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Subject: [HARRIS-HUNTERS] Some Early Virginia Notes on Some Early HarrisFamilies
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2012 12:59:08 -0800 (PST)
References: Message-ID: <1325624348.32722.YahooMailNeo@web84508.mail.ne1.yahoo.com>

Dear Harris-Hunters

Here are some notes which MAY be useful to others trying to sort out the early Harris familiesin Colonial Virginia..  As noted these notes were made long ago, when I was more mobile and had better eyesight.

Happy 2011--and a healthy year!!!

Only a few notes of official Hanover Co. records still exist, and Mrs. Rosalie Edith Davis of Manchester MO compiled a little paperback of those records years ago.  Some of the residents of Hanover Co. can be found later in her several books on Louisa Co., VA.  The last some of us tried to contact her about 18 months ago concerning her little paperbacks compiled in the late 1960s and 1970s, she was not answering her e-mails.


Pardon the lines.  verizon.com does not want to delete them.  I was trying to copy Dorman's entire title of Adventurers of Purse and Person from the Family History Library.  Ah me - live and learn.



Preparer:  Evelyn W. Wallace, 1994

Capt. WILLIAM HARRIS OF HANOVER CO.  He is reported in John Frederick
Dorman, compiler and editor,, ADVENTURERS OF PURSE AND PERSON   1607-1624/5  to have been the son of Major William Harris I by his second wife Alice.  He is reported to have been the grandson of Thomas Harris and his second wife Joane [Osborne?].  His siblings are reported to have been Edward and Love (female), and his half-sibling was Thomas Harris (unmarried, left will Feb 1678/9-2 Jun 1679).

     William's will is in Henrico Co.
Wills and Deeds 1677-92, pp. 90-91.  The will was witnessed by Alice Harris, his stepmother, and by Richard Ligon [William's stepbrother] and Richard's wife Mary.  The will named "cozen Richard Ligon" a legatee.  The Harris land "at the Ware [Weir]," left to Thomas by his father, was devised to "my sister-in-law [half-sister] Love Harris."  This was part of a patent for 1202 A., 7 Sep 1671 to Major William Harris [Patent Bk 6, p. 496].  Refer to biography of William Harris, Major.

     There is much difficulty in sorting out the various Harrises of early Virginia.  One of the best explanations seen to date, 1994, is that of Malcolm Hart Harris, M.D.  Dr. Malcolm Hart Harris, in "Three William Harrises in Hanover County," in VIRGINIA GENEALOGIST, V. 22, has done a thorough examination of land patents and locations of land described in these patents.  Harris's conclusion is that
Capt. William Harris of Hanover Co., VA was the father of William Harris, Jr. and that they were of Cedar Hill.  The land of the third William Harris lay on Cub Creek, "which lies wholly within the county of Louisa and is about six miles from the nearest tract on upper Little River."

     According to Dr. Harris, "Capt Harris first appeared in the records of Hanover on 28 Jan 1706 when he was appointed surveyor of a new road in the Forks, which places him in the area where he had his home."  He gives as his source THE VESTRY BOOK OF ST. PAUL'S PARISH, HANOVER COUNTY, VIRGINIA 1706-1786, p. 18 (Richmond, 1940).

     Dr. Harris states that Capt. Harris's residence was in the Forks of the Pamunkey River at his plantation called Cedar Hill.  In Hanover Co., he was a justice of the peace and a vestryman in both St. Paul's Parish and later in St. Martin's Parish.  The St. Paul's Vestry
Book shows Harris's association with James Overton, 1722.

     William Harris probably was the "sonn and heire" of Thomas Harris, as maintained in Meyer and Dorman, ADVENTURERS OF PURSE AND PERSON.  There is some evidence of this relationship in the following abstracted land patent; however, the land is in Surry Co. and not in New Kent Co., the parent county of Hanover:

     "William Harris, sonn and heire of Thomas Harris, 850 A., Surry Co., S. James Riv., on N. W. & S. E. sides of the Sunken Marsh above & below the mill; 2 Jun 1668, p. 155.  Adj. the Rich Neck, Robt. Webb, Mr. Edwards, Wm. Carter, Chipoakes path & Mr. Green.  Granted sd. Thomas 13 Feb 1657 & due said Wm. as sonn &c."  (Nell Marion Nugent, CAVALIERS & PIONEERS, V. II, p. 41)

     There are several references in the same volume of C&P to the lines of Major
[William] Harris, Henrico Co..  Refer to patents of George Archer who was granted land in Henrico Co., N. side  Appomattock Riv. (pp 66 and 137), near Tunstalls or Tonstalls Neck.  There is reference to Thomas Liggon and to William Farrar.  Ligon, according to the sketch of the Harris family in ADVENTURERS OF PERSON AND PERSON, was married to Mary Harris, half-sister of William Harris.  Mary had been born to Thomas Harris's first wife Adria "perhaps Gurganey," and William was born to the second wife, Joane [Osborne?].  The volume devotes much to the Ligon family but not a great deal to William Harris, son of Thomas.

     From ADVENTURERS:  William (2) Harris (Thomas [1]), born about 1629, was heir to "Longfield," later known as "Curles."  His inheritance of the plantation is established through a suit, John Broadnax against William Soane, 1 Oct 1700, 1 Oct 1700, to clear title to the
land and establish boundaries [Henrico COB 1694-1701, p. 286].  He [William Harris] served as justice of Henrico, Burgess for Henrico, 1652, 1653, 1656, 1658, and major of militia of Henrico and Charles City.  On 3 Oct 1670 he was ordered paid 25 pds. 'for his service in the Westerne discovery." [Journals of the House of Burgesses, 1658/9-1693, p. 55.  Lt. Liggon, not identified by given name, was ordered paid 10 pds.]  He left will 20 April 1678-1 Feb 1678/9 [Henrico Co. Wills & Deeds 1677-92, p. 68], but was dead by 7 Oct 1678 when the inventory of his estate was ordered made [Ibid., p. 107].

     Continuing from ADVENTURERS:  He married (1) -- and (2) Alice --, whose (2) husband George Alves (died 1734 [Hanover Co. Record Bk 1733-35, p. 203, reference, 4 March 1734/5, to George Alves, "lately deceased."]), of New Kent Co., in a suit, April 1683, concerning her son's indenture, is named as having
married the "relict of Major William Harris, deceased."  [Henrico COB 1678-93, pp. 137, 139]."  Alice took her sons to New Kent County.

     By his first wife, William Harris is said to have had issue:

     Thomas (3), unmarried, left will 10 Feb 1678/9-2 June 1679.  [Henrico Co. Wills & Deeds 1677-92, pp. 90-91.  The will was witnessed by Alice Harris, his stepmother, and by Richard Ligon and his wife Mary, and named 'cozen Richard Ligon' a legatee.  The Harris land "at the Ware [Weir]." left to Thomas (3) by his father, was devised to "my sister-in-law [half-sister] Love Harris."  This was part of a patent for 1202 acres, 7 Sep 1671, to Maj. William Harris (Patent Bk 6, p. 496).]

     Issue of William Harris by his second wife:  William Harris, Edward Harris, Love Harris (3rd generation).

     According to
W. P. Anderson in ANDERSON-OVERTON;  A CONTINUATION OF ANDERSON FAMILY RECORDS (1945), at a meeting of the vestry at the Lower Church, St. Paul's Parish, 3 Apr 1716, William Harris was elected vestryman in the room of Captain Robert Anderson, lately deceased.  Also according to W. P. Anderson, Robert Anderson II married Mary Overton, sister of Captain James Overton (1633-1749) and daughter of William Overton (q.v.). 

     Ca. 1695, Capt William Harris married Temperance, daughter of William Overton and Elizabeth Waters, his wife, who also lived in the Forks.  Therefore, Temperance and Mary (Overton) Anderson were sisters.

     Temperance is buried at Cedar Hill.  Refer to her biography.

     From St. Peter's Parish Register, as quoted by Malcolm H. Harris in A HISTORY OF LOUISA COUNTY, VIRGINIA, p. 348, these were the children of William Harris and
Temperance Overton:

     1.  Robert, b. 1696
     2.  Elizabeth, bapt, Nov 27, 1698 *
     3.  George, bapt, April 13, 1701 *
     4.  John, bapt, March 28, 1703 *
     5.  Thomas
     6.  William Jr., b. before 1710

     Those with asterisks are taken from St. Peter's Parish Register.

     However, in the later work published in THE VIRGINIA GENEALOGIST, Dr. Harris had revised this list, using both court and family records.  The children, as determined by Dr. Harris were:

     1.  Major Robert Harris of Albemarle Co.  (Note:  According to the few remaining court records of Hanover of the period 1733-1735, in 1733, Robert Harris was in Hanover, Albemarle not having been 
formed until 1744.  See his biography.)

     2.  Benjamin Harris of Hanover.  (He was the grantor in a 1733 deed in which Robert Harris was grantee.  This was acreage on north fork of Little River and it was land left to Benjamin by the will  of his father William Harris, decd, "being commonly known as Walker's Neck.)

     3.  William Harris, Junior, of St. Paul's Parish.  He appears as a witness to a document in Hanover in 1733 and again in 1734.  Refer to his biography.

     4.  John Harris.  He, too, appears in Hanover court records 1733.  He may have been the father of John Harris, Jr., who appears in the court records of July 1734.

     5.  James Harris of Hanover Co.  Refer to his biography for a deed he executed in 1734.

     6.  Jemima Harris
who married her cousin William Overton.  There are quite a few references to one James Overton in Hanover Co. records 1733-1734; also in the above-referenced Vestrybook of St. Paul's Parish.

A Less Reliable Source

     Another account, WILLIAM CROSS OF BOTETOURT CO., VIRGINIA, pp. 157-157, gives some conflicting data, which seems less reliable.  Dr. Malcolm Harris, in contrast, had throughly studied the early Harris families of Hanover and nearby counties, and his material is more thoroughly documented, at least his later research.  This is the information from Wm. Cross:

     William Harris of Hanover and Henrico Cos. was born ca. 1662 in Virginia, married ca. 1696 to Temperance Overton, and died in 1720.  His father was Robert Harris and his mother was Mary (Claiborne) Rice.   His wife Temperance Harris, the daughter of William Overton, was born 2 Mar 1679
and died 19 Feb 1716.  She is buried at Cedar Hill.  (A later book on the Claiborne family in which John F. Dorman collaborated denies that the first [of several] persons named Robert Harris married Mary (Claiborne) who is given the surname Rice.)

     Their children were listed in Cross's article.  Then some unidentified person wrote in birthdates.  The bracketed names were "children of William Harris and Elizabeth Burdett."  We believe this information is less than reliable::

     Robert Harris b. 1698 m. Mourning Glenn.  They were the parents of Overton Harris b. ca. 1728/30, m. Ann Nelson. *

     The following children were allegedly the children of said William Harris and Elizabeth Burdett.  This family is not believed to be the writer's direct line.  We do not find these names later in Albemarle Co., near "the Blue ledge,"
where several Harrises, including Christopher, migrated.

     Frederick Harris b. ca. 1742, m. Eliza Terrell

     Temperance Harris b. ca. 1750, m. Samuel Baker

     Jemima Harris m. William Overton

     Keziah Harris b. ca. 1750 m. William Overton

     Mary Harris b. ca. 1727 m. Edward Nelson

     Anne Emillia m. Wm. Day

     Benjamin Harris m. Mary, d. ca. 1765

New Kent Co., VA, Parent County of Hanover Co.

     From Nell Marion Nugent, CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS, V. III, (Patent Book 10):

     P. 135:  "William Harris, 400 acs. (N[ew] L[ease]) in New Kent Co.; sd Co. adj John Munro, on the north river; 13 Nov. 1713, p. 101.  40 shill."

143: "William Harris, 380 acs. (N.L.), New Kent Co., in St. Peter's Par; beg. on the South River over against George Alvis land; to head of Ground Squirrle Br; 16 June 1714, p. 135.  Imp. of 8 pers [named]."

     P. 192:   "William Harris, 300 acs.(N.L.), New Kent Co.,, in St. Paul's Par; beg. at Edward Garland; by Beaver Dam Cr., & c; 15 July 1717, p. 326. Imp. 6 persons [named]."

     On p. 207, an entry for John Smith states his patent dtd 14 July 1718 is adjacent to William Harris.  It is N. side the Beaverdam Cr. and S. side the Northanna (Riv.).  Smith's patent was in New Kent Co. in St. Paul's Parish.  "Beaverdam Creek" is mentioned in later patents.

     Pat. Bk 11 has an interesting entry.  Because of the proximity to Overton's, perhaps there is a relationship of Richard Harris to the other Harrises of the James River

    "RICHARD HARRIS, of Hanover Co. 2570 (Lapsed lease), New Kent Co., in St. Peter's Par; beg. on Littlepage's line; down Falling Cr; adj. Liddall's; Overton's; & Jenings' line; 24 Apr 1722, p. 86.  Granted Benjamin Buckley, 26 Oct 1699 upon condition of seating &c.  Now granted, &c.  5 pds. 5 shill. & Imp. of 31 persons [listed]."

Hanover County, Formed 1720 from New Kent Co.

     In Charles P. Blunt, IV, LAND PATENTS AND GRANTS OF HANOVER COUNTY, VIRGINIA (1721-1800) (n.p., ca. 1981) (LAPL  Gen R. 975.51 H24 Blu - 001), we find reference to several Harrises.  The dates given are later than those in in V. III of Nugent's works, CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS.  References to Harrises of Hanover Co., of whatever forename, are given below, in an effort to sort out the relationships.  At times, a collateral will also be shown, such as Rice, Dabney.

     From patent books of Hanover Co., VA:

     Bk 11, p. 156 patent to James Sutor, 17 Nov 1722 makes reference to "William Harris' line."  The patent is between the North Anna and Beaverdam Creek, lower corner of John Smith's and Harris' line. (This concurs with other descriptions found in CAVALIERS AND PIONEERS, as above. As one can see, the land was formerly in New Kent Co., St. Paul's Parish.)

     Book 11-160, patent to Abraham Cook, Jr., 18 Feb 1722, makes reference to lines of John Harris "on the ridge between the North Anna and Little Rivers."  Names of adjacent landowners were, besides Harris:  Edward Garland, John Perkins and James Sutor.  Garland and Sutor are mentioned above.  

     We infer John Harris was of the same Harris family, as we learn that William Harris patented land the next year in the
same vicinity.  We also infer this relationship as William Rice is found in the same neighborhood, on the north side of Newfound River. Perhaps he was of the same family into whom Mary Claiborne had married. See Robert Harris.

     We also note the presence in Hanover Co. of one John Glen, his line being given in the patent of Henry Woody, Bk 11-164, dated 18 Feb 1722.  This was on the south side of the South Anna.  See biography of Mourning Glenn, wife of Robert Harris.

     Book 11, p. 220 William Harris of Hanover Co (5 Sep 1723) 400 A .. on the ridge between the North Anna and Little Rivers .. corner of Abraham Cook's running to New Market tract lines.

     Book 11, p. 224, patent to Thomas Harris, 5 Sep 1723.  300 acres on the north side of the Little River between the lines of Thomas Sharp and Thomas Rice.

     Book 11,
p. 226, patent to William Harris, 5 Sep 1723; 400 acres on both sides of Bull Swamp.

     Cornelius Dabney of King William Co., 10 Dec 1724, 400 acres on the north side of the South Anna.  Neighbors were Thomas Meriwether and Richard Phillips.  Refer to entry on page 15 of Blunt, cited below.  Also note county of residence of Dabney.  His name or that of a successor is mentioned in the ca. 1796 will of Christopher Harris of Madison Co., KY, Mary Dabney having been Christopher's first wife.  Christopher Harris was a son of Major Robert Harris.

     Book 12, p. 124, patent to Thomas Stanley, 1724 on Cawthorn Branch twice mentions "in William Harris' line."  Other neighbors were Williamson, Morris, Chiswell.

     Book 12, p. 358, patent to William Harris, 24 Mar 1725, 400 acres on both sides of Cubb Creek and Harris' Fork, at Captain Dabney's
upper corner. (See CAVALIERS & PIONEERS, V. III, p. 296)

     Book 12, p. 359, patent to Thomas Harris, 24 Mar 1725, 400 acres on both sides of Harris' fork of Cubb Creek...at William Harris' white oak...at Dabney's white oak. (See CAVALIERS & PIONEERS, V. III, p. 296)   If the older William Harris was deceased, then this patent probably refers to a younger William Harris.

     Book 12, p. 389, patent to William Harris, Gentleman, 24 Mar 1725, 76 acres at James Glen's corner, on the north side of the Little River, the upper corner of New Market Line.  (Robert Harris was married to Mourning Glen[n].)

     Book 12, p. 419, 24 Mar 1725, mentions Overton's fork of Elk Creek. Although the forename of Overton is not given, we learn that the Overtons must have had a patent in this particular area prior to Mar 1725 when the patent of 1,000 acres was made to
James Nuckolls, Jr. on both sides of Overton's fork of Elk Creek...at Mr. Dickason's corner.  See citation on Page 16, second entry, for William Harris, Jr.

     William Harris, Jr. is introduced in the following patent:

     Book 12-419, patent to William Harris, Jr., 1,500 acres, joining to Mrs. Arnold and George Woodroof's lines, in Overton's fork of Elk Creek.

     P. 16:  Re:  Captain William Harris.  Book 12-420, patent to Captain William Harris, Gentleman, 14 Mar 1725, 266 acres at Thomason's ash on the south side of the Little River at the mouth of Byar's Branch...New Market lines...in Harris' lines.

     P. 17:  Re:  John Rice.  Book 12-468, patent to John Rice, 24 Mar 1725, 400 acres.  Some of boundaries:  corner of Philip Higison's in William Rice's line, corner of Mr. Reuben Welch's land
at the Head of a Great Glade, to David Thompson's corner.

     P. 19:  Re:  John Harris.  Book 13-19, patent to William Angeley, 2 Nov 1726 mentions his acreage joining to the lines of Harris, Cook, Aldridge and Garland, John Harris, Abraham Cook, in Sutor's line, on Mussel Point Swamp.

     P. 22:  Re:  Robert and William Harris.  Book 13-293, patent to Robert Harris, 28 Sep 1728, 400 acres..."by patent dated 5 September 1723 was patented unto William Harris of Hanover County...400 acres...on the ridge between the North Anna and Little River...corner of Abraham Cook's...to New Market lines...Robert Harris of Hanover County hath obtained a patent of the same land." *

     P. 29:  Re:  William Harris.  Book 13-507, patent to William Harris, 28 Sep 1730, 150 acres...joining to the lines of Mr. William Harris and Henry Davis in
Saint Martin's Parish...on the north side of Saxon's Swamp.  (This probably the younger Williams Harris as his father reportedly was deceased by this date.)

     P. 33:  Re:  Robert Harris.  Book 14-216, patent to Thomas Travelian, 25 Aug 1731...between the lines of New Market, Thomas Stocks, Robert Harris, Abraham Cook and Benjamin Henson...in Terry's line.

     P. 36:  Re:  John Harris.  Book 14-321, patent to Joseph Temple of King William Co., 25 Aug 1731.  "Between the lines of John Harris, Thomas Wash, Major Thomas Carr, Richard Bullock, Jr. and Mr. Benjamin Brown...on both sides of the Road in Brown's line...in the Grant line."

     P. 43:  Re:  David Harris (a name not mentioned in various genealogies of the Harris family).  Book 15-34, patent to John Blalock, 20 June 1733....."on both sides of the South fork
of Cubb Creek....pine of David Harris'... Thomas Rice's corner."

     Other names heretofore not mentioned in previous patents involving Harrises are:  John Horn, ... Blalock's [corner], Marmaduke Kimbrow, Christopher Clark, Thomas Foard.

     Cubb Creek, of course, was mentioned in connection with patents in Book 12-358 and 359, cited above.  David Harris probably is of the William Harris family.  Kimbrow's patent in Book 14-213, dated 1731, shows his land was on both sides of Cubb Cr, on N. side the South Anna Riv; adj. Capt. Clark & William Harris. (See Nugent, V. III, p. 399). There are many references to Christopher Clark in the same volume of Nugent.

     Fifty plus years later, we find this deed:

     P. 88:  Re:  Overton Harris.*  Book 14-297, patent to Overton Harris, 23 Nov 1787.  508
acres...471 1/4 acres being formerly patented, the residue never before patented...former patent dated 17 Nov 1786...on the north fork of Pamunkey River adjoing Overton Harris' land, Jacob Williams' land and Degernet's (DeJarnette?) land.

     *It is to be noted that this Overton Harris (d. 1827) is not the ancestor of the writer.  That Overton Harris, one of the younger children of Christopher Harris by his second wife Agnes McCord, died in 1827 in Madison Co., KY.  He was married to Nancy Oldham, who ten years later, in 1837, married Anderson Chenault, a nephew of Frances Tandy (Tribble) Stoner Chilton. See biographies of these persons.  The Overton Harris to whom land was patented in Hanover Co. in 1787 may have been related to the Harrises who had migrated to Albemarle Co., VA before 1787.

    (fn)  More study is needed of the families named in this patent.  The following
patent of Widow Littlepage links her as a neighbor of Thomas Clayborn, Jr., of Pr. William Co., whose family seems linked with the early generations of Harrises:

   Patent Bk. 11:  FRANCES LITTLEPAGE, Widdow, of New Kent Co.; 725 acs (N.L.), King Wm. Co. in St. John's Par; below Cohoke Creek, bet. land of Mr. Thomas Clayborn, Junr., called Cohoke & Pomonkey River, on the N. side thereof; adj Richard Howel's Landing; & Thomas Clayborne, Junr., son of John Claiborne, dec'd; 5 Sept 1723, p. 229.  15 Shill.

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