Navigation Bar for book - Descendants of Isaac Harris
Foreword   |   Contents   |   Isaac Beginnings   |   Part I - William   |   Part II - John   |   Part III - Wooten   |   Part IV - Benjamin
Part V - Elizabeth   |   Part VI - Mary   |   Part VII - Reuben   |   Part VIII - Zachariah   |   Part IX - Alexander Rhodes

Navigation Bar for Chapters of Part II - Descendants of John Harris
Ch 2 - Sarah "Sally" Harris   |   Ch 2.2 - Frances Runyan   |   Ch 2.4 - Jeremiah Runyan
Ch 2.6 - William Runyan   |   Ch 2.8 - Eliza Runyan   |   Ch 2.9 - Reuben Runyan   |   Ch 2.10 - James Runyan
Ch 2.11 - Furman Runyan   |   Ch 2.12 - Mary Runyan   |   Ch 2.a - Charles Runyan   |   Ch 7 - Judah "Judy" Harris

Descendants of Sarah "Sally" Harris

Chapter 2 of Part II, Descendants of John Harris

By Garda M. Hodgson

(Child #2 of John and Frances Harris)

Sarah "Sally" Harris3 (John2, Isaac1) was born in about 1784/5 in Virginia - most likely in Brunswick County, Virginia. She married Jeremiah Runyan, who was considerably older than she. She was age 65 in 1850, and his age and place of birth was given as "age 85, New Jersey" in the 1850 census of Cleveland County, North Carolina. Cleveland County was formed from Rutherford and Lincoln Counties in 1841. It was reported in the 1880 and 1900 census records that the father of Reuben H. Runyan was born in New York. The 1880 Cleveland County census report for Eliza (Runyan) Gibbons also indicated her father's birthplace as New York.

Mona A. Wamick in her book, Borders, Logan, Rippy, Crawford, Runyan and Connections gives the following information about the origin of the Runyan family:

"The Runyan (Runyon) family is of Huguenot ancestry. Our first ancestor to come to these shores was VINCENT RONGNION (ROIGNON), born at or near Portiers, Vienne, France, about 1645-47. To escape religious persecution, the family went first to the Isle of Jersey, off the coast of France, and then to New Jersey about 1665-6, and first settled in Elizabethtown. . ."

The account continues naming Vincent's wife, Ann Martha Boutcher, and his children, John, Vincent, Ann, Thomas, Mary, Peter, Jane, and Sarah Runyan. A direct connection between Vincent Runyan and Jeremiah Runyan was not made, but Jeremiah was possibly a descendant of Vincent. Jeremiah Runyan was first mentioned in the Rutherford County, North Carolina Court records in October Court 1782 as a result of a law suit brought against him by James Miller, Jas Russell, and Stand Selby, in which he (Jeremiah) was security for John Twitty. The suit was discharged. Of course, Jeremiah would have been "of age" at that time, so he was born at least as early as 1761. In addition, data from Sarah and Jeremiah Runyan's tombstones was sent to me by Gordon Runion, of Inman, South Carolina. "Jeremiah Runyan died April 5, 1851, age 93." If he was age ninety-three at death, he would have been born in 1758 which seems quite possible.

"Sally died August 11, 1853; they both died in Cleveland County, North Carolina, and were buried at Pine Grove Methodist Church Cemetery, just off Highway 18 from Shelby, NC to Gaffney, SC, a few miles from Highway I-85 in Cleveland Co, NC."


The records in the Estate File for Jeremiah Runyan (See FHL 1,730,314 Cleveland County, North Carolina Estate Records) include the following:

  1. May Session of Court 1851, the petition of "Sarah Runions, widow of Jeremiah Runions, dec'd," to have one years support set aside for herself and family.

  2. June 16, 1852 Lamich Edwards and Mary Edwards, his wife, of the County of Choctaw, and State of Mississippi, appoint Reuben H. Runyan of Cleveland County, North Carolina, their lawful attorney to obtain Mary's share of the estate of her father Jeremiah Runyan, dec'd.

  3. Cleveland County, North Carolina Court of Law and Equity Fall Term 1852 the Petition, to the of Judge of the Court, from "Jerry Runions, Reuben Runions, James Runions, Farman Runions, William Runions, John Runions, John Bolen and wife Elizabeth, Jesse Gibbons and wife Eliza, and Phoebe and Frances Runions," to sell all the land owned by Jeremiah Runyan at his death and pay the petitioners their proportionate part; the clerk and Master reported that he believed it to be to the advantage of all to have a sale of the lands.

  4. Spring Term 1853, Clerk and Master reports lands sold: To Sally Runyan, widow, 54 acres at $36.00; to Jas Rippy 93 acres at $214.83; to E. S. E. Chambers 140 acres at $350.00. "All brought a fair price except the piece bought by Sarah Runyan, widow. The petition prayed to sell all the land, but a dower of her deceased husband and land had never been laid off to her, and a portion of the land was hers by inheritance from her father's estate, and by consent with her and her children at sale, she was to buy the homestead 54 acres at $30.00, and take a child's part of the price of the whole land belonging to her deceased husband."

    (Note: It has come to my attention that some have interpreted the part above in bold to read by consent with his and her children. It's impossible to tell which is correct from the photocopy of the original, but it seems logical that the agreement would be between her and her children, since she would have to be a party to the agreement. The inference here is that she was the mother of all his children.)

  5. Clerk and Master of the Court reports that Sarah Runions, widow of late J. Runyans, dec'd, has since the sale of the land, died seized of a portion of the original tract, and it is ordered to sell the land for cash and the proceeds be placed as a part of the estate.

  6. Georgia         )        (January 9, 1854)
    Cobb County)     To the Honorable Court of Ordinary of said county -

    The petition of Thompson B. Hamrick, showeth that he is the father of Narcissa, Adeline, Blanton and Jane Hamrick, and their grandfather, Jeremiah Runion of the state of North Carolina, left them an legacy which they cannot obtain only through a guardian should they obtain it soon. Your petitioner further showeth that he being the natural guardian of said minor children is desirous of giving the bond and security . . and further showeth that said minor children are all more than fourteen years of age and have made choice of him as their natural guardian to act for them in obtaining said estate . . The Court appoints Thompson B. Hamrick natural Guardian of his minor children.

    Georgia          )        (January 10, 1854)
    Cobb County )     Know all men by these presents that we: Sally Hamrick, John W. Stancil and Irena Stancil, wife of John W. Stancil, formerly Irena Hamrick, and James R. Hamrick, heirs of Frances Hamrick, daughter and heir of Jeremiah Runyan, late of the state of North Carolina, deceased, nominate & appoint Thompson B. Hamrick our lawful attorney . . to recover of John Boarders, administrator of estate of Jeremiah Runyan . . all goods belonging to us . . and to do all necessary acts relating to the collecting of our share of the estate of our grandfather the said Jeremiah Runyan or his wife Sarah Runyan, deceased, . .
           Signed: Sally (X) Hamrick, John W. (X) Stancil, Irena (X) Hamrick, James R. (X) Hamrick Acknowledged January 13, 1854.


Trying to arrange the children of Jeremiah and Sarah Runyan in an orderly sequence according to their age turned out to be quite a challenge. The census records were not very accurate. Still the attempt seemed worthwhile, so I'm including my analysis of the data I had to work with:

In 1800, Sally and Jeremiah Runyan had one child, a son under age ten years. In 1810, they had six children: one male age "10 to 16" years, one male and four females "under age ten years." In 1820, there were six additional children: two males and four females "under age ten" making a total of twelve children. There were no children under age ten in the 1830 census so it seemed all the children were born by 1820. However, there were only four boys accounted for in these records two of which were born before 1810, but there were five boys named in the estate file: Jerry, Reuben, James, Farman, William, and John. Apparently one of the boys had been missed.

In the 1820 census, besides those under age ten years, there was a male and female age "10 to 16," and two males and three females in the "16 to 25" age bracket. Now there were three males who were born before 1810. The boy that was missed in 1810 was now included, but there are two unidentified females. Was one of the boys counted as a female in 1810? Or were there visiting relatives that account for the two extra females?

The ages of Reuben, James and Furman Runyan are known to be after 1810, and Jeremiah R. Runyan was age 46 in 1850 so was born about 1804. This leaves William R. Runyan and John Runyan to be either the one male born before 1800, or the male who was age 10 to 16 in 1820. Thus Jeremiah R. Runyan, William R. Runyan, and John Runyan are the three boys born before 1810.

Two of the daughters who were born before 1810 have been identified. The first is Frances Runyan, who married Thompson Blanton Hamrick. She was in the 30-40 age bracket in 1840, and had eight children at that time. She died not long after this census was taken. Her husband married again by about 1844 and had three additional children before 1850. The other daughter, Phoebe Runyan, married Cornelius Gidney. She was age 45 in 1850 so was born about 1805. I have not found enough information about Elizabeth, who married John Bolen, to know if she was born before or after 1810. There were unidentified daughters who were born before and also one born after 1810. Elizabeth could fit either place. It does seem that one or two of the daughters may have died young.

The younger children, born after 1810 (2M 4F), include Reuben H. Runyan, who was born in March 1815, and James Runyan born about 1816 (he was age 34 in 1850). To complicate things three of the children's ages, reported in census records, made them all appear to be born in 1820. These were Furman who was age 30 in 1850, Mary, who was age 40 in 1860 and Eliza, who was age 60 in 1880. Fortunately other records have been found to partially correct this. Furman's age was given as age 43 in 1860, and he died April 24, 1897 at age 80 years. Eliza's tombstone shows her to be age 89 when she died in 1904. This would make her born about 1815 which is the year her brother Reuben was born. They could be twins; if not, it's impossible to tell which is the older and which is the younger.

The third item in the estate file of Jeremiah Runyan is a petition by the heirs of Jeremiah Runyan to sell land that was owned by him at the time of his death. Two and possibly three of the children named in the petition were deceased at the time the petition was made. Yet they were named as parties to the petition as though they were alive. I suppose the reason for this was to save time, and so their children could receive their fair share of the estate; but actually it is their children who should have been named.

Not much has been found about John, and it is still uncertain if he or William R. Runyan was the oldest child. In March, 2000, I found out much more about William R. Runyan from Gordon Runion of Inman, South Carolina, but the problem of which child was the oldest remains unresolved. Gordon Runion has been a big help in tracing the families of all the children in this line.

The Runyan name has been spelled various ways: Runyan, Runyon, and Runion, and these spellings sometimes show up with an added an "s," in some records.

    Children of Sarah Harris and Jeremiah Runyan:
    1. John RUNYAN b abt 1799 (1M -10 in 1800), Rutherford (now Cleveland) Co., NC [or this could be William R., see note, child no. 6, below]
    2. + Frances Catherine RUNYAN b abt 1801; m Thompson Blandon HAMRICK
    3. (daughter) RUNYAN b abt 1802, Rutherford (now Cleveland) Co., NC; [? possibly Elizabeth who m John BOLEN? - see note, child no. 7, below]
    4. + Jeremiah R. RUNYAN b abt 1804 (46-1850); m Tabitha COLLINS
    5. Phoebe RUNYAN b abt 1805 (45-1850), Rutherford (now Cleveland) Co., NC; m Cornelius GIDNEY (b abt 1799, age 40-50 - 1840, d before 1850); they were living in York Co., SC, when the 1840 census was taken, and in Cleveland Co., NC when the 1850 census was taken

      1. William GIDNEY b abt 1835 (15-1850), GA
      2. Jeremiah GIDNEY b abt 1838 (12-1850), SC
      3. Eleazer GIDNEY b abt 1840 (10-1850), NC

    6. + William R. RUNYAN b abt 1809 (1M 1F age 10-16 in 1820); m Leanna LIVELY; [or was it John who married Leanna Lively(?) - see note, child no.1, above]
    7. (daughter) RUNYAN b abt 1811, Rutherford (now Cleveland) Co., NC; [? or is this Elizabeth who m John BOLEN? - see note, child no. 3, above]
    8. + Eliza RUNYAN b abt 1815; m Jesse K. GIBBONS
    9. + Reuben H. RUNYAN b Mar 1815; m 1st Margaret S. GIBBONS; m 2nd Lonza WHITE
    10. + James M. RUNYAN b abt 1816 (34-1850); m Mary Eliza BEASON.
    11. + Furman RUNYAN b abt 1818 (43-1860); m Mary N. RIPPY
    12. + Mary RUNYAN b abt 1820 (40-1860); m 1st Aza ADAMS; m 2nd Lemich EDWARDS

    1. + Charles Churnwell RUNYON b March, 1858; m Sarah Jane (MN unknown)-- Where do they fit?
# # #

[Webmaster note: direct any correspondence or questions you may have about this document to the webmaster of this site, and we will pass it on to the author. Any responses will be at her sole discretion. Please be sure to state that you are routing your request through the webmaster of this site, so it will be clear when we forward your message.]

Navigation Bar for Chapters of Part II - Descendants of John Harris
Ch 2 - Sarah "Sally" Harris   |   Ch 2.2 - Frances Runyan   |   Ch 2.4 - Jeremiah Runyan
Ch 2.6 - William Runyan   |   Ch 2.8 - Eliza Runyan   |   Ch 2.9 - Reuben Runyan   |   Ch 2.10 - James Runyan
Ch 2.11 - Furman Runyan   |   Ch 2.12 - Mary Runyan   |   Ch 2.a - Charles Runyan   |   Ch 7 - Judah "Judy" Harris

Navigation Bar for book - Descendants of Isaac Harris
Foreword   |   Contents   |   Isaac Beginnings   |   Part I - William   |   Part II - John   |   Part III - Wooten   |   Part IV - Benjamin
Part V - Elizabeth   |   Part VI - Mary   |   Part VII - Reuben   |   Part VIII - Zachariah   |   Part IX - Alexander Rhodes

To go to another part of the book, click on the navigation bar;
OR use your browser's "Back" button to return to the previous page;
© Copyright Garda Hodgson, May 2006,
All Rights Reserved; USED BY PERMISSION

HTML rendering © Copyright Doug Paulson,
May 2006, All Rights Reserved

Final edits accepted — January 20, 2006

Comments or corrections should be addressed to the webmaster
e:mail address
[These entries were encoded in July 2007 to discourage hackers. Best way is to just click on the hotlinked words "the webmaster," which will bring up your email software and automatically address the note for you. The address you see is actually a 'gif" image, so you won't be able to cut and paste it into an e-mail; you will have to write it down or type it into your address book for reference.]