Rufus Harris Family Histories
Rufus Harris K2JL-4X6 1749–1798
Rufus Harris lived in Smithfield, RI where he was a yeoman farmer. By May 1797 Rufus inherited more land from his father Preserved. This included about 180 acres, a lime house, lime kiln and other associated entities in the Harris Lime business owned by 2 other surviving brothers, Jesse and Nathaniel. His brother Nathan had moved to New York 17 years prior.
• Rufus Harris died age 50 in 1798 in Smithfield, RI.
• The oldest Sons Paul and Peter moved to Palmyra by 1800.
• Levi, Martin P, Arthur, Seth, Lucy (age 12) and Polly (age 8) moved with their mother Lucy by 1804.
• Other siblings, Martha and Betsy died in RI prior to 1800.
• His brother Nathan Harris K2JP-6LS moved to New York by 1781.
Lucy Hill K2JL-4KZ 1751–1824
After the 1798 death of her husband Rufus, by May 1799, the Smithfield Probate Court set off a third of Rufus's real estate to her. 1800 Census shows Lucy living in Smithfield with 2 daughters (it is assumed Betsey died prior to 1800 as only 2 younger females are shown on the census). She then likely sold her estate in preparation to move to Palmyra, NY around 1804 to join the older sons who had already migrated beginning around 1799. By 1808 and at age 16 her daughter Lucy married Martin Harris in Palmyra. Her daughter Polly married in 1812.
Paul Harris KC9S-X1Z 1774–1820
After his father Rufus died in 1798, Paul married Sarah Harris in 1799 in RI and left Smithfield, before summer of 1800 (when he is found on the census), moving to Farmington, Ontario County, NY (mostly settled by the Society of Friends-Quakers). He bought 40 acres of land in 1807 from Isaac Hathaway. After his move to Farmington, he was closely associated with the Society of Friends, although his name does not appear on their official records. He died in 1820 without a will and his wife Nancy probated 13 March 1813 along with a friend Noah Porter of Palmyra. Again in 1820, another petition was signed by Peter Harris (Paul’s next younger brother and an active Quaker) and Darius Comstock whose father (originally from Cumberland, RI) was an early leader of the original 12 Quakers who purchased an entire tract of land from Phelps and Gorham, naming it Farmington (only 9 miles from Palmyra).
Martha Harris L4L4-CZL 1776–1796
Died 1796 in her 20th year, 2 years before her father Rufus died.
Peter Harris L46C-3LW 1778–1849
Born in Smithfield, RI, his father died young in 1798 (Peter's 20th year) he married in 1799 then migrated to Ontario, New York by the 1800 Census (with his older brother Paul). He located in Palmyra where his uncle Nathan Harris had migrated in the early 1790s. By 1803 he owned land in Palmyra, NY that he sold to Saumel Durfee. He purchased 100 acres from Nathan Harris in 1804. Although not from a Quaker family, Peter joined that group by 1809 who met at the Farmington, New York Meetinghouse (9 miles from Palmyra). His younger sister Lucy married 1st cousin Martin Harris (son of Nathan and later a Book of Mormon Witness). His sister Polly married Freeman Cobb and lived in Palmyra. His mother and most of his siblings moved to Ontario-Wayne County by 1804.
i.e.: Ontario County, NY Grantee Deed Index, 1789-1845: Liber 9 page 520 1804 Nathan Harris sold to Peter Harris http://ny-ontariocounty.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/View/7103
Levi Harris K4X3-F5L 1781–1859
Levi married Remember Medbery , 7 Feb. 1805 in RI (together they had at least eleven children born in Ontario County, New York). His first known date of residence is 1806 when he purchased, from Isaac Kelly, 115 acres of land in Palmyra, NY. His uncle Nathan Harris had moved to this area in the mid-1790s and was living in Palmyra. His older brothers Paul and Peter had previously moved there by 1800.
Martin P Harris L46Z-376 1782–1826
He married “Elizabeth” about 1802 then likely moved with his widowed mother and other younger siblings by 1804 to Palmyra where his older brothers Paul and Peter had previously moved by 1800. He died there 11 April 1826, at age 44.
Arthur Harris 2718-NV6 1785–1811
Likely moved with his widowed mother and younger siblings by 1804 to Palmyra where his older brothers Paul and Peter had previously moved by 1800. By 1809, purchased 40 acres of land in Palmyra, NY next to his brother Levi Harris. In 1809 he married Achsah Warren, a local woman, a member of Society of Friends, in nearby Farmington, NY. He soon died 25 January 1811 leaving his young wife 22 year old and infant daughter.
Seth Harris LKKM-GNG 1788–1821
Likely moved with his widowed mother and younger siblings by 1804 to Palmyra where his older brothers Paul and Peter had previously moved by 1800. He married his first cousin Sophia Harris, daughter of his Uncle Nathan Harris. He died young at age 33.
Betsy Harris L51D-1M4 1790–1800
Died by age 10, 2 years after her father’s passing. She does not show on the 1800 census listing her mother as head of household.
Lucy Harris KWJY-BM9 1792–1836
Likely moved with her mother and siblings by 1804 to Palmyra where her older brothers Paul and Peter had previously moved by 1800. Her widowed mother sold her estate just prior to moving to NY. By 1808 and at age 16 Lucy married her first cousin Martin Harris in Palmyra.
Polly Harris L4L4-V6V 1794–1871
At age 10, moved with her widowed mother and some siblings by 1804 to Palmyra where her older brothers Paul and Peter had previously moved by 1800.