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The following biographical data was submitted by Justin Herbst.

Biographical data for Joseph Harrison I and Bathsheba Jane "Bersheba" Oglesby

    Joseph Harrison I was described by his children and grandchildren as a "westward wanderer," always traveling and exploring.  They also mention he always had the means to support his family and treks.  They describe him as a real wild man.

    Bathsheba served as the family teacher.  She was well educated for her time.  She taught her children and grandchildren to read, write and speak. She passed this trait onto her three daughters whom all taught the family these skills.  She was raised a Quaker, and her spirituality was very important many of her lessons were from the bible. Bersheba would teach out of her home, and many of her nieces and nephews from her family as well as their husbands and wives learned from her.  Music was another area she was well versed in, and so the singing of hymns was a part of the education. She was hard working, however, also described as fun loving.  We know Bersheba gave her daughter-in-law, Bett, Alex's locks of long hair from his boyhood as a wedding gift.  She supposedly gave her daughter, America, a quilt that had been her mother's for a wedding gift, and tradition has it that Bersheba gave her daughter, Hannah, a most prized possession, a silver tea set her father had brought with him to America from Scotland.  Bersheba wore all white dresses and always had her head covered in traditional Quaker attire.  The last ten years of her life were spent at her son, Alex's, before she rotated to her daughters and son, Aaron's.  She was completely blind the last two years of her life, and her daughter-in-law, Bett was always at her side.  Granddaughter Margaret Harrison Van DeBogart stated, "Grandma Bersheba did not want to be a burden.  She constantly worked even with her blindness.  She continued to sew, and would be lead to the garden to weed and harvest.  Telling tales of her life and the family."

Joseph's death and confirmed popular theories:

(1) A probate record dated December 18, 1823, in Licking County, Ohio (possibly Joseph) only the index exists, the rest of the record was burned.  Irene Townsend conducted the original research.

(2) Frederick Bethannah Harrison's bible extract (not the original) hand copied by one his grandchildren:

"Joseph went with [his sons], Benjamin and Moses, [son-in-law] Fred Sager and [nephew] Elias, and [brother] Ephraim west to explore.  On returning home from Indiana and Michigan, Joseph, died December 23, 1827, before his 45th year. He was buried near Elkhart, Indiana."
This was copied from the original book owned by Hank & Frances Sweet Harrison in 1940, by the Millner Nash family.

(3) According to Marcella Swan (a descendant of Joseph II):

"Joseph petitioned land in the Michigan territory in 1827 was returning to Ohio and died.  The party of relatives he was traveling with buried him along side the road."
She also stated that Joseph II inherited a small trunk of Joseph's and Joseph III was said to have had this in his possession.

Joseph Harrison I and Bathsheba Jane "Bersheba" Oglesby timeline:

* 1773:       Joseph Harrison I is born in Frederick County, Maryland.

* 1794:       Joseph's future father-in-law, Alexander Oglesby's will is probated on 3 December at Crooked Run, Virginia.

* 1795:       Joseph I married Bathsheba Jane "Bersheba" Oglesby (no record has been found).

* 1796-1799:  Lived in Frederick County, Virginia.

* 1801:       Lived in Virginia/Pennsylvania.

* 1803:        Lived in Fallowfield Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania (Bible Records of Joseph II's family).

* 1804:   Joseph Harrison was summoned to appear in Washington County, the Court of Common Pleas on 16 June 1804 as the defendant, in a trespass charge filed by Nathaniel Redd (from the Pennsylvania State Archives, Miscellaneous Court Papers, Washington County, Pennsylvania, 1784-1829, original records on microfilm).

* 1805:        Lived in Shelby County, Kentucky, at Bathsheba's grandfather, Bethany Haines for a visit.

* 1807:        Lived in Jefferson County, Ohio (where America Harrison was born).

* 1810:        Are they in the Jefferson County, Ohio census?...all the children born from 1807-1813, were born in Jefferson County, Ohio.

* 1814:        Daughter Hannah Harrison marries Frederick Sager in Jefferson County, Ohio.

* 1817:        Youngest son, Frederick Bethannah Harrison is born in Union County, Ohio.

* 1818-1819:        Joseph Harrison I and family are listed as one of the first settlers of Mill Creek Township, Union County, Ohio.  Joseph Harrison bought land in Millcreek Township, Union County, Ohio (deed).  Frederick Sager's name also appears on the deed as a witness.

* 1820:        Joseph Harrison I is listed as head of the household in the Mill Creek Township, Union County, Ohio Federal Census.

* 1823:        (Joseph of Licking county, Ohio)?? Their children were married in Champaign County/Delaware County, and Franklin County, Ohio.

* 1827:        In about 1827 (according to family records) Joseph I died on his way back from exploring, at age 54 or 55 (documentation needed).

* 1828:        Bazel Harrison leads a group of twenty-one to Kalamazoo County, Michigan, at the same time that Bazel's son Uncle Billy and Joseph I's daughter America Harrison, first cousins, were married in Union County, Ohio.

* 1830:        Bathsheba Jane Harrison is listed as head of the household in Mill Creek Township, Union County, Ohio, (she was not listed as a widow, as was usually customary).

* 1830:        Columbia and Kate (Roe) Harrison move to Adams County, Indiana with her father, Jeremiah Roe II.

* 1830:        America and Uncle Billy Harrison family moves to Charleston Township, Kalamazoo County, Michigan.  America and Columbia's families were supposed to have made this trek west together, ending up in different locations.

* 1831:        Alex and Bett (Roe) Harrison I go to the Kalamazoo County area, but settle at the Roe settlement in Adams County, Indiana.

* 1831:          Bathsheba lives a season with her sister, Rachel Conway, in Ohio, before moving with them to Indiana.  Bathsheba stays at her brother-in-law, Bazel Harrison's Prairie Ronde farm, from there she lives with her granddaughter, Mrs. Elias Stilwell (Mary Elizabeth Sager) Harrison, until her children move to Kalamazoo County.  She remains with the Alexander Harrison I family and spends time at her three daughters, (source Russell Fenwick) and son, Aaron Harrison's.  Bathsheba and her youngest son, Fred, were to have made this move in 1831.

* 1832:        Benjamin Harrison and Jane Stilwell family moves from Ohio, their daughter, Emily Jane, is born on 5 February in Prairie Ronde Township, Kalamazoo County, Michigan.

* 1834:        Alex Harrison I acquires land in Climax Township, Kalamazoo, however, does not move his family from Adams County, Indiana until 1836.  Joseph Harrison II and Lydia Ann move their family to Kalamazoo County in 1834, accompanying on this trip, were the Aaron and Betsey Harrison Soule family, and the Fred and Hannah Harrison Sager family.  Fred may have gone on ahead and Hannah traveled with the family.

* 1835:          Frederick Sager (at the urging of Bazel and others) sets up the first mill in Kalamazoo County, Michigan.

* 1836:        Alex I's family settles in Climax Township, where they remain and where their branch of the Harrison Cemetery is located.  Accordingly, Betsey Soule taught school at Alex's place beginning at this time until 1850.

* 1839:        Aaron and Margaret Lookingbill Harrison move their family to Kalamazoo County, Michigan from Union County, Ohio.

* 1847:        Official record of Alex I leasing land to the local district for the Harrison school.

* 1851:        Bathsheba Jane Harrison dies at the home of her son, Alexander Harrison I on April 15th.  Bathsheba, her son Joseph II, and son-in-law Fred Sager, along with some grandchildren reportedly died during an epidemic, they all had the same affliction and battled fevers for months.  She is buried in Harrison Cemetery in Climax, Michigan.


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