THOMAS HARRIS II
Thomas Harris (II)  was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth ( ) Harris. He was born about 1637 in Providence, Providence Co., Rhode Island. Thomas married Elnathan Tew on 3 Nov 1664 in Providence. [9,10] He died 27 Feb 1711 in Providence. [7,8]
Elnathan was born in Newport, Rhode Island , on 15 October 1644, daughter of Richard and Mary (Clarke) Tew. She died on 11 January 1718 in her 77th year and was buried in St. Peters churchyard in Johnston, R.I.,  and then was moved to the North Burial Ground in Providence.
During the next twenty two years there were nine children born to the family:
1. Thomas was born 19 Oct 1665 and died 1 Sep 1741. 
2. Richard was born 14 Nov 1668 and died 1750.
3. Nicholas was born 5 Apr 1671 and died 27 March 1746.
4. William was born 11 May 1673 and died 14 Jan 1726.
5. Henry was born 10 Nov 1675 and died 29 Mar 1727.
6. Amity was born 10 Dec 1677 and died 5 Jun 1749.
7. Job was born 11 Jan 1682 and died Jan 1689.
8. Elnathan was born about 1684 and died 27 July 1749.
9. Mary was born about 1687 and died 13 Sep 1765.  
Providence Plantation was founded 1636-1638 by Roger Williams who had bought the land from the Narragansett tribe. His father Thomas and Uncle William had been among the original twelve to sign a compact to establish the local government of the new settlement. This new type of town government was under the leadership of Roger Williams. Times were not easy. There were troubles with the Indians and the need for internal security. The neighboring orthodox colonies considered Rhode Island a sanctuary for heretics (many residents had been banished by Massachusetts) and treated then with scant respect. 
There were problems between the settlers too. Thomas’s Uncle William Harris had a falling out with Roger Williams the political and religious leader of Providence Plantation. William had removed to the “Pawtuxet Purchase” in 1638 which bordered Providence, and there was a dispute over jurisdiction and title which lasted for forty years.  Quarrels, fights, accusations, arrests, imprisonment were all a part of the atmosphere of the early settlement. Being remote from England and the civilized world also made it difficult on the settlers. Supplies, food, and shelter were all difficult to acquire without much tribulation.
Thomas and his siblings lived upward into areas surrounding the Mohassuck River in North Smithfield, Lincoln and Limerock areas 7 miles northwest of his father's original settlement in the center of Providence on North Towne Street. Vast acres of land were aquired by the Harris through the years. Thomas’s father was a surveyor for Providence and numerous records show purchase and transfer of parcels to the expanding members of the Harris families. In 1661, he laid out sixty acres at Pangachange Hill and twenty-five more acres to the south which were designated as a lot for him. 
Thomas, lived the life style of the typical Rhode Island farmer of the time. Each was consistently referred to as a yeoman (farmer) in written records of the time. His familiy attended local Baptist churches, and as custom dictated associated principally with those of like social and religious sensibilities. That their children could read and write is problematic. "The widespread dislike for learning produced a general disinterest in education in that day being largely centered in scholarly debates about dogma. Since neither the Quakers nor Baptists, the two predominant groups in the colony after 1676, were interested in scholarly debates... few books were published. No one thought it necessary to found a college, and few sent their sons to Harvard or Yale. The absence of a professional clergy and an established church was also largely responsible for the absence of a public school system. The emphasis upon a spirit-filled, rather than head-stored, clergy left in the colony's intellectual and cultural life a vacuum that was not filled until the Anglicans and ngregationalists established churches." 
Thomas always lived his entire life in Providence, Rhode Island. February 19, 1665 he had Lot a in a division of lands. In 167I-79, 1680-81-82-85,1691-94-97,1702-06-07-08 and 1710, he was deputy of the general court; and in 1684-85-86 member of town council. June 1, 1679, he was taxed eight pounds nine pence and September 1, 1687. fourteen shillings, nine pence. June 21, 1708, he made his will which was proved April 16, 1711. The executors being his wife Elnathan and his son Henry. 
At the time of his death on February 27, 1711; he left a large estate to his Family which included about 640 acres among other holdings.
Example of early home in Providence area 
Abstract of Will:
To eldest son Thomas, 140 acres where he dwells (except 6 acres that Henry is to have, and a small orchard to Henry), and other land. To son Richard 60 acres where he dwells and right of common, &c, and a third of orchard. To son Nicholas, land where he dwells, 150 acres, &c, and a third of orchard. To Son William land where he dwells, 12 acres, &c. To son Henry, 130 acres and a third of an acre being part of his Father’s orchard also half the land and housing where I dwell containing 120 acres. To wife Elnathan, the other half of homestead for life in lieu of dower and at her decease to son Henry. To daughter Amity Morse, 20 pds. To daughter Elnathan Harris, a feather bed, and weaver’s loom and 20 pds. To daughter Mary Harris, a feather bed, and weaver’s loom and 20 pds. To wife and son Henry, all stock and meat cattle, horse, sheep and swine, husbandry tools, negro man, household goods, &c, they to have the profits of same, and at death of wife, Henry to have the stock and negro man, &c, but the household goods to be for three daughters of testator. Inventory, 146 pigs viz: 3 guns, cash 3 pds, 6s, 7d, bible, warming pan, settle, pair of stillyards, wheat, rye, Indian corn, barley, 20 barrels cider, negro man 10 pds, a bull, 5 cows, 2 oxen, 4 three year old, 6 yearlings, swine, 33 sheep, &c. 
Full Text of Will (dated 21 June 1708, he died 27 Feb 1710/1, proved 16 Apr 1711, vo. 7, page 192- 194):
 Here followeth the Record of the last will and Testament of the deceased Thomas Harris of Providence, who departed this life ffebruary ye 27th 1711.
Know all Persons, That I Thomas Harris of Providence in the Colony of Rhode Jsland & Providence Plantations in New England being through the Mercy of God indifferently in Bodily health & of good Memory Praised bc his Name for Ever; And knowing that it is appoynted for man to dye, I do hereby ordaine Make Constitute & appoynt this to be my last Will & Testament in manner & forme following. Imprimis; I give and bequeath to my Eldest son Thomas Harris that parcell of land where he now dwelleth in said Providence, & bounded south on land in the Possession of Solomon Thornton, west with the River, North on land lately belonging to Gedion Crafferd, deceased; East on land in My owne Possession, which I bought of John Rice (Excepting six acres of land which I do hereby give unto my son Henry Harris which is to be taken out of that said land where there is a pit dig'd for Mine  & a small orchard, and said six acres to be & Remaine to said Henry Harris his Heirs & Assignes for Ever; The aforesd land Containing one hundred & forty acres, or be it More, or be it less;
And I give & bequeath to my said son Thomas Harris a devision of land lieing without the seven mile line as it is Now laid out in said Providence & Containing one hundred & fifty acres, or be it More or be it less, And also I give him Twelve acres of land on the west side of the River, westward of his house in said Providence And also I give him the One halfe of My Right of land in the Towne of said Providence below the streete where my ffather did dwell, & it to be the North part; All which Parcells of land to be & remaine to my said son Thomas Harris his Heirs & Assignes for Ever.
secondly I Give & bequeath to my son Richard Harris sixty acres of land adjoyneing northward on a Percell of land where he now dwelleth which I gave him by deede, as it is Now laid out, & I give him the one halfe of a Right of Commonage within the seven mile line that I bought of John Rice; All which Parcells of land to be & Remaine to my said son Richard Harris his Heirs & Assignes for Ever; All said lands here given to my said son Richard Harris being in aforesd Providence.
And likewise I give him & to his Heirs & Assignes forever one Third part of an acre of land in said Providence Towne it being part of my ffathers Orchard: Thirdly, I give & bequeath to my son Nicholas Harris a Parcell of land where he Now dwelleth which I bought of Samuell Scarbro & Stephen Williams Containeing one hundred & fifty acres, be it more or be it less, And also I give him a devision of land without the seven mile line containing one hundred & fifty acres as it is laid out, or be it more or be it less, said Pareells of land being in said Providence; And I give him one third part of an acre of land in Providence Towne it being part of my ffathers Orchard; All which lands to be & Remaine to my said son Nicholas Harris his Heirs & Assignes for ever. ffourthly, I give & bequeath to my son william Harris a Parcell of land in said Providence Towne where he now dwelleth; Bound south on the land of John Arnold, East on the High Way, North on land in the Possession of one Adams, & partly on the west River, west on undivided land; Containeing twelve acres, be it more or be it less; And also I Give to him one six acre Lott that I bought of My unckle William Harris lieing southward of a Brooke I that Runneth f downe by Henry Estens, Bound west on the Mill River East on the land of Henry Estens South on the undevided land; And also two six acre Lotts lieing in Providence Towne neck, wch  which was laid out to me in my owne Right: And likewise I give him Twenty acres of land which was my ffathers Right, lieing westward of Richard Clemenee house which was his ffaters, iiear the head of a little Brooke that Runneth into his land; Also the one halfe of my Right of land in Providence Towne below the streete where my ffather did dwell it be the south part: All which said Percells of lands being in said Providence and to be & Remaine to my said son William Harris his Heirs & Assignes forever: ffifthly; I give & bequeath unto my son Henry Harris one percell of land which I bought of Cornelius Higgins lieing at a place Called Sekesocut & hahfe a Right, of land that I bought of John Rice & laid to it, all Containeing one hundred & Thirty acres, be it More or be it less; Also a devision of land without the seven mile line Containeing one hundred & fifty acres as it is Now laid out, be it More or be it less, and a Parcell of Meaddow hieing by the brooke Called Reapers brooke and another Parcell of Meadduw lyeing by the River that Runneth by Peter Places, And also one third part of an acce of land iti Providence Towne it being part of my ffathers Orchard; All which said Parcells of land being in said Providence and to be and Remaine unto my said son Henry Harris his Heirs & Assignes forever: ffurtber More, I give and bequeath unto my said son Henry Harris the one halfe of that land & halfe of the houseing where I now dwell in said Providence, the whole Containing about one hundred & twenty acres, and being bounded South on a high Way, west on the land by me granted to my son Thomas Harris, North on the land of the Heirs of Silas Carpenter deceased, & East on the River; And the other helfe of said land & houseing I give & bequeath to my loveing wife Elnathan Harris during her Naturall life, and said halfe is to be hew of her Thirds or Dower, And after my wife decease all said lands & houseing with all the improvements thereon to be & Rernaine unto my said son Henry Harris his Heirs & Assignes forever: I give and bequeath unto my aforesaid five sons Three Purchase Rights of Comon Equally among them & to their Heirs & Assignes for ever: I give to my daughter Amity Miors Twenty Pounds money, or Other Pay Equivolent. I give to my daughter Elnathan Harris one ffeather bed with all the furniture thereto belonging & one weavers borne with one halfe of all the Tackling that doth thereto belong at my decease, & Twenty Pounds in Money within one yeare after,
And also Amity Legacy is to be paid within one yeare after my decease; I give to my daughter Mary Harris one ffeather bedd & all the furniture thereto belonging & one Weavers borne & the other halfe the Tackling thereto belonging at my decease, and Twenty Pounds Money or other Pay Equivolent withn one yeare after; Lastly, I make my loveing wife Elnathan Harris Executrix & my aforesd son Henry Harris Executor joyntly to this My last Will & Testament. And I Give unto them all my stock of Neat Cattle, horsekind, sheepe and swine, and all my Carts, Ploughs, Chaines & all other Husbandry Tooles, and my Negro man with the vse & improvement of all the Remainder of my household Goods or Moveable Estate; And they to Pay all my just and lawfull debts & Legacyes out of said stock & ProfIts of saidland, And at my wife decease, my said Executor to have the Remainder of my stock, one ffeatberhed, Negro Man & all Carts, Plowes Chaines & Tooles belonging to Husbandry. And the Remainder  Remainder of my beding & household goods to be Equally devided amongst my aforesd three daughters.
And I do hereby vtterly disallow, Revoake & annull all and every other Testaments, Wills, Legacyes, bequeaths and Executors by me in any wise before this time named willed & bequeathed, Ratifying & Confirming this & none other to be my last Will & Testament; Jn witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seale this Twenty first day of June in the Eight yeare of the Reign of our Sovereigne Lady Anne over England &c Queene, And in the yeare of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred & Eight;
Signed & Sealed in the presence of James Coggeshall Henry Tew junr:
This above written will was signed and sealed by Thomas Harris, and witnessed by James Coggeshall & Henry Tew junr: & Richard Tew, before me on the yeare & day abouesaid; as attests Henry Tew, Asistant
At a Meeting of the Towne Councill of Providence the above written will was Examined & Proved, Aprill the 16th, 1711:
Attests tho: Olney Clerk./
Recorded Aprill ye 25th, 1711: ~ Tho: Olney Clerk. 
Gravestone of Elnathan (Tew) Harris in North Burial Ground in Providence, RI.
Inscription reads: "In memory of Mrs. Elnathan Harris widow & relic of Mr. Thomas Harris who departed this life January 11, 1718 in ye 77th year of her age". 
The New England Historic Genealogical Society recently completed a research paper discussing discrepancies in secondary literature regarding the children of this Thomas Harris (1641-1711) and Elnathan Tew who have often been mistakenly identified as the children of their grandfather, Thomas Harris (d. 1686). Click here to read this Research Paper.
- Rhode Island Historical Periodical, “Miantonomo’s Death and New England Politics 1630-1645”, by John A. Sainsbury, pg. 112
- Representative Men and old Families of Rhode Island, vol. III, pg. 756
- Austin, Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, pg. 310, This is in present day Johnston, RI
- Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Island, 10:148, "Brown, mary, alias Barnon."
- William Richard Cutter, A.M. and William Frederick Adams, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts, 4 vols. (New York: (n.p.), 1910), vol. 1, p. (??)
Providence City Archivist, Providence City Archives (Providence, RI: Town Clerk), Will or probate #192, Division Of Archives And History, City Hall, Providence, Rhode Island 02903-1789, City Hall, Providence, Rhode Island 02903-1789.
Genealogy.com, Vital Records of Rhode Island CD 1500s-1900s (Family Tree Maker), R.I. Genealogical Register, Vol. 12, pg. 151, #215.
Austin, Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, pg. 310, Arnold, Early Records of Providence, 7:48-56, from Providence Wills, records):63.
Genealogy of Nicholas Harris, pg. 3.
Clarence Almon Torrey ; with an introduction by Gary Boyd Roberts ; prepared for publication by Elizabeth P. Bentley, New England Marriages Prior to 1700, CD with Torrey's References (Baltimore, Md. : Genealogical Publishing Company, c1985
Gravestone of Elnathan (Tew) Harris in the North Burial Ground (PV001), Providence, R.I. Location of grave from John E. Sterling,"North Burial Ground: Providence, R.I.: Old Section 1700-1848", R.I.G.S. Special Pub. No. 5, 2000, p. 61. Elnathan's grave was moved from the old Harris Lot (JN065) in Johnston, R.I. to the North Burial Ground. Inscription reads: "In memory of Mrs. Elnathan Harris widow & relict of Mr. Thomas Harris who departed this life January 11, 1718 in ye 77th year of her age."
- One of America's first limestone quarries started in the 1660s (after 1661 but before 1669) when Thomas Harris and Gregory Dexter began mining limestone along Rte 146 in Lincoln, RI Harris quarry was more than a mile northwest of the Dexter quarry in an area called Limerock. Also information published by Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.
- William G. McLoughlin, Rhode Island, A Bicentennial History (New York: W. W. Norton, 1978) 66.
- Printed from Family Archive Viewer CD215 Vital Records: Rhode Island, 1500s-1900s, RI. Genealogical Register, Volume 12, Abstracts Providence Wills, © Genealogy.com, June 24, 2001
- See: North Burial Ground
- Another example of a "stone-ender" construction using extensive mortar and stone made possible by the ample supply of lime from the Harris Family Lime Quarry (see .
- Austin, Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island, pg. 310, 394; Arnold, Vital Record of Rhode Island, 7 ) Rhode Island Friends Records); 77.
- Thomas2 and Nicholas3 Harris of Providence, Rhode Island by Helen Schatvet Ullmann, New England Historical Genealogical Society Register, November 2012. This is a recent well researched article and should be considered the most accurate of the references for the family.
Early bust portrait of a Thomas Harris was purported to be earliest Thomas who came to Providence. However it has been analyzed by the New England Historic Genealogical Society April, 2009 with the following report, case 197992-3:
"It could not be the original Thomas harris, who died in 1686. The portrait sitter's style of jacket, collar, and cravat indicate that this portrait was most likely painted in the mid-eighteenth century. The cravat, in particular, did not become popular until the mid-eighteenth century, and this style would most likely not have appeared in portraiture of the mid-seventeenth century."
The original portrait has been handed down through the Harris lineage, perhaps it was of a Thomas Harris III who died in 1741.
Footstone of Elnathan Harris and other Harris Ancestors in the North Burial Ground
Generations of Harris family graves are located in North Burial Ground in Providence.
Appreciation to Katherine (Kiki) Harris Anderson of Providence for her personal tour of the beautiful location along side the Moshasset River.
Map Detail of Harris Plots in
Latititude: 41°50'44.23"N Longitude: 71°24'26.17"W