Harris Family of Lycoming Co. PA

First Generation

Census records are consistent that Abraham Harris was born in New Jersey about 1776 or 1777. By 1802 he was in Lycoming Co. PA, where he married Margaret English (1783-1877). He built the Waterville Hotel in 1825, and later was postmaster of Waterville.

Meginness, History of Lycoming Co. (1892) says that he was a soldier of the Revolution, which can't be right given his birthdate, and that he came from Tioga County, PA. However, since Tioga Co. was formed from Lycoming this is difficult to interpret. Does it mean he came first from the area of Lycoming that became Tioga?

Meginness says that he settled "a half-mile south of Jersey Mills, at the present [1892] location of George Harris's residence. He subsequently removed to Waterville, and passed the remaining years of his life amid the quiet surroundings of that secluded village.... Mr. Harris was an old-line Whig, and an ardent admirer of Henry Clay. He served in various township offices, and officiated as justice of the peace for many years with creditable ability. He was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal church."

A new gravestone has recently been erected for him bearing the name Abraham P. Harris. This was definitely the name of his son, but I haven't seen any original records showing a middle name or initial for the first Abraham.

Second Generation

Children of Abraham Harris and Margaret English
John Harris (1804-1894) m Charity Ostrander (1813-1883)
Eunice Harris (ca. 1807-?) m. Henry Sheasley
Fanny Harris (1809-1879) m. Jacob English (1809-1898)
Sarah Eliza Harris (1810-1872) m. Benjamin Bennel (maybe Bonnell?)
William Harris (1811-1859) m. Emily S. (1817-1881)
Jacob B. Harris (1816?-1860) m. Eliza Bitter (1825-1898)
Winfield Scott Harris (1816-1889) m. 1) Jane Carson (1819-1846), 2) Isabel Updegraff (1826-1905)
James D. Harris (1821-1877) m. Amanda Bonnell (1826-1902)
George Harris (1824-?) m. Harriet Reed Clark
Abraham P. Harris (1825-1886) m. Sarah Jane Tomb (1829-1879)

The 1820 census lists 6 boys under age 10, but there's no extra male in the 10-15 or 15-20 age bracket in 1830. Could there have been three additional children born between 1810 and 1820, all of whom died young?

Third Generation

Children of John Harris and Charity Ostrander
Abraham P. Harris (1832-?)
Winfield W. Harris (1833-?)
James D. Harris (1835-?)
Isaac Harris (1837-1862)
William H. Harris (1839-1922)
Jacob Harris (1841-1855)
Stephen George Harris (1843-1912) m. Cinderella Augusta Tuthill
Jane Harris (ca. 1846-?)
Mordecai Harris (ca. 1849-?)
John Harris (ca. 1851-?)
Milton Harris (ca. 1854-?)

The last four children are from the 1850 and 1860 census records. They don't appear in previous lists that I have seen for this family.


Children of William and Emily Harris
Celestia Harris (ca. 1843-?)
Sebastian Harris (ca. 1843-?)
Cornelia Harris (ca. 1845-?)
Silas R. Harris (ca. 1847-?)
Amanda Harris (ca. 1849-?)
Byron Harris (ca. 1854-?)
William Harris (ca. 1858-?)

This family is reconstructed from census records. The files that most of us have worked with list only two children for William and Emily, Charles W. (1842-1879) and Sebastian (1844-1879). Charles W. does not appear in this family in either the 1850 or 1860 census, and his place in the census is taken by Celestia. In 1870, Celestia and Cornelia are living together in Lycoming County. There is a Silas Harris born PA living in Akron OH whose age matches this Silas, but I don't know if he is the same person. I can't find Sebastian or Byron anywhere in 1870 using the indexes at Ancestry.com, or a William Harris in Lycoming Co. who matches this one in age. There are too many people named William Harris to do a more general search.


Children of Jacob Harris and Eliza Bitter
Ellen Harris (1845-1922) m. Henry Bonnell (1843-1907)
Reuben J. Harris (1847-1925) m. Martha A. Conner (1854-1890)
Frank R. Harris (1849-1896) m. Sarah Alice Wolf
Margaret Harris (1852-1928) m. 1) Albert Harrison, 2) Michael Wolf (1842-1932)
William Harris (1854-?)
Charles R. Harris (1858-?) m. Ida Maffett
Jacob Augustus Harris (1860-?) not in 1870 census, probably died young


Children of Winfield Scott Harris and Jane Carson
Robert G. Harris (1840-1906) m. Esther _____ (1847-1901)
Emma Harris (1846-?)

Winfield and Jane are said to have had another son, William Henry Harris, who married Julia Ann McClaslin (1842-1882). However, he doesn't appear with Winfield in either the 1850 or 1860 census.

Children of Winfield Scott Harris and Isabel Updegraff
Margaret Harris (1848-?)
James Harris (1852-?)
Isaac Harris (1855-1912)
Sarah Harris (1857-1907)
Charles Harris (1858-?)
Winfield Harris (1864-1881)
Stanton Harris (1870-1885)


Children of James D. Harris and Amanda Bonnell
Frank P. Harris (1853-1913) m. Alma Brown
Willard W. Harris (1854-1878)
Catherine (Kate) Harris (ca. 1856-?) m. John Junod
James Harris (ca. 1858-?)
Oscar Harris (1860-?) m. Callie Black
Oliver Harris (ca. 1862-?)
Anna Harris (ca. 1864-?) m. John Smith
Emma Harris (ca. 1867-?) m. Albert Pott
Minnie Harris (ca. 1869-?) m. James Wensel
Hessie L. Harris (1873-1885)


Children of George Harris and Harriet Clark
Alice (ca. 1852-?)
Frances E. Harris (ca. 1855-?)
Emma J. Harris (ca. 1857-?)
Mary M. Harris (ca. 1859-?)
Harriet H. Harris (ca. 1862-?)
Eunice M. Harris (ca. 1864-?)


Children of Abraham P. Harris and Sarah Jane Tomb
Martha J. Harris (ca. 1849-?)
Margaret Harris (ca. 1851-?)
Henry T. Harris (ca. 1855-?)
Miles or Milly Harris (ca. 1857-?)
Alice Harris (ca. 1859-?) probably died young

In the 1860 census there's a son, Miles, age 3. In 1870 there's Milly age 13, female. Which is correct?

Fourth Generation

Children of Reuben Harris and Martha Conner
Albert Harrison Harris (1873-1950) m. Kathryn Connelly Holford (1880-1942)
Oliver Harris (1874-1879)
Ruby Harris (ca. 1876-?) must have died before 1880 census
Lillian (Lily) Harris (1878-1952) m. De Roy Lloyd
Mildred Harris (1878-1964) m. Emanuel Jacobson
Charles Harris (1881-1948) m. Jennie Kelly
Clyde J. Harris (1883-1928) m. Mary Flanigan
Hester M. Harris (1886-1967) m. John A. Glennon (1879-1958)
Reuben Joseph Harris (1886-1937) m. Clementine Teeney

I was told by a family member that there was another son, named Edward, but I don't find him in either the 1880 or 1900 census.


Meginness, John F., History of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania.
Originally printed 1892, Chicago, reproduced from an original copy and reissued 1996 by Heritage Books, Bowie MD.
The entire book is available on-line at the Lycoming County Pennsylvania Genealogy Project

Allied Families of Boatman - English - Callahan - Carson - Bonnell - Havel
Typescript, author not indicated on my copy

Stephenson, Harry, History of Little Pine Valley. History & Genealogy of Little Pine Valley and its Residents. Camp Hill PA, 1992. Privately published.

Additional Resources

HARRIS family DNA project

A DNA sample from a descendant of Abraham Harris matches DNA from the HERRICK family, suggesting that this was the original family name.

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Elizabeth Harris, ncgen@mindspring.com