In search of Harvey Farrow

31 Mar

Usually, I start a blog off by posting a photograph of the subject. This go around, there are none to be found. I will however, post one of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse because it does play a major role in this story. Funny how researching for one blog resulted in me sliding to a quick halt, to start another.

I have recently been researching my family’s connection to all who served at the Cape Hatteras Light Station. I had always known that there were Farrows, in my family tree that were keepers. Most of the names on the list, I recognized. But then I came to the name, Harvey Farrow. He is among those listed by the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, as being a keeper at Hatteras.

Harvey…now who in the world was Harvey ? His first name is not one common in my line, or any other Hatteras Farrows. A mystery had just been found. I headed straight for Google and What I have found is just the beginning of the story. A story I’ll start off with by posting a copy of a 1870 Census from the Hatteras Township of Dare County, NC., which shows a twenty three year old Harvey Farrow, living in the same household as Harry and Sarah Farrow, along with several other family members. Their color is listed as b (black).

1870 Census for Hatteras Township, Dare Co.

The 1870 Census also list a Nancy Farrow, living in the home. Nancy’s 1936 Death Certificate, does list Harry and Sarah as her parents, which proves that she was sister to our Harvey. In 1875, Nancy married a George Riley Midgett of Roanoke Island, Dare County. To read more on Nancy and George, please visit the Dare Co Genweb Project’s Will page for this family.

Next comes an 1880’s Census from the Hatteras Township of Dare County, NC., which list Sarah (Harvey’s Mother), as head of household. Harvey is no longer listed as living with his family, but his wife Mary and his daughter Florence still reside with them.

1880 Census ~ Dare County ~ Hatteras Township

I can honestly say that there isn’t much in the way of information on Harvey’s time spent as a light keeper, that is accessible via the net. I have contacted the National Archives to see if they have any record of him. Being that his time spent at the lighthouse was from 1873-1875, according to the Outer Banks Lighthouse Society, I highly doubt there are any. But, there is always hope.

Update…heard back from the National Archives and they do not have any records for Harvey Farrow. But, the search continues !

Here is what I did find on the AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum :

By:Vanessa Johnson
Date: 5/4/2003, 7:30 pm

I’m looking for info on Harvey L. Farrow. He was a lighthouse keeper at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse (N. Carolina) in the 1870’s. Anyone doing research on N. Carolina, Dare County Farrows? Wife-Mary A.; daughter- Florena L. Help!:)

Vanessa did receive one reply:

Re: Farrows
By:Richard Schaefer
Date: 5/7/2003, 8:21 pm
In Response To: Farrows (Vanessa Johnson)

He must have died young….wife is listed as a widow in 1880


Name Relation Marital Status Gender Race Age Birthplace Occupation Father’s Birthplace Mother’s Birthplace
Mary E. FARROW Self W Female B 22 NC Keeping House NC NC
Florena L. FARROW Dau S Female B 3 NC NC NC

Source Information:
Census Place Hatteras, Dare, North Carolina
Family History Library Film 1254961
NA Film Number T9-0961
Page Number 78A

So that is where this lighthouse keeping mystery stands at this point. I have tried to find Farrow kin but have hit a road block. If any descendants of George Reily and Nancy Farrow Midgett stumble upon this blog, please contact me. Really hoping that some of Harvey’s kin, can shed some light on the life of Harvey Farrow, and his time spent as a Cape Hatteras Keeper.

Dawn F. Taylor


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