Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown’s Mother – Part 2 of 6

Could it be Sarah Jane Garvin? – Part 2

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Information about my great-grandmother’s (Mary Elizabeth Mannin(g)[i] Brown) mother has been elusive. I believe her mother was Eliza Jane Fannin (1861-1882). Other researchers have indicated they believe Mary’s mother was Sarah Jane Garvin. Looking at other researchers’ trees, I could not find any record or source that shows Sarah was Mary’s mother (see “Could it be Sarah Jane Garvin – Part 1”). Because of that, I decided to see if I could find any evidence that Mary’s mother was Sarah rather than Eliza.

I began with all forty-some public trees that suggest Sarah as mother and the sources they reference. None of their sources included any documentation that supported that assertion. This article looks at the sources used in public Ancestry trees that refer to Sarah Jane Garvin, wife of John William Mannin(g), having a daughter Mary Elizabeth.

Other than information about her parents, sources from before the marriage of Sarah Jane Garvin and John William “Joe” Mannin are non-contributory. Other sources for Sarah include:

    • 1870 Census – John & Sarah Manning living in Mt. Olivet, Robertson County, Kentucky—John is 24 and Sarah is 27; they have no children.
    • 1880 Census – John and Lisa Mannin living in Pine Grove, Rowan County. John is 34, John’s wife Lisa is 19, and daughter Mary is 2.
    • Kentucky Death Records – Sarah J Garvin, born 1844, died 29 May 1877 in Carter County, KY.

The 1880 Census was taken on 1 June 1880. Sarah died months before Mary was born in April 1878 and couldn’t be her mother.

  • Several researchers provide evidence of John W Mannin and Sarah J Garvin getting married on 30 July 1868.


Sarah Jane Garvin cannot be the Mary Elizabeth Manning. Some researchers have indicated that Mary was born in 1876 rather than 1878. Mary would have been four during the 1880 Census if this were the case. Additionally, Mary’s sister Phoebe, born in 1881, could not be a full sister if Sarah was their mother.

I just can’t see how Sarah Jane Garvin could be the mother of Mary Elizabeth Mannin. If anyone has evidence indicating how this relationship could be true, I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below.[ii]

Follow-up – Plans

Other potential mothers for Mary Elizabeth Mannin include:

    • Mary A. [Mannin] (1851-1877)
    • Nelly Nellie Burton (1863-1949)
    • Lisa J. Mannin (1861-___)
    • Eliza Jane Fannin (1861-1882)

I’ll look at evidence/sources for Mary A. [Mannin] being Mary E’s mother next. Sometime in the future I’ll also briefly look at the DNA relationships and see if that can provide any illumination into Mary’s parentage.


[i] Mannin and Manning are used interchangeably in various documents. I try to use the spelling used in a particular document when quoted. Occasionally, Mannen, Mannan, and Mannon are also used as the spelling is typically based upon what the recorder of the document believed they heard.

[ii] When commenting, please indicate if the comment is intended to public or private.

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