Thomas Harris of Aylesbury Parish, Buckinghamshire County, England was born December 19, 1585. He arrived in Virginia aboard the Prosperous and gave his age as 38 in the 1624/5 Jamestown Muster:
Thomas Harris, Head. Arrived Prosperous, May (year not given). Age 38. Location: Neck of Land, Charles Cittie corporation. Muster Date 24 January 1624/5.
The Prosperous sailed March 1610 (old style) and arrived in May. It appears May 1610 was given in some records, but was probably 1611.
Ten years later, in November 1621, his future first wife arrived in Virginia: the HMS Marmaduke landed from England with "one widow and 11 maids," destined to be brides of early settlers. Among them was "Audry Hoare, mayd, aged 19: borne att Alesburie in Buckenham sheir, her ffather and Mother are alive, her father a shoemaker..."
It is not known if Thomas Harris, like many English planters in those early colonial days, kept a Native American mistress in the intervening years. One theory speculates that he took up with Ann, his neighbor's widow — Edward Gurganey died before his wife, who did not mention Edward in her February 1619/20 will, but did leave her land to Thomas.
Thomas Harris was married to his first wife Adria by 1624, when the February 1623 (1624, new style) muster lists him and his wife (not named) at Neck of Land. Neck of Land, in Charles Cittie, is "upriver a bit from Jamestown." The Jamestown muster of January 1624/25 included his wife:
Adria Harris, wife of Thomas Harris. Arrived Marmaduke, November 1621. Age 23. Location: Neck of Land, Charles Cittie corporation. Muster Date: 24 January 1624/5
Household, 1624/25 Jamestown Muster
Thomas Harris (38 years) and Adria, his wife (23 years).
Ann Woodliffe (7 years), their kinswoman.
Servants: Elizabeth (15 years, arrived in the Margaret and John in 1620)
Adria gave her age as 23 in the muster, and 19 when she immigrated in 1621, which would put her birth year about 1602, but she may have have been born later.
Audry Hoare, daughter of Thomas Hoare, was christened 25 August 1604, Saint Mary, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England.
His wife "Awadrye" was named in the 31 January 1627 will of Thomas Hoare (proved 5 April 1627 in Buckingham, England), as was her daughter. "This confirms that Audrey Hoare was still alive in Virginia as late as 1627 and that Mary Harris had been born by 1626 and was acknowledged by her grandfather in England." She died before November 11, 1635, when a land patent shows Thomas's wife as Joane. This was the first of four land patents (Nov. 11, 1635; May 2, 1636; July 1637; Feb. 25, 1638) for a parcel of land "comonly known by the name of the Long feild".
"It would appear that all four of these describe the same parcel of land. In each one, the acreage varies slightly and the justifications seem to change. It's like he was searching for the right combination that would make everything legal. We don't know what prompted Thomas Harris to repatent land that had already been in his control for almost 20 years. Perhaps there was some dispute with neighbors or perhaps it was prompted by his marriage to Joane Vincent which probably took place in 1635. That event may have required him to document the ownership of the various parcels he had amassed through the years. Notice that the parcel being patented does not include the land belonging to Joane Vincent. Perhaps there were possible heirs from the marriage of Joane and William Vincent and Thomas Harris felt it would be best to establish the identity of his personal land in case of conflicts or challenges."
Thomas Harris died March 30, 1658 at Curles Plantation, Henrico County, Virginia. Boddie (1958) says that he died on March 30, 1682, on the Curles Plantation, "at the impressive age of 96." He apparently prepared a will in 1649, since lost, that left 200 acres to the male heirs of his daughter, Mary, who married Col. Thomas Ligon, and the remainder to his son, William. Another death date given: March 30, 1652.
"Neck of Land" was later called "Curles Neck" / "Long feild" or "Longfield" was later named "Curles"
An accepted member of the "Ancient Planter" Association. The term "Ancient Planter" is applied to those persons who arrived in Virginia before 1616, remained for a period of three years, and paid their passage. They received the first patents of land in the new world as authorized by Sir Thomas Dale in 1618 for their personal adventure.
18 November 1618: 100 acres granted to Thomas Harris at Neck of Land.
Thomas Harris was elected to the House of Burgesses in 1623-24, 1639 and 1647.
He marched as a Captain of his militia against the Indians:
"4 July 1627. A concerted strike is ordered against the Indians throughout various sections of the colonies. Thomas Osborne, 1st in Command and Thomas Harris, 2nd in Command are appointed to lead a group in the upper parts against the Tanx Powhatan and destroy their corn."
Thomas was Burgess for the Neck of Land in 1624 and for Henrico County in 1640 and 1647-48. In August 1626, he was appointed "as one of the 'Commissioners for the Upper Parts," which included Henrico, and in Dec. 1640 was Commander of Henrico County. His will, now lost, was made about 1649."
In 1640 he was made commander of the Henrico County militia. In 1644-45 3 forts were ordered erected: one at Pamunkey, to be called Fort Royal; one at the Falls of the James River, called Fort Charles; and one on the Ridge of the Chickahominy, to be called Fort James. In October 1646, the General Assembly gave these forts, with adjoining tracts of land, to various prominent settlers on the condition of maintenance, at their expense, of proper forces. Of the three, Fort Charles was given to Captain Thomas Harris.
Curles Neck Farm
"Of particular interest are the ruins found during the excavations at Curles Neck in eastern Henrico along the James. Archaeologists uncovered the Thomas Harris house foundation, one of the oldest homes found in Virginia dating between 1635-1654. Thomas Harris served as Burgess for Curles Neck. The archaeologists noted that the framing posts of this house sat in the full basement and some were enclosed by bricks which was unique in the Chesapeake area. A large centrally located chimney suggests that there was a lobby entrance. Built later in the early 1700’s, adjacent to this structure, was the home of Nathaniel Bacon, the leader of the rebellion against the English authorities. Landscape features include intricate terraces and traces of underground tunnels down to the James River which could be used as an escape route from potential Indian invasions."
See the Historic Marker for Captain Thomas Harris (1586-1658), which is on "Route 5_.5 miles East of Entrance to Curles Neck Farm Henrico, Virginia"
The William Harris Connection
Cpt. Thomas Harris was an Investor in the Virginia Company.
following biographical information contributed by Chet Snow
That Thoma Harris was a gentleman and likely a kinsman of Sir William Harris' wealthy Essex family is attested by his subscribing to the London Virginia Company, which was formed on May 23, 1609. Sir. William Harris, his son Arthur, and Sir. Thomas Smythe, whose sister Alice was William Harris' wife, were also subscribers, at 75 Pounds apiece. Thomas Harris was most likely a nephew of Sir William Harris but this is still unproven at present.
Before joining the London Virginia Company in 1609 at age 23, little is known of Thomas Harris' life. He may have been a seaman and/or involved in the Essex Harris family's merchant activities. After joining the Company, it is said he sailed to Virginia and back on the 3rd Expedition in 1609-10, aboard the ill-fated ship "Sea Adventure" that foundered off the island of Bermuda in a hurricane. Eventually, the 150 survivors, including Harris, made their way to Jamestown and from there he returned to London where his stories of shipwreck and survival in a hostile natural world inspired William Shakespeare's 1611 play, "The Tempest".
It appears that perhaps the preceding observations pertain to a different Thomas Harris than the Thomas of Aylesbury who was aboard the Prosperous and is listed in both the February 1623/4 and January 1624/5 Jamestown musters. ~ Liz Shifflett
The experience did not daunt Thomas Harris personally for in March 1611, he left Great Britain aboard the HMS Prosperous, returning to Virginia, this time to establish himself as a planter there. Robert [Thomas?] was part of Sir Thomas Dale's second Virginia supply (the 5th British expedition to Virginia since December 1606). Dale, with his charter as Virginia's new Governor, sailed from Land's End, Cornwall, England, on March 27, 1611, with three ships, the Star, the Prosperous, and the Elizabeth, carrying 300 people. Dale's fleet anchored at Fort Algerian, now called Old Point Comfort, on May 22, 1611, having crossed the Atlantic in less than 60 days. It was a very different experience than that of just 2 years earlier.
Cpt. Thomas Harris immigrated from Wales on the immigrant ship "Prosperous" on May 22, 1611.
Following was from another profile, citing (Brenda's online tree, which is possibly the same source as the preceding section. Portions known to be incorrect have been struck through and portions probably not him have been bracketed. The passage may still hold inaccuracies. ~ Noland-165 21:56, 14 December 2016 (EST)
"CAPTAIN THOMAS HARRIS; 1576-1658; came from Wales; [_was a member of the VBA Company, 1609; _] came to the Colony in 1611; was a member of the House of Burgesses, 1623, 1639 and 1646; (Brown, in this "Genesis", states that he may have been a son of Sir William Harris of Crixith, and Woodham-Moretmar, Essex, England); m. Adria Osborne; m. (2) Joane -----. Thomas Harris, aged 38, May, 1611, came to Virginia in the "Prosperous". His wife, Adria Osborne, came to Virginia Nov, 1621, in the "Marmaduke." Capt, Thomas was [_a member of the Virginis Company._] He came to Virginiain the Prosperous in May 1611, during the time of Sir Thomas Dale. He was the patantee of lands in Henrico, "Neck of Land", as Curles was once called, or "Long Field". He was in the Indian War of 1622 (The massacre at Martin's Hundred is told quite well in the "National Geographic", some time in the 1970's. There is alot of archealogical sites there today. I'll come back later withe exact issue of the article.), Burgess for Henrico, 1623, '39, '47. He took his first patent 1635, later 1655-58. see information on his patents (above) He married his second wife, Joane (Gurgarny) supposedly from the fact that Edward Gurgany owned land next to Joane in 1635, and his wife bequeathed land to Capt. Thomas Harris.
Thomas's wives were (1) Adria and (2) Joane. Latest research shows that Adria's maiden name was Hoare and that Joane was the widow of his neighbor William Vincent. Dorman's had Gurganey as Adria's maiden name (since corrected); one theory had them both as Osborne (sisters). Only Adria Hoare and Joane (Unknown) are currently attached as his wives. Profiles removed from duplicate profiles for Thomas prior to merging have included
Mary and William are known to be the children of Thomas and Adria. William was once thought to have been the son of Joane, because a misinterpretation of testimony at a witch trial had put Adria death prior to September 1626. However, "Awadrye" was named in the 31 January 1627 will of Thomas Hoare (proved 5 April 1627 in Buckingham, England), which also named her daughter. So we know both she and daughter were alive at the time. (William's birth is given as 1629.)
One profile cites a reference to his five children, but additional details are needed.
Merged profiles have attached as children the following profiles, which need to be "re-homed"
Following commentary & summary provided by Chet Snow of M. Stanhope's research, which is online (links below).
Just to add to the confusion and controversy over the Harris family pedigrees, another researcher, "M. Stanhope," has published a researched theory that the Thomas Harris who emigrated to Virginia in 1611 and was on the February 1624 muster at Charles City was NOT the same person as the "Captain Thomas Harris" who was a political leader in Henrico County, in Virginia, in the 1630-50s. This Thomas Harris was born in 1586 and married Adria (Audrey) Hoare, of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. They lived in "Neck of Land" plantation along the James River in Charles City "shire" (later county).
According to Mr. Stanhope, Captain Thomas Harris was born in Shropshire in 1603 and emigrated to Virginia after 1624.
Information about Thomas's wives that is outdated considering consensus that his first wife's maiden name was Hoare (but may be relevant to Joane, widow of William Vincent):
"There are considerable differences in accounts of the death of the first wife of Capt. Thomas HARRIS and of his second marriage. Tentatively, this narrative follows the claims that his second wife was married about 1624/5 and was the sister of his first wife. However, some sources state that Joane was the daughter of Lt. Col. Thomas OSBORNE, a 1611 immigrant to VA. There is also a question as to whether Mary, daughter of Capt. Thomas HARRIS, was of his first or second marriage. This narrative follows the approved lineages of the Order of the Crown of Charlemagne, and found in Volume II of Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne's Descendants (Baltimore 1974) for Maj. Robert HARRIS and for Mary (HARRIS) LIGON. It seems likely, though unproved, that son Maj. William HARISS was born to the second marriage."
Information included in this profile that is probably for another Thomas Harris.
Birth 10 Jun 1585 Crixse, Essex, England
Marriage 1626 VA
[still probably a different Thomas Harris] Captain Thomas Harris was a nephew of Sir Thomas Smith, Treasurer of the Virginia Company and Governor of the East India Company, and was grandson of "Customer" Smith who rose from obscurity in Queen Elizabeth's time by marrying the daughter of Sir Andrew Judd, the Lord Mayor, of humble origin himself. Sir William Harris, father of Capitan Thomas, was descended from Sir Thomas Percy, executed in Aske's Rebellion; five Percy Earls of Northumberland, the Spencers, Calthorpes, Drury's, Howards, Wentworth's and Waldegraves."
Information copied in from somewhere (Ancestry?) that appears to include outdated information as well as information on more than one Thomas Harris:
•Name: CAPT. THOMAS HARRIS (THE IMMIGRANT)
•Birth: 1586 in ENGLAND/WALES
•Death: 1658 in HENRICO COUNTY, VA
•NOTE ARRIVED: IN VA IN 1611 AT AGE 24. IN JAN 1624 HE WAS LIVING WITH HIS WIFE, ADRIA GURGANEY. RECEIVED 400 ACRES FROM HIS MOTHER IN LAW. RENEWED PATENT OF "LONGFIELD" IN 1639, WITH 100 ACRES FROM ADRIA (DIED 1626). NATHANIEL BACON'S ESTATE "BACON'S CURLES) WAS FORMERLY "LONGFEILD". PER MARY UNDERWOOD - COULD THIS BE THE THOMAS HARRIS 1587-1654 VA, + ADRIA GURGANEY IN 1619: + JOANE _____ IN 1626/39.
PLANTATION - LONGFIELD.
SEE MARSHALL SHORE PACKET: THIRD CHILD
SEE NOTES FROM KAY STONE - NAMED IN WILL OF GRANDMOTHER - ALICE JUDDE SMYTHE.
1586-1658 MARRIED JOANE OSBORNE.
Father: SIR WILLIAM HARRIS
Mother: ALICE SMITH
Marriage 1 ADRIA OSBORNE b: c1601(1600) in CRIXEE, EXXEX CO.,ENGLAND
•Married: 1619 in Henrico Co., Va
Source: U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s (Ancestry Online Publication)
Source: Ancestry Family Trees (Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members).
↑Jamestowne Society: Harris, Thomas - A3504; born 1586/7, died ca. 1649, (Ancient Planter); (Muster of 1624/5); Neck of Land, 1624, Henrico Co.: 1640, 1647-48 (Burgess).] accessed 25 September 2021
↑ a possibility for birth/father, from the entry for Thomas Harris, Rootsweb online tree by Donna Warner Lehman:
this Thomas? — "Thomas HARRIS, son of Francis, christened 21 May 1580, St. Mary, Aylesbury, Buckingham"
note - see this page, J. Phillip Harris's article, "Solving Capt. Thomas Harris - The Aylesbury Connection," March 24, 2002 (seems to be source for most of the info on Donna's entry for Thomas)
↑ "A search of records listed in the International Genealogical Index on LDS yielded these two recorded events. [The other was the 30 Nov 1581 marriage of "Drewe Woodliffe to Katherine Duncombe, parents of John Woodliffe, father of Anne Woodliffe."] Both records are in the same church.... In the muster, Adria Harris is listed as being 23 and arriving on the Marmaduke in November 1621 meaning she was about 20 when she arrived. The muster was taken in February on 24 January 1624/25. The christening date for Audry Hoare was August 1604. Giving up to a year's delay from the birth would put the difference between those dates at 21 to 22 years. If the Audrey Hoare in the christening and the Adria Hoare on the Marmaduke are the same, then she would be 17 or 18 years old when she made the voyage. Perhaps she stretched the age a bit to qualify to come to Virginia. This wouldn't be the first time a 17 year old has tried to pass herself off as 19."
Cover Letter for "The First Four Generations of Captain Thomas Harris b. 1585/6" (Rootsweb post, 2002, by Chuck Harris)
↑ Note: There is no Adria Gurganey on the passenger ship record of the "Marmaduke". There is one for an Adria Hoare who is widely accepted by professional genealogists now as the 1st wife of Capt Thomas Harris. Edward and Anne Gurganey died childless (see Edward's profile).
↑ 15.015.1 see also "Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents," The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Jul., 1896; published by Virginia Historical Society), pp. 75-85, see p 79.
Thomas Harris: 750 acres in Henrico county on Nov. 11, 1635 (100 acres "due him as 'an anchent planter...'" and 650 acres for transportation of 13 persons [12 named in article]) adjoining land of Edward Virgany and Joane Harris his wife.
"Captain Thomas Harris, born 1586, came to Virginia during the government of Sir Thomas Dale, and settled at the 'Neck of land,' in Henrico. He was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1623-4, and again for Henrico county in 1647. He married, 1st, Adria ______ (born 1601, came to Virginia 1621), and 2d Joanne _____, and had issue:
Major William, of Henrico, died 1678; many years justice of Henrico and Burgess 1652, 1653, 1656 and 1657-8; married Lucy _____
↑ 16.016.1Historical Southern Families, Vol.1 by John Bennett Boddie 1958D, Page 293.
↑ Died 1682 also in the FindaGrave memorial for Cpt Thomas Harris (1586-1682), which names him son of William and Alice (Smythe) Harris. See also the FindaGrave memorial for Capt Thomas Harris (1585-1658), which includes links to memorials for wife Joane (but with incorrect maiden name of Osborne) and children William and Mary Ligon.
↑ 21.021.121.221.3 John Frederick Dorman, Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5: Families G-P (page 265). See the Google book for additional information.
 Waverly K. Winfree, The Laws of Virginia (Richmond, 1971), pp. 344-47. This Act of Assembly passed at the session of 21 May-9 July 1730 to break the entail on part of the land "formerly called Longfield but lately called and known by the Name of Curles," states that Thomas Harris left an only daughter, Mary, wife of Thomas Ligon, and an only son, William Harris, and details the Ligon descendants.
↑ Nugent, Nell Marion, Abstracted and Indexed by. Cavaliers and Pioneers: Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1800. In Five Volumes. Richmond, VA.: Press of the Dietz Printing Co., 1935, Page xxxiv
↑ see his entry in Tyler's Encyclopedia of Virginia Biographies
↑ Source #Brenda. NOTE by Chet Snow: This webpage has a thorough discussion of the controversy over Thomas Harris' pedigree, including primary sources. It also includes an excellent resume of the English politics behind the forming of the Virginia Companies and the key role the Essex Harris family, including Thomas Harris, played in the early 1600s when they helped James VI of Scotland succeed England's virgin Queen Elizabeth I who died in March 1603.
↑ "The Virginia Company of London, 1606-1624," by Wesley F. Craven, [pp 20-22]
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Thomas by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: