8514 Rockmoor San Antonio, Texas 78230
© 1994 Charles W. Johnson, M.D.
From Marguerite Gregory: In response to the copy I sent of the small paper from Betty Jo Hulse from LDS IGI file, showing Thomas Harrison m to Eleanor and their daughter Elizabeth b 1776 m John Grantham. Marguerite found that she already had Eleanor on her big family chart. She did not know its source but presumed that it came from Ruth Bowers. She did not recognize the handwriting of the note. She points out Elizabeth Harrison had more than 4 grandchildren with name Eleanor, sometimes as a middle name and she says that in regards to the name Lydia, which I brought up as in the John Family - perhaps Lydia Harrison, a sister to Elizabeth - that her great grandmother had a sister named LYDIA ELEANOR. She also told of a family tradition of an ancestor was a sister of either Stonewall Jackson's mother or Andrew Jackson's mother and that Joseph Hanks and Nancy Lee, dau of Wm. Lee were grandparents of Nancy Hanks - and a shirt tail relationship to Lincoln. Further, from a book: R.E. Lee's mother, Ann Carter was kin to every great family in VA including Harrisons. Marguerite was told by her grandmother that her gg grandmother was a cousin to Robert E. Lee and that they played together in VA... (my comment) ... I believe that Andrew Jackson as a child was ill the area of the border of NC and SC in the Waxhaws, with both states claiming him as a citizen. The Hanks were members of Alderson's Baptist Church, also known as Linville Creek and Smith's Creek Church, along with the Lincolns and Harrisons of the Long Grey Trail - or at least some of the Harrisons, so this sounds like LGT origins .... Rev. Nathan Thomas Harrison had a son Jeremiah whom it is said went from GA to VA to marry his second wife; a Lee (from memory of our records) ... I am not up on the ancestry and relationships of Robert E. Lee.
From Ruth Bowers: Much interesting; material. In regards to Elenor, above, she was not aware of her. She did not recognize the handwriting on that note. She tells about Daniel Grantham, son of James and grandson of Elizabeth (Harrison) Grantham, received a letter 1873 from his brother John Posey Grantham that revealed their grandmother's names as Rhoda and Eleanor. (of course, their grandmother's name was Elizabeth - did she have a middle name Eleanor or Rhoda, or were these gr. ,grandmothers by mistake? and of course they had two grandmothers and four gr grandmothers) ... She points out that John Grantham who m Elizabeth Harrison had a brother William his Jr. and a father William. and that she had thought that the father William had married a Rhoda _____ and then an Eleanor _____. She does not know about sisters of the Grantham family but points out that the 1800 census of Buncombe shows 2 girls in the William Grantham family 10-16. ... At one time the Grantham family Bible was in the possession of her great Uncle Frank Carriker, but his daughter knew nothing of the Bible, but Ruth's Uncle Francis Carriker had furnished the Bible information to Ruth... She has found out recently that Rev. Thomas Harrison, the uncle of John Posey Grantham, lived in St. Clair Co. IL and moved to Minnesota. John Posey Grantham was from Henry Co. Iowa and he was in Washington DC for several years serving in the Legislature - or some other office. (if I have the generations right, John Posey Grantham was the son of John Grantham and Elizabeth Harrison, so Rev. Thomas Harrison would be the brother of his mother Elizabeth ...and if Rev. Thomas Harrison was a different person than her suspected brother Rev. Nathan Thomas Harrison who remained in NC and then to GA and died there. Wife different also - Rev. Nathan m Sarah Ogelsby) Rev. Thomas Harrison m Margaret Gilbraith and they named their children: Margaret Olive, Thomas, William M., and Elizabeth as written in the St. Clair Co. History book.... (in regards to the John family) Lydia was the name of the eldest daughter of Elizabeth (Harrison) and John Grantham (or 2nd eldest?) ... she thinks it reasonable and possible that Lydia (Harrison?) John could be the sister of Elizabeth (Harrison) Grantham.
Ruth points out THE HARRISON FAMILY RESEARCH mentions Reuben Harrison and his cousin Benjamine Harrison 1741-1819 as Rev. soldiers of Rockingham Co. VA, which information comes from Draper Manuscripts-822 Wisconsin papers. Also, Ezekiel Harrison, brother of Reuben,
was in Sangamon Co. IL, in 1832 when he applied for a Pension (borders Montgornery Co. IL), Benjamin Harrison 1741-1819 is the son of Captain Daniel Harrison (s/o Isaiah and Abigail) and Margaret Cravens - in Settlers By The Long Crey Trail. Ezekiel Grantham Grantham, son of John and Elizabeth (Harrison) Grantham named a son Nathan... She feels strongly that Elizabeth (Harrison) Grantham is a descendent of Isaiah Grantham (I think she meant to say Isaiah Harrison) and his first wife and that Nathaniel (Nathan?) was a brother to Elizabeth Grantham. Elizabeth named her first born Isaiah (Elizabeth is spelled Elisabeth on her tombstone) ...The above Reuben and Ezekiel Harrison are sons of Thomas Harrison and Jane De La Haye (son of Isaiah Harrison and Abigail Smith) ...Thomas Harrison of the 1800 Buncombe Co. census could be the son of Isaiah Jr. couldn't he?
Ruth Bowers sent some fascinating copies. There is a letter of 1850 from a Goodner from Placerville, CA to his father of St. Clair Co. IL that mentions Harrisons in that his father could send money by way of a Harrison connection who are expecting to come to CA in 2 days amongst whom are Hugh Harrison and the two oldest sons of James Harrison... In another letter the same year to his father he says that he has deposited in the hands of John P. Grantham (John Posey Grantham?) the sum of $400 to carry to Bellville, IL where he will leave it in the care of Thomas Harrison or some other responsible person connected with his family..Mr. Grantham is a nephew to Mr. Harrison and ..I judge him to be a very fine man. He told me his family and home is in Mount Pleasant, Henry Co., Iowa and that his father lives in Montgomery Co. IL..He carries money for 6% , taking, dust at $16.00 an ounce and agrees to exchange it for coin at New Orleans or some other place. If you get this letter you can be sure that the money is at Belleville for I will send it by him also. These letters are from GOODNER GENEALOGY and Ruth made a note that this Thomas Harrison mentioned is Rev. Thomas Harrison.
Also, Ruth has enclosed copies from HISTORY OF ST. CLAIR CO. IL.. One story is entitled "The Harrison .Mills". It was "descended" from one of the early ox tread mills in Belleville IL. It was built in 1819 and in 1826 was bought by THOMAS HARRISON This was a steam mill. . It burned down in 1843 with heavy loss and no insurance. It was rebuilt by B.F. Switzer but still known as the Harrison Mills (This appears to be an old book). In another part of the book, telling about early settlers:"...the Harrison family deserves mention. Thomas Harrison was born in the York District, SC 1779. His father moved to Rutherford Co. NC; then settled in Georgia; afterward removed to Buncombe County, North Carolina, and from that point, Thomas Harrison and some others emigrated to Illinois in July 1804. Mr. Harrison and some others settled the same year three or four miles south-west from the present city of Belleville. Mr. Harrison here improved a farm, and in the year 1813 erected a cotton gin, one of the first in Illinois. It was propelled by horse power... It is said that James Gilbreath, who settled on Silver Creek. ..built the first cotton gin in Illinois country. Mr Harrison subsequently purchased an ox-tread mill in Belleville.. His descendants are still largely connected with the manufacturing interests of the town."
There are pictures from AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORICAL ATLAS OF ST. CLAIR C0. IL 1874. One of these is showing Harrison Mills, B.F. Switzer & Co. Prop. It is 4 stories tall with two more floors unser the roof and various outbuildings and an elevated railroad serving it. A note says, "manufactureres of "T. Harrison and Co.: Switzer's Best & Glen Addie". Another picture shows Harrison & Co. Foundry and Machine Shops, quite large but one story with a smoke stack and several buildings with signs for each such as, "Wood Shop", "Paint Shop", "Foundry", and a two story building with the sign "Offic", and railroad tracks to service it. Another picture shows Harrison & Co. Engine and Boiler Works, manufacturers of threshers, portable engines, Horse Powers (?), Wood Saws, Castings, Mill Work, Boilers etc, etc, Repairing all kinds. It is a quite large brick three story building with decorative architectural features.
I would like to comment that I grew up near Belleville, IL, at Alton, IL (where some other Harrisons of LGT, such as Ezekiel and Peachy, a female were in the early days. I never knew a Harrison, nor did my brother, his wife, my sister, her husband (I have asked) who all grew up in Alton. One of my colleagues here in San Antonio was from Belleville and he tells the story of how poor he was there. Before Medical School, he worked in the
cotton fields a little further south of Belleville, in the area of Cairo, IL. I am not sure whether to believe his early poverty or not. He is somewhat of a "spoofer", but when I run into him, or his wife also from Belleville, I will press for his knowledge of Harrisons and Cotton. That is not cotton country, and the book referred to also says that and that the cotton industry failed early. I did not see a lot of Belleville when I lived in Alton. It is a suburb of St. Louis, across the Mississippi River, the location of several bridges across the river, railroad and otherwise. But I do not know whether there was one in Thomas Harrison's time. Belleville is also adjacent to East St. Louis. East St. Louis is one of the dirtiest and ugly cities I have ever seen. In the 30's every building was black from soot and probably still is. The TV program 60 Minutes, two weeks ago featured a story on Belleville's Police Chief and his various tactics to keep black people from East St. Louis out of their pretty prosperous Belleville. I do not remember any factories in Belleville, though I know this was an industrial area. I do recall Main Street where all of the Harrison industry was apparently, but what I recall of Main Street was the very numerous "Star" beer signs. They were famous for Star Beer, another industry of Belleville. One could see all of these neon light stars up and down the street, each indicating a place that served Star Beer. (1930's and 1940's). Scott Air Force Base is also at Belleville.
Ruth Bowers also sent a copy from HARRISON FAMILY RESEARCH, page 24 of 54 pages (I am not familiar with this but judging from this page, this is a collection of Harrison data and not of one branch or line. It is by Mr. and Mrs. Bernd O. Lautenschlaeger, 90788 Indian Creek Road, Swisshome, OR 97480). "The following was taken from JOHNS FAMILY TREE found in Maryland-Delaware Genealogist, V IV, Oct 1963, published by Raymond B. Clark, Jr. Washington, D.C.:
LETTER FROM BETTY JO HULSE. Dated Jan. 13, 1993. She says that she is going to the library next week and will try to run down that Harrison-Grantham thing in the IGI. She also sent some other very interesting Harrison information in reference to very early ones in America and Bermuda and Loyalist Harrisons but I do not think I will discuss them in this context. This was in response to some information I had sent her, but belongs in a different category.
So, with all of this new information it mostly boils down to WHO WAS THOMAS HARRISON OF THE 1800 BUNCOMBE COUNTY CENSUS AND FROM WHENCE AND WHOM DID HE COME? I will give what I have on that subject, but I will write a separate paper, also enclosed.
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