Posted By:Terese Mitchell
Subject:John Harris of Blount, TN
Post Date:February 10, 2012 at 14:35:15
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Forum:Harris Family Genealogy Forum
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I have a Harris line that descends from Edward Harris and Flora Douglas and this has proven to be in Group 3 DNA. The most important document that outlines this group is called the Mifflintown Document and was contemporaneously written in 1801 by one of the Harris family members. It details a family, mainly Harris brothers that emigrated from Donegal Ireland about 1730 to Pennsylvania. They lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on the Susquehanna and about 1750 most started to immigrate to the Carolinas and one in Cecil, MD and one stayed behind in PA.

My particular line is that of the brother John Harris. He was born about 1694 in Ireland and was thought to be the oldest of the brothers.

First he married Grizzel Steel and they had children:

1-Margaret, she stayed behind in Ireland and married Andrew Buchanan

2-Jane/Jean, b Feb 1724 in Ireland/d 11 Jan 1807 PA; she married in 1753 Judge John Harris, as his second wife. Judge John Harris, founder of Mifflintown, PA b 1723, Donegal, Raphoe, Ireland. He was her second cousin, son of James Harris and Jane McClure.

3-James, He moved to Mecklenburg, NC and married a cousin Elizabeth Harris. He was a Major in the Revolution.

4-Robert, He is know to have died without issue and maybe during childbirth. His mother Grizzell is thought to have died in Ireland.

Brother John next married Rebecca McBay and they settled in South Carolina. I believe they settled very close to his brothers in Mecklenburg, NC. Tryon County/Mecklenburg was once a part of South Carolina until the borders were settled later in the 18th century. My Harris family came to America with a large migration of families that remained close for generations before and after emigrating- the Lesleys, Hamiltons, Calhouns, Pickens, McCalls, Bairds, McIlhennys- and many of them had settled close to Mecklenburg in the Waxhaws of South Carolina. This group later moved to the Ninety Six Abbeville area.

John Harris and Rebecca McBay had children:

1- William Harris born about 1738, died 1798. He married Margaret Willson and they settled in Ninety Six, South Carolina that became Abbeville. There was a Fort there called Bull Town and this was the name of his plantation. He was a Major in the Revolution.

2- Elizabeth Harris born about 1740, married Capt. James Caldwell in Anson, NC which is close to Mecklenburg old boundaries. She and James Caldwell settled very close to her brothers and the children were intertwined and witnessed documents etc

3- Thomas Harris- born abt. 1742, died 1826 Abbeville, SC. We know his family but not the name of his wife. Some of his descendants go to Marion, Alabama, to Itawamba, MS to Smith, Texas

4- John Harris born about 1744, who is describe in the Mifflintown Document as

"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
William, John Baird, Elizabeth, Robert Marklin, Mathew Handy,
and Joseph Gilliland------------1801"

John of Blount Harris who moved with his children to Blount, TN either died early or moved to a different area. During the war, he also seemed to have moved around. He seemed to have traveled back to PA during the war according to a statement by Robert Stirling of Blount. The men around him on the Territory South of French Broad were mostly from VA or NC and not from the SC area. A lot of the men come from a Scotch Irish background like John Harris and share the same surname as the men allied with his family in South Carolina-Caldwells, Cunninghams, Blacks, Alexanders, and Longs. But they seem to go to Blount directly from places like Augusta, VA or Cecil, MD where one of the Harris brothers, Robert settled. My Scots Irish Johnstons leave VA for Blount, TN after the war.

John Harris, son of John Harris and Rebecca McBay is estimated to have been born 1741-45. He was in the American Revolution so he wasn’t extremely young. I believe he stayed in the militia even after the war ended, serving with expeditions mounted against the Indians. I think he might have been with the Shelby Expedition as was Samuel Henry from Mecklenburg and Blount. He may have been with Sevier. I know he was in the Territory South of French Broad and had land in Maryville, Blount, Tennessee which is very close to Knoxville. John Baird Harris is estimated to have been born 1781 in SC.

Blount was formed from Knox County, TN. The childrens’ names-the common denominator seems to be The Rocky River Church which was the Bull Town Church in Abbeville, South Carolina on Long Cane Creek. This church is where his brothers, William and Thomas attended and sister Elizabeth and their families. Also there is a Rev. John Harris –no relation. There are Bairds, Macklins, a Mathew Handy, and Gillilands for namesakes. I don’t know if one of these names might be a mother’s surname. John of Blount Harris married twice and neither name is known. This Harris family was very Scotch Irish and started Presbyterian churches at every stopping point. They were very clannish and travelled in large groups. The areas they lived in NC and SC saw the heaviest fighting during the Revolution.

My direct line is William who states he was born in SC 1779. He is seen in the Territory South of French Broad receiving a land grant in 1807 for Blount, TN land on Crooked Creek. With him is an R.M. Harris, I believe this is Robert Marklin/Macklin Harris and 2 John Harrises- one I think is John Baird Harris.

About 1840 William Harris moved from Blount to Murray County, GA, along with several of his children and their families and allied families from Blount such as the Henrys, McKameys, Dunns, Rorexes, etc. William ‘s wife Jane Trippett had died much earlier, though to have predeceased her father Jonathan Trippett who left inheritances to her children in his will probated 1834. One of these children Jonathan Tribbet/Trippet Harris moved to Ray, Missouri on Crooked River and there is an older John Harris in that area that is a sheriff-not sure if related.

1-William Harris
Birth 09 OCT 1779 in South Carolina USA
Death 27 OCT 1858 in Murray, Georgia USA
Married Jane Trippett in Blount

2-John Baird Harris est 1781

3-Elizabeth Harris est 1782

4-Robert Marklin/Macklin/Mecklin Harris est 1783

5-Mathew Handy Harris est 1785

6-Joseph Gilliland Harris 1787
*Age given is 1787 on 1850 census and 1797 on 1860 census
Birth 1787 in Abbeville, South Carolina USA
Death 7 Feb 1870 in Newburgh, Lewis, Tennessee USA
Married Matha Elizabeth Briant

The children of William Harris and Jane Trippett are:

Mary “Polly” Harris 1805-1837
Birth 03 AUG 1805 in Blount, Tennessee USA
Death aft 1837 in of Boone County, Indiana USA
Married Adron Ball

John Nichols “Nickel” Harris
Birth 1810 in Maryville, Blount, Tennessee USA
Death 1890 in Murray, Georgia USA
Married Nancy Garner

Robert Gilliland Harris
Birth 10 OCT 1811 in Blount, Tennessee USA
Death Aft 1870 in of, Murray, Georgia USA
Married Susan Bradshaw

Mathew Thompson Harris
Birth 05 MAR 1816 in Blount, Tennessee USA
Death 29 DEC 1860 in Sugar Creek, Boone, Indiana USA
Married Martha Ann Ferguson

Rosa Ann Harris
Birth 11 Feb. 1817 in Blount, Tennessee USA
Death 16 DEC 1870 in Murray, Georgia USA
Married Joseph Martin Rorex

Huldah Jane Harris
Birth 10 FEB 1818 in Blount, Tennessee USA
Death 30 NOV 1881 in Murray, Georgia USA
Never married

Samuel N. Harris
Birth 19 Jan 1820 in Blount, Tennessee USA
Death Bef 1900 in Guthrie, Lawrence, Indiana USA
Married Rebecca

William Rufus Harris
Birth 08 MAR 1821 in Blount, Tennessee USA
Death 1890 in Murray, Georgia USA
Married Betty Ann “Hattie” Wright

Nancy B. Harris
Birth 3 Mar 1823 in Blount, Tennessee USA
Death 25 Oct 1858 in Murray, Georgia USA
Married Robert Hannah Anderson

Just found
Jonathan Trippett Harris
Birth 10 NOV 1808 in Crooked Creek, Blount, Tennessee USA
Death Aft.1870 in of Crooked River, Ray, Missouri USA
Married Mary born 1813 –
Their children:
William Wiley Harris 1834 – 1861
Nancy J Harris 1837 –
Mary Ann Harris 1843 –
James T Harris 1846 –
Matilda Harris 1848 –
Caroline Harris 1852 –

His son William Wiley was killed at the beginning of the Civil War in Missouri.

On September 18, 1861, a portion of company F, 51st E. M. M., that were stationed at "Shaw's Shop " (Morton), in the eastern part of Ray county, under command of Lieutenant William F. Rallston, of said company F, were surprised by a large force of guerrillas, under command of Todd. Before a retreat could be effected, a number of the soldiers of
Lieutenant Rallston's command were killed. The following are the names of the soldiers killed in this action: William W. Harris, Elias McBee, Napoleon B. Petty, Joseph S. Salmon, John H. Phillips, and Nicholas C. Lozier.

Is anyone else researching this family? Would like to fill in some gaps. If anyone has any ideas, suggestions, or links on where to look I would really appreciate the help! Or if you need more information…

Terese Mitchell