The Harris individuals in the line described here are primarily from the following states, in the approximate order of their movement: Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.
Harris Names in Database
Harriss Names in Database
"The Edward Harris Family" By Marie Harris Key (Complete book)
Harris Family History
I have a large amount of detailed information on members of the Harris branch of my genealogy, thanks to the work of a distant Harris relative, Mrs. Marie Sue Harris Key, formerly of Corpus Christi, Texas. She devoted years to research on the project, and compiled an extremely detailed record of our line of the Harris family. My copy of her book, titled "The Edward Harris Family - Its Lineage and Traditions", dated 1963, was given to me by a Harris relative, and forms the basis of most of my information on early Harris ancestors. Marie Key died in 1987.
Note: Mrs. Key compiled her family tree data before the age of computers, completely by hand, relying on correspondence and oral accounts as sources for much of her information on descendant's names, birth dates, etc. As could be expected, there are many errors in this data. If you find errors and can help me correct them, please . Thanks!
According to Mrs. Key's record, most American Harris families seem to be descended from three Colonial sources: John Harris of Pennsylvania, founder of Harrisburg, Thomas Harris of Isle of Wight County, Virginia, and Captain Thomas Harris, probably the first Harris, who arrived at Jamestown in 1611. Mrs. Key wrote that she thought that Captain Thomas Harris (ca. 1586-1649), the earliest Harris, seemed to fit best as the ancestor of our line. This theory has been borne out by recent DNA testing. Several descendants of the Harris line described by Mrs. Key have submitted DNA samples for test, including a close cousin of mine and fellow descendant of my great-grandfather, John Calvin Harris. (My cousin's DNA results are shown on the Harris Project DNA Results page in Harris Group 8, kit #91706.) The results have shown an exact match to others whose research has proven that Captain Thomas Harris is their ancestor. However, the exact lineage down from Thomas Harris through the first few generations is still in question.
In Marie Key's book, Edward Harris (ca. 1710-1780) is Generation #1. He lived in Lunenburg County, Virginia, and married a "Widow Gilliam", first name unknown. They later lived in Charlotte County, which was formed from Lunenburg in 1764. One of their sons was Edward Harriss (abt. 1748-1720), who apparently spelled his name with an extra "s" on the end, and this spelling was continued by his descendants. Another son was Miniard Harris (1742-1780), who was my ancestor.
My Harris ancestors moved out of Virginia into North Carolina in the 1770's, prior to the Revolutionary War. Several fought in the Battle of King's Mountain there in 1780, including Miniard Harris, my 5th great-grandfather, who, according to Mrs. Key, was killed (this is unproven). Evidence indicates that they lived in Burke, Wilkes, and Cherokee Counties. In the early 1840's, Edward Harris (1804-1869), his wife Lora Estes Harris (1806-1875), and their family migrated to Murray County, Georgia. (Note: From Edward Harris b. 1804 on down to present generations, the Harris lineage as described by Mrs. Key is not in question.) Edward is my 3rd great-grandfather. One of his sons, born in North Carolina, was Miniard Harris (1830-1860), my ancestor. He married Elizabeth Ann Turner in 1850, while living in Georgia. Edward and many of his relatives (including son Miniard) moved westward around 1859, the majority to Hempstead County, Arkansas. Some of Edward's relatives, including son Andrew Jackson Harris, and cousins David (1817-1884) and Giles Nathan (1819-1871) settled near Quitman in Wood County, Texas.
Miniard had four children, one of whom was my great-grandfather, John Calvin Harris (1857-1923).
In 1879, John Calvin Harris married Mary Tine Webb (1860-1952). This union is one of the many connections between the Harris and Webb families of Southwestern Arkansas. The Webb's and the Harris's were farmers in Hempstead County. There are also many connections to the Goodlett, Henry, Lewis, and Robins families of that area.
Twelve children were born to John and Mary. Their second child was Adeline Cynthia (Addie) Harris, my grandmother, born in 1883. She married Henry Harrison Hardy, my grandfather, in 1901. My father Roe Coy Hardy was their son.
A number of Harris family members, including Edward and Lora, John Calvin and Mary Harris and several of their children, are buried in Zion Cemetery in Hempstead County, AR. Many of the Harris family members who settled in Wood County, Texas are buried in Ebenezer Cemetery, in the Oak Grove community near Quitman.
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