Name: Thomas HARRIS
Birth: ABT 1585 in Possibly Buckingham, England
Death: ABT 1656 in Henrico Co., Virginia
Thomas HARRIS, later known as Captain, has been written about in many genealogy histories, much of his history
Note: Some christenings from the right time:
Note: Thomas HARRIS, son of Francis, christened 21 May 1580, St. Mary, Aylesbury, Buckingham (same parish as Adria HOARE).
Note: Thomas, son of Tho. HARRICE, 19 Dec 1585 at Great Waltham, Essex (C043191)
Note: Thomas, son of Thomas HARRIS, bap 21 Mar 1581 - and Alice LUCAS (m. 21 May 1581), Cheshunt, Hertford (M072252)
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.
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
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 William 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
Note: By Feb 1624 George GRIMES had died.
Note: Picture of the ?village? at Neck of Land.
Land should be divided between Thomas HARRIS ?and such others as were then to plant on ye said 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
Note: March 24, 2002
wife of William VINCENT. Joan accused Thomas HARRIS of being free with the women in the village.
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
Note: THE LIST (in order):
Note: 1. Luke Boyse - 44 - 1619 - (appears to be from Eythorne, Kent).
Note: 2. Josuah Chard - 36 - 1607 - unidentified.
Note: 3. JOHN DODDS - 36 - 1607 - CHESHAM.
Note: 4. William Vincent - 39 - 1610 - unidentified.
Note: 5. Thomas Harris - 38 - 1610 - unidentified.
Note: 6. EDWARD GURGAYNIE - (would have been 42) - 1608 - LONG CRENDON.
Note: 7. JOHN PRICE - 40 - 1610 - STOKE HAMMOND.
Note: 8. Hugh Hilton - 36 - 1619 - unidentified.
Note: 9. RICHARD TAYLOR - 50 - 1608 - CHESHAM.
Note: 10. Thomas Oage - 40 - 1610 - unidentified.
Note: 11. ROBERT GREENLEAFE (Greene in 1623) - 43 - 1610 - ASTON ABBOTS.
Note: 12. Henry Coltman - 30 - 1610 - unidentified.
Note: 13. Hugh Price - 35 - 1618 - unidentified.
Note: 14. Thomas Farmer - 30 - 1616 - unidentified.
Note: 15. THOMAS SHEPPEY - 22 - 1620 - AYLESBURY.
Note: 16. Alexander Bradway - 31 - 1620 - unidentified.
Note: 17. WILLIAM SHARPE - 40 - 1610 - STONE.
Note: 18. RICHARD BIGGS - 41 - 1610 - STOKE HAMMOND.
Note: 19. WILLIAM BAYLEYS - 41 - 1610 - AYLESBURY.
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.)
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
Note: What conclusions to draw from all of this?
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.
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
Note: Phil Harris
Note: Richmond, Virginia
Note: The non-alphabetized list for the 1624 Muster for the settlement at Neck of Land goes, in part, like this:
Note: -- William Vincent, age 39, by the Mary & James (no date)
Note: -- Joane, his wife, age 42
Note: -- Thomas Harris, age 38, by the Prosperous, May 1611
Note: -- Adria, his wife, age 23, by the Marmaduke, Nov 1621
Note: -- Ann Woodlasse, their kinswoman, age 7
Note: -- Elizabeth, a servant, age 15, by Margaret & John 1620
Note: -- John Price, age 40, by Star (no date)
Note: -- Ann, his wife, age 21, by Francis Bonaventure, Aug 1620
Note: -- Mary, a child, 3 months
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.
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
Note: Witness these abstracts of the following patents in Cavaliers and Pioneers Volume I:
Note: Page 33
Note: Thomas Harris, 11 Nov 1635
Note: 750 Acres.
Note: Southward upon land of Edward Virgany (Gurgaynie).
Note: Northward upon LAND OF Joane Harris, his wife.
Note: West upon the river.
Note: East into the woods.
"Neck of Land" settlement.
This designates that his wife Joane had her own land and it was to the north and on the opposite side of Thomas
Note: Page 87
Note: Elizabeth Balhash, 2 May 1638
Note: 300 Acres
Note: Within Four Mile Creek near Curles.
Note: South by west upon land of William Vincent. (doesn't mean he was alive)
Note: Granted 9 Dec 1636. (Notice the grant to Balhash had actually been made two years earlier.)
Note: Four Mile Creek still has that name and empties into the river at the northern tip of the second curl.
Note: Page 111
Note: Mathew Gough, 25 July 1639
Note: 350 Acres
Note: West upon river.
Note: South on land of Balhash.
Note: 100 acres part formerly granted to William Vincent, DECEASED.
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?
Additional patents show that the land first granted to John Price is, at that point in time, in possession of Robert
Note: My read from all of this:
Note: William Vincent owned the land on the north side of the Thomas Harris property.
Note: William Vincent was dead before 1635.
Note: Audrey Harris, the 1st wife of Thomas Harris had also died sometime prior to 1635.
Note: Thomas Harris remarried Joane Vincent, the widow of his adjacent neighbor William Vincent.
Note: This produces the perfect match and explanation for the 1635 patent for Thomas Harris.
Hallom and is on the river to the southeast and adjacent to Thomas Harris.
Once the idea is accepted that Capt. Thomas Harris secondly married Joane Vincent, then we have some answers to a few
Note: Additional research notes for Thomas HARRIS (the title of ?Captain? began to appear in patents about 1635):
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.
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
Note: West, Gates, Dale and Yeardley all served in the same company in Ireland.
and West were all knighted together at Cadiz.
Smyth was overseer for Sir Thomas Dale's will. These men formed the core of the group that was responsible for the
HIST: Email from Tom King 25 Jun 2015 email@example.com
HIST: Donna, the mystery of how Thomas Harris obtained the land of Edward
HIST: Gurganey may never be found. At one point, Joane
HIST: Vincent, wife of the next door neighbor of Capt Thomas Harris, accused
HIST: him of sleeping with half of the wives in the
HIST: Great Neck area. Evidently this included herself since she later
HIST: married him. Edward Gurganey lived on the opposite
HIST: side of Thomas Harris from the Vincent family. The charges were dropped
HIST: as neither William or Joane Vincent appeared
HIST: for the trial. After Edward Gurganey died in 1619, and before 1621 when
HIST: Adria arrived on the Marmaduke, Thomas
HIST: Harris evidently romanced his next door neighbor the widow Anne Bright
HIST: Gurganey and sweet talked her into giving him
HIST: her land. It is also possible that they married since Thomas was still
HIST: single. We are now trying to investigate why Adria
HIST: Hoare Harris is considered an Ancient Planter. Such designation is only
HIST: for those who came before 1616 when we know
HIST: that she didn't arrive until 1621. It is therefore quite probable that
HIST: she married 1st to some other Ancient Planter who died
HIST: before the 1624 Muster, perhaps in the Indian massacre, thus obtaining
HIST: the Ancient Planter designation as the widow of
HIST: a deceased Ancient Planter.
Change Date: 13 JUL 2015
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