John Thomas Girvan
From the Research of John Thom McKinley Girvan (1920-?)
And Gloria Girvan Akin (1922-2003)
John Thomas Girvan was the first son of the First John Girvan (1798-1878). He was born 3 years after his father’s arrival in Jamaica.
From Robert Girvan, a resident of Maybole Scotland in the 1970s, we learned that John Thomas was educated in Scotland, as was the norm then. On his return to Jamaica it would appear that he learned the trade of carpentry from his father who was a builder. John Thomas was also involved in running his father’s properties.
He seemed to have been somewhat more reticent than his father who seriously promoted his marriage to Jane Thom. On September 12, 1857, John then 29 years and Jane, 26 were married. They lived at North Hall,. Clarendon, Jamaica. He must have been a very caring person as he had from the beginning of their marriage a ready made family of three children. He and Jane had 6 children in their 15 years of marriage before she died in childbirth at the age of 41 in 1872.
John and Jane’s children were: Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, David Thom and Ann. Mary their second child, was a source of strength, acting beyond her years as she helped her father bring up the younger brothers and sisters on the death of their mother. Everyone who knew the Girvan sisters was impressed with their integrity, strength of character and their caring for others.
One must not forget too that grandfather, the First John was an influence on their lives as he lived nearby until his death in 1875. He was however, displeased that all the grandchildren had not gone to Scotland for schooling as he wished.
John Thomas Girvan died in 1892 at sixty four years with his son David Thom Girvan at his side. He and his wife Jane Thom were buried at North Hall, Clarendon Jamaica.
By Gloria Girvan Akin