NOTE: The links below will not
function in this copy; go to the website
copy for all links to function.
William Jasper Harris, Sr.
Harris Family Ancestry Page
- The Pendleton District
Doug Paulson's Comments on Origins of Benjamin and Silas Harris:
When I first became interested in genealogy, at about age 14, I copied out my Grandfather John E. Harris's family records which showed the birthplace of Benjamin Harris, his son, Silas Harris, and his son, Zachariah Harris only as "of the Pendleton District, South Carolina." Since that time, over 55 years ago, I have found nothing different within my family line. Of course, most of the other members of this family who have created their own sets of family records have based them on the same documents I copied at that time, and which I now have in my possession. The "of the Pendleton District, South Carolina." designation follows LDS Genealogical Society practice to indicate that the research shows they originated in that area, but the actual place of birth is not known or proven.
The Pendleton District first was in unorganized Indian lands. There were a number of changes in the political subdivisions in what is referred to as the Piedmont area of South Carolina. Some South Carolina sources indicate that even some areas now within North Carolina once were considered part of the Piedmont area (and some have told me the same about the Pendleton District*), though I've found no verification of that from North Carolina sources yet. The area identified as "Pendleton District" may encompass areas known as Greenville County, Pendleton County, Washington District, 96 District, Pickens District or Anderson District. Finally, in 1826, the area then known as Pendleton District was divided into Pickens and Anderson Districts. In later years further changes led to the current county names, Anderson, Abbeville, Greenville, and Pickens Counties, and possibly parts of Spartanburg, Cherokee, Union, Laurens, Greenwood, McCormick, Saluda, and Oconee Counties. However, by that time Benjamin, Silas and Zachariah Harris forebears had moved on to Tennessee.
*In the 1970s a professional genealogist who researches in this area informed me that the whole "Piedmont" area of both North and South Carolina was often referred to as "The Pendleton District" by those who lived there. The only thing I have found in support of that contention is a statement on the Piedmont Historical Society website : "Prior to the early 1800's, North Carolina also claimed the northern portion ot the South Carolina Piedmont. So, some of the early records will be found in Tryon County and Mecklenburg County as well as the colonial and state records of North Carolina." [Part of old Tryon County later became Rutherford County; in particular that area where colonial era Harris properties were located.] However, I have not found anything in online North Carolina sources to corroborate this allegation. In fact, the area of North Carolina currently referred to as the "Piedmont area" of that state is not contiguous with the Piedmont area of South Carolina.
Therefore, I must reluctantly admit that what I have believed to be fact for half a century now must be considered as unofficial "hearsay." The current information I have found associates the term "Pendleton District" only with South Carolina. It is of interest vis-a-vis these Harris family ancestors that Rutherford County, North Carolina, immediately abuts what was once the Pendleton District in South Carolina. Also the various streams used to describe metes and bounds of Harris property purchases and sales flow from South Carolina into North Carolina. Perhaps some of the descendants who still live in Rutherford County, North Carolina may be able to shed further light on this question in the future. [If so, please contact the webmaster!]
There are a number of interesting resources on the internet devoted to the old Pendleton District, including historical maps. These maps also show many of the various features (e.g., creeks, rivers, etc.) that are mentioned in some of the records of deeds that are provided in the
Appendix to Garda Hodgson's online book on Descendants of Isaac Harris.
I have included two such maps below, referenced from the Piedmont Historical Society's
"South Carolina Maps" page on their website hotlinked above. [If anybody knows of maps that may cover areas in North Carolina as well, which may once have been included in the area called "the Pendleton District," please contact the webmaster!]