William Harris, Major

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William Harris, Major

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Curles Plantation, Henrico, VA or, Charles City, Charles City County, Virginia
Death: Died in Henrico, VA
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Thomas Harris, Sr. and Joane Harris
Husband of Elizabeth Harris; Lucy Harris and Alice Harris Alves
Father of Thomas Harris; William Harris, Jr; William Thomas Harris; Edward E Harris and John E Harris
Brother of Thomas Harris, II
Half brother of Elizabeth Warner; Edward Harris; Robert Harris and Mary Harris

Managed by: Dave Stone
Last Updated:

About William Harris, Major

The following detailed biography is from http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/6989691/person/6094592013/story/2177956e-475f-447b-af75-6a0495e199ed from the Gresham, Robinson & Allied Families Tree maintained by Mary Gresham ("gresham970") on ancestry.com

WILLIAM HARRIS d. 1678

• William [Major] Harris • Sex: M • Birth: ABT 1628 in Henrico County, Virginia • Death: 23 AUG 1678 in Henrico County, Virginia • Note:

Maj. William Harris, the son of Thomas Harris and his wife, Joane, was born about 1629. William, like his father, was a man of considerable prominence and held some of the colony’s highest civil and military offices. He was a surveyor and justice of the peace of Charles City County, 1 June 1657. Harris was also a member of the House of Burgesses (1652, 1653, 1656 —658) and lived at Curles on the land inherited from his father.

On the advice of Abraham Wood, the Assembly promoted William from captain to major of the militia regiment of Henrico and Charles City in 1656. Generally a militia unit came from a single county but the population was so sparse then that two were combined. Maj. William Harris married first Lucy — , by whom he had a son Thomas Harris [7042.2.1] and reportedly a daughter about whom we have no information.

William married a second time to Alice. William and Alice were the parents of sons, William and Edward Harris and maybe a third son. Their daughter was Love who Thomas Harris identified as his sister-in-law [half-sister] in his will.

According to a patent issued to Mr. Thomas Gagecomb in 1664 , Maj. William Harris bought 150 acres from Martha Edes and sold it to Gagecomb in 1663. In 1663 Maj. Harris secured a patent to 450 acres in Henrico County for nine headrights. The property, called Slashes, was on the north side of the James River near Four Mile Creek. Two years later, on 2 June 1665, George Archer obtained a patent to land next to Major William Harris. On 7 September 1671, Berkeley granted Harris 1,202 acres for twenty headrights. The land, called The Ware, was next to lands belonging to the orphans of Joseph Tanner, William Baugh, Thomas Ligon, and William Farrar. Among the twenty headrights were nine of the 1663-patent.

On 7 September 1671, Sir William Berkeley granted Maj. William Harris more than 1,200 acres on the north side of the James River in Henrico County, Virginia. This land was next to the land of Thomas Ligon, William Farrar, William Baugh Jr. and the Tanner family. The land was for the transportation of twenty people to Virginia. His neighbor, William Baugh Jr., was the father of Priscilla Baugh who married William Farrar [F.2.1]. It was William Farrar who later married Mary (Tanner) Ligon.

Governor Berkeley planned to explore the South and West regions of Virginia in 1669 but frequent rains kept him home. The next year he sent an exploration party under the command of Maj. William Harris. A member of the party, John Lederer, a German, kept a diary in Latin. Translations of his diary are in the Virginia State Library. Harris’s party first visited the chief village of the Monocans, which spread about three miles along the south bank of the James River, in the present county of Powhatan. The site is still known as Manakin Town. Taking a course due westward from there, the party traveled several days until they came to the country of the Mahocks. They feared an attack from the hostile Indians and all but Lederer returned home. He continued with a single Indian guide. On 3 October 1670, the Charles City paid Maj. William Harris £25, Lt. Thomas Ligon Jr. £10. and his soldiers, two shillings, six pence per day for services in the Westerne Discovery.

William Harris fell heir to "Longfield", later known as "Curles." His inheritance of the plantation is established through a Henrico County record in a suit entitled John Broadnax vs. Willm. Soane, entered 1 October 1700, to clear the title to the land and establish boundaries.

On 17 March 1664/5, William Harris sold Curles to Roger Green, a merchant. A portion of Curles, the Harris plantation, consisted of 820 acres originally patented by Thomas Harris in 1638. Roger Green sold this portion of the estate to Thomas Ballard in September 1668. Neither Green nor Ballard lived at Curles. Thomas Ballard was a member of Virginia’s prestigious Governor’s Council.

On 28 August 1674, Ballard sold Curles to Nathaniel Bacon. Nathaniel had just arrived in Virginia with £1,800 in his pocket. With him was his wife, Elizabeth, a relation of Royall Governor William Berkeley. They immediately appointed him a member of the Governor’s Council and granted him a license to participate in the lucrative Indian trade monopoly. Nathaniel built his home at Curles and maybe he took advantage of some structures put up by Capt. Thomas Harris.

He was in military December 1656, appointed Major of Henrico & Charles Regiment. He was Justice of Henrico, Member House of Burgesses, 1652/1653/1656/1658

William’s will [20 Apr 1678 / 1 Feb 1678/9] is a little peculiar and he may have written it on the day of his departure. In it William named his eldest son and heir, Thomas, and made provisions for his two younger sons by his second wife, Alice. Witnesses were Richard Ligon and Ann Stewart. Francis Epes and John Worsham valued his personal property at £1,095 on 7 October 1678 . His sons were to come of age at nineteen if his widow did not remarry. Otherwise, she could release them at age sixteen.

William Harris, son of Captain Thomas Harris who died in 1679, was born in 1629 according to a deposition. He was a Justice of Henrico, member of the House of Burgesses, 1652, 1653,1656, 1658. In December 1656 he was appointed major of the Henrico and Charles City regiment. Made his will April 20, 1678, probated Feb. 1, 1678/ 9, as follows:

"Not knowing what the Lord hath ordained or at what tyme he he may take (torn) out this life I doe settle my estate of lands as followeth, I give & bequeath to my sonne Thomas all my land below the ward (ware? ) to keep the ware/ward runn for his Bounds till ht shall come to ye spring at ye hed & then to follow a bottom on ye lower side of the clearing of John Rabon, to the hundred roade path, and then on a straight roade or course to the land of Seth Potter Ashbrooke but in no case to crofse porketts/perketts? path; to my younger sonnes WM & EDWARD HARRIS I give ye rest of my dividents, Wm. to have the plantason where I now live, & Edward ye land next Ashbrooke, But Wm. to extend Outwards one hundred yards beyond ye clearing of John Rabon on the path called perketts/porketts path, & Thomas on a straight course to ye redd? watter? & Edward the house next to Potter Ashbrooke's line as alsoe to ye Ashen swamp to them & their Heires; neyther to sell unlefs the one to ye other & if eyther did (died) without Ishow (issue) the land to come to ye Survivor, my two younger sons to live with their mother till of age of sixteen, if shee marry if not till 19 yeares of age; my will is that my wife live on the plantason during her life but not to hinder my sonne Wm. at the head of ye ward if he come (or rome? ) for himselfe & I desyre my friends Mr. Tho: Cocke(? ) & Mr. Wm. Randolph to see this my will performed. In Witnefsee of every (looks like L) to hereof I putt to my hand this 20th day of April, 1678. " Wits: Rich. Lygon, Ann Stewart (Bk.1677-92, part 1, p.68)

Major William Harris (b ca 1629 Henrico Co., Va., died 1678 Va). He was killed in a battle with Indians near the present town of Richmond, Va. The battle was between the Militia and a band of Indians raiding from the north. Colonel Francis Epps and Major William Harris were both killed.

A letter of Colonel Herbert Jeffreys, the Governor of Virginia, to Sir Henry Coventry reported that: "On the 22nd and 23rd of August [1678] some Indians came downe uppon james River to the number of 150 or 200 in Henrico County … on the 24th some of the Militia officers of Henrico County gott upp a party of forty six horse and march’d imediately upp to [ ] upper plantation of Coll: [Rowland] Place’s: The cheife officer Coll: [Francis] Epps and Major [William] Harris were kill’d and two more wounded …

Indians Kill Maj. William Harris (1678).

In 1678 Maj. William Harris and Col. Francis Epes were in command of a militia of “trayned hands” near present-day Richmond when an Indian raiding party came from the North. A letter from John Banister of 6 April 1679 described the events.

... Last Summer they made several Incursions among the Inhabitants on the Heads of Rapahannock, York & Our (i.e.) James River destroying their cattle, rifling their houses, & killing and carrying away some Families. But tho' we were sufferers in our Stocks & Cropps, & some of the loss of household goods also, & (blessed be God) none of us lost our lives. One Coll[.] Epes indeed was killed who with some Forces rais'd in Our (i.e.) Henrico County, came in pursuit of them two days after the mischief was done. They found them Shut up in a Corn field belonging to the Upper Plantations on the North-side of ye River, & had they been but half so courageous as they were cautios might have cut them all off together. But while one durst not shoot nor the other for want of extent of Commission & for fear of breach of Peacd, out get the Indians, gain the clear'd ground & fire on them. The Coll. paid dear for his deliberation, he was shot in the throat by an Indian at least 200 paces distant. We lost another stout man at the same time, one Major Harris, who rashly pursuing the flying Enemy with a Pistol only in his hand & that too discharg'd was shot and died a Martyr to his foolhardiness. The Indian that shot him was kill'd & one woman taken prisoner, ye rest escap'd over the River...

Children: I. William Harris moved to New Kent County for on Aug. 1, 1694, Hugh Lygon witnessed an acknowledgement of debt by William Harris, son of Major William Harris, deed. of New Kent Co. , to Sarah Knibb of Henrico (Ek. 5, p. 508). II. Edward Harris is said to have also been in New Kent in 1698 (Lygon-845) III. Thomas Harris IV. daughter Love [or Luce]

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The following Will of Maj. William Harris was posted on another message board by Janice Mauldin Castleman in 1999 - From "Capt. Thomas Harris 1586-1658 Immigrant 1611 A Rough Manuscript" by W. Lee Harris (Dallas Library, no copyright) page 29: "PERSONAL WILL OF MAJOR WILLIAM HARRIS Not knowing what the Lord hath ordained or at what time He may take me out of this life, I do settle my estate of lands, as follows:--- I give and bequeath TO MY SON THOMAS HARRIS ALL MY LAND BELOW THE WARE and keep the Ware run as his bounds till it shall come to ye spring at ye head, and then to follow ye Bottome on ye lower side of the clearing of John Rabon to the Hundred Road Path and then a straight course, or road, to the land of Colonel Peter Ashbrook, but, in no case, to cross Pocket's Path. TO MY YOUNGER SONS, WILLIAM AND EDWARD HARRIS, I give the rest of my dividend, William the plantation where I now live, and Edward to have ye land next to Ashbrook but William to extend outward one hundred yards beyond the clearing of John Rabon, on the path called Pocket's Path, and thence on a straight course to ye Red Water. MY YOUNGEST SONS (WILLIAM & EDWARD) TO LIVE WITH THEIR MOTHER TILL THE AGE OF SIXTEEN if she marry, but if not till the age of nineteen years. My will is that MY WIFE, ALICE, live on the plantation during her life, but to not hinder my son William at the head of ye Ware, if he come to himself. I desire my friends, Mr. Thomas Cocke and Mr. William Randolph, to see that this, my Will, is performed. In witness of every part hereof, I put my hand, on this the first day of February, 1678. (signed) William Harris Signed in Presence of: Richard Ligon Ann Hunt Ann Stewart Proved in Henrico Co., VA Court, the 20th day of April 1678 --------------------

Note that Thomas leaves his land “at ye Ware” to his sister-in-law Loue Harris. The identity of Loue remains a mystery. It might be possible that Maj. Wm. Harris had a son, unknown to us, who left a widow. Her name has been variously shown as “Luce,” as “Love,” and Weisiger, in his abstract of the will, shows her as “Core” Harris. She is not found in the records after this and it is assumed she died as the land he left her “escheated to His Majesty” and was later conveyed from William Byrd to William Harris, Jr., brother of Thomas Harris.

After the death of Major William Harris, his widow Alice remarried to George Alves. It seems certain that Alice was mother of William Harris, Jr. and Edward Harris for in his will, Major William Harris stated that: "MY YOUNGEST SONS (WILLIAM & EDWARD) TO LIVE WITH THEIR MOTHER TILL THE AGE OF SIXTEEN." The following abstracts further show that William Harris, Jr. was son of Alice, that the widow Alice remarried to George Alves, and that Edward Harris was the youngest son of Maj. William and Alice Harris:

From book: HENRICO COUNTY, VIRGINIA DEEDS 1677-1705, by Benjamin B. Weisiger III. (Henrico Co., VA Rec. Bk. No. 2, 1678-1693, p 137) [Henrico Ct. Feb. 1682/83] The Complaint of GEORGE ALVIS AGST MR RICHARD LYGON COMMENCING AN ORPHN OF MAJR WILLM HARRIS DECD (BY NAME WILLIAM HARRIS) is referred until the next Court and then the sd Mr Lygon is to appear and bring the Indenture betwixt him and the orphn to the court, and there Exibitt it in the p’sents of the sd Orphn

(Henrico Co., VA Rec. Bk.. #2, 1678-1695, p.139) [Henrico Ct., April 2, 1683] In the suite of GEORGE ALVIS AS MARRYING ALICE THE RELICT OF MAJR WITT [SIC] HARRIS DECD (CONCERNING WILLIAM HARRIS AN ORPHN OF THE SD DECD) AGST MR. RICHD LYGON, the sd Alvis declaring that he doth not use his endeavour for educating and maintining the sd Orphn according to the Indenture, wch Indenture being exhibited and the orphn present, and the Court thereupon concerning the allegacons aforesd not true, it is ordered that the orphn served his time, and that Mr. Lygon perform his part of the sd Indenture.

(Henrico Co., VA Will & Deed Bk. 1688-1697, p. 646) William Byrd of Charles City Co., for a tract of 225 accres assured to me by WILLIAM HARRIS, SON OF MAJ. WILLIAM HARRIS, late of Henrico Co., dec’d, make over TO EDWARD HARRIS, SON OF SAID MAJ. WM HARRIS, AND YOUNGEST BROTHER OF SAID WILLIAM ABOVE, all my right in a tract on south side of James River near a place CALLED THE WARE, which Maj. Harris died seized of, and since escheated, except land I have already conveyed and except 225 acres since conveyed to me by William Harris 1 Oct. 1692. 2 Aug. 1697 No witnesses Signed: William Byrd – Rec: 1 Aug. 1697. ---------------------

The following deeds leave no doubt that Thomas Harris, son of Major William Harris, was deceased before 1692, thus could not be the Thomas Harris who died 1729/30. Note also the property “The Ware” involved below is mentioned in the will of Thomas Harris who d. 1679.

From book: HENRICO COUNTY, VIRGINIA DEEDS 1677-1705, by Benjamin B. Weisiger III (Henrico Co., VA Will & Deed Bk. 1799-1697, p. 346) William Byrd of Henrico Co., Esq. for 220 acres of land CONVEYED TO ME BY WILLIAM HARRIS, SON OF MAJ. WILLIAM HARRIS, DEC’D, being land on south side of James River at place called “The Ware,” given by will of dec’d, to his son William, grants to said William Harris, LAND BELOW THE WARE RUN, WHICH SAID MAJ. WM. HARRIS, DEC’D, DIED SEIZED OF AND IS PART GIVEN TO HIS SON THOMAS HARRIS (ALSO DEC’D), bounded by the river, Joseph Tanner, dec’d, and land sold by Maj. Harris to Peter Ashbrook, 250 acres. 1 Oct. 1692 /s/ William Byrd Wit: Wm. Soane, George Alves Rec. 1 Oct. 1692

(Henrico Co., VA Deed & Will Bk. 1688-1697, p. 347) WILLIAM HARRIS, SON OF MAJ. WILLIAM HARRIS, DEC’D., for a tract of 250 acres, now conveyed to me by Hon. William Byrd, Esq., being that tract on south side of James River CALLED THE WARE,” GIVE BY MAJ. HARRIS TO HIS SON THOMAS HARRIS, DEC’D, and since escheated to His Majesty, sells to said Byrd a tract also on south side of James River, PART OF A TRACT MAJ. HARRIS DIED SEIZED OF ON WARE RUN, 225 ACRES, 1 Oct. 1692. /s/ William Harris Wit: Wm. Soane, George Alves Rec: 1 Oct. 1692

(Henrico Co., VA Will & Deed Bk. 1799-1697, p. 505) 31 July 1694. WILLIAM HARRIS, SON OF MAJ. WILLIAM HARRIS, dec’d, now of St. Peters Parish, New Kent Co., carpenter, to Sarah Knibb, widow, of County & Parish of Henrico, for £51/10, land on south side of James River, BELOW A RUN CALLED THE WARE; BEING PART OF LAND MAJ. HARRIS DIED SEIZED OF, AND WAS PART GIVEN BY HIS WILL TO HIS SON THOMAS HARRIS, ALSO DEC’D, bounded by the river, land of Joseph Tanner, dec’d, Peter Ashbrook, road from The Falls to the Hundred, 250 acres, which land lately escheated to His Majesty and was conveyed by Hon. William Byrd to above William Harris. 1 Oct. 1692. /s/ William Harris Wit: George Alves, All. Clerke Mary Harris, wife of William Harris, appoints Allanson Clerk her attorney to relinquish her dower right in above land. 28 July 1694 Wit: George Alves, Alice (A) Alves

Hopefully the above records will clear up the misconception that Thomas Harris who d. ca. 1729/30 in Henrico Co. was son of Major William Harris.

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William Harris, son of Captain Thomas Harris and only brother of Thomas Harris, Jr. who died in 1679 was born in 1629 . According to a deposition, he was a Justice of Henrico , member of the House of Burgesses, 1652, 1653, 1656 and 1658. In December 1656, he was appointed major of the Henrico and Charles City Malitia Regiment. He married Lucy Stewart and made his will April 20, 1678, probated February 1, 1 678/79.n He named his eldest son Thomas as heir and making provision for two infant sons named William and Edward, both by second wife, Alice.

It has been circulated for many years that Thomas Harris who died in Henrico County, Virginia in 1729/30 was the son of Major William Harris. A careful study of Henrico County records will show that this is untrue. This Thomas Harris was the brother of Maj. William Harris. The Thomas Harris who died in 1679 was the unmarried brother of Major William Harris.

His will names only three sons for Major William Harris; Thomas, William and Edward. The will does not mention any daughters or other sons. It does appear that Major Harris was married twice. Son Thomas, in the will, appears to be older that William and Edward. Thomas was probably the son of the first wife.

PERSONAL WILL OF MAJOR WILLIAM HARRIS

Not knowing what the Lord hath ordained or at what tyme He may take (torn) this life, I doe settle my estate of land , as followeth:---

I give and bequeath TO MY SONNE THOMAS HARRIS ALL MY LAND B ELOW THE WARD (ware?) to keep the Ware runn for his bounds till it shall come to ye spring at he hed, and then to follow ye Bottome on ye lower side of the clearing of John Rabon to the Hundred Roade Path and then on a straight course , or roade, to the land of Colonel Seth Potter Ashbrooke, but, in no case, to cross Pocket's Path.

TO MY YOUNGER SONS, WILLIAM AND EDWARD HARRIS, I give ye rest of my dividents, William the plantation where I now live , and Edward ye have ye land next to Ashbrooke but William to extend outwards one hundred yards beyond ye clearing of John Rabon, on the path called Pocket's Path, and Thomas on a straight course to ye Redd Watter. And Edward the house next to Potter Ashbrooke's line as alsoe to ye Ashen Swamp to them and their Heires; neyther to sell unlefs the one to ye other and if eyther did (died) without show (issue) the land to come to ye survivor.

MY YOUNGER SONS (WILLIAM & EDWARD) TO LIVE WITH THEIR MOTHER TILL THE AGE OF SIXTEEN if shee marry, but if not till nineteen yeares of age.

My will is that MY WIFE, ALICE, live on the plantation during her life, but to not hinder my sonne William at the head of ye Ware, if he come for himselfe.

I desyre my friends, Mr. Thomas Cocke and Mr. William Rando ph, to see this, my Will, performed. In witnefsee of every (looks like L) hereof, I putt my hand , on this 20th day of April, 1678.

Witnesses: Richard Lygon, Ann Stewart (Bk. 1677-92d, Par t 1, Page 68)

Signed William Harris Signed in Presence of: Richard Ligon Ann Hunt Ann Stewart Proved in Henrico County, Virginia Court, the 20th day of April 1678

There is a 943 page book on the Ligon Family of Virginia titled: "The Ligon Family and Connections" by William D. Ligon, Jr. In this book Chapter XXII, Pages 837 to 852 is devoted specially to the Harris Family of Virginia. This connection is because of the fact that Capt. Thomas Ligon married Mary Harris around 1650 in Henrico Co., VA.

On page 844 it indicates that Major William Harris born 1629, Justice of Henrico Co. Member of the House of Burgesses married Lucy ?. His will was proved in Henrico on Feb 1 , 1678. He had issue as follows: ? daughter, William, Edward, Thomas and Timothy.

This book also indicates that Thomas Harris, son of Major William died around June 1730 was married to a woman named Mary ? and they had 7 children as follows: Sarah, Mary, Edith, Ann, Phoebe, Thomas, and Francis.

Major William Harris did have an older brother named Thomas Harris who born around 1627 and did die unmarried around June 1769. A copy of this book is currently available for review in the Library of Virginia. William Harris is listed as an Ancient Planter from Henrico County, Virginia. His qualification - he was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1658 and he was a landowner in 1658 on Jamestowne Island.

According to Jamestowne Society, and Ancient Planter were those who had purchased at least one share of stock at 12Pounds 10 Shillings in the Virginia Company of London, who went from England into Virginia with the intent to remain/inhabit there, all before the recall of Governor Thomas Dale in 1616, and who had remained in the Colony for at least three years. These persons were to receive upon the first Divident (division of Company lands in one of the four Boroughs, i.e., James City, Charles City, Kiccotan/Elizabeth City , and Henrico), to individuals 100 acres for every share of stock purchased. Those so qualified who had come to Virginia at their own expense were to be exempt from military service and from taxes, except Church duties. Those who also qualified but had come to the Colony at Company's expense , were required to pay annually a fee rent of one shilling for each fifty acres acquired. Over time, it was intended these fee rents would reimburse the Company for the cost of each such planter's transportation. Of course, the rules changed dramatically in 1624 when King James withdrew the Company's Charter and Virginia became a Royal Crown Colony. A list of Virginia's Ancient Planters with their dates of arrival may be found in, Nugent, M.N., Cavaliers and Pioneers, Richmond, 1934, rep. G.P.C., Balt., 1963, Vol. I , pp xxviii through xxxiv.

First wife, the mother of Thomas Harris is unknown; Second Wife, Alice had three known children, William Edward and Love. Father was Thomas Harris and mother Joane?? Source: Adventurers of Purse and Person, 1987, pp. 354-361.

Major William Harris was in the Virginia General Assembly.

On the advice of Abraham Wood, the Assembly promoted William from captain to major of the militia regiment of Henrico and Charles City counties in 1656. Generally a militia unit came from a single county but the population was so sparse then that two were combined.

Major William Harris married first Lucy, by whom he had a son Thomas Harris and reportedly a daughter about whom we have no information.

William married a second time to Alice. William and Alice were the parents of sons, William and Edward Harris and maybe a third son. Their daughter was Love who Thomas Harris identified as his "sister-in-law (half-sister)" in his will.

According to a patent issued to Mr. Thomas Gagecomb in 1664 , Major William Harris bought 150 acres from Martha Edes and sold it to Gagecomb in 1663. In 1663 Major Harris secured a patent to 450 acres in Henrico County for nine headrights. The property, called "Slashes," was on the north side of the James River near Four Mile Creek. Two years later , on June 2, 1665, George Archer obtained a patent to land next to "Major William Harris." On September 7, 1671, Berkeley granted Harris 1,202 acres for twenty headrights. The land, called "The Ware," was next to lands belonging to the orphans of Joseph Tanner, William Baugh, Thomas Ligon , and William Farrar. Among the twenty headrights were nine of the 1663-patent.

On September 7, 1671, Sir William Berkeley granted Major William Harris more than 1,200 acres on the north side of the James River in Henrico County, Virginia. This land was next to the land of Thomas Ligon, William Farrar, William Baugh Jr. and the Tanner family. The land was for the transportation of twenty people to Virginia. His neighbor, William Baugh Jr., was the father of Priscilla Baugh who married William Farrar. It was William Farrar who later married Mary (Tanner) Ligon.

Governor Berkeley planned to explore the South and West regions of Virginia in 1669 but frequent rains kept him home . The next year he sent an exploration party under the command of Major William Harris. A member of the party, John Lederer, a German, kept a diary in Latin. Translations of his diary are in the Virginia State Library. Harris's party first visited the chief village of the Monocans, which spread about three miles along the south bank of the James River, in the present county of Powhatan. The site is still known as Manakin Town. Taking a course due westward from there, the party traveled several days until they came to the country of the Mahocks. They feared an attack from the hostile Indians and all but Lederer returned home. He continued with a single Indian guide. On October 3, 1670, the Charles City paid Major William Harris L25, Lt. Thomas Ligon Jr. L10, and his soldiers, two shillings, six pence per day for services in the "Western Discovery."

On March 17, 1664/65, William Harris sold "Curles" to Roger Green, a merchant. A portion of "Curles," the Harris plantation, consisted of 820 acres originally patented by Thomas Harris in 1638. Roger Green sold this portion of the estate to Thomas Ballard in September 1668. Neither Green nor Ballard lived at "Curles." Thomas Ballard was a member of Virginia's prestigious Governor's Council.

On August 28, 1674, Ballard sold "Curles" to Nathaniel Bacon. Nathaniel had just arrived in Virginia with L1,800 in his pocket. With him was his wife, Elizabeth, a relation of Royall Governor William Berkeley. They immediately appointed him a member of the Governor's Council and granted him a license to participate in the lucrative Indian trade monopoly. Nathaniel built his home at "Curles" and maybe he took advantage of some structures put up by Captain Thomas Harris.

Mary (Harris) Ligon, the wife of Thomas Ligon continued to own 200 acres of the original "Curles" plantation. She left this land to her son, Hugh Ligon. Her son, Major William Ligon, Sr. also owned part of the original "Curles" property. Consequently, they were neighbors of Nathaniel during the rebellion.

Following Bacon's Rebellion, King Charles II proclaimed a pardon of the rebels. Yet Governor Berkeley, the ever strict disciplinarian, ignored the pardon and seized the estates of those whom he had hung or thought participated in the rebellion. William Randolph was then the local escheater and it was his duty to retrieve for the Crown land belonging to criminals or those who died without heirs in the Colony. Evidently not one to miss a land grab opportunity, Randolph secured a patent for 1,230 acres in Henrico County on May 7, 1700. This tract had belonged to Nathaniel Bacon "...from whom it escheated by his attainder for high treason, as by inquisition under William Randolph, Esch'r..." and included 480 acres "...called 'Curles' and formerly 'Long Field' being part of patent to Thomas Harris..."

The King sent a commission to investigate the consequences of the rebellion and the commission ordered an inventory of all the seized estates. In May 1677 they inventoried "Curles." The inventory is interesting because it showed how Captain Thomas and his son may have lived. Bacon's widow was then living in a "small, new, brick house." It had a "brick cellar" in which were stored various barrels, hogsheads, stoneware jugs, twenty-seven bushels of bay salt, and two good powdering tubs, used for salting fish and meat. The cellar apparently served as a wine cellar, too. The first floor contained, among other things, a feather bed , pillows, bolsters and drapery, along with trunks, drawers , dressing boxes, mirrors, warming pan, family portraits , a large Bible and a small table with six chairs. The remainder of the rebel's way of life was a basket of "eight hand grenades with iron shells loaded and fitted."

Upstairs was another feather bed, perhaps for guests. Mostly, however, there was stored material. Listed were four " New Hatchetts," a desk with five quires of paper, trunks, sewing and spinning tools and materials, books, the pewter , chamber pots and basins, kitchen utensils, candle sconces , hunting and fishing tools and supplies, and most of the plantation hardware. Bacon was an Indian trader and found upstairs were buckskins, raccoon skins, forty gross of buttons and "1 red cloth fringed with silk for the Indian weare."

The "old hall" was beside the brick house. This was probably the timber frame house where Thomas and William Harris lived. It perhaps served as Nathaniel's living room. He furnished it with, among other things, two tables, eight large chairs, andirons, and a very fine "Turkey" carpet. Two rooms were above a separate kitchen. One room was for storage and the other was the "Negro woman's room." Adjoining the kitchen was a blacksmith's shop with "yards of steele. " Bacon's only white servant was a Dutch blacksmith who we presume made many metal tools found elsewhere on the plantation. He lived in the sparsely furnished "quarter" adjoining the kitchen and his shop.

A "little wooden house" contained Indian trade material, carpenters' tools, agricultural tools, guns, shot, and other sundry items. A wash house that seemed to have doubled as a brew house completed the enumerated structures. There were "much other good wood buildings" mentioned in the inventory.

In 1987 the Archaeological Research Center of Virginia Commonwealth University excavated "Curles." Their study revealed more details about the property. The main house appears to have burned in the late 17th century. The floor of the house was tiled and the roof consisted of terra cotta tiles with thick lead flashing. Casement windows consisted of iron and marked "1647 John Mason of Bristol Fecit." Walls and ceilings were of plaster and the exterior had ornamental brickwork.

In 1661 the clerk of Charles City County, Virginia recorded the following in his official report.

Governor ffrancis Moryson is appointing Coll. Abram Wood, L t. Coll. Thomas Dewe, Major William Harris, Captain John Eppes, Captain William ffarar, Peter Jones, Captain Edd Hill Junr. and Captain ffrancis Grey to be Commanders of the Regiment of the trayned bands in the Counties of Henrico and Charles City.

The Majors companie to be from Powells Creek in Henrico Coun. to the falls of James River on the South side & hence of and Curles plantation to four mile Creeke.

Major William Harris & Capt. William ffarrar of Henrico Militia are to give & present an accot of their proceedings in all the places under their bands (together with the general lists) will all possible speed to Coll Abraham Wood Esq . att ffort Henry, and to be very wary and circumspect that no ammunition be spent or waste at the said musters but only false fires to be given to prove readiness of their guns.

Notes: Captain William ffarar was Capt. William Farrar, and Captain Peter Jones, after a later promotion, was Maj. Peter Jones I, the father of Capt. Peter Jones II who married Mary Batte.

In 1678, Major William Harris and Colonel Francis Epes were in command of a militia of "trayned hands" near present-day Richmond when an Indian raiding party came from the North. A letter from John Banister of April 6, 1679 described the events.

...Last Summer they made several Incursions among the Inhabitants on the Heads of Rapahannock, York & Our (i.e.) James River destroying their cattle, rifling their houses, & killing and carrying away some Families. But tho' we were sufferers in our Stocks & Cropps, & some of the loss of house hold goods also, & (blessed be God) none of us lost our lives. One Coll Epes indeed was killed who with some Forces rais'd in Our (i.e.) Henrico County, came in pursuit of them two days after the mischief was done. They found them Shut up in a Cornfield belonging to the Upper Plantations on the North-side of ye River, & had they been but half so courageous as they were cautios might have cut them all off together.

But while one durst not shoot nor the other for want of extent of Commission & for fear of breach of Peacd, out get the Indians, gain the clear'd ground & fire on them. The Coll. paid dear for his deliberation, he was shot in the throat by an Indian at least 200 paces distant. We lost another stout man at the same time, one Major Harris, who rashly pursuing the flying Enemy with a Pistol only in his hand & that too discharg'd was shot and died a Martyr to his foolhardiness. The Indian that shot him was kill'd & one woman taken prisoner, ye rest escap'd over the River...

William's will dated April 20, 1678, proved February 1, 1678/79, is a little peculiar and he may have written it on the day of his departure. In it William named his eldest son and heir, Thomas, and made provisions for his two younger sons by his second wife, Alice. Witnesses were Richard Ligon and Ann Stewart. Francis Epes and John Worsham valued his personal property at L1,095 (Pounds) on October 7, 16 78. His sons were to come of age at nineteen if his widow did not remarry. Otherwise, she could release them at age sixteen.

Alice later married George Alves (d. 1734) of New Kent County, later St. Paul's Parish of Hancover County. Alves paid quit rents on 325 acres in New Kent County in 1704. He was a vestryman of St. Paul's Parish (1705) and evidently a very prominent man in the community.

George and his stepsons, William and Edward Harris, kept pushing ahead of the settlers. They selected patents for land along the Anna and Little Rivers and on the branches of Cub Creek. Between 1692 and 1732, George secured patents for nearly 10,000 acres in New Kent County and Hanover County : 653 acres in 1692, 1,014 acres in 1700, 767 acres in 1700, 4843 in 1714, 400 acres in 1723, 1200 acres in 1725, and 400 acres in 1731. George and Alice may have returned to England for they were on the list of headrights when George secured a patent for some land in 1700. Major Harris was killed in an Indian Fight.

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http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/3950689/person/-1451147222/story/318001d8-e5c8-40b5-b2a2-2076ff5f823f:

A German explorer and physician, John Lederer, began in 1669, a series of three trips into the interior. The first was in a party headed by Major William Harris and was made at the bidding of Governor Berkeley. All went well until the gnawing fear of an Indian attack prompted the party to give up the quest for new discoveries and return home.

Unfortunately, Major Harris was facing destiny. In Oct. 1678, while on another excursion into the wild, he was killed in an Indian fight near the present location of Richmond.

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William Harris, Major's Timeline

1629
1629
Charles City, Charles City County, Virginia
1648
1648
Age 19
1668
1668
Age 39
Charles City, VA, USA
1672
December 1, 1672
Age 43
Henrico, Virginia, United States
1674
1674
Age 45
1675
1675
Age 46
1678
February 1, 1678
Age 49
Henrico, VA
1686
1686
Age 49
New Kent, Virginia
????
????