Most of the discussion that follows is based on circumstantial evidence. The reason for this posting is to determine if others can confirm portions of the discussion.
Census records indicate that Samuel Harris headed a household in the Jacksonboro (Wayne Township) area of Butler County, Ohio in 1820. He also lived in Butler County during the 1830 but he soon moved to Champaign County, Ohio shortly thereafter where he died in 1841. This latter death is confirmed by the obituary of a son (Otho Evans Harris) and by published summaries of Champaign County probate records. The connection to Otho Evans Harris is thus good but could be better. Nowhere have I found it recorded that Samuel was certainly Otho's father. Otho Evans Harris (born 1822) was named after Otho Evans, a physician who lived in Jacksonboro in the 1820s when Samuel Harris lived in the area.
1850 Butler County census records and other sources make it clear that Samuel Harris's wife was named Charlotte though her last name is unknown. She lived in the Milford Township, Butler County home of her daughter Hester (Mrs. Charles) Watson. Otho Evans Harris lived in 1850 in Saint Clair Township, Butler County with his wife Susan Jane Covalt (Cavolt). Also in their household was a John Harris, 17, who is a presumed brother. A separate household in the same building consisted of Richard Cramer and his wife Charlott, 19. Charlott is a presumed sister of the other Harris children. Other evidence indicates that another sister was Harriet Blossom who lived in Saint Clair Township, not far from her mother. Harriet after a divorce or separation later lived with Hester in Indiana under the name Harriet Harris after her most of siblings had left for the general area of Huntington, Indiana by 1860.
While the children of Samuel Harris moved to Butler County by 1850, Otho Evans Harris moved to the Edenton area of Clermont County, Ohio during the 1840s. In 1847 he joined the Edenton Methodist Church. In 1848 he married Susan Jane Covalt in Edenton. In 1848 he seems to have bought an Edenton town lot. Many people have published reports attempting to connect Otho Harris with a very large Harris family centered in Edenton but these reports are clearly spurious and any connect, though likely, is more distant than is usually asserted.
There are hints of the possible parentage of Samuel Harris. Later censuses indicate that he and Charlotte might have come from New Jersey thought his children, not unusually, seemed confused and through in other origins as well including Delaware for Samuel. One very tempting suggestion from familysearch.org sources indicate that a John Harris and a Hester Ballinger of Salem County, New Jersey were possible parents. If so, siblings would have included Chalkley, Aaron, Enoch, Jacob, Jonathan, Hannah, Sarah, Hepzibah, Mary, and Mark. These were born between 1777 and 1799. They do not include a Joseph Harris who lived near Samuel in the Jacksonboro area in 1820. This connection to Samuel includes the names of Samuel's daughter, Hester. A Mark Harris also appears in early Butler County records buying and then selling land during 1808-1814. (Mark might have returned to New Jersey.) The same famlysearch.org site has Chalkley Harris marrying a Penelope Johnson in Butler County, Ohio in circa 1820.
Susan Jane Covalt was the stepdaughter of Silas Valentine Jordan. Jordan's first wife was Elizabeth Harris who had died in 1835. Like most older Edenton Harris's Elizabeth Harris was a daughter of John Harris who died in Edenton in the early 1820s at an age of around 100. New Jersey-born John Harris was apparently survived by a wife named Patty. Silas Valentine Jordan married Susan Jane's mother, also a Susan Jane Covalt. a widow of a Bethuel Covalt. (Otho and Susan would later name a child Bethuel Harris.) Bethuel Covalt died between 1830 and 1840. He might have had a surviving son also named Bethuel, a possible source of confusion in records.
There are several other Harris' in the Edenton area of Clermont County, including an Abner, Elizabeth, Jane, Jemima, John, and William. My records on the rest are slim, but most (except Jemima) were born before the children of John Harris and Hester Ballinger and none share the names of John and Hester's surviving children.
Sources covering Salem County, New Jersey (worldconnect.rootsweb.com and familysearch.org) mention a John Harris and Ruth Test who had several children including Abner, John, Letitia, David, Isaac, Nathan, Ruth, and William between 1762 and 1774.
Several interesting questions come out of this including why Otho Edward Harris moved to Edenton and associated with the local Harrises when his father wasn't one of them. One possibility would be that these Harrises were half brothers and sisters of his father.
All of this makes John Harrises trail potentially interesting as well. Was he the husband in sequence of Ruth Test, Hester Ballinger, and Patty?
Does anyone have any contributions to all of this?
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