John Harvey did not marry until 1685 when he was 31 years old. This was not all that unusual at a time when a man needed to be able to support a wife and children prior to marriage. Although he was a carpenter and weaver, he still needed some land to farm to supply food for his family. When he did marry he chose a 34 year old widow with four small children as his wife. Her name was Sarah Barnes Rowell, she was the daughter of William and Rachel Barnes and the widow of Thomas Rowell, son of Valentine and Joanna Pinder Rowell. It's interesting to note that we are related to both William Barnes and Valentine Rowell through siblings of Sarah and Thomas.
It struck me that John's step-father, Henry Tewksbury, had also married a widow with small children, and that what both Martha Harvey and Sarah Rowell had in common was land from their husbands and very young children. If Henry and John were not able to afford land on their own, was this their entree into land ownership. The land would eventually pass to the father's children, but in the mean time, it came with a house and land to farm, and money earned could be used to purchase additional land for the future. This is just my opinion.
Sarah Barnes was born in Amesbury on 7 April 1651 to William and Rachel Barnes. When she was married in 1670, at the age of 19, to 26 year old Thomas Rowell. They had four children between 1671 and 1682, two girls and two boys, the last one born in 1682. Thomas died in September of 1684 at the relatively young age of 40. Thomas had quite a few parcels of land and his estate was valued at 275 pounds.
He wrote his will in May, but did not die until September, he must have suffered from some lingering illness. Two of his outstanding debts were to doctors who treated him, unsuccessfully I might add.
1. Mary Rowell b. 5 Feb 1670/01 Amesbury, m. Thomas Colby, d. 1735 Amesbury age 65
2. Valentine Rowell b. 5 Aug 1674 Amesbury, m. Hannah, d. 1 Feb 1726 age 52
3. Joanna Rowell b. abt. 1678, m. Titus Wells, d. 1717 Amesbury abt age 39
4. Philip Rowell b. abt. 1682, m. Sarah Davis
5. Dorothy Harvey b. abt 1686, m. Orlando Bagley, d. 2 Jan 1757 age 71
6. Judith Harvey b. 9 June 1688 Amesbury, m. Jacob Sargent, d. 1749 Chester, NH age 61
7. John Harvey b. 3 Dec 1690, m. Anne Davis, d 1740 Amesbury age 50
8. Joseph Harvey b. 1 Apr 1693, d. 1757 age 64
Sometimes we only find out tidbits about our ancestors by reading what they left behind when they died. The inventory of John Harvey's estate included books, carpenters tools, implements for husbandry and other household stuffs. His land holdings included a house, orchard, meadows in Amesbury, and salt meadow in Salisbury. He also owned a lot of land at Bugsmore, which was somewhere in Amesbury. His total estate was only worth 122 pounds. Sarah had inherited a 40 acre lot of land from her father but it was to go to her children.
At age 55, Sarah found herself a widow once again. She would live a further 14 years, dying on 17 April 1720. Sarah was lucky, she only had to bury one child, a rare thing in her day, but all her children lived to adulthood, married and had families.
William Copp and Anne Rogers
Martha Copp and William Harvey
John Harvey and Sarah Barnes
Judith Harvey and Jacob Sargent
Tabitha Sargent and John Foss
David Foss and Anne Richardson
Anna Foss and Rueben Moore
Mary Moore and Samuel Duncan Rowell
Enoch Rowell and Viola Rowell
Jennie Clover Rowell and John Clark Thornton