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William Harris

Birthdate: (18)
Birthplace: Broomfield, Essex, England
Death: Died in Cedar Hill, New Kent County, Province of Virginia
Place of Burial: Hanover, Hanover County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Harris and Mary Elizabeth Rice
Husband of Temperance Harris
Father of Major Robert Overton Harris, I; Benjamin O. Harris, Esq; Elizabeth Hudson; John Harris; William C. Harris, Jr. and 11 others
Brother of Judith Harris; Mary Swann; John Harris; Robert Harris; Claiborn Harris and 4 others
Half brother of Charles Rice, of New Kent, VA

Occupation: 9th G GF of Pres Obama, farmer, Colonel
Managed by: Andrea
Last Updated:

About William Harris

Too many William Harris' see William Harris

May have died 1733.

Of the Pamunkey River area, VA.

Colonel William Harris BIRTH 1652 • New Kent County, Virginia DEATH 8 MAR 1687 • Cedar Hill, Hanover, Virginia married to Temperance Overton (BIRTH 2 MAR 1679 • Forks, New Kent (now Hanover), Virginia DEATH 19 FEB 1710 • Hanover, New Kent (now Hanover) County, Virginia )

Children are

  1. Robert Harris BIRTH 1667 • Hanover, Virginia DEATH 1767 • Browns, Virginia
  2. Major Robert Overton Harris BIRTH 1696 • St Peters Parish, New Kent Co., VA DEATH 08 AUG 1765 • Browns Cove, Albemarle, Virginia
  3. Elizabeth Harris BIRTH 2 NOV 1698 • Hanover, Virginia, USA DEATH 1770 • Hanover, Virginia, USA
  4. William Harris BIRTH 1700 • Hanover, Virginia, USA DEATH 6 DEC 1792 • Hanover, Virginia, USA
  5. Jemima Harris BIRTH 1704 • St Peter Parish, New Kent, Virginia, USA DEATH 1764 • New Kent, New Kent, Virginia, USA

William Harris of Hanover County, Virginia

husband of Temperance Overton

Capt William Harris first known to have been living in 'The Forks' area of Hanover Co. (St. Paul's Parish, New Kent Co. at that time) in 1704 where he owned 100 acres that year. He resided at 'Cedar Hill' plantation located on the North Anna River, in the forks of the Pamunkey River, St.Martin's Parish, Hanover Co. near Doswell, VA.

He also had 2222 acres of land in various parts of Hanover Co., VA at various dates 1713, 1717, 1723, 1725.

He was a vestryman for St. Paul's Parish 1716 and later for St.Martin's Parish in 1724.

William Harris married Temperance Overton, a daughter of a wealthy tobacco grower, William Overton, and Mary Walters, his wife. The said William Overton was a son of Colonel (???) Overton, who commanded a Brigade of Ironsides under Oliver Cromwell.

William Harris became also a tobacconist, raising and dealing in that weed, which was at that time a medium of exchange, and became fairly well off in this world's goods.

[PW, Curator: Who is the following referring to?] After immigrating from Wales he became a wealthy tobacco farmer. His home was in Brown's Cove, Albemarle County, Virginia. He was buried in an old Colonial Church at Weyanoke on the James River. His bronze tablet was moved to Norfolk, Virginia and placed in the walls of St. Paul's old church.

from Jesse Lawrence's family tree on World Connect: (


  • (1) Lived on the land between the North Anna and Little Rivers, on the east side of what is now Route 188, near Doswell in Hanover County VA, close to the North Anna. Their place was to be called "Cedar Hill."
  • (1f) Served as Justice of Hanover County Virginia
  • (1b) 1726, 21 Oct: William Harris and James Overton were replaced on the vestry of St. Paul's Parish.
  • (1b) 1731, Feb: His son William Jr. was present at the processioning of his land.


  • (1g) 1 Feb 1733 his son Benjamin deeded land left by "the last will and testament of his deceased father, William Harris."

Paul Tobler Email: 10/22/2001

Sources include:

  • Harris Family of Virginia by Thomas H. Harris. Anderson Family Records, p. 141.
  • Braxton (WVA) Hist. Soc. Journal 17 (1) of Mar 1989.
  • The Virginia Genealogist 22:6 (1978).
  • Tidewater Virginia Families by V. Davis (1989)

Note: this has very good review of this family.

  • Correspondence from Bernice White of Houma, LA.
  • Boddie, John B. Virginia Historical Genealogies, Vol. V; pg 128-129.
  • World Family Tree, Vol. 1 Pedigree #336. GenServ
  • Forinash, Rena V. 26611 Balerna Dr., Saugus, CA 91350

More About WILLIAM CLAIBORNE HARRIS, CAPT: Burial: Probably in the old Haris graveyard at Glen Cairn at Cedar Hill? which is near Doswell County, VA5 Lived location: Cedar Hill, St. Martin's Parish, Hanover County, VA; land was located on the North Anna River near Doswell, VA5 Occupation: 1706, Key River, Surveyor; Vestryman, St. Paul's & later St Martin's6


  • 1. Vol 10 WFT 1747. 2. Vol 7 WFT 3309, (differs) born 1669. 3. Ellis R. Brockman <> 505 Kane, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 (517) 772-5054, indicates born abt 1652 in Virginia 4. Vol 8 WFT 3447, indicates died 1733 New Kent County Virginia 5. Ellis R. Brockman <> 505 Kane, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 (517) 772-5054. 6. Vol 8 WFT 3447.


from Jesse Lawrence's family tree on World Connect: (

The Cedar Hill Cemetery is an ancient cemetery in good condition and is being maintained. It is believed to be the oldest cemetery in Hanover County, since it contains the oldest known grave in the county, the grave of Temperance Overton Harris.

The cemetery is located in a mature forest with huge hardwoods. The grave of Thomas Harris is enclosed in a wrought iron fence. This ancient cemetery is believed to be the largest private family cemetery in the State of Virginia.

Cedar Hill - This was a very early home to the Harris family. William Harris and his wife Temperance Overton lived at Cedar Hill. This house was in good shape until a few years ago when Kings Dominion amusement park bought the land and destroyed the house. It was a 1 1/2 story house, said to have been log cabin with frame on the outside.

Cedar Hill house was destroyed several years ago by the property owner. Time frame in 1980's. House set on fire and burned for fire department to practice firefighting. Development pressure strikes another blow to Harris heritage and history.

(Bobby Wood, Residing on the banks of the South Anna River in Historic Hanover County, VA)


from Jesse Lawrence's family tree on World Connect: (

There seems to be a quite a variation in information relative to Captain Thomas HARRIS, his wives and his children, part of which is caused by the similarity of several William HARRIS' existing at about the same time and in nearly the same place.

This has been addressed by Malcolm Hart Harris of West Point, Virginia in his three articles in Volume 22 of The Virginia Genealogist, starting on pages 3, 99, and 187. The first page of Hart's works entitled THREE WILLIAM HARRISES IN HANOVER COUNTY states the following: "A good many years ago, the finding of three grants made on 24 March 1725 to three patentees named William Harris prompted a study in some detail of the three men, their families and their lands in the counties of Hanover and Louisa...The first of these three, recorded as Capt. William Harris and William Harris, Gent., was certainly the well known Capt. William Harris of Hanover County who resided in the Forks of the Pamunkey River at his plantation called Cedar Hill...

The second William Harris was designated as Junior in the patent, to identify him as a son or a younger man. It seems reasonably certain that he was a son of Capt. William Harris as the records prove.

The third William Harris was without rank or any identifying connection, except his association with George Alves in the records of St. Paul's Parish and patents of adjoining lands in Hanover County. The three tracts of land which were granted on 24 March 1725 lay in widely separated areas of the county of Hanover, which in 1725 included Louisa County. The two tracts granted Capt. William Harris and William Harris Gent. lay along Little River and below the North Anna River. That granted William Harris, Junior, was also on Little River but about twenty miles to the west. The tract granted the third William Harris lay along Cub Creek which lies wholly within the county of Louisa and is about six miles from the nearest tract on upper Little River."

Hart goes on to identify Captain William Harris as marrying Temperance, the daughter of William Overton and Elizabeth Waters, his wife, who also lived in the Forks.

This seems to identify the Harris/Overton line as living on the Forks of the Pamunkey River at a place called Cedar Hill. There does not seem to be any reference to the parents of this first Captain William Harris in Hart's works.

Hart in his second article covers The Second William Harris of Hanover, again as part of the Harris/Overton line and living in the Little River area.

In his third article Hart tells about The Third William Harris of Hanover and identifies him as having land on Cub Creek in Hanover County. This William Harris is called Major William Harris and is associated with George Alves. George Alves later marries the widow of this Major William Harris. This association is also covered by William R. Taylor writing also in Volume 22 of The Virginia Genealogist starting on page 261.

In Adventurers of Purse and Person, VIRGINIA, 1607-1625, compiled and edited by Annie Lash Jester, second edition 1964, it is stated p. 202-205, 383-384 that Thomas Harris repatented 700 acres in Henrico, 12 July 1637, "called by the name of the Longfield with swamp and marshes". It continues on telling about Captain Thomas Harris' daughter Mary Ligon conveying 200 acres in Curles, Henrico County "being part of a greater divident granted unto Captain Thomas Harris deceased and given by will of said Thomas Harris unto his daughter Mary Ligon. This article goes on to state that William Harris (Major)(son of Captain Thomas Harris) fell heir to "Longfield" later known as Curles. He married (1)_____ (later identified as Lucy Stewart) and (2) Alice_____ whose (2) husband George Alvis, named as having married "the relict of Major William Harris deceased".

The above article lists on pages 384 and 385 the wills of Major William Harris and his brother Thomas Harris, both indicating association with the Ligons. These are found in Henrico County Records (Deeds & Wills) 1677-1692 on p. 68 and 90,91.

No where in these articles is named Robert Harris, who married Mary Claiborne Rice,as the son of Captain Thomas Harris. This seems to be brought up by Ligon writing in The Ligon Family and Connections, 1947, on p. 844.

In conclusion it appears that the articles named rather clearly identify two different families of William Harris, one which is the Harris/Overton line and does not seem to come from Captain Thomas Harris, and the other line which continues down through Major William Harris and is further identified as associaed with George Alves.

Searching for the grave site and year William Harris died. I have seen Temperance (Overton) Harris grave. I don't believe he is buried beside her.


Disambiguation: The following Information is about William Claiborne Harris, 1669-1725, or another William Harris who died 1687--these are likely NOT the same as the William Harris, 1652-1733, who married Temperance Overton.

THIS PERTAINS TO THIS WM HARRIS BUT NOT THE ONE WHO MARRIED T. OVERTON WHO IS A DIFFERENT WM HARRIS BORN ABOUT THE SAME TIME. (PRT) ---- He was originally buried in a Colonial Church at Weyanoke on the James River. After the church went to ruin, on July 1, 1875, his bronze tablet was moved to Norfolk and placed in the walls of St. Paul's old church.

On it is this engraving:

  • "Here lyeth ye body of
  • William Harris
  • who departed this life ye 8th day of March, 1687
  • aged 35 years"

Source on Col Harris: THE BOONE FAMILY by Hazel Spraker. Barbara Brown <>@worldconnect

He died and was originally buried in a Colonial Church at Weyanoke on the James River. After the church went to ruin, on July 1, 1875, his bronze tablet was moved to Norfolk and placed in the walls of St. Paul's old church. Burgess for Hanover and Henrico counties.

William HARRIS outfitted his son, Benjamin's, regiment for the Battle of Yorktown (1781)--which William?

view all 24

William Harris's Timeline

Broomfield, Essex, England
March 8, 1687
Age 18
Cedar Hill, New Kent County, Province of Virginia
Age 18
New Kent County, Virginia, Colonial America
November 2, 1698
Age 18
New Kent County, Province of Virginia
Age 18
New Kent, Virginia, USA
Age 18
New Kent Co., Virginia
April 13, 1701
Age 18
St Peters Parish, New Kent, Virginia, United States
Age 18
Age 18
Hanover, VA, USA