, on Aug. 2, 1862, and served in Company D of the 37th Virginia Cavalry Battalion, which was comprised of men from Grayson and Carroll County, Virginia, and Surry County, North Carolina. He was active until he became ill (Source: Surry County Soldiers in the Civil War). At one time, Ellis’ son, Sid, had Ellis’ saddlebags that were used during the Civil War, and Evie (Sid’s wife) had a button that came off Ellis’ uniform, but it is not known what happened to those items. Ellis Jarrell’s Civil War diary is at The Museum of Regional History in Mount Airy, N.C., but some of the pages are missing.
In 1869, freeholders William Golding, John R. Greenwood, and D. M. Holder allotted and set apart unto Ellis Jarrell, applicant for a homestead, a certain tract or parcel of land in the County of Surry…containing two hundred acres valued at $200.00 and his interest in the tract of land where Jarrell now lives, valued at $200.00 and personal property (personal property listed). That document was registered on Jan. 15, 1869.
According to the 1870 Federal Census, Ellis Jarrell [spelled Jerrel in that record] was a farmer living in Surry County. The value of his real estate was $600, and his personal property was valued at $200.
On March 3, 1879, an Indenture was “made and entered between E. F. Jerrell and wife Nancy Jerrell of Surry County and Forrester Booker and John Greenwood” (Book 17, page 452). According to that source, Jarrell was liable to Booker [and Greenwood] for the sum of $500, a tract of 200 acres, two head of cattle, 18 head of sheep, 6 head of hogs, 1 two horse wagon, and one five-year-old mare.
According to the 1880 Census, Ellis and Nancy lived next to Solomon Center [Senter], Nancy’s brother. The record also documented that the couple had six children living at home with them, and Ellis was suffering from “torpid liver” [misspelled as torbid in this record], which was the nineteenth-century diagnosis for the “functional insufficiency of the liver that was responsible for vague symptoms of ill health” (Google).
On Nov. 10, 1883, a deed was made to Ellis F. Jarrell from Anderson Arnold and Mary E. Arnold for a tract of land containing forty-five acres situated near Ellis Creek that adjoins John Moore’s property. The deed was witnessed Nov. 10, 1883. (21-538)
On May 2, 1885, a deed was made between Holland Senter, widow of John Senter, to Ellis Jarrell for 50 acres of land—known as the Senter land—on the waters of Fisher River, adjoining lands of D. M. Holder, J. R. Greenwood, and others. The transfer of property was made “for and in consideration for the maintenance and support of Holland Senter. It was signed by Holland (her mark) and witnessed by D. M. Holder and H. E. Jarrell (son of Ellis Jarrell) and was registered July 16, 1886.
On March 31, 1891, a deed was made transferring ownership of forty-six ½ acres of land lying on Ellis Creek, and known as the Ben Harris land, from Ellis and Nancy Jarrell to son, H. E. Jarrell. That Surry County land adjoined the property of John Moore, Daniel Wood, and others.
Also on March 31, 1891, Ellis and Nancy Jarrell deeded 2 ½ acres of land that were part of land that had been John Senter’s and adjoined those of D. M. Holder. The deed was registered on April 11, 1891.
In 1900, according to the census record, Ellis and Nancy Jarrell still lived in Stewarts Creek with their son, Sidney, and their granddaughter, Cora E. Moore. Cora was Fannie and J.T. Moore’s sixteen-year-old daughter.
A deed dated March 30, 1901 recorded the transfer of ownership of 28 ½ acres of land from E. F. and Nancy Jarrell of Surry to H. E. Jarrell of Surry for $70.50. This property adjoined the lands of John H. Moore and G. D. Holder. The deed was witnessed on Mar 30, 1901 by T. D. Golding, Justice of the Peace, and registered May 8, 1901.
E. F. Jarrell [spelled Jerrell in the record] submitted a Soldier’s Application for Pension on June 28, 1901. He was sixty-four and a resident of Round Peak. In August 1862, he enlisted in Company D, 37th Battalion of Virginia Troops. While in service he had neuralgah, which effected his eyes. He had suffered with neuralgah ever since and was unable to perform manual labor at least 3/4 of the time. J. R. Greenwood of Round Peak appeared on Ellis’ behalf, saying he is acquainted with E. F. Jerrell and signed as a witness. Also appearing was John R. Waltz (a physician in good standing), who said he had carefully and thoroughly examined E. F. Jarrell. Dr. Waltz stated that Ellis suffered from a disease of the eyes, which rendered him almost blind.
On Oct. 18, 1902, Ellis Jarrell registered to vote at Stewarts Creek Township, North Carolina. No ancestor was listed who would have voted in 1867. (From the Grandfather Clause book)
A deed dated May 8, 1907 documented the transfer of a tract of 53 ½ acres to Hiram E. Jarrell from his parents, Ellis and Nancy Jarrell, for $325. It adjoined Hiram’s other property and the lands of G. D. Holder and J. R. Greenwood. The tract had been part of what had been John Senter’s, which began at Low Gap Road. The deed was witnessed on June 28, 1907 by Richard A. Snow.
There were three deeds dated June 26, 1907 that involved property transactions by E. F. and Nancy Jarrell of Surry County: The first was for a 56-acre tract of land in Stewarts Creek Township, which was sold to S. F. Jarrell for $269. The property adjoined that of J. R. Greenwood and Coalston. That deed was witnessed on June 26, 1907 by T. M. Scott and was registered on April 23, 1908.
The second deed transferred ownership of 56 ½ acres to Ellis and Nancy’s son, R. W. Jarrell, for $203. The plot adjoined the lands of his brother, H. E. Jarrell, and J. R. Greenwood. The deed was witnessed June 26, 1907 by T. M. Scott, JP and was registered on March 4, 1911. (That tract of land could be located where the Ivy Green Baptist Church and cemetery are now located.)
The third deed documented the sale of 56 acres to L. F. Jarrell of Surry for $203. That tract adjoined the property of Sarah Gardner and John H. Moore. The deed was witnessed on June 26, 1907 by T. M. Scott, JP and was registered on March 4, 1911.
In 1910, Ellis and Nancy Jarrell lived beside their son, Sid, and Sid’s family on either Lambsburg or Dobson Road in Stewarts Creek Township (1910 Surry County Census Record).
According to the article published in The Mount Airy News on July 21, 1910, T. M. S. wrote, “Mr. E. F. Jarrell, a veteran of the Civil War and resident of Round Peak, was greatly but pleasantly, surprised Friday morning July 15th by seeing 150 of his relatives, friends and neighbors coming in with baskets, boxes, etc. filled with the good things of this life, enough to fill a table 30 feet long, 40 inches wide. Mr. Jarrell enjoyed himself very much and hopes to live to see many more of such birthdays. He was 74 years old, had 4 sons, 37 grandchildren and one brother, Mr. R. A. Jarrell. There were four veterans present, Mr. E. F. Jarrell, R. A. Jarrell, Mr. J. R. Greenwood who entertained the crowd telling war stories, etc. The writer never saw a crowd enjoy themselves better.”
Ellis Jarrell’s final will, dated March 1911, directed his executor, son H. E. Jarrell, to give his body a decent burial and to pay his funeral expenses and debts. Ellis bequeathed all his personal property to his wife, Nancy, for her natural life; plus, she was to receive rents on his real estate. To his grandchildren, Cora and Jesse Moore, he gave five dollars each. If any residue of his estate was left it was to be divided equally between his four sons—H. E. Jarrell, R. W. Jarrell, L. F. Jarrell and S. F. Jarrell—and one daughter, Rebecca C. Jarrell Bobbitt. The will was witnessed by T. D. Golding and R. A. Snow.
In 1915, Ellis and Nancy were living in Amelia County, Virginia, with his son, Richard (Dick) Walter Jarrell. On February 4, 1921 (a little more than two years before Ellis’ death) they were still living with Dick in Virginia. Nancy wrote a letter to her granddaughter, Lou Jarrell, who lived at Toast, North Carolina. In that letter, Nancy stated that her health was better than it had been when she was at Sid’s (Sid Jarrell, her son who lived in Surry County) house. She said she could go to her room, undress, and go to bed without any help; plus, she could get up in the morning, dress, and walk into the other room to the fire. She could walk through one room to the kitchen but needed help preparing her meals. She could walk around the house and on the porches and around the yard sometimes. She also said that she had bad news to write: Her son, Dick, was in trouble again for stilling, drinking, and mistreating his family. He was at Richmond in the penitentiary. She hadn’t seen him since January 2nd. She stated she got two boxes of apples, one box of cake, one night cap, and all the candy and oranges she could eat for Christmas. She also wrote that she would be proud to receive some pieces of Lou’s dress to put in the quilt she was making. She stated she didn’t like living there and wanted to be in her home country; it didn’t seem like home there. (Source: Letter written by Nancy Jarrell.)
Ellis was blind with cataracts at the time of his death. He was buried at Ivy Green Baptist Church Cemetery in the Round Peak community of Surry County. His grave marker is engraved with the following: “CO. D, 37 VA CAV C.S.A.”
According to his death certificate, Ellis F. Jarrell was 86 years old at the time of his death on July 12, 1923. He died of pneumonia. Ellis had been a farmer for most of his life. Ellis’ father was Fountain Jarrell, and he was born July 15, 1836. Ellis had been a farmer for most of his life. The informant on his death certificate was H. G. Jarrell. Dr. John L. Waltz of Mt. Airy, N.C. signed the certificate of death. Ellis was buried at Ivy Green Cemetery on July 14, 1923. (North Carolina Death Certificate)
According to the Moody Funeral Home record of death, dated July 13, 1923, Ellis F. Jarrell’s final arrangements were made by H. G. & B. F. Jarrell and charged to S. F. Jarrell. The date of his funeral was July 14, 1923. Ellis lived at Rt. 3, Mt. Airy and died at Stewarts Creek, and his funeral services were at Ivy Green at 2 p.m. His physician was Dr. Waltz of Mt. Airy. Ellis died of labor pneumonia on July 12, 1923 at 11:20 p.m. He was 86 years, 11 months, and 27 days old at the time of his death. The funeral charge was $60.00.
Wayne Easter told me in May 2017 that he knew where Ellis and Nancy Jarrell lived. In his brother Curtis Easter’s book, on page 74, there is a photo of Ellis and Nancy Jarrell and a map showing the location of the homeplace.
Written by Wilma Jarrell Hiatt, great-granddaughter of Ellis F. Jarrell
Hester Bartlett Jackson’s ~ Surry County Soldiers in the Civil War.