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  • SPRING 1999 NO. 14 - Contents
  • The Harlan Record is an annual newsletter published for the Harlan Family in America. Subscriptions are free but we are totally dependant on donations to pay the expenses. To be placed on the mailing list either write to the Harlan Record, PO Box 1654, Independence MO 64055. or e-mail to graber@graber.com. Send any donations to John R. Harlan, 422 Aumond Rd., Augusta, GA 30909. Interesting stories about noteable Harlans are always welcome at the PO Box listed above.


    MADGE HARLIN BROWN, born June 24, 1898 passed away October 27, 1998.  She had looked forward to her 100th birthday for so long with such anticipation.  It seemed that following the event on June 24 that all of her goals had been reached.  Madge was featured in an earlier edition of the Record.  Her devotion to family was the hallmark of her life and "family" including all Harlins, Harlans, Harlens and Harlands.  They were all "cousins" to Aunt Madge.

    ELLIS HARLAN, (grandson of #5736, Martin C. Harlan) died October 14, 1997.  Harlans who  attended the 310th Reunion in Mt. Pleasant will fondly remember his recitation of the "99 Counties of Iowa".  Ellis was born in 1908 in a log cabin near Stuart, Iowa.  He grew up helping on his family farm, and graduated from Stuart High School in 1927.  Ten years later he married Julia Blount and together they had three children.  Ellis worked at the Maytag Company in Newton, IA for 20 years as an inspector before retiring in 1974.  He continued to farm until 1982.  He had an active retirement including membership in the First Unitarian Church in Des Moines, Newton Senior Citizens Kitchen Band and RSVP.

    BYRON MORRIS HARLAN, 91 passed away May 27, 1998.  He was born May 8, 1907, son of Wilbur Gilbert and Florence Magnolia Morris Harlan.  He married Lillian "Peggy" Britton, who survives at the home.  Byron was employed with the Missouri Pacific Railroad for 47 years as an agent/telegrapher.  Other survivors include daughters Glyndon Velzquez, Imperial Beach, CA and Delores Burger, California, MO.

    BEREA BERNADINE HARLAND, 76, died September 10, 1998.  Miss Harland had worked at Farmers Bank, Wesley Manor and Phillippe Senior Resource Center, all of Frankfort, IN and at Bank of America, Los Angeles, CA.  She is survived by brother, Phil T. Harland of Placentia, CA, sisters Evalene J. Wolf of Galveston and Phyllis A. Harland of Muncie.  Berea attended the 310th Harlan Reunion in Mt. Pleasant, IA.


    Sales of the History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family by Alpheus Harlan continue at a steady pace.  The family has recently ordered another printing of the Tricentennial Edition.  Copies are available from Peggy Harlan Talley, 104 Fern, Poteau, OK, 74953 for $60 including postage.  As you can see, the price has increased due to the increased costs of printing and postage.  Buy a copy now for your most recent grandchild.


    Patricia L. Banks of Orem, UT provided the following story about her Great Great Grandfather, Jehu M. Harlan (#6908, p. 937 Harlan Genealogy).  Jehu was born June 23, 1826 in Barren Co., KY.  For sixty-five years Uncle Jehu, as he was known, made a living as a chair maker despite the increasing competition from furniture factories.  His hospitality and cordial manner was spicy and at 86 he seemed no older than he appeared some ten or fifteen years before. He was as spry as a cricket. Uncle Jehu, made split-bottom and cane bottom chairs following the trade he learned as a boy in the dense forests of Kentucky. Hand made dining chairs and parlor rockers were his specialities since he was old enough to turn a lathe.  He told of his life as follows:  "I was born on a farm in old Kentucky, and a might rough farm it was, too.  My father was a chair maker, and as was the custom in those days, I naturally took to my father's vocation like a duck to water.  Boys were not permitted to select their own vocations.  The matter rested with the father and mother.  I was such a good little chap that I've often wondered why my parents did not train me to be a preacher.  I guess they didn't want me to starve to death.  Anyhow, at an early age I became an apprentice in my father's chair shop and bless me if I haven't been a'making chairs ever since, and the funny thing about it is I never got tired of my job.  No, sir, I liked the business from the very start and the more chairs I make the more I am anxious to make.  I'm busy every day making chairs and repairing old broken down chairs."  The chairs that Jehu turned out were substantial and well made.  His reputation as a chair maker spread beyond the local area.  The Harlan make of chairs could be found in Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, Oregon, Illinois and Michigan.  He used maple and hickory timber in making the rounds, backs and posts of split-bottom and cane-bottom chairs.  White oak was used primarily in making the bottoms for the chairs.  Jehu said the demand for home made chairs was not as great when he was 86 as in older days when he turned out eight or ten chairs a day.  At 86 his production was an average of one chair a day. Jehu died September 9, 1913.


    David and Fannie Harlan celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary at a family dinner and gathering.  The Harlans were married September 2, 1930.  Mr. Harlan worked for 43 years at AT&T and Mrs. Harlan retired from Troutmans, where she worked in the jewelry department for 20 years.  The Harlans live in Eastbrook and have three children:  Jim of Phoenix, Norma Cathcart of Mercer, and Fred of New Castle.  The couple enjoy their home where Mr. Harlan still cuts his own grass.


    Ribs...gumbo...frog legs...boudin sausage with Cajun jam...these are just some of the specialties that Tim Harlan of Columbia, Missouri, prepares on the grill.  He won the Soulard Cajun Creole Cook-Off in St. Louis in 1993 with his recipe for gumbo.  He was a winner again in 1996 and has finished near the top a number of other times.

    Some people assume Tim is from the South because of his style of cooking, but he tells them, "It's south Main Street in Boonville, MO. That's my Southern heritage."  Tim's first cooking lessons came from his mother, Dorothy Cochran Harlan, who insisted that boys need to be just as handy in the kitchen as girls.  During his college years at the University of Missouri, he and his wife, Linda, found barbecuing on a grill was an effective way to prepare meals economically.  Tim is also the son of the late Lane L. Harlan whose legal assistance was instrumental in establishing the Harlan Family Association.

    For Tim, the kitchen is a place to relax from the pressures of a law practice and serving in the Missouri General Assembly.  He has been Representative of a district in Columbia since 1994 and was the chief sponsor of the managed care bill which is now law in Missouri.  It is acknowledged as the most comprehensive consumer managed care bill in the country.

    For fund raisers, Tim has prepared barbecued meat for a many as 300 people.  Here is a version of one of Tim's favorites:

                    TEXAS RIBS (with Black Night Barbecue Sauce) 

    1 cup strong black coffee 
    3/4 cup catsup 
    1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce 
    1/4 cup brown sugar 
    1/4 cup molasses 
    1 Tablespoon olive oil 
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
    1/2 teaspoon salt 
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

    Mix, bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.  Sear beef ribs over coals, move to the side and cook slowly until done while basting with sauce.

    Much of the information for this article came from "The Rembrandt of Ribs" in MIZZOU, magazine of the MU Alumni Association, Winter, 1998.

    This 18th Century Quaker farmhouse sits on 200 acres of land deeded from George Harlan (#3) 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. 
    Owned and operated as a Bed and Breakfast by Beverly McCausland, the house features now 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 (#4) 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.

    The Harlan Log House, 205 Fairville Road, Chadds Ford, PA 19317, (610)388-1114.


    Muncie writer Betty Harlan Harris received five awards in the annual state communications contest of Woman's Press Club of Indiana.  She won first for her column, Senior Scene which appears in the Star Press and for articles on social issues published in 1997 in the Star Press.  She also won first place in the category of nonfiction books, biography, for Diamond Heels, Hattie: A Hoosier Housewife in ÔPeacock Alley'.  She wrote the book about long ago Muncie resident Harriett Bell Mitchell Anthony.


    The Harlan Family internet web page maintains a list of members of the Harlan Ninety Plus Club.  Criteria for membership are two:  one must be 90 years old and born with the Harlan(d) name.  Following are current members and their birth dates:

    Alamander Jeremiah Harlan   August 17, 1901
    Roland Harlan     January 19, 1902
    Mabel Weigle Harlan    October 9, 1902
    Jeanette Harlan Rodriquez   April 23, 1905
    Orville Ira Harlan    June 1906
    David Franklin Harlan    July 21, 1907
    William Elihu Harlan, Jr.   December 6, 1907
    Gerald Harlan      November 9, 1908
    Murillo Elizabeth Harlan Smith  December 26, 1908
    Stila Myrtle Harlan Gleason   April 2, 1909
    If you are 90 years or older or if you know of someone who qualifies, please send the information to Laurence Harlan, Jr. 6158 Mill Run Road, Monticello, MN 55362 or to his e-mail address nalrah@aol.com.  Please include information such as genealogy connection to the Harlan Genealogy Book, current residence, date and place of birth.


    The Harlan Family web site having passed its first anniversary, continues to grow.  In its first year we had over 5000 visitations.  Subjects include Harlan Family History, the Record, Reunions, Messages, interesting Harlan stories, Information on Tours, Who's Who, and much more.  Many thanks to those who work to make it a successful site.  A measure of its success is that the Genealogy Library of the Church of Latter Day Saints asked permission to use our site as a part of their genealogy training.  As you may know the LDS Genealogy library is one of the largest sources of genealogical information in the world.


    I have traced my ancestors back as far as Joseph Harlan(d) born 1798 in Maryland.  He moved to Troy, Ohio and married Hannah Wells, born in 1817; they were married October 1, 1837.  They had three children, Harriet, b. 1838, John Wood, b. 1840, and Mary b. 1843.  Joseph died in November of 1857 and is buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Troy.  Any information on Joseph or his family would be greatly appreciated.  Please contact Laurence Harlan, 6158 Mill Run road, Monticello, MN 55362-3611 or nalrah@aol.com.


    Fifty-seven Harlans from Indiana and a few other states met on July 18, 1998 for a day of fun and fellowship.  The group met at the Benedictine Center in Beech Grove, IN.  The full day program was planned by Gene and Virginia Harlan, Brownsburg, Ray and Melba King, Marilyn and Charles Spurgeon and Esther Wells, all of Indianapolis, Diane Wells of Atlanta, IN, Carol and Glendon Griffith ,Lebanon, and Becky Hines, Hagerstown.

    Melba King welcomed the group followed by a video message from Dan Harlan, President of the Harlan Family Association.  Dan spoke of past family get togethers and of future plans.  Becky Hines and Gene Harlan talked about genealogy and generation charts in "Do you Know Your Family?"  Gene stated that the singing and eating are always important at a reunion, but finding new relationships -- names, dates and places is the "Big Time Fun!"  The group then took a welcome break with Becky Gaskill leading the singing and with Ray King on the piano.

    The group was fortunate to hear a repeat of the program delivered at Mt. Pleasant in 1997, titled "The Lincoln Connection" which focused on the women in the Lincoln-Harlan History.  Lynn Ellsworth from Iowa Wesleyan College and Connie King of Bondville, VT presented the program.  After lunch, Ray King provided some video clips of the Mt. Pleasant reunion, Gene Harlan spoke of tombstone Art Symbols and Diana wells made a presentation of gravestone rubbings and etchings.  The program concluded with the singing of "A Family of Friends".


    The Harlans pictured below have attended celebration 300, 310 and two Harlan tours to England.  Front Row: left to right: Connie Harlan, Dorothy Harlan, Jean Hines, Annette Harlan, Marylee Harlan, Margaret Yuhas.  Back Row: Junior Harlan, Lowell Harlan, Linda Harlan, Pat McCurdy, John R. Harlan, Tom Harlan.

    Fall of 1998 saw 37 Harlan colonists invading the ancestral homeland.  The group gathered first in Edinburgh  and enjoyed a bit of Scottish culture including a special Scottish dinner and entertainment, a visit to a kilt maker, historical tours at Sterling and Bannockburn, and a stop at Sir Walter Scott's home, Abbotsford.

    The highlight of our time in England was our stop at St. Peter's Monkwearmouth.  They were celebrating the Festival of the Flowers and the church was beautifully decorated including a bouquet in honor of the visiting Harlans.  We were joined at this stage of the tour by cousin Erasmus "Raz" Harland who lives in the area.  He entertained us with stories of his family as we drove through the fog shrouded hills in search of Harland Moor.  Unfortunately we were not able to see the Moor but we did enjoy Raz's stories.  Other Highlights in England included Harewood House and gardens, the Bronte parsonage at Haworth and the picturesque Cotswolds.

    We made several delightful stops in Wales including Caernarfon Castle where Prince Charles was invested as Prince of Wales, Portmeirion, a quaint Italinate style village, and a ride on a narrow gauge railroad to Blaenau Ffestiniog an area where they mined slate.

    Traveling with our extended family is always an experience and with Marge Sgroi's guidance we always have a good time.  An interesting note was that there were 12 of us who had been to both celebration 300 and 310 reunion, and on both tours to Great Britain.


    After 12 years of editing and publishing the Harlan Record, Editors Tom and Marylee Harlan would like to step down.  If you are interested in taking on this assignment please write to Tom Harlan, 384 Pointes Drive East, Harstine Island, WA 98584 or email to mltharlan@aol.com.  Include your experience in editing newsletters or other materials, your involvement in the Harlan Family Association, and your computer skills.  It is not essential that you have a publishing program.  The Harlan Family Board of Directors will make the final selection.


    The officers and board members of The Harlan Family in America met April 25, 1999, at the home of Secretary Ruth Harlan Lamb in Independence, Missouri. It was the desire of Dan Harlan, coordinator of the 1987 national family reunion in Delaware and current president of the association, to step down as leader but to remain as a member of the Board of Directors. All members of The Harlan Family in America are indebted to Dan for his vision and dedication and for making us more aware of our Harlan heritage. Former Vice-President Bob Harlan of Yuba City, CA, will now serve as president. Bob is the narrator of the 1997 reunion videotapes and was master of ceremonies at the closing program in Mt. Pleasant, IA.

    Other business conducted at the board meeting included voting to expand the total number of board members from 8 to 11, and Robert A. Harlan (PA), Liz Sly (NJ), and C.J. King (VT) have accepted the positions.

    The group reviewed advice from attorneys for setting up a tax-exempt foundation but at the present, our organization doesn't qualify under IRS requirements unless several changes were to be made. The study of tax-exempt status will continue.

    Martha and Elgene Smith have been asked to serve as historians of the Harlan Family, and they have accepted the position. The Smiths live in Chadds Ford, PA, and are remembered for their work in helping make the 1987 gathering such a success.

    Entries in the Harlan logo contest were reviewed, and the Board voted to revise the original Celebration 300 logo to better fit the ongoing organization.

    It is the wish of the board to publish The Harlan Record two times a year--around October 1 and April 1. The editors for the last 13 years, Tom and Marylee Harlan, have decided to step down as editors after this edition, and it was with deep regret that the Board accepted their decision. The October 1, 1999,  issue will be prepared by Ruth Harlan Lamb with a permanent editor to be named later.

    Plans are to investigate the feasibility of obtaining a copyright of Alpheus Harlan's History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family and a trademark for the Harlan logo. Harlan's "Stitchery by Sue", owned by Jim and Sue Harlan of AZ, was recognized as the official source of Harlan clothing and memorabilia items.

    The Board set the year 2002 for the next national Harlan Family Reunion. Possible sites will soon be explored.


    The coming home of the Harlans to Spring Hill was a weekend of Brigadoon, as George Harlan's (#45) old house came to life with his descendents presence. The historic event will surely mark forever Memorial Day weekend, 1998, in West Virginia.

    The first Harlans to arrive on the farm parked in the barnyard and went immediately--to the barn. The great doors were opened and left so, as if to say "Welcome;" the hayloft, granary, stalls and foundations were all explored.

    Spring Hill had been through a renovation and clean-up. It no longer is exactly the original house, but the modern changes do not alter its essential character. When the far-flung Harlans entered the oldest room, they saw a refurbished log cabin with a 9 X 5 foot stone fireplace. This had been the kitchen, of course, but now it is a den.

    The main house has had two major alterations to accommodate the modern age: central heating, and the installation of a bathroom.  The family was fortunate to have discovered several wonderful furnishings stored in the attic at Overlook, a larger and later house.   These were displayed and included some family Limoges china and German doll dishes, a rare 1838 coverlet over the old Harlan rocker, and selected  pictures.  The Harlan Bible was left open to the births/marriages pages with the oldest entry being of Jehu Harlan's (#831) birth in 1788. (This  particular Bible was George Boyd Harlan's (#2878); Jehu was his father.)

    Upstairs, the hall contained family pictures and an beautiful pitcher and bowl set.  The smaller bedroom had a family quilt on the wall opposite an old round-top trunk set alongside some fabulous examples of turn-of-the-century clothing.   The main bedroom was the very room in which six Harlan sisters (daughters of George Boyd, parents and grandparents of current Harlan cousins) grew up together. Here a trunk was opened to show some white slips and skirts.  Near them hung a wonderful Gibson Girl blouses and wraps and threw across the bed an intricately made velvet cape.

    There were many outdoor activities for visitors, including a horse-drawn ride (a pair of Percherons, no less) out into the high grass pasture. Another event was the search with metal detectors for Civil War (or other) artifacts in the soil.  All ages of people were digging for what the troops might have left.  However, after a couple of hours, only one person found a bullet.

    Susan Crites, a local history buff and professional story teller, riveted her audience with "Ghosts Along the Potomac: Ghosts that Haunt the Hedgesville Area." Later Saturday night several Harlans visited Susan's pub in Martinsburg where costumed Civil War reenactors interacted with them.

    Sunday morning, many people  attended church, especially Falling Waters Presbyterian Church, the Harlans' own church for seven generations. All of George Harlan's descendants who remained on the farm are buried there. (George himself with his wife and parents [James #11] are thought to be buried in Providence Quaker Cemetery on the other side of Martinsburg.)

    Sunday afternoon there was an enormous event for everyone, including several hundred local neighbors and friends of the Harlans; an outdoor music concert featuring local artists playing popular music, bluegrass and jazz. As a special feature of this program, the president and several other administrators of nearby Shepherd College presented our aunt, Douglass Harlan, a recognition of her career and contribution to Berkeley County. As a renowned former public school teacher she is known to a wide range of people. She is also the last of the surnamed Harlans from our branch.

    The real weekend happening was the interactions of people--cousins finding each other, Harlans learning about their past and themselves, and a real combined sharing of this historic occasion.

    At the outset I suggested this so-called homecoming was not about numbers or dates as much as about a place.  We did register well over 100, and many others came by and spent time with us and, unless they signed the guest book, left no record.  The idea for the McMurrays was to introduce Spring Hill to Harlans who care about the family. We have done that. I expect we will have Harlan tourists from time to time from now on, which is as it should be. (But please let us know in advance of your planned visit.)

      --Nancy McMurray


    As you will see in the Financial Report, our current funds available are getting quite low.  This is due primarily to the fact that we reprinted the Harlan Genealogy book and must pay in advance of sales.  We will recoup that money over time as the book sells, but meanwhile, we are cash poor.  We do not charge a membership or subscription fee for the Harlan Record.  So we are now calling on you to voluntarily make a contribution to the Harlan Family in America.  You may make a general contribution or a contribution to the Remembrance Fund in honor of a special Harlan.  Please send your contributions to John Harlan, Treasurer, 422 Aumond Rd, Augusta, GA 30909.


    CASH IN SAVINGS ACCOUNT 1/1/98 $19,637.84
         Contributions  101.00
         Genealogy Book Sales 3,055.00
         Interest Earned  277.79
    -- TOTAL INCOME  $ 3,433.79
         Directors Meeting  586.94
         Video  5,881.79
         Postage  405.59
         Genealogy Reprint
         Contribution  125.00
         Logo Contest Mailing
    --TOTAL DISBURSEMENTS $15,685.55
    NET LOSS $12,251.76
    CASH IN SAVINGS ACCOUNTS 12/31/98 $ 7,386.08
    DEFERRED EXPENSE: (Genealogy Reprint) $ 4,863.81
    AVAILABLE FUNDS $2,522.27

    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 (AZ)
    Ridge Harlan (AZ/MT)
    Robert A.Harlan (PA)
    Connie J. King (VT)
    Gerry Harlan Lundgren (IA)
    Liz Harlan Sly (NJ)

    Harlan Record No. 13, Winter 1998
    Harlan Record No. 12, Summer 1997
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