Home > 006210. Thomas Harris > Sergeant John Harris of Charles City County, Virginia

Sergeant John Harris of Charles City County, Virginia

Source: Claiborne T. Smith, Jr., “Sergeant John Harris of Charles City County, Virginia: A Reappraisal,” Virginia Genealogist 37[1993].

[Note: Edward S. Robson has brought to my attention that the “Ebbett Harris” referred to in this article was actually “Ebbett Farris”, or, in the original source, the Charles City County, Virginia, Order Book 1676-79, page 407, “Ebbett ffarris”.  I appreciate the correction.  The error was in the original article by Claiborne T. Smith, and I therefore leave the article in its original form. – Gregg Mattocks]

[page 18]

John HARRIS, who died ca.1638, was among the very early settlers of Charles City.  In 1957, the late John Bennett Boddie, a well known genealogist, proposed that this John HARRIS was the father of one Thomas HARRIS who died testate in Isle of Wight Co., Va., in 1672.1 Mr. Boddie’s theory was based on assumptions made on a superficial similarity of names and has no foundation in proof whatsoever.  Unfortunately, his thesis proved popular, was published several times, and the lineage used by persons joining genealogical societies.  His findings were first questioned in a lengthy footnote to the sketch on John HARRIS that appeared in the third edition of Adventurers of Purse and Person in 1987.2 The purpose of this paper is to expand this refutation of Boddie’s claim and to propose that John HARRIS may indeed have had a son named Thomas HARRIS who died testate in Charles City in 1677,3 leaving issue.

John HARRIS, often referred to as Sergeant John HARRIS, his wife Dorothy, and two infants were living at West and Shirley Hundred 16 Feb. 1623/4.4 He was a member of the Virginia Company, the stock venture which originally settled Virginia.5 He and his family were not listed in the Muster of 1624/5 because they were on a visit to England.  On 1 May 1624, John, the son of John HARRIS, Gent., and Dorothy his wife, was born at the house


1 John Bennett Boddie, Historical Southern Families, v. 1 (Redwood City, Calif., 1957), pp. 293 et seq.

2 John Frederick Dorman, ed., Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5 (3rd ed.; Richmond, 1987), p. 354.

3 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1676-1679, p. 164.

4 John Camden Hotten, The Original Lists of Persons of Quality … (New York, 1874), p. 170.

5 Susan Myra Kingsbury, ed., The Records of the Virginia Company of London, v. 3 (Washington, 1933), pp. 84, 326.

[page 19]

of Edward LYMBREY of Lyme House, Mariner, and baptized the same day.  The baptism was recorded in the parish register of St. Dunstan’s-in-the-East, Stepney, in the city of London.6 HARRIS was back in Virginia the following year as on 7 April 1625 he was one of the Virginia planters who signed a petition to the King regarding the low price of tobacco.7 In 1626 he had 200 acres planted in the corporation of Charles City.8 In the same year John HARRIS represented the Shirley Hundred in the General Assembly and in the assemblies of 1629 and 1630 he represented Shirley Hundred Maine.9 John was dead by 1638.  In a bill of sale, registered as a land patent, one Francis DERRICK conveyed to Richard JOHNSON 30 acres DERRICK had bought from John BAKER and Dorothy his wife, daughter of the late Sergeant John HARRIS, by order of Henrico Court 27 Aug. 1638.10 The grant went on to say that Dorothy had inherited the land by will from George CAWCOTT.  He had been an early settler in Shirley Hundred and had 100 acres planted there in 1626.11

In 1642 Daniel LLEWELLYN obtained his first grant in the Shirley Hundred area.12 In 1645 the grant was enlarged to include 100 acres adjoining Robert BOURNE and John HARRIS.13 In 1653 LLEWELLYN acquired 200 acres, late in the possession of Edward GARDINER, deceased, bounded on the south by land lately belonging to Sergeant John HARRIS.14 In the language of the time, lately probably meant formerly.

The only certain issue of John and Dorothy HARRIS was their daughter Dorothy who married John BAKER.  She was the subject of a court suit in 1627 when her age was given as seven;15 hence, she was born in 1620 and was one of the two infants listed with her parents in Feb. 1623/4.  Dorothy was John BAKER’s third wife.  He had married first, Priscilla, born in 1615,


6 New England Historical and Genealogical Register, v. 46, p. 163.

7 Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia, ed. by H.R. McIlwaine, (2nd ed.; Richmond, 1979), p. 449.

8 Hotten, op. cit., p. 208.

9 Cynthia Miller Leonard, comp., The General Assembly of Virginia, July 30, 1619 – January 11, 1978, A Bicentennial Register (Richmond, 1978), pp. 7-9.

10 Nell Marion Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, v. 1 (Richmond, 1934), p. 113.

11 Hotten, op. cit., p. 267.

12 Nugent, op. cit., v. 1, p. 138.

13 Ibid., p. 167.

14 Ibid., p. 240.

15 Minutes of the Council and General Court, p. 149.

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who had come to Virginia in 1621 with her mother Joan and step-father Thomas PALMER.  At the time of the 1624/5 muster the PALMER family were living at Jordan’s Journey in Charles City.16 John BAKER received a grant on City Creek in Charles City in 1637 for transporting himself and his three wives.17 Nothing more is known of Dorothy of John BAKER and there is no record of descendants.  On 10 March 1655/6 Daniel LLEWELLYN obtained a re-grant of his Shirley Hundred holdings to include several newly acquired parcels, among them 63 acres purchased of Dorothy BAKER, relict of John BAKER.18 On 20 Aug. 1656 Daniel LLEWELLYN of Essex in Charles City sold to Col. Edward HILL 60 acres lately purchased of Dorothy BAKER, on which I lately lived.”19 This appears to be the land covered in the 1655 patent.  Daniel LLEWELLYN returned to his native Chelmsford, Essex, England, where he died in 1663.20 In 1666 his son and heir Daniel obtained a re-grant of his father’s holdings, identical to the 1655 grant except for the 60 acres sold to HILL.21

John Bennett Boddie’s 1957 article was reprinted in 1959 in Volume 4 of the same series22 and for a third time in 1964 in Volume 8.23 Boddie was convinced that Thomas HARRIS, founder of a prolific HARRIS family in Isle of Wight County, was the son of Sergeant John HARRIS of Charles City.  Thomas HARRIS of Isle of Wight left a will in 1672 in which he named among others his oldest son John.24 This Thomas HARRIS was of a plausible age to have been a son of John and Dorothy HARRIS.  The name Dorothy, however, does not appear in any of the descendants of Thomas HARRIS of Isle of Wight.  Boddie based his argument on a Capt. John BOND, an early resident of Isle of Wight with a wife named Dorothy.  He made his will there in 1668.25 The will of Dorothy BOND was probated in 1684.26 Making several false assumptions, Boddie argued that Thomas HARRIS and Dorothy BOND were


16 Dorman, op. cit., p. 17.

17 Nugent, op. cit., v. 1, p. 75.

18 Ibid., p. 317.

19 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1655-65, p. 64.

20 Dorman, op. cit., p. 496.

21 Nugent, op. cit., p. 561.

22 Boddie, op. cit., v. 4 (Redwood City, Calif., 1959), pp. 190 et seq.

23 Ibid., vol. 8 (Kailus, Hawaii, 1964), pp. 10 et seq.

24 Isle of Wight Co., Va., Will & Deed Bk. 2, p. 111.

25 Isle of Wight Co., Va., Wills & Administrations Bk. A, p. 63.

26 Ibid., p. 239.

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probably brother and sister.  He noted that a grant to Thomas COLE in Charles City, dated 18 April 1653, on Ward’s Creek, bounded on Capt. BOND’s land.27 He assumed from this that Capt. John BOND had first lived in Charles City and later moved to Isle of Wight, and while living in Charles City had married Dorothy, the widow of John BAKER and daughter of Sergeant John HARRIS.  There was indeed a Capt. BOND who owned land on Ward’s Creek in Charles City, but it was Richard BOND, not John BOND.  Richard received a grant there of 950 acres near the head of Ward’s Creek on 10 Jan. 1650/1.28 There is no evidence whatsoever that Capt. John BOND or Thomas HARRIS of Isle of Wight (died 1672) ever lived in Charles City or had and connection with the Sergeant John HARRIS family there.

At the time of the muster of 1623/4 a Thomas HARRIS was living not far from John HARRIS at the neck of land in the corporation of Charles City.  He later moved a few miles away into Henrico County where he settled a plantation named Longfield, later called Curles.29 Many researchers have thought he and John were brothers but there is no proof.  Many have also placed them as the sons of Sir William HARRIS of Crixe, Essex, England, and his wife Alice, sister of Sir Thomas SMITH.  SMITH was the first treasurer of the Virginia Company of London and one of the most active promoters of the settlement of Virginia.30 Almost all of  Thomas SMITH’s family connection were members of the Company, including Sir William HARRIS and his oldest son Arthur.31 Sir William in his 1616 will mentioned among others his sons Thomas and John.32 They were about the right age to have been the men in Virginia in question and it may be significant that both Thomas HARRIS of Henrico and Sergeant John HARRIS of Charles City were members of the Virginia Company.33 Proof, however, that they were members of the Essex


27 Nugent, op. cit., v. 1, p. 422.

28 Ibid., p. 209.

29 Dorman, op. cit., p. 354 et seq., sketch of Thomas HARRIS.

30 Boddie, op. cit., v. 4, p. 191.

31 Dorothy SMITH, sister of Sir Thomas, married Robert KEMP of Gissing, Co. Norfolk, England.  They were the probable parents of Richard KEMP, Secretary of State for Virginia 1634-1649, and acting Governor of the colony, and probably grandparents of Edmund KEMP who died in Lancaster Co., Va., ca.1660 leaving issue.  See Claiborne T. Smith, “KEMP of Gissing, Norfolk, England, and Lancaster, Middlesex and Gloucester Counties, Virginia,” in Boddie, op. cit., v. 10 (Honolulu, Hawaii, 1966), p. 164 et seq.

32 Boddie, op. cit., v. 4, p. 191.

33 Ibid., pp. 192-93.

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family is lacking.  Alexander Brown34 thought that Thomas HARRIS was probably the son of Sir William.

The 1947 LIGON genealogy by William LIGON contains a chapter on the Thomas HARRIS family of Henrico.35 The author, without documentation, placed both Thomas HARRIS and Sergeant John HARRIS as the sons of Sir William HARRIS.  Boddie, when he wrote his HARRIS chapter in 1957, knew of this work and the information in his article on John HARRIS is taken bodily from it.36 Mr. Boddie spent the spring of 1959 in London searching the English records in an attempt to prove that the Thomas and John HARRIS mentioned in the will of Sir William HARRIS were the two men who settled in Virginia.  In this he was unsuccessful.  The surviving parish registers at Crixe, which might have shed light on the problem, do not begin until 1725.  However, as Boddie did not find any evidence that Thomas and John had died in England, he therefore presumed that they were indeed the sons of Sir William HARRIS.  When his HARRIS chapter was reprinted in 196037 he included a full page genealogical chart showing Thomas HARRIS and John HARRIS of Virginia to be the sons of Sir William HARRIS and his wife Alice SMITH and Sgt. John HARRIS to be the father of Thomas HARRIS of Isle of Wight Co., Va., and of Dorothy HARRIS BAKER, who Boddie presumed to have married second Capt. John BOND of that county.

As mentioned earlier, Dorothy HARRIS BAKER is the only certain issue of Sergeant John HARRIS.  There is some evidence there may have been another daughter who married Michael TURPIN of Shirley Hundred and of whom nothing further is known.38 There may also have been sons John and Thomas.  On 25 July 1664 in Charles City court, John HARRIS, aged 37, and Thomas HARRIS, aged 28, gave depositions regarding a survey done by Maj.


34 Alexander Brown, The Genesis of the United States (Boston and New York, 1890), v. 2, p. 217.

35 William D. LIGON, The LIGON Family and Connections, v. 1 (Hartford, 1947), p. 837 et seq.

36 Boddie, op. cit., v. 1, p. 293.

37 Boddie, op. cit., v. 4, p. 190.  Boddie had earlier published a HARRIS chart in his Woodlief chapter in Virginia Historical Genealogies (Redwood City, Calif., 1954), p. 200, which concentrated on the descent of Sir William HARRIS from certain noble English families.  At that time he did not think that Thomas HARRIS of Henrico was brother to Sergeant John HARRIS.

38 Dorman, op. cit., p. 354.

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William HARRIS for Capt. John STITH.39 The two HARRIS men may have been claim bearers.  William HARRIS was the son of Thomas HARRIS of Henrico who may have been the brother of Sergeant John HARRIS.40 According to these depositions, John HARRIS was born in 1627 and Thomas HARRIS in 1636.  Many genealogists, including the late Dr. Malcolm HARRIS of West Point, Va., have felt that these two men who lived near Sergeant John HARRIS’ original settlement at Shirley Hundred, were brothers and sons of John HARRIS.41 It has been argued that the John HARRIS, Jr., born in England in 1624, had died and that John HARRIS, born 1627, was the second of the name.  As the child born in 1624 had been baptized the same day, it may be inferred that he was not expected to survive.  It is possible that the John and Thomas HARRIS in question were the sons of John HARRIS, but with the destruction of so many of the Charles City records, it is impossible to prove.  If true, Thomas HARRIS (born 1636) would have been born shortly before his father’s death.  Before and after the 1664 depositions there are only a few references to both men.  In 1658 John HARRIS received payment from the estate of Joseph PARSONS42 and he was involved in a suit in 1660.43 In 1661 the court allowed Thomas HARRIS three days’ pay for taking letters to the governor.44 Both men were on a jury late in 1664.45 As will be discussed later, Thomas HARRIS is probably the one who died intestate in Charles City in 1677.  There is no further mention of John HARRIS (born 1627).

Boddie, in his article referred to, noted the 1664 deposition of John HARRIS but ignored that of Thomas HARRIS on the same page of the court minutes, probably because to do so would have compromised his Isle of Wight Thomas HARRIS claim.  Boddie assumed the John HARRIS of the 1664 deposition was the one who had been born in London in 1624 and stated he had returned to Charles City to live.46 He erroneously placed him as the father of George HARRIS, of whom later, and his brother Thomas, the London


39 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1655-65, pp. 487-88.

40 Dorman, op. cit., p. 357.

41 Letter from Dr. B.B. Weisiger III of Richmond, Va., to author, 15 Nov. 1984.

42 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1655-65, p. 148.

43 Ibid., p. 333.

44 Ibid., p. 511.

45 Ibid., p. 519.

46 Boddie, op. cit., v. 1, p. 296.

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merchant.47 Further on in his article Boddie noted the 1677 estate record of Thomas HARRIS in Charles City but made no attempt to identify him.48

Contemporary with John and Thomas HARRIS in Charles City were Peter and George HARRIS.  Peter made a deposition in 165849 and was involved in a suit in 1663.50 He later resided in Henrico where his will, dated 20 Sept. 1687 and recorded 1 June 1689, mentions wife Michall, daughter Anne BASS and sons Peter and John.51 In 1677 Peter HARRIS made a Henrico deposition giving his age as 60;52 thus he was born in 1617.  He would not appear to be a candidate for the issue of Sergeant John HARRIS, not a sibling of the supposed brothers John and Thomas HARRIS.

George HARRIS first appears in the Charles City records in 1660.53 He was a merchant.  As noted above, Boddie arbitrarily placed him as the son of John HARRIS, son of Sergeant John HARRIS.  Although he lived in the Shirley Hundred area, he would appear to have been of an entirely different family.  George HARRIS was the major heir of Walter ASTON, Jr., of Westover, who willed him his plantation known as Causeys Care.54 George HARRIS was dead by 4 Oct. 1663 when his widow Sarah, as administratrix, gave Thomas GRENDON power of attorney to collect debts.55 There were no children.  His nuncupative will, as George HARRIS of Westover, Charles City County in Virginia in parts beyond the seas, was recorded in London 24 March 1672.  Mentioned are his wife, his sister who is not named, and his brother Thomas.56 Thomas HARRIS was a merchant in London.  In 1674, as brother and heir to George HARRIS, Thomas sold 1200 acres known as Causey’s Care in Charles City Co., Va., to Thomas GRENDON, Jr., who at that time was the third husband of his sister-in-law Sarah, widow of George HARRIS.57 Among the boounds of the property mentioned were Daniel LLEWELLYN, Shirley


47 Ibid.

48 Ibid., p. 298.

49 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1655-65, p. 136.

50 Ibid., p. 437.

51 Henrico Co., Va., Wills & Deeds 3, 1688-97, p. 65.

52 Henrico Co., Va., Wills & Deeds 1677-92, p. 40.

53 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1655-65, p. 168.

54 Lothrop Withington, Virginia Gleanings in England (Baltimore, 1980), p. 392.

55 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1655-65, p. 549.

56 Withington, op. cit., p. 106.

57 The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, v. 48, pp. 31, 52.

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Hundred, and lands late HARDAWAY.58

One Anne HARRIS is mentioned for the first time in the Charles City records in 1679.59 She was a widow and cannot be placed.  In 1694 she made a deed of gift to the children of her son William HUNT and to her TYLER grandchildren.60

The Thomas HARRIS of the 1664 deposition, born in 1636, may be the person of that name who died in Charles City in 1677.61 His widow, with the unusual name of Yuet, was granted administration of his estate.  At a court held 13 Sept. 1677 administration of the estate of Thomas HARRIS, deceased, was granted to John ECHOLS and John HARDAWAY jointly, both of Westover Parish, with Samuel PHILLIPS security.62 It seems probable that Frances, the wife of John HARDAWAY, and the wife of John ECHOLS whose given name is not known, were daughters of the deceased Thomas HARRIS.  At a court held at Westover 17 Feb. 1678/9 John HARDAWAY and John ECHOLS on behalf of the orphans of Thomas HARRIS, deceased, brought suit against John BLAND for 700 pounds of tobacco owed for an ox, which debt Mrs. Sarah BLAND confessed to Maj. John STITH, guardian.63 On 15 Oct. 1679 administration was granted John HARDAWAY on the estate of Ebbett HARRIS, deceased.64 It is not known if this refers to an orphan of Thomas HARRIS or if Ebbett is a misspelling of Yuet, the widow.  On 3 March 1690/1, on the petition of Thomas HARRIS, it was ordered that John ECHOLS be summoned to the next court.65 The indication is that Thomas HARRIS, son of Thomas HARRIS who died in 1677, had come of age and had a claim against the surviving executor of his father’s estate.  John HARDAWAY had died prior to 4 Dec. 1689, at which time his widow Frances was married to James BATTY.66


58 Ibid., v. 50, p. 260.

59 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1676-79, p. 385.

60 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1687-95, p. 493.  On 1 Sept. 1744 John MACON and Gideon MACON of Edgecombe Co., N.C., deeded to William PARKER of Surry Co., Va., 200 acres that William HUNT of Charles City Co., Va., by will dated 14 May 1714 gave to his daughter Ann, who married John MACON and had Gideon MACON (Surry Co., Va., Deed Bk. 4, 1741-46, p. 241).

61 Charles City Co., Va. Order Bk. 1676-79, p. 164.

62 Ibid., pp. 185, 189.

63 Ibid., p. 353.

64 Ibid., p. 407.

65 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1687-95, p. 338.

66 Ibid., p. 441.

[page 26]

From the above, it would appear that Thomas HARRIS (died 1677) had at least three children, a son Thomas, a daughter whose given name is unknown who married John ECHOLS, and a daughter Frances who married first John HARDAWAY and then James BATTY.  It is possible his wife Yuet who survived him was a second wife and was not the mother of his children.  This unusual name does not appear among the descendants of Thomas HARRIS, Jr., or of Frances.  It may be significant that the name Edith does.

John ECHOLS, whose surname appears in the several different spellings, is probably the same who received land granted in New Kent County in 1685 and 1688.67 He disappears from the Charles City records after 169468 and at the time of the 1704 quit rent roll for Virginia he was residing in King and Queen County.69 His descendants are untraced.

Thomas HARRIS, son of Thomas (died 1677), moved to Henrico where he gave his age as 20 in a 1689 deposition.70 This man would tally with the Thomas HARRIS who summoned the surviving administrator of his father to court in Charles City in 1690, probably having just turned 21.  Thomas died testate in Henrico, his will dated 5 Oct. 1729 and recorded 6 July 1730.  Among his numerous children were a son John and a daughter Edith.71

The issue of Frances HARRIS by her two husbands, John HARDAWAY and James BATTY, can be inferred from the will of her daughter Edith HARDAWAY who married after 1710, as his third wife, Henry TYLER of York County.72 On his death in 1729 she married Mathew PIERCE of York County who died in 1737.73 There were no children by either marriage.  Her 1739 will, probated in York, devised £25 to be divided among her brother Thomas HARDAWAY, Dorothy HATCHER, Elizabeth LETT and Mary PARSONS.74 Frances HARRIS and John HARDAWAY also had a daughter Sarah and a son John who do not appear in Edith’s will and may have been dead in 1739.  In 1689 James


67 Nugent, op. cit., v. 2 (Richmond, 1977), pp. 287, 320.

68 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1687-95, p. 499.

69 Annie Laurie Wright Smith, The Quit Rents of Virginia, 1704 (Baltimore, 1973), p. 29.

70 Henrico Co., Va., Order Bk. 1688-97, p. 44.

71 Henrico Co., Va., Wills & Deeds 1725-37, p. 272.

72 Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine, v. 6, p. 210.

73 York Co., Va., Deeds, Orders, Wills &c 18, 1732-40, pp. 409-10, dated 4 Sept. 1737 and proved 20 March 1737[/8].

74 Ibid., p. 578.  Edith PIERCE’s will, dated 4 March 1739[/40] and proved 17 March 1739[/40], also mentioned Mildred PIERCE, daughter of her late husband Mathew, and Henry TYLER, son of her first husband, who was named executor.

[page 27]

BATTY acknowledged a mare given to his wife’s daughter Sarah HARDAWAY by one Susan HARDAWAY, whose identity is unknown.75 Sarah probably died young.  In 1693 John HARDAWAY, as one of the orphans of John HARDAWAY, being 15, chose his brother-in-law Henry HATCHER of Henrico County as his guardian.76

Elizabeth HARDAWAY LETT is placed as the wife of John LETT, the only contemporary of the name in the Charles City records.  There are many references to him in the court orders 1687-95.  On 4 Dec. 1694 James BATTY, his presumed father-in-law, was his surety in a suit.77 A John LETT was a headright for Richard FLEWELLIN in a 1714 Charles City grant.78 John and Elizabeth LETT left descendants in Brunswick and Mecklenburg counties.  A John LETT died testate in Brunswick in 1787.79

John HARDAWAY, born 1678 and not in the PIERCE will, seems to have died relatively young and very little is known about him.  According to Laurence GARDINER of Memphis, Tenn., the leading authority on the HARDAWAY family, John had at least one son, Thomas.80 Dinwiddie County land records refer to him as Thomas HARDAWAY of Motar Branch to distinguish him from the family of Thomas and Jane HARDAWAY.81 Descendants moved to Georgia.82

Thomas HARDAWAY, born ca.1680 and mentioned in the will of Edith PIERCE, married ca.1700 Jane, presumed to have been the daughter of Drury STITH of Charles City and his wife Susanna BATHURST, although this cannot be substantiated by any existing record.83 However, the names of Jane’s children suggest such a connection.  Thomas HARDAWAY and his wife Jane were the parents of ten children, the births of the six youngest appearing in


75 Charles City Co., Va., Order Bk. 1687-95, p. 207.

76 Ibid., p. 450.

77 Ibid., p. 546.

78 Nugent, op. cit., v. 3 (Richmond, 1979), p. 146.

79 Brunswick Co., Va., Will Bk. 5, pp. 191-92, dated 25 Sept. 1786 and proved 22 Jan. 1787, naming wife Jean, son-in-law Edward WINFIELD, daughter-in-law Mary JORDAN and sister Frankie LETT.

80 Personal communication of Laurence B. Gardiner to author.

81 Thomas P. Hughes and Jewel B. Standefer, Land Records, Dinwiddie County, Virginia, 1752-1820 (Memphis, 1973), p. 90.

82 Personal communication, Laurence B. Gardiner to author.

83 William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 1st ser., v. 20, p. 266.  See also Claiborne T. Smith, “BATHURST of Gloucester, England, and New Kent, Virginia,” in Boddie, Historical Southern Families, v. 8, p. 135 et seq.

[page 28]

the Bristol Parish Register.84 Included in that number was a son Drury born in 1733.  The names of the four older children, John, Susanna, Thomas and Stith, have been determined from other sources.85

Mary PARSONS, named in the PIERCE will, was actually half-sister to the testator and the only issue of Frances HARRIS HARDAWAY by her second husband James BATTY.  Mary married first Samuel MARKHAM and had by him James MARKHAM who died without issue and Frances who married her first cousin John HARDAWAY, son of Thomas and Jane above.  Mary BATTY MARKHAM married second William PARSONS of Prince George County.  These relationships are set forth in a 1738 chancery suit in Prince George County in which the children of Mary BATTY and William PARSONS, all listed by name, brought suit against Frances and John HARDAWAY for their share in the estate of their half-brother James MARKHAM.86

Boddie in his 1957 HARRIS article said that John HARDAWAY, died 1689, may have married into the Charles City family as the given names were similar to those in the HARRIS family.87 He theorized that Frances, wife of John HARDAWAY, was the daughter of Dorothy HARRIS and John BAKER or of Thomas HARRIS who died in 1677.  As noted earlier, there is no evidence Dorothy BAKER left descendants.  Boddie published the list of John HARDAWAY’s children as given above and failed to mention Mary BATTY MARKHAM PARSONS, child of Frances HARRIS by her second marriage.88


84 Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne, The Vestry Book and Register of Bristol Parish, Virginia, 1720-1789 (Richmond, 1898), passim.

85 The Southside Virginian, v. 8, p. 135 et seq. From depositions in a court suit in Brunswick Co., Va., in 1792 made by members of the HARDAWAY family, there is now proof for the first time that Thomas HARDAWAY, born ca.1680, was the father of sons Thomas and John.  From this source Thomas, Jr., was born in 1713.  A Susanna SIMMONS also made a deposition in 1792 but did not give her relationship; she is probably Susanna, the daughter of Thomas (born ca.1680), who married 1st Henry HATCH and 2nd _____ SIMMONS.  Jane MORRIS, aged 71, stated she was the daughter of Thomas; this date correlates with her birth date in the Bristol Parish Register.  She married 1st Baxter DAVIS and 2nd Hercules MORRIS.  There is still only circumstantial evidence for Stith, son of Thomas and Jane.  On 16 Oct. 1747 Thomas HARDAWAY of Bath Parish, Prince George County, deeded 576 acres for a financial consideration to Stith HARDAWAY of Raleigh Parish, Amelia County, no relationship given (Amelia Co., Va., Deed Bk. 2, p. 539).  Stith HARDAWAY died testate in Amelia, 1765 (Amelia Co., Va., Will Bk. 2X, 1761-71, p. 211).

86 Prince George Co., Va., Minute Bk. 1737-40, p. 219.

87 Boddie, Historical Southern Families, v. 1, p. 298.

88 Ibid.

Categories: 006210. Thomas Harris
  1. P. Harris
    6 June 2009 at 2:28 pm

    Wonderful work. Thank you. I would direct you to Harrisdna.org which is the Harris DNA web site and to the groups 4 and 30 which present issues in determining which John Harris they descend from.

    At issue is the Thomas Harris d 1672 and the Thomas Harris d 1688.

    Again, thank you. P

  2. Edward S Robson
    24 August 2009 at 3:57 pm

    I have been trying to figure out how to e-mail Gregg Leon Mattocks. The e-mail links on his WorldPress pages don’t seem to work for me. So I thought I would try this.

    In his discussion on “generation-13/006210-thomas-harris/”, he cites Charles City Co., Va Order book 1676-79, p. 407. as the reference for Ebbett Harris, deceased. If he will go back and look at that source again more closely, he will see that Ebbett’s last name is ffarris or Farris, not Harris. He should compare the “ff” in Ebbett’s last name to the “H” in Hardaway to understand that the name does not start with an “H”. The “ff” spelling of the name Farris or Ferris was not uncommon during that time period.

    My e-mail address is ESRobson@comcast.net.

  3. Dennis Ward
    10 February 2010 at 3:53 am

    A recent book by Gray Harris of NC seems to offer proof that Sgt John was the son of Sir Wm Harris of Essex It is very interesting and worth reading if you are interested in th subject

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