William Harper was born by 1703 because on 9 July 1724, he drew land in Surry County, Virginia. Having drawn land, one would assume he was at least 21 years old. His parents are unknown.
He married Frances who may have been a Wyatt or a Monroe. He and Frances were married between 1724 and 1730. Earliest record of a child's birth was child number six, Martha, who was born 24 July 1739 in Surry County, Virginia. Frances died before William made his will in October 1757 as she was not mentioned.
William Harper made his will 12 October 1757 and it was probated 19 November 1757, in Sussex County, Virginia.
"In the Name of God Amen: The 12th day of October in ye year of our Lord
Christ one thousand seven hundred fifty and seven: I William Harper of
Albemarle Parish and County of Sussex --Being at this time of Sound and Perfect
Memory the praise be Given unto God for it. Therefore Calling to mind The
Mortality of my body and Knowing it is appointed for all men once to Die I do
make and ordain this my Last will and Testament: That is to say first of all I Give
and Recommend my Soul to God that Gave it to me And my body to ye Earth to
be Buried in a Christian Like and Decent Manner at ye Discretion of my Executors
And as Touching my worldly Estate wherewith it hat Pleased God to bless me in
this Life I Give and Devise as In Manner and form following-----
"My Debts being first well and Truly paid I Give and Devise unto my eldest son William Harper and to his heirs for ever All my Land which I hold in Dinwiddie County, A negro man Named Matt, a negroe boy named Dick, and the Labour of ye said negro Matt from ye Time he has had him in posession, and all my part of ye stock excepting a young mare------
"Item - I Give and Devise unto my son Wyatt Harper and to his heirs forever all my Land which I hold on Southwestern Swamp Granted to me by Patent Bareing date ye 28th day of August 1756 (should be 1746) and one Negro Boy named Bob and a negro wench named Nan a negro boy named Aaron and ten pounds currant Money of Virginia and all my waring cloths likewise a young mare which my son William Harper has now in his possession and all accomps that is Due from him to me Likewise half a dozen Sheep and ten young hogs.
"Item - I Give and Devise unto my son Edward Harper and to his heirs forever four hundred twenty and seven acres of land which I hold on ye South side of Sappony Creek be ye same more or less it being of land which I bought of James Gillian and some part of another tract adjoining ye said creek, a Negro man named Tom, a negro man named Ned, a negro wench named Jenney and two iron pots----
"Item - I Give and Devise unto my son Benjamin Harper and his heirs forever four hundred twenty acres of land lying and Being on ye North side of Sappony Creek be the same more or less it being all I hold on That side of ye Creek, one Negro man named Toney, a Negro wench named Pegg, a negro gal named Lucy, a negro boy named Peter and a negro boy named Billey, my still and copper kittle, two iron pots, a large pot and a small one, and his negroes to continue on ye Plantation till he comes to ye age of twenty years, then to take them in possession and likewise his part of ye stock to continue on ye Plantation----
"Item - I Give and Devise unto my daughter Milley Tucker and her heirs forever, one Negro girl named Hannah----
"Item - I Give and Devise unto my daughter Frances Harper and to her heirs for ever one Negro boy named Moses and ten pounds currant money of Virginia.
"Item - I Give and Devise unto my daughter Martha Rivers and to her heirs forever a negro boy named Cubit----
"Item - I Give and Devise unto my son Edward Harper above mentioned two feather beds and their covering, half of my stock of cattle, hogs and sheep.
"Item - I Give and Devise unto my son Benjamin Harper aforementioned and to his heirs forever two feather beds and covering, half a dozen leather chairs, chest of drawers, and square table and ye chest that stands up stairs, and half my stock of cattle, sheep and hogs. Also a young mare that belongs to the Plantation, also my riding saddle, housing and bridle and his part of household goods to remain in the house and himself to be schooled and it to be paid out of his own part of ye estate and to be under ye care of my sons Wyatt and Edward Harper----
"Item - I Give and Devise unto my sons Edward and Benjamin Harper above mentioned my work horses and harnesses for ye use of ye above mentioned Plantation and my corn and fodder for ye supportment of their stock and negroes--
"Item - I Give and Devise unto my three sons Wyatt, Edward and Benjamin Harper my crop of Brandy to be sold and yet money arriving thereby to be equally divided, And all ye remaining part of my moveable estate not above mentioned to be equally divided between them at ye discretion of any two persons who they shall choose and appoint and that when so divided into parts, each ye said Wyatt, Edward, and Benjamin Harper shall draw lots for choice.----
"Item - My will and desire is such: That no part of my estate be appraised and that my estate shall in any wise be sold or compel to give security for performance of ye said and further I do likewise appoint, constitute, make and ordain my two sons namely Wyatt and Edward Harper, above mentioned, to be my whole and sole executors of this my last will and testament and to have ye care of my son Benjamine Harper and his estate till he comes to ye age of twenty years as above mentioned and I do hereby utterly disannul, revoke, and disallow all and every other Testament wills and Legaces Bequests and Executors by me before mentioned, willed or bequeathed, ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my Last Will and Testament--- "In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this day and date above written. "Signed Sealed Published Pronounced and /s/ William Harper Declared by the above William Harper as his Last Will and Testament, in presents of--- Witnesses: Thomas Husan, Nathaniel Malone, John Bonner "The Court held for Sussex County the 19 day of November 1757"
Children of William Harper.
1. William Harper, Jr. b. 1723 in Surry co., VA, d. after 1778 in Dinwiddie Co., VA. He may have married Elizabeth Peterson. Descendants called the Dinwiddie Harpers.
a. William Harper, III b. 1750 m. 1775 d. 1822 Hancock Co., GA., m. Mary Ingram.
2. Wyatt Harper, b. abt. 1723, died 1759 Sussex County, VA., m. Ann Jordan Ann (Jordan) Harper m. (2) James Adams.
*3. Edward Harper, died 1765, Sussex County, VA., m. Ann Turner. Ann (Turner) Harper m. (2) Thomas Saunders. (See below.)
4. Milley Harper b. abt. 1727; m. Wood Tucker on 27 Jan 1743/44. He was born 29 May 1726.
a. David Tucker
b. Robert Tucker
c. Wood Tucker, Jr. b.10 May 1751
d. Lucy Tucker m. Wilkins Harper, her cousin, son of Edward and Ann (Turner) Harper.
5. Frances Harper
6. Martha Harper b. 24 July 1739, Surry County, VA m. John Rivers
7. Benjamin Harper b. 3 Aug. 1744, Surry County, VA; d. Aug 1759 Sussex Co., VA.
Edward Harper, the son of William and Frances (Wyatt?) Harper was born between 1724 and 1739 in Virginia.
He married Ann Turner about 1758 in Virginia. No marriage record has been found, but, they were married when they were named Godparents to Goodwynne, son of Thomas Hunt and wife, Frances Anne, dec'd, born 16 April and christened 11 June 1758.
According to the inventory of his estate, the main crops were tobacco and cotton. He also raised sheep and hogs. He was not wealthy by our standards, but he did have the tools necessary for a farmer in those days to run a household and farm.
He must have had some education because he could sign his name, and there were two Bibles, a Testament, two prayer books and one sermon book in his estate.
Edward Harper made his will on 26 January 1765, and it was probated 16 May 1765. He left a wife and two young sons. The will is paraphrased as follows:
First - I lend unto Ann my beloved wife my estate both real and personal to main-
tain and raise my children. (Makes provision for division of estate when son
Wilkins arrives to age of twenty years between wife and children by three
persons they choose. But, if estate is being wasted then estate to be divided
immediately if there was sufficient cause for such complaint.)
Item - Son Wilkins Harper (when division is made) 327 acres of land, lying on both North and South side of Sappony Creek. Ann to have her third from this land.
Item - Son William Harper, my younger son, (at division) 190 acres, lying on the East side of Allen's Branch. Provisio: In case both my sons should die without heirs, then wife to possess the whole of my estate, both real and personal, excepting three Negroes, George, Cresey and Terry to be divided between my three loving sisters. I appoint my brother William Harper and trusty friend, Thomas Rivers, Executors, and my estate to be not appraised. Signed, Edward Harper Witnesses: Thomas Vines, Junior; John Rivers, Thomas Hunt, Thomas Saunders.
Edward and Ann (Turner) Harper had two children whose births were listed in the Register of Albemarle Parish, Sussex County, Virginia.
1. Wilkins Harper b. 24 Nov. 1761, in Sussex County, VA, d. 1818; m. Lucy Tucker, his cousin. He settled in Lawrence Co., AL near his half brother, Rev. Turner Saunders.
a. Wilkins Harper - removed to Greenwood, Caddo Parrish, LA.
b. Robert Harper b. 1816, m. Nancy A. Saunders, dau. of Hubbard Saunders. Moved to Tennessee.
c. Richard Harper - removed to Hinds Co., MS.
d. Berryman Harper - never married.
e. Thomas Harper
f. Nancy Harper m. William Garrett
* 2. William Harper b. 22 April 1763 in Sussex County VA; d. 1841 in Pike Co., GA. m. Jane Bonner on 21 Dec 1782 in Sussex Co., VA. (See below.)
On the 25 October 1765, the widow Ann Harper married Thomas Sauders in Sussex County, Virginia. They lived in Virginia and raised the two Harper boys with at least seven children of their own: 1) Rev. Hubbard Saunders b. 3 Sept 1766, m Chloe Russell; 2) Elizabeth Saunders b. 23 Dec 1768 m. Samuel Edmonds; 3) Nancy "Ann" Saunders b. 1770, m. John Bass and William Manning; 4) Thomas Saunders; 5) Mary "Polly" Saunders b. 1776 m. Major William Gholson; 6) Martha "Patsy" Saunders b. 1779, m. Lewis Saunders; 7) Rev. Turner Saunders b. 3 Jan 1782, married twice Frances Dunn and Henrietta Weeden Millwinter.
Thomas Saunders, born 18 June 1739, moved his family to Brunswick Co., Virginia after the Revolution and died there before 1808.
William Harper, son of Edward and Anne (Turner) Harper, was born 22 April 1763 in Sussex County, Virginia . His father died when William was about two years old, and his mother married Thomas Saunders that same year. William had one older brother, Wilkins.
William was left 190 acres of land "lying east on Allen's branch" in the will of his father. Wilkins, his brother, received 327 acres of land lying on the north and south side of Sappony Creek.
William married Jane Bonner, daughter of John and Sarah Bonner, in Sussex County, Virginia on 21 December 1782. Jane was born 2 July 1762 in Sussex County, Virginia. William and Jane Harper moved to Georgia. They sold the land William inherited from his father, Edward, to his brother Wilkins Harper on 29 December 1789. They were living in Putnam Co., Georgia when their son John married in 1809 and son Wilkins married in 1816. They also lived in Jasper County. By 1820 they had moved to Hancock Co., Georgia and by 1830 he was living in Pike Co., Georgia. It is believed that Jane Harper was dead before the 1820 census since no female was listed above age 45.
William Harper fought in the Revolutionary War. He applied for a pension on 19 March 1841 while in Pike County, GA, but he was rejected because he did not prove six months actual service in an organized military corps. He said he was 83 years old and was born in the year 1758. He was old and feeling poorly. He probably didn't remember when he was born, and because he was ill, he felt older than he actually was.
He volunteered in Sussex County, VA in 1778 under Capt. Richard Harwell and marched from Sussex County to Southampton, Prince George, Surry and Isle of Wight Counties...for six weeks, but served seven weeks.
He served under Capt. Yearby, Cavalry from Sussex County, VA in 1779 for a three month tour. He marched from Sussex County to Portsmouth, Prince George, Southampton, Surry, Norfolk, Cabin Point, South Key, The Long Bridge at Dismal Swamp, North Carolina and captured fifteen Tories with their Captain Ballard. He was discharged near South Key.
In the fall of 1779 he served six weeks under Capt. James Vaughn of Brunswick County. In Sussex County he served seven weeks and marched into Prince George, Southampton and Petersburg. In early 1780 he served under Capt. Drewry Drumheart.
He stated he had lived in Virginia and North Carolina, Hancock, Jasper and Pike counties, Georgia. Prior to that he lived in North Carolina and Virginia. He was rejected because "Sol. seems to have served as parolling recounting and marched. Not req. Mil. Corp., therefore not entitled to pension."
There is a monument in Griffin (Spalding County), GA placed there by the Pulaski Chapter, NSDAR, in 1976 which pays tribute to the men from that area who served in the Revolutionary War. William Harper's name is on the monument as one who served in the Revolution and lived and died Pike County, GA.
William Harper died sometime after he applied for his pension on 10 May 1841. He was probably buried in a family cemetery in Pike County, GA.
Children of William and Jane (Bonner) Harper.
1. Ann Turner Harper b. 1780, d.1855 in Sumter Co., AL; m. 18 Oct. 1803. Robert Simmons
a. Mariah Jane Simmons b. 11 Sep 1804, d. 3 Jun 1903; m. William Bustian.
b. Ann Bonner Simmons b. 22 Mar 180-, d.; m. Jeremiah Kendall 27 Apr 1826.
c. Robert Hicks Simmons b. 9 Sept 1809; m. Julia Ann Vineyard.Removed to Sumter Co., AL.
d. William Miles Simmons b. 20 Oct 1811, d. Sept 1861; m. Jane P.
e. John Christopher Simmons b. 21 Sep 1815, d. 9 May 1864; m. Frances Vineyard 9 May 1864.
f. Benjamin Asberry Simmons b. 26 Oct 1818, d. 6 Apr. 1894; m. Adeline Peavy 11 May 1847.
g. Edward Wesley Simmons b. 24 Jul 1821, d. 17 Dec 1871; m. Mary Jane Delk 20 Dec 1843 in Lauderdale Co., MS
h. Susan H. Simmons b. 11 Sep 1825, d. 12 June 1852; m. James Marion Boyd in 1844 in Paynesville, AL.
*2. John Harper b. 1783-87, Sussex Co., VA, d. 20 June 1878; m. 30 Nov 1809 Leah Maddox. (See below.)
3. Wilkins Harper b. ?, m. 5 May 1816 Mary Rivers; d.?
4. Benjamin Harper b. 1785; m. 1807 Mary Brooks.
5. Edward Alexander Harper b. 1786; m. 1809 Polly McDonald d. after 1860 Perry Co., AL.
6 William Turner Harper b. 1793; m. 1815 Sally Perdue; d. after 1860 Perry County, AL.
7. Wyatt Harper b. 15 Oct 1799; m. 21 Dec. 1825 Mrs.Sophia Coats Bates; d. Belmont, AL.
8. Patsy Harper b. ?; m. 1816 William Bustian, d. pr. 1827.
9. James W. Harper b. ?; m. 26 Aug 1819 Rebecca Morgan; d. 9 Aug 1845 Shelby Co., AL.
Children Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 have not been proved to be children of William Harper, but through association and circumstantial evidence they are strongly suspected to be their children. William married a second time to Elizabeth Rosseau.
John Harper, son of William and Jane (Bonner) Harper, was born 1783 in Virginia, probably Sussex County. He was called grandson in the will of John Bonner dated May 1802 and probated December 1804, and was given one Negro named Abram.
John married Leah Maddox, daughter of Joseph and Comfort (Wingate) Maddox, on 30 November 1809 in Putnam County, GA. Leah was born about 1790 in Georgia. She died 20 July 1853 in Pike County, GA according to Williamson Methodist Church Records.
John made application in Spalding Co., GA for bounty land on 2 April 1855. He said he was a resident of Pike County and that he was a Private in the Company commanded by Capt. Samuel Lane in a Regiment of Volunteers commanded by Col. Jones in the War of 1812. He said he served six months and was honorably discharged at Fort Hawkins about the 1st of May in 1813 or 1814. He made application for the purpose of obtaining 80 acres of bounty land under an Act passed in 1850.
John and Leah Harper were living in Putnam Co., GA at the taking of the 1820 census. John Harper was in Pike County where he joined the Williamson Methodist Church on profession of faith in 1828.
After Leah died, John married Elizabeth Jordan on 15 February 1855 in Pike County. They had no children. John Harper died 20 June 1868. He made his will on 2 June 1866, and it was proved 5 Oct 1868. He named his children in his will and named Benjamin Franklin Harper, his oldest son, his executor. He probably is buried in the Harper Cemetery on the old home place in Pike Co., Georgia. His obituary was published in the Southern Christian Advocate, July 17, 1868, page 115.
On 18 August 1870, Elizabeth (Jordan) Harper married Robert Harper. This Robert Harper was born 15 December 1806 in Hancock County. He died 23 October 1884 and was buried in the Harper Cemetery. Elizabeth (Jordan) Harper died 5 July 1902 and was buried beside Robert Harper. Her date of birth on the gravestone is 15 December 1821. In that same cemetery there are a number of unmarked graves, two of which are covered with rocks and appear to be very old. These two graves may be the graves of John and Leah (Maddox) Harper.
Children of John and Leah (Maddox) Harper.
1. Elizer C. Harper b. c. 1810 GA; m. John Rivers on 19 February 1829 in Pike Co., GA. This family left Pike Co., GA. and moved to Mississippi after 1831. John Rivers was a school teacher and son of Dr. John and Sarah (Hunt) Rivers.Children are:
a. Sarah Comfort Rivers b. 29 Dec 1830 Pike Co., GA, d. 4 Nov 1882 Kemper Co., MS.
b. John Wesley Rivers b. 1831 Pike Co., GA, d. 1853-55; m. 26 Dec 1850 Mildred Ann Boyd in Sumter Co., AL.
c. Frances A. Rivers b. 1837 MS.
d. Rebecca C. Rivers b. 1839 MS; d. pr. 1860
e. Harriet A. Rivers b. 1842 MS
f. Leah W. Rivers b. 1845 Lauderdale Co., MS.
g. Eliza Rivers b. 1849 Lauderdale Co., MS.
h. Thomas Hay Rivers b. 19 May 1853, d. 11 Feb 1924 Newton Co., MS.
i. Lula Rivers b. 1863
*2. Sarah K. Harper b. 6 April 1812, GA; d. 6 Mar 1892 Pike Co., GA; m. Henry S. Yarborough on 11 Aug 1831, Pike Co., GA. His will written 4 Sep 1862. He d. 30 Sep 1862. Childreh are:
* a. John Allen Yarbrough b. 1833, d.Mar 1875. (married Mary Foster)
b. Mary Jane Yarbrough b. 10 Aug 1834, d. 7 Dec 1872, bur. Harper Cemetery. She m. T. R. Jackson.
c.Martha Ann Yarbrough b. 14 Nov 1835, d. 9 Jan 1902; bur. Harper Cemetery; m. 9 Nov 1855 Augustus W.Wilson.
d. James D. Yarbrough b. 1838; m. 14 Oct 1868 Mollie Beckham.
e. Frances E. Yarbrough b. 1843, d. 16 Dec 1860. Never married.
f. Nancy Leak Yarbrough b. 1845; m. 13 Nov 1860 James Hunt Patton.
3. Jane Caroline Harper b. 16 July 1814, GA; d. 22 July 1896; m. Robert Augustus Rivers on 28 Nov 1833, Pike Co., GA.
a. John Franklin Rivers b. 28 Aug 1834, d. 15 Oct 1842.
b. Sarah Elizabeth Rivers b. 31 Oct 1836, d. 12 May 1912; m. 24 Nov 1853 John Lester.
c. William Thomas Rivers b. 11 May 1839, d. 30 Jun 1845.
d. James Judkins Rivers b. 14 Aug 1841, d. 17 May 1864.
e. Robert Augustus Rivers b. 21 Sep 1843, d. 6 Jan 1919; m. 17 Sep 1865 Eliza Elaine Simpler.
f. Eliza Ann Rivers b. 25 Nov 1845, d. 17 Apr 1895; m. 26 Dec 1868 Zachery Spiers.
g. Josiah Nunnally Rivers b. 10 May 1849, d. 1 Jan 1920; m. 20 Nov 1870 Rebecca Jane Digby.
h. Wyatt Appleton Rivers b. 28 Oct 1851, d. 19 Aug 1854.
i. Epsi Caroline Rivers b. 17 Jun 1855, d. 28 Dec 1855.
j. Tabitha Adeline Rivers b. 25 Dec 1857, d. 5 Dec 1954; m. 6 Jan 1876 to B. L. Thornton.
4. Benjamin Franklin Harper b. 1 Aug 1817, GA; d. 20 Jan 1897 in Fayette Co., GA; m. Mary Ann Elizabeth M. Patton, 10 Sept. 1841, Pike Co., GA. (See below.)
5. Rebecca Bonner Harper b. 1820 GA; d. 1850-60 GA; m. Joel Rivers 1 Oct. 1839, Pike Co.
a. Susan H. Rivers b. 17 Oct 1840, d. 10 Apr 1916; m. 18 Jan 1866 Josiah Ellington.
b. Henry Sanford Rivers b. 27 Aug 1842, d. 27 May 1914; m. 22 Jan 1868 to Janie Rebecca Milam
c. Sarah A. M. Rivers b. 1843
d. James William Rivers b.17 Dec 1846, d. 5 Jan 1924; m. 18 Dec 1866 Emily Jane Harper (1st cousin) b. 9 Apr 1846, d. 3 Aug 1879.
e. Lavinia Rivers b. 1849, d. pr. 1860.
6. Wyatt Appleton Harper b. 1822 GA, d. 28 April 1864 Rock Island Barracks, Ill.;
m. Louise M. Gilmore 18 Nov. 1845, Pike Co., GA.
a. John Robert Harper b. 31 Aug 1846, d. 29 Aug 1927; m. 14 Jan 1869 to Margaret S. M. Martin.
b. James Wade Harper b. 1849; m. Sarah J.
c. W. Edward Harper b. 1851; m. 21 Dec 1871 to Manda M. Hammers
d. Nancy Louisa Harper b. 24 Apr 1854, d. 4 Jan 1934; m. John Fowler. He was b. 9 May 1859, d. 22 Aug 1937.
e. Susan J. E. Harper b. 1855; m. 22 Dec 1881 to W. H. Sweeney.
f. Wyatt Appleton Harper b. 23 Nov 1858, d. 2 Feb 1914; m. 18 Feb 1892 to Margaret Sue "Jo" Robinson. She was b. 16 Dec 1858, d. 28 Feb 1936.
g. Isaac Archie Harper b. 1 Feb 1861, d. 7 Jan 1937 bur. in Palmetto, GA.
(1) Alma Harper m. 1) Emmett Spier 2) Wiley C. Brogden.
h. Charlie Parks Harper b. 23 Dec 1863, d. 8 Mar 1929; killed at train crossing.
7. Martha Ann E. Harper b. 27 Aug 1823, d. 7 Sep 1899; m. Absalom Ogletree on 2 Dec 1851, Fayette Co. GA. He was b 25 Oct 1817, d. 2 Aug 1910, buried County Line Cemetery.
8. Emeline D. Harper b. 27 Sept. 1825, d. 17 May 1871, Fayette Co., GA.m. Hullum Hodge Carroll 6 Jan 1842, Pike Co., GA.
a. Henry Carroll b. 1843
b. Margaret E. Carroll b. 1845
c. William M. Carroll b. 1847
d. Jane S. Carroll b. 1850.
e. Mary Carroll b. 1852.
f. Sarah J. Carroll b. 1854.
g. Charles Carroll b. 1856
h. Laura Carroll b. 1860
9. Amanda Frances Harper b. 24 Mar 1827, d. 3 Sept. 1900, Fayette Co., GA.
m. William Thompson 2 Sept. 1847, Pike Co., GA.
a. John E. Thompson b. 1849.
b. Martha C. Thompson b. Jul 1850
c. N. L. Thompson (female) b. 1852.
d. S. A. Thompson (female) b. 1854.
10. Tabitha M. Harper b. 29 Dec 1830 GA, d. 17 Nov. 1893; m. Matthew M. Scott and (2) Alfred Wiggins on 6 Oct 1863, Pike Co., GA.
a. Sarah J. Scott b. 1854.
b. Frances E. Scott b. 1856
11. Harriet A. Harper b. 1831, GA; m. Joseph Deason 20 June 1850, Pike Co., GA.
12. John M. Harper b. 1834; m. Sarah J. Harris 22 Oct 1854, Pike Co., GA.
13. James J. Harper b. 1835 GA; d. Feb. 1880; m. (1) Mrs. Emma A. Grimes 18 Nov 1866, Pike Co., GA, (2) Nancy E. Sullivan on 13 Aug 1878, Pike Co., GA. He was the Pike County Ordinary for a number of years. After her husband died Nannie Harper married Ed Baker on 20 January 1883.