HARRISON-L Archives

Archiver > HARRISON > 2008-09 > 1221456750


From: "John Harrison" <>
Subject: [HARRISON] James River- Presidential Harrison DNA Line Identified
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 01:32:30 -0400


Hi All,
A lot of folks have wondered about the connection of their Harrisons to the
"presidential" Harrisons of the James River Harrison line. Many Harrison
families have stories passed down from generation to generation that their
"great-great-great. grandfather was a cousin of the president." In many
cases, that may well be true. In other cases, though, the story may not be
accurate. It seems that in an early bit of 19th century mass-media
campaigning, Benjamin Harrison's campaign located as many Harrisons as could
be found in city and town directories, and wrote letters to them addressed,
"Dear Cousin," asking for their support of him in the election. Doubtless
this is where the belief in the connection to the presidential line comes
from in a number of cases. What's great is that with DNA testing, we can
now identify if a male Harrison is descended from the James River Harrison
line, as well as sort out many of the different colonial American Harrison
families (and a number of British ones as well). DNA testing is particularly
useful since so many of our Harrisons living in the 1700s had the same
names, and often lived nearby. Figuring out "which Benjamin Harrison (or
Robert, or William, or John.)" has been difficult until now.

In 1900, William Henry Harrison, II, son of John Cleves Symmes Harrison,
died. As a boy, William Henry Harrison, II had been raised by his
grandfather, President William Henry Harrison, as John Cleves Symmmes
Harrison-son of the president and father of William Henry Harrison, II, died
in 1830 when his son William II was a child. Also in 1900, Montgomery Pike
Harrison and family moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Clarence W. Harrison,
b. 1882 Boone Co., KY, the great-grandfather of our participant, went with
his father Montgomery Pike Harrison to Oklahoma, and then later moved on to
Texas and raised a family. With this family, we now have a Y-DNA line
directly back to President William Henry Harrison, and through him, back to
his father, Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence,
and on back to Benjamin Harrison I born in England around 1600.

We invite you to check out the line and the DNA results at
www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/harrison/pats . The James River /
presidential Harrison family line is lineage 34. We encourage other members
of the James River Harrisons to get tested so we can add additional
information about the line to the project. If you're wondering if your
Harrisons are related to this line, I encourage you to consider testing a
known male Harrison relative (it has to be a direct, male, son of a son of a
son. of a Harrison in order to work). If your results match that of lineage
34, there's a connection to that family. If not, you may match one of the
other 33 separate Harrison lines we have identified.



If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me off-list at


Have a great day,
John Harrison

Harrison DNA Project Administrator


This thread: