HARPER, Hance, Jr, and the family from Augusta Co VA, Spartanburg Co SC and Hart Co KY


If you are descended from Hance Harper or other Harpers from Hart County, Kentucky, and have taken an autosomal DNA test, please let me know if you have any shared matches with these surnames: Burd, Woosley.

Hance Harper, Jr, was born before 1765 and died in 1821 in Hart County, Kentucky. He can be followed fairly well in various records, but the number of his children can only be guessed from the censuses. County and church records state his wife was named Nancy, possibly also called Rhoda.[1]

Hance was from a Harper family that first was found in Augusta County, Virginia, in the 1750s and 1760s. These references are to an earlier generation than the man who died in Hart Co in 1821.[2]

Family historians state that Hance was born probably in Augusta County, Virginia, and moved with his family to Spartanburg County, South Carolina. According to Lyman Chalkley, on the first of September, 1750, in Augusta County, Virginia, Matthew Harper and Hans[3] Harper were added to the list of tithables.[4] Further references occur in Chalkley’s Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County Court Record. Order Book No. II. For example, on 29 Nov 1750:

Page (580) Road ordered to be cleared and kept in repair on the cowpasture by these inhabitants: Wallace Estill, Robert Carlile, John Carlile, Loftus Pullen, Richd. Bodkin, Saml. Ferguson, Mathew Harper, Thomas Wright, Michael Harper. Hance Harper, John Miller, William Price, James Anglen, James Hall, Philip Phegan, John Shaw, Herculus Wilson, William, and John Carlile. On 19 Nov 1767, he served as a juror in the list: Jurors: James Hill. John Long, Pat. Christian, Saml. Caldwell, Joseph Gamwell, James Lawrence, David Moore, Hance Harper, Saml. Crockett, Wm. Cowdon, Jeremiah Telford, Saml. Lawrence.[5]

On 28 May 1751, Michael, Matthew and Hance Harper were assigned with 16 others to clear and keep a road in repair.[6] On 20 Aug 1752, Elizabeth Harper appeared in court and complained about her husband, Hans Harper, who “turned her out of doors and refused her the common necessaries.” She asked for separate maintenance. Also named in the complaint was Michael Harper, “who is bound to the peace.”[7] At about that time, James Ladyman complained of Hance Harper and his father Michael Harper, “says Hance Harper is about to leave with his effects, 1752.”[8] In the period 1753-1754, Matthew Harper was a party to a petition opposed to “ordinary keepers” who sold rum and wine at extravagant rates.[9]

Hance Harper must have been optimistic he could straighten out his problems, since in Mar 1753 as “Haunce” Harper, he bought 175 acres on Newfoundland Creek, “cor. To Haunce Harper, also of Matthew Harper.”[10]  That is, the new land adjoined his prior land.

On 17 May 1754, Matthew Harper bought 223 acres from John Justice for £30. This land was on Newfoundland Creek, corner to land of Samuel Dalamounthony and to “Carrolile.”[11] And on 15 Dec 1758, Matthew Harper purchased a 220-acre tract in Augusta County, Virginia, the deed signed by Francis Fauquier, the Lt Governor of Virginia. On 20 Aug 1761, Matthew and his wife Margaret sold for £40 to John Henderson, shoemaker, 200 acres, part of Beverley Manor on Christian’s Creek.[12] This land appears to have been passed around; on 15 May 1764, a deed was entered showing £80 for 200 acres from Hugh Martin to Matthew Harper, “part of 1415 surveyed for William Henderson and conveyed to John Henderson, and from him to Matthew Harper, Matthew to John Henderson, from Henderson to Hugh Martin, on Christian’s Creek.” On the same day Matthew and Margaret Harper sold for £80 a tract of 200 acres on the “Bullpasture, or Newfoundland Creek” to Hugh Martin for the same amount of money.[13]

On 16 Aug 1756, “Hanse” Harper paid £13 to James and Sarah Trimble for 180 acres on Black Thorn, a branch of South Branch of Potomac. He took possession in Nov 1760.[14]

The name of Michael’s wife was Isabel as shown by the 27 Jan 1760 registration of a deed from Michael and Isabel Harper from 16 May 1754 when they sold 224 acres to William Shannon; this was on Newfoundland Creek and was delivered in Dec 1764.[15]

In Nov 1763, Matthew Harper filed a lawsuit, possibly still arguing over the same land.[16] On 24 Nov 1764, Michael Harper, “very aged,” was exempt from the levy.[17] In 1764, Alexander Crawford sued Matthew Harper, but died before the case was decided.[18]  On 22 Aug 1766 a case came before the Augusta County, Virginia, court in which Michael Harper sued Robt. Duffield, but this time Harper died before the case was decided.[19] On 20 May 1767, Matthew Harper filed a bond as administrator of Michael’s estate.[20] On 1 Sep 1767, a “sale bill of Michael Harper’s estate” was filed and the estate was settled, but “for going to the South Branch, where he died, 5 days.”[21] Matthew must have kept looking for old debts due Michael, in order to settle the esatte, since on Nov 1767, Matt Harper, administrator of Michael Harper, sued Capt Wm Christian. “To his bounty as a soldier, £2, 0, 0. To his pay as a soldier, 19,0.”[22] The award was apparently credited to the cost of Michael’s funeral.[23]

In Nov 1767, Hance Harper must have been in the county since he served as a juror.[24] A land record showing the sale of 180 acres on Blackthorn, a branch of South Branch of Potomac, for £24, was registered 18 Mar 1765 in Augusta County, Virginia. The grantors were Hance Harper and wife Elizabeth and the land was turned over to Wm. Martin, Aug 1768.[25] And on 17 May 1768, Hance and Elizabeth sold to Samuel Black for £100, 175 acres on Bull Pasture; corner land in possession of John Brown; corner land now in possession of Matthew Harper, now William Martin’s. This property was patented to John Brown, 3 Nov 1750, and since conveyed to grantor. Delivered to Samuel Black, 3 Aug 1772.[26]

It was probably during those turbulent years in Virginia that Hance Harper Jr was born. He was a son of Hance and Elizabeth, as is indicated by a later South Carolina deed, and thus he was a grandson of Michael and Isabel.

Some family tree climbers identify three sons for Michael: Hanse, Matthew and Samuel. I have also been told there was a Michael Jr. Then, they say the first three Harper men in the Barren-Hart County, Kentucky, area were a Hanse Jr, a Matthew Jr, and a Samuel Jr, each of the older men having one known son.

What we know is that a generation earlier in Augusta County, Virginia, there had been two sons and their parents. One of the sons got into trouble with the law, and the other one caused trouble for others with the law. Possibly the desire for less expensive liquor and spirits was symptomatic of this problem.

By 1765 the older Hance Harper was selling land in Augusta County, as cited in Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County Court Record. Order Book No. II, p 418. (Page 773) 18th March, 1765. Hance Harper and Elizabeth to William Martin, £24, 180 acres on Blackthorn, a branch of South Branch of Potomac. Teste: Thos. Stuart, Elizabeth Stuart, Wm. Jameson. Delivered: Wm. Martin, August, 1768.

Therefore, we have three names of men who were adults in Virginia in 1750 to wit, Michael, Hance, and Matthew. They have been assumed to be a father (Michael=1st gen.) and two sons, born circa 1730s. Caldeen Benedict listed many sons she assumed for an original Augusta County settler named Michael Harper.[27] Among the eight individuals named, it appears that only Matthew and Hance (2nd gen.) went to Spartanburg, South Carolina, where they were still living in the 1790s. This writer believes there was not a connection between the family of Michael Harper and the German Harpers living in Augusta County at the same time.

Suzy Parker of Houston, Texas, sent me records of Harpers in South Carolina. She is searching for Jameson families in the same areas where our Harpers lived. These records have filled in the Harper family between the time they left Augusta County, Virginia, and when they arrived in Kentucky. In effect, Hance Jr and Sr and Matthew Jr and Sr, plus a Robert a Samuel, and a John, were all in this area of South Carolina.

A Spartanburg County, South Carolina, genealogist available for look-ups at the GenWeb site said: “There are several entries for Hans/Hance [Harper]. All seem to be jury lists of one kind or another, and range from 1791 -1797. One of the early ones lists him as Hance, Jr.”

There are twenty-seven Harpers listed in Roster of South Carolina Patriots in the American Revolution by Bobby Gilmer Moss, although several entries appear to be different service for the same men. By comparing their service we see that Hance Harper was a horseman in the militia from 7 Jun 1780 to 1 Jul 1781 under various officers, including Capt. Major Parson, Col. John Thomas Jr and Col. Benjamin Roebuck.[28] Also serving under the same officers were Matthew Harper (before and after the fall of Charleston, that is, May 1780), Robert Harper (from 7 Jun 1780 through 13 Nov 1781), and Samuel Harper (from 12 Aug 1780 to 1 Feb 1782).[29] The Daughters of the American Revolution have approved the lineages of descendants of Robert and Matthew,[30] but the families listed by the DAR for these men do not appear to be related to our Hance and Matthew, Samuel and Robert, unless of course, our men have a different origin than we have supposed.[31]

In Jan 1786, Hance Harper Jr was living in York County, South Carolina. “Ordered that a didmas [sic] potestatum[32] issued to South Carolina on behalf of Abel Lewis to take John Boid, William Boid Jr, Hance Harper Jr, all living on Fishing Creek in York County, South Carolina. Minutes Court and Quarter Session p 314, Jan 1786, Rutherford Co NC.”[33]

On 2 Mar 1782, Matthew Harper Jr of Ninety Six District, SC, purchased land in Rutherford Co NC that was part of a 1766 grant.[34] On 28 Jan 1794, Hance Harper—no indication whether this is the junior or senior or even a third Hance—entered 50 acres in Rutherford Co NC, bordering land owned by Matthew Harper.[35] On 7 Mar 1794, Matthew Harper of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, sold 90 acres of a 1786 grant on Holston Creek of the Pacolet River to James Fowler. John Harper was a witness, whose oath was taken 22 Aug 1799.[36]

On 30 Mar 1793 Matthew Harper of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, sold to William Reeves 200 acres, part of a 1775 grant to Matthew Harper Sr.[37] When William Reeves in turn sold the land on 19 Aug 1795 to James Smith, Matthew Harper Sr was again named as the grantee from 1775.[38] On 22 Dec 1794 Matthew Harper of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, purchased 100 acres from Alexander Keenum.[39]

In Feb 1795, Hance Harper Sr sold 100 acres to Hance Harper Jr for “a Spanish milled dollar.” This is stated to be part of a tract sold by John Kerconnel to Hance Harper.[40] On 29 Jul 1795, Matthew Harper of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, sold 70 acres to James Boyd. Hance Harper Jr and Nancy Harper were witnesses.[41]

On 28 Mar 1795, Robert Harper of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, sold 100 acres of land that bordered Matthew Harper. Witnesses included Mary Harper and Nancy Harper. Since Phebe’s oath was taken on 24 Mar 1801, it appears she was Robert’s wife.[42]

On 13 Nov 1797 Hance Harper Jr and Nancy Harper were witnesses when David Hix of Spartanburg County sold land to William Brannon. Hance’s oath was taken 8 Feb 1803. Is it possible Nancy’s maiden name was Hix, and her inheritance is why she witnessed the sale?

Sometime between 1784 and 1799, Hance Harper sued William Fields for slander. “By consent of the parties and assent of the Court this suit is dismissed at Equal Costs.”[43] A few years later, a Dedimus was issued for Matthew Harper to be examined in Rutherford Co NC as a witness in a case in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.[44] About this time Matthew Harper sued Stephen Fuller for slander[45] and James Saterfield for debt.[46]

Hance Harper Jr was called as a Petit Juror for the court session help 12 Jun 1791 in Spartanburg County, South Carolina,,[47] but when the court met he was excused.[48] On 12 Jan 1795, Matthew Harper was called as a Grand Juror for the next court session.[49] And on 12 Jan 1796, again possibly the next year, and again on 17 Jul 1797, Hance Harper was called as a Petit Juror for the next court session.[50] Hance served as a juror in two trials, the State against Daniel Evans and the State against Richard Lee.[51]

There is one reference to Samuel Harper serving as a petit juror in 1793[52] and many references to Robert Harper in this book, but I do not yet have copies of those pages. In another compilation there is a record of an 18 Sep 1789 sale by David Clarke of Pendleton County, South Carolina, to Samuel Harper of Spartanburg Co of 270 acres; Hance Harper was one of the witnesses.[53] This may be the Samuel Harper in Pendleton County, South Carolina, in 1800: 21010/01010.[54] He was still there in 1810: 02101/01010.[55] There were other Harpers in Pendleton County in those years, but they do not resemble the family being discussed here. It is tempting to think this Samuel went to Kentucky after 1810 with sons Silas, Samuel and one other, plus younger children who were with him in 1820.

Matthew Harper, later of Hart County, Kentucky wrote in his Bible that he married his first wife, Elizabeth Pierce, 21 Apr 1794 in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.

On 15 Aug 1799, Matthew Harper of Sumner Co TN sold 200 acres south of the Pacolet River to Alexander Anderson; this land was a 640-acre land grant of 3 Feb 1775 to Matthew Harper Sr, which was sold by Matthew Harper 20 Feb 1776 to Matthew Harper (Jr?).[56]

Seven days later, Hance Harper of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, sold 100 acres of land there to George Hughey on 22 Aug 1799, this tract adjacent to Hance Harper Jr, and another tract of 208 acres adjacent to Hance Harper Sr.[57] Albert Bruce Pruitt, in his abstract of this transaction, identifies Hance Harper Jr as a son of Hance Harper Sr.[58]

The Harper families did not all arrive at the same time to the Barren County, Kentucky, area. By 1819 many were settled in the part of Barren County that became Hart County. By 1819, these Harpers were living in Kentucky: Isaac Harper, Hance Harper, Samuel Harper Sr, Samuel Harper Jr, Matthew Harper, James Harper, and Jonathan Harper.[59]

Although no 1790 census for him has been found, by 1800 Hance was in Kentucky: “Second Census of Kentucky,” p 126: Hance Harper, Barren Co, listed 9/10/1800. By 1810 Matthew Harper had joined him.[60]

In 1810, Hance’s family was in Barren County, Kentucky,: 00211/12201/00. And Matthew Harper was on the same page: 22010/20100. And in 1820, the last year Hance was listed as head of household: Hart County, Kentucky,: 000011/ 00112. A Samuel Harper Sr and several younger men had also moved into the Harper family area. Interrelationships and intermarriages show the likelihood that all these men were brothers or cousins.[61]

These Barren County, Kentucky, land surveys were done by Edmund ROGERS:

  • 1810 Hance HARPER. Miles BROOKS-line. Tho WOODSON and Matthew CASPER, cc.
  • 1811 Hance HARPER. A resurvey. Land originally owned by Robert BATES in 1798. Marker placed wrong. Bartlett REYNOLDS, Hance HARPER-lines. Jas AMOS & Wm HARPER, cc.
  • HARPER, H -, 1815, Cert 535, Peach Tree Knob.
  • HARPER, Hance, 19 Feb 1807, Cert 2427.
  • Same, 14 Dec 1810, Commissioners Cert 2427.
  • Same, 11 Jan 1810, Cert 652.
  • Same, 27 Nov 1815, Cert 652.
  • HARPER, Harris, Cert 652.
  • HARPER, James, 7 Nov 1815, Land Warant 56, Woodson’s Ferry road
  • HARPER, Samuel, 25 Oct 1815, Cert 276, 1/4 mile from Green River towards to Bald Knob.
  • 1815 Samuel HARPER, 1/4 mile from the Green River in direction to the Bald Knob. James BROOKS-line. Chas OWEN, Wm BROOKS, chain carriers; Jas BROOKS, marker.
  • 1815 Hance HARPER, on Peachtree Knob. David REYNOLDS & a WOODSON, cc.1815 Matthew BURD. Christopher MATTOX survey; Matthew REYNOLDS patent, Bartlett REYNOLDS line. Matthew HARPER, housekeeper; Matthew BIRD and Wm AMOS, cc.
  • James HARPER “west side of the road from WOODSON’s Ferry on Green Road to Glasgow.” Hance HARPER, Bartlett REYNOLDS, Astor GOODMAN, WALALCE (now M OWENS)-lines; Matthew BIRD & Wm AMOS, cc.
  • William AMOS. Hance HARPER, Johnston MONROE, John CLARK-lines; Hance & Matt HARPER, housekeepers; Jas HARPER & Matt BIRD, cc.
  • George BROOKS (a re-survey), Jack LEECH’s line; Dudley ROUNDTREE & Wm HARPER, cc.
  • Hance HARPER. Christopher MATTOX survey, Matthew REYNOLDS, patent. Dennis KELLY line. Chas MOSS, Matthew & Wm BIRD, cc.
  • 1815 William BROOKS. Bank of the river. Frederick WOODSON, Thos LOGSDON-lines. Geo BROOKS & Henry LEECH, cc.
  • 1816 William REED. CRUMP’s line claimed by Walter THOMAS. John PULLIAM and John THROP, cc. John PULLIAM and Benj. PULLIAM, housekeepers. Benj. PULLIAM, marker.
  • 1816 William REED. Green River-Peachtree Knob. Hance HARPER-line. Jonathan HARPER & no GOODBY, cc. Jonathan HARPER and Matthew REYNOLDS, housekeeper. Matthew REYNOLDS, marker.
  • 1816 John Gaddy, near Green River south side Peachtree Knob. Wm REED, Dudley ROUNDTREE-lines. J HARPER & Chas REYNOLDS cc.
  • Johnathan BOLLING. Mathias REYNOLDS line (patented by John GADDY), Johnathan HARPER-line. Robt WOODSON, cc; Chas REYNOLDS, marker. Hance HARPER & M REYNOLDS, HK.

Some of these Green River Baptist Church records are reminiscent of the Augusta County, Virginia, court appearances:


  • Feb: Hance HARPER & Thomas WOODSON to confer with William BELL for finishing the meeting house.Mar: William BELL to have his work valued by 2 workmen, Peter ROWLETT to do this


  • Mar: Peter ROWLETT to serve as Clerk. Hance HARPER & Matthias REYNOLDS to be ordained as deacons at May meeting, Drippings Springs & Beaver Dam churches to assist.
  • May: James RENFRO came from Beaver Dam along with Jacob LOCK for ordination. Received by letter Precilla OWEN & Matthew HARPER. Bros ROWLETT, WILSON and HARPER messengers to association.
  • Aug: Bros MUNFORD & WOODSON appt to employ a workman to lay the floor of the meeting house, make & hang the windows and doors, make a pulpit and shingle. Received by experience Ann HARPER, Sarah DURBIN & Patsy RICHARDSON.


  • Feb: case of brother HARPER resumed, had been investigated, acquitted. Same for case against brother PORTWOOD, acquitted. Received by letter Mary LAND.
  • Jun: Brethren PORTWOOD & MUNFORD to see Sister DURBIN to come to next meeting. Discussion re dancing – against. Recvd by experience Edith BROOKS. Bros. WILSON & H HARPER to cite sister MONROE to come to next meeting.
  • Aug: Sister DURBIN acquitted. H HARPER & J BROOKS to labor with sister MONROE. Appt Bro. H HARPER & GADDY as trustees to employ sawyer on the best terms they can to lay the plant to finish the meeting house. Recvd by experience Ann BROOKS, Sam LOGSDON, John LOGSDON, Jin and Joseph LOGSDON.
  • Dec: Bro S GOODMAN accused of drunkenness, referred to next meeting. Bro J LOGSDON Sr accused of same. Bro W HANKS & S PORTWOOD acused of disorder Bro R J MUNFORD to cite Bro J RICHARDSON to come to next meeting. Bro H HARPER to buy nails to finish the meeting house.


  • Apr – Thomas LOGSDON’s case dismissed – he didn’t give satisfaction, excluded. Sister REYNOLD’s case held until next meeting. Matthew HARPER acknowledged he had been in a riot, cause held.
  • May – Received by letter Elizabeth TURPIN and by experience, Bro MUNFORD’s slave Phillip. Sister COATS returned her letter of dismission.Sister REYNOLD’s acquitted. Recvd by letter Miland REED (nee LANE). Matthew HARPER acquitted. Distress between Sister WOODSON & Sister BROOKS, settled before, came up again.
  • Oct – Committee appt to settle business of a temporal nature – Hance HARPER, Thomas WOODSON, John WILSON, Rich’d J MUNFORD and Peter ROWLETT appt.


  • Jan – Bro PORTWOOD’s case held until next month. Bro WOODSON’s slave Peter – excluded. H HARPER applied for letter of dismission in behalf of Bro WILLIAMSON & wife, granted. G BROOKS cited to appear at next meeting along with John LOGSDON Sr, D REYNOLDS – for long absence.


  • Feb – Matthew HARPER restored. Bro WHITE applied for letter of dismission. Committee to visit Sam’l HARPER & wife re difficulty between them, Sister CANN recvd letter of dismission.
  • Mar – Committee report on the HARPER’s report no chance of reconcilliation. Brethren DAVIDSON & ROWLETT to go back and labor with them again. Polly HUSTON proved to be (I’m omitting) – Bros SMITH & J WOODSON to cite her to next meeting. Bro CASINGER & wife granted letter of dismission.
  • Apr – Committee report on the HARPERs – not living according to church rules – Matthias REYNOLDS to go see them for the 3rd time. Polly HUSTON excluded.
  • May – HARPERs agreed to forgive each other and bear each other’s burdens and live together as man and wife.


  • Apr: John LOGSDON Sr accused of attending the Free Mason’s meeting – excluded. Released Bro MUNFORD as treasurer & H HARPER appt in his stead. David REYNOLDS cited to attend next meeting for joining the Free Masons. Recvd by experience Capt Wm J WOOD’s slave Ned
  • Jul – John LOGSDON came forward – exclded. M REYNOLDS, H HARER & J BROOKS appt trustees for laying the floor of the gallery and employee someone to do this. Received by recantation Bro WOODSON’s slave Peter.


  • Jan – Matt HARPER came before church, acknowledged he had been drunk – excluded.
  • May – Samuel HARPER decalred non-fellowshipwith his wife, they had separated – committee of WILSON, ORCHARD & SMITH to talk to them.


  • Feb – Recvd by recantation Nathan HEATHERLY. Recvd by experience George AMOS, Isaac HARPER, Ruth BROOKS, Hester HARPER, Joseph W WILTBERGER, Johnson AMOS, Harriet WOODSON and Eunice LOGSDON. At another meeting recvd by letter Rich’d J HARDY, Henry GARDNER, Henry GARDNER and Tabitha HEATHERLY. Recvd by exp Maria WILSON, Nelly LOGSDON, John CLOSE, BUSH’s slave Henry, America RICHARDSON, Sarah WILSON and William PEERMAN.
  • Sep – Sarah WOODSON’s case continued. Thomas WOODSON’s case held until next day. Thomas A HARDY again cited – Isham HARDY to talk to him. Joshua WOOSLEY appt. deacon. Isham HARDY & James WILSON appt trustees to superintend sawing of timber to makes seats for the church for the new addition. John WILSON Jr to cite Robert WILKINSON to the Oct meeting. He also to cite Robt BLACKWELL to the Oct meeting. Recvd byexperience Mary AMOS & Merabah? RAMSEY. Sarah WOODSON’s case taken up – postponed until Oct. Brothers ORCHARD, HEATHERLY & WHITMAN to talk to her. Thomas WOODSON’s case – he restored. Hance HARPER made application for letter of dismision for Polly LOGSON (now Polly THOMAS) – granted.


  • Sep – David REYNOLDS charged with working on the Sabbath, Bros ROUNDTREE & Maj James WILSON to cite him to next meeting. The problem between Wm WILSON & H. BUSH dropped by consent. Alexander JONES & wife applied for a letter of dismission, granted. Sister Dosity HARPER applied for same, granted. Nancy McCALL same, granted.

Hance Harper of Barren [later Hart] County, Kentucky, is definitely linked to Spartanburg County, South Carolina,, according to a query posted by Van A Stilley of Wilmington NC in 1990 in the South Carolina Magazine of Genealogical Research. “On 16 Sep 1817 in Barren County, Kentucky,, a power of attorney issued from David Lock and wife Susannah, late Susannah McCoy, late wife of Edw. McCoy, whose maiden name was Oglethorpe, to Hans Harper to collect the estate of Dr. John Newman Oglethorpe of Camden, SC.”[62] The query mentions various individuals whose 1790 census records were in adjacent sequence, including Robert Harper: 1/4/4/0/0.

These were the Harpers in Hart County, Kentucky, in 1820:

Page 159

Isaac       200110/00101       b 1775-1794; 1794-1796; possibly Hiram was with him.

Stephen         000010/40100 b 1775-1794; he possibly moved to IN by 1830 or to Floyd County, Kentucky, where there was a 1821 land grant for Stephen Harper.

Page 160

Hance     000011/00112       b bef 1775; 1775-1794

Matthew  320001/31110       b bef 1775

Saml       100100/02010       b 1794-1796       m Sarah Smith, 1817

Page 161

Saml       110001/11010       b bef 1775

Mary       210000/21010       b 1775-1794; She was the widow of James, who recd land grant 1815; children included Willis, William, Frances (youngest ch?), Jane

Silus        100100/10100       b 1794-1796       m Betsy Taylor 1817

Wm         000010/30110       b 1775-1794       m Nancy Locke 1814

Jonathan 200010/30010       b 1775-1794       m Dosha Reynolds, 22 Oct 1810; to Cumberland Co by 1814.

© 2008, Kathy Alvis Patterson

[1] Hart County KY Historical Society Quarterly, V:2, p 4f: Hance & Nancy, Matthew, ex., Ann, Samuel-E. & Elizabeth.”

[2] George W Cleek, Early Western Augusta Pioneers (Staunton VA, 1957), pages 364-366, identifies several Harper families of Augusta County, Virginia, as brothers from Germany, sons of the Michael and Isabel studied here. “The Harpers came from Germany about 1750 and settled in Augusta County, Virginia, in what is now Pendleton County, West Virginia.” This writer believes more evidence is needed to link the family who stayed in Virginia with our family who went to South Carolina, since they apparently have nothing in common but the decade they appear in Augusta Co records and they do not use the same given names. Members of the German Harper family were naturalized but Michael was not, or at least no record is known. One of Cleek’s sources was Oren Frederick Morton, A History of Pendleton County, West Virginia (published by the author, 1910. Original from Harvard University, Digitized Jan 30, 2008. Searched at google.com.) This book indicates a connection between the other Harpers, but not with Michael, Matthew or Hance Harper.

[3] Obviously, this is Hance Harper Sr.

[4]Lyman Chalkley, Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County, p 42.

[5] Ibid, p 44.

[6] Ibid, p 44.

[7] Ibid, p 54.

[8] Ibid, p 436.

[9] Ibid, p 441-442.

[10] Ibid, p 323.

[11] Ibid, p 326. Matthew also purchased land in 1760, p 359.

[12] Ibid, p 376. Matthew also witnessed a deed, 17 Aug 1762.

[13] Ibid, p 431.

[14] Ibid, p 350.

[15] Ibid, p 360.

[16] Ibid, p 329.

[17] Ibid, p 88.

[18] Ibid, p 118.

[19] Ibid, p 129.

[20] Ibid, p 99.

[21] Ibid, p 105.

[22] Ibid, p 344.

[23] Ibid, p 475.

[24] Ibid, p 142.

[25] Ibid, p 418.

[26] Ibid, p 476.

[27] From Harper Family Genealogy Forum. Re: Harpers of Hart County, Kentucky,, Posted by: Caldeen Benedict, Date: April 17, 2001: Michael Harper was born in Rhine Valley, Germany, and married Isabel. Michael died 1766 in South Branch, Virginia. They came from the Rhine Valley in Germany and settled in Augusta County, Va. Michael died in South Branch Virginia. They lived at a Scotch-Irish settlement called Cowpasture, VA. Children: Matthew Harper, Hans Harper, Jacob Harper, Phillip Harper, Eva C. Harper, Nicholas Harper, Adam Harper, Michael Harper, Jr., http://genforum.genealogy.com/harper/messages/4287.html

[28] Benjamin Roebuck was from Spartanburg County, South Carolina. “Neal-Goddard-McNatt-McCutchen-Tennison-South ,” at Ancestry.com has this: George Jr enlisted 1775 in Henry Dixson’s Company, Regiment of Col. Nash. “Heroes of the American Revolution” lists various other commands. U. S. Bureau of Pensions issued Certificate 12-122 to George Roebuck dated 7 June 1832 paid at South Carolina Agency. According to “Carl Mays Notebook” Capt. George Roebuck Jr, his brother Capt. Benjamin Roebuck, and their father George Roebuck, all served under a brother Col. Benjamin Roebuck during the Revolutionary War. Verified by National Archives Reference Nos. R8917, 59467. DAR Patriot Index Centennial Edition Part III indicates George served as a Captain in the Revolutionary War, verifies birth and death dates and spouse name.

Also: The father of Col. Roebuck removed from the North (probably Virginia) in 1777 and settled upon the Tyger River a short distance above Blackstock’s Ford. Upon the first call for soldiers after his arrival his son, Benjamin, turned out and was made First Lieutenant in the company of Capt. William Smith; was with Gen. Lincoln in Georgia and participated in the various campaigns until the fall of Charleston. Shortly after that event he fled with others into North Carolina. During his absence he was appointed a Major in the 1st Spartan Regiment, of which Col. John Thomas Jr was about that time appointed Colonel. He was Lieut. Colonel at the Battle of the Cowpens. Soon after that event Thomas received a Colonel’s commission in a different department of the service and Roebuck succeeded in command of the 1st Spartan Regiment and White rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

The Battle of Mudlick was fought in the summer of 1781 by the remnant of a regiment of militia under the command of Col. Benjamin Roebuck and a garrison of British soldiers and Tories stationed at Williams’s Fort in Newberry District.

Col. Roebuck was in the Battles of Ramseur’s Mill and King’s Mountain. And the writer supposes he was also in the others in that campaign in which some of his regiments were present, viz.: Hanging Rock, Rocky Mount and Musgrove’s Mill. He was not at Blackstock’s, but near, and in the course of the succeeding night was very busy in giving notice to the Whigs round about of the impending danger, by which a number escaped capture. But unfortunately his aged father fell into the hands of the British and died of disease in confinement.

Battle of Cowpens (17 January 1781) When General Morgan was apprised of Tarleton’s approach he fell back a day ‘s march from his position on the Pacolet. He perhaps doubted the propriety of giving battle at all. His force was considerably inferior to that a rayed against him. The officers and men composing the entire body of his militia was almost wholly unknown to him except by report. He couldn’t know what confidence to place in their skill and courage. A retrograde movement was necessary to enable him to call in scattered detachments. On the night of Jan. 16 the last of these joined him some time after dark. He now had his entire force and the question must be decided, “Shall we fight or fly?” The South Carolina militia demanded a fight. Their general could, from past experience and common fame, commend their courage in their present position, but let them cross Broad River and he would not answer for their conduct. Here the final decision is to risk a battle. The Cols. Brandon and Roebuck, with some others, had the special charge of watching Tarleton’s movements from the time he reached the valley of the Pacolet. They sat on their horses as he approached and passed t hat stream and counted his men and sent their report to headquarters. They watched his camp on the night of the 16th until he began his march to give battle. Morgan appears to have had the most exact information of everything necessary.

Cowpens was a great victory for the Colonials and General Daniel Morgan over Banastre Tarleton’s British forces.

The militia engaged in this battle belonged to three States, the two Carolinas and Georgia. Two companies from Virginia were present, but were in l ine with the Maryland regiment under Howard. The North Carolina militia were led by Major McDowell. The Georgia militia were under the immediate command of Majors Cunningham and Jackson; the Captains were Samuel Hammond, George Walton and Joshua Inman. Major Jackson also acted as Brigade Major to all the militia present. The South Carolina militia were directed by Gen. Pickens. The Colonels were John Thomas, Thomas Brandon, Glenn Anderson and McCall; the Lieutenant Colonels, William Farr and Benjamin Roebuck; the Majors, Henry White and Joseph McJunkin; Captains, John Alexander, Collins, Elder, Crawford, with Lieuts. Thomas Moore and Hugh Means.

Source; South Carolina Loyalists And Rebels, Phil Norfleet, 2006

“Benjamin served in the military between 1777 and 1783-7; held the rank of Colonel. He never married. He was a real hero and is highly thought of in up-state SC. His estate was divided between his surviving brothers and sisters.”

Source: Carol Middleton Research

[29] (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1983), pages 416-417.

[30] HARPER, MATTHEW, Ancestor #: A051073. Service: SC. Rank: MILITIA. Birth: ca 1760. Death: (ANTE) 9-4-1807, SMITH CO TN. Service Source: SC ARCH, ACCTS AUD #3342A, ROLL 48.67; SALLEY & WATES, STUB ENTRIES TO INDENTS, BOOK X, PART II, PP 9,151, BOOK X #3535. Service Description: MILITIA MAN IN ROEBUCK’S REGT OF SC. Wife: Patsey. Child: Elizabeth, married Jesse West. [Gedcoms at Ancestry.com identify this man as a son of Robert and Phoebe (Bourland) Harper. Robert was a son of Josiah and Rachel (Owings) Harper of Maryland.]

HARPER, ROBERT, Ancestor #: A051090. Service: SC. Rank: SERGEANT. Birth: (CIRCA) 1742. Death: before 11-17-1801 CHESTER DIST SC. Service Description: ROEBUCK’S REGT. Residence: CAMDEN County, South Carolina. Wife #2: Jean. Child: Daniel, married Margaret. [Gedcoms at Ancestry.com identify this Robert as a son of William and Margaret Harper from Ireland. There may be no connection at all to our VA-SC-KY family.]

[31] What we really need is a connection between the SC families and men in Augusta County, Virginia,, in addition to just their names. That is, in addition to the lawsuits and slander accusations.

[32] Wikipedia defines this term as “In law, dedimus potestatem (Latin for “we have given the power”) is a writ whereby commission is given to one or more private persons for the expedition of some act normally performed by a judge. It is also called delegatio. It is granted most commonly upon the suggestion that a party, who is to do something before a judge or in a court, is too weak to travel. Its use is various, such as to take a personal answer to a bill in chancery, to examine witnesses, levy a fine, etc.” Hance Jr may have had problems with the law.

[33] http://www.joelrobinson.com/lewis/abellewis.html.

[34] Dr. A[lbert] B[ruce] Pruitt, Abstracts of Land Entries: Rutherford Co, NC 179-1795 (1989), p 138.

[35] Ibid, p 136.

[36] Brent Holcomb, Deed Abstracts of Tryon, Lincoln & Rutherford Counties North Carolina 1769-1786 (1977), p 187.

[37] Albert Bruce Pruitt, Spartanburg County/District South Carolina: Deed Abstracts Books A-T 1785-1827 (1752-1827) (Easley SC, 1988), p 176.

[38] Ibid, p 177.

[39] Ibid, p 122.

[40] Ibid, p 124.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Ibid, p 206. The gedcom “Family Origins IV” at Ancestry.com identifies her as Phoebe Bourland and names 12 children of the couple.

[43] Brent H Holcomb, Spartanburg County, south Carolina, Minutes of the County Court, 1785-1799 (Easley SC, 1980), p 51. The copy I received does not have the date of this action, but based on the sections of the book, it was probably about 1790. Page 53 mentions the attendance of Wells Griffith at the county court during this trial.

[44] Ibid, p 71.

[45] Ibid, p 130.

[46] Ibid, p 167.

[47] Ibid, p 147.

[48] Ibid, p 147.

[49] Ibid, p 203.

[50] Ibid, p 215, 223, 239.

[51] Ibid, p 225, 226.

[52] Ibid, p 151.

[53] Betty Willie, Pendleton District, SC Deeds 1790-1806, (ca 1982), p 184.

[54] Pendleton District, South Carolina;  Roll: 50; Page: 139; Image: 271.

[55] 1810 Pendleton, South Carolina; Roll: 61; Page: 219; Image: 258.00.

[56] Pruitt, Spartanburg, p 217. Based on his later censuses Matthew Harper Jr (or the man we identify as Matthew Jr) was born 1765-1775.

[57] Brent H Holcomb, ed., “Some Notes on the Hughey Family,” South Carolina Magazine of Ancestral Research (Winter 1992), Vol XX, No 1, p 22.

[58] Pruitt, Spartanburg, p 181.

[59] Hart County, Kentucky, Historical Society Quarterly (11 Feb 1999), II, 1, p 6f: 1819.

[60] Hance and Matthew were both in the 1810 census, Barren Co KY, Hance Harper: 00211/12201; and Matthew Harper: 22010/20100. Hance’s wife seems to have been called both Nancy and Rhoda; one daughter has two death records, one naming Rhoda as her mother and a year later with the same day and cause of death naming Nancy. Along with Matthew, Ann Harper joined the church in 1809, but none of his three wives was Ann; she may be the oldest daughter. Almost immediately, Matthew started having problems with church order. The next Harpers to be added to the Green River Baptist Church rolls were Samuel and his wife, possibly named Elizabeth, before 1815, then Isaac and Hester in 1820,and “Dosity” in 1821.

There is only one known list of members of this church, and other members of this family were not mentioned in church records. Maybe they neither assumed leadership roles nor got into trouble. They were, in the 4th generation:

  • James, who owned land by 1815, had a wife Mary, six children born 1811-1820
  • Johnathan, who married Doshy Reynolds, 22 Oct 1810 in Barren Co KY
  • Isaac, who married Hester Light, 19 Mar 1813
  • William, who married Nancy Locke, 1 Mar 1814
  • Silas, who married Elizabeth Taylor, 5 Jan 1817
  • Samuel, Jr, who married Sarah Smith, 11 Oct 1817
  • Hiram, who married Nancy (Locke) Harper, his cousin’s widow, 6 May 1824
  • Stephen, who had four daughters in 1820
  • Robert, who had four sons by 1830

1810 Barren, Kentucky; Roll: 5; Page: 57; Image: 36.00. Matthew’s family was 22010/20100.

[61] On 17 Mar 1806 in Barren County, Kentucky,, Marston G Harper married Mariah Tunstall, and about that time Elizabeth Harper married Joseph Tunstall. No connection with our family is known.

[62] “Requests for Information,” Vol. XVIII, No 1 (Winter 1990), p 57.

Published on March 6, 2009 at 12:32 am  Comments (40)  

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  1. Robert Harper died in Sumner County TN. He was in some of the same regiments in SC during the Revolution as was my 4 x great grandfather William Burd. It is said that William Burd was married to a Brooks. William Burd’s eldest son James Luther, married a daughter of Robert Harper, Margaret. Family ledgend has it that they were one and the same as the Harpers of which Harpers Ferry, Virginia, got its name —but I don’t know. They were intermingled with the Bourlands in Barren/Hart, Caldwell, and later Marshal County Kentucky. Also relationships with Reynold and Brooks, as well as the Locke family. I think Robert died around 1810. His daughter Margaret a widow remarried to a Mr. Heitt/Hiett and they lived in Marshall County, Kentucky, with my great great grandfather Isaac Burd, older brother Spencer Burd and perhaps other siblings. James Luther Burd, a County official in the Spartanburg District of SC, must have died aroud 1809. His father William owned property on the Pacolet River. It is said that Willam Burd who died in Hart County, Kentucky, in 1822 was a member of, and is buried at the Green River Baptist Church. He was dismissed one time for rioting. I think Matthew, Hance, and other siblings were brothers to my 3 x great grandmother Margaret Harper Burd. I have seen where Margaret Harper Burd is listed as a grandaughter to a Middleton lady of Goose Creek SC, but don’t know how this comes in? Rudy D. Burd Mayfield Kentucky.

    • Rudy,
      Here is some info for the Harpers in Caldwell County, KY.
      There are listings in Caldwell Co Tax Lists for the years 1809-1814 for: Phoebe Harper, Margaret Byrd/Bird, Wm B Harper, Isaac Harper, Matthew Harper, Jonathan Harper, most of which were taxed for their horses. In his 1807 will, Robert Harper left a number of horses to his wife and children. Keith Hart

      • Just received a land warrant for my ancestor, Jane Berry (nee ? – she’s widowed) adjacent to Matthew Harper’s land in Caldwell County, Kentucky dated Aug 8, 1819. Jane’s daughter Malinda Berry married Sampson Harper Oct 3, 1819. Love to learn more about the Berry family!

      • Interesting, so Robert’s Widow wound up in Caldwell County along with several of their children. For what years is she listed?

      • I believe I have two books with Caldwell County tax records. I’ll check later. Here is an 1818 extract from a Caldwell County Court order:
        Monday Oct. 26, 1818,
        p. 32–
        Viewers report rec’d.: Princeton to John WILSONs Warehouse on
        Tradewater; ord. summons issue to landholders through whose
        lands the road passes to appear at next term & shew cause etc.
        Landholders: Sarah STEVENS, John CLAYTON, Rezin FRYER, John HART, Phoebe HARPER, Henry ROBERTS, Isaach HARPER, John WEEKS, John MORSE, Saml. ROBISON, John STEVENS, Jacob HARROLD & Winney HARROLD
        My ggg grandparents are Benjamin Hart and Jane Harper, children of John Hart and Matthew/Phoebe Harper, respectively.

    I said Roberty Harper died in Sumner Co TN and intended to say SMITH County TN. sorry

  3. I am searching for anyone knowing Mary Irene Harper. Born about 1850? She married Alex Woody. At one time she lived in Haywood County NC, and later in Madison Co NC. Census says her parents were born in MS. William is a possible name of her father. I would like to hear from anyone with possible connection. Thank you

  4. Do you have info. on George Brooks he was my ggg grandfather, he and son Thomas Brooks Sr.(my line) owned land near Pendleton SC and later some different parsels near Helton NC my first record of him was passed by a relative that he came from Wales in mid 1700’s to Delaware and then to SC where he is listed in the 1790 census along with son Thomas Brooks Sr. (my line) and in 1800 census. Thank You

    • I’m not sure how these people are related to my Harpers. Please advise me how I can help you.

  5. Robert Harper Sr. and Phoebe Unknown
    OUR Robert Harper is from Ireland. It is a coincidence that they both settled in the same area: Harpers’s Ferry, named for an English Robert Harper who settled there in 1734 and established a ferry to cross the Shenandoah and the Potomac Rivers, was the site of John Brown’s famous insurrection

    Robert Harper Jr. and Margaret Brown.
    SPARTANBURG, 96 District, SC
    087 3 7 HARPER Robert Sr. 1 0 1 0 0
    089 3 3 HARPER Robert Jr. 1 4 4 0 0
    Notes for ROBERT HARPER, JR:
    Lived near Fishing Creek, Presbyterian Church, Chester Dist, SC 1774.
    By 1775 Robert & Matthew are in Chester District, South Carolina. Robert married Margaret Brown & their eldest son is Adam Brown Harper, b. SC 1775/76. Robert’s family is well documented after 1800 — moved to Illinois, Indiana, & Missouri. We know he was NOT the founder of Harper’s Ferry, WV.
    Robert throughout Rev War as scout and spy under Gen. Anthony Wayne.
    Moved from SC abt. 1800. Moved through TN, KY, IL to IN.
    Residence: 1820, Edward Co., IL. Died at home of his son Thomas Harper.

    1 Robert Harper Jr. b: 1755 VA d: 1829 Edwards Co.IL
    .. +Margaret Brown b: 18 May 1755 NC d: 25 Nov 1841 Gibson Co. IN
    ….. 2 Adam Brown Harper b: 02 May 1776 Chester Co. SC d: 07 Dec 1855 Gibson Co. IN
    ……… +Lucretia Potts b: Abt. 1778 Prob. Rutherford Co. NC d: Abt. 1808 Lincoln Co. KY
    ………… 3 Lewis Walter Harper b: 19 Jan 1799 South Carolina d: Bef. 1860 Indiana or Illinois
    ……………. +Eleanor Holcomb b: Abt. 1815 SC or Georgia d: Bef. 1860 Indiana or Illinois
    ………… 3 Robert Adam Harper b: 03 May 1806 KY d: 22 Feb 1887 Gibson Co. IN
    ……………. +Harriet Coleman
    ………… *2nd Wife of Robert Adam Harper:
    ……………. +Edith Skelton b: 1816 Gibson Co. IN d: 21 May 1886 Gibson Co. IN
    ………… 3 Thomas Adam Harper b: 17 Dec 1807 KY d: 24 Jul 1863
    ….. *2nd Wife of Adam Brown Harper:
    ……… +Catherine Bell b: 07 Jan 1788 SC d: 26 Apr 1859 Gibson Co. IN
    ………… 3 John B. Harper b: 06 Dec 1813 d: 12 Feb 1847 Gibson Co. IN
    ……………. +Mary O’Neal b: 21 Mar 1809 Rowan Co. NC d: 25 Aug 1871 Gibson Co. IN
    ………… 3 William Alexander Harper b: 14 Jan 1816 KY d: 02 Jun 1892 Oakland City, Indiana
    ……………. +Patsy Coleman
    ………… *2nd Wife of William Alexander Harper:
    ……………. +Malinda Lindy SKELTON b: 07 Nov 1819 Gibson Co IN
    ………… 3 Nancy Agnes Harper b: 14 Mar 1818 Indiana d: 31 Jul 1896
    ……………. +Reuben Baldwin
    ………… 3 James Frances Harper b: 12 Oct 1821
    ………… 3 Elijah Walton Harper b: 17 Apr 1824 Gibson Co. IN d: 31 Mar 1911 Columbia

    Twnshp, Gibson Co. IN
    ……………. +Mary Jane Unknown b: Abt. 1823 KY
    ………… 3 Riley W. Harper b: 28 Oct 1826 Gibson Co. IN d: 03 Mar 1883 Somerville, IN
    ……………. +Mary Ann McGregor
    ………… 3 David Hiram Harper b: 07 Jan 1829 Gibson Co. IN d: 24 Aug 1909 Posey Co., IN
    ……………. +Dysea Elizabeth SKELTON WALLACE
    ………… 3 Quincy A. Harper b: 25 Mar 1832 Gibson Co. IN d: 28 Dec 1923 Posey Co.IN
    ………… 3 Robert Harper
    ……………. +Edith SKELTON d: Gibson Co, IN
    ….. 2 Thomas Harper b: 22 Apr 1783 SC d: 09 Apr 1829 Bone Gap, Edwards Co., IL
    ……… +Esther Norton
    ………… 3 James Norton Harper b: 08 Aug 1808
    ………… 3 Mary “Polly” Harper b: 23 Aug 1810
    ………… 3 William Henry Harrison Harper b: 01 Mar 1813
    ………… 3 Martha Harper b: 24 May 1815
    ………… 3 Thomas Jefferson Harper b: 04 Apr 1818
    ………… 3 John Harvey Harper b: 27 Jun 1820
    ………… 3 Robert Willis Harper b: 24 Feb 1823
    ………… 3 Liza Jane Harper b: 11 Aug 1825
    ………… 3 Lewis Adam Harper b: 12 Nov 1827
    ….. 2 William Harper b: 30 Oct 1786 Wythe County, Virginia d: 29 Aug 1861 Gibson Co. IN
    ….. 2 John Harper b: Abt. 1789 SC d: Sparta, TN
    ……… +Unknown
    ………… 3 Robert Harper
    ….. 2 Moses Harper b: Abt. 1792 d: New Madrid, MO
    ….. 2 Robert Harper b: Abt. 1795 Smith Co TN d: New Madrid, MO
    ……… +Nancy Williams b: Smith Co TN
    ….. 2 Matthew Harper b: Abt. 1798
    ….. 2 Elizabeth Harper b: Abt. 1800
    ……… +William Corder
    ….. 2 Margaret Harper b: Abt. 1803 Chester Co., SC
    ……… +Elijah Walton

  6. My Locks were related to the Harpers also.

    Are there any known links between the Spartanburg County SC Harpers and the Baileys in Spartanburg County SC?
    I ask because I am working on a piece of American history that involves multiple families who are directly and indirectly related to my Lock family.

    So any link between the Harpers and the Baileys, even if it is just an association, would be of great interest to me.

    Donald Locke

    • I don’t have any Baileys in my records, so I checked the Kentucky census records for Barren and Hart Counties, where my Harpers moved after South Carolina. There were no Baileys in Hart County at least through 1830. In 1810, Claudius, Charles F, and Jesse Bailey were in Barren co, but not particularly close to any Harpers. In 1820, Richard and Samuel Bailey were in Barren Co, but the records are alphabetized, so neighbors are not distinguishable.
      Sorry I can’t help more.

  7. Raanel-
    I am working on the same line with Mary Harper. One thing most people haven’t listed is her son William Harper b ca 1871, I don’t know if this was an illegitimate child or from a first marriage. I have an obituary for William which lists his living siblings, they all correspond to the Woody/Harper marriage. I’d be happy to share it with you and hopefully we can crack the mystery together.
    -Josh Nichols

    • Dear Josh,
      Please fill in a bit for me. I need to know about the Woody-Harper marriage, when? where? etc. If William was born ca 1871, when did he die? Is there a death certificate available anywhere?

      • Kathy, please send me an email at xxchargers@yahoo.com. I will be happy to share everything I do know, limited as it may be :-). Sorry for taking 7 months to respond, I made one comment on this site and hadn’t checked it again until tonight.

      • One of the side benefits of genealogy is that it can usually be put away for months, years or decades, and it’s there waiting for you when you get back to it. Not a hobby for the impatient.

  8. On jan.10, 2010 Judith Alef gave the genealogy of Robert Harper and Phoebe. I am a descendant of Robert and Margaret’s son, Thomas. I agree with all your information, except I do not think our Robert was Wayne’s scout. I previously got information which proved he was a different Robert Harper. Please reply and tell me where you got the name Phoebe. Also what line are you from? I would be happy to exchange any information I have with you. I know Robert, Jr. had a brother Hance and I would like to be able to really tie the above info about Hance to our Robert.

    • Eileen: Talking taking forever to get back to you… I put the work aside and just picked it up again today. I’ve been reworking the data because as it turns out one of my ‘cousins’ who had given me the Phoebe name et al was working off a bad LDS family sheet. I have no patience for LDS because it’s rarely accurate but always ready to insert info. Right now I don’t know who he married. I’m skittish about Hance as some have labeled him John Hans Harper which is a German family Harper line that IS NOT ours.
      I know know that Robt. Jr. was married to Margaret/Magret Brown of Anson Co NC. This is also fraught w/errors, i.e. LDS members list her husband as a Mr. Robert. She is said to be the daughter of a Brown/e whose ancestors were Scot and Abenaki woman; location unknown. I’m beating my head against the wall trying to straighten it out.

  9. Hi. My daughter asked me to check out your Harper blog. You mention Silas in this post. I have a copy of a hand-written Marriage record of a Silas and Betsy Taylor from Hart County dated Jan. 3, 1817 which was also signed by a Samuel Harper promising, along with Silas, to pay the “fifty pounds current money” fee. Silas, married to Betsy Taylor, was apparently in Hart County by January of 1817.

    • Wonderful. Would you consider scanning the original and letting me post it here?

  10. My maternal grandfather was Clarence Vernon Harper Sr, whose father was Jeremiah J Harper and whose paternal grandfather was Emory Harper–I think. The lineage that I have for him is Andrew J Harper–Samuel Harper–Hance Jr–Hance SR–Adam Michael Harper. Is there any way or place at which I may verify these assumptions and go further back in the lineage? Papa’s wife, my maternal Grandmother, Bertha Mae Logsdon’s family has been relatively easy for me to research. Incidently, Mama & Papa were second cousins–Jeremiah J Harper married Nancy Belle Logsdon in Hart County KY. Please give me any help you can; I’m desparately wanting to connect with Papa’s family also. THANKS in advance. Sharron A Mattingly

    • Sharon,
      I would love to know who made these connections and when. The Harpers are convoluted, to say the least.
      I have Emory and Andrew J Harper as brothers. Did Andrew J name a son for his brother?
      Most of what I have is based on censuses. A lot of Harper family historians have made lists and no one really knows what they were based on. It would be great if our data had some sources, even something like “Great-Aunt Agatha,” not a real name, just the idea.
      Someone has posted a list of the children of Silas Harper and his wife Sarah Smith; Emory and Andrew J Harper are both on it, but no reason or evidence is with it. They fit sons in his 1830 and 1840 census; but I suppose they also fit Samuel’s family.
      I think Samuel and Silas were brothers, sons of a Samuel Harper Sr, who was in Hart County in 1820.

      I have this old message:
      From Harper Family Genealogy Forum
      Re: Harpers of Hart Co KY
      Posted by: caldeen benedict
      Date: April 17, 2001 at 16:58:32
      Samuel Harper Sr, son of Hans and Elizabeth (—) Harper, was born 1760 in Virginia. Samuel Sr died in Kentucky.
      He was at Boonesboro Fort, Kentucky 1779-1783. A marriage licence was found in Rowan County SC but we do not know if it is the same Samuel. The 1780(90?) census placed him in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He came to Barren County Kentucky around 1812. He was in Hart
      County Kentucky when formed in 1819. Is the mother of his children Elizabeth?
      Samuel Harper, Jr. b. 1795
      Polly Harper
      James William Harper b. 6 Nov 1813 [that’s quite a gap between children, but not impossible]

      A difference in the children of Samuel Sr and Hance Jr is that Hance was in Kentucky at an earlier date. Some longer-lived Harpers in 1880 say father born in Kentucky, and others say father born in Virginia.
      Get back to me, and let’s try to work this through. I too would desperately like to solve my Harper dilemma.

  11. THANKS so much for your prompt reply! Some information I have is written and some is word-of-mouth. Does this mean that what I have is incorrect? Is my maternal Great Grandfather Emery Harper? I would love to speak to you by phone. I’m totally confused; and like you, I would like to solve my Harper dilemma. My research on the Logsdons was right on track with what my Mother had written. Perhaps more attention was given to her Mother’s side of the family. At least I can track Papa–Clarence V Harper SR–back to Nancy Belle Logsdon; I’m online at my family.com Logsdon and have several verifications of the same, i.e. marriage information for Nancy Belle Logsdon/Jeremiah J Harper. Is there any online information to which I could refer? Please help me! Thanks again.

    • Sharron, One problem I have encountered with the Harpers is that when no one really knows, they say maybe and others pick it up it the idea runs around the country and back to the first person who thinks he/she has found confirmation of her theory. Do you see what I mean?

      I took about two months to get around to calling another lady about a different family. I think much better with words on the page in front of me; maybe it was 10 years in Latin America without a phone. After next Saturday (end of school year, I teach), fell free to call me at 405-663-2080, but before 7pm CDT.

      What I have in my blogs is pretty much all I have, except for vibes, feelings, itches and twitches. For example, there were two Harper families mentioned in Lyman Chalkley’s wonderful Augusta Co VA book, but someone (I’m thinking in the last 30-40 years) combined them. Ours is not the German family; ours didn’t go to Harper’s Ferry, and our Michael is not named Adam.

      The only thing to do is to keep digging in records for bits and pieces. Did you read what I have about Frances (Harper) (Meredith) Pedigo? She was either a sister, half-sister, cousin or aunt to Silas, Samuel Jr and Ransom. Will we ever find the key? One of my two or three biggest wishes ready for a genealogy genie to show up and grant me some.

      The next time I work on Harpers, I plan to try to straighten out Revolutionary War evidence in SC. Kathy

  12. I’m an educator also–retired as a principal of a local middle school. I was at the same school for 27 of my 31 years with the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corp in Evansville IN. Our daughter is a teacher– turned Curriculum Coordinator here too; and our granddaughter will be teaching at Vanderbilt Univ this coming fall. I’m so thankful for my years with my students. Probably my background makes me so determined to “get to the bottom” of this situation!!

    Mother always told my cousin and me that our Harper family was from England. I did read your information on Frances H M Pedigo and enjoyed it as well. If and when you find that genealogy genie, please remember to send it my way. Because of our connection through the Harpers, I’m looking forward to speaking with you. Have a great end to your school year.

    Perhaps this sounds crazy to you, but I have always aspired to be able to be accepted into DAR. At my age–74, it’s probably far too late for such a task. I noticed that you are in DAR. Have you been a part of DAR for a long time?

    Do you have any written material other than this wonderful blog? Thanks again.

    • I have been in DAR since 1970 (I was young and mini-skirted). I am also a volunteer genealogist. Although the Harpers look doubtful, send me your family tree and I’ll see if I can find a Patriot. Actually, I did that very thing for a friend’s daughter-in-law this morning. I found two. My students would laugh; I almost said “send me your family” instead of “send me your family tree.” We find and read bloopers a lot in the spring quarter. Kathy

  13. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a
    few months of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any solutions
    to prevent hackers?

    • All i know is to be very careful whose comments I approve. I keep two backups of all data, away from the Internet.

  14. Thanks for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I
    will be waiting for your next write ups thanks once again.

  15. Came across your blog in an effort to answer some questions about Robert Harper. I was pleased to find you corrected his location of death from Sumner County, TN to Smith County, TN. I believe I am related to his daughter, Margaret. If my findings are correct, Margaret was married to a Wiliam Kent, a union that produced my GG Grandmother, Elizabeth A. Kent. I have Robert Harper’s death being 1807 and a Nathan Kent purchasing items at his estate sale. I also show Margaret’s older sister, Mary, living with her and William in the 1860 census. I am very interested in finding out more, if this seems to be the same Robert Harper. I have his widow being a Margery Payne.
    Look forward to your response.

    • Margery,
      Robert Harper, who died in 1807 in Smith County, TN, left a will. In the will he names these people:
      Wife – Pheby Harper
      Daughers – Mary McDowel, Margaret Burd, Patsy(Catsy?) Harper, Sarah Harper & Jane Harper
      Sons – Jonathan Harper, Isaac Harper, Wm B Harper, Mathew Harper, Sampson Harper, Robert Harper, John Harper & James Harper.

  16. Harpers of Gibson County, Indiana and Edwards, Clay and Wayne County Illinois

    I’m trying to brick down one of the families brick walls. My 3rd great grandfather is James Harper (1823 KY) married to Mary ? (1824 IN). They lived in Clay County, IL at least in 1850 and possibly 1865. The only census record that I absolutely know they are listed in is the 1950 Clay and Richland County census. They had children William (1840), Jane (1842), Nancy (1843) and John (1845) and a Henry Harper (1824) probably James brother. There is a James Harper in the 1865 Clay County census and may be him. If this is my James then Mary must have died and he remarried because he now has a younger wife and 2 more sons born about 1851 and 1855 and a daughter born about 1857. There are 2 James Harper marriages listed online in Clay County at this time. One is 24 Jul 1864 to Elizabeth Apperson and would be the one listed in the 1865 census. The other is 12 Jan 1869 to Lovena Williams. I haven’t been able to trace either possible family since.

    James and Mary Harper’s first son, my 2nd great grandfather, is William Riley Harper who married Elizabeth Spencer 9 Aug 1860 in Clay County, IL. In 1865 and 1870 they lived in Stanford Twp, Clay County and 1880 in Ziff Twp, Wayne County before moving to Richland Twp, Cowley County, Kansas in 1883 and then Holt County, Missouri in 1888. We have no information about his mother Mary’s maiden name or where her and James were married but assume it was probably in Clay County. Because my 2nd great grandfather’s middle name is Riley I’ve been working on the assumption that his mother may have been Mary Riley and there were quite a few Riley’s in Clay County at that time but I have found no proof of this connection just circumstantial evidence. Mary’s birth date may place her as a daughter of William N. and Thirsey “Brooks” Riley from Orange County, Indiana who lived in Clay County, Illinois in 1830 but so far I haven’t found any Riley’s who can confim this connection. According to my grandfather the Harper’s went to Clay County, Illinois from Kentucky but he never knew where in Kentucky only that the land was better for farming in Kentucky than Illinois. His grandfather died when he was 1 and father died when he was 18 so he didn’t have much time to ask them question about the family. There is a Harper Family Bible that was passed down and the last person known to have it was William Riley Harper’s youngest daughter Mary Hellen Harper (1879-1954) who married Clifford Chappelear (1878-1917) and after his death George Elzie Goldizen (1881-1953). No one has been able to find the bible today.

    Recently I’ve done some work based on the assumption that James came to Clay County with his parents so I’ve traced out most of the Harper families in the area at that time. In the 1840 Clay County census there was a John Harper (1781-1790) and James N. Harper (1801-1810). Either could be James father based on ages from that census. John Harper doesn’t show up in the 1850 census and may have died or moved somewhere else and at this time I’m assuming this may be my James father. James N. Harper I believe is James Norton Harper son of Thomas (son of Robert and Margaret “Brown” Harper of Gibson County, Indiana previously Chester County, South Carolina) and Esther “Norton” Harper of Edwards County, Illinois. James Norton Harper lived in Fairfield, Wayne County, IL from 1850 on just south of where my Harper’s lived. Based on the 1840 Clay County, Illinois census James N. Harper had 4 sons and 2 daughters born between (1811-1820) and (1836-1840) and in the 1850 census he had 3 daughters born between 1842 and 1843 and possibly a younger wife leading me to believe that my James and Henry may have possibly been from his first family. Note that based on the age ranges in the 1840 census Elizabeth would have been too young to be the mother of some of the children and James birth year 1808 listed in most trees would mean he couldn’t have been the father either. His wife is listed as Charlotte Temple Harlan in most trees and Elizabeth Walker in the History of Wayne and Clay County 1884 Page 52. Elizabeth Walker was James N. Harper’s first wife and died between 1843-1850 in Clay or Wayne County, Illinois. No wife is listed for James in the 1850 census and some trees have him marrying Charlotte Harlan 15 Jun 1851 in Wayne County, Illinois.

    Every Harper family in the area that I’ve looked at trace back to Robert and Margaret “Brown” Harper. Based on other trees and information I’ve looked at they had a son named John and may be the John listed in the 1840 Clay County, Illinois census but I have no solid proof of this. Another son Adam Brown Harper from Gibson County, Indiana had a son Riley W. (William?) Harper and a son James Harper (1821). Is it possible that my 2nd great grandfather William Riley Harper was named after Riley W. Harper an uncle and if so it may be possible that this James Harper is my 3rd great grandfather? In researching these lines I ran accross something that placed some of these Harper’s in Barren County, Kentucky on their way to Indiana but I can no longer find where I got that information.

    Looking for any Harper descendants who has or had family in Clay, Wayne or Edwards County, Illinois or Gibson County, Indiana that may be able to prove or disprove any relationships I have mentioned.


    • My GGgrandfather was William Leslie Harper, born 1833 in Illinois and died 1905 in North Dakota. I don’t know his father’s name, but he was apparently born in South Carolina and his mother in Kentucky. Would you have any ideas on who they might have been?

      • Have you located him in any censuses or Civil War records? Did his ND community have a Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) unit? Start with those details. When and where did he marry?

      • There was a William “S” Harper the right age in Putnam Co IL in 1850; the letters S and L are often confused in censuses. His father James was born in SC and his mother Nancy in KY. Ancestry.com has identified him as William L Harper of later ND censuses, but I don’t know what their reasoning was. Maybe someone else at Ancestry claimed it was the same man.

  17. Can you help me? I am looking for information on Rachel Griffith, the wife of Robert Harper, of Harper’s Ferry. Was she married previous to being married to Robert Harper. Did she have children? What is her DOB and DOD? I believe I am related to her. Thank you.
    Susan Clary

    • I believe that’s a different group of Harpers. I haven’t studied them. Good luck, Kathy

  18. Greetings: Have you ever found : James Caswell Harper born 1816 in Virginia? I am currently looking for him.
    Please respond to:

    Thank you most kindly. I have been researching for 3 years, and leaving no stone un-turned.
    Have a very blessed day-

    • Where was he in 1850?

  19. If this is still active, I would love for anyone that followed the lines of Augustine Durbin and Sarah Richardson that apparently went on to Lawrenceburg, TN (some say 3 Durbin bros went down Tenn River and made way to Lawrence Co. ) to please contact me. I am from Allen Durbin (said to be son of Augustine and Sarah), and still working on a sticky issue. Can anyone remember if some of the early Durbins in that area of Barron/Hart and nearby counties died of something that no one knew, but would later be identified as Huntington’s Disease. I have worked off and on–on this for 30+ years–and I also understand that many (even today) have no idea it was in their lines. If you can help in any way, please feel free to email me at Sweetlipsfarm@yahoo.com or I am also on FB (Judy Mainord Malone) and on Ancestry. HD in my Durbin line traced thru my mother, her grandmother, Mary Lou (Durbin) Smith, Mary’s father–Willis Marion Durbin and at this point would most likely be Allen Durbin (father of Wilis) since Allen’s wife survives him and lives with a son, Jessee Durbin, in Decatur Co., Tn in later years. Now if Allen had HD, then either Augustine or wife, Sarah (Richardson) had to have had it–and this is where no one really wants to talk. Thanks so much for any clues or help. Judy in Henderson, TENN Chester Co.

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