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Hello to all my close and distant cousins!  I'm searching for someone who is a descendent of the Robert and Dorothy Wylie Harris line who supposedly came to America from Ireland in the early 1700's  Tradition has it that Robert came Lancaster County with his daughter Margaret and sons, Thomas, John, William, James, Charles, Samuel and Robert Jr from Ireland.  Robert is said to have died aboard ship.


In the PA archives, I've found that there was a John Harris and Thomas Harris/Herris already in Lancaster County several years before Robert's family arrived.  There is documentation that John was in PA as early as 1688 and Thomas in 1683.  Robert's son's supposedly received land warrants and I have found where a John, Samuel, James and Charles all received warrants between 16 Jan and 10 Feb 1737; Thomas Harris not until 15 Nov 1737; Thomas, Jr on 9 Apr 1754.  William is thought to have settled in Maryland.  Tradition has it that John, Samuel, James, Charles and Thomas migrated south into what is now Meckenburg County, NC in the late 1740's or early 50's.


Having said all this, I'm reaching out to any Harrises, preferably from PA, who are reasonably certain that he/she is a descendent in this line of Harris/Herris.  Secondly, would you be willing to be DNA tested through Ancestry or FTDNA.  I have been tested and my results did not match any of the known lines from Virginia, which seem to be the most common.  I can trace my line back into Mecklenburg County, NC but I've hit a wall there and I would love to be able to tie this in with those Harrises that "family tradition" says the Mecklenburg County line came.  I have documentation that I am willing to share.


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Greetings from Southport, N.C.

I descend from circa 1800/1820 John "Henry" Miller (from Germany or Prussia) by his second wife, the widow Mrs. Emelia "Milly" Fisher Sossaman, by whom he had my John Cyrus Miller (1811-1893) to Rowan Co., N.C., Alexander "Sandy" Monroe Miller to Rowan Co., N.C., then to Illinois (Montgomery/Union Cos.?), Frederick Haro Miller to the Republic of Texas, and Samuel D. Miller, fate unknown. Henry ran the Sossaman-Miller-Foil mill on Dutch Buffalo Creek, Cabarrus Co., N.C., untill his Sossaman stepchildren came of age. This line begins on page 39 of Bernard W. Cruse's quality 1978 book, "The Descendants of Johann Nicholaus Heinrich Kress" (Cress).

Henry Miller wed first Ann Barbarah Harris Miller and had Mrs. Caroline Miller Ridenhour, who wed Aaron Ridenhour (German) and removed to early Illinois. Descendantas have done extensive genealogy. Barbarah had Nancy Miller who died young. Barbarah is buried in a narrow un-plowed field below the Ephrain Drake Harris home between Mt. Pleasant and a county line. I would love to contact descendants of Ephrain Drake Harris (originally German).

Barbarah Miller's tombstone in the field is half the height of the others. I dug down to find the other part. It was not broken, just (re-?)buried deeper, seemingly to hide the old German language part. A now deceased prominent Cabarrus Co. genealogist quoted the English part, then dismissed the German part as some German verse. A German translated a rubbing for me, saying it was in old German. As best I remember it says: "Now she is with Gott, the same Gott who will punish me if I am responsoble for her death; but if I am not, surely Gott will not harm me". This sent shivers down my back for reasons I can only mention in private; but it was like de-ja vu in reverse.
Ricky, I have researched that line of Robert and Dorothy from Pa with a lot of help from Harris cousins in Texas, Alabama and GA We are from the son Samuel sibling.married to sister of the 4th ggrandfather Wm Laird, Martha Laird
There is a DAR chapter named after Martha Laird in Texas
I have also started to research the Va line as my granddaughter has married into this branch, of Harris who on first sight, seem to descend for the English division of the Harris Family The Robert /Dorothy Family are from the Scots-Irish family of the 1730's There also is another division of the Scots-Irish Harris's that were the founding family of Harris Ferry in Pa which later became know as Harrisburg. We are related to that section via Mary daughter of 4th g-grandfather William Laird by his first wife Catherine Spencer.If you would like a PDF of the Robert Dorothy family contact me at

Kathryn Brannigan Walizer
Hi Ricky, I am a decendant of Thomas Harris and his son Matthew. Thomas did not migrate south. I recently located a Harris in California decended from Thomas's son John, she has a male Harris cousin in Mass. who I hope will do the DNA test. Did you take part in the Harris DNA project then?
Thomas staying in PA is just one of several little tidbits that I suspected all along. If you have been doing this for a while, then you see all the time where people will assume things because it is convenient. And the Harris's can be a very stubborn bunch, LOL. Anytime I see the phrase "family tradition says", I am very leary. I did participate in the Harris DNA project and I tested in the very obscure group 12. I can document my line to a Samuel Harris b 1774 in Union County, SC. He was my 4th ggrandfater. I am almost certain his father was Robert Harris, who was married to a Susannah (unknown) and bore his children. When she passed, he married Prudence Elder. Robert and Prudence had no children. Of the brothers who came south, I am also pretty sure that Robert was the son of Samuel and Martha Laird Harris although the brothers all had sons that were named Robert. I have done a lot of research and all the other Roberts except Samuel's are pretty well documented. I spent 2 days in Greene County, Georgia talking with the local historian and going through the records.

What I would like to confirm with at least some reasonable certainty is whether the John Harris, who was already in PA in the 1680's along with Thomas, was related to the Robert Harris who married Dorothy Wiley. He is supposedly the son of Edward and Flora Douglas Harris and the father of the brothers who came from Ireland.

It would be great if you could convince the Mass Harris to test.

Thanks for responding.

Rick Harris
Hey Ricky, I was born and raised in Union, SC. I descend from another Samuel Harris who was about the same age as your's and lived in Union around the same time. Needless to say I've had a time over the years distinguising between the two. Anyway's it appears that we descend from different lines ( I've taken the DNA test through familytreedna as well and belong to group 27) although I've learned a lot about your line through researching mine. Untill I took the DNA test I would have sworn we would be related. Anyway's best of luck in your search and if your're ever in my hometown be sure to stop by Midway BBQ and have something good to eat for me!
Hey Gene,
Thanks for replying. As a matter of fact, I was in Union last fall and ate at Midway. I was there going through the deed records. As you probably know, my Sam was married to Amie/Amy. I've never been able to pin down her maiden name. I did find a deed though that had them still in Union on Jan 1, 1850. This was important to me because it sort of nailed down when they left for Paulding County, Georgia. I think Sam's dad was Robert whose 2nd wife was Prudence Elder though I have nothing but a will to base that on. This would have been the Robert that lived up on Harris Creek near the county line.

I went up that way and rode around some just looking over the land and actually hoping I could find Robert in one of the cemeteries but no such luck. I did find something interesting though. There is a Sam Harris that now lives on Pacolet Street in Jonesville. I've though of writing to him just to see if he might be related. Perhaps you know him.

Which Sam did you descend from?

Ricky Harris
Hey Ricky,

Please call me Trey, now that we're talking. I hope you enjoyed your visit to Union, and liked the food at Midway. I miss it so. I like TN but there's no place like home. Besides my famliy has been there since the 1790's at least so there's a strong pull. I know a Sam Harris in Jonesville, who owns an appliance repair shop. He came out and fixed our washing machine once and I ask, if we might be related. He told me he didn't think so, that his people we're orginally from Alabama. I do know that your Samuel lived not far from there and it would seem to reason there would still be descendants in the area. There seem's to have been two distinct lines of Harris's in Union. One, was my line which goes back to my 4th great grandfather Samuel Harris ( born ca.1772 ) who came to Union from Buckingham Co. VA around 1792. The other, your line came to Union from Mecklenburg Co. NC by way of PA circa 1760's. I agree with you that your Samuel's dad was most likely Robert. I'll have to check my notes but I believe your Samuel's wife ( Amy ) was the daughter of David Harris, also of the county and more likely from my line than your's, lol. What's really crazy is the fact that your Harris's were Presbyterian, mine were Methodist, and this David Harris ( supposed father of Amy ) was a Quaker. Anyway's I hope this information has been helpfull. I'll be sure to check my notes and see if there's anything else to pass along. Take Care!

Amie's father being David Harris makes a lot of sense. There are many transactions between a David Harris and a Samuel Harris in the public records. Also, one of the ways that I try to keep track of who's who is by plotting and locating their land. I have an 1820 map of Union County that I try to locate the deeds on. Then I transpose that location onto a modern map when I go visit. There always seems to be a David Harris or a David Jr. located near Sam and his family.

If you would like copies of some of these deeds, I'd be happy to send them to you. My email address is

One thing that all Harris' have in common is that we just can't drive by a good barbeque place.

Wow, Ricky that thing with the map sounds amazing. I would love to do that, and find my Samuel's old plot on a current map. Maybe you could help me with that sometime. Like I said any deed that mentions a Samuel Harris that ain't your Samuel would probably be mine. There were only those two in Union at the time. My Samuel originally lived on the Tyger river, near his inlaws ( Thomas and Sally Harris ) after they both died he moved up to Browns creek, around 1810. Be sure and check those deeds for David and your Samuel. I'm pretty sure they're one or two that make it clear Amy was the daughter of David. You're so right about the BBQ. If your're ever in the Columbia, SC area be sure and go by Maurices BBQ it's the best mustard based BBQ in the world, bar none. Not to mention that ol' Maurice is a big civil war buff, and one hell'ova a nice guy, who just happen's to like my music and sell's my CD's lol! See ya



I have both Thomas' and Sally's wills.  If you don't have them already, I know you'll want them. Thomas leaves everything to Sally but Sally names her children in her's.

I also have a deed from John and Jane Hunt to a Samuel Harris dated 23 Oct 1805 for land on the north side of the Tyger River and on both sides of Fairforest Creek.  It is witnessed by a Pleasant Harris.  My Samuel had a brother named Pleasant but there is also a son named Pleasant mentioned in Sally's will. 

I have one from Samuel to James C.K.Harris for land on Browns Creek witnessed by Robert V Harris, Samuel P Harris and Jeptha Harris.

I think you might want to send me an email address where I can send attachments because there's probably more.

FYI, on the last deed from Samuel and Amie in Union County before they moved to Paulding, Georgia, David Harris Jr is shown as Sam's neighbor. 

Is there anywhere on the web I can get your music?


Thank's Ricky, I have a copy of the will's, but would like to see the deed between the Hunt's and my Samuel in 1805. I would love to match it up to a current map on Union and see where it's located today. Pleasant is the brother to Tryphena my Samuel's wife. Yes, her maiden name was Harris. I can't imagine why yankees think that all us southerners are kissing cousin's lol! You can email me at If you'd like to hear some of my music just go to Maybe we can get together sometime and compare notes. What's amazing it that our familes had so much in common and lived in such a small area and we're not related.

Hi Ricky,
I am descended from Robert Harris and Dorothy Wylie through their son John Harris and his wife Grizel Steel.

John and Grizel's daughter Jean Harris (1724-1807) married John Harris (1723-1794). It looks like they were 1st cousins once removed.

John and Jean's daughter Jean Harris married James Patterson (1758-1822).

Jean and James Patterson's son John Harris Patterson (1780-1842) married Mary Irwin (1793-1838).

Mary and John H. Patterson's son George Washington Patterson (1830-1865) married Sarah Jane Cunningham (1836-1909).

Sarah and George Patterson's son Mayberry Irwin Patterson (1860-1925) married Emma Helen Nigh (1877-1972).
Their son Mayberry Irwin Patterson, Jr., was my father.

My basic information on the Harris-Patterson connection comes from "James Patterson of Conestoga Major and His Descendants," published in 1925. I have my grandmother's copy. I case you do not already have it, here is an extract that may interest you.

"John Harris, Esq., of Mifflintown, the most distinguished bearer of the Harris name in Pennsylvania during the latter part of the eighteenth century, was born in the parish of Raphoe, County Donegal, Ireland, in 1723. He was the son of James Harris and his second wife, Janet McClure, and grandson of Edward Harris and his wife, Flora Douglas, who belonged to the great Scottish house of Douglas. Edward Harris, born in Ayrshire, Scotland, was one of the Presbyterians who fled from Scotland to Donegal, Ireland, during the religious troubles in Scotland in the time of King Charles II.

"John Harris married as his second wife, Jean Harris, daughter of John and Grizel (Steel) Harris, and by birth his cousin. They came to America and settled first on the Swatara, in Lancaster County, Pa., about 1742....Mr Harris temporarily shook off the dust of Pennsylvania from his feet, bought a plantation in Baltimore County, Maryland, in 1760, and moved there.... In April, 1773, he sold his Maryland property and returned to Pennsylvania...and here he laid out the town of Mifflin, in 1790, naming it in honor of General Thomas Mifflin.... [He] died at his home in Mifflintown, Pa., on the 28th of February, 1794."

Research on that basic information gave me the following additional information, not all of which I have been able to verify:

Flora Douglas and Edward Harris died in Philadelphia County, PA.
Their children were Mary, Robert (1660-1727) , James (1667-1730), and Edward (1669-1780).
I found nothing else on Mary.
Their sons were born in Ireland.
Robert died in Philadelphia County, PA; James, in Lancaster County, PA; and Edward, in North Carolina.

How does the DNA testing work?





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