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HARRISON NOTES June 22, 1991

Charles W. Johnson.

8514 Rockmoor, San Antonio, Texas 78230
© 2000 Charles W. Johnson, M.D.
  TOC Part 2

I have written before on my theory that Rev. Nathan Thomas Harrison, Rev. Jeremiah Harrison and Rev. Samuel Harrison were brothers or closely related. This theory remains unsubstantiated but over a period of time some evidence has been accumulated and no evidence has been found to refute this theory. I have also speculated that they may be descended from Samuel Harrison, son of Isaiah Harrison (the youngest son) founder of the Harrisons of Augusta County, VA as detailed in the book Settlers By The Long Grey Trail by J. Houston Harrison. The book: has little information on this son Samuel or his descendents. I have said that these three Rev. Harrisons were close together in age and that Revs Nathan and Jeremiah were closely associated in Buncombe County and in Murray County GA where they went about the same time and they both died there a few months apart. Rev. Nathan named one of his sons Jeremiah and another Samuel R. (Robert). Son Samuel R. was also a Methodist minister in GA. The elder Rev. Samuel R. Harrison, the one I suspect as being one of the three brothers was located at Harrison's Methodist Church in Pineville, NC, a suburb of Charlotte, in Mecklenburg County, but later in his old age he moved to Kentucky where his son was a prominent Methodist preacher, and Samuel died there.

I will reiterate, with more details.

From Long Grey Trail. p 272-275, selective summarization: Samuel Harrison born 1713 or 1712 died c 1790, son of Isaiah Harrison and Abigail (Smith?) (2nd wife) born Smithtown Long Island New York; the youngest son. Wife Mary, apparently dead by 1764, but alive 1762. Samuel came with the others to Augusta Co. VA 1737, but in 1755 removed from Augusta Co. to Cravens County, SC. He returned to Augusta County, still married to Mary in 1762. Apr. 29, 1783 he went to court in Augusta and got a statement, "certificate of good character and Wiggish Principles" on leaving the county. On this same date Ezekial, Reuben and Isaiah Harrison obtained court records stating that they were going to Georgia.

It is said that his first removal to Cravens County, SC was because of the Indian threat, and many others sought safe refuge, during the French and Indian War. His removal in 1783 would have been in turbulent times at the close of the American Revolution, at which time it may have been a good idea to have a sort of "passport".

Samuel's children were unknown to the author, but there were three Harrison women, Mary, Mary Ann and Elizabeth who together received land grants in 1773. The author suspects that they or some of them could have been Samuel's children because they are not accounted for otherwise.

THE THREE REVEREND HARRISONS.

There were a lot more than three. The Harrisons were original in Augusta County, or rather numerous of them, members of historic Alderson's Baptist Church also known as Linville Creek Baptist and Smith's Creek Baptist. But this family of Harrisons became very friendly with Bishop Asbury on his travels, and many of them switched to Methodists. In Bishop Asbury's Journals he frequently tells about the various Harrisons he stays with and how they were related. Among them were the Harrisons of Hassisonburg, VA in Augusta County where Asbury Methodist Church was built, what was later to become Cocke County TN where Wesley Harrison was a Methodist minister, Greene County TN where Isaiah Harrison, son of Jeremiah Harrison was, but apparently he was a Quaker for a time. These Greene County descendents of Jeremiah had Harrison's Meeting House which headed a prospering Methodist movement in East TN and produced numerous Harrison Methodist ministers. One of the places Bishop Asbury visited at least four times was Harrison's Methodist Church in Pineville, Mecklenburg County, NC, but Asbury did not mention the first names of the Harrisons there.

Rev. Nathan (sometimes Nathaniel) Thomas Harrison,

my wife's ggg grandfather. According to his obituary in Southern Christian Advocate. He was born 20 Oct. 1778 in North Carolina. He married Sarah Ogelsby and after his marriage he moved to Buncombe County NC where he lived about 36 years (left about 1836 so arrived in Buncombe about 1800). Died and buried at Spring Place, Murray Co. GA July 18, 1852. Family tradition says he was born in VA.

Rev. Jeremiah Harrison,

brother? close relative? to Rev. Nathan, according to his obituary


2. Harrisons

in Southern Christian Advocate was born in Rutherford County, NC and died at age 68, January 21, 1853 in Murray County, GA (just a few months after Nathan died). No wife mentioned, but left a "large family". None of children named. He had become a class leader at age 14 in the church. Though not in the obituary, Jeremiah Harrison was in Buncombe County, but married an Addington of Buncombe and moved to Macon County NC where he was one of the founders of Zion Methodist Church and left descendents in Macon County which are written up in Heritage of Macon County, NC. It is said that he moved to Union County GA with the Addingtons, but I am not sure that the writer could have him confused with Rev. Nathan's son Jeremiah, who is also said to have moved to Union Co. GA. The book does not know about him moving to Murray County, GA and dying there.

So, apparently Rev. Jeremiah was born about 1785 and therefore 8 years younger that Rev. Nathan.

Rev. Samuel R. Harrison.

Obituary published in Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church 1829-1839. A native of VA, born in Rockingham County Oct. 8, 1782. (Rockingham came from Augusta and is site of Harrisonburg, VA.). Entered SC Conference 1808. Traveled 3 years and then "located". Re-entered the traveling connection, same conference in 1815 and continued till 1819 at which time he moved to Kentucky. He entered the traveling connection again, Kentucky Conference in 1827. His health began to fail and in 1833 "superannuated". In 1834 relation changed to "supernumerary". In 1834 died of Typhus Fever. No wife or children mentioned.

Other Methodist records: 1815-1816 served on the Wateree (circuit?) with Bryan Gause. 1816-1817 Rocky River, NC (Then Mecklenburg Co, later Cabarrus County). 1818-1818. Brunswick NC with Andrew Hamill. 1819 "located" (means stopped traveling). One of his sons was John Christian Harrison, born 1 Oct. 1809 in Mecklenburg Co, Pineville area. His mother was Ann Rogers. Another record states Samuel was born or came from Roanoke Co. VA, served Pineville at Harrison Methodist Church. There is considerable information about Rev. John Christian Harrison of Kentucky indicating that his mother Ann Rogers was the one from Roanoke Co. VA, from an early Methodist family. He was quite prominent being awarded a D.D. and spent his last years in Lexington, KY. Died March 11, 1878.

Thus: Rev. Nathan born 1773, Rev. Jeremiah born c. 1785 and Rev. Samuel born 1782, all only a few years apart. Family tradition has it that both Nathan and Samuel were born in Rockingham Co. VA (Harrisonburg area) but other records show NC for Nathan, Rutherford Co. for Jeremiah and Samuel born Rockingham Co. VA or in one place Roanoke Co. VA. If any or all of these are descended from Samuel Harrison 1713-c 1790, son of Isaiah, apparently Samuel was absent from Augusta-Rockingham Co. VA from 1755 to 1762, and left again in 1783. Thus Rev. Samuel born in 1782 could have been born in Rockingham and so could Nathan, but Jeremiah, the younger born in 1785, would have been born after Old Samuel had left Augusta Co. for good. Old Samuel would have been age 69 when Rev. Samuel was born, 72 when Jeremiah was born and 65 when Rev. Nathan was born ... not impossible but suggestive that Old Samuel could have been a grandfather rather than a father. Moreover, Old Samuel's wife Mary apparently died by 1764 and could not be the mother of any of the three Rev. Harrisons.

Recently at a library I read a good part of a book, History of Providence Presbyterian Church in Mecklenburg County NC, which had an excellent short history of the area. It told about the shortage of Presbyterian ministers in this heavily Presbyterian community and also told about Harrison's Methodist being formed nearby which served a need for not only Methodists but also Presbyterians, and in fact Harrison Hood, a staunch Presbyterian donated the land and building materials for Harrison's Church. Harrison Hood lived in Ft. Mill, SC where he worshipped and is buried. The book also told about a history written about Harrison's Methodist. I have just recently obtained a copy of that history.

A History of Harrison United Methodist Church, Founded 1785 was originally written by Rev. Orion N. Hutchinson Jr. in 1955, a recently retired minister of the church. This was republished in 1984 with later material added by Irene McGinn and many photographs included. It is likely that Rev. Hutchinson is no longer living and Irene McGinn had previously retired as Music Director, so probably no spring chicken. I have asked for contact with the present historian, though have not made such contact as yet. This is a very well written book and with much documentation, largely from Methodist Archival records.


3. Harrisons

A selective summary follows: Methodism did not amount to much until after the Revolution. They were originally a part of the Anglican Church, and the founders, the Wesleys were always Anglican, but after the Revolution the name was changed to Methodist Episcopal Church and thrived. Harrison's was for some years a brush arbor church and always called Harrison's until many years later it tags called Harrison Methodist Church. Originally called Harrison's Society and tags created prior to 1785 and records have been kept since 1815. It still thrives. (from Hood Family Genealogy) In 1775 a new group of settlers moved into Mecklenburg County from the area around Harrisonburg, VA, then called Augusta County. One of them was Tunis Hood Sr. and his wife Elizabeth Harrison Hood. Elizabeth was from one of the well known Harrison families of the Shenandoah Valley, being the daughter of John Harrison. Also in the group were Tunis Hood Jr. and his wife, Eleanor Harrison Hood, daughter of Jeremiah Harrison who was a half brother to John Harrison, and Eleanor's brother, Nehemiah Harrison. Tunis (Hood Sr. was a strong Calvinist from New York where he had been baptized Feb. 22, 1718 or 1719. Tunis Hood Jr. and his wife had a son John Harrison Hood, commonly known as Harrison Hood. His 1st wife was Socelia Black daughter of Thomas Black and Sophia Gassaway Springs II. (Blacks were an early family of the Harrisonburg, VA area frequently intermarried with Harrisons). Harrison Hood had very extensive land holdings extending from the Pineville area well down into South Carolina. Much of this land was acquired around 1805 and was former Catawba Indian land.

There are theories in regard to the origin of the name Harrison Church. One is that it was named after Harrison Hood who donated the land and building materials and slave labor (but was known as Harrisons's before that donation). Another theory is that it was named after Samuel Harrison, an ardent Methodist who lived in the vicinity in the early 1800's. A third theory which the author favors, is that a family named Harrison, possibly the parents or other relatives of Samuel Harrison was living in the community in the latter part of the 1700's. President George Washington in his diary of his southern tour in 1791 notes that after leaving Camden SC left Crawford's at 4:00 and breakfasted at Harrison's 18 miles toward Charlotte. It was 13 miles further to Charlotte.

Bishop Asbury visited the area at least 4 times: 1794. Going from Waxhaw to Charlotte; 1800, 1806 and 1808. On this last visit (or maybe there were 5 visits and this was 4th) but in 1808 Rode 33 miles, hungry, cold and sick to Harrisons's Mecklenburg County.

Though Samuel Harrison was a preacher, traveling in 1808, the records say nothing; about him until 1815, when the Church Records begin. He in 1815 was a member of the Church, but had "located" for a period of time abandoning traveling for a while.

Though named Harrison's, after some years there were no Harrison members ... of course, Samuel Harrison had moved to Kentucky.

In the first paragraph, this page, it says that Tunis Hood, Sr.'s wife was Elizabeth, daughter of John Harrison and Tunis Hood Jr. married Eleanor, daughter of John's half brother Jeremiah Harrison and that her brother was Nehemiah. Long Grey Trail does not show John Harrison as having a daughter Elizabeth. He did have a half brother Jeremiah, considerably younger than he who did have a daughter Eleanor and a son Nehemiah. Jeremiah's Will dated 12 Sept. 1793, Greene Co. TN names his children but does not name to whom they were married. LGT says that John was born 1691 and died 1771, whereas his 1/2 brother Jeremiah was born 1707 and was therefore 16 years younger than John, which difference makes it more logical for Tunis Hood Sr. and Jr. to marry into the same generation of Harrisons. John is listed as having 5 children. There very well could have been more, including Elizabeth. Also, there were many other John Harrisons of the Long Grey Trail family which could be confused, and a number are unaccounted for.

There are several references to Hoods in LGT, as far back as 1738, before moving; to the Shenandoah Valley from Delaware, where James Hood acted as attorney for Harrisons and Cravens (who married Harrisons and moved with them). In 1742 in Orange Co. VA Court, Thomas Hard was fined for not appearing as a witness for Thomas Harrison. In 1771 there was a Thomas Hood living on Linville Creek (Harrison territory). He purchased in 1771 and was from Frederick County, VA. But that is all the information on Hoods. However, in Tennessee Cousins by Worth Ray in reference to Greene County, TN where Jeremiah had gone, one of the first settlers was Robert Hood. Also there was the Black Family and the Lincoln family evidently from Augusta County, VA. The Black family was also at Mecklenburg Co. NC. Blacks intermarried with Harrisons.


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