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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Franky Miles And Nathaniel Harrison

AT LAST! Someone one else looking into parts of my family!!!
(I re-read this before posting, so let me apologize in advance for being so wordy!)

Nathaniel Harrison and Franky Miles had three children that I know about. Based on some of the earlier census, such as the 1830 census where Nathaniel is living with 13 Free colored Persons and about 88 slaves, there may have been some children who did not live til adulthood, or other family members were living with him. (Interestingly, after Nathaniel's death, Franky is listed as a slave owner in the census). She is 80 years old in the 1860 census, and her estate applied for damages related to the civil war.

In the first census that listed all of the people in the household, the 1850 census, Nathaniel is listed alone. He is living next to his oldest son, Edwin Harrison. The other two adult children are girls, Lurane Anderson and Ann Maria Jackson.

Lurane is the oldest. She is 48 years old in the 1850 Census, married to William Anderson (age52). Their children are: M.J. Anderson, William Anderson, Alfred Anderson, Sally C. Anderson, Lucy A. Anderson, Charles W. Anderson, Missouri H. Anderson and John T. Anderson.

Edwin is next. He is 40 years old in the 1850 census. His wife's name is Betty or Betsy, (short for Elizabeth). Their children are a little harder to determine because Betsy is only 38 years old and the first person listed after Betsy is Martha, age 26 which would have made Elizabeth a mother at 12 and Edwin a father at 14. The 1860 census is a little better. Edwin's age is listed as 56 years and Martha is listed as 29 years, so there are obviously some mistakes.

The children are: Martha, Harriet, Nathaniel, Emmett, Robert C., Mary F, John W. Sarah A.E., Nancy O., Demetria, Tobelia (or Lobelia) and Henry Harrison.

Finally, the youngest is Anne M. Jackson, age 30 in the census, married to Walker Jackson, age 40. Their children are: Lelia A. Jackson, Junious Jackson, Reva P. Jackson and Indiana Jackson.

In his will dated 9 July 1852, Nathaniel Harrison left "the place on which I live" to Franky Miles, a free woman of color." He also leaves land and possessions to Lurane Anderson, Ann Maria Jackson and the four youngest children and any future children of Edwin Harrison. He does not identify them as his offsprings. The will was probated 25 November 1852,

I can't lay my hands on my family tree this evening. I haven't been working on that part of the family so it is tucked away somewhere, but I am sure I have more information on the descendents of Lurane and Ann Maria.

You said that you were descended from Demetria Harrison. She is one of Edwin Harrison's 10 daughters (4 more show up in the 1860 census). I am descended through another of Edwin's daughter, Nancy Osborn Harrison. She was 9 years old in the 1950 census. Demetria was living with Nancy (it was written Dometra, age 37, single, working as a domestic servant) in the 1880 census.

Some of the information that I have (notes from my great-grand mother, from the 1970's I think) identifies the descendents of Edwin Harrison as "the 8 sisters", Lowbeta, Nancy Osborne, Demetria, Martha Ann, Mary Frances, Sarah, Rebecca, and Laurania. The boys were Henry Franklyn, Nathaniel, Robert, John William and Boss. Unfortunately, the list of their descendents (below) doesn't identif which decendent goe to which child because the women's married name is given for the decendents, but not for the mothers. (I've got that information elsewhere and will find it all).

Their descendents are Mary Porter Tyler, Martha Anderson, Betty Jane Green, Nathaniel Wingo, Johnny Porter Richard Breen and Rebecca Harrison. Martha Anderson's children were deceased when this was written, Malissa and Catherine. Betty J. Green had 6 children living when this was written, James Wesley, Nathaniel, Augustine, Mary, Bessie and Rebecca. Nathaniel Wingo had one daughter living,b ut noname was given. Johnny Porter has 2 daughters and o ne son, Mary Simmons, Rose Bowers and Henry Porter. Mary Porter Tyler had eleven children to reach adulthood, they were: Ethel Walker, Sallie Evans, Chandler Tyler, Addie Norfleet, Julia Light, Lavania Braxton, John Tyler, Henry Tyler, Josephine Booker, Willie Tyler and Edward Tyler.

There's more, but I won't bore you with it right here. Mary Porter Tyler was my great-grandmother. She was born in 1880 (and was 2 months old in the 1880 census with Nancy and Demetria Harrison. My grandmother is her oldest daughter, Ethel Tyler Walker who died, I think in childbirth, in 1934. Mary Porter Tyler died in 1979 at the age of 99.

I'll track down the actual tree that we did at one of the last reunions. It has a lot more information on it that I can share.

What other information do you need? You realize, of course, that Nathaniel was President William Henry Harrison's 1st cousin. So we are not directly related to Benjamin Harrison V, the Signer and Governor of Virginia....he would have been Nathaniel's uncle, but that does make us direct descendents of Benjamin IV and Anne Carter.

I'm going to copy this and fax it to you, since your posting is a couple of months old and you may not be checking for a response. I can fax copies of Nathaniel's will (I have a photocopy I got from the clerks office in Amelia a couple of years ago and I have a typed copy from the clerks office that my aunt got when she first started this genealogy thing back in 1955 - pre copy machine!!! The clerk had to type it (remember manual typewriters) and then certify that it was a true copy!

What the family didn't tell me was that Nancy Osborne never married!!! Scandalous!! I was always told that my great-grandmother was Mary Porter. But her marriage license gives her name as Mary Harrison and only her mother is listed as parent. Then, in the 1880 census, she's listed as Mary Merrit and one of the boys is listed as Porter (all four children have different last names - like I said - scandalous!!) Just another thing that makes tracking ancestors very difficult. But I'm telling you this because, if you haven't already looked, you may be able to find records of your family in the Amelia County Clerks office. They had the original of Mary's marriage license/certificate from 1900. I got copies of every Harrison's will that I could find. I asked them about the manumission records (Nathaniel purchased Franky as a slave and then freed her - so there has to be some records) but they didn't know what I was talking about. I realized later, and I should have remembered that slaves were property and the records would have been in the deed books. I found a "deed of emancipation" for a paternal relative in Essex County because knew what to ask for.

I'm looking forward to sharing more information with you and filling in more of my family tree.

Judith Troy


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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