1. John HARRIS was born on 2 Oct 1794 in Devonshire,
England.1 He emigrated in
1841 from Left England to New York for one summer. He emigrated in
1841 from Returned to England. He emigrated in 1842 from To Hamilton,
Wentworth, Ontario, Canada. He emigrated in 1844 from Onondaga County,
New York. He filed an intent for naturalization on 1 Nov 1848 in
Onondaga County, New York He emigrated in Nov 1855 from Richland
County, Wisconsin. He obtained land on 1 Jul 1859 in Wisconsin
He died on 17 Feb 1889 in Richland County, Wisconsin. He was buried
in English Ridge Cemetery, Richland County, Wisconsin. He is reference
number 48. John Harris and Mary Short were married at Sheepwash,
Devon, England in 1822. John and Mary had 11 children in Devon. Six of their
children were christened in Black Torrington, Devon, England. According to a
biography of their son, Thomas, published in the Miners 1906 History of Richland
County, Pg. 463-4, John left Devon to travel to New York for the summer of
1841. This is confirmed by the 1841 census for Black Torrington, which lists
only Mary as the head of household. John returned to Devon in late summer 1841.
In 1842, the family emmigrated to Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada. Two
more children were born in Hamilton, and in 1844 the family moved to Clay, Onondaga,
New York. A final move took place around 1855, with most of the family settling
in Marshall, Richland County, Wisconsin. There is a land grant for John, recorded
on 1 July 1859.
The names and birthdates of John and Mary's children can be listed by comparing
the 1841 census from Black Torrington, Devon, England, the 6 christening records
from Black Torrington and the names that Thomas contributed to the History of
Richland County. Thomas gave information that there were a total of 13 children,
2 of whom died in childhood. He lists the names of 11 of the children: Mary
(wife of James Ward), James resides in Minneapolis, Eliza is the wife of William
Knox and they reside in Michigan. John, Elizabeth, Richard, William and Abraham
are deceased. Thomas, Frank, and Samuel live in Richland County. The six children
of John and Mary Harris who were christened in Black Torrington are: James, Richard,
Elizabeth, Eliza, Eliza and Ann. The two additional children who died in childhood
are therefore Ann and Eliza. The children listed in the 1841 Black Torrington
census confirm some of the names of the children: Elizabeth, Abraham, Richard,
James, Eliza, Thomas & William. Children Mary and John were not listed in
the 1841 census with Mary. However, there is a John Harris, age 15, working
as an agricultural laborer in nearby Spraywood, Shebbear. He is in the household
of James & Elizabeth Wool. And there is a Mary Harris, age 19, in nearby
Hook, Petrockstow, Devon, living with William Tandon and family. It was common
practice to send the older children off to work on nearby farms. Both of these
locations are about 2 miles from Black Torrington.
The list of children (in order of birth) are: Mary, Elizabeth, John, Ann, Eliza,
Abram, Richard, James, Eliza, Thomas, William, Francis and Samuel. It is interesting
to note that the first daughter was named after her mother, Mary. The first
son was named for his father, John. The fourth daughter was probably named for
Mary's mother, Ann Short. There is an Abraham & Joanna Harris living in
Black Torrington in the 1841 census. Abraham Harris was 60 and could have been
John's father, although there is no proof of this. Since John and Mary's second
son was named Abram, it is interesting to speculate whether Abram was named after
the Abraham Harris living in their neighborhood. There is also a Grace Harris
in Black Torrington in the 1841 census, who is age 85.
The exact birthdates for the children are a bigger challenge. Most of the children
who survived into adulthood can be traced through census records after the Harris'
arrival in the United States. An analysis of the birthdates listed in several
decades of census records proves to be approximate, at best. Census takers often
obtained information from third parties and is often inaccurate. The notes for
each child will contain an explanation of how the birth date was arrived at.
One child that has been elusive is Eliza (Harris) and husband, William Knox.
The History of Richland County, written in 1906, states they are living in Michigan.
A thorough search of the 1900 and 1910 census records for Michigan does not
reveal a William and Eliza Knox, nor an Eliza or Elizabeth Knox. The 1880 U.S.
Census nor the 1881 Canadian census have a listing for William and Eliza Knox.
They also do not show up in Wisconsin for 1880, 1900 or 1910. A comparison
of sources for the children indicate that Eliza was probably the child christened
on 13 April, 1836. More information will be provided in the notes for Eliza.
Another child that is unaccounted for in adult life is Elizabeth Harris. She
is in the 1841 census, there is a christening record for her, and she is mentioned
in the 1906 History of Richland County as deceased. She may have married and
stayed in Canada. She may also have married and stayed in Onodaga County, New
Obit: (14 March 1889) John Harris, one of the oldest citizens of this county
died at his home in Marshall, February 21st. Mr. Harris was 91 years old. He
was a native of England and had been a resident of the town of Marshall for the
past thirty four or thirty five years. His death resulted from natural causes
incedent to extreme age. He leaves numerous decendents in the county.
From History of Crawford and Richland Counties, Wisconsin - Union Publishing
Company - Springfield, IL - 1884, Chapter 27 - Town of Marshall. John Harris
and son, Abraham, natives of England, came here from Walworth county in November,
1855. The father entered 200 acres of land on section 28, and is still a resident.
Abraham remained here until the time of his death.
Tales The Tombstone Tell Columns from the Republican Observer, Written by S.
W. Fogo, Page 84 Thomas Parsons, born in London, England, May 12, 1812, came
to America in 1841, located in Canada, where in 1843 he married Mary Harris.
John Harris, his wife Mary, and their son William, are buried in this cemetery.
Mr. Harris, so the tombstone says, died February 17, 1889, at the age of 94 years,
four months and 15 days. His wife died the year previous, March 25, 1888, aged
93 years, 10 months and six days. They lived to an honored old age. Their son,
William, noted above, died January 9, 1862, at the age of 22. Mr. Harris was
a Civil War veteran, a member of Co. F 15th New York Cavalry.
Other members of the Harris family are buried there. On a broken stone all
that can be read is this: "Adopted son of J. and E. Harris, died June 26,
Another of the Harris family is Samuel Harris, who was born in Canada February
16, 1844, coming here in 1855. He married Laura Gorsuch in 1866 and she died
in 1877. His second wife was Penina Beeman, and she passed on in 1889.
John HARRIS and Mary SHORT were married on 22 Apr 1822 in Sheepwash, Devonshire,
England.2 They appeared in
the census on 26 Aug 1850 in Clay, Onondaga Co., New York.3 They appeared in the census on 30 Jul 1860 in Marshall,
Richland County, Wisconsin.4
They appeared in the census on 25 Jul 1870 in Marshall, Richland County, Wisconsin.5 They appeared in the census on
17 Jun 1880 in Marshall, Richland County, Wisconsin.6 Mary SHORT (daughter of Richard
SHORT and Ann ??) was born on 19 May 1794 in Devonshire, England.7 She was christened on 16 Jul 1797 in Dolton, Devonshire,
England.8 She appeared in
the census in Jun 1841 in Tanyeard, Black Torrington, Devon, England.
She died on 25 Mar 1888 in Richland County, Wisconsin.9 She was buried in 1888 in English Ridge Cemetery, Richland
County, Wisconsin. She is reference number 49. Obit:
Mrs. John Harris, who was perhaps the oldest person in the county, died at her
home in town of Marshall on Sunday. She was about 95 years of age and had been
a resident of the county over 30 years. Her husband is about the same age.
John HARRIS and Mary SHORT had the following children:
HARRIS10 was born about
1824 in Black Torrington, Devon, England. She was christened on 22
Oct 1824 in Black Torrington, Devon, England.11
She appeared in the census in Jun 1841 in Black Torrington, Devon, England,
age 15. She died before 1906. She is reference number
4773. Elizabeth Harris was probably born in 1824 in Black Torrington,
Devon, England. There is a christening record for her in Black Torrington on
22 October 1824. The 1841 census reflects an age of 15. This does not match
with the christening record. If the christening record is accurate she would
have been 17 in the 1841 census. The christening records for Black Torrington
were aging poorly and in the late 1800s were transcribed in to new record books.
There is always the possibility that the transcription had a mistake, but it
is more likely that the census record was incorrect.
The biography that Thomas Harris related indicated that Elizabeth was deceased
by 1906. It is unknown where she died. Elizabeth was not in the Harris household
census of 1850 in Onondaga, New York. She may have died in Devon, Hamilton or
Clay, New York. She may also have married and is not found because she is listed
in a census record under her married name. A further search of marriage and
census records in Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Canada, may turn up new information.
|Ann HARRIS was christened on 30 Mar 1827
in Black Torrington, Devon, England.12
She was born about 1827 in Black Torrington, Devon, England. She
is reference number 4821. There is a christening record for Ann Harris
in Black Torrington, Devon, England, on 30 March 1827. Ann is not listed in
the 1841 census with her mother in Black Torrington. She must have been one
of the 2 children of John and Mary Harris that their son, Thomas, referred to
as dying in childhood.|
HARRIS was born estimated 1829. She was christened on 5 Jul 1829
in Black Torrington, Devon, England. There are two christening records
for an Eliza Harris, daughter of John and Mary Harris. It was not uncommon for
a child to die and a later child to be given the same name. Thomas mentions
in Miners 1906 History of Richland County, Pg. 463-4 that there were
two children that died before adulthood. This Eliza is probably the second child
to die before adulthood. The 1841 census shows an Elizabeth, age 15, and an
Eliza, age 2. There is no further mention of a daughter named Eliza of this
|Rev. Abram HARRIS.|
was born on 15 Apr 1841 in Black Torrington, Devon, England.13,14 He appeared
in the census in Jun 1841 in Black Torrington, Devon, England, age 1 month.
He died on 9 Jan 1862.15
He was buried in English Ridge Cemetery, Richland County, Wisconsin.
He is reference number 2928. William appears in the 1841 census
for Black Torrington, Devon, England as one month old. The census was taken
in June, 1841. It is fortunate that William's birth was registered in England.
It provides proof that he was born on 15 April, 1841, in Black Torrington, Devon,
England. This confirms that we have the right census record in 1841 in Black
Tales The Tombstone Tell Columns from the Republican Observer, Written by
S. W. Fogo, Page 84 relates that William died at the age of 22. This is
clearly a mistake. He died 3 months shy of his 21st birthday on 9 Jan 1862 (taken
from his tombstone).
William does not appear in the 1850 census with his parents in Clay, Onondaga
County, NY. He is shown as an 18-yr-old attending school in the Marshall, Richland
County, WI census for the July 1860 census in Marshall. It is not known what
caused William's death on 9 January 1862.