Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Harpers

The first picture is the same little kids from the last entry in front of the house.  The second picture is the father from the last entry with all his brother's and one sister.  If you got out a phone book in my home town, Harper would probably be the name that you would find more of than any other name.  My Pepa used to tell me so many stories about his family, they were quite interesting.  It all started with in the picture in front of the house or actully his great grandfather was the first Harper to come to the town I'm from.  His great grandfather was Leonard Harper.

Leonard Harper Sr. is the progenitor of the large Harper Family of
Irwin and Coffee Counties, Georgia. Leonard was born abt. 1735 in
Peas Creek, NC, according to Huxford's Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia.
To date Peas Creek has not been located but may well be Pea Creek, SC.

According to Huxford, Leonard Harper Sr. came to Liberty Co., GA
(which was later cut into McIntosh Co.), with his son, Leonard Jr., during
the Revolutionary War.* In the Surveyor's General Dept. in Atlanta, GA,
there are four headgrants issued to Leonard Harper and perhaps his
son, Leonard Harper Jr. The claims are:

200 acres - Glynn County - 1798
400 acres - McIntosh County - 1803
200 acres - McIntosh County - 1816
102 acres - McIntosh County - 1819

Upon arriving to survey the ground for one of his headgrants (which
you could receive by paying a a filing fee of 5.00) Leonard found a
house had been constructed and someone was living in it. The man
residing there invited Leonard in, gave him a meal and a bed for the night.
The following morning Leonard rose, pulled the title for the headgrant
from his pocket, and told the hospitable gentleman that the property
now belonged to him.

Life on the new frontier was perilous and indians were an everyday part
of the lives of Leonard and his family. The Creek Indians made a raid on Leonard's plantation in Liberty Co., in 1788. The indians made away with his horses and hogs and, according to family lore, the house was burned and
all of Leonard's tools along with miscellaneous items were taken.
Leonard's wife and children hid in the bushes during the raid. Leonard
later found the tools and other items buried in his field when he was
plowing.  Leonard Harper Jr. filed a claim with the Indian Claims Bureau
on behalf of himself, and his siblings, as a result of this raid. The claim
was paid. (These records can be obtained from the Bureau of Indian
Affairs, Washington, D.C.)

Emily Gray Martin, Gentlemen and Their Ladies - Gray Family History,
states that Leonard fought in the Revolutionary War, participating in
the battles of Troy and Sumpter. It is said that he had the fastest horse
of any, having outrun the British on at least one occasion. With the
British in pursuit Leonard approached a wide gully. He and his horse
jumped, the British came to the edge and stopped.

It is not known who Leonard's wife actually was but it is said that she
was Dutch (according to records found in Irwin Co., GA). Emily Gray
Martin states that " . . . Leonard Harper Sr. met the boat carrying
five females from Holland who came here looking for husbands.
It was told Leonard Sr. married one of them (black-Dutch)."

*I personally feelthat there is a discrepancy in Huxford's work. He
states that the son of Leonard Harper Sr., Leonard Harper Jr., was
born in 1788 in Liberty Co., GA. However, I believe that there was a
third Leonard Harper, b. abt. 1735, and known as Leonard Sr.,
husband of Elizabeth. Elizabeth applied for administration of his estate
on April 12, 1804 (McIntosh Co.). I believe that this is the Leonard Sr.
that Huxford was referring to and that he came to McIntosh Co., GA,
with his son Leonard during the Revolutionary War. Upon the death of
the father the son became Leonard Sr. - this would be the Leonard Sr.
who died in McIntosh Co., GA, in 1822 and was probably b. abt. 1750.
His son, Leonard Jr., born 1788, died in Irwin Co., GA, in 1845. This
opinion is further strengthened by the fact that Leonard reportedly
did not bring a wife with him to Georgia but married a Dutch woman
after his arrival.



my78novata said...

Back in Feburary and March of this year I did  our family history on both sides. Rachael and I made a photo album of the family and we took it to our family reunion  Then she had a  box made by her dad with a family t shirt with the family crest on it had it signed and she is going to Shelack it. I Think its so enjoy able to see the family pics. To go back in time and see how things are. I also in one entry did a picuture of me wearing a dress similar to my great granny and sitting just like her and took a picture of myself in black and white. It was awesome. Man it really showed how much I do look like her. Lori

my78novata said...

Oh by the way I also did an entry on our family too. I was a clark and our name is the biggest in the phone directory and we happen to live in Clark county LOL But We came from the CHISMS> the Famous CHISHOLM trail family. They blazed the way for many to survive and are a tough crew. In fact our crest says the fiercest of the fierce. Lori