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Harris Family in Early Alabama
Posted by: Terese Mitchell (ID *****8140) Date: April 24, 2012 at 14:50:54
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If anyone connects to any of this line I would love to hear from you. This line is Group 3 of the Harris DNA study. They are mention in a book by Robert Stewart on his ancestors Col. George Steuart and Margaret Harris. There is a document in the book called the Mifflintown Document. Note- I will see if it will copy below.

The family of John Harris and Rebecca McBay settled in the York, SC area probably in land once thought to be in North Carolina, close to his brothers in Mecklenburg, NC. His son James Harris by wife Grizzel Steel was a major and lived in Mecklenburg.

William, John's son with wife Rebecca McBay was a Major in the Long Canes area of Bull Town. Daughter Elizabeth Harris was married to Capt. James Caldwell and they also moved to the Long Canes area as did son Thomas Harris.

My direct line is John Harris, son of John Harris and Rebecca McBay. I believe he was in the York-Mecklenburg area for part of the war because he is found with other families from this are in the Territory South of French Broad where many settled after the war.

The McBays, McBees also seem to be in both areas. My McEntires, Hemphills, Henrys, Youngs, and Johnstons are in York and Blount and intermarry with the Harrises and move to Murray County, Georgia.

I still don't know the wives of John Harris of Blount, TN. His son William is my direct line and his son John Nichols Harris married Nancy Garner in Blount. She was the daughter of William Garner and Dolly Williamson. In the Territory South of French Broad with land grants in 1807,the Harrises were on Crooked Creek in Blount with Sharps, Blacks, Nichols, Cusicks, Caldwells, Longs and more. That would have been much earlier than 1807. Lots of Walkers and Henrys, McCamys. My William Harris had several children with his wife Jane Trippet. Some of the children moved to Indiana and some to Murray County, GA right after the Cherokee Indian Removal in North Georgia. They were in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at this point and even when some descendants move to Texas they are CP. One of his children seems to be in Ray County, Missouri-Jonathan Trippet Harris who has son William Wiley Harris. Some of the family may have become Mormons and left the Blount, TN area to go West.

Another line that is known to be in Alabama, Missouri and Texas is that of John "Flat Woods" Harris who was married to Jane Mien Lesley. They are in the Fayette and Marion Alabama area and Cape Giradeau, Missouri area.

Another line that shadows mine is that of John Harris and Eleanor Reynolds who were from Ireland and married by a Dr. Clark. John would be Group 3 and is mentioned in Robert Stewart book, but don't know his father.

During the American Revolution the Southern Harris clan were concentrated in the Carolinas area of Mecklenburg, NC-York, SC and Ninety-Six/Abbeville SC and from these points head west by the 1820's, some right after war.

In the one Group 3 Harris line that we know Elijah Harris married to Elizabeth settled in Wise, Texas after stops in Claiborne, LA are and Itawamba, MS area and Marion, AL. They were born in SC. Elijah about 1804 SC. We think his father is Thomas Alston Harris, son of Thomas Harris of SC. Thomas Alston Harris is found in Marion, Alabama near the Sharps, and also near another Thomas Harris. The Johnstons from Blount are also in Wise.

This other Thomas Harris is the one connected to the Couches, Berryhills, Musgroves, Gages, Mosses. And I think the Walkers and Moses Harris and Druscilla Walker. All of these lines seem to be in Mecklenburg at one point or another, some probably drawn there from PA, VA,and MD by service in the Revolution. I know the Couches were in Meck-York.

I am not familiar with the Gages or Mosses, but I have found references to the Musgroves, Berryhills, Couches in the areas of the Group 3 Harrises- early 1700's.

Also interested in any McCalls mixed in with any of these families. The McCalls, Calhouns, Pickens, emigrated with our Harris line from Ireland about 1730's and have seen then in Alabama.

The Stewart book does not mention in depth many allied families, but is the backbone of the Group 3 Harris line. It can be found free online.

Terese Mitchell

Background Information

The Mifflintown Document is a contemporaneous account

detailing the descendants of Robert Harris and Dorothy


The Scotch-Irish immigrants touched land in Philadelphia,

ca. 1725. The Harris sons and their families spread

throughout the young colonies becoming intricately woven

into the fabric,faith and service of the United States of

America. The document detailing the Harris family is found

in the book by author Robert Stewart:

Colonel George Steuart and his wife Margaret Harris:

Their Ancestors and Descendants

with Appendixes of Related Families

Portraits and Illustrations

A Genealogical History


Robert Stewart, D.D., LL.D

This book was Printed at the "Civil and Military Gazette"

Press, 1907 in Lahore, India pp.398-401

Begin Transcription



A copy of this document was sent the author

by John Harris9, M.D., of Philadelphia, Jan. 18, 1865.

At the conclusion he wrote:

“The foregoing was copied Aug. 10, 1855, by John Harris9

(then resident in Philadelphia) from two separate half

sheets of cap paper,in the handwriting of his father, James

Harris7, in the possession of Mrs. Thomazin Potter, a

granddaughter of James Harris7. John Harris9, the copyist

of the foregoing, born Dec. 31st, 1792, was the son of

James Harris7, who was the son of John Harris2 who was the

son of James Harris1 (by his second wife, Janet McClure),

who was the son of Edward Harris1 and Flora Douglas.

The family of James Harris7, the copyist’s father, were

Jane5, John, Eliza Grizzel,James D., William11, Joseph, and

Andrew, besides Robert and a female child who died in

infancy. Jane, John, and Eliza were born in Mifflintown,

the others in or near Bellefonte”.

In view of the above statement, therefore, it seems

probable that James Harris7 of Bellafonte was the author of

the document.

At the time of writing (Dec. 20, 1801) he was about 45

years old. He was also a very careful, cultured man and no

doubt put nothing down but what was thoroughly established

as correct.

He probably, too, gathered up his facts and penned them at

Mifflintown where he was born, where there were older

records, and where several older Harrises resided who could

aid him in his researches. These persons were his eldest

sister Jane5, his mother Jane1 (then in her 78th year), his

uncle James Harris3 (then 82 or 83 years old), and probably

his mother's cousin, Mrs. Turbett (nee Dolly Harris1)

besides others who could give more or less help. The oldest

of all, Thomas Harris1, had died 16 days previously, and

his death seems to have suggested and stimulated the effort

to get a written record of genealogies before it was

entirely too late.

The antecedent probability that this document is perfectly

trustworthy has been confirmed by all subsequent

investigations (excepting in regard to William Harris2 and

his wife-see Appendix XVIII), and the writer considers it

fortunate that he has had such a record to guide his


It is hardly necessary to say that the "superior" numbers

inserted are not original, but added by the author of this

book as a guide to identify. The words bracketed are also

the author's.

This document is without a heading and reads as follows:-

Edward1 and Charles1 Harris, being dissenters, were driven

from Ayrshire, in Scotland, at the time of the persecution

of the Protestants In the reign of Charles II, or of his

successor, James.

They settled in County Donegal, near Rapho, Ireland. They

were possessed of a valuable estate in Scotland, which was

lost on account of their abandoning it.

Edward1 was married to Miss Flora Douglas, of the famous

family of that name, who resided near the borders of

England. He had sons: Edward2, Robert1 and James1.

Robert1 was married to Dorothy Wiley. They had children:

John1, William1, James2, Margaret1, Thomas1, Samuel1,

Robert2 and Charles2.

James1, son of Edward1, and Flora Douglas, married Mary

Simpson, by whom he had William2, Ann1 and James3. By a

second marriage with Janet McClure he had a son, John2.

Edward2, son of Edward1, and Flora Douglas, married ...............

and had children, Robert3, William3 and Mary1.

John1, son of Robert1 and Dorothy Wiley, had Margaret2,

Jane1,Robert4,and James4 by his first wife Grizzel Steel,

daughter of Margaret Gray; by a second wife, Rebecca

McBay, he had William4, Elizabeth1, Thomas2 and John3.

William1, son of Robert1 and Dorothy Wiley, married

Elizabeth Glen, daughter of R. Glen and Jane Scott, by whom

he had Robert6,James5, George1, Elizabeth2, William5,

John4, Jane2, Susan1,Margaret3, Sarah1, Dolly1, Thomas3,

Isabella....... Ireland.

James2, son of R. and D. Wiley, married .........Mcllhenny,

by whom he had Robert6, Samuel2 and others. The family

moved to the Carolinas.

Margaret1, sister of James2, married Alexander Poer, to whom

he had Jane, Dorothy, William and Samuel........


Thomas1, son of R., and Dorothy Wiley, married Mary

McKinney1, by whom he had Robert7, Mathew1, Margaret4,

Margaret5, John6 Catharine1, and Mary2. He died Dec. 4th,


Samuel1, brother of Thomas1, married........ Laird, by whom

he had several children in Carolina.

Robert2, his brother, married Fanny Cunningham, by whom

he had Robert8, William6, Elizabeth3, Martha1 and


Charles2, his brother, married Mcllhenny; had a large

family in Carolina.

William2, son of James1, and Mary Simpson, married Catharine

Wilson; emigrated from Ireland; settled at Swartara; had

James6,John7, William7 who died young, Sarah2, Mary3, and


Ann1, sister of William, married David Caldwell1; emigrated

to Pennsylvania; moved to Carolina; had a family of

children. After the death of D. Caldwell she married

Robert Harris2, son of Robert1 and Dorothy Wiley.

James3, son of James Harris1 and Mary Simpson, never

married, and is at this time (Dec. 20, 1801) living with

his sister-in-law, widow of his half brother, John2, at

Mifflintown, Mifflin Co.,Penn'a.

John Harris2, son of James Harris1 and Jane McClure, first

married Jane Poer, daughter of Alexander Poer and Margaret

Harris1,Mifflin, who died without issue. By his second

wife, Jane Harris1,daughter of John Harris1 and Grizzel

Steel (born Feb. 7, 1721) had Jane3, James7, William8,

Grizzel1, Margaret7 and Ann2 .............

Penn'a. He died Feb.[28], 1794.

Robert Harris3, son of Edward2 the younger and...........,

married, and had Margaret8, Jane4, and Margery1. By a

second wife, Margaret Mcllmunn, he had Robert10, Mary4 and

William9. He died in Carolina.

Margaret Harris2, daughter of John1, and Grizzel Steel,

married Andrew Buchanan1, to whom she had Jane, Mary, John,

James and Andrew2. They resided near Gilligordon, Donegal,


James4, son of John Harris1 and Grizzel Steel, married

Elizabeth Harris3, daughter of Robert2 and Fanny

Cunningham. By her he had a number of children in Carolina,

where he died about 1794.

Robert4, his brother, died without issue.

William4, son of John Harris1 and his second wife Rebecca

McBay, married Margaret Wilson, by whom he had John8 and a

number of other children. They resided in South Carolina.

Thomas2, brother of Willam4, married in South Carolina.

John3, his brother, who had lived with his half brother-

in-law John2, and sister Jane1, went to Carolina,

married........., by whom he had William10 and other

children. After her death he married whom

he has other children. He now resides near Mayville [or

Maryville], Blount Co., Tennessee. His children are

William10, John Baird, Elizabeth4, Robert Marklin, Mathew

Handy,and Joseph Gilliland------------1801


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