I tried to do some census searches on William Garvin through HeritageQuest. He is, indeed, a difficult fellow to locate before the 1870-1880 timeframe.
The books I have don't offer anything definitive on William. If anything, they just serve to create more mystery. For example, following is the only reference I find to the Garvin name in "Cain's History of Lumpkin County....", page 145, from articles in "The Signal" of August 1861 and March 1862:
"The contributions to our soldiers come in daily, and the Ladies Aid Society here are diligently at work making up the garments. On Tuesday last the Society received twenty pieces, consisting of coats, pants, shirts, and socks, from Mrs. Garvin near New Bridge, who made them all, ready to wear with her own hands, and better cloth never came from the hands of a patriot, and when the rain storm beats upon the weary soldier as he treads the rounds of the faithful sentinel, and rushes madly to the battle, he will ever and anon gratefully thank the giver--and God will bless all those who help to alleviate suffering humanity."
Who Mrs. Garvin was and where New Bridge was, I don't know. Perhaps someone else can help! But this story is interesting since you mention that William was a tailor and his daughters are shown as seamstresses in the 1880 census.
The "Heritage of Lumpkin County" has the following on William's possible siblings:
Page 69, article #178 in a story about the Blackwell family: Sarah Blackwell was born in 1822 and died on October 10, 1898 in Hopkins County, Texas, the wife of Silas Garvin.
Page 84, article #224 in a story about the Joseph Cavender family: "Joseph was born on March 20, 1817. It is not known if this birth occurred in Hall County, GA. He grew up in the Hall County area and married Elizabeth Garvin on April 26, 1839." This article goes on to list their children and continues: "Joseph Cavender died March 10, 1895. Elizabeth died in 1904. They are buried in the Cavender/Kerr Family Cemetery in Whitfield County, Georgia."
If William was truly a sister of Elizabeth (Eliza), then Hall County, GA, might be a place to look for William around 1840.
I'm afraid this is all I've found in the source books I own that might possibly be related to your Garvin family.
Huntsville, with North Georgia roots
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