no image

William Harris Sr. (abt. 1629 - 1678)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Maj William Harris Sr.
Born about in Neck of Land, Charles City, Virginiamap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married [date unknown] [location unknown]
Husband of — married (to ) in Henrico County, Virginiamap
Descendants descendants
Died in Henrico County, Virginiamap
Harris-754 created 11 Nov 2010 | Last modified | Last edit: 14 Oct 2017
09:20: Liz (Noland) Shifflett edited the Biography for William Harris Sr.. (added "see also" entry that had been posted to another William Harris profile but seems to be about this William Harris) [Thank Liz for this]
This page has been accessed 2,177 times.

Categories: Henrico County, Virginia | Henrico County, Virginia Colony | Harris Name Study.



William Harris, son of Thomas and his first wife Adria, was born about 1629.[1][2]

He was "burgess for Henrico in 1653, 1656 and 1658; captain and major in the militia. He married Lucy —, and his will was proved in Henrico, June, 1678. He left issue."[3]

"WILLIAM HARRIS, son of CAPTAIN THOMAS HARRIS and ONLY BROTHER of THOMAS HARRIS JR. who died in 1679 was born in 1629. According to a deposition. He was a Justice of Henrico, member of the House of Burgesses,1652, 1653,1656, 1658. In December 1656 he was appointed major of the Henrico and Charles City regiment. He married Lucy, last name unknown".[2]

Part in red is disputed. The Thomas who died in 1679 is said by J. Phillip Harris to be his son, not his father's. Tom King says that the son Thomas of William & Lucy is the Thomas Harris who married Mary Jefferson (will dated 5 October 1729, recorded 6 Jul 1730).

William and his first wife, Lucy Stewart, had one son: Thomas. In his 1678 will, he names Thomas and his sons by his second wife, Alice: William and Edward.

William died before February 1, 1678/79[4] in Richmond, Richmond County, Virginia.[1]


  1. Lucy Stewart[citation needed]
  2. Alice (--?--), born Charles City County, Virginia; married about 1668. Alice married (2) George Alvis

Disputed Son Thomas

The son of William and Lucy was either of the following Thomases:
  • the Thomas who died unmarried and childless in 1679.
  • the Thomas who married Mary Jefferson and died in 1729/30, naming in his will several children (Thomas Harris [a minor], James Harris, John Harris, Mary James, William Harris, Benjamin Harris, Sarah Harris, Phebe Harris, Martha Pasture, Francis Harris).
Thomas d 1679.
See information and analysis by J. Phillip Harris on the profile for Thomas, saying that deeds "leave no doubt that Thomas Harris, son of Major William Harris, was deceased before 1692, thus could not be the Thomas Harris who died 1729/30. Note also the property 'The Ware' involved [in the deeds] is mentioned in the will of Thomas Harris who d. 1679.
Thomas d 1729/30.
Malcolm Hart Harris in "Three William Harrises in Hanover County" states that Thomas Harris d1679 and William Harris (married Lucy, died 1678) were brothers. Tom King, another Harris researcher, agrees, saying that the brothers would have shared land in the Ware and that Love was their sister. He shares that when William's wife "Lucy became Ill, her sister Alice came to live with them to help her ailing sister. After Lucy died Alice married her sister's husband as his 2nd wife and had sons William and Edward Harris. Note that the witness on both of the 1692 deeds was George Alvis who was then the husband of Alice Stewart Harris and probably envious of all of the land of his wife's former husband. Unfortunately the 1658 Will of Capt Thomas Harris has never been found to confirm any of these identities. Our only hope is to one day find a living direct male Harris descendant of Thomas Harris and Mary Jefferson who will provide a yDNA sample for testing to confirm that he came from our Harris DNA Group 8 for the descendants of Capt Thomas Harris.[5]


Will dated 20 Apr 1678[6]
Probate: 1 FEB 1678/79, Henrico County, Virginia
"Not knowing what the Lord hath ordained or at what tyme he he may take (torn) out this life I doe settle my estate of lands as followeth, I give & bequeath to my sonne THOMAS all my land below the ward (ware?) to keep the ware/ward runn for his Bounds till it shall come to ye spring at ye hed & then to follow a bottom on ye lower side of the clearing of John Rabon, to the hundred roade path, and then on a straight roade or course to the land of Seth Potter Ashbrooke but in no case to crofse porketts/perketts' path;
"to my younger sonnes WM & EDWARD HARRIS I give ye rest of my dividents, WM. to have the plantason where I now live, & EDWARD ye land next Ashbrooke, But WM. to extend outwards one hundred yards beyond ye clearing of John Rabon on the path called perketts/porketts path, & THOMAS on a straight course to ye redd? watter? & EDWARD the house next to Potter Ashbrooke's line as alsoe to ye Ashen swamp to them & their Heires; neyther to sell unlefs the one to ye other & if eyther did (died) without I show (issue) the land to come to ye Survivor, my two younger sons to live with their mother till age of sixteen, if shee marry if not till 19 yeares of age; my will is that my wife live on the plantason during her life but not to hinder my sonne WM. at the head of ye3 ward if he come (rome?) for himselfe & I desyre my friends Mr. Tho. Cocke (?) & Mr. Wm. Randolph to see this my will performed. In Witnefsee of every (Looks like L) to hereof I putt to my hand this 20th day of April, 1678. Wits: Rich. Lygon, Ann Stewart (Bk. 1677-92, part 1, p. 68)"[2][7]
He made will out possibly on battlefield in area near present Richmond, VA in 1678 naming eldest son Thomas an heir & making provisions for two infant sons named William and Edward, both by second wife Alice.[8]
The following is from Lou Poole's "Epes Family" (Chapter 14):
"A letter of Colonel Herbert Jeffreys, the Governor of Virginia, to Sir Henry Coventry reported that:
"On the 22nd and 23rd of August [1678] some Indians came downe uppon james River to the number of 150 or 200 in Henrico County … on the 24th some of the Militia officers of Henrico County gott upp a party of forty six horse and march’d imediately upp to [ ] upper plantation of Coll: [Rowland] Place’s: The cheife officer Coll: [Francis] Epps and Major [William] harris were kill’d and two more wounded …"

Location Note

William, born 1629, was born before Virginia's counties were established. William's father Thomas was recorded in the January 1624/25 Jamestown muster as being at Neck of Land, "Charles Cittie corporation". The Virginia Company's four incorporations of 1619 – Henricus, Charles City, James City, and Kecoughtan – became four of Virginia's eight original shires (counties) of 1634. It is not clear in which newly formed county Thomas Harris's land holdings fell: Henrico County or Charles City County. (Possibly both, as his holdings were extensive.)[9]
In 1624 Thomas was one of two burgesses representing Bermuda Hundred, which was later part of Henrico County.[10] Thomas's entry in Tyler's says he "settled at the Neck of Land, in Henrico."[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 FindaGrave, online tree
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Three William Harrises in Hanover County," Malcolm Hart Harris in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 22, p. 189
  3. Entry for William Harris in Lyon Gardiner Tyler's Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography
  4. probate date (#Will)
  5. Tom King, lead researcher, Harris DNA Group 4 line.
  6. Harris, p. 331 citing Henrico Records p. 68
  7. see also the transcript of his will posted on [his son Thomas's profile page]
  8. Source? (possibly still "Three William Harrises in Hanover County," Malcolm Hart Harris in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 22, p. 189)
  9. Information from this WikiTree page, citing (among others)
  10. Bermuda Hundred, Encyclopedia of Virginia. See also this map
  11. Lyon Gardiner Tyler, Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography
  • Harris, Malcolm H. History of Louisa County, Virginia Richmond, VA: Dietz Press, 1936.
  • William Harris, entry in Lyon Gardiner Tyler's Encyclopedia of Virginia Biography

Research Notes

See also Major William Harris, Harris Ancestors (a speculative essay)
The following information was included in the profile as of December 13, 2016:
Birth 25 FEB 1617/18 Essex, England, or Charles City Co VA. His parents were in Virginia at this time.
Birth 1629 in Charles City, Henrico County, Virginia[1]
Birth 12 Mar 1629 OS Curles Plantation, Henrico Co VA
Death bef 1 FEB 1678 OS Richmond, Henrico Co VA
He was killed in a battle with Indians near present-day Richmond.
Note: Last Will and Testament
S/o Capt Thomas Harris and Adria (Hoare) Harris
Children, with confusion who were children of first and second marriages.
1. Thomas Harris b: 1655
2. Elizabeth Ann Harris b: 24 JUL 1657
3. William Harris b: 1 DEC 1661 in Henrico Co, VA
4. Edward Harris b: 23 APR 1663
5. John Harris b: 8 AUG 1665
6. Rebecca Harris b: 5 MAY 1668
7. Lucie Marie Harris b: 30 SEP 1671
8. Alice Harris b: 27 NOV 1674
Marriage No. 2 Alice (--?--) b: in Charles City Co, VA
Married: ABT 1668
The second wife Alice was married #2 to George Alvis
Note that "Three William Harrises in Hanover County," Malcolm Hart Harris in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 22, p. 189, passim, states that from #2 or 3 these are children of Alice.[this note as found]

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored by MyHeritage

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William 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: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with William:

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Family Tree DNA.


On 11 Aug 2017 at 13:18 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Henrico County Wills, abstracted & compiled by Benjamin B. Weisiger III, page 3:

"p. 68 Will of William Harris (this is not called a will, but seems to [sic - thought not completed]

"I settle my landed estae as follows:

"To son Thomas, all land below the Ware, next to John Rabon and next to Ashbrooke

"To younger sons William and Edward, the rest; William to have the land where I now live and Edward the land next to Ashbrooke. William's land to extend outward next to John Rabon, on Puckett's Path.

"My younger sons are to live with their mother until age 16 if she marries and to age 19 if she does not.

"Executors:friends Mr. Thomas Cocke and Mr. William Randolph

"Dated 20 April 1678

"Wit: Richard Lygon, Ann Stuart

"Recorded 1 Feb. 1678"

On 15 Dec 2016 at 07:17 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Harris-19478 and Harris-754 appear to represent the same person because: these are brothers now (same father) & should be merged. Thanks!

On 14 Dec 2016 at 17:46 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

sorry - I should have looked at who the profile manager was (dad Thomas has different managers).

I don't know that we've "met". I've been working on my Virginia Harris family connections for a while. This week, I'm trying to sort out all the Virginia Thomas Harrises.

This WIlliam is the son of Thomas and Adria (see details on Harris-751 about Adria being alive past 1626 & Joane being widow of William Vincent, who died after William's birth).

Also, this William married twice: Lucy & Alice. Alice married (2) George Alvis, which sometimes gets twisted & she winds up with the maiden name of West. Alice West is connected with a different Harris family (married to Thomas, son of John & Dorothy).

Cheers, Liz

On 14 Dec 2016 at 17:37 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Hi again. This is Thomas & Adria's son William. Dad's are in a proposed merge, but I need to disconnect mom Joane before proposing a merge for this William.

OK to disconnect her?


On 13 Dec 2016 at 22:10 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

update: merge completed

Harris-2637 and Harris-754 appear to represent the same person because: Hi! These are ready to be merged. Thanks!

On 13 Dec 2016 at 22:03 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

sons Edward (Harris-887) and John Edward (Harris-11341) appear to be duplicates, but maybe one died young?

Both married Mary in 1696 (but in different counties & one MNU, one Giles).

(I had posted a comment on Harris-11341 for this page, but I can't figure out now why ... it sheds no light on the question of these two profiles, Edward m Mary/John Edward m Mary Giles)

On 13 Dec 2016 at 12:03 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

Hi! Before he can be merged with Harris-754, the profile for mother Adria Gurgarny needs to be detached. If you've no objection, I'll do that and propose the merge later today.

Cheers, Liz

On 12 Dec 2016 at 19:58 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:

text says this William Harris is son of Captain Thomas Harris and only brother of Thomas Harris Jr. But Captain Thomas Harris (of the 1624/5 Jamestown muster/husband of Adria) "only had three proven children, Mary, Elizabeth and William" (from comment on Harris-751)

Thomas Harris, son of William Harris and Alice Smythe, has a son William also ... could this William and that one be the same? (See William Harris-19478, son of Thomas Harris-11546.)

On 12 Dec 2014 at 22:16 GMT Linda Plummer wrote:

Harris-14190 and Harris-754 appear to represent the same person because: Maj William Harris is the only son of Capt. Thomas Harris and his first wife, Audrey Hoare. He is the father of two sons, William Jr and Thomas by his first wife, Lucy Stewart.

On 25 Oct 2014 at 22:22 GMT Robin Lee wrote:

Harris-11109 and Harris-754 appear to represent the same person because: same parents, same dates

more comments

William is 18 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 15 degrees from Joseph Broussard, 22 degrees from Helmut Jungschaffer and 14 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II Windsor on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

H  >  Harris  >  William Harris Sr.