Name: Thomas HARRIS
Prefix: Capt. 1
Birth: ABT 1585 in Possibly Buckingham, England
Death: ABT 1656 in Henrico Co., Virginia
Note: 2 2 2|
Thomas HARRIS, later known as Captain, has been written about in many genealogy histories, much of his history speculation. Recent data proves he is not the son of Sir William HARRIS of Cricksea, Essex, as has been stated in the LIGON Family books and repeated online.
Thomas HARRIS, son of Francis, christened 21 May 1580, St. Mary, Aylesbury, Buckingham (same parish as Adria HOARE).
Thomas, son of Tho. HARRICE, 19 Dec 1585 at Great Waltham, Essex (C043191)
Thomas, son of Thomas HARRIS, bap 21 Mar 1581 - and Alice LUCAS (m. 21 May 1581), Cheshunt, Hertford (M072252)
What is known: Thomas HARRIS emigrated to Virginia from England in “May” 1611 on the ship Prosperous, and was presumably one of the group of men sailing with Sir Thomas DALE to ‘Henricus’ (Henrico) in Sep 1611 to establish a settlement.
He received a grant of 100 acres at Neck of Land, 18 Nov 1618, and acquired another 400 acres by inheritance from Anne (possibly HARRIS) GURGANEY much later. He was settled by 1623/4 with his wife at Neck of Land, Charles City. The Muster of 1624/5 listed him as age 38 yrs., his wife Adrea age 23 yrs (’who came in the Marmaduke, Nov 1621), and Ann WOODLASE (sic WOODLIEF), “their kinswoman aged 7”.
After settling in Henrico Co, Virginia, he was a member of the House of Burgesses in 1623, 1639, and 1646. His first wife, named in a deed for 820 acres in Henrico Co., in 1628, was Audrey Hoare. Thomas married for a second time around 1635 to Joanne. Joanne was named as the wife of Thomas Harris in a deed for 750 acres in Henrico Co, Virginia, dated 11 Nov. 1635. There is uncertainty of the last name of Joanne. She was the widow of VINCENT.
[Edward Gurgaynie was from Long Crendon (fact). He did not have to be old enough to be the father of Thomas Harris's wife since he really wasn't. As shown by existing parish records, he was basically only four years older than Thomas Harris. If Thomas Harris was from Aylesbury as we now think, then most likely Anne Gurgaynie left Thomas Harris the property because she was directly related to him, such as being his sister or cousin. This is what we have to now prove. It's still just speculation until we prove it by finding a real record somewhere.]
However, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF EMIGRANTS 1607-1660, by Peter Wilson Coldham, Genealogical Publishing, 1987 says on p. 54: Living in Neck of the Land, Corporation of Charles City, on Jan. 24, 1625, was Thomas Harris, 38, who came in the Prosperous in May _____, wife Adria, 23, who came on the Marmaduke in Nov. 1621.
11 Jan 1623: Richard TAYLOR, William VINCENT and George GRIMES agreed that the lands they had cleared at the Neck of Land should be divided between Thomas HARRIS ‘and such others as were then to plant on ye said land’.
By Feb 1624 George GRIMES had died.
Picture of the ‘village’ at Neck of Land.
In January i627 Richard Taylor complained in court at Jamestown that he 'susteine[d] much wronge from Thomas Harris and others that plant[ed] on his divident'. Summoned by warrant, Harris and the others produced a deed whereby four years earlier Taylor, with William Vincent and the late George Grimes, had agreed to share their cleared lands with the defendants. Judgement was therefore given for Harris and the other new-comers, and Taylor was ordered to reimburse the defendants their costs.
Capt. Thomas HARRIS was named in some other disputes - one brought by his future wife, Joane VINCENT, then still the wife of William VINCENT. Joan accused Thomas HARRIS of being free with the women in the village.
March 24, 2002
Three recent discoveries about Capt. Thomas Harris have suggested a possible pattern that I felt needed to be investigated in more depth:
1. Parish records show that Edward Gurgaynie, whose property Capt. Thomas Harris inherited, was born in Long Crendon, Buckingham, seven miles from Aylesbury.
2. We now feel that the first wife of Capt. Thomas Harris was Audrey Hoare, who was christened at St. Mary, Aylesbury, Buckingham in 1604 and arrived on the Marmaduke in 1621.
3. The Muster of 1624 shows that John Woodlief was a kinsman of Capt. Thomas Harris. John Woodlief was born in Dinton, Buckingham, just two miles from Aylesbury.
How important is this newfound Aylesbury connection? Playing a hunch, I decided to try an exercise to see if there were any other connections to Aylesbury. My hunch has paid off in a very big way, much more than I could have ever imagined.
I examined the list for "Neck of Land" on the Muster of 1624, which, for most of the names, lists the ages, year of entry to Virginia, and the ship on which they came. "Neck of Land" is today known as Curles Neck. The names appear on the list in the same order they were located along the river beginning at Four Mile Creek and sweeping downstream almost to the Shirley Hundred settlement, a total distance along the great bend of the river of about five miles. Using the ages listed on the Muster in 1624, I searched the IGI for parish christening records that would match up. Following is the very surprising results. ALL of the towns listed in ALL CAPS are within 7 MILES OF AYLESBURY. (I have added Edward Gurgaynie in the proper location, although he had died by 1619 and was not on the original list.)
THE LIST (in order):
1. Luke Boyse - 44 - 1619 - (appears to be from Eythorne, Kent).
2. Josuah Chard - 36 - 1607 - unidentified.
3. JOHN DODDS - 36 - 1607 - CHESHAM.
4. William Vincent - 39 - 1610 - unidentified.
5. Thomas Harris - 38 - 1610 - unidentified.
6. EDWARD GURGAYNIE - (would have been 42) - 1608 - LONG CRENDON.
7. JOHN PRICE - 40 - 1610 - STOKE HAMMOND.
8. Hugh Hilton - 36 - 1619 - unidentified.
9. RICHARD TAYLOR - 50 - 1608 - CHESHAM.
10. Thomas Oage - 40 - 1610 - unidentified.
11. ROBERT GREENLEAFE (Greene in 1623) - 43 - 1610 - ASTON ABBOTS.
12. Henry Coltman - 30 - 1610 - unidentified.
13. Hugh Price - 35 - 1618 - unidentified.
14. Thomas Farmer - 30 - 1616 - unidentified.
15. THOMAS SHEPPEY - 22 - 1620 - AYLESBURY.
16. Alexander Bradway - 31 - 1620 - unidentified.
17. WILLIAM SHARPE - 40 - 1610 - STONE.
18. RICHARD BIGGS - 41 - 1610 - STOKE HAMMOND.
19. WILLIAM BAYLEYS - 41 - 1610 - AYLESBURY.
Of these 19 men who had settled at Curles Neck, ten can be readily identified. Nine of those may have come from the Aylesbury area. Only one (Luke Boyse) appears to have come from somewhere else. Of the nine, all but one (Thomas Sheppey) were older than age 30 and came to Virginia by 1610 or before. Of the nine who cannot be identified, five of them also fit the same criteria of being over age 30 and in Virginia by 1610, including William Vincent and our very own Thomas Harris. Also, nine of the 19 came in the year 1610 on the various ships that came over with Sir Thomas Dale to settle at Henricus, a few miles up river from Curles Neck, again including William Vincent and Thomas Harris. In fact, William Bayleys of Aylesbury came over on the Prosperous with Thomas Harris. Of the nine who came with Dale in 1610, five can be identified, and all five appear to be from the Aylesbury area.
Considering the results of the above findings, I decided to take it a step farther. I went back to the Muster of a year earlier in 1623, the famous one that lists those killed in the 1622 Indian massacre. I found Thomas Harwood of Ivinghoe, Buckingham living at Curles Neck in 1623 but apparently gone by 1624. I also found William Clements listed as killed in the massacre. He was from Hoggeston, Buckingham. Both towns are just outside of Aylesbury. Thomas Harwood would have been age 40 in 1624, and William Clements would have been age 48.
Thomas Sheppey, the one Aylesbury name on the 1624 list who was under age 30 and came after 1610, led to another interesting connection. Thomas Sheppey came over in 1620 on the Supply. This was the ship, led by John Woodlief of Aylesbury, kinsman to Thomas Harris, that brought the group of colonists over to establish Berkeley Hundred, the same group credited with observing the first Thanksgiving. Checking that list, sure enough, I found at least five other names that appeared to be from the Aylesbury area, and, as if to emphasize the finding, they were all grouped together with Thomas Sheppey on the original list of names.
What conclusions to draw from all of this?
Well, it is certainly much more than a coincidence. Something was going on here. I would suspect that there was some group, organization, movement, or whatever operating in the Aylesbury area from which these men were recruited to come to Virginia. They came together and they settled here together. At this point, I would predict we would find, could we identify all of them, that the nine men who came with Sir Thomas Dale in 1610 all came from the Aylesbury area, and this, of course, would include Thomas Harris.
Aylesbury is the central town in a very distinct Valley in the Chiltern Hills to the northwest of London. The Valley is formed by the River Thame, a branch of the Thames. All of the villages identified stretch along the banks of the river from Long Crendon to Stoke Hammond, a total distance of no more than 15 miles. Aylesbury is on the river about halfway between these two villages.
Whatever group was operating in Aylesbury in 1610 was still there ten years later, as evidenced by John Woodlief, Thomas Sheppey, and the other Aylesbury natives in the Berkeley Hundred group. In 1624, after the failure of Berkeley Hundred, John Woodlief returned to England for a time, leaving his 7 year old daughter with his kinsman, Thomas Harris. Likewise, Thomas Sheppey chose not to go back like many of the Berkeley Hundred group, but instead went to settle among his fellow Aylesbury acquaintances at Curles Neck.
This leads to another interesting prediction. Going back to the total list of the 19 men at Curles Neck, we find 13 wives with full information about when they arrived. Nine of them came in the years 1620 to 1623. Most of them were in their mid twenties in 1624 while the husbands were around 40. Do these not suggest the "young maidens" sent over here to marry the colonists. The only one we can identify is Audrey Hoare, the first wife of Thomas Harris, and, of course, she is from Aylesbury. If we can determine some maiden names among the rest, I would predict we would find that they too are from the Aylesbury area. Whatever caused the group in 1610 to come over with Dale, and then caused the similar group in 1620 to come over with Woodlief, was probably at work sending over Aylesbury brides for its men in Virginia.
This also leads us closer to understanding the relationship with Sir Thomas Dale. Berkeley Hundred was sponsored by a group of investors, with the lead investor being Sir William Throckmorten, the brother of Lady Elizabeth Dale, wife of Sir Thomas Dale. We can now see that there was a connection between the two groups of colonists, with the Aylesbury linkage occurring both at Henricus and at Berkeley. Was the Throckmorten family or perhaps Lady Dale herself one of the central figures behind these early colonization attempts?
So far, I have been unsuccessful in identifying Thomas Harris in Aylesbury, but I have only attempted it through the parish records on IGI. For almost 100 years, Harris researchers have looked for him among the Essex Harrises. No one has every been able to come up with anything that didn't turn out to be incorrect. Now, apparently, we know why. There are a substantial number of Harris families in Aylesbury and the surrounding Buckingham villages in that time period, probably even more than in Essex. There are plenty of other records available that need to be checked. I feel it is only a matter of time before we locate something more substantial.
We know Thomas Harris inherited land from Anne Gurgaynie, the widow of his neighbor. After finally dismissing the idea of the fictitious daughter named Adria Gurgaynie, we could not explain why he received that inheritance. Perhaps now, there is a much better chance of discovering that Thomas Harris was directly related to Anne Gurgaynie (brother/sister perhaps). We also now have a better understanding of why Thomas Harris married the widow, Joane Vincent, as his second wife. Both William Vincent and Joane Vincent were likely to have been Aylesbury natives as well.
The non-alphabetized list for the 1624 Muster for the settlement at Neck of Land goes, in part, like this:
-- William Vincent, age 39, by the Mary & James (no date)
-- Joane, his wife, age 42
-- Thomas Harris, age 38, by the Prosperous, May 1611
-- Adria, his wife, age 23, by the Marmaduke, Nov 1621
-- Ann Woodlasse, their kinswoman, age 7
-- Elizabeth, a servant, age 15, by Margaret & John 1620
-- John Price, age 40, by Star (no date)
-- Ann, his wife, age 21, by Francis Bonaventure, Aug 1620
-- Mary, a child, 3 months
Does this order mean anything? It certainly does. An analysis of the land patent records in Cavaliers and Pioneers shows that the properties for William Vincent, Thomas Harris, and John Price stretched along the second curl of the James River from north to south in that same order. The area today is called Curles Neck and is the site of an archaeological project on the old Curles Plantation.
Joane Vincent, the wife of William Vincent is the ONLY person with the name of "Joane" in the 1624 muster list for the "Neck of Land" settlement.
Witness these abstracts of the following patents in Cavaliers and Pioneers Volume I:
Thomas Harris, 11 Nov 1635
Southward upon land of Edward Virgany (Gurgaynie).
Northward upon LAND OF Joane Harris, his wife.
West upon the river.
East into the woods.
This designates that his wife Joane had her own land and it was to the north and on the opposite side of Thomas Harris's property from that of Edward Gurgaynie who died before 1619. Thomas Harris already had possession of the Gurgaynie property. How did Joane Harris have her own land that was separate from the land of Thomas Harris?
Elizabeth Balhash, 2 May 1638
Within Four Mile Creek near Curles.
South by west upon land of William Vincent. (doesn't mean he was alive)
Granted 9 Dec 1636. (Notice the grant to Balhash had actually been made two years earlier.)
Four Mile Creek still has that name and empties into the river at the northern tip of the second curl.
Mathew Gough, 25 July 1639
West upon river.
South on land of Balhash.
100 acres part formerly granted to William Vincent, DECEASED.
Additional patents show that the land first granted to John Price is, at that point in time, in possession of Robert Hallom and is on the river to the southeast and adjacent to Thomas Harris.
My read from all of this:
William Vincent owned the land on the north side of the Thomas Harris property.
William Vincent was dead before 1635.
Audrey Harris, the 1st wife of Thomas Harris had also died sometime prior to 1635.
Thomas Harris remarried Joane Vincent, the widow of his adjacent neighbor William Vincent.
This produces the perfect match and explanation for the 1635 patent for Thomas Harris.
Once the idea is accepted that Capt. Thomas Harris secondly married Joane Vincent, then we have some answers to a few other questions that have plagued Harris researchers about Capt. Thomas Harris. If Joane Vincent was 42 in 1624, then she was born in 1582. By 1635 she was age 53 and Capt. Thomas Harris was age 49. I doubt if she was the mother of his son William Harris. Most likely the two children of Capt. Thomas Harris, Mary and William, were both by his first wife Audrey Hoare. We already know the "witchcraft trial" incident never happened so there is no reason place the death of Audrey Harris before 1626. She probably died much closer to 1635.
Additional research notes for Thomas HARRIS (the title of ‘Captain’ began to appear in patents about 1635):
Q: Did he serve in the English military before coming to Virginia? If so - he may have met several key players like Sir Thomas DALE in that capacity.
“It may help to recognize the military fraternity to which many of these men belonged. A number of the men of East London and Essex had served together under the Earl of Essex in campaigns in Ireland, the Low Countries and Spain during the 1580/1590s. Most had also attended Gray's Inn together. Among this group was: Wingfield, Percy, West, Gates, Dale, Yeardley, Radcliff and Argall, all of the first Governors of the Virginia Company.
Also Sir Thomas Smyth, Sir Edwin Sandys, Treasurers of the Virginia Company. Captain Rowland Coytemore. Smyth, Gates and West were all knighted together at Cadiz.
West, Gates, Dale and Yeardley all served in the same company in Ireland.
Smyth was overseer for Sir Thomas Dale's will. These men formed the core of the group that was responsible for the colonization of Virginia and the management of the Virginia Company.” (research by Phil Harris, Richmond, VA)
Adria (“Adry” or Audrey) HOARE b: BEF 28 AUG 1604 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England
- Mary HARRIS b: ABT 1625 in Henrico Co., Virginia
- William HARRIS b: 1629 in Henrico Co., Virginia
Joane b: ABT 1584 in England
- Type: Will
Text: Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1618
Transcribed by: Vance C. Harris
In the name of God: Amen: I Sir William Herris als. Harris of Crixsey in the countie of Essex Knight beinge thanks be to God at the making here of in good and perfect memorie do revoke all other wills by me formerlie made of contrieved bearing Date before this present day beinge the one and twentie day of December in the yeare of our lord according to the computation of the church of England one thousand six hundred and fiveteene In the which I recommend my spirtt unto the tuition of Jesus Christ my only savior and redeemer: and my body to be bured at the discretion of my Executors provided that it be without Pompe of heraldry or greater ceromonie cost but only with the accompaneiage of some of my noow frends which shall happen to be at hand at the tyme of my death And as for the desposinge of my worldlie estate: First my will and mind is that my executor hereafter named shall with all my debtes due unto me at the tyme of my death and all my money plate household stuff and implementes whatsoever whatsoever And with all the Cleere Rentes and profits comeinge of my reserved estate of landes, woodes, and leases which shall come to my Executor immediately after my death At the feastes of the birth of our Lord, the Annunciation of our Blessed lady St. Mary the Virgin, the Nativitie of St. John the Baptist or the feaste of St. Micheal the Archangall or at which of the said feasts shall first happen next after my decease pay these quarterlie portions following to and for the maytanance of my younger children. First to my sonne William Sixteene Poundes Thirteene Shillinges Four pence. To my sonne Thomas Sixteene Poundes Thirteene Shillinges Four Pence. To my sonne John Sixteene Poundes Thirteene Shillinges Four Pence. To my daughter Frances Sixteene Poundes Thirteene Shillinges Four Pence. And to my daughter Elizabeth Sixteene Poundes Thirteene Shillinges Four Pence which sayed severall portions I will shall be likewise continued to be from and hence forth payed Quarterlye by mine Executor everie one of my said younger children at everie one of the said feast dayes then next followinge until my debts which I shall owe at the tyme of my death be fullie discharged and payed which I will be lessened and paied by my Executor with the over plus and remainder of my ssaid Debtes dewe to me my money plate household stuffe and implements aforesaid and with all the cleere rentes and profits of landes, woodes, and leases aforesaid which shall Quarterly arise at everie of the feastes aforesaid over and above the said quarterly portions formerlie appointed to be payd and further my will and meaninge is that after my said debtes be fullie discharged and payd in manner and forme aforesaid which I hope will be within one yeare after my decease that the said querterlie portions shall be still continued and paied to everie one of my said younger children in mannor and forme aforesaid until everie one of them shall be by mine Executor Satisfied and payed with the over plus and remainder of the said cleere rentes and profitts of my reserved estate of landes woodes, and leases aforesaid which shall quarterlie arise at everie of the feastes aforesaid over and above the said quarterly portions the severall somes of Fifteen Hundred Poundes apiece for their finall portions n mannor and form followinge vizt: The overplus and reemander of the first twoo quarters which shall arise over and above the said portions next after my debts be payed to be to my sonne William towardstowards the rayseinge of hise fynall portion of Fifteene Hundred Poundes and overpluse and remainder of the two quarters then next followinge be payd to my son Thomas towards the rayseinge of his fynall portion of fifteene hundred Poundes and the overplus and remainder of the twoo quarters there next followinge to be payd againe to my sonne William and as the overplus and remainder of everie two quarters stille followinge to be payd to my twoo sonnes William and Thomas interchangeabley as aforesaid until they and either of them shall be fullie payd their severall fynall portions of Fifteene Hundred Poundes apiece. And after my said twoo sonnes William and Thomas have fullie received their said fynall portions: Then I will the overplus and remainder aforesaid to shall be quarterlie payd at the feastes aforesaid to my sonne John till his fynall portion of Fiveteene Hundred Poundes be raysed and payd: And after my sonne John is paied his fynall portion aforesaid then I will the overplus and remaynder aforesaide shall be querterlie paied to my daughter Frances if shee be then married till her finall portion of Fiveteene Hundred Poundes be raysed and paide: And lastly after my daughter Francis is payd her said fyanll portion or that she be still unmarried where by her querterlie portion aforesaid be onelye continued unto her: Then I will the overplus and remainder aforesaid shall be quarterly paid as aforesaid to my daughter Elizabeth if she be then married till the fynall portion of Fiveteene Hundred Poundes be also raysed and paide provided nevertheless my will and meaningis that so longe as my daughters Francis or Elizabeth doe happen to live unmarried there shall be noe finall portions raysed nor paide unto them but only to have their quarterlie portions continued so longe as they or either of them live unmarried: But if they or either of them happen to marrye before any of my said Sonnes fynall portions be raysed or in the tyme that any of my said sonnes fynall portions be in rayseinge: That then the rayseinge and paieinge sonne and sonnes fynall portions shall cease to be deferred until the said fynall portion or portions of my said daughter or daughters spo mareinge be first raysed and payed in manner as is before sett downe for the rayseinge and payeing of final portions in this my will: And after my daughter or daughters fynall portion or portions at mareinge be raysed and payd: Then my sonnes fynall portions to proceede againe to be raysed and payd in mannor amd forme before mentioned till everie one of my said younger sonnes and daughters by fullie satisfied and payd the severall somes of Fiveteene Hundred Poundes: And further my will and meaninge is that as soone and when as the funall portion of Fiveteene Hundred Poundes to any one of my younger sonnes or daughters before given is fullie raysed and payd that then his or her querterlie pension before bequeathed shall be no longer continued but shall cease: And soe the severall quarterly portions of everie one of my said younger sonnes and daughters to cease and everie one of them shall have received their severall fynall portions of Fiveteene Hundred Poundes and not before. And furthermore yf yt shall happen that any of my said younger sonnes or daughters doe marry and die before his her or their fynall portion or portions be raysed and payd then my will and meaninge is that everie or anie one of my said younger sonnes or daughters soe being married shall have power to give and dispose of my will his her or their fynall portion or portions and that the fynall portion or portions of him her or them soe beinge married and dyeing as afore said shall be payd by myne Executor.accordinge as the same is formerlie appointed to be raised by this my will to such person and person and to such use and uses as any of my said younger sonnes and daughters so beinge married shall vefore their death give and dispose the same unto them I doe Ordaine and apointe Executor of this my will Sir Arthur Herris my eldest sonne and desire and nominate my overseers my sonne in lawe Sir Henry Mildway Knight my cosen Edward Waldegrave of Lamforde Esquire And my nephewe Thomas Fanshawe of Barkinge Esquire unto whome I will that Executor shall bestowe of each of them peece of plate of tenne poundes in valeue in Remembrence of my Love: And so in witness of this my contayneinge two shootes of paper I have unto either of them put my hand and published the same for my last will the said one and twentieth daye of December in the yeare above written. And as for my givifte to the poore and the rewarde of such of my servante as have taken paynes about my my Esecutor understand my mind in that behalfe.
Signed: William Herris
Witness to the signeinge sealinge and publishinge Honest Jerome Wright Thomas Herris William Pearson George King
- Text: Village Tensions in Early Virginia: Sex, Land, and Status at the Neck of Land in the 1620s Author(s): David R. Ransome Source: The Historical Journal, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Jun., 2000), pp. 365-381 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3021033 Accessed: 07/08/2010 15:37
Two of the most immediately noticeable facts about the village are that it consisted chiefly of married households, and yet included at the most only two teenagers. There were (if we include Henry Coltman) twelve husbands, twelve wives, three infants (all boys), a young girl of six, two other women - one of whom was perhaps a teenage servant,39 the other either a servant or a visitor. These twelve households included five male servants, one of whom was a teenage boy from aboard the Duty. In addition, there were certainly four, and perhaps five, bachelor households, the uncertainty arising from the fact that while William Clements was said to be one of them, a William Clements was one of those from the village who had died since the previous April.
Almost a year later the second census was taken.40 Numbers had grown, from forty to forty-four. There were still the same sixteen households (no mention of William Clements this time), but one of the bachelors, Joshua Chard, had taken a wife, and eight of the families now included children. Elizabeth Perkinson, it would seem, had moved from the Dods's household to the Harrises'.4" So much for the credit side. On the debit John Price's servant, Robert Turner, had left the village, apparently for the neighbouring Jordan's Journey; Nathaniel Reeve, presumed boatswain of the Southampton, had also gone, and so had Margaret Berman, of whom more later. Unlike most of the other plantations and settlements, but like the College land at Henrico, the Neck of Land reported no deaths, thus bearing out the accuracy of the anonymous critic of i623 who had said that in 'The Cities of Henrico & Charles ... the ayre [was] good and wholesome.'42 Thus the increase in population came not by immigration but by natural increase, and there were now at the Neck of Land thirteen husbands, thirteen wives, ten children (five boys and five girls), three bachelors, and five servants, one of them a teenage girl.
As one might expect in Virginia in the I 620s the thirteen husbands were of a certain age. None was less than 30 years old, the eldest was fifty. Their average age was 38 6 years, and the median age was 39.43 The three bachelors were 36, 30, and 22; the male servants 23, 22, 20, and i8; and the maidservant I5. As in England, and indeed in Europe, the social hierarchy was thus based on age, and service was a phase through which adolescents and young adults were expected to pass, before reaching independence and ultimately marriage. Of the thirteen wives two did not give their age;44 of those who did, the youngest was 2I, the oldest 42. The two oldest, Joan Vincent (42) and Jane Dods (40), were older than their husbands, William Vincent being 39 andJohn Dods 36. The median age of the wives was 25, and the average 27 8 years (or without the two most senior 248).4 The married households thus fall into one or other of three patterns: in two cases the wives were the older partner, by three or four years; in three more cases the pattern was exactly reversed, the husbands being the senior ;46 the other six husbands were anything from eleven to twenty-nine years older than their wives,47 and Thomas Oage [?Cage] and Luke Boyse may also have been much older than their wives. Thus most of the husbands belonged almost to a different generation: they would have remembered the years of the Spanish war, which were also years of dearth, whereas for the most part their wives were born in the calmer times that followed i 6oo.
According to Taylor's evidence, taken on 6 March I626, she said 'That there was Fowerteene women in the Church,77 And that seven of them were Thomas Harris his whoores. And ... That Thomas Harris made faste the doore and would have layne with a woman in the Plantacione against her will'. The summary in the clerk's court record does not indicate whether Taylor was appearing for the plaintiff or the defendant, but the fact that Taylor did not plead 'deafness' and was willing to repeatJoan Vincent's slanders suggests that he was not unhappy to report her words. A week later there was a hearing that cannot have been unconnected with Joan Vincent's: Thomas Harris and his wife came to court on i 3 March after receiving a summons procured by William Vincent. Vincent himself, however, failed to appear. The court therefore discharged the Harrises and ordered Vincent to pay not only them but a witness, John Chambers of Paspaheghs, thirty pounds of tobacco each for their costs and time.
- Text: "Adventurers of Purse and Person" Revised & Edited by Virginia Meyer
p.355 - talking about the Harris family in VA
"Thomas Harris came into possession of the Gurganey land by 2 May 1636 (PB 1 p.337) and repatented the 700 acres included in this tract in Henrico, 12 Jul 1637, "called by the name of 'Longfield', with swamp and marshes...southeast towards Bremoes devident...400 acres granted unto Edward Gurganey by order of the Court, 1 Oct 1617...and bequeathed by Ann Gurganey, widdowe of the said Edward, to Thomas Harris as by her last will dated 11 Feb 1619 [1619/20]" (PB1:p.438)
In a second renewal of the patent for 'Longfield', 25 Feb 1638/9, Harris claimed 100 acres in the name of his "first wife Adry Harris, being an Ancient Planter" (PB1:p.615)