GATHERING OF HARRIS DESCENDANTS, 2013
GATHERING OF HARRIS DESCENDANTS, September 18-21, 2013
**Last updated September 17, 2013**
These plans are subject to change depending on the number of participants. I think it will be a fun and educational event. Please confirm by e-mail or phone if you are coming to any or all of the scheduled events. We will need a count of people for each event on each day. The numbers will make a difference in planning tours and setting up carpooling and meals. Also let me know if you can provide transportation, or if you will need transportation. A GPS will also be helpful.
Email: Jim Harris
Anyone with early Virginia Harris roots is invited and welcome to come. In 2012 there were descendants of Robert Harris of the Forks (Group 6) as well as descendants of unplaced Harrises. Descendants of John Harris of Charles City Co., VA (Group 4) as well as any Harrises with connections to Henrico, Hanover, Louisa, Prince Edward, Isle of Wight, or other counties of Virginia are invited to attend.
Jim Harris has secured a special price at the Quality Inn, 12711 Old Stage Rd, Chester, VA 23836 (same place where we stayed in 2012).
The rates are as follows:
Double Queen Room – $79.99(+ taxes) per night
All rooms contain a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, iron/ironing board and include a deluxe hot continental breakfast.
Telephone: 804 796 5200.
*Activities are planned starting with an opening gathering on Wednesday night and organized activities beginning Thursday morning, so you will want to rent a room starting the evening of September 18, 2013. Just call and request the Capt. Thomas Harris group discount.
You will need to make reservations with the motel by September 6th and inform them that you are with the “Capt. Thomas Harris Group” in order to receive the discounted rate.
In conjunction with these web pages, Glenn has set up a Facebook page for discussing this and other Harris Gatherings as well as any related information.
The location is here:
There is also a Facebook event page for the 2013 Harris Gathering:
Glenn has also set up a Yahoo Group to share information regarding the recent Harris Gathering as well as any future gatherings or reunions (from all branches of Harrises that originate in Colonial Virginia).
To join the HARRIS GATHERING YAHOO GROUP, go to this link:
There should be a button that says JOIN THIS GROUP!
If you don't already have an account set up with Yahoo, then you will be asked to set up an account with a username and password. Click the JOIN button, and you will be able to join the group. Any interested Harris researcher is invited to join.
DAY 1: WEDNESDAY, Sept. 18, 2013
Afternoon—Out of towners check in at the Quality Inn at Chester, VA
5:00 p.m.—Opening Meet and Greet at Shoney’s, 12531 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Chester, VA 23831. *Even if you can’t make it by 5:00 p.m., come a little later if you can, as we don’t know how long we will be visiting at Shoneys.
*For those staying at the Quality Inn, there will likely be informal gatherings late Wednesday evening and Thursday morning in the lobby of the motel to visit and share genealogy information.
DAY 2: THURSDAY. Sept. 19, 2013
Curles Plantation, 4705 Curles Neck Road, Richmond, VA 23231. Gather at 9:30 AM. Park along right side of long driveway just past the two columns. We will then carpool back to the actual site of Captain Thomas's home site. There are no restroom facilities so be prepared. The farm is 5500 acres so the drive back is quite a ways. We plan to hold a wreath laying ceremony at 10:00 AM. This should be a great photo op.
(This property was originally owned by Capt. Thomas Harris and later by Nathaniel Bacon, the Randolph family, and others). This is now private property not open to the public, but Jim has secured special permission for us, so we will be able to take a short guided tour of the grounds and the site of the archeological dig which took place several years ago. The Curles Neck plantation site is several miles across the James River from where the Quality Inn motel and Henricus are located.
You will be on your own for lunch. We will then meet at 2:00 PM at the Virginia Historical Society, 428 N Blvd. Richmond, VA 23220. Ph. 804-358-4901. Depending on the size of our group we will be touring the museum as well as the nearby Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Historic Resources. Dr. Dee DeRoche will give us a short presentation of some of the artifacts uncovered at the dig at Curles Plantation.
The Virginia Historical Society includes a number of historical exhibits including one called “Jamestown to the Falls.”
Afternoon and Evening
For the evening meal, we will then gather at Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House 4025 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230. Ph. 804-358-8812. Plans call for us to dine here and hold a short meeting to discuss the following day and the future of our group.
Our goals at this meeting are 1) begin to organize a Harris Family Association; 2) discuss family genealogy; 3) discuss plans for Friday; 4) organize in order to hold a 2014 meeting; and 5) get to know each other. After all, we are all cousins.
*Transportation and meals are on your own, although carpooling will help with those who have arrived by plane or have no vehicle.
*For those staying at the Quality Inn, there will likely be informal gatherings Thursday evening and Friday morning in the lobby of the motel to visit and share genealogy information.
DAY 3: FRIDAY, September 20, 2013
Gather at Historic Jamestown Visitor Center 1368 Colonial Parkway, Jamestown, VA 23185. Ph. 757-856-1259 at 9:45 AM.
10:00 a.m.—2-hour guided tour of Historic Jamestowne to see the original Jamestown Memorial Church, fort, and remains of the settlement that have been uncovered through an archeological dig. Jim suggests that you watch some of the videos on YouTube of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project. They are interesting and informative. The guide(s) will discuss how Captain Thomas Harris was involved. “When I did the walk through history came alive for me. I am very excited for you all to experience this—Jim Harris” The Jamestowne guided tour should be over by 12:00 noon at the latest. *Jim has already paid for our tour guides. We must still pay an entry fee. The fee is normally $14.00 but if you hold the senior card for admissions to national parks you can get 3 admissions for $5.00 each. The actual tour starts at 10:00 AM and lasts approximately 2 hours.
Afternoon and evening
After 12:00 noon we are done for the day as a group. There is a nice little cafe there on site for lunch if you desire. You are free to tour any of the local sites. This is one of the most historic areas in the country. There is more of Jamestown to explore. Also you are close to Williamsburg and Yorktown. To do justice to Williamsburg I would allow at least 2 days.
Jamestowne has a free ferry ride that departs about every 25 minutes from near the Jamestowne Memorial Church, crosses the James River, and goes to the town of Scotland and then back again.
There is also a glasshouse (where glass items were produced) as well as the Jamestowne Settlement (re-creation of the Jamestowne site) and exhibit galleries.
Additional information can be found at the Jamestown Rediscovery website and other websites:
Capt. Thomas Harris is listed in the biographies section for the Jamestown Rediscovery site:
Other local sites of interest include Williamsburg and Yorktown. There is a free shuttle that goes from Williamsburg to Jamestown and Yorktown. Then there would be an admission fee to see each of these sites. You can buy one admission to see all three locations. But there is so much to see that you could spend several days at Williamsburg alone or spend all of one day to see the highlights of all three sites. They close down around 5:00 p.m. each day, so you will really have to watch your time. Half a day would not be enough time, unless you decided to only go to one of the other locations for a short time. Here is information on the Williamsburg shuttle:
The Shirley Plantation would be another good site to visit.
*For those staying at the Quality Inn, there will likely be informal gatherings Friday evening and Saturday morning in the lobby of the motel to visit and share genealogy information.
DAY 4: SATURDAY, September 21, 2013
Henricus Historical Park, 251 Henricus Park Rd, Chester, VA Ph. 804-748-1613. Saturday will be the annual Publick Days celebration at Henricus. Admission is free but there is a $5.00 parking fee. The outing to Henricus will not be a group outing. You will be on your own. Henricus is open from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM.
This is the second permanent settlement in Virginia, and Capt. Thomas Harris lived there for a while. If you haven't been there, you will love it. If you were there last year, there will be lot's going on. There will be many reenactments and perhaps, the star of the show will be the Godspeed which will be docked at the James River on the back side of Henricus.
*This is only about a mile away from the motel. Lots of special activities and reenactments will be taking place on that day. Remember that Michael Bell and Laurel Scott (descendants of Capt. Thomas Harris) are reenactors at Henricus. Jim recommends a revisit for those that attended last year.
*Publick Days will also continue on Sunday, September 22, 2013 for anyone who is interested.
Cost: Admission is free, and parking is $5 per vehicle.
Henricus Historical Park is located on 32 acres along the scenic and historic James River and is surrounded by the 810-acre Dutch Gap Conservation Area.
History of Henricus:
In May 1611, Sir Thomas Dale arrived in Virginia with instructions from the London Company to find a secure and healthy area to establish a new town and principal seat for the colony. In September 1611, Sir Thomas Dale moved up the James River to establish Henricus, the colony’s second settlement. Capt. Thomas Harris and his son, Major William Harris, are known to have lived at Henricus. Pocahontas also lived at Henricus and under the instruction of Rev. Alexander Whitaker, she was converted to Christianity and later married John Rolfe.
Additional information can be found at the Henricus Historical Park website pages:
This will leave Sunday for additional sightseeing, research, or travel home.
Jim says that if you have a GPS, he recommends that you bring it. Please let Jim know if you are planning to come. We need a count especially on how many will be taking the Curles tour and the Jamestowne tour. We also need to know who will need transportation as we will be carpooling.
Please contact Jim Harris by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 804 237 4817.
THIS PROMISES TO BE AN EVENT OF A LIFETIME! We look forward to seeing everyone.
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Send comments to Glenn Gohr
See the 2012 itinerary which includes additional websites and information: GATHERING OF HARRIS DESCENDANTS, September 22-23, 2012
Back to Glenn Gohr's Introduction to the Harris Y-DNA Project