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The FARRIS Family - Generation 1

James Farris I

I found that the spelling of this family name varies from FARIS, FARRIS, FERRIS, PHARIS.  I will use the spelling how I find it on documentation.

James Farris, Sr. (? -  15 Aug 1838 Madison Co., IL) was married to an Anne (? - 1839).  I have found no record of their marriage, nor her last name.  


1 - James "Smith", II ( ? - 19 Jun 1821 Madison Co., Illinois)

    Smith married Neffany JACKSON.  He is found as Smith PHARIS in the 1820 Madison Co., IL census.  There were 2 males under 10, 1 female between 26 & 45 and 1 male over 45.  

    From "The Old Settlers Stories" Vol. 1 Staunton, IL City Centennial 1891 - 1991 Staunton, IL & Vicinity.  No.17 page 4 "The ancestors of the Funderburk . . . this goes on for several paragraphs then is says: "I have heard my father tell of one time when he was one of a part of young men going to Staunton to church when they got to Cahokia Creek it was so swollen that they had to swim their horses.  All had crossed, but Smith Ferris.  He said that his would not swim.  The rest of them laughed at him.  He then forced his horse in and it waded.  All they could see of Mr. Ferris was his head and needless to say, he went back".  By Sarah Funderburk ( I don't know if this is about this "Smith" Farris or his nephew Smith Farris.

Smith died in 1821 leaving two children under the age of 6  (James III & Jackson) according to paperwork for Smith's Estate.

Neffany remarried Samuel H. MCGUIRE in St. Clair County, IL.  She died 6 Oct 1858 and is buried in the Dressler Cemetery in Freeburg Twp.

2 - George Washington (aprox. 1796 - 27 Jan 1865) I follow this line

    George married Nancy PIPER in Madison County, Illinois in 1817.

3 - Larkin 

    Larkin is mentioned in "History of Madison Co., IL" by W. R. Brink as a child of James Faris.  I have not found a Larkin Faris that I can put with this family.

4 - Margaret "Peggy" (1784 - Oct 1865)

    Peggy married John RIGGIN in 1807 Franklin Co., Tennessee.  John Riggin is listed in the 1812 Franklin Co., TN tax list, living next door to Smith Farris.  John is also mentioned several times in James & Smith Farris Estate papers.  They had 8 children (Mahalia, Alfred, Thurza Theresa, Louise Louisa, Delana, James, William & Lucinda Ann).  Peggy & John divorced in 1839 in Illinois.  John went on to remarry a Eva COPENBERGER in 1840 and moved to Missouri.  Peggy died in 1865 and is buried at the Gilead Cemetery in Madison Co., Illinois.

Lucinda (? - before 1830)

    Lucinda married William DAVIS.  I believe she died by 1830.  There is a William Davis listed in the 1830 Madison Co. census with children but no adult female.  Lucinda is not mentioned in her father's estate in 1838 but her husband is.

5 - Andrew "A. J."

    An Andrew Jackson Farris married Nancy COTTERELL on 3 Sept. 1840 in Madison Co., IL.  A. J. is mentioned in his father's estate papers.

Notes on James Faris - 

James is first found listed in the  Franklin Co., TN 1812 Census/Tax rolls, along with his family. 

Page 12 - Smith Faris & James Riggins, Page 14 George Faris & Page 15 - James Faris

James and his entire family then moved to Illinois and settled in what is now Alhambra in Madison County.  Here is a good source for the IL County Boundaries.

The first document found in Illinois is for the Faris family is for son, George, in 1817.  IL State Archives

James purchased 160 acres November 18, 1817 in St. Clair County, IL.  He went on to purchase several properties over the years.  Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales(You can search the Bureau of Land Management at BLM, put in the state name in the zip code box, that will take you to the Land Patent Search page).

From the Madison County, Illinois Court Records 1818 - 1821

P.P. 17: - - Dec. 8, 1818: - - It is therefore ordered that the said road be established as a public highway road agreeable to the above report - - and that William Hoxey be appointed Supervisor of the said road - - and that the following  hands are to work on the said road towit:  Robinson, Thos. Barnett, Henry Kelly, George Kelly, Anison Aldridge and Robert Aldridge, Dector Delany and Bennet Jones, Wm. Robinson, Abm, Highter, Wandle, Wm, Hoxey, John & James Hoxey, James Gray and John & Archibald Gray, David Aikman, William Hinch, William Jones & Son - - Richard Knight, William Sharon and John Hanes, James FERRIS, James S. Ferris and Washington Ferris.

P.P. 80: - - Sept. 10, 1819 - - It is ordered that James Gray, James Farris and William Hoxsey be appointed Trustees of the lands reserved for the use of schools for Township No. 5 north in Range no. 6 west of the 3rd principal meridian.

There are several mentions of James Faris in "History of Madison County" by W. R. Brink .

Page 88 . . . James Farris settled in the same vicinity (Silver Creek) in 1818.

Page 131 . . . 1819 The Board of Commissioners next made an Appointment of Trustees for the school lands, to wit: T. 5 R. 6, James Gray, James Farris and William Hoxsey.

Page 127 . . .Township 5 - 6, 1305 acres entered by five persons, Hoxsey took 640, Farris and Aldrich . . .

Page 551 . . . (in the Alhambra township) In the spring of 1818, James Farris came and settled the Thomas S. West place in section eighteen.  He had a family of five children, Smith, George, Larkin, Margaret, who married John Riggin and Lucinda, who married William Davis.  They are all now dead and none of the descendants live in the settlement.  George Farris built a "band mill" here in early times that did good service for many years.  James Farris erected the first frame house in the township.  It was ornamented with a brick chimney, made most of the first brick brought into the township.  This house is in a good preservation and stands near the residence of Mr. West.

Page 552 . . . November 18, 1817 James Farris entered one hundred and fifty-one and a third acres in section eighteen.  And it goes on to say Thomas S. West bout out the Farris heirs three days after he located here in 1838.

1818 Federal Census James, James & George W. Pharis are listed in Madison Co., IL. 

1818 - 1821 Madison Co., IL Court Records.  

P.P. 17 - Dec 8, 1818.  James, James S. & Washington Ferris are mentioned regarding a public highway.

1820 Federal Census of Madison Co., IL lists James Farris Senr, George Farris & Smith Farris in the Goshen area.

1830 Madison Co. census lists James & George Farris.

Paperwork regarding James Estate can be found in Box Number 6 in the Probate Court of Madison  County, Illinois.  His son, George, was the administrator.

In 1838 Thomas S. WEST bought out the Faris heirs, according to "The History of Madison Co." by W. R. Brink  

Notes on Anne Faris -

The only place I find reference to Ann is in James Estate papers.

My belief for Anne's last name was possibly Smith - with the name of their first child.  

After James death, Ann went to live with their daughter, Peggy RIGGIN.  

Anne died in 1839.

I am very curious about where this family is buried.  Since the son, "Smith", died in 1821, Lucinda died before 1830, James died in 1838 & Anne died in 1839 I believe they are all buried together.  But I have been unable to find markers anywhere in Madison County so far.  I believe they could be buried at the homestead that was sold to Thomas West.  There is "rumor" that for years around their homestead there was a cemetery - and it eventually got washed away by rising water.


Go to Generation 2 - George Washington & Nancy Farris

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