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 Part IV - Descendants of Benjamin Harris
Ch 1 - William   |   Ch 2 - Silas   |   Ch 2.1 - Zachariah   |   Ch 2.1.2 - William Jasper   |   Ch - William Jasper Jr.  
Ch 3 - Benjamin   |   Ch 6 - Leah   |   Ch 6.1 - Perrin Rutledge   |   Ch 7 - Ruth   |   Ch 9 - Mary Ann  
Ch 12 - Elizabeth "Betsy"   |   Ch 12.2 - William H. Terry   |   Ch 12.2.2 - Jesse B. Terry  

Descendants of Benjamin Harris

Part IV of Descendants of Isaac Harris

By Garda M. Hodgson

Benjamin Harris, son of Isaac Harris of Meherrin Parish, Brunswick County, Virginia, was born in 1762 in Southampton County, Virginia, and died May 21, 1834 in White County, Tennessee. He served as a soldier during the Revolutionary War. According to his Revolutionary War Pension Record, he was drafted into the militia service for three months from Brunswick County, Virginia, and served in the regiment commanded by General Lucas. He returned home, then was drafted for another three months and served in Isle of Wight County, Virginia.

After the Revolutionary War, his brothers and sisters were all in Rutherford County, North Carolina. It is Benjamin Harris's pension papers that testify he also was there:

"Since the Revolutionary War, he has lived in Rutherford County, North Carolina, from thence he removed to Greenville District, South Carolina, from there he moved to the County of White, Tennessee where he now lives and has lived ever since . . ."
(signed) Benjamin (X) Harris

Benjamin Harris, and his brother, Reuben Harris, were living in Greenville County, South Carolina by 1790. According to the census taken that year, both were married, but neither had children. By this time, Benjamin was 28 years of age. He received a land grant in Greenville County of 73 acres on the middle fork of the Saluda River on June 4, 1804, and two grants in March 1814. The first grant, dated March 3, 1814, was for 225 acres; the other dated March 4, 1814 was for 200 acres. Actually, he had acquired property even before that, for on February 15, 1796 (Greenville County Deed Book D page 441), Benjamin sold 100 acres of land to Jonathan Potts "it being part of two tracts of land, the one granted to Ephraim Ellis by Letters Patent dated May 1, 1786 and recorded in the Secretaries Office in Grant Book JJJJ (or IIII) p 398, and the other granted unto Robert Bailey by Letters Patent dated October 1, 1787 recorded in Grant Book UUUU. The land being on both sides of Ellis's Fork of the middle fork of Saluda River." Benjamin signed his name with an X. Also on December 18, 1807, John Slaton, of the state of Tennessee, Hawkins County, sold to Benjamin Harris, of the state of South Carolina, Greenville District, 150 acres of land on both sides of the Saluda River. Then on February 15, 1811, Edward, Nancy, Aaron and Martha Stanton, all of the state of South Carolina, Greenville District, sold two tracts of land (300 acres) on both sides of the Saluda River to Benjamin Harris.

On March 6, 1818, Benjamin Harris sold 500 acres of land to William Cannady, including land where Benjamin Harris then lived. (Ref. Greenville County Deed Book K p174) Included in this deed for 500 acres was a 188 acre tract, purchased of Zachariah Harris, also a second tract bought of Zachariah Harris in the same deed, and also a 145 acre tract conveyed by George Clancy, and one purchased of Abner Norris containing 112 acres. "If there then be not 500 acres, sd Harris do agree to make up the balance out of the balance of sd tract adjoining Edy Slaten." On the same date this deed was proven by the oath of Horatio Griffith, one of the subscribing witnesses, and Ruth Harris, the wife of Benjamin Harris, released her dower right to the land.

On April 11, 1818, Benjamin purchased three tracts of land in White County, Tennessee, containing 156 acres on Pigeon Roost Creek of Falling Water, grants #1993, #9927 and #9928 from John Young. His survey was on the line that divides Jackson and White Counties. Then on April 13, 1824, he purchased some additional land from William Neighbors.

In 1824, Benjamin and Reuben Harris each purchased 100 acres of land from Thomas Turner and William A. Turner who owned equal shares in a 200 acre tract that they inherited from their father. This land was located in the third district of White County on the waters of Calf Killer. (Ref. White County Deed Book G pp330, 331) In Reuben's deed, dated April 12, 1824, it mentions a dividing corner with Benjamin Harris. The deed included the place where Reuben Harris then lived. The deed for Benjamin Harris was dated July 19, 1824, and included the place where William Carlin then lived. William Carlin was Benjamin Harris's son-in-law.

The Benjamin Harris family was enumerated in the 1790-1810 federal Censuses in Greenville County, South Carolina. In 1790, they did not have any children. In 1800, they had four boys and two girls under age ten. In 1810, there were three boys and two girls under age ten, and one boy and two girls in the 10-15 age bracket. In 1820, they were living in White County, Tennessee, and there were two males and one female in the 16-25 age group who were still living at home, plus two males age 10-15, and one female under age ten. Considering all of these censuses there seems to be a total of 12 children in the family, all of which have been identified except one male who was between age 10 and 15 in 1820. However, B. F. Harris, in his 1858 letter, indicated that Silas had seven brothers, and there are only seven male children accounted for in these census records. This means there are two male children still unidentified, and presumably died young. At least, they must have died without living children before Benjamin Harris made his will in 1834, otherwise they would have been mentioned in the will as were the children of his sons, Benjamin and Sterling Harris.

Benjamin Harris died May 21, 1834. His will, dated April 25, 1834 was proven on October 13, 1834 in White County Court. Also a copy of this will was included in his pension papers. In it, he gives his son, Amos Harris, one hundred fifteen acres of land, and "unto my son Benjamin Harris's two children, William & Benjamin Harris, sixty dollars each, to Sterling Harris's daughter, Nancy Ann, sixty dollars, to Wooten Harris seventy dollars, and to his children, Benjamin and William, twenty-five dollars each, and I give and bequeath to Betsy Harris the wife of William Harris one hundred dollars for the support and maintainance of her children by her husband William Harris. I give and beqeath to my daughter, Lear Rutledge, a debt on Tildon Rutledge . . . I give Silas Harris nothing more having given him his share of my estate. Neither do I give William Boles anything more. . . I give my daughter Betsy Terry nothing more having given her a tract of land by deed this day. I give William Nanny nothing more than I have already done. . . I give my daughter Betsy Terry fifty dollars to be paid sometime when my wife feels proper. Signed: Benjamin X Harris. Wit: A. Dibrell, Jesse Stewart

I nominate and appoint my wife, Rutha Harris, executrix to this my last will and testiment and Anthoney Dibrell also.
Signed: Benjamin X Harris Wit: Jesse Stewart, Wm Carland.

In a deed dated April 25, 1834. Benjamin Harris gave "156 acres land whereon said Benjamin Harris now lives, purchased of John Young" to his son-in-law, Jesse B. Terry, as the inheritance of his daughter, Betsy Terry, as mentioned in his will (Ref. White County Deed Book I p 220). He also gave 100 acres by deed dated April 21, 1834 "land whereon William Carland now lives" to his son-in-law William Carland, as the inheritance of his daughter Mary Ann On December 22, 1836. Benjamin Harris's widow, Ruth Harris, and son Silas Harris, of Macoupin County, Illinois, sold their remaining 97 acres of land in White County, on the waters of Calf Killer to Richard England. (Ref. White Co, TN Deed Book K p 90). It is interesting that when Reuben Harris sold his land that bordered the land of Benjamin Harris, he also sold to Richard England.

On March 21, 1853, Mary Ann Carland, age 48, gave the following testimony at White County, Tennessee which was included in Benjamin Harris's pension papers: "That she is the daughter of the identical Benjamin Harris who was a pensioner of the United States at the rate of twenty dollars per annum . . and that her father, the said Benjamin Harris, died in the County of White on the twenty-first day of May eighteen hndred and thirty-four leaving a widow whose name was Rutha Harris and who did not again intermarry, but remained the widow of the said Benjamin Harris up to the time of her death. That the said Rutha Harris died in the County of Macoupin in the State of Illinois on the Twenty-fifth day of September eighteen hundred and forty- five leaving the following children: Mary Ann Carland, Betsy Terry, and Amos Harris, their others all having died before the death of said Rutha Harris. That the said Rutha Harris never drew a pension from the United States, . . She makes this declaration in order to obtain the pension due her mother up to the time of her death . . . (Signed): Mary Ann X Carland."

On September 10, 1853, Rachel Thomas, age 77, made oath before the White County, Tennessee Court that ". . she was personally acquainted with Benjamin Harris, a pensioner of the United States, and with his widow, Rutha Harris; that she was acquainted with them in Rutherford County, North Carolina previous to the year 1800. She states she was not present at their marriage, but she knows that they were married previous the the year 1800, she being in the neighborhood at the time, and well acquainted with the parties at the time of their marriage. . . (Signed): Rachel X Thomas"

(Note: In order for the widow of a Revolutionary War Soldier to qualify for a pension of her deceased war veteran husband, she must have been married to him prior to the year 1800).

(Child #4 of Isaac Harris of Brunswick County, Virginia)

Benjamin Harris2 (Isaac Harris1) was born in 1762 in Southampton County, Virginia, and died May 21, 1834 in White County, Tennessee. He married Ruth or Rutha Byers in Rutherford County, North Carolina. There were two documents found to which she signed her name, and on both of them her name was given as "Ruth" Harris. The first document was the deed dated March 6, 1818, when Benjamin Harris sold his 500 acres of land in Greenville County, North Carolina to William Cannady, and she released her dower right. The other document was the deed in which she and her son, Silas, sold their remaining land in White County, Tennessee after they moved to Macoupin County, Illinois. In all other documents, in which she is mentioned, she is referred to as "Rutha." Actually, she signed her name to these two documents with an "X," so this may not prove that her name was actually Ruth; but, to me, it did open the door to the possibility that when she was asked her name, she gave her true name rather than the name by which she was commonly known. Of course it is quite possible that the person who was making the record could have assumed that her name was Ruth, even if Rutha was her true given name.

Rutha was born in about 1770, and died September 25, 1845 in Macoupin County, Illinois. If Silas had seven brothers as indicated by B. F. Harris in his 1858 letter, then there should be thirteen children in the family, and two unidentified sons.

    1. + William HARRIS   b 11 Jun 1791; m Betsy  ? 
    2. + Silas HARRIS b 15 Dec 1792; m 1812 Jane HILL
    3. + Benjamin HARRIS b abt 1794; m Polly  ? 
    4. Sarah HARRIS b abt 1796, Greenville Co, SC; m William BOLES
    5. Sterling HARRIS b abt 1798, Greenville Co, SC, d before 25 Apr 1834;
      m  ? 

      1. Nancy Ann HARRIS, named in her grandfather's will; m Mr. MAXWELL

    6. + Leah "Lear" HARRIS b 1799; m William RUTLEDGE
    7. + Ruth HARRIS   b abt 1801 (20-30, 1830; m William NANNEY
    8. Wooten HARRIS b abt 1803, Greenville Co., SC, d before 25 Sep 1845;
      m  ?  he received a legacy in his father's will as did his two sons

      1. Benjamin HARRIS b abt 1825, White Co., TN
      2. William HARRIS b abt 1827, White Co., TN

    9. + Mary Ann HARRIS b 1805 (48-1853), Greenville Co., SC; m William CARLAND
    10. Amos HARRIS b abt 1807, Greenville Co., SC, still alive on 25 Sep 1845, and B. F. Harris in his letter dated 22 Apr 1858 expressed the belief that Amos was still alive, but he did not know where he was living
    11. (son) HARRIS b abt 1809, Greenville Co., SC; according to the White Co., TN 1820 Census, Benjamin and Rutha Harris had two sons age "10-15, and a daughter under age ten;" apparently this son died before 25 Apr 1834 when Benjamin made his will, as he was not mentioned in it
    12. (son) HARRIS b abt 1811, Greenville Co., SC; not included with family in 1820 census, but could have been working and living with a different family; he would be the 7th brother of Silas Harris indicated in the 1858 letter of B. F. Harris; d before 25 Apr 1834
    13. + Elizabeth "Betsy" HARRIS   b 1815 (35-1850), Greenville Co., SC; m Jesse B. TERRY

Research sources are listed in the Appendix

# # #

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Navigation Bar for Part IV - Descendants of Benjamin Harris
Ch 1 - William   |   Ch 2 - Silas   |   Ch 2.1 - Zachariah   |   Ch 2.1.2 - William Jasper   |   Ch - William Jasper Jr.  
Ch 3 - Benjamin   |   Ch 6 - Leah   |   Ch 6.1 - Perrin Rutledge   |   Ch 7 - Ruth   |   Ch 9 - Mary Ann  
Ch 12 - Elizabeth "Betsy"   |   Ch 12.2 - William H. Terry   |   Ch 12.2.2 - Jesse B. Terry  

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

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Final edits completed — January 31, 2006

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