John Harris1

ID#42, b. 1759, d. 1837
Father: not yet identified
Mother: not yet identified

Birth date: 1752. Per Frances Terrill Bonar, the tombstone of John Franklin Harris Sr, listed his birth and death as: 1752 - 1837. She indicated that John was Welsh, although she recorded his place of birth as Baltimore, Maryland, rather than Wales as has been reported by some researchers. In support of her theory, the 1900 U.S. census listed Maryland as the place of birth for both parents of Uriah Harris (John's youngest son).

Birth place: Baltimore, Maryland.2,3

In contrast, the military marker that commemorates John's service in the Revolutionary War indicates he was born in 1759. Interestingly, this marker also indicates that he died in 1851 - but this must be incorrect as his will was probated in 1837. At this point, I'm not sure if either of the dates on the military marker are correct.4,5

Numerous Harris researchers have used the names "John Franklin Harris, Sr." and "John Franklin Harris, Jr." regarding the father and son that are among the early settlers in Marshall County. I have yet to see any official document use the middle name of Franklin for either of them, so I will not accept it until I see a source other than the genealogy files of other researchers. It is interesting to note that John Jr. had a son whose full name was in fact John Franklin Harris per his death certificate, but I have not found his name anywhere followed by a "III" suffix which could indicate that his father and grandfather also had the same middle name.

John married Nancy Binnegar, daughter of John Binnegar and Ann Marpol, on 20 August 1801 in Frederick County, Virginia.6 According to Frances (Terrill) Bonar, they were married at the Hopewell Friends Meeting House. If true, this Meeting House that is located a few miles north of Winchester, Virginia, leaves me wondering about Quaker ties.7,8 From what I've read, any Quaker who married a non-Quaker was dismissed from the church; a marriage "out of unity" referred to this situation, which required a lengthy process of "making amends" to avoid dismissal. This indicates to me that both parties would have to be Quaker to be married in a Quaker church; yet I have not been able to confirm that either John or Nancy was a Quaker.9

John died in 1837 in Marshall County, Virginia.5 John's body was interred in the Harris Family Cemetery, Fork Ridge Road, Glen Easton, Marshall County, (West) Virginia; his name appears on the gravestone as "John Harris." The inscription reads, "Drummer, 11 Virg Regt, Revolutionary War."4

According to the date on his military marker, John would have died in 1851 - but as noted previously, this would seem to be incorrect as his will was probated in 1837. Additionally, his wife appears in the 1850 U.S. Census living in the family of their son, Benjamin - a likely indication that she was a widow at that time.4

Click on camera icon(s) to view photo of military marker. Use your browser's back button to return here.4

Census Records

YearLocationEnumeration info as recorded
1820Ohio County, VirginiaJohn Harris, head of a family of 12 (9 males, 3 females), believed to be a male age "45 & over." Presumed to be one of five persons engaged in agriculture
(Official Census Date: 07 August 1820)10
1830Ohio County, VirginiaJohn Harris Senr., head of a family of 11 (8 males, 3 females), believed to be the male age "60 and under 70"
(Official Census Date: 01 June 1830)11

Deceased Children of John Harris and Nancy Agnes Binnegar:

Family Line(s):
Harris Index
Last Edited Date=30 Apr 2016


  1. [S546] Revolutionary War Service Records, jacket envelope and abstract cards, electronic image electronic image by NARA, online
  2. [S65] Frances (Terrill) Bonar, "John Franklin Harris Sr.-Nancy Binnegar family group sheet," This family group sheet (FGS) lists sources for information, but does not tie information to its specific source.
  3. [S1138] Uriah Harris household, 1900 U.S. Census, Marshall County, West Virginia, Cameron District, Enumeration District 67, sheet 12A, National Archives micropublication T623_1765.
  4. [S363] Digital photograph of John Harris gravestone in Harris family plot (Fork Ridge, Marshall County, WV); photo taken by Jo Ellen Dalton, 05 June 2004.
  5. [S62] "The Harris Family," Clarence S. Harris,.
  6. [S63] Certificate, John Harris and Nancy Binnegar marriage of 20 August 1801, Frederick County, Virginia.
  7. [S240] Virginia Marriages, 1740-1850, online (Provo, Utah: Inc.).
  8. [S23] Marshall County Historical Society, compiler, History of Marshall County West Virginia, 1984, "John Harris Family" submitted by Celesta Ann Bonar Ebersole, p. 152.
  9. [S1205] Quaker Marriage, "Woodward Genealogy," online…, downloaded 10 June 2011.
  10. [S2162] John Harris household, 1820 U.S. Census, Ohio County, Virginia, page 19 stamped, National Archives micropublication M33_140.
  11. [S333] John Harris Senr. household, 1830 U.S. Census, Ohio County, Virginia, Western District, page 219, National Archives micropublication M19_198.
  12. [S1517] Benjamin Harris, Marshall County Register of Deaths, electronic image by West Virginia Archives & History, online, file 4132553_00073.jpg.