Colonial Harlans Helped Mason
by Ed Danson, United Kingdom
|(Editor’s Note: Ed Danson is a land and geodetic surveyor in England
and author of a recently published book about the exploits of Charles Mason
and Jeremiah Dixon. In it, he gives an account of their close association
with John Harlan, #68, of the Stargazer House, Embreeville, Pennsylvania.
Drawing the Line: How Mason and Dixon Surveyed the Most Famous Border in
America. Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, New York.)
The Mason-Dixon line has always been at the center of controversy, even before it became known as the dividing line between North and South. Starting in November 1763, British astronomer Charles Mason (1728-1786) and his colleague and friend, Jeremiah Dixon (1733-1779), land surveyor and amateur astronomer from County Durham, England, spent nearly five years gazing at stars, plotting points, traveling, and erecting mile markers to mark this boundary, and thus settle a bitter border dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Fifteen miles north of this line, on a farm owned by John Harlan, they set up the Stargazer Stone and their headquarters. Ed Danson writes: “They arrived at John Harlan’s plantation on Sunday, January 8, 1764. The first task was to observe the latitude with their zenith sector (an eight-foot tall telescope) in a tent in the backyard. Meanwhile, some laborers began building a small wooden observatory to house the zenith sector, a transit and equal altitude instrument (now on display in Independence Park) and a pendulum clock (like a grandfather clock), called an astronomical regulator. The latitude was found to be a fraction south of Cedar Street [Philadelphia] and the monument that marked the spot became known as the Stargazer’s Stone (see note 1).
“The winter weather turned bad and while Mason and Dixon waited for it to improve, they entertained the family with tales of their travels to Africa. On March 17 there was an eclipse of the moon, which Mason let the family see through his brass reflecting telescope.”
On Monday, April 2, 1764, Mason and Dixon set off to take measurements southward. That winter, they returned to spend Christmas with the Harlans.
In the spring, they worked as far west as the Susquehanna River. By fall, they had reached North Mountain. When winter set in, Mason returned alone to spend time with the Harlans while Dixon went to Philadelphia. Six weeks later Mason was off traveling too.
In the spring of 1766, Mason and Dixon continued work on the West Line.
Danson writes, “They reached Savage Mountain, the limit of the Royal Proclamation,
by June and could go no further without permission from the Six Nation
Indians.” From there, they went to Newark, where they learned that the
Royal Society would fund the very first measurement of a Degree of Latitude
in America. Unable to continue on the West Line until the Indians gave
their consent, they worked on the Degree until October, then left to complete
their survey eastward to the Delaware.
“In November, 1766, Mason and Dixon returned to the Harlan plantation to conduct more scientific observations alongside the Stargazer’s Stone and to determine the strength of gravity. They used two pendulum clocks; one of these was the Royal Society’s famous regulator made by John Shelton that had been used on St. Helena, at the Cape of Good Hope and even in Barbados, where it was used in testing the world’s first chronometer,” Danson writes.
“There were walnut trees in the garden, and a well-seasoned piece was used as a pendulum. Harlan’s back yard was added to the growing collection of information that helped to determine the size of the Earth.
“Christmas and New Year, 1767, were spent at the farm; the air temperature was 22°F below freezing, so cold that using the instruments was ‘like patting one’s Fingers against the points of Pins and Needles.’ On February 16, they determined the longitude of the Stargazer’s Stone, making it (at the time) the most accurately known point in the Americas.”
In June, they learned that the Six Nations had agreed to allow the boundary survey to continue westward. “The last phase began on July 7 and all went well until the Monongahela, where half the men deserted, they were so terrified of Indian attack. Indian bands stalked the survey team and some even paid them a visit. At a warpath near Dunkard Creek, their Indian guides refused to go ‘one step further.’ It was October 10, 1767, ‘near the 230th Mile Post’; today a monument marks the spot.
“They returned to the Harlan plantation on December 9 to draw their beautiful map of the Mason-Dixon Line. Their last task was to complete the measurement of a Degree of Latitude. On February 22, 1768, once more setting off from the Stargazer’s Stone, they measured all the way (and back) to the Delaware Middle Point, 95 miles to the south.”
Mason and Dixon returned to England on September 11, 1768. They never again worked together. Dixon returned to County Durham where he died in 1779. Mason continued to work for the Greenwich Observatory until after the Revolutionary War, then returned to Philadelphia with his second wife, Mary, and eight children, but he was already ill. He died October 25, 1786, and was buried in Christ Church burying ground.
Note 1: This is probably the original marker of the temporary
lines set in 1736 and not a Mason-Dixon stone.
HARLAN FAMILY IN AMERICA OFFICERS
|CASH IN SAVINGS ACCOUNT 3/1/01||$9,481.45|
|Harlan History Book Sales||1,675.00|
|Interest Earned (Savings Account)||72.26|
|Harlan Store Percentage||
|-- TOTAL INCOME||
|Book Storage, Insurance, Shipping||475.90|
|Newsletter Printing/ Mailing||
|CASH IN SAVINGS ACCOUNTS 3/1/2001||$ 10,555.46|
This newsletter is published semi-annually by The Harlan Family in America, a permanent organization established to document the historical contributions made by Harlans in America. Stories, photos, and other information submitted for publication should be sent to The Harlan Family in America, P.O. Box 1654, Independence, MO 64055.
In Memory of ....
William I. Harlan
Maarguerite Harlan Finch
Charles Wesley Harlan
Theresa "Tess" Harlan
Jesse Walter Saxon
William Dale Harlan
Willene Q. Harlan
In Memory of ....
Edith Harlan Goddard Presley
Harlan Family in America Fund
In Memoriam . . .
Armenta Mae Harlan Blankenship
b. Feb. 15, 1897 - d. Jan. 11, 2001
Notice that Armenta lived in three centuries!
b. Apr. 22, 1923 - d. Feb. 28, 2001 Wife of Lowell Harlan
Willene Q. Harlan
b. Jan. 12, 1909 - d. Jan. 12, 2001
Mother of board member Bob A. Harlan and former board member Connie Ward
Pauline Harlan Rosselot
Sister of Melba Harlan King b. Sept. 15, 1918 - d. Feb. 7, 2001
Murillo Harlan Smith
b. Dec. 26, 1908 - d. Nov. 1999 Her father fought in the Civil War.
of The Harlan Family
compiled by Alpheus Harlan, 1914
If so, e-mail your request to:
Ruth Harlan Lamb at
HARLAN CLOTHING &
Contact Harlan’s Stitchery by Sue,
Harlan Kin Tried As Horse Thief by Army!
by Ed Wynn
Jonathan T. Marshall (#3346), the grandson of Ann Harlan (#270), was tried by a Court Martial in October, 1863, for “embezzling” a horse. He was, however, found not guilty.
Jonathan was the second of twelve children of Hannah Travilla (#1047) and Samuel Marshall. He was born in Chester County, PA, on August 12, 1823. On February 24, 1848, he married Jane Peirce (#5056). Jan and Jonathan had two children: Lovetta, b. 1849, d. 1853; and Austin J. Marshall, b. 1865, d. 1872.
Jonathan’s military career began on October 25, 1861, when he enlisted as a 1st Lieutenant in the 110th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He was immediately assigned as Quartermaster for the Regiment via a Governor’s Certificate dated October 25, 1861. His age at the time of his enlistment is given as 36. The enlistment took place in Philadelphia and was for the duration of the war.
At some point, not specified, in his army records, Jonathan was wounded in the foot and also sustained additional injuries when his horse fell on him. Beginning in mid-1862, his records are comprised primarily of sick leave and certificates from doctors relating to his physical problems.
On October 7, 1863, he was court martialed before a General Court, presided over by Lt. Col. J. W. Greenzwalt of the 105th PA, convened at the Headquarters 1st Division, 3rd Corps, near Culpepper, VA. He was charged with misapplication and enbezzlement of public property entrusted to him, and of making false returns of Government property entrusted to him.
Under the first charge, four specifications are recorded, that he embezzled “one horse owned by the United States” and applied it to his own use at the Camp of 110th P.V.I. near Falmouth, VA, around May 24, 1862; that he embezzled a horse owned by the army near Luray, VA, around June 15, 1862; that he embezzled and appropriated “one gray mare the property of the United States by dropping said mare from his records, referring to it as a private horse,” near White Sulphur Springs, VA, around August 10, 1863; and fourth, that “the said Jonathan T. Marshall, did take one horse the property of the United States found running astray by 1st Lieut. Charles Capelin, 111th P.V.I. and did not report said horse as public property with the intent thereby to defraud the United States Government of a horse. All this at Camp near White Sulphur Springs, VA, on or about 10th day of August, 1863.”
The second charge also contained a number of specifications, not detailed here in the interest of brevity. (Editor’s Note: Ed Wynn has a full copy of the Court Martial and will happily send it to anyone who has a special interest in reviewing the original document.)
The Court found Jonathan not guilty of all charges and specifications. They stated: “The evidence is convincing to the receiving officers as to the fact that the charges against this officer emanated from personal ill feeling rather than a desire to promote the good of the service. Although the evidence discloses much looseness in the official business of the regiment, there was nothing produced to affect the character of the accused. Lt. Marshall will resume his sword.” Signed by command of Maj. General David Bell Birney, October 9, 1861.
Jonathan resigned his commission and was given a medical discharge for “rheumatism” on December 12, 1863, approved by Major Gen. George G. Meade of Gettysburg fame.
As a civilian, Jonathan was a hotel keeper. He died in Baltimore, MD, on June 5, 1870, just six months after the death of his wife, Jane. The cause of his death is listed as “Rheumatism”, contracted while he was in service. Both of their children had already died, so no direct descendants exist. Jonathan, Jane and their children are buried in the Oakland Cemetery near West Chester, PA.
A sad footnote: As late as 1895, Jonathan’s mother, Hannah, age 95,
was still attempting to get a Mother’s Pension. Her application was rejected.
A FOLLOW-UP TO HARLAN WHAT? HARLAN WHERE?
Thanks go to those who replied to our query about Harlan landmarks. Both Ron Griffith and Marilyn Ramsey Nickless alerted us to the U. S. Geological Survey map Web site at: http://mapping.usgs.gov/www/gnis/gnisform.html
Under the name of “Harlan,” 134 records were found with Harlan in the various names of churches, camps, cabins, canyons, cemeteries, creeks, canals, parks, streams, springs, summits, schools, buildings, ranches, rocks, ditches, valleys, lakes, towns, counties, townships, post offices, junctions, airports, reservoirs, and even a swamp!
Locations were found in 32 states. Go to the above Web site to
see what might be in your state.
There’s more than one way . .
The Smiths were proud of their family tradition. Their ancestors had come to America on the Mayflower. They had included Senators and Wall Street wizards.
They decided to compile a family history, a legacy for their children and grandchildren. They hired a fine author. Only one problem arose—how to handle that great-uncle George who was executed in the electric chair.
The author said he could handle the story tactfully.
The book appeared. It said, “Great-uncle George occupied a chair of
applied electronics at an important government institution, was attached
to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a great
Kate (Tolly) Roby, who owns the Harlan House next to the Stargazer Stone in Chester County, Pennsylvania, reports that on Chester County Day last October, “1,500 very appreciative folks came through the house and got to hear all the history of the Harlans, Mason and Dixon, etc. The lawn is destroyed, but it was worth it! And all those massive clean-up/fix-up projects that got done!!! There is nothing like a deadline.”
The day before the event, Roby visited with some Harlans who stopped by, and she directed them to our Web site (www.harlanfamily.org). She writes that the day after, she had a “fabulous visit with a descendant of the last Harlans to live here—Frank Harlan Markle, Jr. He brought his family and a very old photo album and a 1935 diary kept here. They are priceless. I am going to try to reproduce both. I’ll pass along any gems that I think might be good for the newsletter.”
She also corresponded last summer with Ed Danson, who wrote a book about
Mason and Dixon (see story, page 1). “We have a positive avalanche of information
going back and forth across ‘the pond’. It has been a real Harlan kind
of summer,” she writes.
|Gold Medal Winner
Dessie Harlan Gilmore, 91, of Webster, NC, won the gold
medal at the
Dessie also won a gold in the N.C. State Olympics, qualifying her for
National Historic Site Has Harlan Connection
One of the five new National Park Service units recently announced is the First Ladies National Historic Site in Canton, Ohio. It will occupy the home of first lady Ida Saxton McKinley and a nearby bank building. Ida was the great-great granddaughter of Sarah Harlan #209.
Ida (#10368) was working in her father’s bank in Canton at the time
of her marriage to William McKinley who became the 25th President of the
United States. After his assassination in 1901, Ida returned to Canton
and lived there until her death in 1907. (More information about Ida Saxton
McKinley is on the Harlan Web site under “Who’s Who”.)
Texas Harlans Have Reunion #51
The Blue Ridge Church & Cemetery was the location of the annual reunion of the The Harlan Family of Texas, held September 30 and October 1, 2000.
Over 60 people attended, ranging in age from 93 years young to a mature ten-year-old. William E. Harlan, Jr., of Houston was the oldest, and Kevin Isenhour of Eddy, the youngest. Don and Dolores Martin from Fresno, CA, came the greatest distance.
The 2001 reunion will be held the first weekend in October, 2001, at the Blue Ridge site.
New officers are:
President—Millard F. Turner, Irving
Vice-president—Eunice K. Cunningham, Dallas;
Secretary—Robert L. Powers, Waco;
Treasurer—Bill Richardson, Reagan.
Calling All Good Harlan Cooks!
In conjunction with the 2002 national Harlan Reunion, we are planning a Harlan Family Cookbook. It will be a collector’s item from the Reunion, and proceeds will help with the organization’s operating expenses.
We need to gather recipes NOW, so get out your family recipe boxes and books and send us your favorites! We suggest you use the format below. For ease of editing, please print or type—or you may request a recipe form. Send recipes to Dorothy Harlan Sperry, 726 Miller Drive, Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501. Or you may e-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Appetizers, Beverages & Dips
• Breads & Rolls
• Breakfast, Main Dishes & Casseroles
• Cakes, Cookies & Desserts
• Meats, Poultry & Seafood
• Sandwiches & Snacks
• Soups, Salads & Vegetables
• and perhaps “Old Time” Recipes
Besides including your name, please give the names/numbers that trace your family lineage to George, Michael or Thomas (if you know). In case we receive too many recipes, we reserve the right to limit the number from any one person.
DEADLINE: JUNE 15, 2001
Submitted by, including lineage if known:
Your phone # or e-mail address:
(Please use these abbreviations:
c. pkg. tsp. tbsp. pt. qt. lb. oz. ctn., and give weight or size of containers.)
If appropriate, be sure to include oven time, temperature and pan size.
As some of you know, we’re a little over a year away from our next great family event, the 2002 national reunion, to be held June 27-30 in the Wilmington and Philadelphia area. This will be another major event like Celebration 300 in New Castle, Delaware, where around 800 people attended, and the 1997 reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, with over 500 attendees.
We hope you will plan to join us. It’s a great opportunity to plan a family vacation to see historic sites important both to our family and to our country.
Here are the basic facts:
WHO—All people whose family trees includes Harlans. This, of course, includes Harlans with different last names or spellings of the name.
WHAT—The third national reunion in recent years of The Harlan Family in America. This is a great opportunity to meet new Harlan relatives, to visit with those you already know, and to learn more about our family’s history.
The program is still in the planning stages, but so far we are working on tours of the Harlan sites, history workshops, a family picnic, a talent show and services at one of the Quaker meeting houses where the original Harlans attended. In fact, the graveyard there is full of Harlan cousins, and we have already placed a plaque there in their memory.
A tentative list of workshops follows, but please send us any new ideas you may have: touring the Harlan Family Web site, finding your family members in Alpheus Harlan’s book, the life of Supreme Court Justices Harlan, using your computer for genealogical research and record keeping, the history of the Harlan crest, our roots in England, history of the Quakers, and how to plan a (smaller) family reunion.
If you have any other talents or interests to share, please fill out and return the form on page 6.
WHEN—June 27-30, 2002
Repeat, yes, that’s the summer of 2002. After the reunion, you can spend the July 4th week visiting Philadelphia, seeing Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Also, Washington, D.C., New York City, and other attractions are nearby.
WHERE—The reunion facilities (lodging and meeting rooms) will be located in Wilmington, Delaware, a short distance from Philadelphia. As our theme suggests, “Discover Your Heritage,” the whole area between Philadelphia and Wilmington is rich in Harlan history. Our first Harlan cousins reached colonial Delaware in 1687, arriving in what is now New Castle. They came from England, seeking the freedom to live as Quakers without persecution. They settled throughout the area, and eventually spread all across the country.
WHY—Because we're very proud of our heritage and want all family
know about it!
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED—Committees are forming to arrange for such
things as rooms, meals and the program. We think we have some great activities
planned, but we need help to make all of this happen. We will send complete
lodging and the program to those who indicate their interest (see form).
You can also help by passing the word to other Harlans who may not have heard about this great event. The Harlan Family in America has become one of the country’s leading family heritage organizations. Even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has been impressed—they asked to link their extensive genealogical resources into some of the information on our Harlan family Web site.
It’s up to all of us who treasure this heritage to help keep it alive and to pass it on. Don’t miss out on this great event!
If you are interested in attending the 315th Reunion of
the Harlan Family in America, and haven't mailed the paper copy,
please complete and submit the Reunion Form
to be placed on the mailing list to receive Reunion information.
Texas Harlans to Have All-Day Singing
The 114th annual May Day Singing will be held Sunday, May 6, at the Blue Ridge Baptist Church, located about 40 miles southeast of Waco, Texas, on Farm Road 1771.
The church was first organized in 1859 on land donated by George Harlan (#2405), land which his father obtained in a grant from Mexico.
Sunday’s program will consist of singing from 10:00am until noon, followed by a covered dish lunch and then more singing until 3:00. Attendees are welcome to perform individually or in a group. The church has recently completed a metal pavilion with electricity and rest rooms.
For more information call:
Henry & Nancy Thomason (254-587-2037);
Bill & Sue Richardson (254-587-2210);
or Robert Powers (254-662-4792).
Browsing Around Yorkshire
From Reports by Harold Spradley
Editor’s Note: Jackie and Harold Spradley of Houston sent reports of two genealogical trips to England recently, with brief stops in “upper Northumbria” (Newcastle and Durham) and more time in Yorkshire. The following is a compilation of those reports, including the genealogical information they found.
The Spradleys arranged for research time at several libraries and records offices to see 16th and 17th Century wills and parish records from towns around North Yorkshire, known points of origin for the Harlands. They had heard that the Whitby Archives Museum was open seven days a week and had a significant file of Harland information, so they went there the first Sunday. The museum was open, but not the family history department. So they looked at exhibits on the role Whitby played in the young days of Captain Cook.
On Monday, Harold spent the entire day at the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research (U. of York). He writes, “I collected a large list of indexed wills from the 16th to 18th centuries, as well as some information on Harlands listed as ‘Freemen of York’ in the 15th and 16th centuries. The parish registers of births, marriages and burials were not very satisfying at the Borthwick.”
For those, he went to the North Yorkshire County Records Office. Most visitors to the County Records Office are interested in Family History research. Harold pulled some microfilms and “found that (like the wills at Borthwick) most of the information prior to 1650 is fragmentary, very hard to read (frames of faded script on fragments of paper), and has large gaps. I tried to read a couple of dozen records—prohibited by the librarians from using my digital camera to make copies. They do not have any microfilm printers for use by researchers.
“I found that a number of parishes had been indexed, with a single line description, containing date, given name and surname, letter code for the event (such as ‘c’ for christening, ‘m’ for marriage, ‘b’ for burial) together with another name for marriage partner or father’s given name for christening. A few parishes had these indexed and printed in books.”
Harold says that visitors can’t make photocopies, but for about 10 pounds sterling (around $15) per page, the librarians will make a printout from their computer database. Harold ordered printouts “containing about 250 individual events of Harlands in the time frame between 1550 and 1800. I DID glean some materials that do not seem to exist at any other place!”
On another trip to the Borthwick Institute in York, Harold collected
other information from records accumulated by the Yorkshire Archaeological
Society in the latter 1800s. Visitors there are restricted from access
to the actual or microfilm records without an appointment (set weeks in
advance), but he was able to get to the library’s index room. He writes:
“There, I noted that the Institute holds copies of the wills of scores
of Harlands in the 16th and 17th century. I copied down the Volume and
Folio numbers of all those that seemed relevant. (The library does not
seem to have a copy machine in the index room; so researchers are required
to make such notations longhand.) I found at least 8 or 10 William Harlands
who might be candidates
for the elusive father of James, Alpheus Harlan’s #1.”
Using the Volume and Folio numbers he had obtained, Harold ordered “the wills of Henry Harland (1580), a Robert or two, as well as three Johns and four Williams that could pop up as credible ones for our ancestry. There are also some candidates for James #1, in the 1660 to 1680 time frame.”
Ninety-Plus Club Report
We have no new members to report since our fall issue, and our membership still stands at 21. We remind those of you who are at least 90 years young and now have or have had the name of Harlan, that you qualify as a Senior Member of the exclusive Ninety-Plus Club. Or, if you know of Harlan “cousins” who have reached the 90-year mark, send in their names.
All applications should include the date and place of birth, and names of ancestors, if known. Send to the coordinator of the club, Larry Harlan, 6158 River Mill Road, Monticello, MN 55362, or e-mail him at nalrah @aol.com
New members will be mentioned in The Harlan Record, will be listed on
the Ninety-Plus Club page of our Web site at
www.harlanfamily.org and they will receive birthday cards.
Update on the Family Web Site
Going into the fourth year of the Harlan Family’s Web site, there have been over 22,000 hits (visitations) since its inception. Many Harlans and relations have been assisted in locating ancestors or other common cousins by using the Message and Cousin Pages of the site. The site may also be used to obtain a digital version of not only this issue of the The Harlan Record, but also back issues of the newsletter in case yours has been lost. These features and much more information are always available.
We greatly appreciate Pam Ellingson of Wisconsin, who is the webmaster;
Jonathan Harlan of Tennessee, who established the site and contributed
the registration; Tom and Marylee Harlan of Washington, who serve
as directors; and Larry Harlan of Minnesota, the site coordinator. Thanks
of Kentucky Harlans
by John L. Harlan
Over the years, it has been my pleasure to help a good number of people named Harlan (including recognized and accepted variations of that spelling), find their roots, find their ancestors, find their way home. I have discovered in the process of helping, that many of these individuals trace their roots back to Tompkinsville (Monroe County), Kentucky.
This isn’t too surprising to me since my father and four previous generations of Harlans have Kentucky roots, and the Monroe County area was where they called home. It should come as no surprise to other Harlan researchers that their ancestral path may wind its way back to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. For those unfamiliar with this land, it may conjure up images of Daniel Boone, mountains, tobacco farms, moonshiners and beautiful race horses. Kentucky is all this and much more. I’d like to tell you about Monroe County.
Geographically, Monroe County is located in the heart of southcentral Kentucky, in the upper Cumberland hills, rolling beautiful farming country, dotted with tobacco farms and some small industry. Monroe County has only three incorporated towns, including the county seat of Tompkinsville; the other two are Fountain Run and Gamaliel. There are 19 small unincorporated communities.
Gamaliel is located near the Tennessee-Kentucky border in southwest Monroe County, while Fountain Run is on the border of Barren and Allen Counties to the west, Tompkinsville is about eight miles from the Tennessee border. The Cumberland River winds through the southeastern part of Monroe County, and the Barren River cuts through the southwest section. There is a state operated ferry on the Cumberland River connecting two segments of Kentucky 214, as it winds through the beautiful and scenic Turkey Neck Bend section of southeastern Monroe County.
Old Mulkey Meetinghouse is located in Monroe County, holding considerable historical and religious significance; it is one of the oldest churches west of the Alleghenies. In the Old Mulkey State Park and Shrine burying grounds, in addition to Harlans and family, they also have Hannah Boone, sister to Daniel Boone. The architecture and construction of the Old Mulkey church is unique and symbolic. It is built in the shape of a cross with twelve corners said to represent the twelve apostles or twelve tribes of Israel, with three doors representing the Holy Trinity. If you are planning a visit to Tompkinsville, Old Mulkey should be on your list of “must see” items. I almost forgot the family ties, Christian Minister John Mulkey’s daughter married #806 Joel Wright Harlan, and apparently John Mulkey’s wife, Betsey Hayes, had her own Harlan connection, her mother. In 1820, five Harlan names appeared on the church rolls.
When my cousin, William B. Harlan, a college professor at Mississippi Southern (now Southern Mississippi), died prematurely, his parents Jim and Susan Harlan, gave land and money for the William B. Harlan Memorial Library, dedicated October 16, 1966, and it should be on the agenda of every Harlan researcher headed for Tompkinsville. In addition to being an outstanding well staffed facility, they also have Dayton Birdwell, a Monroe County historian and genealogist. I am the proud owner of volume number 772 of 1000 of a limited edition book compiled by Dayton Birdwell and published by the Monroe County Press, Inc., “The History of Monroe County Kentucky 1820-1988,” copyrighted 1992 by William B. Harlan Memorial Library.
I have five first cousins still living in Tompkinsville, children of my father’s sisters, but none with the Harlan name. There are currently twelve Harlan listings in the Tompkinsville phone book, and probably all are related to my branch of the tree, though I’m unaware of it.
When my father graduated from Tompkinsville in 1939 to attend school in Nashville, the population was slightly under 2,000, about what it is today. The current population of Monroe County hovers around 12,000, and it has 330 sq. miles, amounting to a population of 34.5 individuals per square mile. It would be an understatement to say life moves at a slower pace here. It moves at its own pace, not much influenced by what the rest of the world was doing. One thing that stands out from my boyhood travels to Tompkinsville was the honesty and trust people had for each other. That is not to say that everybody was good—they did have their outlaws—it’s just that everybody knew who they were and what to expect of them. I have seen money transactions and big money sales made on a handshake.
Things are changing in Tompkinsville. I am still trying to adjust to the fact that they have a new WalMart Super-center just north on 163, not too far from my grandfather’s farm. I don’t think anything has caused such a stir since the “pipeliners” came through. I think of it as the quaint, slow paced little town where old men sat around the court house square with sharp wit and sharp knives making cedar shavings and pieces of folk art.
One of the things I have made a part of my trips home to Kentucky, is
to visit the cemeteries and locate the graves of my forebearers. I have
a list of twenty-two of these burying grounds, and I will provide
that information to anyone who needs it. Even though I was never
a resident of Kentucky, I still feel a strong attraction to the Bluegrass
country and find it hard to
keep a dry eye when I hear “My Old Kentucky Home” played for the Kentucky Derby. With all these generations before me, I can’t help but trace my roots to Kentucky.
Rainy Days: Genealogy for Children
By Diana Wells
One fun rainy day activity is exploring genealogy with children on the Internet. My daughter is always more interested in genealogy if I do it with her on the Internet. There are two wonderful sites I’d like to share with you.
The most comprehensive list is Cindislist. I haven’t explored all of her links, so I suggest you explore the sites before showing them to your children. Cindi has the site indexed with a list under the subtitle “Kids and Teens” at: http://www.cyndislist.com/kids.htm
One must-see site is the USGenWeb for Kidz: http://www.rootsweb.com/~usgwkidz/
It encourages children to explore and discover on their own, and it’s their own kid-oriented site.
Have fun and beat those rainy day blues!
Harlan Family Board of Directors
The officers and the board of directors of The Harlan Family in America have been meeting once or twice a year since the 1997 Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. At our last meeting, we thought family members might like to hear more about what we do.
Actually, our meetings are wonderful excuses for mini-reunions, so along with taking care of business, we spend our time together sharing genealogical information, eating great meals, staying up late visiting and enjoying fellowship.
During the formal part of our meetings, we discuss organizational details and give direction to various activities including the Web site, the newsletter, Alpheus’ book, budgeting and long-range planning. Our long-range goals include: 1) Continue to identify new Harlans, 2) Build interest among family members, 3) Continue to develop genealogical resources and knowledge, 4) Identify and preserve Harlan historic sites, 5) Maintain a strong and efficient organization, and 6) Create and foster activities to enable Harlans to be good, responsible citizens (which may eventually include a scholarship fund).
The membership of the board represents ten states. All members pay their
own expenses to attend meetings, which are open to all Harlans. Dates and
places of meetings will be posted on the Web site. (For a list of officers
and the board )
Scarborough Celebration Honors Sir Edward Harland
According to our English “cousin” Erasmus Harland, Scarborough Council will put up a plaque on the house where Edward Harland was born on May 5, 1831, in Newborough, Scarborough. He was the second son of Dr. William Harland and a brother to Aurelius Harland. (See “Who’s Who” on Harlan Web site.) He was apprenticed to the engineering firm of Robert Stephenson and became the founder of Harland & Wolff, the shipbuilders of Belfast and maker of the Titanic. (See http://www.geocities.com/razgbr/SirEdwardHarland.html )
His father, Dr. William Harland, was born at the Birch farm in Hartoft in 1887. Erasmus’ ancestor was Isaac Harland, the younger brother. The connection with the American Harlans is not clear.
Bill Harland of Dallas, OR, says that his father spent time in England in the 1950s and determined that the Sutton Hall Harlands of Yorkshire were related to the Hartoft family. The Hartoft Harlands may have been connected with the descendants of Sir Richard Harland who fought on the side of the Royalists in the English Civil War. Richard’s brother, Captain William Harland, was a Cromwellian, and after the restoration of the monarchy, had to flee from the retribution visited upon the “regicides” (King killers). Unfortunately, the line of descent connecting the Sutton Hall Harlands with Edward Harland’s ancestry hasn’t been determined yet.
On May 5, 2001, a plaque will be placed on the Harland house in Newborough,
and Erasmus Harland will give a talk on the Harland Family in the Scarborough
Library. There will be a display of some original letters and family items
as well as readings from letters.
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