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Subject: [VALOUISA] James Harris of Albemarle Co., VA,Probable Son-in-Law of Major Robert Harris
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 2008 14:46:49 EDT
A subscriber to Harris-Hunters has asked that I share notes on a James
Harris (wife Mary Harris), reported son-in-law of Major Robert Harris, of colonial
Louisa Co., VA and at times of Albemarle Co., VA.
I invite additions and corrections to this *bio*. Harris is a difficult
name to research--it is prevalent in all the divisions of the United
Kingdom--and the same given names were used over and over, for generations.
Parts of the records of Albemarle Co. have been destroyed, adding to
problems with searching for Harrises!
If you find surnames like Maupin, Gentry, some Joneses, Mullens, and other
surnames associated with the Harris person you are researching, then, in all
probablity, these persons had roots in Hanover Co., Louisa Co., and Albemarle
Co., and other early counties in Virginia.
PS If you use the citations in your own work, please cite the SOURCES.
Every one has a right to know, Where did you get that stuff?
Rev Jul 2007
JAMES HARRIS of ALBEMARLE. By 1751 James Harris was a son-in-law of Robert
Harris, as demonstrated in this abstracted deed. He probably was born no
later than 1720 or thereabouts.
Louisa Co. DB A-443 21 Oct 1751 Robert Harris of Fredericksville Par.,
Louisa Co. For Natural Love and affection to my son, Christopher Harris, and
son-in-law, James Harris, to son Christopher Harris: Negroes Jimmy, a man;
Millington, a boy; Abby, a woman. To son-in-law, James Harris: 2 negro girls,
Janney and Henriette. /s/ Robert Harris. Wit: Thomas Perkins, Tyree
Harris. 22 Oct 1751 Acknowledged by Robert Harris.
(Rosalie Edith Davis, LOUISA COUNTY, VIRGINIA DEED BOOKS A & B, 1742-1759
[Manchester, MO: 1977] p. 69)
Caution: Son-in-law at times referred to a stepson. However, we do not
believe this reference is to that relationship.
According to Dr. Malcolm Hart Harris in A HISTORY OF LOUISA COUNTY,
VIRGINIA, "Appendix", p. 356, James Harris was of Huguenot Ancestry "and they
(Mary Harris and her husband James Harris) reared their family in Albemarle."
Since James was of Huguenot ancestry, it is unlikely he was of the same
lineage as Mary Harris, daughter of Major Robert Harris, who was a vestryman in
Fredericksville Parish, Louisa Co. However, possibly he was a cousin of
At a vestry held for Fredericksville Parish 25th day Octo 1758: Ord. that
James Harris and Gabriel Maupin do procession all the lands on North side the
Buck elbow to the Extant of the County [Louisa?] and so all along the Ridge
of the Mountains to the Coty. line Northward down the County line to where it
crosseth Doyls River down the same to Moremans River up Moremans River to
Danl. Maupins Junr. and so to the Lower Point of the Bucks elbow. (p. 61 of
Ordered that the Several Processioners do begin to Procession the first
Munday in december next if fair and if not the next fair day and to make return
to the Vestry by the last day of March next. (p. 62 of Vestry book)
(Rosalie Edith Davis, FREDERICKSVILLE PARISH VESTRY BOOK 1742-1787, Vol. I
[Manchester, MO: Published by author, 4th printing 1989], p. 66)
From Fredericksville Parish vestry book, p. 81, ca 1767:
"Order'd that James Harris and John Mullens do procession all the lands
between Doyls & Moremans River up to the Great Mountain."
(Rosalie Edith Davis, FREDERICKSVILLE PARISH VESTRY BOOK, 1742-1787, Vol. I
[Manchester, MO: privately printed, 1978], pp. 85.)
From Fredericksville Parish vestry book, p. 118, 13th day of Nov 1783
Ordered that James Harris, John Mullins, John Maupin & Martin Gentry do
possession [sic] the Land Beginning at the fork of Moormans River, thence up
doyls River to Harrises Road, thence up to the Widow Harrises Quarter, thence
straight to the Top of the Great Mountains thence along that to the Ridge that
Comes down to the fork of Moreman's River thence down that River to the
(Davis, p. 125)
Albemarle Co. Deeds
Albemarle Co. DB 3-38-39 11 Mar 1761 James Harris and Mary his wife of
Albemarle Co. to Thomas Grubbs of said county... consideration ten pds. curent
money of Virginia... certain parcel of land lying on Moormans Run...
[Measurements but no acreage given]
Presence: John Rodes James Harris
Wm. Shelton, John McCord
(Adapted from Ruth & Sam Sparacio, DEED ABSTRACTS OF ALBEMARLE COUNTY,
VIRGINIA DEED BOOK 3, 12 FEBRUARY 1761-9 AUGUST 1764 [McLean, VA: The Antient
Press, 1988], p. 12)
Albemarle Co. DB-3 pg. 389 23 Jan 1763 Jno. Mullens, Goochland, to
James Harris for 40 pds., 200 A adj Benj. Brown. Wit: Mosias Jones, David
Rodes, Ro. Miller, Jos. Woods, Ro. Morris.
(Benjamin Brown, a neighbor of Harris, is the father of Lucretia Brown
who married Robert Harris, son of Major Robert Harris of Albemarle Co.)
In 1768 James Harris purchased some land from Benjamin Brown, probably the
younger Benjamin Brown, whose sister Lucretia had married Robert Harris, Jr.,
son of Maj. Robert Harris of Louisa Co. As seen above, Benjamin Brown was a
neighbor of James Harris.
Albemarle Co. DB 4-521-522 .. 12 May 1768 Benjamin Brown of Parish of St.
Martins and County of Hanover to James Harris of Parish of Fredericksville and
County of Albemarle... for 20 pds current money of Virginia... parcel of
land in Fredericksville Par, County of Albemarle, 22 acres of land and bounded
beginning at James Harrises corner... /s/ Ben Brown
Witnesses; Zachariah Mills, Thomas Langford, John Mullins Junr.
(Adapted from Ruth & Sam Sparacio, DEED ABSTRACTS OF ALBEMARLE COUNTY
VIRGINIA, DEED BOOK NO. 4, 9 AUGUST 1764-12 AUGUST 1768 [McLean, VA: The Antient
Press, 1989], p. 123)
(Added Mar 2007
D bk C pg 16-17 18 Feb 1754 Benjamin Brown of Fredericksville Par., Louisa
Co. to James Harris of Albemarle Co L12 curr.money; 80 acres... James
Harrisses corner in Albemarle Co. line... Wm Browns line. Benjamin Brown Wit: Ben
Brown Jr., Wm Brown, David Thomson, David Epperson. 26 Apr 1754 proved by
three of the witnesses.
[From VA Gen Web - Albemarle Co.]
In Nov 1772, James Harris was witness to a deed of Barnard Brown of
Albemarle Co. to Ben Brown of Hanover Co., branch of Rockey Creek, granted to the
late Benj. Brown, deced, bequeathed to his son Barnard Brown.
In Oct 1773, John Burk & Feba his wife of Augusta Co. to James Harris
331 acs., Albemarle Co., on both sides of South Fork of Rockey Creek.
(Sparacio & Sparacio, ALBEMARLE COUNTY, VIRGINIA DEEDS 1772-1776)
A neighbor was Mosias Jones, who is probably the man of the same name
who removed to Madison Co., KY. Another neighbor was Henry Bunch. The
witnesses were Jonas Cabe, William Crawford, Robert Harris.
According to Rev. Edgar Woods, ALBEMARLE COUNTY IN VIRGINIA [Bridgewater,
VA: C. J. Carrier Co., 1900], p. 221, James Harris died in 1792. He and his
wife Mary had ten childen [nine are named in the 1792 will]: Thomas, Joel,
Nathan, James, Lucy, the wife of Thomas Grubbs [more likely Higgason Grubbs,
later of Madison Co., KY], Mourning, the wife of Cornelius Maupin, Sarah, the
wife of James Harrison, Susan, the wife of Nicholas Burnley, Ann, the wife of
a Haden [probably Anna], and Jane, the wife of a Dabney. (Some genealogists
dispute the genealogies put forth by Rev. Woods. Neither a Jane nor a
female Dabney is named in the will of James Harris. This child may have died
Woods adds more information about the children, but his history will not be
An abstract of the will of James Harris of Albemarle Co. is this:
5 Feb 1792 Sept 1792
Sons: Thomas, Joel, James, Nathan. Daughters: Ann Haden, Mourning Maupin,
Sarah Harrison, Susannah Burnley and Lucy Grubbs. Wife Mary Harris, all
land not bequeathed to son Thomas Harris, land adjoining Capt. Robert Harris,
dec'd. Exrs: sons Joel and James. Wit: B. Brown and William Spears (Page
(J. Estelle Stewart King, ABSTRACTS OF WILLS, INVENTORIES, AND
ADMINISTRATION ACCOUNTS OF ALBEMARLE COUNTY 1748-1800 [Beverly Hills, CA 1940], p. 38)
It is probable that the James Harris mentioned in these marriage
records is the son-in-law of Robert Harris and Mourning Glen, being married to
their daughter Mary Harris, as indicated in Malcolm Hart Harris, A HISTORY OF
LOUISA COUNTY, VIRGINIA, "Appendix", p. 355. More research is needed.
According to his Albemarle Co. will, he died before September 1792.
The daughter Lucy Grubbs probably was the wife of Higgason Grubbs of
early Madison Co., KY. Grubbs, her husband, seemed to be a land speculator in
Kentucky as his name appears many, many times in the deeds of early Madison
A fuller abstract of the will of James Harris is given in "Dabney
Family" in EDWARD PLEASANTS VALENTINE PAPERS, Vol. I, pp. 396-397. That abstract
of WB 3-p. 165 gives the names of multiple executors: "wife Mary; sons,
Thomas, Joel and Nathan Harris. " Witnesses were Bernis Brown, Wm. Spears, James
Reveley. The will was dated 25 Feb 1792 and was proved September court 1792.
These marriage records, taken from Albemarle Co. Hist. Soc Papers, V. 6,
"Some Albemarle Co., VA Marriage Records" MAY pertain to one of their children,
but more likely the bride is a granddaughter of the elder James Harris and
his wife Mary:
Item No. Dt of Bond Groom & Bride Sureties
54 12/23/1783 David Owen
Mary Harris (spin.) James Harris
dau. of James Harris
Rev. Woods states that James was a son of Robert Harris, but this may be in
error; he more probably was a son-in-law, having married Robert Harris's
daughter, Mary Harris. No son James was named in the will of Robert Harris.
Thomas m. Susan Dabney.
Joel b. 25 Apr 1761, m. Ann Waller, d. 31 March 1826.
James b. 7 July 1766, m. Mary McCulloch, d. 1830
Nathan b. 1771, d. 1852, m. Ann Allan Anderson.
Lucy, the wife of Thomas Grubbs [error?]; Malcolm Hart Harris says she
married Higgason Grubbs, moved to Kentucky. (Early Madison Co., KY deed
books tend to verify this marriage. Harris does not list any dates.)
Mourning, the wife of Cornelius Maupin
Sarah, the wife of James Harrison
Susan, the wife of Nicholas Burnley
Ann, the wife of a Haden. (Hart calls her Anna and states she married
1st William Dabney and 2nd Anthony Haden).
Jane, the wife of a Dabney.
Joel was appointed a magistrate in 1801, and in 1811 he was
Commissioner of the Revenue for Fredericksville parish, which office he held until his
death in 1826. Three sons were born to Joel and his wife Anna: Ira, Joel,
Clifton. Woods gives information about the son Ira and Nathan. (1)
The fact that the children in this family married into the same
families as the children of Christopher Harris and as his siblings and ancestors
leads one to believe that James Harris may have been a cousin of Mary Harris his
wife and probably was a member of the extended Harris family of Albemarle,
Louisa, Hanover and surrounding counties.
James Harris appears on the 1787 tax list of Albemarle Co., VA. He is
A note about some of the children:
Joel Harris was a witness in Albemarle Co. court in Sept 1795 to a deed
between Benajah Brown, Bezaleel Brown and John Brown, executors of the last will
and testament of Benjamin Brown, deceased to Thomas Harris of Albemarle Co.
There is mention in the deed to James Harris, probably the father of Joel and
Thomas Harris, although no relationships are specified.
(Sparacio & Sparacio, ALBEMARLE COUNTY VIRGINIA DEEDS, 1795-1796 [McLean,
VA: The Antient Press, 1999], pp. 9-10)
(1) Rev. Edgar Woods, ALBEMARLE COUNTY IN VIRGINIA, Bridgewater, VA,
1900. Woods's writing is such that the reader is easily confused, and to
confuse matters even more so, there were several Harris families in Albemarle;
distinguishing among them is difficult. Using dates is useful.
* The Huguenots were clustered mainly around Manikintown, Goochland Co.
Refer to references to "French Refugees" and to "Manakintown" in CAVALIERS AND
PIONEERS, various volumes.
e-mail received 20 Apr 2005
Here is a little more information to add to the post from E.W. Wallace
regarding Higgason Harris and his wife Nancy Ann Garland:
There is much confusion by researchers between two Nancy Grubbs.
Robert Harris's wife Nancy Grubbs is not the Nancy Grubbs that married
William Linville Boone and died on 3-22-1835. Robert Harris's wife was a daughter
of Thomas Grubbs (earlier thought to be named William Grubbs and who died in
1775) and a sister of Higgason Grubbs.
The Nancy Grubbs who married William Linville Boone was a daughter of
Higgason Grubbs. William Linville Boone was a son of George Boone who was a brother
of Daniel Boone. (Note to self: Check with The Boone Family by Hazel A.
Spraker now online at HeritageQuest, genealogical online database.)
Higgason Grubbs married Robert Harris's cousin Lucy Harris. Lucy was a
daughter of James and Mary Harris. This is the James Harris who has been the
subject of the many messages lately about his relationship (son-in-law?) to Robert
Harris & Mourning Glen(n) of Albemarle Co., VA.
Las Vegas, NV
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