Robert Bell Harrison, Sr.
Born in South Carolina: 1790
Died in Mississippi: 1853
August 11, 2007
Chapter 1- Col. Benjamin Cleveland
(1738 – 1806)
As an introduction to my most distant known ancestor, Thomas Harrison, Sr., I give this sketch of Colonel Benjamin Cleveland who was a Revolutionary War hero in North Carolina (Battle of Kings Mountain) and a contemporary of Thomas Harrison, Sr. Colonel Benjamin Cleveland (1738 – 1806) was about the same age as Thomas Harrison, Sr. (ca 1740 – 1810) and a neighbor (from about 1785 to 1806) in the Pendleton District, South Carolina (present day Oconee, Anderson, and Pickens Counties).
They were probably acquainted even before that time during their sojourn (from about 1770 to 1785) in the Yadkin Valley of Wilkes County, North Carolina. On 14 November 1782 in Wilkes County, North Carolina, Absalom Cleveland, the son of Benjamin Cleveland, married Patsy Harrison, the daughter of Thomas Harrison, Sr.
Later there were at least two other Cleveland-Harrison marriages. William Cleveland (son of the Rev. John Cleveland who was the brother of Col. Benjamin Cleveland) married Nancy Ann Harrison (daughter of Thomas Harrison, Sr.) in Georgia or South Carolina on 20 September 1786. And Elizabeth Cleveland (daughter of the same Rev. John Cleveland just mentioned) married Benjamin Harrison (son of Thomas Harrison, Sr.) around 1790 probably in Pendleton District, South Carolina.
It is likely that their migration patterns were similar and therefore some knowledge about the movements of the Thomas Harrison, Sr. family can be inferred from the Cleveland family.
A revealing sketch of Col. Cleveland’s life (including his Revolutionary War exploits) has been handed down to us by none other than the famous nineteenth century historian and archivist Lyman C. Draper.1
During the Revolutionary War Cleveland’s specialty was killing Tories and he succeeding in slaying a dozen or more during his service in this great American cause. He was born in Virginia in 1738 and married Mary Graves in 1760 in Orange County, Virginia. Lyman Draper says--"marriage did not reform his idle and reckless habits. He still loved gaming, horse-racing, and the wild frolicking common on the frontier."
Around 1769 Benjamin Cleveland moved with his father-in-law to the Yadkin Valley in North Carolina (today’s Wilkes County) near the foot of the Blue Ridge, on the waters of Roaring Creek, a northern affluent of the Yadkin River. Cleveland later moved to a tract on the northern bank of the Yadkin River, fifteen miles below Wilkesboro, North Carolina, known as the Round About—a name derived from the horseshoe shape of the land nearly surrounded by the river. This part of North Carolina seems to have been a favorite stopping-off place before the Revolutionary War for settlers from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia on their way south and west to Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, etc.
Benjamin Cleveland seems to have been a man with traits similar to another local fellow named Daniel Boone (1734 – 1820) whom he quite likely knew. Draper says—"from Daniel Boone, who was among the earliest of the pioneers of the Yadkin Valley, Cleveland learned of the Kentucky country." Perhaps Thomas Harrison, Sr. was also familiar with the famous explorer. Like Daniel Boone, Cleveland made an early trip to Kentucky (around 1772) but was soon turned back by an Indian attack that almost ended his young life before it was well launched.
It was sometime later while still living in North Carolina that Benjamin Cleveland came to fame for his Revolutionary War exploits, especially at the Battle of King’s Mountain in October 1780. To honor him for his gallant service a county in North Carolina was named after him in 1841.
Col. Benjamin Cleveland had several brothers who played a
role in the Revolutionary War. They were Capt. Robert Cleveland, Rev. John
Cleveland, and Lt. Larkin Cleveland. Lt. Larkin Cleveland was severely wounded
in the thigh by Tories during the war and had a limp for the rest of his life.
He was similar in size and appearance to Col. Cleveland and probably the Tories
thought they were shooting at the Colonel. John Cleveland later became a
minister of the Gospel.
Wilkes County land deeds for Benjamin Cleveland from 1779 to 1789 are numerous. He was granted an extensive amount of land by the state of North Carolina as were his brothers. A 1779 grant of 348 acres to Col. Cleveland was located on the north side of the Yadkin River and known as "The Great Roundabout".2
Around 1785 Col. Cleveland moved to Pendleton District, South Carolina. His land there was situated in the forks of the Tugaloo River and Chauga Creek in present day Oconee County, South Carolina. This land is near present day U. S. Highway 123 between Chauga Creek and the Tugaloo River.
He continued to serve as a prominent figure in the affairs of that region. He was a justice of the district court, along with General Andrew Pickens and others, for quite a numberof years.
His name appears in the Pendleton District census for 1790 (he owned seventeen slaves).
According to an 1801 Pendleton District deed3 Col. Benjamin Cleveland bought 58 acres from the heirs of Larkin Cleveland, deceased. However, this Larkin is apparently not the brother of Col. Cleveland since, according to Lyman Draper,1 "Larkin Cleveland (the brother of Col. Benjamin Cleveland) moved to Lincoln County, Tennessee, where he died in 1817 in his 67th year." Another source4 says that Lt. Larkin Cleveland (Col. Benjamin Cleveland’s brother) while residing in Franklin County, Georgia, bought land from William Polk on Polk’s Creek in Giles County, Tennessee, in 1810 and was deceased by September 1814 (died 9 July 1814) when his will was proved (in Giles County). He is buried at Buford Station in Giles County, Tennessee.
Rev. John Cleveland had a son Larkin (1748 - ?) and so did Capt. Robert Cleveland (Larkin—1772 - ?). The heirs of "a" Larkin Cleveland, deceased (which Larkin is unclear) as listed in Col. Benjamin Cleveland’s 1801 deed5 were:
1. William Cleveland
2. John Cleveland
3. Neil Cleveland
4. Jeremiah Cleveland
5. Mary Cleveland
6. John McDaniel
7. Benjamin Harrison
Col. Cleveland was a very large man and it is said that some times, while on the district court bench, he would go to sleep and snore so loudly as to disturb the proceedings of the court. Governor Perry states that the Colonel in his later life became very corpulent weighing four or five hundred pounds. It is said that Perry's father visited Cleveland one bitter cold morning to find the old warrior sitting on his porch with nothing on but a thin calico gown, his legs purple with cold. Mr. Perry said to him, "This is a very cold morning Col. Cleveland." The Colonel replied, "No, it is a very fine morning, and I have come out to enjoy the fresh morning air."
Col. Benjamin Cleveland died 15 October 1806. He is buried in a family cemetery on his farm on Chauga Creek. In 1887, his descendants erected to his memory a granite shaft near the intersection of the Southern Railway and Oconee County Highway 34 that leads to Madison, South Carolina.
A full genealogy of the Cleveland family was given by Mr. John Sam Verner in a speech which he delivered [in 1887] at the unveiling of this monument. An interesting account of the ceremonies of this occasion, together with Mr. Verner's speech, were published in the Keowee, South Carolina, Courier of June 1932.6
1. King’s Mountain and Its Heroes: History of the Battle of King’s
Mountain, October 7, 1780 and the Events that Led to It, Lyman C.
Draper, 1881, p. 425, Huntsville Library 973.3 DRA
2. Wilkes County, North Carolina Deed Book Book A-1, p.1 , Deed
recorded June 1779
3. Pendleton District, S.C. Deeds, 1790 - 1806, Compiled by Betty
Willie, p. 258
4. Internet source, Web Site:
5. Pendleton District, S.C. Deeds, 1790 - 1806, Compiled by Betty
Willie, p. 258
6. This last paragraph was written by Lalla Ballenger in 2002; From
Internet Web Site:
A search by the Keowee Courier and the Walhalla, S.C. library in
March 2007 did not turn-up any article about Col. Benjamin
Chapter 2 -Thomas Harrison, Sr.
(ca 1740 – ca 1810)
Thomas Harrison, Sr. (my direct ancestor 200 years and six generations before me) was born around 1740, maybe in Frederick County, Virginia1 or in Rowan County, North Carolina.2 According to some accounts he was the son of John Harrison (1679 – 1733).3 John is a common given name among his descendants. Using the age of Thomas Harrison’s eldest child (Mary) as a guide it appears that he was married around 1760 to Catherine (Caty) Earle (ca 1735 - 1802).4 She was born in Virginia.5 Thomas was living in Frederick County, Virginia, in 1761 so perhaps it was there that they were married. The parents of both Thomas and Catherine are unknown. Catherine died in 1802 and Thomas died ca 1810 (his name last appears on South Carolina land records in 1809). Both died in Andersonville, South Carolina, where they are buried.
The first record I have found for Thomas Harrison is a 1761 land deed in Frederick County, Virginia. It says that John Leith sold to Thomas Harrison of Frederick County, Virginia, 189 acres of land (for 112 pounds) on the North side of Shenandoah River.6 This land is located in present day Warren County, Virginia, about a mile south of Rockland on state highway 658 at the spot where Willow Brook crosses the highway. It is also very near the north bank of the Shenandoah River.
On 6 December 1773 this tract of land was sold by Thomas Harrison of Bedford County, Virginia, and wife Catherine, (for 200 pounds) to Joseph Hains (or Haynes) of West New Jersey.7 So far I have found no Bedford County records for Thomas Harrison.
Another interesting name found in the Frederick County, Virginia, deeds is Samuel Earle (Thomas Harrison’s wife, Catherine, was an Earle). Samuel Earle and his children (Baylis, Hannah, Lettice, Rachiel, and Samuel, Jr.) appear in the records around 1761 and 1762. The fact that Thomas Harrison and Catherine Earle were probably married around 1760 leads me to believe that these Earles are her relatives and that they were married in Frederick County. However, I have found no record of their marriage.
Is it possible that they just cohabitated? According to Parke Roose, Jr., along the Appalachian frontier where men outnumbered women five to one, illegitimacy was commonplace.8 The Frederick County grand jury brought an indictment around 1761 against "a" Catherine Harrison for having a child out of wedlock!9 Mary, their first known child, was born around this time.
Serving on Frederick County juries from 1760 to 1763 were Samuel Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Harrison, Lawrence Harrison, Matthew Harrison, Burr Harrison, and Baylis Earle. In one incident Thomas Harrison was fined for not showing up for jury duty and in another case he was the plaintive in a case where the judge ruled in his favor.10
The Frederick County grand jury was strict in their indictments. Matters such as not keeping roads repaired, adultery, swearing, and having children out of wedlock were typical topics.
Another clue that this is "my" Thomas Harrison is the power of attorney deed given in 1764 to John Bell by Thomas Harrison. In the deed Bell is referred to as "my loving kinsman" by Thomas Harrison.11 Bell is a Harrison family name. One of Thomas Harrison’s grandsons was Robert Bell Harrison, Sr.
The Frederick County deeds do however raise questions. Who were these other Harrison’s, i.e., Burr, Matthew, Lawrence, Samuel, and Benjamin? Burr was married to Mary Anne (Barnes) and Matthew was married to Mary. Were these other Harrison’s brothers of Thomas Harrison? Their land transactions occurred between 1760 and 1775 with Burr Harrison being the most active trader. And finally, if they were siblings, who was the father?
Also, there are land transactions beginning in 1739 in Frederick County, Virginia, involving Thomas Harrison, Daniel Harrison, Jeremiah Harrison and Robert Harrison. Is this an earlier generation of the same family? Are these earlier Harrison’s related to the later Harrison’s?
Thomas Harrison apparently moved to another county in Virginia or to another state around 1773. But where did he go?
In 1775 at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War his age would have been about 35, not too old to participate yet no records have been found indicating that he did. His eldest son, Thomas, was about 15 in 1775 so perhaps he (and some of his brothers) participated before the conflict ended in 1781. However, no records have been found for them either. If they served it would seem likely that they were in the regiment commanded by their friend and later relative (by marriage) Col. Benjamin Cleveland.
From about 1770 to 1785 their friends, the Cleveland’s, lived in what is today Wilkes County, North Carolina.
In 1778 Wilkes County was created from Surry and Rowan counties. Surry County was created from Rowan County in 1771 and Rowan was formed in 1754 from Anson County which was formed in 1750 from Bladen County.
A tax list in 1778 for Rowan County (probably Yadkin-Wilkes County area) list Joseph Harrison, Jeremiah Harrison, and William Harrison but no Thomas Harrison.12 Ben Cleveland (I presume Col. Benjamin Cleveland) was listed. Another name of interest is George Robinson (maybe an ancestor of Ritha A. Robinson who married Robert Bell Harrison in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, in 1824 and also maybe an ancestor of James "Horseshoe" Robinson). This was the tax list of Gideon Wright. Another 1778 Rowan County tax list (Davidson County area)13 list Samuel Harrison and Thomas Harrison (Thomas taxed on 500 acres). This was the tax list of Capt. George Reed’s Company.
A Rowan County, North Carolina, deed shows that on 12 October 1757 John Harrison’s land adjoined the property (on northeast bank of Yadkin River) sold by John Waggoner to Anthony Funderburg. Joseph Harrison was a witness.14 Thomas Harrison was a witness to three deeds on 17 March 1762 for land purchased by Jacob Lash. The property was located on both sides of Town Fork Creek, on Mill Creek of Gargales Creek, and on Stewards Branch of Gargales Creek.15 On 16 June 1772 William Harrison was a witness in a sale (lot No. 10 in Salisbury) by Christopher Beekman of Salisbury (merchant) to John Lewis Beard (tavern keeper).16 On 29 May 1772 John Harrison witnessed a transaction between William Brown (alias Sawyers) to Lanier and Williams (merchants) involving land on Hunting Creek. In this sale Brown (alias Sawyers) included two volumes of Johnson’s Dictionary to pay the debt! The dictionary author was apparently the famous eighteenth century sage and man of letters, Samuel Johnson of London -- who is reputed to have once said "when you are tired of London you are tired of life." I have no proof that any of the foregoing Harrisons are my ancestors. Oddly, none of these deeds involved a buy or sell transaction for Harrison.
From records about Thomas Harrison’s children it appears that he was in Virginia in 1766 (year and place his daughter, Nancy Ann, was born) and in York County, North Carolina in 1771 (year and place his daughter, Patsy was born). He may have been back in Virginia by 1778 (his daughter Mary was married that year to Jacob Holland who was born in Virginia), however he was probably living in Wilkes County, North Carolina, by 1782 (year and place his daughter Patsy was married to Absalom Cleveland). Finally, in 1786 he was living in Georgia or South Carolina (year and place daughter Nancy Ann married William Cleveland).
The Wilkes County, North Carolina, census for 1784 – 178717 list Robert Cleveland, probably the brother of Col. Benjamin Cleveland, but no Harrison’s or Cleveland’s (other than Robert). Also, Wilkes County land records beginning in 1779 show numerous transactions for Benjamin Cleveland and his relatives (from 1779 to 1815) but none at all for Thomas Harrison or his kin. Maybe by 1779 some (and probably by 1784 all) of the Harrison clan had migrated to Pendleton District, South Carolina.
To summarize the whereabouts of Thomas Harrison, Sr. it appears that he was in Frederick County, Virginia, from 1760 to about 1773. He apparently lived in Bedford County, Virginia, for a while around 1773. He moved to Wilkes County, North Carolina, around 1775(?) and was there in 1782 when his daughter married Absalom Cleveland. Around 1785 he moved to South Carolina.
Around 1785 (maybe as early as 1779) Thomas Harrison, Sr. moved to Pendleton District, South Carolina. By 1785 he was nearly fifty years old. All of his children were grown and married. His move to South Carolina maybe included the entire Thomas Harrison, Sr. clan.
A Thomas Harrison is in the 1790 census for the Pendleton District, South Carolina. This family was made up of five males, two females, and nine slaves. Living close by was John Harison (probably a son of Thomas) with three males, one female, and one slave. Other relatives in close proximity were: Thomas Harrison (son of Thomas, Sr. just mentioned) and Burr Harrison (relationship unknown). Near-by friends were: John Robertson, Thomas Robertson, and James Robertson (this was either "Horseshoe" Robertson or his son—to be discussed later). Also residing there were Benjamin Cleveland, Rev. John Cleveland, and other Cleveland’s.
Oddly enough no South Carolina land records have been found for Thomas Harrison, Sr. before 1791. Land records18 for Pendleton District, South Carolina, show transactions for Thomas Harrison, Sr. from 1791 to 1809. His land was located in present day Oconee County on the Tugaloo River, on Beaver Dam Creek of the Tugaloo River and on Choestoea Creek. The precise location of his property is not known.
Catherine (Earle) Harrison died in 1802 and Thomas Harrison, Sr. died around 1810 (his name last appears on land records in 1809). Both died in Andersonville (or Anderson), South Carolina, where they are buried.19
From land records and Internet sources20 it appears that Thomas Harrison, Sr. and Catherine Earle had the following children:
1. Mary ("Polly") (ca 1760 - 1857) married Jacob Holland (1750 – 17 October 1815) around 1778. Both Jacob and Mary died in Pendleton, South Carolina (Tugaloo River). Jacob was born in Virginia.21
2. Thomas (ca 1760 – November 1840) married Nancy ??. The following melancholy accident report22 is from the Pendleton (S.C.) Messenger: On Sunday (17 October 1813) Mr. Benjamin Harrison, the son and four young girls, the daughters of Mr. Thomas Harrison, together with two young Negro fellows, one belonging to Mr. Lewis Ralston, the other to Mr. Chearham of Georgia. Three girls aged 14, 11, and 9 drowned and one Negro. My interpretation of this is that some sort of calamity overtook these young people while they were crossing a river or creek in a buggy throwing them into the icy cold water and causing three of the young girls and one Negro boy to drown. The young girls were the children of Thomas and Nancy Harrison. Benjamin (the son who apparently survived this melancholy accident) was not mentioned in his father’s 1841 estate paper.
When Thomas died in 1840 in Pickens County, South Carolina, he owned 450 acres on the Tugaloo River (where he lived) and 450 acres on Choestoea Creek (both located in present day Oconee County). He also owned land in Georgia (perhaps just across the Tugaloo River in Franklin County).
The estate record23 for Thomas Harrison is dated 24 November 1841. The administrators were Martin Harrison (his son), Aaron Terrill (his son-in-law), and N. J. F. Perry. The estate citation was published at Bethel Church (is that maybe where they attended?).
The children of Thomas and Nancy Harrison in 1841 according to his estate paper were:
a. Clara the wife of Aaron Terrell
b. L. D. Harrison
c. Lydia the wife of S. D. Dortch
d. Shadrack Harrison
e. Martin Harrison
f. Mary the wife of Josiah Stovall
g. Hepsey (Hessy) the wife of Elan Farmer
h. Catherine the widow of ???Blair
i. Elizabeth the late wife of John Legrand
3. Benjamin (1762 – August 1842) married Elizabeth Cleveland (1770 - ??), daughter of Rev. John Cleveland and Mollie McCann. Benjamin died August 1842 in Franklin County, Georgia where his will was proved 5 September 1842. From his will his children were:
a. Terrell L.
c. Elvira Caldwell (deceased)
d. Polly Morris who married John Morris
e. John B.
f. Elvira Burton married to John H. Burton
g. Elizabeth Cawthon
Sons-in-law identified in his will were:
a. John H. Burton married to Elvira
b. John Morris married to Polly
c. Larkin Harrison married to ???
d. Talmon Harbour married to ???
e. David Dumas married to ???
The executors of his will were son John B. Harrison and sons-in-law John Morris and David Dumas.
4. Nancy Ann (ca 1766 - 1864) was born in Virginia.24 She married William Cleveland (18 October 1761 – 18 October 1821) on 20 September 1786 in Georgia (or South Carolina). William was the son of Rev. John Cleveland and Mollie McCann and was born 18 October 1761 in Orange County, Virginia. He died in Pendleton District, South Carolina in 1821. All eleven of their children were born between 1800 and 1812 at Cleveland’s Ferry, Pendleton District, South Carolina.25 There children were:26
a. Martha (Patsy or Patty) who married Thomas Wright
b. Oliver F.
c. Frances (Fanny) who married James Wright
d. Catherine who married Larkin Wright
e. William Earl
f. Mary (Polly)
g. Nancy married George Alexander Columbus Cleveland (maybe a
cousin). His parents were Neal Cleveland and Jane Cornell.
h. Robert Harrison
i. Jane (Jean) married Balis Hix. She appears in the 1850 Federal
census for Fairfield County, South Carolina
k. Elizabeth Caroline married Thomas Calloway Cleveland (maybe a
According to William Cleveland’s 1820 will27 his land was on the Tugaloo River and Beaver Dam Creek (Beaver Dam Creek land to remain in hands of his three son-in-laws—which three?--- he had five). His sons-in-law were: George Cleveland (married to Nancy), Thomas Wright (married to Martha), Larkin Wright (married to Catherine), and James Wright (married to Fanny). In William Cleaveland’s will he gave away 21 slaves to members of his family. Executors were: wife Nancy, son Robert H. Cleveland, son-in-law Thomas Wright, and Benjamin Harrison (William’s brother-in-law, i.e., his wife’s brother who was married to William’s sister, Elizabeth). Witnesses were: Samuel Earle, Jeremiah Cleveland (brother of William Cleveland) and Osburn Cleveland (maybe a nephew of William Cleveland—in 1850 Osburn Cleveland was living next door to Nancy Ann Cleveland according to the South Carolina census for Fairfield County).
The surviving children in 1851 were:28
a. Fanny (wife of James Wright who died 28 April 1848)
b. William E. Cleveland
c. Jane or Jean (wife of Balis Hix)
d. Martha (widow of Thomas Wright)
e. Nancy (wife of George Cleveland)
f. Mary (wife of Benjamin Laughridge)
g. Elizabeth (wife of Thomas Calloway Cleveland)
A number of the heirs had moved to Georgia by 1851.
In the 1850 South Carolina census Nancy Ann was living with her daughter Jane (married to Baylis Hix) in Fair Play, (Fairfield County) South Carolina. Nancy Ann’s age was given as 72 (if she was born in 1766 she would have been 84) and her birthplace was listed as Virginia. She died in 1864 at age 98 and is buried in the Cleveland Family Cemetery in Oconee County, South Carolina. This cemetery is located on a hill behind the Interstate Highway 85 Welcome Center at Lake Hartwell. There are no markers remaining at the site.29
5. John (ca 1770 - 1836) married Naomi. See Chapter 4 for more about John.
6. Patsy (1771 - ???) married Absalom Cleveland on 14 November 1782 in Wilkes County, North Carolina.30 Patsy (maybe also known as Martha or Patty) was born in York County, North Carolina. Absalom was born in Culpepper County, Virginia in 1767. His father was Col. Benjamin Cleveland of Revolutionary war fame. Absalom was granted 300 acres in Wilkes County, North Carolina in 1782 which he sold in 1806 while living in Franklin County, Georgia. He died in 1838 and is buried in the Cleveland family cemetery in Oconee County, South Carolina.
7. William (?? - ??), the unfortunate son, married Elizabeth. William was left none of his father’s property in an 1809 deed in Pendleton District, South Carolina.31 According to the deed, William was guilty of folly, following paths of dissipation and thoughtless dealing that to me appears folly for me to give him the property for which I have labored hard----which would be squandered to the certain reduction of his helpless family. However, if William reformed himself in ten years, his brother Benjamin was granted the right to "make right to property"---otherwise to heirs of William. His heirs evidently were his wife, Elizabeth, and his infant children on reaching 21 years of age.
8. Robert (???? - ????), married Nancy Wright the daughter of Obadiah Wright and Hannah Ro???. Robert "for love and good will", was given one Negro woman (Lucy) and her children (David, Sollomon, Jenny and Jude) by Thomas Harrison, Sr. in a Pendleton District deed dated 14 Jan 1802.32 Another Pendleton District deed33 dated 11 Feb 1802 says that Robert paid $400 to Thomas Shockley of Abbeville Dist. for 200 acres on Choestoea Creek. This land had been granted to Shanklin (not Shockley) on 9 June 1784 by Wm. Moultrie. Choestoea Creek is located in Oconee County.
If the birth and death dates are reasonably accurate some of the children of Thomas Harrison, Sr. and Catherine Earle certainly had long lives for individuals living in the 18th and 19th century. Both Mary and Nancy Ann lived to be 98 and Thomas, Jr. and Benjamin both lived to be 80. However John (my direct ancestor) only made it to age 66.
Chapter 2 Notes and References
1. Ancestry.com – Hill–McCree Family Tree, contact: Vicki Hill at
2. Ancestry.com – Southern/Brown Union County, Georgia, contact: Lisa
Turner Akins at LLA702@yahoo.com
3. Genealogy.com. The dates are estimates.
4. Genealogy.com; also Ancestry.com, Buchanan Family Data, Tom
5. Ancestry.com also Genealogy.com, Holland/Web Gwinnett County,
GA, contact: James T. Bell at Bell95@aol.com
6. Frederick County, Virginia, Deed Abstracts, Deed Books 5,6,7,8
(1757- 1763), vol 2, p. 56, Amelia C. Gilreath, 1990
7. Frederick County, Virginia, Deed Abstracts, Deed Books 15 and 16
(1771- 1775), vol 5, p. 125, Amelia C. Gilreath, 1990
8. The Great Wagon Road, Parke Roose, Jr., p. 192
9. Ibid, p. 199
10. Frederick County, Virginia Order Book 9 (1760 – 1762), p. 17, p. 102,
156, p. 392
11. Frederick County, Virginia, Deed Book 9, p. 152, 22 March 1764
12. Rowan County, North Carolina Tax Lists 1757 – 1800, Annotated
Transcriptions, Jo White Linn, p.104
13. Ibid, p. 158
14. Abstracts of the Deeds of Rowan County, North Carolina, 1753 –
1785, Vols. 1 – 10, Mrs. Stahle Linn, Jr., p. 8
15. Ibid, p. 45
16. Ibid, p. 118
17.Wilkes County, N. C. Internet Web Site:
18. Pendleton District, S.C. Deeds, 1790 - 1806, Compiled by Betty
20. Ancestry.com, Buchanan Family Database, Tom Buchanan at
21. Ancestry.com, Hill–McCree Family Tree, contact: Vicki Hill at
firstname.lastname@example.org and Holland/Web Gwinnett County, GA, contact:
James T. Bell at Bell95@aol.com
22. Marriages and Death Notices from Pendleton (S. C.) Messenger,
1807 – 1851, Brent H. Holcomb, p.6
23. A Collection of Upper South Carolina Genealogical and Family
Records, Volume I, Editor: James E. Wooley, p. 175
24. Ancestra.com, Catherine Earle, Beaman -- Parker Family Genealogy,
contact: Brenda Beaman Parker at email@example.com
26. Pendleton District and Anderson County, S.C. Wills -- Estates,
Inventories, Tax Returns and Census Records, Compiled by: Virginia
Alexander, Colleen Morse Elliott, and Betty Willie, p.56
28. 1800 Census of Pendleton District South Carolina, Special
Publication of the National Genealogical Society, Number 26, p. 42
29. Ancestra.com, Catherine Earle, Beaman -- Parker Family Genealogy,
contact: Brenda Beaman Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org
31. Pendleton District, S.C. Deeds, 1790 - 1806, Compiled by Betty
Willie, p. 280
33. Ibid, p. 282
Per Betty Cooper in an 1998 E-Mail:
Prior to 1785 all records were kept in Charleston
In 1795 the Washington District was created
In 1798 Pendleton district was created from the Washington District
In 1826 Pendleton District became Pickens and Anderson Counties
Before 1768 all South Carolina records were kept in Charleston (the only county in South Carolina)
In 1768 the 96th District was established that covered the present day counties of Oconee, Anderson, Pickens, Greenville, and others
After the Revolutionary War (around 1784) the Indians left and white settlers began to move into the new counties of Pendleton and Greenville
In 1790 the Pendleton County Courthouse was built in Pendleton (Commissioners were Andrew Pickens, Benjamin Cleveland, et al)
In 1791 the Courthouse was built for the Washington District (later called Pendleton and Greenville Counties) in Pickensville, near Easley, South Carolina (James Harrison was one of those appointed to buy land and build the courthouse)
Starting in 1798 Counties were called Districts
In 1826 the Pendleton District became Pickens and Anderson Counties
In 1868 Oconee County was formed from Pickens County
Chapter 3 - James "Horseshoe" Robertson
(1759 – 1838)
To introduce my next ancestor, John Harrison, Sr. (ca 1770 – 1836),
a brief account of another famous Revolutionary War hero is helpful. He is James Galbraith ("Horseshoe") Robertson (spelled both ways—Robinson and Robertson).
Ritha A. Robinson (or Robertson), the daughter-in-law of John Harrison, Sr. (Chapter 4) and the wife of Robert Bell Harrison, Sr. (Chapter 5) was surely related (maybe his daughter or niece) to this famous Revolutionary War hero and Tory fighter. John Harrison, Sr. and "Horseshoe" Robertson were friends and neighbors in Pendleton District, South Carolina, and perhaps before that in North Carolina.
Robinson’s exploits were the subject of a novel originally published in 1835 by John Pendleton Kennedy entitled "Horse-shoe Robinson: a tale of the Tory Ascendancy." Several later printings of this book have taken place.
"Horseshoe" Robertson’s parents were David Robertson (1730 - ??) and Jane Howes. They were born in Virginia. "Horseshoe" was born in North Carolina in October 1759. He moved to Pendleton District, South Carolina, (as a young child according to some accounts) where he was married on 4 June 1782 to Sarah Morris Headen (17 July 1763 – 7 January 1838). Sarah was born in Virginia. All seven of their children were born in the Pendleton District. He lived on a farm called Horse Shoe (probably the source of his nickname although some say he was a blacksmith and was nicknamed "Horseshoe" for that reason) and on a creek called Changee. [Historical Collections, Huntsville Library, p. 60]
"Horseshoe" and his family were probably in Alabama by 1821 since his grandson, Jesse (son of David Robertson, Sr.), was born there in 1821 according to the 1850 Federal Census for Tuscaloosa County. "Horseshoe" could be Ritha’s father (or uncle) if he and his family arrived in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama as early as 1821, as some records indicate. Ritha was married in 1824 in Tuscaloosa County to Robert Bell Harrison, Sr.
Certainly by 1828 "Horseshoe" Robertson had moved to Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, since he was one of the founding members on 3 February 1828 of the first Sunday School in the state of Alabama at the Grants Creek Baptist Church. [Pioneers of Tuscaloosa, Alabama Prior to 1830]. Today the following historical marker (but, no mention of "Horseshoe", unfortunately) can be seen at the church:
Grant's Creek Baptist Church
Grant's Creek Baptist Church was constituted April 5, 1828, with Rev.
Medey White and Robert Marsh (the first pastor) as presbytery. Lewis Stovall was
first Church clerk, and James Foster was ordained as the first deacon. The
Grant's Creek Sunday School Union was organized Dec. 1827, as the oldest Sunday
school in Alabama. In 1832, a building was constructed by member John W. Bealle
for $500 which served the Church until 1968, when the present building replaced
it. In August 1833, the Baptist State Convention met here and took action
leading to the founding of Howard (now Samford) and Judson Colleges.
Four sons of Col. John and Elizabeth Savidge Foster-James, Hardy, Robert S., and John L.S.-settled here beginning in 1818, with their mother and sisters Martha and Elizabeth following. Their families formed the nucleus of a model community in the new state, nurtured and influenced primarily by this church. John Collier Foster was pastor from 1845 to his 1892 death. Martha Foster Crawford (1830-1909) was a missionary to China for 50 years.
The author of the novel about "Horseshoe’s" Revolutionary War deeds (John Pendleton Kennedy) described him thusly: "What a man I saw! tall, broad, brawny and erect. His homely dress, his free stride, his face radiant with kindness, the natural gracefulness of his motions, all afforded a ready index to his character. It was evident he was a man to confide in."[Pioneers of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama Prior to 1830, Tuscaloosa Genealogical Society, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1981, p. 209]
"Horseshoe" Robertson died in Tuscaloosa County on 26 April 1838. He is buried in the Robertson cemetery in the Romulus Community (about 3 miles from his home place)." [Pioneers of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama Prior to 1830]
According to Pioneers of Tuscaloosa and Ancestry.com Internet information:
"Horseshoe" had seven children but only one daughter, Sarah Elizabeth (she married William Dunlap who died in 1842).
Ritha A. Robertson (who married my gg-grandfather, Robert Bell Harrison, Sr. in 1824) was born in 1802 and was the "right" age to be one of "Horseshoe’s" younger children, however she is not mentioned in "Horseshoe’s" post-death property deed on 7 July 1838—Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, Deed Book O. According to a tribute written after the death of "Horseshoe" Robertson–they [Horseshoe and his wife] left several children, one daughter was living in Mississippi a few years ago [Revolutionary Soldiers in Alabama, p. 102—Tuscaloosa Public Library].
In 1811 (probably in South Carolina) "Horseshoe’s" son John (1796 – after 1870) married Celia Harrison (1794 – 1873). Her sister, Stacy (who died before 1836), also married a Robertson (they had a son—James H. Robertson). Both Celia and Stacy were the sisters of my gg grandfather, Robert Bell Harrison, Sr.
This certainly indicates a close connection between the Harrison and Robertson families and reinforces my belief that Ritha A. Harrison was perhaps related to "Horseshoe" Robertson. Ritha A. Robertson married Robert Bell Harrison, Sr. in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama in 1824 when she was twenty-two years old. She undoubtedly had moved to Alabama with her parents some few years before. "Horseshoe" could be Ritha’s father (or uncle) if he and his family arrived in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama as early as 1821, as some records indicate.
Chapter 4-John Harrison, Sr.
(ca 1770 – 1836)
John Harrison, Sr. was the son of Thomas Harrison and Catherine Earle. He was probably too young to serve in the Revolutionary War.
He arrived in Pendleton District, South Carolina, with his parents around 1785. He was very likely married there around 1788 to Naomi. I do not know who her parents were. She was probably born around 1770 and died after 1836.
In 1793 and 1794 John Harrison’s name appears as a witness on deeds in the Pendleton District of South Carolina.1
His estate paper2 is reproduced below and reveals quite a lot about him. He died in 1836 in Pickens County, South Carolina.
Estate of John Harrison, Sr. Box 6 #80. Probate Judge Office. Pickens, S.C. Estate administered 2 Feb. 1836 by Thomas (son) and John Harrison, Jr.(son--same as John T.), William Jolly, Thomas W. Harbin who are bound unto James H. Dendy, ord in the sum of $6000.00. James R. Smith a preacher of the Gospel states that the citation was published at the Block Meeting House on 31 Jan 1836. He owned two tracts of land in Pickens District. One of 300 acres where he lived at time of death and where the widow now lives this tract on Tugaloo River being a Soldiers Bounty originally granted to Edward Lowry. Another tract of 300 acres on waters of Choestoe Creek adjoining land of John Messer, J. F. Perry and John Jolly. He left a widow Naomi and eleven children. Hugh and Robert Harrison, Nancy the wife of Solomon O’Kelly, Mary (Polly) the wife of W. W. Short, Celia the wife of John Robertson, Stacy the mother of James H. Robertson (Husband not given) the only heir, she died before her father, Matilda Harrison, Elizabeth the wife of Squire Hughes, Thomas Harrison, Sinah (Lenah) Maddox heirs, she departed this life before her father, her heirs are: Thomas, John, and Martha, all minors. John T. Harrison, Mary Brookshire. Note that there is also a Mary Short. On the 24 Jan 1837 John T. Harrison being sworn that, Hugh and Robert Harrison, Short and wife Polly, John and Celia Robertson, John Maddox all reside out of the state.
So, to recap, John’s wife was Naomi. John died in late 1835 or early 1836. When he died his eleven living plus two deceased children were:
1.Hugh (1789 – 1855) married Judith Kilpatrick in Tuscaloosa
County, Alabama, on 15 December 1818. He lived in Pickens
County, Alabama, before moving in 1836 to Neshoba County,
Mississippi. More about him in Chapter 7.
2.Robert Bell (1790 - 1853) was my great-great grandfather. He
married Ritha A. Robinson (1802 – 1881) on 23 March 1824 in
Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. He moved from Pickens County,
Alabama, to Neshoba County, Mississippi, in 1836. More on him in
3.Nancy was married to Solomon O’Kelly
4.Polly married W. W. Short and lived in another state
5.Celia (Selah) (1794 – 1873) was married in 1811 to John
Robertson (1796 – after 1870). He was the son of "Horseshoe".
They lived out-of-state. On 28 December 1835 her father gave
her one Negro girl (Rhody)3
6.Stacy was deceased and formerly married to ?? Robertson
7.Matilda was not married
8. Elizabeth was married to Squire Hughes
9. Thomas was deeded two Negro boys (Sam and Green) on 12
10.Sinah, deceased, was married to John Maddox who lived out of state
11.John T. (John, Jr.) was maybe the John Harrison in 1850
Federal census for South Carolina (Fairfield County) with wife
12.Mary was married to a Brookshire
13.Mary Short (??)
References for Chapter 4
1. John Harrison was a witness on 10 Feb. 1794 on a deed for Andrew Kelly to John Reno, both of Washington Dist., S. C., for 15 pounds sterling for 267 acres above old boundary line on South side of Saluda River one mile above Richard Parris’s wagon ford bound by Nathan Durham. This land was granted to Kelly by Charles Pinckney on 7 Nov. 1791.
John Harrison was a witness on 24 Feb. 1794 for Thomas Towers of Greenville County, Washington Dist., S. C., to David Wade of Pendleton County, Washington Dist., for 15 pounds sterling for 140 acres on South side of Saluda River above Richard Parris’s wagon ford bound by Kelly, Swillivant. Land granted Thomas Townes by Wm. Moultrie on 4 Feb. 1793.
John Harrison witnessed and made oath to J.P. (Wm. Edmondson) on 10 Nov. 1793 for William Todd of Edgefield County, S. C., to Robert Easley of Pendleton County, S. C., 100 ac. for 25 pounds sterling. This part of 156 acres granted to William Todd by Thomas Pinckney on 10 Feb. 1786. Land on South side of Saluda River.
2. A Collection of Upper South Carolina Genealogical and Family Records, Vol I, edited by James E. Wooley, 1979
3. Pickens District, S. C., Abstracts of Deed Book C-1, 3rd Deed Book, 1834 – 1838, p. 74, Linda G. Cheek (e-mail: LGCheek@aol.com)
4. Ibid, p. 39
Chapter 5 - Other Harrison’s in Pendleton District, South Carolina Around 1800
There were quite a large number of Harrison’s living in the Pendleton District of South Carolina around 1800. Most arrived around 1785 to 1800 from Virginia although Maryland contributed some. Linking these families is difficult to say the least. Others before me have made great efforts at this and have met with only a modest amount of success. Surely many of these Harrison’s had common ancestors.
Two Harrison’s of particular interest to me are James T. Harrison (1811 – 1879) and his father Thomas Harrison (25 December 1790 – July 1839). Thomas lived in the Greenville District, South Carolina. [Genealogy and Local History, Betty Wood Thomas ---- Director – Lowndes County [Mississippi] Dept of Archives and History, Harrison Genealogy File, Mississippi Archives, Jackson] Like "my" Thomas Harrison (who was married around 1760 to Catherine Earle) this Thomas Harrison also married an Earle (Hannah Earle), but much later, like around 1810. This "other" Thomas Harrison had a brother (James) who married Sarah Earle! Earlier members of both families (Harrison and Earle) were participants in the Revolutionary War. Thomas was a banker and a planter in the Columbia and Pendleton Districts, South Carolina. He was a captain in the War of 1812 and was later the South Carolina Comptroller General.
Thomas Harrison’s son (James Thomas Harrison) was born in 1811 and later (1834) moved with his uncle (Isham Harrison) to Noxubee County, Mississippi. [Harrison Genealogy File, Mississippi Archives, Jackson, Mississippi]. Two years later James T. moved to Columbus, Mississippi, where he was married in 1840 to Regina Blewett. In Columbus he became quite famous as a lawyer. It was said of him "he remained a student as long as he lived. He usually arose at four o’clock in the morning and went to his office. In the winters he built his own fires and seating himself at his desk, where his books, paper and stationary were all convenient and kept in perfect order. He had usually finished his days work by nine o’clock when the other lawyers were just beginning their day’s work." [Harrison Genealogy File, Mississippi Archives, Jackson, Mississippi]. In 1865 his eldest daughter (Regina Harrison) married the Confederate General Stephen D. Lee (later, the first president of Mississippi State University).
So far, I have not established any relationship between these Harrison’s and my Harrison ancestors.
Chapter 6 - Robert Bell Harrison, Sr.
(1790 – 1853)
Pendelton District, South Carolina -- Early Years
Robert Bell Harrison, Sr., was my great-great grandfather. He was born in the Pendleton District of South Carolina (now Oconee, Pickens, and Anderson Counties) in 1790. His father was John Harrison, Sr. (ca 1770 – 1836). Robert grew to manhood in this northwestern corner of South Carolina and it was at the Pendleton District Courthouse that he enlisted in the Army on 16 September 1812 when he was 22 years old. His company commander was Captain William Taylor. This company was a part of the 18th Regiment that was commanded by Colonel William Drayton (1776 – 1846). William Drayton was a member of a prominent South Carolina family. His father was chief justice of the province of East Florida. After the War of 1812 Colonel Drayton served in the United States congress (succeeding Joel R. Poinsett who discovered and introduced the beautiful Poinsettia plant to America). Even later Colonel Drayton succeeded Nicholas Biddle as president of the United States bank (the infamous bank that was nearly demolished by President Andrew Jackson).
Hugh Harrison, the brother of Robert Bell, was a Lt. Colonel in the 18th South Carolina Regiment. As an officer of high rank he surely must have been well acquainted with Colonel Drayton.
Robert Bell Harrison served as a private in the same regiment as his brother. After serving for 18 months he mustered out on 15 March 1814 at Fort Johnson near Charleston, South Carolina. According to a description given in 1878 by his widow in a pension application he was 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighed about 160 pounds, and had black hair and gray eyes. He could neither read nor write!
I find it curious that Hugh who was (if the 1850 Federal census is correct) only a year older than Robert was so much more advanced. Hugh as a high ranking officer apparently could read and write (Robert could not). I believe that Hugh was perhaps as much as ten years older than Robert and certainly much more ambitious.
After serving in the War of 1812 Robert apparently decided to stay in the eastern part of South Carolina. In the1820 Federal census a Robert Harrison is listed as a resident of Beaufort District (now Beaufort, Jasper, and Hampton counties) of South Carolina. The census indicates that he owned seven slaves and was unmarried. An account given by his second wife in 1878 says that he was married sometime during this time period, his first wife maybe living for only a short while.
Move to Alabama ca 1820
Robert’s brother (Hugh) married Judith Kilpatrick (see chapter 7) in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama in 1818. So probably Hugh arrived in Tuscaloosa County ahead of his younger brother by several years. More than likely he influenced Robert to remove himself from South Carolina to Alabama.
It is interesting to speculate what route Hugh and Robert might have taken from western South Carolina to eastern Alabama, a distance of about 500 miles, which perhaps took a month to travel. If they followed the route commonly used by many early settlers they traveled overland on foot going west across north Georgia into Tennessee until they reached a point near Chattanooga on the Tennessee River. From there they may have traveled down the Tennessee River to Ditto’s Landing (Huntsville, Alabama), followed the Huntsville Road (also known as the Bear Meat Cabin Road) south to Mud Town (Birmingham) and from there traveled in a southwest direction on through Jones Valley into Tuscaloosa County.
In Tuscaloosa County on 23 March 1824 Robert Bell was married by Justice of the Peace John E. Sanders to his second wife Ritha A. Robinson (1802 –1881) . She was from South Carolina and 22 years old according to her statements in 1878 in her pension application (shown later). I do not know who her parents were. She may have been related (by marriage) to her husband. Two of his sisters married Robertson’s. His sister Celia (Selah) married John Robertson and his sister Stacy (who died before 1836) also married a Robertson (they had a son—James H. Robertson).
No land records in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, have been found for Robert Harrison or his brother Hugh. Around 1820 they were both living about 30 miles west of the town of Tuscaloosa (about 12 miles east of the Alabama-Mississippi line) in what is now Pickens County, Alabama. This was perhaps their only location in Tuscaloosa County since that part of Tuscaloosa County became Pickens County in 1820 when Pickens County was formed. That may explain why no Harrison land records exist in Tuscaloosa County—they would be in the Pickens County records. Unfortunately the Pickens County records for that time period were destroyed in a courthouse fire in 1876.
In Pickens County Robert and Ritha Harrison’s first child, Hiram Perry, was born on 1 July 1827. The origin of this somewhat distinctive given name is unknown. Robert Bell’s father was John and his mother was Naomi, his grandfather was Thomas and his grandmother was Catherine. The next child was Elizabeth (born in 1830), maybe named after Ritha’s mother. In the 1830 census Robert and Ritha Harrison had three children (two daughters and a son, all under five years old). Apparently one of these daughters died young. Then Robert Bell, Jr. was born in 1836 followed by James George in 1838. This last name also is likely from Ritha’s family -- maybe her father.
In 1829 in Tuscaloosa County [20 July 1829, Deed Book G, p. 540] David Robertson was security for Robert Harrison and assumed a note (payment due in five months) owed by Robert Harrison to J. W. and A. W. Sommerville of Tuscaloosa County. Robert put up as collateral eleven head of cattle, one yoke of oxen and one feather bed. I believe this is my gg grandfather Robert Bell Harrison, Sr. who in 1829 was living in nearby Pickens County, Alabama, and that David Robertson is the son of "Horseshoe" Robertson. I think that Robert’s wife, Ritha, was David’s sister!
In 1876 the Pickens County Courthouse burned destroying most of the records about Robert Harrison’s life in that county.
According to the 1880 Federal census Ritha Robinson Harrison was 78 years old. Her father was born in Virginia and her mother was born in Pennsylvania. Ritha died 3 September 1881.
1836 -- Move to Mississippi
After eleven years in Alabama Robert and Ritha and their two children moved (in 1836) to the eastern part of Neshoba County, Mississippi, near the Ham Stockton place where Robert used a military warrant to purchase land [1, p.28 and p. 33]. He first appears on the Neshoba County tax rolls in 1836 [1, p. 31].
Another significant event in 1836 was the death in Pickens County, South Carolina, of Robert’s sixty-six year old father, John Harrison.
Twelve years later and just five short years before he died Robert Bell moved again in 1848 to land near the Good Hope Baptist Church in Neshoba County, Mississippi.
Government Land Application
An application by Robert Bell Harrison in 1851 for government land based on his service in the War of 1812 is reproduced below.
The State of Mississippi
County of Neshoba
On this fifteenth day of January one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one personally appeared before me a justice of the peace within and for the county and state aforesaid Robert B. Harrison aged sixty years a resident of the said county of Neshoba in the state of Mississippi who being duly sworn according to law claims that he is the identical Robert B. Harrison who was a private in the company commanded by Captain William Taylor in the regiment of infantry command by Colonel William Drayton in the war with Great Britain declared by the United States on the 18th day of June 1812.
Death of Robert Bell Harrison, Sr.
Robert Bell Harrison, Sr. died 6 December 1853 and he is buried in the city cemetery in Philadelphia, Mississippi. (his grave site lost its identity during the Civil War so said his grandson Hiram P. Harrison in a brief historical account written in 1927).
Chapter 6.1-Ritha Ann (Robinson) Harrison
(1802 – 1881)
Not much is known about Ritha Ann Robinson, the wife of Robert Bell Harrison, Sr. According to the 1880 Federal census she was born in South Carolina in 1802. Her father was born in Virginia and her mother was born in Pennsylvania. I believe that she was related to the famous Revolutionalr War hero, "Horseshoe" Robertson. She may have been his daughter.
Veterans Pension Application
In 1878 Robert Harrison’s widow (Ritha A. Harrison) applied for a federal pension of $8.00 a month to which she was entitled based on his service in the War of 1812. Her application was rejected on February 2, 1881, on grounds of presumptive abandonment, i.e., applicant presumably abandoned application since letters asking for further evidence in 1879 and 1880 were unanswered. She died on 3 September 1881 at the age of 79. Her application is copied below:
PENSION APPLICATION ON APRIL 16, 1878, BY RITHA A. HARRISON FOR SERVICES RENDERED BY ROBERT B. HARRISON IN THE WAR OF 1812
Claim of Widow for Service Pension
State of Mississippi, County of Neshoba; On this 22nd day of June, A. D., 1878, personally appeared before me, J. C. Gully, Clerk of said County of Circuit Court, the same being a Court of Record within and for the County and State aforesaid, Ritha A. Harrison, aged 76 years, a resident of Neshoba County in the State of Mississippi, who, being duly sworn according to law, declares that she is the widow of Robert B. Harrison deceased, who was the identical Robert B. Harrison, who served under the name Robert B. Harrison as a Private in the Company commanded by Captain Sam Taylor in the 18th Regiment of the U. S. Infantry commanded by Colonel William Drayton in the war of 1812; that her said husband volunteered at Pendleton District, South Carolina, on or about September 16, 1812, for the term of 18 months, and continued in actual service in said war for the term of 18 months and whose service terminated, by reason of an honorable discharge at Charleston, South Carolina, on March 14, 1814. She further states that the following is a full description of her said husband at the time of this enlistment, viz.: height was 5 feet 10 inches, weight was 160 pounds, hair was black, eyes were gray. She further states that she was married to the said Robert B. Harrison in the County of Tuscaloosa and in the State of Alabama on the 19th day of March, A. D., 1822, (23 March 1824 according to Ref 2) by one John E. Sanders who was a Justice of the Peace and that her name before her said marriage was Ritha A. Robinson; and she further states that her said husband had been formerly married to a lady whose name is forgotten, date and place of birth of first wife is forgotten and that her said husband, Robert B. Harrison, died in Neshoba County in the State of Mississippi on the 6th day of December, A. D., 1853, and she further declares that the following have been the places of residence of herself and her said husband since the date of his discharge from the Army, viz.: Robert B. Harrison lived in Pendleton District, South Carolina, in Tuscaloosa and Pickens County, Alabama, and Neshoba County, Mississippi (time at each place could be stated from memory in as much as she has lived in Tuscaloosa and Pickens County, Alabama, and in Neshoba County, Mississippi). She makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the pension to which she may be entitled under Section 4736 to 4740, inclusive, Revised Statutes, and the Act of March 9, 1878, and hereby appoints Bryan Tyson of Washington, D. C., her true and lawful attorney, to prosecute her claim.
And she further declares that she has heretofore made no application for bounty land or pension and that her residence is Neshoba County, Mississippi, and that her post office address is Philadelphia, Neshoba County, Mississippi, in care of Huddleston and Wilcox.
Witnessed by and personally appearing were O. T. Trapp, aged 75 years, of Neshoba County, Mississippi, and J. E. Johnson, of Neshoba County, Mississippi, persons whom I certify to be respectable and entitled to credit, and who, being by me duly sworn, say that they have known the said Ritha A. Harrison for 25 years and for 25 years respectively; that they were present and saw her sign her name (or make her mark) to the foregoing declaration; that they have reason to believe, from the appearance of said claimant and their acquaintance with her, that she is the identical person she represents herself to be; and they further say that they are able to identify her as the person who was the wife of the identical Robert B. Harrison, who rendered the service alleged in the above application (in the company of Captain Sam Taylor in the 18th Regiment of the U. S. Infantry in the War of 1812) by the following named facts and circumstances, viz.: that they have lived in the same neighborhood for said time and enjoyed social intercourse and that they have no interest in the prosecution of this claim.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 22nd day of June, A.D., 1878, etc.
J. C. Gully
Circuit Clerk Said County
Ritha (Robinson) Harrison died 3 September 1881 and she is buried in the Good Hope Cemetery in Neshoba County. Many Harrison’s are buried in this cemetery. It was begun around 1869, according to R. L. Breland , who said that Jackson F. Harrison who died in 1869 was the first person buried there.
Children of Robert Bell Harrison and Ritha A. Robertson
Hiram Perry (1 July 1827 – 2 November 1907) was born in Pickens County, Alabama, and he died in Neshoba County, Mississippi, at home on 2 November 1907 according to his third wife, Susana, in her Civil War pension application. He is buried in the Good Hope Cemetery. He first married Nancy Lucinda Johnson in 1858. She was born in 1840 and died in 1870 and is buried in ? ? Cemetery. Their children were: a son who died at the age of four, Ann E. (her age in 1880 Federal census is 9), Amanda and Eurana. His second wife was Sarah Ann (or Jane) Lewis who he married in 1872. Their children were: Lyda, Hiram Pierce (or Price), James Bell, Charlie L., and Hugh M. Sarah died in 1883 and on 3 January 1884 Hiram Perry married his third wife, Susana Powell. They had no children. Susana filed a Civil War pension application on 7 August 1911 when she was 69 years old. In it she claims to be indigent and the owner of no property. She is living with her son and has lived in Mississippi for about 50 years, she says. Her post office was Scity, Mississippi. Perry, or Uncle Perry as he was called in later life, fought in Civil War battles in Virginia and at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he was wounded and captured. He spent eighteen months in Federal and Confederate hospitals in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Mississippi. While there he was converted to Christianity and when he came home he joined the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church. Later he helped organize the Good Hope Baptist Church where he became a deacon on 10 November 1866. He remained a faithful member and Christian until he died. In 1888 Perry was on the Neshoba County Board of Supervisors[1, p. 84]. He was a Mason and several times Master of his lodge. He is buried in the Good Hope Cemetery in Neshoba County.
Daughter (Before 1830 - ??) apparently died young.
Elizabeth (1830 - ??) was born in Pickens County, Alabama. She died on her way to Arkansas and was buried beside the Neva River. One of her sons married "Shug" Lewis.
Robert Bell, Jr. (14 April 1836 – 21 September 1894) was born in Neshoba County, Mississippi, and he died on 21 September 1894 (according to his tombstone) and is buried in the Good Hope Cemetery in Neshoba County. He married Louisa Cannon in 1858 (her grandfather, William Cannon, married a Choctaw Indian named Selah in 1839 ). Louisa Cannon was born in 1842 and died in 1880 according to descendant, Julie Russell . Their children according to Julie Russell were: Rathia (or maybe Ritha after her grandmother), Ann (1858 -?), Perry Columbus (October 1865 -?), John E. (1867 -?), Jackson Alexander (15 March 1868 - 1925), Amanda Elizabeth (20 December 1869 - 24 March 1934), James Cannon (September 1870 -?), Irene Belle (ca 1878 - 20 April 1920), and Charlie (1880 -?).
According to the 1860 Federal census Rathia Ann was born in Arkansas in 1858 so apparently her parents lived there for a period of time.
Robert Bell was a member of the Good Hope Baptist Church, one of the founders of the Neshoba County Fair donating land to get it started, and he twice served as the treasure of Neshoba County. His son James Cannon or "Bud" was deputy sheriff of Neshoba County. Another son, Perry Columbus, was one of the organizers of the Neshoba County Fair. Robert Bell owned a water mill with his brother James George that was just west of the Neshoba County Fair. Robert was a Mason and lost an arm on 10 May 1864 in the Civil War while fighting in Virginia.
James George (15 April 1838 – 17 March 1892), my great grandfather, was born and died in Neshoba County. He married Georgia Ann Johnson in 1864. She was born 27 March 1843 and died 26 January 1889. Their children were: Emma R. who was born in 1867, William R. who was born in 1870, Elizabeth P. who was born in 1873 and John Bardow (1877 – 1963) (my grandfather), Dink who was born in ???, and James C. who was born 1 August 1880 (WWI Registration record).
James George’s wife died in 1889 and he married Maria Trapp in September 1890. Their only child was Neva. Maria Trapp was born 10 September 1856. On the occasion of her death on 3 April 1919 a brief memorial message  was written about her by members of the Neshoba Baptist Church where she was "a faithful member always ready and willing to do her part in everything", so says the message.
James George was in the Civil War fighting at Vicksburg where he was captured on 4 July 1863. He was a member of the Dixon Masonic Lodge and of the Good Hope Baptist Church. He and his brother, Robert, were in the mill business together. He was one of the founders of the Neshoba County Fair and donated land to get it started. In 1870 he was a road overseer [1, p. 76] and served on the grand jury in 1875 [1, p. 82]. He and his first wife are buried in the Good Hope Cemetery in Neshoba County.
Wayne Crockett (1842 – 1863) was born in Neshoba County, Mississippi, in 1842. He was in the Civil war and was killed at Gettysburg in 1863. I do not know where he is buried. Crockett is a family name that has been well researched by Allen Crockett Harrison and reported on in his wonderful book (The Allen’s and Harrison’s of Callaway County, 1985).
John Armstrong (6 February 1843 – 4 December 1886) was born in Neshoba County, Mississippi.
John F. (29 September 1850 – after 1888) was probably born in Neshoba County, Mississippi, and died (or disappeared) after 1888. He married Isabella C. Lewis around 1871. She was born in Georgia on 23 November 1850  and apparently died (probably in Leake County, Mississippi) between 1910 and 1920. In the 1880 census their children were: William G. W. (October 1872 - ??), Thomas R. (January 1874 - ??), Martha E. (1874 - ??), and Sarah Ritha (6 April 1879 - 10 June 1963). After 1880 at least two more children were born: Columbus (1882 – ca 1925) and Louisa (1888 - ??). In the 1900 census Isabella states that she has given birth to ten children with seven still living. That makes four children unidentified. In 1880 John F. Harrison and his family were living next to his mother and older brothers Robert and Hiram in Neshoba County.
No trace of John F. Harrison after the 1880 census has been found. According to a family rumor he deserted his family , perhaps after 1888 since that is the birth year of his youngest known child (Louisa). His wife Isabella shows up in the 1900 census in Leake County, Mississippi (her only family member is her eleven year old daughter Louisa). Interestingly the census taker records "NA" (which I think means not applicable or no answer) to the census question: whether Isabella is single, married, widowed, or divorced! This leads me to believe that the rumor may be true about her husband deserting her.
In the 1910 census Isabella Harrison is in Leake County, Mississippi, where she is living with her son Tom R. Her name does not appear in the 1920 census so apparently she died between 1910 and 1920, probably in Leake County.
According to a family descendant  Columbus Harrison (son of John F. and Isabella Harrison) lived with his sister, Sarah Ritha Daniel, toward the end of his life and died around 1925. The validity of this story is borne out by the 1910 census for Neshoba County since Columbus Harrison is listed in the census as a part of the family of Will (William Allen) and Sarah Ritha Daniel and his relationship is given as a "hired man" and a "farm laborer". His age was 28 years old.
Sarah Ritha was Will Daniel’s second wife (his first wife was Nellie Barrier ). The 1910 census indicates that the two oldest children in the family were born before their parents were married on 20 March 1902. Will Daniel was born 9 April 1859 and died 13 February 1958. He had four children by his first wife, Nellie Barrier, and eight by his second wife, Sarah Ritha .
Columbus Harrison had only one arm and was still living in 1922 . He died around 1925 according to descendant Morris Daniel.
Jackson F. (1851 – 1869) was born in Neshoba County, Mississippi, and died in 1869. He was the first person buried in the Good Hope Cemetery in Neshoba County according to R.L. Breland .
Eustacia married Thomas Martin and moved to Texas where she died. Their children were Amanda and George. No other information is known about her.
Chapter 7 - Hugh Harrison
(1789 – 1855)
Hugh Harrison was Robert Bell Harrison’s older brother by at least one year (maybe as much as ten years). Hugh was born in 1789, probably in the Pendelton District of South Carolina. He was a Lt. Colonel in the 18th South Carolina militia in the War of 1812. As an officer of that rank he certainly was well acquainted with the commander of the regiment, Colonel William Drayton, who, after the war, became a United States congressman from South Carolina. Drayton later succeeded Nicholas Biddle as president of the United States bank (the infamous bank that was nearly demolished by President Andrew Jackson).
Hugh and Robert (perhaps together) moved from South Carolina to Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, before 1818. They were married there (Hugh in 1818 and Robert in 1822 or 1824) to South Carolina women.
Hugh married Judith Kilpatrick (1790 - ???) in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, on 15 December 1818 . She was from the Pendleton District, South Carolina.
Later Hugh and Judith moved to Pickens County, Alabama or more likely they found themselves situated in Pickens County when it was created from Tuscaloosa County in 1824. According to the Bureau of Land Management document number 2403, Hugh Harrison bought 80 acres of land in Pickens County, Alabama, on 26 April 1824 (West-Southeast of Section 20, Township 19-S, Range 15-W). And on 1 September 1825 he made another 80 acre land purchase in Pickens County according to document number 4399 (East-Southwest of Section 20,Township 19-S, Range 15-W).
In 1824 Hugh was a member of the Pickens County, Alabama, Commissioners Court [4, p. 10].
In 1836 Hugh and Judith (and their five children) moved to Neshoba County, Mississippi, near the Ham Stockton Place. He purchased 80 acres of land in Neshoba County, Mississippi, on 27 February 1841 (East-Northwest of Section 15, Township 10-N, Range 13-E), according to the Bureau of Land Management document number 20918.
After Hugh moved to Mississippi in 1836 he was a representative in the Mississippi state legislature from Neshoba County [1, p. 24]. He also was a probate judge for the county in the early years [1, p.44]. His nephew, Hiram P. Harrison, Jr. in a written account in 1927 stated that "Hugh, unlike his brother, Robert, was one of the many slave owners and he belonged to the aristocracy of his time".
Living with Hugh and Judith in Neshoba County, Mississippi, in 1850, according to the census, was a 23 year old farmer named W. C. Johnson. Perhaps he was Hugh’s helper since Hugh apparently had only one son. Hugh died around 1855 and Judith died in ????.
All of Hugh and Judith Harrison’s children were born in Alabama. They mostly married Mississippi men and women. The men fought and some died in the Civil War. After the war quite a few of them moved to Navarro County, Texas. Corsicana, the county seat, is about 60 miles south of Dallas on interstate 45.
Their children, according to the 1850 Neshoba County Federal census for Hugh Harrison and other sources as noted, were:
1. Evelina, b. 1819. She married Henderson M. Walsh around 1840. According to the 1850 census for Neshoba County, Mississippi he was born in North Carolina in 1811 and she was born in Alabama in 1819 or 1820. Henderson Walsh was an early settler in Neshoba County. His name appears in the 1840 census for the county. He was both a farmer and a merchant. Henderson and Evelina’s children in 1850 were: Thomas, 10, Judith, 7, Ann, 5, and Jack 10 months. In 1862 Henderson Walsh was chosen to be the captain of Company E, 35th Mississippi Infantry, Sears's Brigade, French's Division. His wife’s brother, John Alexander Harrison, was a first lieutenant in Company E. So was Aaron T. Lancaster, the brother of John T. Lancaster (Martha’s husband listed below). Unfortunately Walsh was killed a year later during the Vicksburg siege in 1863. Sources: [1, p. 232] and Helen at email@example.com on 26 Oct 2006
2. Two daughters (names unknown) who apparently were married or deceased by 1850. Source: Helen at firstname.lastname@example.org on 26 Oct 2006
3. Mary, b. 1826. This daughter may be the 44 year old female (W. Harrison) that appears in the 1870 census for Navarro County, Texas in the household of her brother, John Alexander Harrison.
4. Nancy, b. 1828
5. Martha A. (Mattie or Matilda) b. 1830 married John T. Lancaster in 1861. After the Civil War they moved to Texas around 1868. Dudley, one of John T. Lancaster's three brothers, was killed in the Civil War. The other Lancaster brothers were: Aaron T. and Ezekiel B., Jr. There were two Lancaster sisters: Jemima and Elizabeth C. The Lancaster’s and Harrison’s lived close to each other all the way from South Carolina to Texas and spanned several generations. For example, in the 1870 census for Navarro County, Texas living next door to John and Martha Lancaster were John A. Harrison and Aaron T. Lancaster. Aaron was born 16 February 1823 and died 20 December 1872. He is buried in the Dresden Cemetery in Navarro County, Texas. Source: Personal Correspondence on 12 February 2001 from Janet Lancaster of Modesto, California—email@example.com].
6. John Alexander (20 Aug 1830 – 4 Nov 1897) married Priscilla J. Alderman (27 July 1839 – 5 Oct 1919) ca 1860. After the Civil War John and Priscilla moved to Navarro County, Texas. He apparently was the only son of Hugh and Judith Harrison. According to the census records John and Priscilla had no children of their own. However, they had friends and relatives living in their household in both 1870 and 1880. In their household in 1870 were Elizabeth Brown and D. Barnes. Their relationship to John and Priscilla Harrison is unknown. Ezekiel B. and Aaron T. Lancaster (mentioned above in paragraph about Martha) were the brothers of Dudley P. Lancaster who was killed in the Civil War. According to the 1880 census they were living in the household with John and Priscilla Harrison. Aaron’s wife, Elizabeth, and their baby son, Dudley P., were also there. Elizabeth is the Elizabeth Brown who was in the household in the 1870 census. She married Aaron T. Lancaster on 6 August 1878. When John Alexander Harrison died in 1897 he left his property to his nephew, Lewis Alderman. This nephew was apparently the son of Priscilla’ brother. If this is the case, then Priscilla’s maiden name was Alderman. When Priscilla died in 1919 this same John Alderman was the executor of her estate. John and Priscilla both left a will in Navarro County. They are buried in the Dresden Cemetery (southwest of Corsicana) in Navarro County, Texas. Their common tombstone has the following inscriptions: "A Confederate Soldier and a Believer in Christ." Her inscription says: "Know that my Redeemer Lives." Source: E-Mail from Peggy Lofland of Arlington, Texas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 24 April 2005.
The following obituary appears on the web site of the Dresden Cemetery, Navarro Co., Texas, where John A. Harrison and his wife are buried:
John A .Harrison
1897 - Confederate Veteran, Official Journal of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, vol. VII, page 301
·Posted by Dana Stubbs- 9/2000
Note: bur at Dresden Cemetery, Navarro Co., TX
7. Emma, b. 1833
Chapter 8 - Harrison’s in the Civil War
Hiram Perry Harrison was 34 years old when he enlisted for a one year tour of duty on 8 September 1861 at Camp Jones, Virginia, as a Private in Company D, 11th Regiment, Mississippi Volunteers. The enlistment officer was Captain Alexander H. Franklin and his payment officer was Major G. W. Jones (from New Market, Alabama). A later commander was Captain J. R. Prince.
The 11th was organized on 4 May 1861 and reorganized on 21 April 1862. The first commander was Col William H. Moore [5, p. 90].
Hiram probably spent his first winter with his Regiment in camp along the lower Potomac River near Dumfries, Virginia. His tour of duty was extended in April 1862 for the duration of the war at Yorktown, Virginia, where his Regiment, as part of General Johnston’s Confederate Army, found itself under the command of the popular Colonel Philip Liddell. Hiram’s first big battle probably occurred on May 31, 1862, in the battle of Seven Pines where General Johnston’s Confederate Army took on General McClellan’s Union Army. He remained in the 11th Regiment and two years later on 3 July 1863 he was wounded and captured at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. On 14 July 1863 he was listed as a prisoner of war and transferred to Pro. Mar. (??), then on 17 July to the U. S. A. General Hospital in Chester, Pennsylvania. From there, on 4 October 1863, he was transferred to Hammond, U. S. A. General Hospital, at Point Lookout, Maryland. While there he was paroled and transferred to Major J. E. Mulford, the Assistant Agent for Exchange, on 17 March 1864. On 20 March 1864 he was admitted to Chimborazo Hospital No. 5 in Richmond, Virginia, and five days later on 25 March he was given a 60 day furlough. On 31 August 1864 the company muster roll shows that he was in the Forrest Hospital in Lauderdale, Mississippi. His wound was to his right leg. On the muster roll at the Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond his disease was listed as G. S. W. of right leg (G.S.W. is gunshot wound). On a company muster roll for November and December 1864 he was listed as missing and as being permanently disabled from his wound. He was discharged at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, in 1865. Hiram Perry obviously recovered from his Civil War medical problems since he lived to be 80 years old.
Robert Bell Harrison, Jr. served with his older brother, Hiram Perry, in the 11th Regiment, Mississippi Volunteers, Company D. They were enlisted together on 8 September 1861 at Camp Jones, Virginia, by Captain Alexander H. Franklin for one year. Robert was 25 years old.
He was reported to be on sick leave at Richmond, Virginia, during May and June 1862. He was wounded at Spotsylvania, Virginia, on 10 May 1864 and was on furlough in Mississippi after July 1864. His arm was amputated, presumable from this wound. He signed his papers with his mark in Richmond, Virginia, on 15 September 1862 certifying that he had received $44.00 for four months service and $25.00 for clothing and again in Richmond on 10 June 1864 he signed with his mark certifying the receipt of $22.00 for two months service. He was paid by Major G. W. Jones (George Washington Jones of New Market, Alabama, and an ancestor of the present day prominent Jones family of Huntsville, Alabama) during his early service years and by Captain Owens later on. His military retirement date is given as 13 October 1864. He lived to be 58 years old.
James George Harrison, my great grandfather, was in the 40th Regiment, Mississippi Volunteers, Company E, enlisting on 3 May 1862 in Neshoba County for a period of three years. He was 23 years old. He was enlisted by Captain William McDuff Gibbons.
James George was a private and was listed as absent without leave from 23 August 1863 to the end of the year. He fought at Iuka (19 Sept 1862), at Corinth (3-4 Oct 1862), and at Vicksburg where he was taken prisoner on 4 July 1863. He was paroled five days later on 9 July after taking an oath saying that he would not again take up arms against the United States. This presumably ended his Civil War service and accounts for his absence on the company muster roll from August 1863 to the end of the year. The Captain of Company E appears to have been R. A. Harris until early in 1863, then A. S. Jones. Colonel W. Bruce Colbert was the Regimental Commander. James George signed his papers indicating that he could write his name. He lived to be 53 years old.
Wayne Crockett Harrison was enlisted at Grenada, Mississippi, on 8 December 1861 by Captain B. L. Rozell for 60 days. He was a Private in Company A, 3rd Regiment, Alcorn’s Brigade, Army of 10000. The Company commander was T. J. Rogers and the Brigade commander was Brig General J. L. Alcorn. A company muster roll for February 1862 shows that he was paid the usual amount for privates in the Confederate Infantry, namely $11.00 per month. He was killed at Gettysburg in 1863 when he was twenty-one years old. I do not know where he is buried.
John Armstrong Harrison served in several Confederate Units. The 18th Mississippi Cavalry, Company I, Ham’s Regulars, and the 2nd Mississippi Infantry, Company E. He also served in the 40th Mississippi, Company E.
John Alexander Harrison (only son of Hugh and Judith Harrison) served in Company E, 35th Mississippi Regiment of Sears's Brigade, French's Division. He was elected first lieutenant, and then captain, serving in the latter capacity under Gen. Hood. He was at the siege of Vicksburg, and participated in the great battles of Corinth, Franklin, and Nashville. In the latter engagement he was captured and sent to Johnson's Island [a small island in the Sandusky Bay of Lake Erie at Sandusky, Ohio], where he was kept a prisoner until June 15, 1865. He had several narrow escapes, but was not wounded.
Chapter 9-The Harrison Reunion by Breland
Story of Neshoba by R. L. Breland 
(From The Neshoba Democrat ca 1927)
NOTE: This is an abbreviated transcription
At Good Hope Church, five miles southwest of Philadelphia, Mississippi, on July the 1st, 1927, was celebrated the Harrison Reunion. This day was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Hiram Perry Harrison Sr., usually known as "Uncle Perry". The reunion for Perry, Robert and George, three of the Harrison brothers, was participated in by their heirs but was held for all and their friends.
By ten o’clock on the day appointed a large crowd has gathered at the old church and they were called into the house by singing the old songs from Dosey’s Choice hymn book led by T. C. Tullos. Only the older voices joined in the singing as the younger generation do not know these good old songs. R. L. Breland was asked to be master of ceremonies, and after prayer and some brief remarks as to the purpose of the meeting W. K. Hitt made a very appropriate talk giving his recollection of the three brother and adding his testimony to their worth of character as citizens and Christian men. Judge G. E. Wilson was introduced and spoke very interestingly of their lives of usefulness and general characters of the Harrison Brothers. His talk was short but greatly enjoyed by those present. James L. Dearing, friend of the families who has known the older men for many years, spoke feelingly of them. Memories of the past came to the speakers to such an extent that it was difficult for them to speak oft-times. I. P. Mason, another good citizen who was well acquainted with the brothers, told some of the happening in their lives as he came in contact with his "Uncle" Harrison R. Parker, now 85 years old, who had known them since early life and had always found them true men and useful. Robert F. Barrier, another of the older citizens, spoke briefly telling of their custom of being together so often and the jolly nature they possessed.
At the noon hour a bountiful dinner was spread under the shade of the black jack trees and was heartily partaken of by all present. It was indeed a pleasant social hour as we ate and talked of the many people and happenings of the long ago. Sad yet sweet memories of the distant past were brought back to mind. It was a joy to be there.
After a prayer by Brock Tullos and a song or two the exercises were continued in the afternoon. Short talks of these three men were made by T. C. Tullos, B. A. Strum, Brock Tullos, and R. L. Breland, all of whom spoke in terms of love and reverence for the memory of these three good men who have come and gone to a better land leaving a goodly heritage behind in their offspring, their good names and a life well lived, Then the Honorable Brown Williams delivered and eloquent eulogy to their memory.
Only six of the immediate heirs of these three men were present. Children of Uncle Perry were Mrs. Amanda Dewease, Mrs. Eurana Webb, and H. P. Harrison, Junior. Children of Uncle Robert was Mrs. Amanda Webb. Uncle George’s children were Mrs. Everett and Mrs. Dink Smith. (Author’s Note: Where was Uncle George’s second oldest son and my Grandfather John B. Harrison, I wonder?) There were 29 grand-children present, 30 great-grand-children, and 30 other persons in some way related making a total of 100 relatives which made up half of the congregation present.
Chapter 10 -The Harrison Reunion by Hiram.P. Harrison
Account Written in 1927 by Hiram P.
Harrison (1873 - 1928)
OBJECT: To honor and commemorate the life and memory of the three brothers, Hiram Perry Harrison, Robert Bell Harrison, Jr., and James George Harrison
Hiram Perry was born in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, on 1 July 1827 and died 2 November 1907. Robert Bell, Jr. was born in Neshoba County, Mississippi, on 14 April 1836 and died 21 September 1894. James George Harrison was born in Neshoba County, Mississippi, on 15 April 1838 and he died 17 March 1892.
The father of the three brothers was born in South Carolina and was an American soldier and sailor in the War of 1812. He was later married to Miss Ritha Robinson in Sumter County, Alabama (Authors Note: According to Tuscaloosa County, Alabama marriage records and her 1878 pension application for his service in the War of 1812 she was his second wife and they were married in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama). To this union there were born five sons and two daughters as the family moved from Sumter County, Alabama, to Neshoba County, Mississippi, in 1835. All of their descendants, save the eldest son Perry, were natives of Neshoba County.
The original Robert Bell Harrison and his brother Hugh Harrison settled in the eastern part of Neshoba County on what is now known as the Stockton Place and Edka Place, respectively. Hugh Harrison built the residence in which Mrs. Sidney Edka now resides, perhaps the oldest building now standing in the county. Its extreme age being attested to by the marks on the framework showing that it was cut out of logs by the use of a broad ax and whipsaw, one side of the post being hewed and the other side sawed.
Hugh Harrison was one of many slave owners and he belonged to the aristocracy of his time. He was the first representative to the State legislature from our county. But his brother, whose descendants we are celebrating today, was not so fortunate. He was very poor, yes, a renter, and his children keenly felt the full range of poverty and were raised in obscurity and without the opportunity of an education. The family lived at several different places in the eastern part of the county up until the year 1848. Then they moved to a place two miles south of Good Hope Church (the place where we will hold the reunion) and seven miles south of Philadelphia. The Southern Federal Highway now passes through Philadelphia.
Here Robert and George grew into manhood, the older brother, Perry, being of age already, and here the father of the boys died in 1853 and was buried in the Philadelphia Cemetery, but his grave site lost its identity during the Civil War.
Perry Harrison, oldest of the three, married Lucinda Johnson in 1855. To them were born one son, who died at the age of four, and two daughters, Amanda and Eurana, who are still living.
When the Civil War broke out their father volunteered his services to the Confederacy as did his brothers, Robert and George. They were in many fierce conflicts such as the second battle of Manassas (Bull Run), Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg in far away Pennsylvania. At Gettysburg Uncle Perry was wounded and taken prisoner being unable to retreat with his command after a mini ball broke his leg. So, he remained in the Yankee Prison for 18 long months before being exchanged. It was while there in prison on the cold and bleak shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland that he received the sad news of the death of his dear wife leaving his two little darling girls as orphans. And it was there in that prison, grief stricken over the loss of his dear companion and the utter hopelessness of the cause for which he had fought that God appeared unto him and revealed to him that his soul was precious in His sight and that Jesus died for him.
The two girls were cared for by the grandmothers Johnson and Harrison until their father returned.
In 1870 (or 1872?) Uncle Perry married Miss Sarah Ann Lewis. To this union were born one daughter and four sons. All are now dead except H. P. Harrison, Jr. NOTE: The "P" in Hiram P. Harrison, Jr.’s name does not stand for Perry but instead for either Pierce according to Bible records in the possession of a direct descendant or for Price if his WWI draft registration is correct. After Uncle Perry’s conversion he joined the Baptist Church at Mt. Sinai and later was in the constitution of the Good Hope Church (which we expect to have read at the reunion).
In 1883 he lost his second wife and in 1884 he was married to Miss Sou San Powell. No children were born to them.
He was ordained a deacon of his church and was twenty-five times the moderator of church conferences. He was twice or three times master of the Masonic Lodge at Dixon, Mississippi. He was master of the Grange Patrons of Husbandry. He was elected and served one term as a member of the Neshoba County Board of Supervisors. He died at the ripe old age of 80 loved and trusted by all who knew him and he was buried in the Good Hope Cemetery with Masonic Honors.
Robert Bell Harrison, Jr. was born on 14 April 1836. He married Louisa Cannon in 1858. They had four sons and two daughters namely James Cannon (who once was a rural mail carrier and a magistrate at Philadelphia, Mississippi), Perry Columbus, Jack Alexander, and Charlie. Also, Amanda who is now the wife of J.A. Webb, Jr., and Irene Bell who married Mr. Tom Ben Beal who was later killed in the cyclone at Deemer Camp. All the boys are still living except Jack who died in Orange, Texas, two years ago, i.e., in 1925. Uncle Robert was also a member of the church at Good Hope and a member of the Grange. He was a successful farmer and a mill and gin man, as well. Although he lost his right arm in the service to the Confederacy under General Lee he came home to his little farm where his wife and baby (James or "Bud") had struggled through the four year conflict. He saw his last horse lay down and die. He began again the battle of life with a courage that knew no defeat and he accomplished a lot with one hand and [he accomplished] what many with two hands would have deemed impossible. He was twice called upon by his fellow countryman to serve them as Neshoba County treasurer and while his life was broken off suddenly by ???? failure at the age of 58 he is still remembered by the older people of the Fair Ground Community as the one arm man who, though unaided save by his industrious companions and robust children, did the impossible. Added Note: Robert Bell Harrison, Jr. died 21 September 1894.
James George Harrison was born 15 April 1838. He married Miss Georgia Ann Johnson in 1864. While Uncle George also saw service in the Confederacy in the Southern Army in the Georgia-Kentucky Campaign and was scarred several times by enemy lead he was most fortunate that he received no serious wounds. He had three sons and three daughters. They were: W. R., John Bardow, James, Emma "Dink" and Edna. All are still living except W. R. who died in 1919. After the death of his first wife he was married to Miss Maria Trapp whose only daughter, Neva, now resides at Neshoba Station. James George was for several years the partner of his brother, Robert, in the mill and gin business at the Fair Ground and he was a successful farmer, one to whom the poor and needy looked for aid in time of need. Many were the unfortunate or unthrifty who carried their empty sack to his mill or crib and had it filled with the staff of life by Uncle George who, knowing the range of poverty, could never say nay. He was also a member of Good Hope Church and the Dixon Masonic Lodge. He is buried in Good Hope Cemetery and for whom was later he led a lodge of sorrow (last part is unclear ???). Added Note: James George died 17 March 1892 at the age of 53.
Chapter 11 - Grandmother Harrison Letter in 1975
My Grandmother Harrison’s maiden name was Sarah Mallie Smith (1882 – 1978). When she was 17 years old she married John Bardow Harrison (1877 – 1963) in Neshoba County, Mississippi on 6 September 1899. The following excerpt is from a letter written to me on 8 Jan 1975 by my grandmother Harrison when she was 93 years old:
My mother died when I was too small to remember anything about her. I feel that I would have been a different person if she could have lived to teach [me] and train me to do things. I lived with my grandparents as long as they lived. My mother’s mother & father, my grandparents, were named Brookshire. They lived in Meridian, Mississippi. Some of the grandchildren are still there. I used to visit them, or I mean my Uncle William Brookshire, a long time ago. He & his wife are both dead and I think most of his children are dead, if not all of them.
My daddy ran a store at Hope, Mississippi & he would go to Meridian every week to buy things for the store. His brother stayed in the store for him. That was before the railroad was built. I have gone with my daddy in an ox wagon [to Meridian]. He had several oxen. It would take a week to make the trip there & back. In the winter when the roads were bad some times he didn’t get back until the next Monday. Now you can go & come in a day. Well, you may not care to hear all this but I thought probably you might. I could tell you a lot now about my trips with my daddy in those days if I knew you would love to hear it.
1. Red Clay Hills of Neshoba, Compiled by Jenelle B. Yates and Theresa T. Ridout, The Neshoba County Historical Society , 1992
a. Wilkes County, North Carolina Deed Book A1, p.1. Deed recorded June 1779.
2. Marriage Records of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, 1823 - 1860, page 13, Huntsville, Alabama, Library (H976.184) also Marriage Records, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, p. 31
3. E-mail from Neshoba County RootsWeb.com [Carol Shader at email@example.com] on 19 Jan 2000, Subject: Neshoba Baptist Church Records, Neshoba Community, Neshoba County, MS
4. Records of Pickens County, AL, vol 1, Mrs. C.P. McGuire, Sr.
5. Compendium of the Confederate Armies (Mississippi), Stewart Sifakis, 1992
6. Pendleton District and Anderson County, S.C. Wills -- Estates, Inventories, Tax Returns and Census Records, Compiled by: Virginia Alexander, Colleen Morse Elliott, and Betty Willie
6.1. 3 DEEDS—Chapt 2--John Harrison was a witness on 10 Feb. 1794 on a deed for Andrew Kelly to John Reno, both of Washington Dist., S. C., for 15 pounds sterling for 267 acres above old boundary line on S side of Saluda River one mile above Richard Parris’s wagon ford bound by Nathan Durham. This land was granted to Kelly by Charles Pinckney on 7 Nov. 1791.
John Harrison was a witness on 24 Feb. 1794 for Thomas Towers of Greenville County, Washington Dist., S. C., to David Wade of Pendleton County, Washington Dist., for 15 pounds sterling for 140 acres on S side of Saluda River above Richard Parris’s wagon ford bound by Kelly, Swillivant. Land granted Thomas Townes by Wm. Moultrie on 4 Feb. 1793.
John Harrison witnessed and made oath to J.P. (Wm. Edmondson) on 10 Nov. 1793 for William Todd of Edgefield County, S. C., to Robert Easley of Pendleton County, S. C., 100 ac. for 25 pounds sterling. This part of 156 acres granted to William Todd by Thomas Pinckney on 10 Feb. 1786. Land on S side of Saluda River.
7. Pendleton District, S.C. Deeds, 1790 - 1806, Compiled by Betty Willie
8. Julie Russell Correspondence in June 2000, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
9. Newspaper Articles by R.L. Breland under the byline -- The Story of Neshoba -- appearing in the Neshoba Democrat (Philadelphia, MS) on 30 Nov 1934, 6 Sept 1935, and one article with an unknown date (ca 1927)
10. A Collection of Upper South Carolina Genealogical and Family Records, Vol I, edited by James E. Wooley, 1979
11. Letter dated 13 November 2000 from William M. Daniel, St. Charles, MO, a descendant of John F. Harrison and Isabella Lewis. Several Email messages from Morris Daniel in late November 2000. (Email address: email@example.com)
12.Pickens District, S. C., Abstracts of Deed Book C-1, 3rd Deed Book, 1834 – 1838, Linda G. Cheek (e-mail: LGCheek@aol.com)
13.Marriages and Death Notices from the Pendleton (S.C.) Messenger, 1807 – 1851, Holcomb, Huntsville Library
INDEX on 1 APRIL 2003