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Re: John Burl Harger, 1803 - 1885, Washingto County, AL
Posted by: Penelope Monroe (ID *****7765) Date: July 19, 2012 at 08:40:59
In Reply to: Re: John Burl Harger, 1803 - 1885, Washingto County, AL by Carol Powell of 18619

Hi Carol:

My research on John Harger in Franklin County, VA shows that John Harger b. 1756, d. 1836 was married to Nancy Richards, b. 1764, d.1816, this John Harger left a will and John Burl Harger as a son is not mentioned. His eldest son George is left his property and the girls and/or spouses were left other proceeds from the sale of his other assets. A couple of the daughters were left out of his will entirely, but in this will he references a John Burwell Harger as the son of one of his deceased daughters, of the daughters there are records on Charity is the most likely to be the mother of John Burwell Harger. Evidently, she was either not married at the time she had John Burwell or her husband John Pecklesimer, Jr. did not want the child and John Harger and Nancy raised the boy. Charity died in 1805 and her husband John Pecklesimer, Jr. married again in 1806 to Anna Henry and they had 12 children. John Harger, b. 1756 expressly leaves his son-in-law, John Pecklesimer out of his will, "I leave to my son-in-law, John Pecklesimer $1 and no more". John Pecklesimer and Charity were married in September 1803. There are records for most of the Harger girls marriages in Franklin Co., VA, or the daughter was mentioned in his will. Hannah was not mentioned in his will, nor was her husband mentioned in his will. Hannah died in 1816 prior to her father's death, she and Nathanial had 10 children and they are not mentioned in John's will either. He did not leave anything to his daughter Susannah either except for the mention of "$1 and no more to son -in-law John Young $1 and no more". His youngest daughter Elizabeth is not mentioned in his will either. I have a copy of the will which I got from the Franklin County, VA probate court. I will be glad to share. There is a lot of research on this John Harger married to Nancy Richards family out there. It is logical to assume that John Burl and John Burwell Harger are the same person. There are some researchers who think they are not. Our family history indicates that John Burl Harger's father came first to Maryland and the John Burl Harger was raised in Virginia. He left when he was a young man and ended up in Washington County, AL. There is also a mention of his brother George and that George later followed JOhn to Washington County. There is another family verbal history that I found from Wanda Thompson Hines of Kentucky, Texas and Oklahoma: Information about John Burl Harger. Her family legend is very similar to ours, there are a few descrepancies, but the basic story is close.

The John Harger married to Nancy seems to be the most likely person I could find to be the family of our John Burl. John could have shortened his middle name or just spelled it the way is sounded. "Add a little southern Accent and it is not a far stretch to think Burl and Burwell are the same".

Since I can not find a death certificate for John Burl Harger of Washington County, nor can I find a birth record that would show who John's parents were, it is likely that they could be this Nancy and John Harger of Franklin Co., VA could have been our John's grandparents and raised him and gave his their last name. This is of course speculation, there are some letters regarding this family on some of the family forums that indicate that John Burl and John Burwell are not the same person. I think the information that John Burl Harger's parents were John Harger and Mary could be a mistake and there may be some confusion since John married a Mary Eliza Miller and then Clara Anderson, that may be where the Mary name comes from. My ancestor is the Mary Miller who was the daughter of Green Ray Miller of GA, and Kesiah Emily Ray.

I have pulled together a lot of information on the John Harger and Nancy Richards family in FRanklin Co., VA, but have kept it separate in my records because I cannot prove any link except for this grandson named John Burwell Harger. There is a John Burwell who lived in Franklin Co., and is on the Settler's list, also Charity's husband's name was John (he may have been related to the Burwell's. I have not been able to find that link. But, since there was a Burwell family in the close community, the name probably came from a connection there.

There is some speculation that there is another wife of John Burl, because the Clark County, MS census of 1850 shows John B. Harger married to Elizabeth Harger. The ages are the same as our John and Clara, but in 1850 John was still married to Clara Anderson. I think it is likely that the census taker made a mistake with the name of John's wife.

My e-mail address is if you would like to contact me. I will be happy to share what I have on this family and a copy of John Harger's will.

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