From Essex England to the Surry Southern USA

by: Robert E. Harris








Pages 1-19

Pages 133-264


The English place of origin of the particular Harris family to be related herein is located some 40 to 50 miles east-north-east of London and on the north bank of the River Crouch.


The very old village of Cricksea (or Creeksea) exists today on this peninsula in Essex County. Creeksea is located about 2 miles west of Burnham-on-the-Crouch and about 18 miles inland from the North Sea. Anciently called "Danes Island", this area was inhabited largely by Norman families after the conquest in 1066. (from "THE HISTORY OF AN ENGLISH VILLAGE - CRICKSEA" - by Donald A. Rooke, who also quoted English historians, Morant and John Norden)

Here was the home of our immigrant ancestor, John Harris, and his parents, Lady Alice and Sir William Harris[1]

William Harris, the son of Dorothy Waldegrave and Arthur Harris, was born about 1550 and died on November 14, 1616. Alice, the daughter of Alice Judd and Thomas "Customer" Smythe, also died in 1616. They are buried at All Saints Church in Creeksea.a


Sir William Harris was knighted on July 23, 1603 at Otelands by King James I of England a This same king gave us the King James Version of the Bible.


The children of Lady Alice and Sir William Harris were:

a.   Sir Arthur Harris; b. 1584; d. January 9, 1632.

b.   William Harris; b. 1585; d. 1622.

c.   Thomas Harris; b. 1586; d. 1617.

d.   John Harris; b. 1588; d. by October 14, 1638 in Charles City County,   Virginia.

e.   Alice Harris.

f.    Prances Harris.

g.   Elizabeth Harris.

h.   Mary Harris.


A more in depth discussion of the brothers and sisters of John Harris is included in Part II, the English part of this history, beginning on page 888 of the text.


Creeksea Place, the home of Sir William Harris, is located in the Village of Creeksea. The name of this village and estate has been spelled in various ways through the centuries, including Crixseth, a Saxon expression meaning Creek of the Sea. We call it, simply, Creeksea. This estate, presently consisting of about 250 acres, came into the possession of the Harris family about 1516. A large and spacious brick home was completed on this estate in 1569. The project was started by William Harris who died in 1556.

It was completed by his son, Arthur Harris, who died on June 18, 1597. [2]


This Arthur was the grandfather of our immigrant ancestor, John Harris, who was born here. This Harris ancestral Home is still in existence in 1993. An in depth discussion of the history of this estate and pictures of the same, taken as late as May, 1993, is included in Part II of this history, beginning on page 893.


As John Harris was growing up at Creeksea, English business interests were planning ways to develop trade and commerce in North America. The English government, for many good reasons, gave strong support to this effort.

King James I authorized the establishment of two colonies in North America, one in the area now known as Virginia and another further to the north in the area later called Massachusetts. [1]


A group of Englishmen, including some merchants and traders in London, organized a stock company to establish a settlement in Virginia. This was the Virginia Company of London.


Sir Thomas Smythe, the brother of Lady Alice Harris, was the operating officer and Treasurer of the Virginia Company of London. Sir William Harris and his family strongly supported the establishment of this colony.


Sir William Harris, his brother in law, Sir Thomas Smythe and his son, Sir Arthur Harris, each, subscribed 75 pounds of money to the Virginia Company. [2]

Our immigrant ancestor, John Harris, Esquire, son of Sir William Harris, subscribed 37 pounds, 10 shillings to the Virginia Company. c

King James I of England granted the first charter to establish a colony in Virginia on April 10, 1606. This charter, granted to Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers, Richard Hachluit, Edward Maria Wingfield, Thomas Hanham, Raleigh Gilberde, William Parker and George Popham, authorized them "to make habitacion plantation and deduce a colonie of sondrie of our people into that part of America." b

This company furnished the ships, equipment and supplies to settle people in Virginia. Three ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery, landed at a place they named "Jamestown" on May 13, 1607. [3]

Those financing the expedition were hopeful of good returns from their investments. The stern realities of the situation soon cooled those expectations of rewards. Settling in the new world, establishing a safe and healthy environment and producing crops for a profit had to take second place to the goal of merely staying alive. Sickness, starvation, massacre by Indians, and other hardships became the realities of the situation.

The second charter for the Virginia Company of London was granted on May 22, 1609 by King James to Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers and others. This charter granted rights to reorganize the company. The Virginia Company of London was still in dire financial troubles due to the hardships and difficulties of the missions of the Virginia settlements. (b)

The third charter of the Virginia Company of London was approved by King James on March 12, 1612.[4]  This charter was much broader in scope. Those listed as subscribers, adventurers or members had some say in the management of the affairs of the company. Sir Thomas Smythe was reelected Treasurer of the company and served until May 8, 1619 when he was replaced by Sir Edward Sandy.[5] For the purpose of encouraging people to settle in the colony, the company offered 50 acres of land to every individual who would travel to Virginia at his own expense and another 50 acres for each additional person he brought over. (c) This last provision, the basis of the "headright" system, was the foundation of the colony's land policy through the rest of the century.

Early in 1622, the Indians of eastern Virginia made an onslaught on the settlements and killed 347 people, one third of Virginia's total population.[6] An accumulation of problems in 1624 brought the Virginia Company to an end. The charter was revoked, the land and the people passed under the control of the King.[7]

The Virginians, over the next half century, developed the form of local government which they would maintain until the American Revolution. That basic governmental unit was the county --borrowed from rural England.

King Charles II of England, in 1663, granted powers to eight English Lords to grant land to people in the Carolinas. Lord Earl Granville was active in granting land rights in North Carolina after 1744.

Virginia was so named in honor of Queen Elizabeth I, the English "Virgin Queen", who reigned prior to King James I. The James River and Jamestown were named for King James I. The James River settlements were made for several purposes: to colonize, to Christianize, to open new trade areas, and to establish a barrier against further Spainish gains in the new world.

The early settlers in the James River area were not refugees. Many of the settlers were friends of the King. Some were from well-to-do English families. Some were former military personnel and others who were seeking adventure and challenge.

We begin here the lineage of our American Harris family

[1] 19 Univ P

[2] 15 A. Brown

[3] 16 Nugent

[4] 19 Univ P

[5] 16 Nugent

[6] 15 A. Brown

[7] 17 Virginia

[1] Morant

[2] 3 Morant



d1         THOMAS HARRIS; b. 1614; d. 1672.

Thomas was born in England. Thomas arrived, with his parents, in the Virginia Colony at the age of eight years. He grew into manhood in Charles City County, Virginia in an area known as West Second Shirley Hundred. He died in Isle of Wight County, Virginia when he was about 58 years of age.

Thomas married _______________.

Their children:

            1.   John Harris; b. 1635; d. 1713.

            2.   Thomas Harris; b. 1636; d. 1688.

            3.   Mary Harris; b. cir. 1638.

Later, Thomas married Alice West. Alice, most likely, was a daughter of the West family that lived in Shirley Hundred in Charles City County.

Their Children:

4.   Thomas Harris, II; b. After 1651.

5.   Other children.

Thomas and his family moved to the southwest and across the James River to establish their new home in the Pagan Creek area of Isle of Wight County, Virginia. This relocation was about the year 1650. This area has been referred to as a part of the great dismal swamp.

Apparently, their son, Thomas (born about 1636), had remained in Charles City County with other relatives, for a few years, before rejoining his family in their new home.

Thomas obtained several land grants, as follows: on August 14, 1652 he received 40 acres of land at the head of the branches to Pagan Creek; on March 2, 1658 he received 1000 acres on a swamp that runs into the western branch on Nansemand River, this land included two Indian fields; he, also, received another grant of 365 acres in Isle of Wight County; on March 18, 1662 Thomas received a grant of 600 acres in Lancaster County, Virginia. [1]

Thomas and Alice sold 190 acres of land near Pagan Creek to John Bond on October 20, 1664.[2]   John Bond was the husband of Thomas' sister, Dorothy.

Thomas signed his will on March 31, 1672. The will was probated on June 10, 1672. Thomas left his land in Lancaster County, Virginia to John, "his eldest son". He left certain lands, including the "Indian Town lands" to his son, Thomas. Thomas, also, left to his two oldest sons, John and Thomas, equal shares of the land on which he lived, with the request that both of them should live on such land.

Thomas gave his daughter, Mary, certain described items from his property that she was to receive on her wedding day.

Thomas provided that his wife, Alice, could live on the home place for the rest of her life. Thomas gave the remainder of his land to Alice with the admonition that she share such land with "the rest of my children", and to do so at her own discretion. These younger children were not named in the will.

Thomas also named Alice to execute his will.

After the death of Thomas, Alice Harris decided to marry John Sojourner of Virginia. Prior to such marriage, Alice was required to enter a prenuptial agreement with her new husband for the purpose of protecting the property interests of those younger children, who were mentioned, but not named as individuals, in the will of their father. Such an agreement was executed in 1673.

Marital and real property law in Virginia, at the time Alice Harris decided to remarry, was such that a husband could take possession of the real estate owned by his wife and convey it to others as if  he owned it.

Compounding this situation was the fact that the deceased, Thomas Harris, had not described any particular tracts of land which were to become the properties of the unnamed children as individuals or any particular tract of land in which they would share such ownership. Also, Alice was to receive an unspecified share of this land for herself.

Without the prenuptial agreement, prior to the new marriage, Alice's ability to maintain her independence in this situation would have been in question. Also, in this particular situation, the children's property interests would have required the protection of the stated agreement whether or not they were minors.

The legacies received by the named children, John, Thomas and Mary, were described in full and sufficient details in the will. Alice was given no discretion in the properties assigned to them. Titles to such properties passed to each of them upon the death of their father. This was true whether or not they were minors. Their properties were beyond the reach of either Alice or any new husband she might marry. Their properties were protected by the law. They did not need the protection of the 1673 prenuptial agreement and there was no reason for any of them to be parties to it.

After carefully studying the language in this will of 1672, one can reasonably discern two sets of children; the younger set, the unnamed children of Alice, and the older set, John, Thomas and Mary, who were, obviously, the children of a former wife (or wives). There is a clear delineation in the will between the two sets of children.

Consider, for example, the item in the will which follows the mentioning of Thomas' sons, John and Thomas, "It is my will that my loving wife, Alia Harris, shall live on the plantation I am now seated on during her natural life, And not to be any waith disturbed or molested by my sonnes as aforesaid-" One would not expect a departing father to use such language concerning the relationships between one's widow and her natural sons.

Consider, also, the language in the will,"- if my Bonne John should happen to marry and have children then what lands I have herein this my will bequeathed unto him shall of right, belong to him and his heirs lawfully begotten-" The act of Thomas, the departing father, in making this statement about John signifies that John was not married and had no children at this time. The fact that a similar statement was not made with reference to Thomas can be taken as an indication that Thomas was married and had children at this time.

As discussed above, the 1673 prenuptial agreement would only be useful for those unnamed children which shared ownership of land with their mother. One of those minor children was identified, in the agreement, as a son named Thomas Harris.

We have found that the naming of more than one child in a family by the same given name is not an ordinary practice, and neither is it a rare event. Several families in this history have done so. The writer's mother and one of her older brothers were given the same ancestral name, Bruce. Similar events have occurred in many families.

The widow, Alice West Harris, remarried in 1673 to John Sojourner in Virginia.

[1] 16 Nugent

[2] 20 Colonial



d2         DOROTHY HARRIS; b. 1619; d. 1684.

Dorothy was born in England. Dorothy came to the Virginia Colony with her parents when she was about three years of age. Dorothy grew up in the West Second Shirley Hundred area of Charles City County, Virginia.

Dorothy was married to John Baker at a very young age. Apparently John was a much older man who had previously been married. After they were married and on November 20, 1637, John Baker received a grant of land in Charles City County due in right of his first wife, Pericilla Palmer. He also received land in the right of another previous wife, Alice, who was also deceased.[1]

John Baker died prior to March 10, 1655. A land transaction on that date involving 270 acres in Shirley Hundred referred to Dorothy as "the relic of John Baker."

Dorothy married John Bond early in the 1650's.

According to a deposition John Bond gave on August 9, 1664, he was born in 1619. John was a citizen of Charles City County, Virginia.

John and Dorothy Bond moved to Isle of Wight County and lived as neighbors to her brother, Thomas, and his family.

John Bond, on January 18, 1663, sold a corn mill at the head of Pagan Creek to Thomas Harris. They had also acquired some land from Thomas Harris on October 20, 1664.

Captain John Bond was promoted to the rank of Major in the Isle of Wight Militia. He also served in the Virginia House of Burgesses 1653-54.[2]

Major John Bond was Sheriff of Isle of Wight County in 1656.

John Bond signed his will on January 6, 1668. The will was probated May 3, 1669.

Therefore, John Bond was born 1619 and died 1669, at age of 50 years.

John Bond named his wife, Dorothy, to execute his will. He also named his three children and certain friends, including Captain Francis England, Arthur Smith and Richard Sharpe. He left some property to Richard Sharpe.

Dorothy Bond signed her will on July 10, 1684. It was probated on October 9, 1684. She made Richard Sharpe a trustee to care for her grandson, William Watson; to live with him until he became of age. "If Sharpe dies before such time, William was to live with his uncles (William Bond and John Bond)."

Richard Sharpe was to provide for him two years of schooling. This will provision indicates the premium and also the scarcity of schooling in those times.

Richard Sharpe was the husband of Ann Harris, daughter of Thomas and Alice Harris and niece of Dorothy Bond.

Children of John and Dorothy Bond:

      1.   William Bond.

      2.   John Bond.

      3.   Frances Bond.

[1] 20 Colonial

[2] 21 Hennings



d22       JOHN BOND

John married _________ Bell.

      Their son:

      1. John Bond.

John Bond's will was signed February 14, 1687. The will was probated April 9, 1688.

John named John Bell, his wife's brother, to execute his will. Evidently, his wife had been previously married and had a son, William Maynard.

John Bond provided in his will that John Bell should live on his plantation to "bring up the two children with the estate of learning."

He left bequests to his son, his step son and also to his nephew, William Watson.



d23       FRANCES BOND

Frances married John Watson.

      Their children:

      1.   John Watson.

      2.   Mary Watson.

      3.   William Watson.

Evidently, Frances and John Watson had died prior to 1684, leaving their youngest child to live with his grandmother, Dorothy Bond.



d3         JOHN HARRIS; b. May 1, 1624; d. 1664 or after.

John, youngest son of John and Dorothy Calcott Harris, was born in London while his parents were visiting in England from the Virginia Colony. Records concerning John and his activity are very scarce.

According to colonial records, John was living in Shirley Hundred in 1645. Other records show him living in Charles City County in 1664.

He was referred to in some of the records as a "London Merchant."

Evidently, he had established relations with trading establishments in London. Perhaps he had visited London.

The exact date and place of his death is unknown.



d11       JOHN HARRIS; b. 1635; d. 1713.

John was born in West Second Shirley Hundred, Charles City County, Virginia. He moved with his family to Isle of Wight County about 1650 and lived on Pagan Creek.[1]

John and his brother, Thomas, received joint land grant in Isle of Wight County. Os April 20, 1685 they received 365 acres of land on the north side of Ashen Swamp and on the west side of Seawards Creek.

John married Margaret Hobbs, daughter of Francis Hobbs and sister of Francis Hobbs, Jr. John was at least 40 years of age when he was married.

      Children of John and Margaret Hobbs Harris:

      1.   Margaret Harris; b. June 13, 1682.

      2.   Alice Harris; b. June 17, 1685.

After the death of Margaret, John married Elizabeth Church on April 13, 1689. After marrying Elizabeth Church, John became a devout member of the Quakers.

John's family records are found in the Quaker records. John died in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.

      Children of John and Elizabeth Church Harris:

      3.   Elizabeth Harris; b. March 15, 1692.

      4.   Isabella Harris; b. April 17, 1695. Isabella married Nicholas Fulgham in 1736.

      5.   Susannah Harris; b. Nov. 19, 1699.

      6.   Anne Harris; b. Nov. 18, 1702.

      7.   Mary Harris; b. May 12, 1706.

      8.   Martha Harris.

[1] 13 Boddie, p.20.



d12       THOMAS HARRIS; b. 1636;  d. 1688.

Thomas was born in Charles City County, Virginia.

Apparently, Thomas did not move to Isle of Wight County, Virginia until about the time of his father's death.[1]

Thomas received land in Isle of Wight County from his father's estate, one half of the land where his father had lived and also 280 acres which included the Indian lands.

Thomas and his brother, John, had also received lands as grants. Thomas witnessed a deed signed by William Boddie in 1677. Thomas bought 150 acres of land from Philip and Sarah Raiford in 1687. Thomas was granted 183 acres of land in Isle of Wight County in 1685. Thomas witnessed the will of Francis Hobbs on March 4, 1687. Thomas married Ann Martin in Charles City County, Virginia.

Apparently, Ann died before he did.

Thomas signed his own will on March 16, 1688. The will was probated October 7, 1688. The will of Thomas tells the sad story of a 52 year old man leaving nine children without a mother and most of them being very young.

After expressing his faith in God, Thomas divided his property between his children, giving his plantation to his oldest son, Edward.

Edward was also named to execute the will. At this time, Edward was about 25 years of age.

Thomas provided in his will (in keeping with the custom of the time) for two overseers for his estate. These were John Fulgham and John Turner.

The extreme care Thomas took to assure the welfare and safety of his children revealed his tenderness, love and concern for his children.

Thomas directed that his sons, Robert, George and Martin remain on the plantation with Edward for the present year and thereafter Robert would live with John Fulgham for three years; George would live with John Turner for four years and Martin would live with his brother, Edward, for five years.

Further, the youngest son, William, would live with Bridgeman Joyner for seven years. Ann Harris would live with Mrs. Ann Sharpe for seven years.

Ann Sharpe was a sister of Thomas Harris. Thomas' daughter, Jane, was already married.

Thomas also left these explicit instructions: If my son, Edward, my overseers, or either of them shall find that any of my children be abused; that either of them may have the liberty of removing them to some other place where they shall think fit.

      The children of Thomas and Ann Martin Harris:

      1.   Edward Harris; b. 1663, d. 1734.

      2.   Jane Harris; b. 1664.

      3.   John Harris; b. 1665.

      4.   Thomas Harris; b. 1667; d. 1712.

      5.   Robert Harris; b. 1674; d. 1740.

      6.   George Harris; b. 1675; d. 1720.

      7.   Martin Harris; b. 1676; d. 1750.

      8.   William Harris; b. 1677; d. 1740.

      9.   Ann Harris; b. 1678.

[1] 13 Boddie, p.21.



d13 ANN HARRIS; b. 1638; d. after 1688.

Ann was born in Charles City County, Virginia.

Ann moved with her family to Isle of Wight County about 1650.

Ann married Richard Sharpe. [1]

Ann's brother, Thomas Harris, provided in his will of 1688 that his daughter Ann Harris should live with Ann and Richard Sharpe.

Also, her aunt, Dorothy Harris Bond, provided in her will of 1684 that Ann and Richard Sharpe should care for and educate her grandson, William Watson.

Nothing has been found to indicate that Ann and Richard Sharpe had children of their own. However, they did provide homes for their relatives, Ann Harris and William Watson.

The date of Ann Sharpe's death is not known, but it was after 1688.

Richard Sharpe's will was signed January 15, 1699. He provided for his niece, Ann Harris, in that will.

[1] 13 Boddie, p.20



d121 EDWARD HARRIS; b. 1663; d. 1734.

Edward was born and died in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.

Edward inherited the plantation owned by his father, Thomas Harris.

Edward also received several land grants in Isle of Wight County, as follows: on November 13, 1713 he received 540 acres on the south side of the main Blackwater Swamp, beginning at the fork of Warrick Branch; on March 24, 1725 he received 250 acres of land on the south side of the main Blackwater Swamp, beginning at the mouth of Brushy Branch on the north side of Warrick Branch; on September 17, 1731 he received 180 acres on the north side of Meherrin River, beginning on the west side of the flat swamp at the corner of land owned by Henry Harris.

Edward conveyed the 540 acres of land on the south side of the main Blackwater Swamp to his brother, Robert Harris, on April 20, 1715.

Edward married Mary Turner about 1685. Mary was the daughter of John and Mary Tomlin Turner.

Edward signed his will on April 27, 1733. The will was probated March 25, 1734. Edward made the following devises, all in Isle of Wight County:

To his son, Edward - 240 acres of land that had been received from his father, Thomas Harris.

To his son, Jacob - 190 acres gained by patent on the flat swamp of the Meherrin River.

To his sons, Nathan and West, to be equally divided - 250 acres of land gained by patent and lying on the north side of the Warrick Branch and adjoining the plantation "where I dwell."

To his son, Daniel - the land and plantation whereon I now dwell, 250 acres.

      Children of Edward and Mary Harris:

      1.   Daniel Harris; b.1695; d.1765.

      2.   Edward Harris; b. 1698; d. 1740.

      3.   Jacob Harris; b.1701; d.1762.

      4.   Martha Harris; b. 1705; married ________Williamson.

      5.   Ann Harris; b. 1709.

      6.   Nathan Harris; b. 1712; d. 1793.

      7.   West Harris; b. Aug. 4, 1715; d. May 14,1795.

      8.   James Harris; b. 1718.



d122 JANE HARRIS; b. 1664.

Jane was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Jane was married prior to her father's (Thomas Harris) death in 1688. Jane married _____ Jones.

Jane Jones was remembered in the will of John Sturdy in 1702 for "her care in looking after me in ye time of my affliction." John Sturdy also named Jane's daughter, Sarah Jones, to be his "god-daughter"[1] His will was witnessed by William Harris, Mildred Harris and John Barrett.

      Children of Jane and __________Jones.

      1.   Joseph Jones.

      2.   J. William Jones.

      3.   Sarah Jones.

[1] 13 Boddie, p.23-24



d123 John Harris; b. 1665.

John was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.

John and his brother, Thomas Harris, agreed on March 26, 1711 to divide the land that they had jointly owned. This 350 acres of land had been acquired by them as a grant on April 30, 1685. This land was located at the head of Lawns Creek. They also divided the land that their father, Thomas Harris, had given to them. They vowed to maintain their brotherly love for each other and their families. a

One report advised that John and his family moved to northeastern North Carolina.



d124 Thomas Harris; b. 1667; d. 1712.

Thomas was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Thomas married Judith Edwards, a daughter of Robert and Mary Hunt Edwards. Thomas and his brother, John Harris, agreed on March 26, 1711 to divided the land they had jointly owned (as described above in the account of his brother, John; born 1665). a

Thomas, in 1692, made a deposition in which he stated that he was 25 years of age. a

Lieutenant Thomas Harris of the county militia, and other officers of the county, in 1702, signed an address of loyalty to Queen Anne of England. They stated in this document that they "resented the attempt made upon our religion, laws and liberty by the unaccountable action of the French King in owning and declaring the pretended Prince of Wales to be the king of England.[1]

The estate of Thomas Harris was appraised by R. Proctor, John Harrison, Philip Wheadon and James Wilson. It was signed by Judith Harris on March 23, 1712 in Isle of Wight County. a

      Children of Judith and Thomas Harris a

      1.   Thomas Harris; d. 1730.

2.   Henry Harris; d. 1755.

3.   Benjamin Harris.

(Note: Some family historians have expressed problems with the above account of the children of Judith and Thomas Harris as listed by the historian, John Bennett Boddie. Perhaps, further research will better sort out these relationships.)

After the death of Thomas, Judith married     Clark. This was shown in the will of Mary Hunt Edwards Boddie, the mother of Judith. The will was dated 1727: She referred to her daughter as Judith Clark.

[1] Boddie



d124     THOMAS HARRIS; b.; d. 1730.

Thomas was born and died in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Thomas married Hannah _______.  Thomas signed his will December 25, 1729. The will was probated March 23, 1730. His estate was divided as follows:

1.   All of his children, including the one in Essex, were to share in the personal property, after the death of his wife, Hannah.

2.   The plantation, including 400 acres of land, to his son, Joshua Harris.

3.   The land on the other side of the harbor was to go to the unborn child if it is a boy.

4.   One-half of the residue of the estate to go to the wife, Hannah.

5.   Hannah Harris and brother, Henry Harris, to execute the will.

Children of Thomas and Hannah Harris:

1.   Joshua Harris; b.     ; d. 1770. Joshua died in Southampton County, Virginia. His estate was recorded June 14, 1770.

      2.   Mary Harris.

      3.   Thomas Harris; b. 1729; d. 1770.



d124     THOMAS HARRIS; b. 1729; d. 1770.

Thomas was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Thomas married Sarah Lane, daughter of Richard Lane of Isle of Wight County, Virginia about 1760. Thomas and Sarah moved to Granville County (later Bute & Warren Counties), North Carolina.

Thomas, on January 27, 1755, conveyed to Joshua Harris of Southampton County, Virginia (his brother) "land granted Thomas Harris the elder (his father) by patent dated March 24, 1725."

Thomas signed his will January, 1768. The will was probated in Bute County, North Carolina in August, 1770.

Children of Thomas and Sarah Harris: [1].

1.   West Harris.

                  2.   Elizabeth Harris.

                  3.   Solomon Harris. Solomon married Milley Watkins on March 11, 1778 in Granville  County, North Carolina.

[1] 13 Boddie



d124     HENRY HARRIS; d. 1755.


Henry was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Henry married Mary Drew, granddaughter of Edward Drew of Southampton County, Virginia. Henry was involved in the appraisals of the following estates in Isle of Wight and Southampton Counties in Virginia:

Estate of Richard Thomas, 1752. Estate of John Scott, 1754. Estate of Henry Pearson, 1754.

Henry died intestate in Southampton County, Virginia in 1755.

NOTE: For a continuation of this account, see d124/2 on page 120.



d125     ROBERT HARRIS; b. 1674; d. 1740.

Robert was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. He died in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.

Robert was about fourteen years of age when his father, Thomas Harris, died. His mother, Ann Martin Harris, had died prior to his father's death. Thomas Harris, prior to his death, had arranged for Robert to live out the year, 1688, on the plantation with his older brother, Edward. The next three years would be spent in the household of his father's friend, John Fulgham, and his family. This should have brought Robert to the age of eighteen years.

Robert married Ann Fulgham. Ann, the daughter of Michael and Ann Feneryear Fulgham, was born about 1683. Ann's grandparents were Captain Anthony and Martha Fulgham and Richard and Rebecca Izard. [1] They lived in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Their home, in 1749, became a part of the newly created Southampton County. Robert acquired 540 acres of land on the south side of the main Blackwater Swamp, beginning at the fork of Warrick Branch, on April 20, 1715 from his older brother, Edward Harris. This land is located in the northeast corner of present day Southampton County and east of the community of Ivor.

Robert signed his will on March 22, 1739. The will was probated on April 28, 1740. Robert gave each of his children at least some part of his estate. He divided his land equally between his youngest sons, James and Matthew.

One of the distressing penalties of living in Isle of Wight County, as well as many other similar areas in the colonies, was the lack of educational opportunities for the children.

The small communities that had developed along the James River had, without doubt, developed some types of educational opportunities for their youth by the middle of the seventeenth century.

The situation in Isle of Wight County was aggravated by the lack of transportation facilities. The land was flat and swampy. The plantations were scattered over many miles. Transportation facilities were quite crude and subject to bad weather conditions.

There was no school system at all for the generation represented by the children of Thomas and Ann Martin Harris. The full brunt of the lack of educational opportunities was brought to bear on this generation.

None of this generation could write. Children growing up on the isolated plantations of this area, whether of the owners or otherwise, lacked schooling opportunities.

This condition improved toward the middle of the eighteenth century. Virginia enacted, in 1642, a law that created a "workhouse school" at James City. Each county was entitled to send two children to this school. There, besides being reared as Anglicans, the children were to be "instructed in honest and profitable trades and manufactures as well as to avoid sloth and idleness."[2]

Virginia also chartered a university for Henrico County, but a massacre of nearly all of the inhabitants of that area shattered the plan.

William and Mary College was chartered and constructed in 1693 in Williamsburg.

Educational opportunities for these children growing up in Isle of Wight County in the seventeenth century were far different from those available for their great grandfather, John Harris, in England. John Harris, child of a wealthy family in Essex County, England, had his pick of the best schools in England.

The next generation, the children of Robert Harris, could read and write.

Parents of children growing up at this time were very much concerned about the education of their youth. This concern is evident from the few family documents that have survived, their wills.

Note in the will of Dorothy Harris Bond her concern for the education of their young ones.

      Children of Robert and Ann Fulgham Harris: [3]

      1.   Robert Harris; b. c. 1710; d. c. 1788.

      2.   John Harris; b. c. 1712; d. 1790.

      3.   Michael Harris; b. c. 1714; d. 1794.

      4.   Charles Harris; b. c. 1716; d. November 4, 1786.

      5.   Joseph Harris; b. c. 1718; d. 1797.

      6.   James Harris; b. c. 1720; d. 1800.

      7.   Matthew Harris; b. c. 1722; d. 1813.

      8.   Ann Harris; b. c. 1724.

[1] Isle of Wight County wills; Michael Fulgham - 1690 and Anthony Fulgham - 1669.

[2] 1 Brit 6:358d

[3] 13 Boddie, p.27 & 33 Harris NC



d126 GEORGE HARRIS; b. 1675; d. 1720.

George was born and died in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. George married Martha about 1700. George signed his will on December 15, 1719. The will was probated August 22, 1720.

      Children of George and Martha Harris:

      1.   George Harris; b. 1703.

      2.   Robert Harris; b. 1705.

      3.   Elizabeth Harris; b. 1707.

      4.   Sarah Harris; b. 1709.

      5.   Joseph Harris; b. 1711.

      6.   William Harris; b. 1713.



d127 MARTIN HARRIS; b. 1676; d. 1750.

Martin was born and died in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Martin signed his will on February 1, 1747. The will was probated April 12, 1750. Martin had no children or wife. Martin gave his plantation to James Harris, son of his brother Robert Harris.

Martin chided James for failing to share Robert's estate with Matthew Harris as directed by Robert's will.

Martin made other gifts to his nephews.



d128 WILLIAM HARRIS; b. 1677; d. 1740.

William was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. William married Rebecca William's estate was appraised by John Bowin, John Dawson and Nicholas Williams.



d129     ANN HARRIS; b. 1678.

Ann was born in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Ann, in accordance with her father's will, lived with her Aunt Ann Harris Sharpe and Richard Sharpe.[1]

[1] Boddie p.25


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Pages 133-264

2010 Estate of Robert E. Harris,  Ginger L. Christmas-Beattie, Nola Duffy or individual contributors.    No portion of this any document appearing on this site is to be used for other than personal research.  Any republication or reposting is expressly forbidden without the written consent of the owner.08/20/2016