Harlan Family 

The Harlan Family in America Association was formed in 1987 in conjunction with a national family reunion held in Delaware, to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the immigration of George and Michael Harlan. The purpose of the organization is to document and perpetuate the history and genealogy of the family.

The primary activity of the family is the annual publication of a newsletter called the Harlan Record. The newsletter serves as the means for communicating information about Harlan history and Harlan family members and Harlan family activities. The Record also publishes inquiries for those doing research on their Harlan heritage.

Membership in the family organization is free but we encourage those who can afford to do so to
send a yearly contribution.  Please send your contribution to John Harlan, Treasurer, 422 Aumond RD, August GA 30909.  If you would like to have your name added to our mailing list, please send your name and mailing address to: graber@graber.com

The official Harlan archives are kept at the Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, Pennsylvania. Here our descendents will be able to find copies of materials from the national reunions held in 1987 and 1997. Copies of the Harlan Record are also on file here.


Our family heritage organization exists for two comprehensive reasons. One is philosophical. The other is operational.


Throughout human history, the single most powerful force for our welfare, protection and happiness has been, simply, the Family.

The influence of the human family has been unfortunately illustrated by the cascading social and human behavior problems of our 20th Century. Sadly, these problems are directly proportional to the massive increase in the number of dysfunctional American families.

Therefore an important purpose of the Harlan Family in America is to project and communicate, by our example, the importance and benefits of the human family to the human experience. Our goal is to define the character, values, heritage and traditions of the generations of families in America bearing the names of Harlan, Harland, Harlin and Harlen.

We will accomplish this by continuing to develop the bonds of our own extended Harlan Family throughout America and wherever Harlans may be living in other countries. In so doing, we will demonstrate the pride, the sense of belonging, and the security that flows from being, simply, a member of the family that cares about its own.


As our family heritage organization continues to mature, our specific “operational” objectives will of course be subject to change. At this time in our development, the following are the essential areas on which we will focus:

 • Continue to identify new Harlan Family members, descendants of George, Michael and Thomas, and those Harlans whose surnames have changed with marriage. Our task is to let them know of our Harlan Family Organization that is available to them, and to encourage them to join;

 • Continue to build strength and interest among our members by frequently communicating information about the Family, its current activities and plans, its history and heritage with all available means: local, national and regional reunions; newsletters and other direct mail; website, etc., and encourage communication among individual family members;

 • Continue to develop genealogical resources and knowledge to identify our history and heritage both in America and in Britain, and to discover and preserve—via historians and genealogists—history, documents, memorabilia and records;

 • Identify and preserve Harlan historical sites which have influenced our Family, in our country and abroad, such as the Harlan–Lincoln Home, the Delaware Landing Site, the Brandywine Area, and Harlan sites in England and Ireland, and promote family gatherings and travel to these sites;

 • Maintain a strong and efficient organization with an adequate and sound financial base and a repository for Family information, and have regular meetings and communication among Board Members and all other Harlans involved;

 • Create and foster all other activities that will enable members of the Harlan Family to be good, responsible and productive citizens of this land.


President: Robert R. Harlan
1716 Clark Ave, Yuba City, CA 95991
Vice-President: Junior Harlan
6218 E. Betty Elyse Ln, Scottsdale AZ 85254
Secretary: Ruth Harlan Lamb
PO Box 1654, Independence MO 64055
Treasurer: John Harlan
422 Aumond Rd, Augusta GA 30909
DanHarlan (NC)
Ridge Harlan (AZ/MT)
Robert A. Harlan (PA)
Connie J. King (VT)
Gerry Harlan Lundgren (IA)
Liz Harlan Sly (NJ)

For additional information not included on this web site please contact Tom and Marylee Harlan at mltharlan@aol.com

Harlan Family Tours

1998 Trip to Wales
Welcome to the Harlan Tours Page.  Over the past five years, the Harlans have taken three tours that included England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in search of the sites of our roots.  We visited such highlights as St. Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth (site of the baptism of George), Sutton Hall outside of York with its nearby church, the Lurgan Meeting in Northern Ireland and the Harland Moors in Yorkshire.  (Unfortunately, it was too foggy there to see anything!)  Although we have no tours planned right now, if you have an interest in travelling with the group in the future, we would appreciate your
completing the following questionnaire.  We occasionally get requests and inquiries but until now we have not kept good track of people's interests.  We have had requests for a trip planned back to the Delaware area and the many sites around New Castle.  This might tell us if that is a viable option or if we are only interested in Britain.  After you have completed the
questionnaire, you may send it directly to me through this home page.   From time to time we will put a notice on this page about our results and what we plan to do next.  Thanks for your time and interest.
----Marjory Harlan Sgroi -- ashdrye@aol.com

Members of the tour group entering 
St.Peter's Monkwearmouth Churh
Contact Ashton-Drye Associates, Inc. for more information:
                95 Squire Place
                Orchard Park, New York 14127
                Telephone/Fax: (716)667-3359


Harlan Tours Questionnaire



City, State, Zip: 

e-mail address: 

I/we are interested in joining other members of the Harlan Family for travels to:
East Coast sites in and around New Castle, Delaware
England and perhaps Ireland to visit Monkwearmouth and Lurgan with lots of other British sites

Other sites we would like to visit are:



The Officers and Board of Directors of the Harlan Association established a "NINETY-PLUS CLUB" which will include living members of the Harlan/Harland family, born with the Harlan name, and who are 90 years of age or older. Let us know if you or a relative qualifies. Send your message to Larry Harlan whose e-mail address is nalrah@aol.com

ALAMANDER JEREMIAH HARLAN was born 8/17/1901 in Benton County, MO and currently resides in Sedalia, MO with his wife Mary Hoffman Harlan. He is the son of Alamander M. Harlan #7559.

ROLAND HARLAN was born January 19, 1902. He is a descendant of Jonathan Harlan, born 1772, Scott Twp, Lawrence County, Pa

MABEL WEIGLE HARLAN was born 10/9/1902. Married to Willard Harlan, d.4/20/1989, son of Samuel W. Harlan #9329. Mable was born and raised near Harlansburg, Pa.

JEWELL MAY HARLAN STEWART was born December 5, 1904 at Purdy, Barry, Missouri.  She is the granddaughter of #10104 Zibe Brown Harlan, shown on page 911 of the
History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family. She has two sisters, one being Dorothy Willena Harlan Doner, also a member of the Ninety Plus Club and three brothers, all currently living.  They range in age from 75 to 93.  There are 68 descendants and 34 spouses of these six Harlan "kids", Jewell, Dorothy, Olan, Fay, Leon, and Russell. The family has a local family reunion every two years.  The last one was September 4, 1999; forty-four attended. Fay celebrated her 80th birthday August 28; it was celebrated at the reunion. They also had a big 90th celebration for Dorothy in March.

JEANETTE HARLAN RODRIQUEZ was born April 23, 1905 in San Antonio, Texas. Jeanette's father was Nat Fielding Harlan, born July 9, 1872, also in San Antonio.  He passed away March 21, 1918. Nat's father was James Wesley Harlan, born December 18, 1845, in Morgan County, Alabama.  James passed away September 25, 1923.  James' father was J. M. Harlan, born 1728 also in Alabama.

 MOZELLE (HARLAN) THOMAS was born August 25, 1905, the daughter of Ruma Lee  Harlan and Minnie (O'Neil) Harlan, (p.543 of History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family).

ORVILLE IRA HARLAN was born in June 1906. He and his wife, Ethel Opel Morrison-Harlan, are now living in Haggersville, Ark.

DAVID FRANKLIN HARLAN was born 7/21/1907. Raised in Harlansburg, Pa. and graduated from Harlansburg High School. Has been married to Fannie Billig since 9/09/1931. The son of Benjamin Victor, grandson of Oscar #9322.

WILLIAM ELIHU HARLAN, JR. was born December 6, 1907, in Falls County Texas. He is currently a retired engineer for Humble Oil and Refining and resides in Baytown, Texas.  His father was W.E. Harlan Sr., #1886 (Red Volumes) of tenth generation and his grandfather was James Henry # 6058, a veteran of the Army of the Confederacy.

GERALD HARLAN was born November 9, 1908 in Slippery Rock Twp., Lawrence County, PA. Gerald married Ella SHELAR in June 1931 and has been a farmer for 67 years. Gerald is the brother of Roland HARLAN who also belongs to the NINETY PLUS CLUB. He is also a first cousin, once removed, of David Franklin HARLAN who is also in the club! Those Harlans in Western Pennsylvania are, indeed, long livers. It must be the water or something. Congratulations, Gentlemen! David, Roland, and Gerald are all descendants of Jonathan HARLAN #443, the founder Harlansburg, Pennsylvania.

ILA VIVIAN HARLAN LOWDER MASTIN was born December 24, 1908 in Cecil, Franklin County, Arkansas.  Ila's father was Fountain Pitts Harlan # 6911 and her mother's name was Mary Bybee.  Ila had four brothers and three sisters. She now resides in Oklahoma.

MURILLO ELIZABETH (HARLAN) SMITH # 1894 (Red Volumes) was born December 26, 1908 near Reagan Falls County.  She currently resides in Walters, Oklahoma.  She is the only living child of James Henry #6058, born November 18, 1839 who was a veteran of the Army of the Confederacy. She is also the aunt of William Elihu Harlan, Jr. who also belongs to the club.

STILA MYRTLE HARLAN GLEASON was born April 2, 1909, near Orofino Idaho to John Paxon and Emma Stiles Harlan.  She married Charles Henry Gleason in, June 1931. They had three daughters, Harla, Caroline and Stila Elaine.

DESSIE BERNICE HARLAN GILMORE was born March 7, 1909 in Huntington County, Indiana. Dessie married Bennett Mitchel Gilmore on April 1930.  Dessie and Bennett had two daughters, Sara Jo and Susan in Savanah, Georgia. Dessie was the assistant Treasurer at Clearwater Federal Savings and retired from there.  She currently lives in North Carolina is doing clothing alterations and sews quilts.  She also walks two to four miles every day in the mountains!  She is entering the Senior Olympic games and is self sufficient.  She is most proud of her two great grandchildren Justin and Jamie Ham in Florida.

DOROTHY WILLENA HARLAN DONER was born March 6, 1909 at Purdy, Barry, Missouri. She is the granddaughter of #10104 Zibe Brown Harlan, shown on page 911 of the History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family. She has two sisters, one being Jewell May Harlan Stewart, also a member of the Ninety Plus Club and three brothers, all currently living.  They range in age from 75 to 93.  There are 68 descendants and 34 spouses of these six Harlan "kids", Jewell, Dorothy, Olan, Fay, Leon, and Russell. The family has a local family reunion every two years.  The last one was September 4, 1999; forty-four attended. Fay celebrated her 80th birthday August 28; it was celebrated at the reunion. They also had a big 90th celebration for Dorothy in March.

Historical Harlan Sites

This section is under develpment. Anyone can submit their "famous" Harlan sites to:

Tom Harlan at mltharlan@aol.com for possible inclusion.

U.S. #1 Highway, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

During the American Revolutionary War, General George Washington and The Marquis de LaFayette, a young French volunteer, established headquarters in two farmhouses near Chadds Ford where the British were expected to cross the river. Washington held a council of war with his generals in the home of Benjamin Ring to plan his strategy and nearby, General LaFayette and his officers quartered in the house of Gideon Gilpin, a Quaker farmer.

Gideon Gilpin was married to Sarah Gregg (#240), the great-granddaughter of George Harlan (#3). The Gilpins were a prominent Quaker farm family and by religious persuasion, they were opposed to war. When their home was commandeered, the family found itself unwittingly embroiled in the bitter action. At the time of the battle, five of their seven children were living there.

LaFayette was wounded on the second day of fighting. The British outmaneuvered the Americans in spite of a valiant fight on the rolling hills along the Brandywine River. The defeated Americans retreated to Chester but were not demoralized as they believed their downfall was because of unfamiliarity with the landscape and not the result of poor fighting.

After the battle, the Gilpin property was plundered by foraging British soldiers. Gilpin filed a claim for losses that included 10 milk cows, 1 yoke of oxen, 48 sheep, 28 swine, 12 tons of hay, 230 bushels of wheat, 50 pounds of bacon, a history book and one gun.

According to "The History of Chester County" by Futhey and Cope, "Forty-eight years later, General LaFayette returned to America and Chester County amid much ceremony and honor on the invitation of President Monroe. During his tour, LaFayette insisted upon calling upon the Gilpin family at their Chadds Ford home. He found Gideon aged, ill and abed. 'The sick man was gratified at the sight of the veteran, who pressed his hand cordially and wished him every blessing.'"

Sarah Gregg Gilpin’s mother was Ann Robinson Gregg (#55), and her grandmother was Elizabeth Harlan Robinson (#12)—the eighth child of George Harlan and Elizabeth Duck.

The Brandywine Battlefield Park has a Visitor’s Center with an exhibit that tells the story of the battle. The two houses appear much as they did in 1777, and guided tours are available. (The park, historic houses and Visitor Center are closed on Mondays.)

Home of Mary Eunice Harlan and Robert Todd Lincoln

In the picturesque village of Manchester, Vermont, sits a 24-room Georgian Revival mansion, built for Robert Todd Lincoln and his family beginning in 1902. Robert's wife, Mary, was the daughter of Senator James Harlan of Mt.Pleasant, Iowa. The last Harlan-Lincoln descendant at Hildene was Mary Lincoln Beckwith, granddaughter of Robert and Mary, who resided there until her death in 1975.

The name Hildene comes from "hill and valley", and this imposing home with its formal gardens was a quiet refuge for the Lincoln family. Much of the furniture and personal effects came from the Harlan family home in Iowa and are now on display. An Aeolian Pipe Organ with a player attachment still in working order was installed in 1908 at a cost of $11,500. In 1980 the organ was completely restored.

Hildene is open to the public for tours, and special events are held on the grounds annually. For further information, access www.hildene.org

205 Fairville Road, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania 19317 (610)388-1114

This 18th Century Quaker farmhouse sits on 200 acres deeded from George Harlan to his son, Joshua. The transfer was made to Joshua "in consideration of Fatherly love and affection."

Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the serene five acre setting is just three miles from Winterthur Museum, Longwood Gardens, the Brandywine River Museum and the Chadds Ford Winery. Features include bedroom fireplaces, private baths, gardens, antiques, canopy beds, an 1814 spring house and a sitting porch with rustic rockers.

A study of the ownership of the house contradicts an earlier opinion that this was Michael's residence. It is now believed that George acquired the land in 1710, and the oldest section of the house, made of logs, was built about 1715-1720. The middle section of the house was added in 1835, and a much newer section has been attached to this part. Harlans attending Celebration 300 in 1987 were able to tour the house and fondly remember its charm as well as refreshments served by the residents' children. 

Site of Revolutionary War Battle in which Major Silas Harlan was killed
Submitted by John R. Harlan, Augusta, GA

Blue Licks Battlefield State Park, consisting of 148 acres, is located approximately 43 miles northeast of Lexington, KY, on U.S. Highway 68 (formerly a buffalo trace). The last Revolutionary War engagement fought in Kentucky took place on this site August 29, 1782.

The British Captain William Caldwell had gathered a band of some 500 Indians and led raids on several unprotected outpost settlements including Bryan's Station, located five miles northeast of Lexington. After three days of futile fighting, the Indians began a retreat to the Ohio border. The Kentucky volunteers followed in pursuit and were ambushed at Blue Licks in a short battle, being outnumbered three to one. Sixty men were killed including three of the commanders, Colonels Todd and Trigg and Major Silas Harlan (see story of Silas Harlan in “Who’s Who in Harlans”), and Daniel Boone's second son. Silas was buried on the south side of the Licking River at the Blue Licks, so named for a fine salt spring.

In addition to historical markers at the park, a granite obelisk commemorates the battle, and a large granite marker identifies the grounds in which the volunteers are buried. A museum is located in the park which contains Indian and pioneer relics, bones of pre-historic animals found nearby, old gun and glassware collections and an audio-visual program of the frontier.

In front of the courthouse in Harlan County, Kentucky, is an historical marker that reads: "County named 1819 for Major Silas Harlan, born in Virginia 1752, came to Kentucky in 1774. Built Harlan's Station 7 miles south of Harrodsburg on the Salt River, 1778. Commanded spies, 1779, in Illinois Campaign of General George Rogers Clark who said: 'He was one of the bravest soldiers that ever fought by my side.' Killed 1782 at the Battle of Blue Lick while commanding his detachment. Buried at Blue Licks."

There is no record that Silas ever set foot in what became Harlan County.

Harlan Archeology
Submitted by Nancy McMurray

The oldest structure built by George Harlan (#45) in the 1740's was the first part of his home, a log cabin with an immense 5 feet X 9 feet stone fireplace. The single oak beam across the top measures 16 inches X 21inches (to go with the 9 foot length). Its sheer size amazes everyone who sees it. Keith McClung was the master carpenter who directed the renovation of this wing last summer. Being a builder, Keith recognized early on many small things that told a history the rest of us didn't see. It was clear, for example, that the stone lean-to facing Harlan Spring was built after the log room. It has 20 foot stone walls, a small door, and two windows, but until this summer, it had practically no roof. The original, probably wood shingle, had been replaced with a makeshift metal roof which had rusted and sat on a minimal support of a few beams. Keith replaced it with "the best roof you can get," a standing seam tin roof, a very common roof around here for many decades past. His instructions were to put his energy into the log kitchen, for though the stone room could be finished inside some day, it was not necessary now. But Keith is a perfectionist, a professional of the first order. He didn't leave the stone room till he had the floor cleared of accumulated debris, setting it up for some future finished floor.

The stone room had always been assumed to be just a storage place for the wood of the fireplace next door. (But why was it built so substantially for firewood?) Keith and his men shovelled down 24 inches before finding solid earth. What they found in the process was quite extraordinary. You should keep in mind here that I was at that moment in the hospital with major surgery. While still emerging from anesthesia the phone by the hospital bed rang and it was Keith. "How are you? I'm calling you from your living room and I have the most exciting news! We were digging out the floor of the stone room. We had to go down 24 feet before finding solid earth. We began to find coins, jewelry, a clay pipe, and pieces of dishes. Then we dug some more and got to a layer of manure! After that we eventually found underneath everything a wooden floor with boards over logs! At that point the wood was so rotten it just crumbled! Yet even, then, under the bottom logs some coins were found!" One of the coins was an 1813 penny.

The next week I hobbled home to see for myself the always fascinating restoration. Keith presented me with a mounted and framed collection of the best samples of the Harlan "debris." Being an artist, he did it very well. And with this I also learned what a great human being he was. With his help we have learned the stone room had far more importance to the family than we had imagined. Keith's framed collection will be on exhibit for the Harlan Homecoming.

Losing Some Harlan History
Submitted by Nancy McMurray

They were not intrinsically valuable, but they were each known very much by heart to the family. Old farm tools, kitchen utensils, personal objects, remnants of life before electronics like a mechanical device for making socks, a butter urn, a Civil War bayonet (found in the pasture), an iron bed, and a magnificent sleigh that took Jean and Douglass Harlan to school in the winter.

"Now, I want you all to come down to the stable and see what a great collection we have," Dougie (Douglass Harlan) would say after dinner. We would all go down the hill to the little stable our grandfather (Dougie's father) had built when he had to retire from farming but wanted to do a modest amount of it on the side. It is a gem of a building, oak (of course) but with a slate roof! It had a couple of stalls for the horses in the bottom and a loft upstairs for hay. Though on the low side of a hill behind Overlook, the retirement home, it still had an unexpectedly wonderful view of the mountains. (What an artist's studio it would have made.) Up in the loft were all these things spread out. We were so glad they existed, but never gave them much thought except to feel assured they were in the old stable. Visiting them was an occasional excercise, but in the past decade, especially, the groundhogs had so undermined the foundation that the building should now be called the "unstable." I was afraid to go in at all because of how the structure was twisted. Nonetheless, it stands to this very day, slate roof and all.

Recently, however, the people who now rent Overlook said they had been to the stable and that all the Harlan artifacts had been cleaned out! Stolen! Forever gone! And not much worth to the thief, at that. But such a loss to all of us. It is with pain that we confess it to you. The moral of this story is that in the modern world, more and more, tangible things are fragile. They are subject to theft or destruction or loss in any number of ways. It is true of the old rakes in the loft. It is true of Harlan Farm itself.

Spring Hill, West Virginia--George's(#45) Farm
Submitted by Nancy McMurray

All Harlan descendants in the United States are invited to return for a visit to one of the oldest Harlan estates next Memorial Day weekend, May 1998. Spring Hill, the house built by the earliest Harlans to arrive in the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the 1740s, was the home of George #45. It is perhaps the only Harlan land remaining in the country that has never left the family.

As the name implies, the house is on a hill above a spring--Harlan Spring. It seems obvious that they laid claim to this spot largely due to the value of the spring. In the beginning the Harlan family owned well over 1,000 acres. The present farm is about 250 acres. A project this summer has been to clear that hillside of growth so that we have restored the old view of the spring from the house. That sight/site is magnificent to behold. We hope that while you visit you might have the pleasure of witnessing the circling and landing of a flock of Canada Geese on that pond. A whole family of them hatched in the pasture spring before last, so they are also "Harlans"!

This summer has also been spent in renovation of the oldest part of the house. The original room is a log room with a 5’ X 9’ fireplace. To it was added a stone room with 20" walls. On the other side, at some later date, was built what is now the main house-- a two story log and lathe building with a full attic. Then, in later years, a small brick room was added. (We have never known the precise year of any of the building.) The whole house, except for the stone room, is parged, which I have learned from fascinating observation of the contractors’ working, is a coating of cement about an inch thick. The cement during my lifetime was always painted white. But some with a longer memory have commented that it once was off-white. We have just painted it cream to match the yellow in some of the stones, and the repointing of the chimney. The parging, as you can imagine, completely covers the construction elements, so that you cannot guess from looking on the outside that one room is log, another brick, etc.

The interior of the house has not, to date, been altered except for installing the modern conveniences of baseboard oil heat (which closed up the fireplaces!) and a bathroom in the main hall under the staircase (which, alas, has ruined the exposure of the suspension of the stairs all the way to the attic). These compromises were done to enable someone to live with some comfort in the house, which is the best security the house can have.

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Robert R. Harlan, President, 1716 Clark Ave. Uyba City, CA 95991