Thursday, May 25, 2017

Gideon Harrison 1694-1729

Who was Gideon Harrison?

Last Revised: 26 May 2017

Gideon Harrison was a son of the well-known Isaiah Harrison clan. Isaiah Harrison was married twice. His first wife was Elizabeth Wright (daughter of Gideon Wright and Elizabeth Townsend) and they married about 1688, their oldest child Isaiah Jr arriving in 1689. After Isaiah Jr, other children born to this marriage were John (1691), Gideon (1694), Mary (1696) (m. Robert Cravens), and Elizabeth (1698). Following the fifth child, Isaiah's wife Elizabeth passed away.

Soon thereafter he married again, to Abigail Smith. While the children of Isaiah's first wife are clearly documented with birth dates, in the town records of Long Island, NY, we are not so lucky with the fruit of the second marriage, other than the fact that those children started arriving about 1701, with Daniel. Following Daniel, was Joseph (1702-04), then Thomas (1704-05), then Jeremiah (ca. 1707; m. Elizabeth Patterson), then Abigail (ca. 1710; m. Alexander Herring), and also Lydia (ca. 1706; m. Samuel Stewart), and lastly Samuel (1712-13). There may have been other children, but these are the ones we know of.

Not much has survived about Gideon, however. We know that he was born on 25 June 1694 at Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY (as were all of his siblings). He bought 75 acres of land on 5 Feb 1723 in what later became the town of Milton, Delaware (DE), in Sussex Co. His father Isaiah had purchased the 907 acre Maiden Plantation about 3 miles south of Gideon's location, in 1721, at what is now Harbeson, DE. Gideon died in 1729 in DE, and we learn that his widow was named Hannah, and that they had "heirs". No names were recorded for their children, but there were at least two for certain. 

However, there are more records regarding Gideon than most people are aware of. The following records are a roster of documented facts known about Gideon Harrison.

Birth (Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY)

25 June 1694 Gideon Harrison, son of Isaiah Harrison and Elizabeth Wright.

Court (Sussex Co, DE)

188. August 1728 Grand Jury: ..., John Harrison, Gideon Harrison, ...
192. August 1728 John Price vs Gideon Harrison.  Continued to this Term ...
197. August 1728 Wm. Till Esq. vs Gideon Harrison ...
199. August 1728 Grand Jury: ..., John Harrison, Gideon Harrison, ...
201. November 1728 John Price et uon vs Gideon Harrison.  Continued ...
209. February 1728(9) Grand Jury: ..., John Harrison, Gideon Harrison, ...
211. February 1728(9) John Price et uon. vs Gideon Harrison ...
242. 5 August 1729 William Till Esqr vs Adm of Gideon Harrison ...
258. 4 November 1729 William Till Esqr. Vs Gideon Harrison Adms ...
269. 3 February 1729(0) William Till Esqr. vs Gideon Harrison ...

Deed (Sussex Co, DE)

A-264. February 1722 [1723] John Fisher and Elizabeth his wife to Gideon Harrison75 acres on branch of Broad Creek part of 1000 acres called Millford purch by the said John Fisher from Thomas Bedwell and Honour, his wife executrix of the will of William Clark, late of Lewes Town, Sussex County, gentleman, deceased.

F6-049. 5 February 1722/3 John Fisher, yeoman, of Sussex to Gideon Harrison, yeoman, of same for 30 pounds, 75 acres on a branch of Broad Creek bounded by Kings Road at the Round Pole Branch ... Witnesses: William Seltheridge, Phil. Russel.  Acknowledged: February 1722/3.

F6-368. 8 May 1730 Ryves Holt, sheriff of Sussex to Daniel Harrison for 20 pounds, 75 acres on lower side of Kings Road at the Round Pole Branch.  Land belonging to Gideon Harrison who was indebted to Wm. Till of the Loan Office who brought suit on 4 November 1729. Land sold at public auction to Daniel Harrison.  Witnesses: Henry Fisher, Joseph Pemberton.

G7-215. 12 April 1737 Daniel Harrison, yeoman of Sussex to Henry Scidmore, yeoman of same, for 30 pounds, 75 acres on a branch of Broad Creek bounded by the lower side of Kings Road at the Round Pole Branch and by a fork of Round Pole Branch, part of larger tract of 1000 acres known as Millford ... land bought at auction for 20 pounds on 8 May 1730 as a result of the non payment of debt by Gideon Harrison.  Signed: Daniel Harrison.  Witnesses: Jacob Phillips, Jacob Kollock.  Acknowledged: May 1737.

Will (Sussex Co, DE)

1-010. 13 June 1729 Hannah Harrison widow & administratrix of Gideon Harrison. Inventory is £87.5.0. Accounts are £71.4.6. Distribution to: widow (1/3), heirs (unnamed).

A Closer Look at Gideon Harrison

As previously shown, Gideon served on juries several times in Sussex County, the last date being February 1729 with his brother John Harrison. Sussex Co., DE Will Book 1, page 10 says "13 June 1729 Hannah Harrison widow & administratrix of Gideon Harrison. Inventory is £87.5.0. Accounts are £71.4.6. Distribution to: widow (1/3), heirs (unnamed)." Therefore we can deduce that Gideon died between February and June 13 of 1729.

Gideon probably got married between 1715 and 20. He probably began having children in the late 1710's and throughout the 1720's, perhaps. Gideon's younger half-brother, Daniel, bought his 75 acre tract at auction in 1730 in order to preserve the land for Gideon's family, apparently. This was later sold in 1737, when most of these Harrisons began selling their DE land in preparation to move to the Shenandoah Valley of VA. Old Isaiah Harrison Sr. died en route to the Shenandoah in either late 1737 or early 1738.

One note about the location of Gideon's land in DE. Robert Patterson's 106 acre tract was located one mile west of Gideon, with a small road running directly between the two tracts (Sand Hill Road, which runs from Gravel Hill Road to Harbeson Road). And bounding the north side of Patterson's tract was Robert Cravens Sr., who was married to Mary Harrison, sister of Gideon.

Who knows how many children Gideon had, especially daughters? But there were at least two male Harrisons that showed up in the Augusta Co VA records in the 1750's and 60's that "could" have been sons of Gideon. They could have also been sons of Samuel, bear in mind, but the possibility certainly exists that they were sons of Gideon. This was first proposed by J. Houston Harrison, author of the seminal book Settlers by the Long Grey Trail. He mentions the Gideon that died in 1761, and the John who "left the colony" in 1765, as two potential sons of the older Gideon Harrison. See below.

With that in mind, who was this third John Harrison that is mentioned in 1765 as having left the colony of VA? Where did he go? How old was he? Those are questions that cannot be answered for certain. But some interesting clues become tantalizing when poring over the Augusta records through this prism. 

When I say "third John Harrison", I mean that the other two well known John Harrisons were Sr and Jr, father and son. The father being born 1691 and older brother of Gideon born 1694. And the son, John Jr, died in the 1760's when he was murdered by a slave, having no heirs of his own. So who was this third John Harrison named in 1765 after John Jr was already dead?

A Deeper Dive into the Augusta Co., VA Records

In September 1758 the colony of VA passed a law to reimburse colonists on the frontier for costs they had incurred during the defense of the colony during the French and Indian War. Many of these Harrisons and Pattersons (sometimes spelled Peterson) were named. It's hard in many cases to tell which John Harrison is which, and so forth.

However, in one such case, there were three individuals named together on the same record (see for more details). In this one line, it named "John Harrison, Nathaniel Harrison, and Thomas Peterson" together. And two lines above it was named Gideon Harrison.

I am inclined to believe that this John Harrison in particular, and the Gideon just above him, were brothers, and sons of the older Gideon who died in 1729 in DE -- just as J. Houston Harrison suggested in his book. I know this is my Thomas Patterson and the Nathaniel Harrison that moved to the Kings Mtn / Clarks Fork SC area in the 1760's. I know both of them were born by 1740 or perhaps a little earlier.

Taking it one step further, I also think there's a strong likelihood that this Nathaniel was a son of this John Harrison. For reasons we may never fully understand, my Thomas Patterson appears to have had a significant relationship with them, but this was three years BEFORE Thomas Patterson married Margaret Harrison. Regardless, it seems Nathaniel may have been an older child of John Harrison, and that Thomas Harrison (also moved to SC with Nathaniel), as well as Margaret Harrison, were younger children of said John. William Cravens' wife, Jane Harrison, may have been an older child of John also, or perhaps even a sister of John. But I tend to believe she was a sister of the other three Harrisons who moved to Clarks Fork (Kings Mtn) in York Co SC.

Nathaniel Harrison's only known child was Joseph Harrison, born 1762. Therefore, Nathaniel could have been born around 1740, give or take a couple years. That would then suggest that this John Harrison would have to have been born by 1720 at the latest, if not earlier. In order for said John Harrison to have been a son of old Gideon Harrison (1694-1729), John probably was not born earlier than 1715, however. But the math DOES work. Not proof of anything, just a matter of working the math to see if we can rule out the possibility of their relationship. At this point, the possibility is still there.

Did John Harrison go to SC when he "left the colony" of VA in 1765? No record has been found of him in SC to my knowledge. I cannot prove that he was the father of the Kings Mtn Harrisons. But Thomas Harrison and Thomas Patterson (m. Margaret Harrison) and William Cravens (m. Jane Harrison) did have sons named John, and that was new for the Pattersons. John Harrison did not have to obtain land in SC necessarily. One or more of his children could have done so and he could have lived with them. 

It should be pointed out at this time that when the original land warrants for Clarks Fork were entered, Nathaniel Harrison and Thomas Patterson entered 100 acres each. By the time the tracts were surveyed and later granted, they had rearranged the allotments and Harrison surveyed 140 acres, while Patterson only surveyed 60. That tells me there were more families living on the Harrison portion, such as Nathaniel Harrison and his brother Thomas Harrison, and possibly their father John Harrison, as well. And their sister Margaret and her husband, Thomas Patterson, lived on the 60 acre tract next to them. The Land Warrants, Surveys, and Grants interchangeably spelled these Pattersons as either Patterson, or Paterson, or Petterson. There is no doubt as to their true identities, however.

The following map shows the tracts of land as they join each other on Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek in York Co SC near modern day Smyrna, SC. From top to bottom is shown Matthew Black who married Margaret Ponder, followed by Nathaniel Harrison who married Rachel ____, then Thomas Patterson (son of Robert and Sarah Patterson) who married Margaret Harrison, then Robert Black who married Majey Cravens (sister of William Cravens and daughter of Robert Cravens Sr and Mary Harrison), followed by Robert Patterson Sr who married Sarah _____ (father of Thomas Patterson). Not shown here, but also nearby was Robert Cravens Jr who married Esther Harrison (dau. of Jeremiah Harrison and Elizabeth Patterson). This latter couple didn't live on this land, but it is believed his brother, William Cravens, lived here for 7 years. William Cravens married Jane Harrison

The Cravens siblings were Robert Jr, William, and Majey. They were children of Robert Cravens Sr and Mary Harrison (dau. of Isaiah Harrison Sr).

The Harrison siblings were Nathaniel, Thomas (chain carrier for some of the surveys), Jane, and Margaret. My belief is they were children of John and Mary Harrison, with this latter John being a son of Gideon Harrison (1694-1729).

The Harrison siblings from the older generations mentioned were Gideon (b. 1694), Mary (m. Robert Cravens), Jeremiah (m. Elizabeth Patterson), and a brief mention was made to John Harrison Sr - meaning the one who was born 1691 and was a brother to Gideon, Mary and Jeremiah.

Pattersons mentioned here were Robert and Sarah Patterson, and their children Robert Jr, Thomas, and a daughter who married Daniel Ponder Jr. Daniel Ponder Jr's sister Margaret is the one who married Matthew Black, an apparent brother of the afore-mentioned Robert Black. These families were extremely inter-married in many different ways. And they lived contiguously here in SC (and later in Buncombe Co NC), as well as previously in Augusta Co VA along Linville Creek near Harrisonburg, and also previously in Sussex Co DE near the modern towns of Milton and Harbeson, DE.

The DNA Link

The Buncombe Co NC Harrisons (who have been proven to be the Kings Mtn Harrisons) are known to be a DNA match with the Isaiah Harrison clan. There is no doubt of a connection. The doubt is in the precise details of said connection. Was their branch the Gideon branch (through his son John)? The 1758 record listing John and Nathaniel Harrison, with Thomas Patterson, all together, really gets my attention. Keep in mind, this Nathaniel Harrison later signed the 1775 Will of Robert Patterson, in York Co., SC, who was the father of Thomas Patterson.

Another "John Harrison" record should be referenced in this post that perhaps is not as clear as I previously assumed. There was an estate record (Wills) on March 7, 1738(9) in Sussex Co, DE that included names such as Daniel Ponder, Samuel Stewart, John Harrison, and Sarah Patterson. See below.

7 March 1738(9) John Lullom executor of Matth. Dowling (or Downey / Downing). Inventory is £82.2.5. Payments to: Samuel Digenson, Mary Dingey, Antho. Everlo, John Reed, Rach. Harefield, Robert Smith, Benjamin Shaw, Daniel Ponder, Samuel Stuart, Jeremi Claypole, John Hall (tanner), Jacob Kollock, Chris. Phillipson, John Harrison, Sarah Patterson, William Cook, Samuel Hand. Accounts are £ Distribution to: heirs (unnamed).

In previous years I assumed this John Harrison to be the 1691 (birth year) son of Isaiah. And it may very well have been. But as you can see from the estate record above, John Harrison was listed next to Sarah Patterson. Sarah was the wife of Robert Patterson, and they were the parents of my Thomas Patterson. This estate record was a full year after my Pattersons had sold their Delaware land. John Harrison Sr had also sold his DE land prior to this time. Were the Pattersons and some of the Harrisons still in DE? Or, had they already moved to VA like the rest of the Harrisons?

Perhaps Sarah Patterson had remained in DE while the men had moved on to VA looking for land to settle on. Perhaps this John Harrison was the son of Gideon, instead. If so, with him having been born ca. 1715-20, he would have been 19 to 24 years old at the time of this 1739 estate record, and presumably closer to the 24 mark. Was this John Harrison (son of Gideon and Hannah), or was John's wife Mary, somehow related to Sarah ____ Patterson? We may never know. But these are interesting questions to ponder.

As for Daniel Ponder and Samuel Stewart in this same estate record... Daniel Ponder was married to Jemima Bennett. They would later move to Augusta Co Va also, and then to the Kings Mountain area of SC like the Pattersons, Harrisons, Cravens, and Blacks. Daniel Ponder Jr would later marry Elizabeth Patterson, daughter of Robert and Sarah Patterson. Would this John Harrison have a daughter named Margaret that would later marry another child of Robert and Sarah Patterson? Robert and Sarah's son Thomas Patterson did in fact marry a Margaret Harrison, and their oldest son was named John Patterson - also my direct ancestor. Was he named for his grandfather - John Harrison? Was this him in 1739?

Samuel Stewart was married to Lydia Harrison, daughter of Isaiah. They would later move to Augusta Co Va and then later to the Yadkin Valley in NC, along with the Joseph Harrison branch of the Isaiah clan.


One caveat to this entire line of thinking... the name Gideon does not appear to show up in any of these families in later generations. So the trail really goes cold on Gideon and his family. However, the clues surrounding this "third John Harrison" of Augusta Co VA may just be enough to tie these NC/SC/VA Harrisons to the Gideon Harrison family of Sussex Co DE.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Location of Clarks Fork Tracts in York Co SC

Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek, York Co SC

By Wes Patterson

Last Revised: 2017-04-24

Modern day York Co SC contains the location where my ancestors (Pattersons, Blacks, Harrisons, et al) lived during the 1760's through the early 1800's. It was originally known as Craven Co SC, then it was claimed by NC during the 1760's and 70's under the counties of Anson, then Mecklenburg, then Tryon. Once the boundary line was re-surveyed west of the Catawba River, it was deemed that this location was indeed within SC, and it was designated under the newly formed York County. For decades, it was also known as Camden District, which included many surrounding counties.

Bullocks Creek is one of the main tributaries of the Broad River in this northern county. One of the main forks of Bullocks Creek is Clarks Fork, on the west side of Bullocks Creek. Both run north to south. Bullocks Creek starts east of Kings Mountain, while Clarks Fork starts within the modern boundaries of the Kings Mtn State Park. As Clarks Fork flows south, it passes near the town of Smyrna, SC.

From Smyrna to Kings Mtn is a stretch of land that was heavily settled during the 1760's and later decades. This is ground zero for my Pattersons, and their relatives, the Harrisons, Blacks, Cravens, et al. While I'm not sure whether or not I descend from the Cravens, I know I descend from the Pattersons, Blacks, and Harrisons.

Over the last several years, Harald Reksten and I have obtained many land records. Harald's efforts have been quite comprehensive. This includes grants, warrants, plats, and deeds - from both NC and SC - covering this Clarks Fork region. There are hundreds of records in question, and I recently narrowed the list down to a few hundred. In particular, I am concentrating on about 45 or 50 key tracts of land, and following the chain of title from one owner to the next as best I can.

This is an on-going process, but it seems I have at least half, if not 2/3 of the plats in question already. I will soon be ordering the remaining plats, so that I can plot all of these tracts of land in my Deedmapper program. My attempt will be to isolate precisely where these key families lived. More to come on this later.

For now, the key families I'm hoping to plot are as follows:

  • Robert and Sarah Patterson
  • Thomas and Margaret Harrison Patterson
  • Nathaniel and Rachel Harrison
  • Peter Patterson
  • Robert and Mabel Patterson
  • James Patterson
  • Daniel and Elizabeth Patterson Ponder (Jr)
  • Joseph and Sarah Patterson Black
  • Matthew and Margaret Ponder Black
  • Robert and Magy Cravens Black
  • Robert Cravens (William Cravens)
  • William Wilson
  • James Wilson
  • Gowen Black
  • William McElwee
  • James McElwee
  • Jesse Ponder
  • Jeremiah Cravens
  • Robert Swann
  • Samuel Swann
There are other key families to plot as well, but only in the sense of documenting proximity. No known relationships to those families have been found as yet.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Bellinger Family 1810 Papers

By Wes Patterson

Last revised 13 April 2017

In 1810, George Bellinger wrote down the family legacy going back to the late 1600's - to Edmund Bellinger, 1st Landgrave of South Carolina. Some years ago, those original 1810 documents miraculously ended up in our family's possession. I had seen the transcription of these records online many times, but to now have the originals in our possession, quite unexpectedly, was a pleasant surprise. 

The following pictures were taken by me of these papers. There are three or four pages of the notes that were written in 1810. Subsequent pages were added to the record throughout the 1800's by other members of the family, including the Bellingers and Beaumonts who moved to Texas in the mid 1800's.

For more information on my wife's lineage to the Bellingers see my page on the Bellinger Family.

Here are the pictures from the 1810 notes. Click on each image to view a larger version of it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Patterson-Harrison Farms on Jenkins Branch, Buncombe Co NC

The Patterson and Harrison Farms on Jenkins Branch, West Side of French Broad River near Alexander, NC - Buncombe County

By Wes Patterson

Last Revised 12 April 2017

The Harrisons, Blacks, Pattersons, Ponders, and other families that had previously lived in Burke Co NC and York Co SC, began moving in the 1790's into the part of Buncombe Co NC that is about 8 to 10 miles NW of Asheville near the modern town of Alexander. This area is on the west side of the French Broad River along the tributaries known as Turkey Creek, Sandy Mush Creek, Jenkins Branch, and Newfound Creek. Many of these families also attended Newfound Baptist Church which began officially around 1802/03 and currently exists at the town of Leicester, NC.

Click to see larger view

Some of the early families to settle here were the Harrisons, Blacks, and Morrows. The Pattersons followed in the late 1790's and the Ponders arrived in the late 1790's or soon after 1800. 

The Harrisons were made up of about three or four distinct families that moved into Buncombe, that traced their roots back to siblings who lived in York Co SC during the 1760's through the 1780's and 90's. These siblings were Nathaniel Harrison, Thomas Harrison, and their sisters Margaret and Jane. Nathaniel was married to Rachel, and he passed away in 1783 in York Co SC. His son Joseph Harrison later moved into Buncombe, however. Thomas Harrison had a large family and they moved into Buncombe as well. Margaret Harrison married Thomas Patterson on 24 Dec 1761 in Augusta Co VA at the Peaked Mountain Church, not long before they moved to York Co SC, where they in turn had at least two sons (John and Robert Patterson) who later settled in Buncombe on Jenkins Branch and Turkey Creek, respectively. Jane Harrison married William Cravens. It is possible that some of their family moved into Buncombe, but nothing has been proven in that regard. But there was a James Cravens who recorded a land entry for 150 acres in 1794 "...on a big branch that runs in between Newfound Creek and Turkey Creek." That could have been Jenkins Branch. The Harrisons can trace their roots back to the Isaiah Harrison clan of Long Island NY, Sussex Co DE, and Augusta Co VA.

The Blacks were made up of two primary branches of the family from York Co SC. Matthew Black may have either been a son of Matthew and Mary Black, or perhaps grandson. If the latter, he was a son of Robert Black and Majey Cravens (whose mother was a Harrison). Matthew Black (the younger) married Margaret Ponder, daughter of Daniel and Jemima Ponder. Matthew Black's family later moved to Burke Co NC and then later down to Buncombe. The other branch of the Blacks was of the Joseph Black family, brother to the afore-mentioned Robert Black. Joseph Black married Sarah Patterson, sister of Thomas Patterson. They had several children, including a daughter Margaret, who married John Patterson, son of Thomas. This entire clan moved to Buncombe as well. Key members of the Black clan in Buncombe included George, Robert, and Joseph - sons of Joseph; also, their cousins - sons of Matthew - including John, Reuben, Daniel, another Joseph, another Matthew. A James Black was also in Buncombe by the 1810's and he was another of this overall clan of Blacks from York Co SC.

The Ponders not only included Margaret who married Matthew Black, but also brother Jesse Ponder, and brother Daniel Ponder Jr - who married Elizabeth Patterson, another sister of Thomas Patterson. 

The Morrows are a little harder to identify, but there were several Morrow families. Richard Morrow sold land to John Patterson early on and moved further west into Haywood Co NC and then later to KY. A Sarah Morrow married James Patterson, son of Peter. And a James Morrow married Elizabeth Patterson, who seems to have been a daughter of Peter.

So the branches of the Patterson family included Sarah Patterson who married Joseph Black, plus Thomas Patterson who married Margaret Harrison, plus Elizabeth Patterson who married Daniel Ponder Jr, plus Peter Patterson's children and grandchildren. Peter died in York Co SC, but his children soon thereafter moved to Buncombe and then later Haywood Co NC.

Click to see larger view

The map above is of the area around modern day Alexander, NC in Buncombe Co. The French Broad River is on the right. The gray shaded area is a tract of 16,000 acres that was obtained by Joseph Hughey (Sheriff of Buncombe) around 1800 (give or take a couple years) that had previously been part of 55,000 acres owned by Mitchell & Davidson. This is important to know where it falls as its southern line is constantly referred to in old Buncombe deeds as Mitchell's & Davidson's line. This helps us pinpoint the approximate locations of several tracts involving key members of these families. 

Thomas Harrison owned 100 acres (Tract #1) next to Richard Morrow (
Tract #2). Morrow later sold his 100 acres to John Patterson (presumed nephew of Thomas Harrison) in 1802. Tract #3 was owned by Ezekiel Sandlin who was a son-in-law of Peter Patterson it seems. Sandlin was from York Co SC also, and he apparently led the migration of the Peter Patterson clan. In 1807 he sold Tract #3 to his brother-in-law James Patterson (m. Sarah Morrow). 

Thomas Patterson owned Tract #4. He was here in 1800 but no acquisition of the land has been found. The Sheriff later sold Thomas' land in 1804, so it had passed into the Sheriff's possession for some reason. Not sure if Thomas had defaulted on it, or died leaving debts? That said, there were at least four subsequent deeds over the next 20 years involving Tract #4 that made reference to "Thomas Patterson's improvement", but what that improvement was is unclear. Was it a home? A public road? 

George Black first obtained Tract #5 and then a year later sold it to his cousin Reuben Black, who then sold the same 170 acres to John Patterson in 1805. John's wife was Margaret Black, sister of George Black and cousin of Reuben.

There were several other relatives who owned tracts of land in the vicinity and I am still working to pinpoint the exact location of those tracts, including Daniel Ponder's two tracts and Robert Patterson's Turkey Creek tract. However, the five tracts shown above are very close to their exact locations, and all five were owned by families who were somehow related to one another.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Who was the Father of my Margaret Harrison (Patterson)?

That's the million dollar question. Many theories. Most have not panned out. But all evidence clearly points to the Isaiah Harrison clan -- of that there is no doubt. But which son of Isaiah can we claim as "ours"?

Isaiah Harrison was married twice. His first wife was Elizabeth Wright (daughter of Gideon Wright and Elizabeth Townsend) and they married about 1688, their oldest child Isaiah Jr arriving in 1689. After Isaiah Jr, other children were born to this marriage, viz. John (1691), Gideon (1694), Mary (1696) (m. Robert Cravens), and Elizabeth (1698).

Following the fifth child's birth, Isaiah's wife Elizabeth passed away. Soon thereafter he married again, to Abigail Smith. While the children of Isaiah's first wife are clearly documented with birth dates, in the town records of Long Island, NY, we are not so lucky with the fruit of the second marriage, other than the fact that those children started arriving about 1701, with Daniel. Following Daniel, was Joseph (1702-04), then Thomas (1704-05), then Jeremiah (ca. 1707; m. Elizabeth Patterson), then Abigail (ca. 1710; m. Alexander Herring), and also Lydia (ca. 1706; m. Samuel Stewart), and lastly Samuel (1712-13). There may have been other children, but these are the ones we know of.

As for my Margaret Harrison, she was born circa 1740/45. Therefore, she could have been a daughter of any of the sons from the second marriage of Isaiah, but not a granddaughter. Likewise, she could have been a granddaughter of any of the sons of Isaiah by his first wife, but not a daughter. Enough is known of each branch of the family to arrive at those conclusions with confidence.

Looking closer at the sons of Isaiah, we can quickly rule out Isaiah Jr, John, Daniel, Thomas, and Jeremiah, as either fathers or grandfathers of Margaret Harrison Patterson (MHP).

Isaiah Jr may have lived in Salem Co., NJ for a period of time, but nothing has ever been known of him in either DE or VA. Nor has that name shown up in any of the families of MHP (or her presumed siblings). Isaiah Jr. may have died young, but nothing is certain in his case.

On the other hand, sons John, Daniel, Thomas, and Jeremiah are "fairly" well documented. There are holes in each branch, but there seems to be enough evidence to rule them out as potential fathers, or grandfather, in the case of John.

That leaves Gideon (as a grandfather) and Joseph and Samuel (as fathers), as our remaining possibilities. I used to lean heavily toward Joseph as a possibility, but his presumed family seems to be fairly well delineated as that which migrated with the Samuel Stewart clan (S.S. married Lydia Harrison, daughter of Isaiah Sr.) to the Yadkin Valley of NC in the late 1740's and 50's. Furthermore, the Harrison bunch that moved with my Pattersons to the Kings Mountain region of SC didn't move there until the early to mid 1760's. Again, Joseph's branch just doesn't seem to fit well.

Thomas Patterson, who married Margaret Harrison on 24 Dec 1761 in Augusta Co., VA at the Peaked Mountain Church near Harrisonburg, named their oldest son, John Patterson. He is my ancestor. There do not appear to be any Johns in the Patterson bunch prior to this, so it seems the name "John" had to come from the Harrison side of the family. But again, Margaret does not appear to be the daughter or granddaughter of John Harrison, Sr. And John Sr's son John Jr, who was murdered in 1763, never married nor had any children. So again, it seems to rule out the John Harrison branch of Isaiah's clan. Thomas Patterson's parents were Robert and Sarah Patterson. Robert's sister was the Elizabeth who married Jeremiah Harrison.

And then there were two

So that narrows it down to two branches of the Isaiah Harrison clan. Gideon and Samuel. Hardly anything is laid out plainly for either of these sons of Isaiah. I'll come back to Gideon later. As for Samuel, he was the youngest known son of Isaiah. Even that fact, that he is a "son of Isaiah", is not clearly documented anywhere. It is simply assumed to be the case, and has been portrayed as such for generations. I cannot refute that, nor have any reason to. (March 25, 2017 addendum: In recent months as more research is done on the Samuel Harrison family, it seems there is credible evidence that he and his wife Mary are the same Samuel and Mary Harrison who moved back and forth between Augusta Co Va and Lynches River, SC. More research is needed to prove this, but the timing of events in both locations appears to match. However, DNA evidence from known descendants of this Samuel Harrison of Lynches River, SC are not a match for the Isaiah clan. I repeat... there is no known proof that Samuel Harrison was a son of Isaiah - it is simply assumed. I would suggest an alternative theory that would explain the conundrum presented. It is possible that Samuel Harrison was the son of Elizabeth Harrison - the daughter of Isaiah that was born in 1698 and that never married. Is it possible that she had a son - Samuel - out of wedlock? If so, this would explain the DNA mismatch. Again, this is only a theory and warrants more research.)

Samuel was born about 1712/13 - according to Harrison researchers. But no known evidence records this. It is only an assumption. He could have been born as late as 1720. Samuel later married a woman named Mary. It is known that they left VA in the 1750's and moved to Craven Co., SC. However, they still owned land in VA and did travel back and forth a few times through the 50's and 60's. It appears that Samuel was back in VA in the 1780's again, and perhaps left again a few years later. However, Craven Co., SC covered a large area. Although the Kings Mtn region of SC was Craven County in the 1750's, that county also covered the Lynches River area of SC, and there is known to have been a Samuel and Mary Harrison in that area from the 1750's on through the 1780's. I tend to believe that's where Samuel went, and not the Kings Mtn area, but I could be wrong on that.

So if the Kings Mtn Harrisons didn't come from Samuel either, from whom did they come? Let's first look at who the Kings Mtn Harrisons were.

The Kings Mountain Harrisons (aka Buncombe NC Harrisons)

The area just south of Kings Mountain is known as Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek. It was originally Craven Co., SC. Then it was claimed by NC, first under Anson County, then Mecklenburg, then Tryon. In the 1770's, the state boundary line was surveyed west of the Catawba River finally, and it was determined this Clarks Fork land was in fact in SC, and at that time became known as York Co., SC.

Two Harrison men and two Harrison women of that area are presumed to have been siblings. Nathaniel Harrison owned 140 acres, but Thomas Harrison was listed as a Chain Bearer on several surveys in the area. I believe the evidence is clear that they were brothers. Both families later moved to Buncombe Co., NC, although Nathaniel himself had already died in 1783. These Harrison families left York Co., SC in the 1780's, moved through Rutherford Co., NC and eventually to Buncombe.

Margaret Harrison, who married Thomas Patterson, lived right next to these Harrisons on Clarks Fork. And nearby was a tract granted to Robert Cravens Jr (cousin of the Harrisons and Pattersons), and William Cravens was a Chain Bearer on a couple of surveys on Clarks Fork with the Pattersons. Cravens family history tells us that Robert Cravens never moved to SC, but rather only speculated in land. William Cravens, his brother, however did move to SC for about 7 years, from the mid 1760's to the early 1770's. William Cravens was married to Jane Harrison.

In the previous image you can see the proximity of tracts along Clarks Fork of Bullocks Creek in York Co., SC. "RP" at the bottom is Robert Patterson, father of Thomas Patterson. Above him was Robert Black, who was married to Majey (Maggie) Cravens, sister of William Cravens, and therefore a daughter of Mary Harrison (dau. of Isaiah). Above him was Thomas Patterson, who was married to Margaret Harrison. Above him was Nathaniel Harrison. Above him was Matthew Black, who was married to Margaret Ponder. I don't have the Robert Cravens (where his brother William presumably lived) plotted on the map, but his tract was bounded by Robert Patterson, as well. Thomas Harrison and William Cravens were chain bearers for surveys along with all of the afore-mentioned grantees, during these 1760's surveys.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Another documented record for Robert Patterson Who Died 1775 York Co SC

Years ago when I first became aware of the Peaked Mountain church records from Augusta Co Va, I didn't know enough about the neighbors and kinsman of my Pattersons to put two and two together on this record. But I now know enough about them to confidently claim another record as being that of my Robert Patterson of Linville Creek, VA who later moved to and died in York Co SC in 1775.

"At a Meeting of ye Congn. November 1st 1763
Muddy Creek quarter for 3 years in 1st Capt Warren was concerned as Collector in Arrear £2.0.3 and from Robert Peterson & Archd. Hopkins for ye year 1762 two reced. 12.15.3 ½.
Ordered that John Davies & Majr. Smith inspect into their Collectors expence Since the Commencement of the Congn. & appoint New Collectors & return an account to ye Session & Daniel Love & Samuel Hemphill act so for Cook’s Creek quarter & Jas. Magill & Edward Irwin act so in North River quarter & yt. This resolution be publickly read next Lord’s day."

This was a church business meeting held on November 1, 1763, in Augusta Co VA a few miles west of Harrisonburg. In this same set of old records from this church, we also have the marriage record of Robert Patterson's son Thomas, styled as "Thomas Peterson". All of the Pattersons listed in these notes are spelled "Peterson", but they were all Pattersons. Most of them are of the other group of Pattersons closer to Staunton, and not my group.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Joseph Harrison at Broadkill River, Sussex Co DE, in 1731

I very accidentally tripped across this church record today, posted online at:

John Baptist Protestant Episcopal Church. Rev. William Beckett in a letter bearing date September 25, 1729, says, that his churches are in a growing condition, and that "a fourth church, built in a forest, was opened by me about a year ago by the name of St. John Baptist, and there is likely to be a numerous congregation' there." In his last letter, September 26, 1742, he states that his four churches are filled on Sundays, and he was often obliged to preach under the trees. The church building was erected at the fording-place of Long Bridge Branch in the forest of Broadkiln where the road crossed that stream, and which was at that time the main thoroughfare leading to the lower part of the County and into Maryland. It was located on the east side of the pond, between the residence of H. S. Marshall and the school-house. Ex-Gov. James Ponder has in his possession a receipt for twenty shillings, bearing date March 16, 1731, and given to John Ponder, his great-grandfather, "for his subscription to the Church St. John Baptist by me Joseph Harrison." 

So this shows Joseph Harrison right on the Broadkill River at Milton, Delaware (Sussex County) in 1731, and that he was involved in the first church there. Furthermore, it shows the Harrisons and the Ponders in the same church. We know they lived near each other on both sides of the Broadkill River, and that they lived near the Stewarts, Blacks, Cravens, and Pattersons

I still lean toward my Margaret Harrison (who was not yet born in 1731 and later married Thomas Patterson, also not yet born in 1731)... I no longer lean toward the theory that she was the daughter of this Joseph Harrison. That theory was mainly due to the