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Re: Revolutionary War Loyalists from North Castle NY--was Stephen Sands one of them?
Posted by: Rebecca Walch (ID *****7823) Date: May 14, 2005 at 19:50:19
In Reply to: Re: Revolutionary War Loyalists from North Castle NY--was Stephen Sands one of them? by Ralph Wood of 1448

I'm not sorry I asked:) I found some pieces of information--but nothing specific. I can tell this will not be a quick puzzle to solve (which you already knew).

I decided to start by researching William Harrison, the Loyalist. I was hoping to find out who his wife was; no such luck. Following are the bits of "Harrison" information I did find, in chronological order:

1. The book "Chronicle of a Border Town, History of Rye, Westchester County, New York, 1660-1870, Including Harrison and the White Plains Till 1788" by Charles W. Baird, 1871, reprinted 1974:

Beginning on page 96

Chapter XII. Harrison's Purchase. 1695-1778.

"...Rye, the last town of Connecticut, well represents, as to the spirit and the method of its settlement, the previous plantations of that colony. But it was quite otherwise in the province of New York, to which our planters soon found themselves unwillingly annexed. The little stream of Blind Brook separated them from a region in which land speculation was rife as it has ever been in the 'far west.' Under the rule of the Dutch, vast domains had been given away to wealthy merchants or gentry. One of these estates had passed into the hands of Frederick Phillips, who now owned the whole of the western part of Westchester County south of Croton River, between the Hudson and the Bronx. The English governors of New York were quite as generous as the Dutch predecessors in giving away the public lands...So carelessly were the patents for these grants bestowed, that not unfrequently they intrenched upon the boundaries of lands previously taken up, or completely absorbed them. The people of Rye were sufferers to a considerable extent from this abuse. Their principal troubles related to the tract of land since known as Harrison's Purchase. This tract was situated above Westchester Path, between Blind Brook and Mamoroneck River, ans extended as far north as Rye Pond. It was, as we have seen, one of the earliest purchases of the settlers of Rye...Meantime, an individual named John Harrison, in the year 1695, diregarding these claims, bargained with an Indian who professed to be 'the true owner and proprietor,' for the purchase of the territory north of Westchester Path. In the same year, Colonel Fletcher, the provincial govenor of New York, gave an order for the survey of Harrison's Purchase; and shortly after, a patent was granted by the British government to Harrison and certain others whom he had associated with him, for the whole of this tract...the inhabitants of Rye were as yet without a patent for their lands under the government of New York...The sympathies of the people were with the colony from which they came, and to which they hoped permanently to belong...The lands were granted to Harrison, and the people of Rye 'revolted' back to Connecticut. The individuals to whom this grant was made, were William Nicolls, David Jamison, Ebenezer Wilson, John Harrison and Samuel Haight. [footnote regarding John Harrison: In his petition for a patent, he signs his name John Harrijson. Little is known about him. Mr. Bolton supposes him to be the son of John Harrison of Newtown, L.I., in 1655 - father of John and Samuel.]...The purchase was owned in common by the five patentees, who soon divided it up among themselves in equal shares. Harrison sold his interest to William Lawrence in 1702; Nicols and Wilson probably parted with theirs soon after. The only one of the original patentees who retained his portion was Samuel Haight, the ancestor of a prominent family of the town, in whose possession it remained until a comparatively recent day. Samuel Haight, like Harrison himself and Lawrence, was a native of Flushing, Long Island. He belonged to the Society of Friends. Indeed, nearly all the settlers of this purchase came from Flushing and other towns of Long Island; and most of these were of the same religious persuasion. It appears to have been from the first a 'Quaker' settlement, and from the fact that one of the original patentees was a leading member of that body, we are led to believe that such was designed to be the character of the enterprise from the first...[Footnote regarding John Harrison: John Harrison, late of Flushing in Queen's Conty...In 1750, Samuel Harrison, supposed to be a brother of John, was living in the purchase. (Rye Records, C. 255)..."

2. The book "The History of the Several Town, Manors, and Patents of the County of Westchester from its First Settlement to the Present Time" by the Late Rev. Robert Bolton, Volume I, 1881:

Page 370

"The purchase was owned in common by the five patentees, who soon divided it up among themselves in equal shares...Little is left on record relative to the Harrison family, who have given name to the township. John Harrison, of Boston, was a freeman of that place in 1644; and had a son, John, born in 1652. In 1655, John Harrison appears to have been a freeholder of Newtown, Long Island, from whence he removed to Flushing. This individual was the father of John Harrison, the above mentioned patentee, also of Samuel Harrison. The latter left two daughters, co-heiresses; Hannah, the oldest, married Joshua Cornell, father of the present John Cornell, of North Castle..."

(Ralph: I didn't copy the next page and I think there was info on it about the other daughter; I'll check next time I'm at the library.)

3. The book "Westchester Patriarchs, A Genealogical Dictionary of Westchester County, New York, Families Prior 1755" by Norman Davis:

Page 110


JOHN, of Flushing LI, may have resided in Westchester as early as 7 May 1682 when he bought a mare from Derrick Garretson (TWR 1-28), he was the purchaser of that tract known as "Harrison's Purchase," Justice of the Peace at Westchester 1714. Prob has a dau or granddau: Hannah, m. Joshua Cornell (1726-1775) of Northcastle.

4. The books "Loyalists in the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War" by Murtie June Clark, 1981:

Volume II, page 41
Muster Roll of Captain Caleb Jones's Company of the First Battalion of Maryland Loyalists Commanded by Lieut Colonel James Chalmers, Feby 24th, 1778

Nr 49 Private Harrison, W(illiam)

Page 42
Muster Roll of Captain (Caleb) Jones's Company of the 1st Batalion of Maryland Loyalists Commanded by Lieut Colonel James Chalmers, Esquire, July 11th, 1778

Nr 29 Private Harrison, William on duty

Page 44
Muster Roll of Captain (Caleb) Jones's Company of Maryland Loyalists Commanded by Lieut Colonel James Chalmers, Esquire, Sept 4, 1778

Nr 28 Private Harrison, William

Page 45
Muster Roll of Captain Caleb Jones's Company of the Maryland Loyalists, Commanded by Lieut Colonel James Chalmers, Esquire, October 14th 1778

Nr 39 Private Harrison, William claimed by the 2d Bttn Genl Delancy's Brigade

Volume III, page45
Muster Roll, Captain Walter Campbell's Company, Second Battalion, Brigadier General Oliver Delancey's Brigade, Savannah, GA, 25 April 1782 to 24 June 1782, 61 days inclusive

Nr 7 Harrisson, William

Ralph, this is all the pre-Canada 'Harrison' information I've found so far. I found a little Canada information, and I will post it next.

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