Harrison ancestors migrate from South Carolina to Coffee County

Published 10:26 pm Friday, March 1, 2013

Another Harrison family descendant, Patricia (Foley) Gibson, has shared her Harrison lineage, which she compiled in her Foley Family History book. Her relation to Harrisons comes from a much earlier grandmother, Mary Harrison, who was married to Elijah Foley.

The earliest genealogy Patricia has of the Harrison lineage is of a William Harrison who was born circa 1700 in the State of Virginia. It is believe that he moved to Craven County, N.C., circa 1744, but no date or documentation is available at this time. The name of his wife is not known, and only the name of one son has been identified. James Harrison was born circa 1725 in Virginia and died in 1806 in Edgefield District, S.C.

James Harrison received his first land grant of 150 acres in South Carolina on May 10, 1773. The property was located on the Chinquapin Creek, and it was surrounded by unoccupied land. James was the first one to settle in that immediate area in 1773. He most likely named the waterway for the one in Craven County, N.C., where he had previously resided. He eventually owned a plantation in Edgefield County, S.C., which is located between the present day villages of Monetta and Batesville in Saluda County. His property became a part of Saluda County in 1895.

James was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and was granted land for his military service. At some point he was married to a young lady named Ann, but her maiden name is not known. They had at least the following three children: William Henry, b. 1758, d. ? in Alabama; Mary Jaminy; and Moses. The Mary Jaminy name is shown as such in James Harrison’s will. Some have thought the Jaminy might have been a married name, but it is not known.

William Henry Harrison was born in North Carolina before the family moved to South Carolina. He also served in the Revolutionary War, so he was most likely given a land grant as well. By 1830, he was residing in Dale County, Ala., in an area that became part of Coffee County some years later. His home was located near the current Harrison Cemetery, which is just outside of Kinston. He was between 70 and 80 years of age at that time, and his children lived in the same community.

William Henry Harrison was married in Wilkerson County, Ga., to Martha, whose maiden name is believed to be Martha Louise Holley (1760-1866). This Martha was born in Edgefield County, S.C. and died in Kinston, Ala. They had at least the following three children: John, b. ca 1800, m. Martha Patsy Lindsey; William “Grancer,” b. ca 1789, d. 1860, m. Nancy Justice (1795-1867); and Thomas.

The oldest son, John Henry Harrison was born circa 1800 in Montgomery County, Ga., but he later moved to Coffee County, Ala. He was married to Martha Patsy Lindsey who was also born in 1805 in Georgia. Their first child was born in that state, but the remaining ones were born after the move to Alabama, which would have been circa 1826. John earned his living through farming, and his last residence was in Elba, Ala. He and Martha Patsy reared the following children: James, b. ca 1825, d. 1860, m. Elizabeth Reynolds (1826-1860); Mary, b. ca 1827, d. 1914, m. Elijah Foley (ca 1828-1864); Martha, b. ca 1833; Malissa, b. ca 1834; John, b. 1837, d. 1910, m. Martha Jane Underwood (1834-1928); Lousisia. b. ca 1840; Narcissa, b. ca 1840; and Julia Ann, b. ca 1843.

In the 1870 census, John Harrison was listed as being 73 years of age, and he had the following in his household: Sexton L. Harrison, 25; and children: Elizabeth, 8; William, 4; and Narcissa, 2. His son John was residing near him.

From John’s first set of children, a daughter, Mary Harrison, was married in Coffee County before 1855 to Elijah Foley, son of Needham and Charity (Strickland) Foley who was a native of Georgia. In November 1862, Needham left his wife, Mary, with three small children and expecting a fourth when he enlisted in the Confederate States Army. Tragically, he died during his service in 1864 and left her a young widow with four young children. He died in Pollard, Escambia County, Ala. and was buried in that area at a site that is not known. Mary most likely continued to reside in Coffee County and never remarried.

Mary and Elijah Foley had the following four children before his early death: John S., b. 1855, d. 1917, m. 1877 Sarah Elizabeth Grimes; William Andrew, b. 1857, d. 1927, m.1880 Dicey Adline “Addie” Dannelley (1859-1911); Elijah Pink, b. 1860, d. 1926, m. Amanda Matilda Weaver (1881-1963); and Charity Adeline, b. 1863, d. 1951, m. 1881 Joshua English Grimes (1857-1932).

The oldest son, John S. Harrison, who is remembered for having a red beard, homesteaded land in Coffee County in 1885. His wife, Sarah Elizabeth Grimes, was the daughter of John William and Julie (Garrett) Grimes, who were also the parents of John S.’s brother-in-law, Joshua English Grimes. John S. and Sarah Elizabeth are both buried in the Cool Springs Cemetery in Opp, Ala.

The second son, William Andrew Foley, also homesteaded land in Coffee County in 1885, the same year as his brother. He continued to add land to his property holdings in later years. William Andrew is remembered as being a tall and strong man who had a strong love for his family. After Addie’s death in 1911, he never remarried. At their deaths, they were both buried in the Danley’ Crossroads Cemetery in Coffee County.

The third son, Elijah Pink Foley, was married to Amanda Matilda Weaver whose parents have not been identified. Amanda was about 21 years younger than Elijah, so she outlived him by about 37 years. At their deaths, both were buried in the New Ebenezer Baptist Church Cemetery, which is located in the Curtis community of Coffee County.

The last child and only daughter, Charity Adeline Foley, was married in 1881 to Joshua English Grimes, the son of John William and Julie (Garrett) Grimes. Charity, being the only girl with three older brothers, was affectionately called “Sis.” She was only 11 months old when her father died in 1964, and he was buried in the Pollard community of Escambia County, Ala. At her death, Charity was buried in the Opp city Cemetery, Opp, Ala.

The review of the Harrison family will be continued in next week’s column. The source for today’s writing was primarily the family records of Patricia (Foley) Gibson, which she has compiled into a book entitled Foley Family History.

Anyone who might have any corrections to the above genealogy or additional data on the Harrison family is requested to contact Curtis Thomasson at 20357 Blake Pruitt Road, Andalusia, AL 36420; 334-222-6467.


Historical Meeting:

The Covington Rifles Camp of the S.C.V. will be meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, in the Dixon Memorial Room of the Andalusia Public Library.