Mingay History Web Pages (MHWP)




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"In addition to the James River and Prince William lines there was a "Skimino" HARRISON family that had long been settled in VA, when the valley of VA was opened for settlement. This line was founded by RICHARD HARRISON (1600-1664) born in St. Nicholas Parish, in the town of Colchester, county of Essex, England, who emigrated to VA. By 1634 when he was found paying tithes in respect to a patent of land on Queens Creek, in Skimino Hundred, Middletown, later Burton (sic) Parish, York Co. His close kinsman, Dr. JEREMY HARRISON settled near him. William married MARY HUBBARD, the daughter of MATTHEW HUBBARD, a renowned planter who was affiliated with NICHOLAS COMINS and his family, and had among others, William II (1675-1727) who married ANNE RADLIFFE. William II in turn had a son William III (1705-1771) who married MARGARET MAUPIN and had a son William IV, embraced his wife's faith and in 1817 sold his Queen's Creek property and removed (via Winchester, the Cumberland Road, Wheeling etc.) to near Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, a VA settlement of Quakers.

His eldest son SAMUEL JORDAN HARRISON (1771-1846) settled in Lynchburg, VA. William, another son of William IV, followed his brother to Lynchburg. See Aris Sonis Fosisque, "The Harrisons of Skimino" by FAIRFAX HARRISON. 4-84 "DR. JEREMIAH (JEREMY) HARRISON and his brother JOHN, sons of SYDNEY HARRISON of St. Runwalds Parish, Colchester, England." Extract from COLONIAL GRANVILLE COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE "Loose Leaves from "THE LOST TRIBES OF NORTH CAROLINA," Compiled and Edited by WORTH S. RAY., pp. 252- "FROM "THE SKIMINO HARRISONS" (p.5). We know that RICHARD HARRISON (1620-1664) (sic), the immigrant, was born in St. Nicholas Parish in the town of Colchester, Essex, but when and under what circumstances he came to Virginia we do not know. The earliest record of him in Virginia is of his paying tithes in 1634 in respect of a patent of land on Queen's Creek, in Middletown (afterwards Bruton) Parish, York County. His plantation lay within the limits of Skimino Hundred and for nearly two hundred years the Skimino spelled home to his family. His estate shows he was a man of substance, and in addition to himself and his wife ELIZABETH BESOUTH he brought into the Colony eight persons.)

CAPT. THOMAS HARRISON was another one of the name who settled on Queen's Creek in York County. He is supposed to have been a seaman and Master of the ship HONOUR which belonged to Col. William Pryor, a member of the Court of York County and who was otherwise prominent. On Jan 11, 1641/2 he bought 200 acres in the parish and county of York from Capt. William Brocas and Daniel Dickinson for 4000 pounds of tobacco--he and Capt. Thomas Harwood and Richard Bennett, Esq. On Jan 25, 1646. Col Pryor, in his will, also mentions his brother in law, Jasper Clayton and his daughters Margaret and Mary Prior, leaving to the former "my whole part of the ship HONOUR, command by Capt. Thomas Harrison.

The following interesting item is taken from WILLIAM AND MARY MAGAZINE, Vol. 23: "Whereas,FRANCIS WHEELER, of London, Merchant, bound for Virginia, on the ship HONOUR with CAPT. THOMAS HARRISON, he (Francis Wheeler) being servant (in the service) of Mr. John White, of London, Grocer, WHEELER & WHITE, appoint Anthony Stanford, faster for William Allen, a merchant, agent to trade goods in the event Wheeler should die." Date, Sept. 16, 1640." Another Item dated Jan 30, 1646: "Tobacco to be delivered to William Allen, merchant in London by Capt. William Brocas, Esq. And wife Mary, to THOMAS HARRISON, Master of the ship HONOUR." FRANCIS WHEELER married ELEANOR after the death of NICHOLAS COMINS) and became the step-father of ELIZABETH COMINS the wife of ROBERT HARRISON; and Capt. William Brogas sold lands in York County to CAPT. THOMAS HARRISON. Col ROBERT BURTON, of Granville County, whose mother was TABITHA MINGE, was the grandson of MARY HUNT who married ROBERT MINGE son of JAMES MINGE and AMADEA HARRISON. (Daughter of ROBERT HARRISON and ELIZABETH COMINS), and after the death of ROBERT MINGE, she married WILLIAM ALLEN, whose sister JUDITH ALLEN married NOEL HUNT BURTON, grandfather of Col. Robert. Considering the above, we have listed the following Harrisons who settled on Queen's Creek in York County:

1. Richard Harrison (1630)

2. John Harrison (1645)

3. Jeremy Harrison (1645)

4. Robert Harrison (1650)

5. Nicholas Harrison, N.D. (1652)

6. Capt. Thomas Harrison

In listing the above Harrisons we have given the dates where they are shown on the records, though it is patent that some of them were there much earlier. And we have omitted to the mention of two other Harrisons who may have been residing in the same locality…Harmon Harrison…and…Burr Harrison. That RICHARD and ROBERT HARRISON were brothers is almost conclusively proven by the fact that ROBERT HARRISON was one of supervisors of RICHARD HARRISON'S will in 1664, with RICHARD'S brother- in- law JAMES BESOUTH, and the further fact that when ROBERT HARRISON, son of Robert died his legatees were his "loving friend Richard Kendall and his heirs." This Richard Kendall was the son of John Kendall and Anne Harrison, the daughter of Richard. . . These brothers represent only a piece of the family. Sons and daughters may have been born before Richard and between him and Robert. (sic) Who were these missing sons and daughters, and who were the parents? Without actual proof the evidence is convincingly strong that they were the sons of Robert, the brother of Jeffrey Harrison and of Harmon Harrison, and of Mrs. Ann (Harrison) Reynold, the wife of William Reynolds of Queen's Creek. So after familiarizing himself {Francis Burton Harrison} with the extant records of all the Harrisons in Virginia at this point, and their numerous activities, he concludes that: Robert Harrison and his wife Mary had children: (1) George Harrison "Mariner," d. 1634 {This is debatable.} (2) Robert Harrison (1613-1668) (3) Samuel Harrison (4) Richard Harrison (5) Martha Harrison (1) George Harrison made his will Nov. 17, 1630, in which he mentions his brother Richard Harrison. Other legatees were Gerald Pinson, Robert Colson, Peter Holloway and William Allison. The will shows he had been in the service of the EAST INDIA COMPANY. (2) Robert Harrison (see pages 253-254). (3) Samuel Harrison. I have found no record of Samuel Harrison, but have a record of another Samuel, who I am sure must have been his son. He died in Gloucester Co, VA, in Feb. 1703-4 without leaving a will. His wife was Sarah Hunt, the daughter of William Hunt who died in Gloucester in 1688.

Robert Minge, a grandson of Robert Harrison (1613-1668) married Mary Hunt, daughter of a William Hunt, probable son of this William. The will of Thomas Pinson (of Gloucester) in 1697, mentions two sons of Samuel Harrison: William Harrison and Samuel Harrison, Jr. In 1744 two grandchildren of Samuel Harrison and his wife Sarah Hunt were Joseph and Priscilla Harrison. (4) Richard Harrison (1620-1664) (sic) (1) Martha Harrison. Mentioned in the will of her uncle, William Harrison in 1634. No further record. Capt. Thomas Harrison of the ship HONOUR, owned by Col. William Pryor, was obviously a very close kinsman of the children of Robert Harrison and his wife Mary named in the above list. I am inclined to the view that he was a cousin of Robert, Jeffrey and Harmon Harrison and that he was also the brother of Ellener Harrison. In fact, in the abstract of Col. Pryor's will in York County, he is called "brother in law" but Gen. Francis Burton Harrison who has gone to much trouble to investigate the matter declares that in the English Version of the will, which he examined, it is revealed that this is a mistake, due to a misplaced comma. Capt. Thomas Harrison's dates are 1590-1678, which would make him a contemporary of Mrs. Pryor and the parents of Robert and Richard Harrison. I regret very much my inability to give a list of his children. It appears that he died leaving a will in which their names are mentioned. Among them was a John Harrison, who died before his father. This John Harrison left a son John, who was Master of a vessel riding in James River on May 15, 1706, and whose name appears on a petition presented to the council by a number of other seamen for some purpose. (Executive Journals of Virginia) A later Capt. Thomas Harrison who patented lands in Surry County with one John Scott on Atchamowsock Swamp falling into the Nottoway River, whom I have not positively identified at this writing, may have been a grandson also. He was apparently one of the Prince George and Brunswick County Harrison ancestors, his daughter Ann Harrison having married one of the Hamblins from York County. Robert Harrison (1613-1668) was aged 45 years in 1648. His wife was Elizabeth Comins (or Cummings as I find it on the York records), the daughter of Nicholas Comins and his wife Eleanor, who after his death married Francis Wheeler. From all accounts it appears that this was the elder Francis Wheeler, father of another Francis Wheeler, a London Merchant. Elizabeth Comins who married Robert Harrison about 1650 had one brother Nicholas Comins, whose wife was named Elizabeth. According to Francis Burton Harrison, Robert Harrison and his wife Elizabeth Comins had the following children: (1) Nicholas Harrison (1652-1697) n.m. (2) Robert Harrison m. Sarah (3) James Harrison (1661-1695) died s. p. (4) Amadea Harrison (1650-17--) m. James Minge ( SPELLED Menzies in Scotland) (5) Frances Harrison m.

Thomas Shands According to Hotten's "The Original Lists of Persons of Quality. . . ," p. 234, Nicholas Comins (Comon) and his wife Ellen came to America in 1622. On 1 Sept 1639, he acquired 200 acres of land in Charles City Co. He was born about 1602 in London, England, and died 24 Apr 1656 in York County, VA. (Source: Fleets Abstracts) Will was dated 12 Sept 1655. Names son Nicholas who married Elizabeth Hooper; daughter, Elizabeth Harrison, wife of Robert Harrison and Elizabeth's three children (not specifically named). Executrix: wife Ellen (sic). Wife Ellen (Eleanor) Elison. She died 1660 in Hampton Parish, York Co., VA. They had two children: Nicholas Jr. And Elizabeth. Nicholas (the elder) may have had a brother Edward Comins, born about 1607 in London, England. He possibly married an Elizabeth_______. Father of Nicholas was a William Cummye. The following additional information comes from a different source and adds a daughter Elizabeth Harrison to the above list, in which purports to be the will of Robert Harrison. It gives no further information about either Nicholas or James Harrison, but does give the following: (2) Robert Harrison was a builder and erected the brick prison or jail in Yorktown and perhaps the Custom House located there. (4) Amadea Harrison was mentioned as the grandchild of Mrs. Eleanor Wheeler in her will in 1660, together with her son Nicholas Comins, and Amadea Harrison, after having been previously married once or twice, finally married James Minge, the Clerk of Charles City County, Virginia, and they were the parents of a Robert Minge, who married Mary Hunt, daughter of William Hunt and Tabitha Minge. This last marriage produced Tabitha Minge, who married Hutchins Burton, who was the father of Col. Robert Burton, of Granville County, North Carolina. Hutchins Burton moved from Virginia to Granville County, where he had a tragic ending. (5) Frances Harrison married Thomas Shands, the father of William, who patented lands in Surry, VA, in 1722 and married Nazareth Roberts {RoBards}, daughter of John Roberts (sic), of Surry County, who left a will in 1740. They had one son named William Shands. This William died leaving a will in Surry, County, VA, in 1759, in which is named sons Thomas, John and William Shands, and three daughters whose Christian names are omitted by who married respectively, one a man named Stuart {William}, another a Nathaniel Mitchell, and another a certain Christopher Golightly."


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