Richard Dicken wasn't considered trustworthy by his father in law. Apparently, he had his reasons.
Catharine Walton Harris was the wife of Nathan Harris I, and my 7th great-grandmother. She outlived her husband by nearly 20 years, to about age 90. Like him, she took a very personal interest in her estate, and like him, she had no compunction about selling her "negroes," including several children. But, interestingly, she made … Continue reading Will of Catharine Walton Harris of Greensville County, Virginia, 23 April 1810
Nathan Harris I was my 7th great-grandfather. He was born about 1712 and died about 1793 in Greensville County, Virginia. Like his son, Nathan II, he was very specific in his wishes. The will does not list all of his children: he had three additional children that have been documented in various sources, for a … Continue reading Will of Nathan Harris of Greensville County, Virginia, 13 April 1793
I've recently uncovered several wills relating to the Harris family, Thomas Bembry's in-laws. They seem to have been a pretty hard-nosed lot, being very specific about property in their wills and selling enslaved people without thinking twice about it. I had known for some time that the second Nathan Harris' will had resulted in a … Continue reading Will of Nathan Harris of Edgecombe County, North Carolina, 30 November 1809
There are two topics that are guaranteed to come up in just about ongoing discussion of American family history research: slavery and slave ownership. Genealogy television shows frequently explore the subject: of course you would expect to see that on Henry Louis Gates' excellent African-American Lives. But, it's remarkable how many celebrities (not all Southern) … Continue reading Researching Slave-Holding Ancestors
The second Nathan Harris, son of the first Nathan, and my 6th great-grandfather, also made a will. However, I have not yet been able to find it! There is a probate file for Nathan online, however, because of family disputes about the estate. The probate file includes an extract from the original will. I wrote … Continue reading Extract from Nathan Harris II Will, 1820
Last week I visited the Daughters of the American Revolution genealogy library here in Washington, DC, and hit the motherlode. My focus for the afternoon was to find all the Bembry references I could locate in the North Carolina counties that I knew were associated with the family. So, I went through all the indexes for … Continue reading Bembry Blitz Pays Off: Thomas Bembry’s Wife Now Has a Name!