Archive for the ‘006210. Thomas Harris’ Category

Notes on American History

7 June 2009 Leave a comment

Source: Rev. Edward D. Neill, “Notes on American History,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 30[1876].

[page 410]

No. IX.


Among the most important measures, inaugurated after Sir Edwin SANDYS became the presiding officer of the London Company, was the transportation of virtuous young women to Virginia.

On the 3d of November, O.S., 1619, SANDYS at the usual weekly meeting of the Company suggested “that a fit hundred might be sent of women, maids young and uncorrupt to make wives to the inhabitants.”

At the regular quarterly meeting held on Wednesday the 17th of the same month he again alluded to the subject.  “He understood that the people thither transported, though seated there in their persons for some four years, are not settled in their minds to make it their place of rest and continuance; but having gotten some wealth to return again to England.  For the remedying of that mischief and of the establishing a perpetuity of the plantation he advised to send them over one hundred young maids to become wives, that wives, children and families might make them less movable, and settle them together with their posterity in that soil.”

First Shipment of Maids.

The first shipment to the number of ninety was made by the “Jonathan” and “London Merchant,” vessels which arrived in May, 1620, at Jamestown.

In a circular of the London Company dated July 18, 1620, they declare their intention to send more young women like “the ninety which have been lately sent.”

Shipment per “Marmaduke.”

In August, 1621, the Marmaduke left the Thames for Virginia with a letter to the Governor, from which we extract the following:

“We send you in this ship one widow and eleven maids for wives for the people in Virginia.”

A choice Lot.

“There hath been especial care had in the choice of them for there hath not any one of them been received but upon good commendations, as by a note herewith sent you may perceive.”

[page 411]

To be cared for.

“We pray you all therefore in general to take them into your care, and most especially we recommend them to you Mr. POUNTES, that at their first landing they may be housed, lodged, and provided for of diet till they be married, for such was the haste of sending them away, we had no means to put provisions aboard, which defect shall be supplied by the Magazine ship.  In case they cannot be presently married, we desire they may be put to several householders that have wives, till they can be provided of husbands.”

More to come.

“There are near fifty more which are shortly to come, sent by the Earl of Southampton, and certain worthy gentlemen, who taking into their consideration, that the Plantation can never flourish till families be planted, and the respect of wives and children fix the people in the soil, therefore have given this fair beginning.”

Price of a Wife.

“For the reimbursing of whose charges, it is ordered that every man who marries one of them gives 120lb weight of best leaf tobacco, and in case any of them die, that proportion must be advanced to make it up, upon those who survive.”

Marriage to be Free.

“We pray you to be fathers to them in this business, not enforcing them to marry against their wills; neither send we them to be servants but in case of extremities, for we would have their condition as much better as multitudes may be allured thereby to come unto you.  And you may assure such men as marry these women, that the first servants sent over by the Company shall be consigned to them, it being our intent to preserve families and proper married men, before single persons.”

The Marmaduke Maids Married.

With the help of an old Virginia muster roll, we have found out that four of the twelve that came in the Marmaduke were married, and alive in 1624.

Maiden. Husband. His arrival.
Adria married Tho’s HARRIS Ship Prosperous, May, 1610
Anna Tho’s DOUGHTY ”    Marigold, 1619
Katharine Rob’t FISHER ”    Elizabeth, 1611
Ann Nich. BAYLY ”    Jonathan, 1620

Consignment by the “Warwick” and “Tiger.”

On Sept. 11, 1621, the London Company again write:

“By this ship [Warwick] and pinnace called the Tiger we also send as many maids and young women as will make up the number of fifty, with those twelve formerly sent in the Marmaduke, which we hope shall be received with the same Christian piety and charity as they were sent from hence.”

[page 412]

Price of a Wife raised.

“The providing for them at their first landing and disposing of them in marriage we leave to your care and wisdom to take that order as may most conduce to their good and the satisfaction of the Adventurers for the charges disbursed in setting them forth, which coming to £12 and upwards, they require 150lbs of the best leaf tobacco for each of them.  This increase of thirty pounds weight since those sent in the Marmaduke they have resolved to make, finding the great shrinkage and other losses upon the tobacco from Virginia will not bear less.”

Extraordinary Care in Selection.

“We have used extraordinary care and diligence in the choice of them, and have received none of whom we have not had good testimony of their honest life and carriage, which together with their names, we send enclosed for the satisfaction of such as shall marry them.” […]

At a quarterly meeting of the London Company on Nov. 21, 1621, it was mentioned that care had been taken to provide the planters in Virginia with “young, handsome and honestly educated maids,” whereof sixty were already sent. […]

[page 413]


Sir George BOWLES or BOLLES, the Lord Mayor of London, and the Aldermen thereof in 1617, “fearing lest the overflowing multitude of inhabitants should, like too much blood, infect the whole city with plague and poverty,” devised as a remedy, the transportation to Virginia of their overflowing multitude, and in 1618-19 one hundred children were sent to Virginia.

The next year, 1619, the Mayor Sir William COCKAINE resolved to ease the city of many that were ready to starve, and conferred with the Virginia Company.  The following memorial from the Company was presented to the Mayor and Aldermen.

[page 414]

“The Treasurer and Company of Virginia assembled in their great and general Court, the 17th of November, 1619, have taken into consideration, the continual great forwardness of this honourable City, in advancing the plantation of Virginia, and particularly in furnishing one hundred children this last year, which by the goodness of God have safely arrived (save such as died on the way) and are well pleased we doubt not, for this benefit, for which your bountiful assistance we in the name of the whole Plantation, do yield unto you deserved thanks.

“And forasmuch as we have resolved to send this next spring very large supplies for the strength and increasing of the Colony styled by the name of the London Colony, and find that the sending of these children to be apprenticed hath been very grateful to the people, we pray your Lordship and the rest, to renew the like favours and furnish us again with one hundred more for the next spring.

“Our desire is, that we may have them of twelve years old and upward, with allowance of £3 apiece for their transportation, and 40s. apiece for their apparel as was formerly granted.  They shall be apprenticed, the boys till they come to 21 years of age; the girls till like age, or till they be married. * * * And so we leave this motion to your honourable and grave consideration.”

The City co-operated in procuring the second company of children, but some were unwilling to leave London, as the following letter of Sir Edwin SANDYS, the presiding officer of the Company, written in January, 1620, N.S., to Sir Robert NAUNTON, one of the King’s Secretaries, indicates.

“The City of London have appointed one hundred children from the superfluous multitude to be transported to Virginia, there to be bound apprentices upon very beneficial conditions.  They have also granted £500 for their passage and outfit.  Some of the ill-disposed, who under severe masters in Virginia may be brought to goodness, and of whom the City is especially desirous to be disburdened, declare their unwillingness to go.  The City wanting authority to deliver, and the Virginia Company to transport these children against their will, desire higher authority to get over the difficulty.”

The necessary authority was granted, and the second company of children duly shipped.

In April, 1622, it was proposed to send a third company, but no data can be found to show that they sailed.

No. XII.


It must always be regretted that the London Company did not keep a proper ship and passenger register.  The good Nicholas

[page 415]

FERRAR, Dep. Gov. of the Company, on Oct. 23, 1622, alluded to the errors of management in the transportation of persons and goods.  He alluded to ships now going from London and other parts, and that “there was no note or register kept of the names of persons transported whereby himself and other officers were not able to give any satisfaction to the persons that did daily and hourly enquire after their friends gone to Virginia.”

The following list of vessels, made up from various sources, although not complete, approaches to accuracy, and is submitted for correction.

Ships which arrived at Jamestown.


1607 April Susan Constant1 100 Tons Capt.     Chris. NEWPORT, 71 passengers
God Speed 40    “ ” Bart. GOSNOLD, 52        “
Discovery 20    “ ” John RATCLIFFE, 20        “
1607-8 Jan’y John and Francis2 ” NEWPORT, 50 colonists
1608 April Phoenix3 ” NELSON, 70       “
Oct. Mary Margaret ” NEWPORT, 60       “
1609 July Discovery4 ” Robt TINDAL, Factor Sam. ARGALL
Aug. Diamond ” RATCLIFFE, GATES & SOMERS Fleet
Falcon ” MARTIN, NELSON Master
Blessing ” ARCHER, ADAMS
Swallow5 ” MOORE
Virginia6 ” DAVIES, Built in 1607 at Sagadahoc
1610 May Deliverance 70 tons7 } Built at Bermudas, and brought GATES
Patience 30 } and SOMERS with 100 colonists
June Delaware Lord DELAWARE’s fleet
Blessing ”              “
Hercules ”              “
Oct. Dainty Brought 12 men, 1 woman, 2 or 3 horses
1611 April Hercules ”       30 colonists
May Elizabeth DALE’s fleet
Mary and James
Aug. Star8 GATES
Three Carvills

1 The Susan Constant, Capt. NEWPORT, left Jamestown for England with mineral and forest specimens on 22 June, 1607, and arrived in the Thames in less than five weeks.

2 Loaded with iron ore, sassafras, cedar posts, and walnut wood, sailed from Jamestown 10th of April, and on 20th of May reached England.  The iron ore seems to have been smelted, and 17 tons sold to East India Co. at £4 per ton.

3 Capt. NELSON returned to England in July, 1608.

4 Discovery brought no passengers nor supplies, but was intended for private trade.

5 Twenty-eight or thirty were sent in ship Swallow to trade for corn with the Indians.  They stole away with what was the best ship, and some became pirates.  Others returned to England and told the tragical story of a man at Jamestown so pinched with hunger as to eat his dead wife. – See Purchas, vol. iv, p. 1757.

6 This vessel was built at Sagadahoc by the Popham colonists in 1607.  Disheartened by POPHAM’s death they set sail for England in a ship from Exeter, “and in the new pynnace the Virginia.”– Hakluyt Pub., vol. vi, p. 180.

7 The Deliverance was built by Richard FROBISHER. – See New-Eng. Hist. And Gen. Reg., vol. xxviii, p. 317, for a sketch of this shipwright.

8 In the autumn of 1611 the Star, of 300 tons, sailed from Jamestown for England with forty fair and large pines for masts.–Hakluyt Pub., vol. vi, p. 130.


East Goes West: History of the Craft-Hill-Harris and Deshazer-Faubian-Douglass-Howlett Families

5 June 2009 Leave a comment

Source: Alta DeShazer Craft and George W. Craft, East Goes West: History of the Craft-Hill-Harris and Deshazer-Faubian-Douglass-Howlett Families (Wailuku, Hawaii: Skipper Printing and Graphics, 1984).

[page 177]



According to family legend related to the oldest known descendant living in 1981, the first HARRIS ancestor came to Virginia in 1611 as part of the Virginia Colony headed by Captain John SMITH.  It was thought his first name was Robert, but whether he came with those arriving in 1611 or was a descendant of the ancestor arriving at that time was not known.

The family Bible of the first proven ancestor, Samuel HARRIS, which contained family statistics, was inadvertantly left on a high shelf in the Portland, Oregon, home of a descendant when the family moved to Seattle, Washington.  When the loss was discovered, the missing Bible could not be found.

The above mentioned descendant, now deceased, also was emphatic in stating Samuel HARRIS, her great grandfather, was the son of a brother of the father of Governor Isham HARRIS (1818-1897) of Tennessee.  Governor Isham HARRIS line of descent has been determined to be:

1.    William HARRIS of Prittlewell, Essex Co., England m. Anna JERNEGAN, daughter of John JERNEGAN of Hertford, England

2.    Arthur HARRIS of Prittlewell, Essex Co., England, m. Joan/Johan PERCY, daughter of Sir Thomas PERCY (executed 1537) and Elianor HARBOTTELL of Beamish

3.    William HARRIS of Sudmeset, Southminister, Essex, England, d. 1556, m. second Johan COOKE of Bocking – also written Johanna COOKSEY

4.    Arthur HARRIS of Woodham Mortimer, Essex, England, d. 1597 m. Dorothy WALDEGRAVE, daughter of Sir William WALDEGRAVE and Juliana RAINSFORD/RYNSFORD of Smallbridge

5.    Sir William HARRIS b. ca 1550 Woodham Ferrers, Crixse, Essex, England, d. Nov. 1616, m. ca 1582 Alice SMYTHE/SMITH, daughter of Sir Thomas SMYTHE and Alice JUDDE of Ostenhanger/Westernhanger, Kent, England

6.    John HARRIS b. 1588/9 Woodham Ferrers, Essex, England, d. before 14 Oct. 1638, m. Dorothy LYMBREY, daughter of Edward LYMBREY, a mariner

7.    Thomas HARRIS b. ca 1614 London, England, d. 30 Mar. 1672, Isle of Wight Co., VA, m. ca 1634 Alice WEST, Isle of Wight Co., VA

[page 178]

8.    Thomas HARRIS b. 1638, Isle of Wight Co., VA, d. 1689 Isle of Wight, m. ca 1661 Ann MARTIN, Isle of Wight, VA

9.    Edward HARRIS b. ca 1663 Isle of Wight Co., d. 20 Apr. 1773, Isle of Wight, m. ca 1685, Isle of Wight, VA, Mary TURNER, daughter of John TURNER and Mary TOMLIN

10.    West HARRIS, b. 13 Aug. 1716, Isle of Wight Co., VA, d. 14 May 1795, Montgomery Co., N.C., m. 1740, Isle of Wight Co., Mary TURNER

11.    Isham HARRIS, b. 1741 Bute (now Warren) Co., N.C., d. before Aug. 1824, Granville Co., N.C., m. ca 1760 Martha Mable GREEN b. 1745 & d. after 1815 & before 1824

12.    Isham HARRIS b. 1762 Montgomery Co., N.C., m. Lucy DAVIDSON, daughter of Colonel George DAVIDSON & Barzilla ATKINS

13.    Isham Green HARRIS (Governor of Tenn. 1857-1862) b. 10 Feb. 1818, d. 8 July 1897, Washington, D.C. m. 6 July 1843, Paris, Henry Co., Tenn., Martha Maria TRAVIS who d. 19 Jan. 1897.  She was the daughter of Major Edward TRAVIS & Margaret Blanton HARRIS


[page 179]

This leaves the unsolved question as to where the name ROBERT enters the line of descent.  A possible answer is to change the line of descent listed for Governor Isham HARRIS (1818-1897) by substituting for No. 6, the brother of the John HARRIS listed.  This would make Governor Isham HARRIS a very distant cousin and, so far, have not located the complete line of descent of Samuel HARRIS.  The substitution on the line of descent would be:

6.    Thomas HARRIS, Gent., b. ca 1586/7, England, came to Virginia colony on the ship Prosperous in 1611, settled in Jamestown, now Henrico or Isle of Wight County, VA.  his will was proved 2 June 1679.  He m. first, Adria OSBORNE, daughter of Thomas OSBORNE who came to VA on the ship Marmaduke ca 1621.  Thomas m. second Joane GURGANY, daughter of Edward GURGANY.

7.    Robert HARRIS (1630/5-1701) came to VA between 1650-60 from Glamorgan, Wales and settled on the James River, Virginia (“Early HARRIS Record – HARRIS Genealogy” by Rev. James A. Harris).  He married 1660-70 Mary (CLAIBORNE) RICE, daughter of William CLAIBORNE, first secretary in the Virginia Colony appointed by the king, and Jane BUTLER.  Mary RICE was widow of Edward RICE.

The book Musters of the Inhabitants of Virginia, Neck of Land, Charles Cittie lists: “The Muster of Thomas HARRIS aged 38 in the Prosperous in May.  Adria, his wife, 23 years, in the Marmaduke November 1621.  Kinswoman, aged 7 years, Ann WOODLASE and servant Elizabeth 15 years.”  This verifies some of the information which some researchers were doubting in connection with Thomas HARRIS and his wife’s name.

There is another theory, which would more closely fit the family legend that Robert HARRIS, ancestor of Samuel, was sent to America by his family because he was spending too much money in high living.  It is stated in Passengers to America in section on “Passengers to Virginia,” pages 80-81, “A register of the names of all ye passingers which passed from ye porte of London on whole yeare endinge at Xmas 1635” Robert HARRIS, 19 years, went to St. Domingo and was under written to be transported to Virginia, along with others on the list.

Also, from John C. Hotten’s Original Lists of Persons Who Came from Great Britain to American Plantations 1600-1700, page 36, listed Robert

[page 180]

HARRIS, 19 years among passengers from Port of London 2 January 1634 in “Mercht Bonsbrnyutr.”  Then on pages 114-116, 27 July 1635, lists Robert HARRIS, 20 years “to Virginia imbarque in the Primrose Capt. DOUGLASS Mr.”  This was apparently quoting from records; so it rather proves a Robert HARRIS born 1615 came to America in 1635.  Was this entry on the Primrose the same person as the 19-year-old Robert listed among the passengers to St. Domingo “to be transported to Virginia” before “Xmas 1635?”

A HARRIS lineage compiled by J. McFarland Williams, Jr., Washington, D.C. in 1959 listed the descent of Robert HARRIS who married Mary (CLAIBORNE) RICE as follows:

1.    William HARRIS of Crixes born 1556 married first Joan SMITH, dtr. of John SMITH of Norton and had two sons: William HARRIS who married Catherine and Richard HARRIS.  William HARRIS (b. 1556) married second Joanna COOK and had four more children.

2.    William HARRIS married Catherine and had two children: Jane HARRIS who married 31 January 1562 John HARRIS, son of John HARRIS of Cornwall.  (Is this the John HARRIS who married Dorothy LYMBREY and the brother of Captain Thomas HARRIS?)

3.    Jane HARRIS married 31 January 1562 John HARRIS, son of John HARRIS of Cornwall.  They had a son John HARRIS who married Joane HARTE and had eight children.

4.    John HARRIS married Joane HARTE and had eight children, one of whom was

5.    Robert HARRIS born about 1615 died about 1663/4 and married Judith.  They had three children: Robert HARRIS who married Mary CLAIBORNE RICE, Mary HARRIS who married first Anthony SPILTIMBER and Martha HARRIS who married John JENNINGS.

There was a notation, made on the source Mr. Williams used, stating Robert, the son of John HARRIS who married Joane HARTE, was supposed to have been an immigrant to Virginia about 1634/5 and was a second cousin, once removed, of the Captain Thomas HARRIS who came to Virginia in 1611 and whose first wife was Adria.  This seems to indicate the question raised above regarding William2 HARRIS’s son John is undoubtedly correct.

The above line of descent appears more logical than the one showing Robert HARRIS who married Mary (CLAIBORNE) RICE was the son of Captain Thomas HARRIS which would have made Captain Thomas HARRIS forty-five years old when Robert HARRIS was born in 1615.  Even if this line of descent is correct, it doesn’t solve the question as to the name of the father of Samuel HARRIS (1772-1859).


[page 181]

If, at a later date, it can be proved Samuel HARRIS is descended from Arthur HARRIS, of Prittlewell, Essex, England, who married Joan PERCY, it is interesting to note from the chart on the next page (pg. 182) the line of descent goes back to Henry III, King of England (copied from Part II, Records of Rev. J.A. HARRIS F-860-465).

Since there is a strong possibility the settling of the Virginia Colony is involved in this family history (and that of the HILL family), information from Cavalier and Pioneers by Nell Marion Nugent, Virginia Land Office, Richmond, Virginia, for the period 1623-1666, is of interest.

The first charter group arrived in Jamestown on 13 May 1607 on the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery with 100 settlers.  The second charter group was a reorganized first charter two years later on 23 May 1609.  The terms used by those settling the Virginia Colony is confusing to some people.  “Planters” were those who went in person to settle.  “Adventurers” were those who “adventured” their money but did not go in person.

By 1649, about 15,000 English people had emigrated to Virginia.  a system of “headrights” was established whereby each person paying his

[page 182]

way to Virginia was assigned fifty acres of land, and if he paid someone else’s way to Virginia, he got fifty acres for each person whose fare he paid.  Some of the immigrants were from good families, some were people who made trips to England and returned to America.  The person paying the passage for these trips received fifty acres of land.

The “Ancient Planters” were those known to migrate and live in Virginia before 1616.  Captain Thomas HARRIS mentioned in this introduction, aged 38, was identified as “an Ancient Planter and Adventurer in the time of Sir Thomas DALE his Government.”  He was a Burgess for Henrico County several different terms. […]

Peninsula Pilgrimage

4 June 2009 Leave a comment

Source: Elizabeth Valentine Huntley, Peninsula Pilgrimage (Richmond: The Press of Whittet and Shepperson, 1941).

[page 98]

Old Indian Trail. Route 5, Henrico County

CROSSING THE concrete bridge one is in front of the main entrance to Curles Neck Farm. Originally this plantation, in one of the “curls” of James River, was divided into many small farms, but these tracts eventually were consolidated. In 1617, Edward GURGANY patented the land known as “Longfield.” At his death his wife inherited it and in turn willed it to Captain Thomas HARRIS. Two decades later, John PLEASANTS, the Quaker merchant and planter, settled on Curles neck plantation. The next in line of occupancy was Nathaniel BACON, “the Rebel.” After BACON’s uprising against a tyrannical Colonial Governor, BACON̓s land was confiscated, and later was bought by William RANDOLPH, the first, of Turkey Island, Henrico County. At one time “Bremo,” the ancestral home of the COCKE family, was on Curles Neck estate. Today only tombstones mark the spot.

During the Revolution, when LAFAYETTE̓s headquarters were here, Curles Neck was the residence of Ryland RANDOLPH, grandson of William RANDOLPH. Years later, the estate became one of the many owned by Major William ALLEN, of Claremont Manor, Surry County. In 1907, the property was acquired by Charles H. SENFF, Esquire, the builder of the present modem brick house. He was followed by C.K. BILLINGS. During Mr. BILLINGS̓ ownership Curles Neck was the home of “Harvester,” one of the most famous race horses of a generation.

The plantation is now the property of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Billings RUDDOCK. Through their courtesy, the annual Deep Run Hunt Club̓s Spring Race Meet is held here.

[page 101]

Old Indian Trail. Route 5, Henrico County

A MODERN FENCE and farm road divide the prosperous farm of Curles Neck and the once renowned Turkey Island plantation. Tidal swamps, trees of dark foliage and tangled underbrush now cover much of the famous plantation, part of which belonged in 1676 to Colonial James CREWS, one of the leaders in BACON̓s Rebellion. After the uprising, he was hanged near Jamestown. his heirs sold the property to William RANDOLPH, the first, son of Richard RANDOLPH of Morton Hall, Warwickshire, England. This William RANDOLPH was the progenitor of so many distinguished Virginians that the date of his birth has been declared one of the most important in the history of the Old Dominion. At his death, his son, William RANDOLPH, the second, a member of the House of Burgesses, inherited the estate. Long after his day, Turkey Island plantation was on the stormy edge of the battle of Malvern Hill. At this time the old house was fired and destroyed by the gunboats in the James River. By strange irony, a section of the estate was owned at that time by General George B. PICKETT, who had sustained a wound in the battle of Gaine’s Mill, June 27, 1862, but survived to send his division into the famous charge at Gettysburg that made his name immortal in American history. Today, that part of Turkey Island which is not overflown by the James consists of small farms and modern residences.

A very interesting old monument was erected here after the disastrous flood of May, 1771. It bears the following inscription:

“The foundation of this pillar was laid in the calamitous year of 1771, when all the great rivers of this country were swept by inundations never before experienced, which changed the face of nature and left traces of their violence that will remain for ages.”

Less than half a mile across winding old Indian Trail, on a high hill are the site and vine-covered foundation of Malvern Hills. A fancied resemblance between the high ground above Turkey Island and the historic Malvern Hills that rise from the Severn in

[page 102]

Worcestershire Beacon, England, led Thomas COCKE to give the old name to his new home on the James. He was the son of Richard COCKE of England, who came to Virginia in 1630 and here built a house acclaimed “one of the best specimens of Colonial architecture” in the Old Dominion. It showed definite seventeenth century influence, but, unfortunately, it was never well photographed or measured prior to its destruction by fire about 1905. James Powell COCKE sold the estate after the Revolutionary War to Robert NELSON. He was the son of Elizabeth BURWELL and William NELSON, President of the Council, and was brother of General Thomas NELSON, Governor of Virginia. Subsequently, the Malvern Hills property was mortgaged to Charles CARTER of Shirley, but when he died in 1806, he left specific instructions that his executors should not foreclose on the home of his friends. At that time and for at least a generation later, the name of the estate was usually in the plural – “The Malvern Hills.” The singular form did not come into general use until the period of the War Between the States.

The associations of this old property are as martial as social. LAFAYETFE encamped here for the protection of Richmond against British attack by way of the James River. in the summer of 1813, the plantation was garrisoned with several thousand men to keep the British from a similar attack. The fighting here in the great battle of July 1, 1862, occurred a slight distance to the north and northwest of the old mansion. Federal artillery was parked, hills on hills, between the Mellert (Crew) and the West Houses. The Confederate attack was southward up the grade from Western Run. That section of the baffle ground known as the “Wheatfield” lies to the west under the bluff on which the Mellert (Crew) House stands. Although Malvern Hill continued to have strategic value until it fell permanently into Federal hands in June, 1864, its later history has not been conspicuous.

Categories: 006210. Thomas Harris

Colonial Records of Virginia

27 May 2009 Leave a comment

Source: Virginia General Assembly, Joint Committee on the State Library, Colonial Records of Virginia (Baltimore: Clearfield Company, 1989).

[page 37]

Volume 3, No. 2
Feb. 16th, 1623.

[page 38]

Att the Neak of Land.*

Luke BOYS,
Mrs. BOYS,
Robert HALAM,
Joƒeph ROYALL,
John DODS,
Mrs. DODS,
Elizabeth PERKINSON,
William VINCENT,
Allexander BRADWAYE,
his wife BRADWAYE,
his wife PRICE,
Robert TURNER,
Nathaniell REEVE,
Serjeant William SHARP,
Richard RAWSE,
Thomas SHEPPY,
William CLEMENS,
Thomas HARRIS,
his wife HARRIS,
Margaret BERMAN,
Thomas FARMER,
Richard TAYLOR,
uxor TAYLOR,
Joƒhua CHARD,
Chriƒtopher BROWNE,
Thomas OAGE,
uxor OAGE,
infant OAGE,
uxor PRICE,
infant PRICE,
Robert GREENE,
uxor GREENE,
infant GREENE.


Neak of Land. — “There is another diviƒion of the country into necks of land, which are the boundaries of the Eƒcheators, viz.: the Northern Neck, between the Patowmeck and Rappahannock rivers.

“The neck between Rappahannock and York rivers, within which Pamunkey Neck is included.

“The neck between York and James rivers,” &c., &c. — Beverly, Book IV, chap. ii.

This list being made up at James city this neck might be the one nearest to that place, and therefore the last one named by Beverly would be the one referred to; but inasmuch as in this MS. list it follows immediately after the College land, and in the list of Burgesses for 1629, occupies the same position, it is not improbable that it refers to the peninsula opposite Henrico, known on all the maps of the State as Farrar’s island, and which has been made an island in reality by the completion of a canal begun by the United States army during the late civil war and afterwards finished by the engineer department of the same, under the direction of Col. W.P. CRAIGHILL.  Hening reports Serit SHARPE a Burgess for this place in 1629, and Serjeant William SHARP is named in the text as living there in 1626.

The First Seventeen Years: Virginia, 1607-1624

16 May 2009 Leave a comment

Source: Charles E. Hatch, Jr., The First Seventeen Years: Virginia, 1607-1624 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1970).

[page 36]

[…] Samuel ARGALL returned to Virginia, which he had served well in the 1609-14 days, as governor in 1617 […] ARGALL […] is identified with the creation of a distinct settlement in the area, one that, for a time, bore his name.  This was Argall’s Guift, more often mentioned as Argall’s Town.


Samuel ARGALL, it seems, was attracted to the area west of Jamestown and established his people here.  He and his associates had been assigned 2,400 acres for the transportation of 24 persons by Charter of March 30, 1617 issued just before he left England.  This was one of the first such grants.  There were settlers with him, too, to be employed on land set aside for the support of the Governor’s office.  Evidently his settlement, or plantation, got underway in 1617 and two years later was listed among the populated areas in the Colony.  It was one of the eleven communities which sent representatives to the First Assembly in 1619.  They were Thomas PAWLETT and Edward GOURGAING.

To advance the settlement, ARGALL had contracted for the clearing of some 300 acres of ground (600 pounds sterling it was to cost).  This was to be done by colonists assigned to Martin’s Hundred.  Other arrangements were made with Captain William POWELL to clear ground and to erect a house, this to cost £50.
This was the POWELL whom ARGALL made the Captain of the Governor’s Company and Guard, Lieutenant Governor and Commander of Jamestown, the blockhouses and the people.  Evidently ARGALL and POWELL intended to pass on this cost to the “Inhabitants of Paspaheigh, alias Argall’s towne” for these people sought “an absolute discharge from certaine bondes wherein they stood bound to Captain Samuell ARGALL for the payment of 600 lb

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and to Captain William POWELL, at Captain ARGALL’s appointment, for the payment of 50 lb more.  To Captaine ARGALL for 15 skore acres of wooddy ground, called by the name of Argal’s towne or Paspaheigh; to Captain POWELL in respect of his paines in clearing the grounde and building the houses, for which Captaine ARGAL ought to have given him satisfaction.”

Seemingly the accomodations which resulted were good ones for when, in 1619, some newly arrived Martin’s Hundred people were seated here, there was good and convenient housing which enabled them to do the “best of all new-comers.”  They reaped better crops and the list of those who died was “not comparable to other places.”  Argall Town, however, was not destined to become a settled community.  It was on the Governor’s land and YEARDLEY proceeded after his arrival in 1619 to take a “petty rente” from the settlers here “to make them acknowledge … that Paspaheigho by expresse wordes in the greate commission did belonge to the Governor and that they had bene wrongfully seated by Capt. ARGALL upon that lande.”

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This area, on the north side of the James below Henrico and across from Bermuda (Nether) Hundred, was one of the several hundreds annexed to, or included in, the corporation of Bermuda City.  Settlement seems to have begun in 1613 although little is known of events in the early years.  “Curls” evidently was a name suggested by the course of the river here.  The reported patent for 400 acres to Edward GURGANY in October, 1617 has been assumed to have been in this area.  In 1619 GURGANY’s widow bequeathed the tract to Capt. Thomas HARRIS.  Progress in the occupation and use of the ground was severely checked by the massacre.

Categories: 006210. Thomas Harris

Four Thomas Lygons (Ligons)

27 April 2009 Leave a comment

Source: Michael J. Wood and Gary Boyd Roberts, “Four Thomas Lygons (Ligons): An Abstract of New Findings,” Virginia Genealogist 22[1978].

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The following abstract of new findings concerning the immigrant Col. Thomas LIGON of Henrico Co., Va., his father, grandfather and son, is a preliminary report on a major re-examination in both England and Virginia of the immigrant’s immediate family, of all traceable contemporary English LYGONs, and of the family’s numerous colonial connections and notable American progeny.  A much longer article is planned, but the following will add much to, and correct various mistakes in, the major treatments of this family in print — William Daniel LIGON, The LIGON Family and Connections (2 v.; Hartford, Conn., 1947-57), and articles by John Bennett Boddie in William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, 2nd series, v. 16 (1936), pp. 289-315, and Virginia Historical Genealogies (Redwood City, Calif., 1954), pp. 343-44.  Mr. LIGON confused his immigrant ancestor with the latter’s almost certain father, and both Mr. LIGON and Mr. Boddie confused Col. Thomas and his son.  Both authors too used the unusually rich muniments at Madresfield, the LYGON ancestral seat in Worcestershire, but apparently did not examine the various parish registers, chancery depositions, or even Prerogative Court of Canterbury administrations, covering the immigrant’s immediate family.  Thus the death in England of the Calouden farmer, his approximate age (badly guessed by Mr. LIGON), the given names of his wife and children, and the very existence, then, of a younger Thomas LYGON, hypothesized by Boddie, who is almost certainly the immigrant — all these facts are now being reported for the first time.  Recently published Virginia materials, the originals of which Mr. LIGON and Mr. Boddie variously misinterpreted, allow us rather easily to unravel the confusion between the immigrant and his son.  Col. Thomas LIGON of Henrico Co., Va., his almost certain father and grandfather, and his son, are thus as follows:

1. Thomas LYGON, second son of William LYGON and Eleanor DENNIS of Madresfield, Worcestershire, lived in Elkstone, Gloucestershire (not Elston, Wiltshire), married Frances DENNIS, a cousin, daughter of Hugh DENNIS and Katherine TRYE of Pucklechurch, Gloucestershire.  As “Francisca LIGON ux’ Thomas LIGON nuper de Elkeston,

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gen.” she was fined 20 shillings for recusancy in 1592.1 Frances, then a widow, was of Merson, Wiltshire, when she made her will on 17 Oct. 1622, but later lived with her son Thomas at Calouden and was buried in the adjacent parish of Sowe 30 Jan. 1624/5.  Her will was proved by him 1 June 1625.2 Through a line that Mr. Roberts cannot confirm, and of one link of which he is dubious, John TRYE (1513-1579) of Hardwick, Gloucestershire, an uncle of Frances DENNIS, is charted by Gerald PAGET as an ancestor of H.M. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.3

2. Thomas LYGON, farmer, of Stoke-by-Coventry and Calouden, Warwickshire, born ca.1577,4 married (perhaps a second wife) 18 Aug. 1623 Elizabeth PRATT at Sowe.  She was baptized at nearby Stoke-Biggin 10  Oct. 1602, daughter of Dennis PRATT.  Thomas LYGON was buried at Sowe 20 Dec. 1626.  Administration on his estate was granted his relict Elizabeth 16 Feb. 1626/7.5 Elizabeth was buried at Sowe 19 Aug. 1631.

3. Thomas LYGON, baptized at Sowe, Warwickshire, 11 Jan. 1623/4, is almost certainly the immigrant Col. Thomas LIGON of Virginia, surveyor and burgess of Henrico County.6 He made his will 10 Jan. 1675 and administration was granted his widow and executrix, Mary, 16 March 1675/6.7 He married ca.1650 Mary HARRIS, born ca.1625,8 daughter of Thomas HARRIS (born 1587) and Adria, perhaps


1  Catholic Record Society, Publications, v. 18 (n.p., 1916), p. 125.

2  William Daniel LIGON, The LIGON Family and Connections, v. 1 (Hartford, Conn., 1947), pp. 103-04.

3  Gerald Paget, The Lineage and Ancestry of H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (Baltimore Edinburgh & London, 1977), v. 2, pp. 274 et seq.

4  Chancery Depositions, Elizabeth I-Charles I, Group 3, Bundle E 20, Suit 23, which shows him as “aged 44 or thereabouts” in 1621.

5  J.H. Morrison, ed., Prerogative Court of Canterbury Letters of Administration, 1620-1630 … (London, 1935), p. 70.

6  For his career as burgess see H.R. McIlwaine, ed., Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia, 1619-1658/59 (Richmond, 1915), pp. xxii, 95, and for his various land patents see Nell M. Nugent, Cavaliers and Pioneers, v. 1 (Richmond, 1934), pp. 440, 516; v. 2 (Richmond, 1977), pp. 49, 51-52, 92, 116, 124 (he is referred to progressively in these grants as major, lieutenant colonel, colonel, and “Mr., Sr.”).

7  Henrico Co., Va., Deeds & Wills 1677-92, p. 35; Order Book 1678-93, p. 167.

Ibid., Deeds & Wills 1688-97, p. 107.

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GURGANEY.9 Col. LIGON surveyed an area called “Mawburne” or Malvern Hills in Henrico County (in England Malvern Hills are very near Madresfield) and at least once acted as an agent for Sir William BERKELEY, governor of Virginia, his almost certain second cousin.10 His children were Thomas Jr., William, Joan, Richard, Mathew, Hugh and Mary, named undoubtedly after himself (Thomas Jr.), his wife (Mary), his sister (Joan), two of his father’s brothers (William and Richard11), and his father’s maternal grandfather, Hugh DENNIS of Pucklechurch.  Nothing can be found to document a later English career for Thomas LYGON, born 1623/4, and no other Thomas is unaccounted for and of the right age to be the immigrant.

4. Thomas LIGON, Jr., born ca.1651,12 who was dead by 20 Aug. 1678.13 The immigrant’s eldest son, he left no issue and probably died unmarried.14 A fifth Thomas LIGON (died 1705) was the eldest son of Thomas, Jr.’s, next brother, William LIGON and the heir-at-law of his immigrant grandfather.15


9  Martha Woodroof Hiden and Annie Lash Jester, Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1625 (2nd ed.; n.p., 1964), pp. 202-05; Boddie, Virginia Historical Genealogies, pp. 198-200; Boddie, Southside Virginia Families, v. 2 (Redwood City, Calif., 1956), pp. 128-32; Boddie, Historical Southern Families, v. 4 (Redwood City, Calif., 1960), pp. 190-92, v. 8 (Kailua, Hawaii, 1964), pp. 10-11.

10  LIGON, op. cit., v. 1, pp. 307-08, 100.

11  William LYGON of Calouden, gent., buried at Sowe 16 Aug. 1616 (although possibly the immigrant named his second son after Sir William BERKELEY, a likely sponsor or protector, as well) and Richard LYGON, also called “LIGON” in various English depositions, almost certainly the historian of Barbadoes.

12  Nugent, op. cit., v. 2, pp. 116, 124.  His father is called “Sr.” 18 March 1672/3, but “Col.” 28 Sept. 1672.

13  Pauline P. Warner, ed., Orphans Court Book, 1677-1739, of Henrico County, Virginia (Tappahannock, Va., 1963), pp. 11-12, a transliteration of p. 3 of the original.

14  Waverly K. Winfree, comp., The Laws of Virginia, Being a Supplement to Hening’s The Statutes at Large, 1700-1750 (Richmond, 1971), pp. 344-47.

15  LIGON, op. cit., v. 1, pp. 360-63.

Sergeant John Harris of Charles City County, Virginia

27 April 2009 3 comments

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]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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