Thomas Harris, of Isle of Wight County

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Thomas Harris

Birthdate: (52)
Birthplace: Charles City Shire, Virginia
Death: October 7, 1688 (52)
Isle of Wight County, Virginia
Immediate Family:

Son of unknown Harris and unknown Harris
Husband of Ann Martin Harris
Father of Edward Harris, Sr., of Isle of Wight; John Harris, of Chowan; Thomas Harris; Robert Harris; George Harris and 4 others
Brother of Edward Harris, of Isle of Wight and Ann Sharpe

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas Harris, of Isle of Wight County

Edward Harris, of Isle of Wight was possibly the son of Thomas Harris, of Charles City, who died 1677, but there is no proof. DNA tests indicate that Edward was a brother of Thomas Harris, of Isle of Wight County (this one) who died 1688, widower of Ann Martin Tomlin. This is supported by the evidence presented in "The five Thomas Harrises of Isle of Wight County, Virginia" by J.A. Brayton, 1995 - Isle of Wight County (Va.) link

Thomas Harris was born say 1636, perhaps in Charles City County, Virginia, and died in 1688 in Isle of Wight County, Virginia. Apparently, Thomas did not move to Isle of Wight Co, Va until about the time of his father's death. It appears, Thomas had remained in Charles City County with other relatives, for a few years, before rejoining his family in their new home. Thomas married Ann Martin in Charles City County, Va. Apparently, Ann died before Thomas. The will of Thomas tells the sad story of a 52 year old man leaving nine children without a mother and most of them being very young. The extreme care Thomas took to assure the welfare and safety of his children revealed his tenderness, love and concern for his children. He left these explicit instructions: "If my son, Edward, my overseers, or either of them shall find that any of my children be abused; that either of them may have the liberty of removing them to some other place where they shall think fit.

Thomas Harris and wife Ann Martin had the following children:

  • Edward Harris b 1663....d 1734
  • Jane Harris b 1664
  • John Harris b 1665
  • Thomas Harris b 1667....d 1712
  • Robert Harris b 1674....d 1740
  • George Harris b 1675....d 1720
  • Martin Harris b 1676....d 1750
  • William Harris b 1677....1740
  • Ann Harris b 1678

  • ************************************************************

Thomas Harris is in Group 4 of the Harris DNA study:

"Earlier lineages have said that Thomas Harris (ca. 1636-ca. 1688) of Isle of Wight was a grandson of Sergeant John Harris (ca. 1588-ca. 1638) of Charles City Co., VA and great-grandson of Sir William Harris (1556-1616) of Creeksea, County Essex, England. But this earlier link is now questionable."

In other words, it is not clear whether Group 4 is truly descended from the "Creeksea" Harrises:

"There has been much discussion on the Harris lists on Rootsweb as to whether Group 4 or Group 12 descends from Sergeant John Harris (ca. 1588-ca. 1638) of Charles City Co., Virginia. The DNA of the two groups does not match. It would be helpful to find a DNA submitter in England that traces back to Sir William Harris (1556-1616) of Creeksea, County Essex, England."


Will of

Thomas Harris


Transcribed by Vance C. Harris


In the name of God Amen I Thomas Harris of the Isle of Weight County being sicke and weake in body but in sound and perfict memory I doe first and principally bequeath my soul unto god almighty who gave itt and secondly my body to the earth to be buried in a decent and Christian like maner and doe ordaine this to be my last will and testament in maner and forme as followith

I doe give and bequeath unto my welbeloved sonne Edward Harris my plantation that now I live on with all my land belongeinge to itt. The same to hime and his heires forever also one yoke of draught steers with a cart belonging unto them, also one great chest and eight Ells of sheeting Canvas, three Iron wedges one froe one small fryinge pan also

I do give and bequeath unto my welbeloved sonne John Harris, one greate Iron pott , two pewter dishes one biger than the other, one large fryinge pan one Iron pistle two chestes one small table and one coutch alsoe

I doe give unto my welbeloved sonne Thomas Harris, fower pewter dishes and a flagon, two salt sellers one small iron pott one cow one heifer of two yeares old one yearelinge heifer alsoe

I doe give unto my welbeloved sonne Robert Harris one bed beinge part of flax and feathers with all the furniture thereunto belongeinge one small gun one horse to be sould for his use

I doe give unto my webeloved daughter Jane Jones eight milke trayes. I do give and bequeath unto my welbeloved daughter Anne Harris one bed I now ly uppon with the furniture thereunto belongeing but incase shee dies before shee cometh of Age or marrieth then the bed with what belongeth shall fall to my sonne Robert Harris alsoe I give her a large brass kettle and one iron pott containeinge two or three gallons with two [deepe?] pewter dishes but if she dyeth that the same like wise fall to Robert and John Harris,

I also desire that what cattle is left that is not here in desposed of may be sould and like wise my stock of hoggs to be sould after my debts beinge payd beinge porke debts ment

I doe desire likewise and what wheate I have now groweinge on the plantation if it please god it comes to maturity the same be sould likewise with the cattle and what hoggs may be left after the debts aforesaid payd the same to be sould to the profitablest uses as may bed thoughtfill by my sonne Edward Harris, beinge my whole Executor and John Fulgham and John Turner they two persons beinge apponted my overseers of this my last will and testament they with my Executor, to advise to the disposeall of the said cattle, hoggs and wheate to the best advantage for the good of my three youngest sonnes George Harris Martin Harris William Harris only two pewter dishes to be purchased and one Iron pott out of the produce to be delivered to Robert Harris and the remander to be equally divided between the said George Harris Martin Harris and William Harris, and likewise I desire that these three boyes last mentioned as Robert Harris, George Harris and Martin Harris to remaine this present yeare upon the plantation and afterward that Robert Harris may dwell with John Fulgham three years and George Harris to dwell with John Turner for fower years and Martin Harris to remaine with his brother Edward Harris sixe years and my sonne William Harris to live with Bridgeman Joyner seven years and likewise my daughter Anne to live with Mis Anne Sharpe seven years if the said Mis Anne Sharpe shall live so long.


Further I desire it if my sonne Edward Harris beinge my Executor in chefe or my appointed overseers Mr. John Fulgham Mr. John Turner that is them or either of them shall find that any of my children that is placed out as aforesaid [be abate of?] that then either of them may have the liberty of removeinge them to some other place where they shall thinke fitt.


One thing more I bequeath unto three of my grand children a cow calf a peece to them & increase of the female.

Thus owneinge and concludeinge this to be my last will and testament and doe revoke renounce and deny all other wills or testaments from or by me made as wittnesse my hand and seale this fortenth day of March in the year of our Lord God 1687/8

    Signed with the Mark of Thomas Harris
    Signed sealed and delivered In the presence of us John Sharer John Coggan
    Proved by John Coggan And John Sharer in open court held for the Isle of Wight County
    Octob 9th 1688
    Test John Pitt Ct Cue[Harris 2005 Diect Desendant Register.FTW]

Corrections July 2017

They had no daughter named Dorothy and you have omitted their son Thomas Harris. This Thomas Harris witnessed a deed in Dec 1712 in Isle of Wight between his two uncles John and Mathew Tomlin. After this Thomas and his wife Elizabeth and children moved to Chowan Co.,, NC to land that his brother John Harris had given him there before he died there. And the daughter Ann Harris named in the 1688 Will was to live with Mrs Anne Sharpe for seven years. Anne Sharpe died before 1699 and her husband Richard Sharpe's 1700 Will names this Anne Harris to be sickly and bedridden and to have certain articles but the probate of his estate in Mar 1700 does not mention the disposal of these items to Anne Harris. It has always been assumed that this Anne Harris had died before Mar 1700. In any case she could not be the wife Anne of Bridgeman Joiner named in his deeds as early as 1690. This wife is considered to be an Ann Mayo, sister of William Mayo named as brother in law in many deeds of Bridgeman Joyner and the brother in law named in the 1715 will of William Mayo. 

REF: "The Five Thomas Harrises of Isle of Wight County Virginia" 1995 by John A Brayton, Chap 1, pg 13. 


From page 248 of The William and Mary Quarterly, Volume 7 isle of Wight County Records

Will of Thomas Harris X his mark: Sons, Edward, Thomas, Robert, dau. Jane Jones, dau. Anne Harris; 3 youngest sons George, Martin and William. 14 March, 1687-8.


From (incorrect parents given)

Ann Harris- married Richard Sharpe. She is not mentioned in her father's will because he had given her a dowry when she married. Richard Sharpe made his will Jan. 1700, recorded April 9, 1700 of Will and Deed Book 2, p. 422 and bequeathed to Ann Harris, daughter of his wife's brother, Thomas Harris. His wife predeceased him.

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Thomas Harris, of Isle of Wight County's Timeline

Charles City Shire, Virginia
Age 27
Isle of Wight County, Virginia
Age 28
Isle of Wight County, Virginia
Age 29
Isle of Wight, Virginia, USA
Age 31
Isle of Wight County, Virginia, United States
Age 38
Isle of Wight County, Virginia Colony, (Present USA)
Age 40
Isle of Wight, Virginia, United States
Age 40
Isle Wight, Virginia, USA
Age 41
Isle Wright, Virginia, USA