Were the Harrises Quakers?

Nathan Harris married Rhoda Lapham who was a Quaker, but he was not a member. She was disowned by the church after she married because he was not of her faith.

Of the extensive Harris descendants from Thomas (I), there were only a few Quakers.


How do we know?

Checking the available Friends Meetinghouses records for Uxbridge, MA  and Smithfield RI yielded limited information for persons with the surname Harris. None were found at Uxbridge, MA but some at Smithfield, RI.  Certificates of Marriage were reviewed from 1719-1905, the first entry started in 1756 and the last in 1883. Birth records were reviewed for Harris surnames but none were found. General Member Minutes were not reviewed.

Marriage Records Found:

1) Richard Mowry and Huldah Harris d. of Gideon Harris (pg. 81) 5D 1M 1774. Gideon Harris, Thomas Harris, Asahel Harris were witnesses.

Relationship with Thomas Harris (I) Line: Huldah, Gideon, Thomas (iii), Thomas (II), Thomas (I)

2) Levi Arnold and Lydia Harris d. of David Harris, Jr and Abigail (pg.??)  4D 10M 1780. Amy Harris, Anna  Harris, Rhoda Harris, Abigail Harris, George Harris, Abigail Harris, David Harris, Jr, Jesse Harris, Joseph Harris, Jonathan Harris were witnesses.

Relationship with Thomas Harris (I) Line: Lydia, David, Jr., Richard (II), Richard (I), Thomas (II), Thomas (I)

3) Asa Aldrich and Susanna Harris d. of Jonathan and Mary Harris, 20D 4M 1774. Jonathan Harris, Jabez Harris, Abner Harris, Mary Harris,

Relationship with Thomas Harris (I) Line: Susanna, Jonathan, Richard, Thomas (II), Thomas (I)

4) Isaac Walker and Abigail Harris d. of Jeremiah and Abigail Harris, 30D 4M 1783. Mary Harris, Anna Harris, Rhoda Harris, George Harris, Jeremiah Harris

This Harris group seems to be descended from Thomas Harris the Ferryman in MA.

5) David Shepherd, Jr and Sarah Walker m 4K 1M 1775. Wait Harris, Thomas Harris, John Harris, Gideon Harris were witnesses.  Relationship not established yet.

6) Nathaniel Aldrich and Rachel Aldrich m. 18D 6M 1773. Abigail Harris was witness. Relationship not established yet.

7) John Wing and Margaret Buffum, m. 10D 4M 1773. Asahel Harris was witness. Relationship not established yet.

8) Jonathan Mowry and Deborah Wing, m., 7D 9M 1769. Israel Harris, Martha Harris, Susanna Harris were witnesses.  Relationship not established yet.

9) Jacob Aldrich and Hannah Brown, m. 26D 2M 1768. Anna Harris, Jonathan Harris were witnesses.  Jonathan LCX4-YTR  was a brother to Preserved (K2JL-WY7)

10) Ephraim Chubb and Katharine Hart m. 26D 2M 1756. Dinah Harris, Ammity Harris, Jabez Harris, Jonathan Harris were witnesses.  Relationship not established yet.


Research by James E. Hazard from microfilm in the collections of Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Certificates of Marriage reviewed 1719-1905, Box NE-129,


Nathan and Rhoda migrated with her Lapham relatives to Easton, NY and then on to Farmington, NY where Friends Meetinghouses were established. No less than 20 Lapham relatives were active members of the Friends in northwest MA and adjacent Easton, NY. Of these, 2 brothers: Abraham and his 3 sons and Asa and 1 son migrated to Ontario County, NY. Also 2 more nephews (sons of David Lapham) also migrated. They were all cousins and 2nd cousins of Rhoda’s mother Silvia Silence Lapham.

John Lapham (LCVC-FMB) 1677-1734 of Dartmouth, Bristol, MA is the common progenitor whose descendants were faithful Society of Friends (Quakers). He was the paternal great grandfather on Rhoda Lapham’s (Nathan Harrises wife) mother’s side (her parents were both Laphams): Sylvia Silence Lapham married Solomon Lapham who was a nephew to the same John Lapham (LCVC-FMB)

1 John Lapham III b. 1635 L85P-Z6V

2a Nicholas Lapham (LZVZ-T2N)

3a Soloman Lapham (LC5Z-794)

              4a Rhoda Lapham K2JP-6PW*

3b Nicholas Lapham LC56-VB4

              4b Noah Lapham (LCTV-SS6)

2b John Lapham (LCVC-FMB)

3c Benjamin Lapham (LZWP-37S)

3d Joshua Lapham (LC5G-XK3)

4c Abraham Lapham (L415-D2H)

5a Ira Lapham LH6Y-2XL

5b Stephen Lapham (LM98-5GG)

5c David Lapham  (LCY3-44F)

4d David Lapham (M7MW-G5S)

              5e Isaac Lapham (KJDB-8W1)

              5g Joshua Lapham (L2D1-C2H)

                                          4f Asa Lapham (LCX7-82N)

                                                        5f Ethan Lapham   (LM98-T2H)

3e Thomas Lapham (LKVW-H1C)

4g Silvia Silence Lapham  (MQDJ-HXZ)

5a Rhoda Lapham K2JP-6PW*

(names in brown migrated to Farmington or Palmyra, NY by 1800)


Records of Easton & Saratoga (New York) Friends Meetinghouse Minutes include the following individuals who are related to Rhoda Lapham: http://www.swarthmore.edu/library/friends/hazard/fhlresults.php

David Lapham (M7MW-G5S)* produced a certificate in 1778 from Smithfield. He was son of Joshua Lapham (LC5G-XK3). Joshua was the son of John Lapham (LCVC-FMB). He moved to Farmington as did his son Isaac Lapham (KJDB-8W1), John Lapham L2D1-C2H and Hannah

Abraham Lapham (L415-D2H) in 1799 was received by certificate from East Hoosick (Adams, MA and parts of NY near Easton). His father was Joshua Lapham (LC5G-XK3. Joshua was the son of John Lapham (LCVC-FMB). He eventually moved to Farmington, NY (near Palmyra) and was a prominent leader in the Farmington, NY Society of Friends.

Ira Lapham LH6Y-2XL  was a son of Abraham Lapham ​ (L415-D2H)

Stephen Lapham (LM98-5GG) was a son of Abraham Lapham ​ (L415-D2H)

David Lapham  (LCY3-44F) was a son of Abraham Lapham ​ (L415-D2H)

Benjamin Lapham (LZWP-37S) was the son of John Lapham (LCVC-FMB). He had been a member of the Smithfield Monthly Meeting in 1781 and along with his second wife Mary were granted a certificate with children Abigail & Ruth in 1785.

Later Noah Lapham (LCTV-SS6) was received by certificate from Dartmouth, MA in 1794. His wife Rachel (LGTV-SW5) was granted a certificate at Easton in 1796. Noah was son of Nicholas Lapham (LC56-VB4) of Dartmouth, MA, who was son of Nicholas Lapham (LZVZ-T2N) of Dartmouth, MA (brother to Solomon (lLC5Z-794).

Rhoda Lapham was daughter of Soloman (LC5Z-794), of Dartmouth, MA, son of Nicholas Lapham (LZV2-T2N), who was a brother of John Lapham (LCVC-FMB) and son of John Lapham (L85P-Z6V). Rhoda’s mother Silvia Silence Lapham  (MQDJ-HXZ) who was daughter of Thomas Lapham (LKVW-H1C) who was the son of John Lapham (LCVC-FMB). They were first cousins once removed. Her records do not appear in Easton's Members Meetings as she was disowned in Uxbridge, MA by marrying outside their faith to Nathan Harris.

* All file numbers are found in FamilySearch.com


There is an account that mentions Rhoda’s siblings (all except William) migrated westward (research incomplete to prove that).

Solomon Lapham (father of Rhoda) will: (Gloucester Probate Recs., 3:44)

names his wife, Silvia,

his three sons, Thomas, William, Duty (went to Easton, NY), (Zadock died in 1769)

three daughters, and three sons-in-law. Rebecca (Elisha Brown), Rhoda (Nathan Harris), Ruth (spouse unknown) 

The Lapham Account states that all the children of Solomon3 Lapham "moved into the country except William." This probably means that they went west to New York State. (Authorities: Dartmouth, Mass., printed V. R.; Austin s Den. Dict. of Rhode Island, p. 120; Arnold's V. R. of Gloucester and BurrilIviIIe, R.I. 77; Douglas, Mass., printed V. R.; Thayer Memorial, p. 485; Lapham Mss.) This is found at: http://dustyhills.net/aqwg134.htm

Records of Farmington (New York) Friends Meetinghouse Minutes include the following individuals who are related to Rhoda Lapham (Nathan Harris):

Ethan Lapham  (LM98-T2H) was son of Asa (LCX7-82N) Son of Joshua Lapham  (LC5G-XK3) Joshua was the son of John Lapham (LCVC-FMB).

Isaac Lapham (KJDB-8W1) was son of David Lapham (M7MW-G5S) Son of Joshua Lapham (LC5G-XK3). Joshua was the son of John Lapham (LCVC-FMB).

David Lapham  (LCY3-44F) was son of Abraham Lapham (L415-D2H) Son of Joshua Lapham (LC5G-XK3)

Ira Lapham LH6Y-2XL was another son of Abraham Lapham (L415-D2H)

Stephen Lapham (LM98-5GG) was another son of Abraham Lapham (L415-D2H)


Abraham Lapham and family  found in several Meetinghouse records:

Society of Friends Records in Nine Partners, NY

First arrived in 1775 and married Esther Aldrich in 1776

last name

first name







call number







Nine Partners 

Smithfield MM 



N 553 






Nine Partners 

Esther Aldrich 



N 553 






Society of Friends Records in Nine Partners, NY

Is first acknowledged in East Hoosack (Adams, MA) although it is unclear whether he lived there prior to the records of the local Friends. He had purchased land in Farmington, NY against the acceptance of his fellow members and was subquently disavowed. Most likely he moved his family to Farmington until 1796 when is once again restored to fellowship. It is possible he kept a home in East Hoosack area even though he was developing his farmlands in Farmington. By 1799 he is once again shown with all of his family as listed as members.




East Hoosack 




E 333 







East Hoosack 




E 333 







East Hoosack 

See also pg 31 & 35 



E 333 







East Hoosack 

with w Esther for ch: Savry & Esther 



E 333 







East Hoosack 

with w Esther and ch: Ira, David, Daniel, Stephen, Lydia,John, Savony & Esther 


E 331 






East Hoosack 

at Smithfield 



E 331 





Society of Friends Records in Nine Partners, NY

Also attended meetings at Easton with his family the same year as East Hoosack, 1799.




Easton & Saratoga 

East Hoosack MM with wife Esther & ch: Ira, David, Daniel,Stephen,Lydia, Lavory & Esther 



S 371 





Society of Friends Records in Nine Partners, NY

This Abraham is never mentioned in the records of Farmington. However many of his sons do in the later decades as they marry and have families. Each may have taken over sections of the original farm land. Abraham has some business dealings there and most likely eventually lived full time and was buried in Farmington and the end of his life.


Laphams on tax records in New York:

New York, Tax Assessment Rolls of Real and Personal Estates, 1799-1804

1800 Palmyra, NY

Abraham Lapham: House, Mill and Farm. One of the highest taxes paid by all listed.

Asa Lapham: small amount Asa (LCX7-82N) Son of Joshua Lapham  (LC5G-XK3 brother to Abraham

1800 Farmington, NY

Abraham Lapham: large amount of tax (L415-D2H) was brother of David M7MW-G5S

Isaac Lapham: large amount of tax KJDB-8W1 Son of David M7MW-G5S



Adams, MA

“The present town of Adams was settled soon after 1769, by a group of Quakers, most of them from Smithfield, Rhode Island, and the nearby town of Dartmouth, Massachusetts.”



Joshua Lapham LC5G-XK3: (Father of Abraham)

Joshua Lapham was born 09 Mar 1721 in Dartmouth, Bristol, MA, to John Lapham and Mary Russell Lapham. Joshua married Hannah Sherman on 03 Feb 1747 in Smithfield, Providence, RI. He died: Nov. 12, 1799 in Adams, Berkshire, MA

Joshua Lapham and his wife, Hannah Sherman Lapham lived in East Adams, MA from 1770 until the end of their lives. According to the memorial placed at the location of their farm, both are buried at the Quaker Meetinghouse in the town of Adams.

Children of Joshua Lapham and Hannah Sherman: 

* Ruth Lapham, b. 12 Jan 1748, Smithfield, Providence, RI, d. 03 Jan 1833, Spencer, Worcester, MA.

* Daniel Lapham, b. 10 Jun 1749, Smithfield, Providence, RI, d. 1785.

* Lydia Lapham, b. 28 May 1751, Smithfield, Providence, RI, d. 03 Mar 1832, Danby, VT.

* David Lapham, b. 28 Dec 1753, Smithfield, Providence, RI, d. 28 Jan 1830, Adams, MA.

* Orpha Lapham, b. 07 Jul 1755, Smithfield, Providence, RI, d. 31 Oct 1804, Westerlo, Albany, NY.

* Abraham Lapham, b. 15 Jul 1755, Smithfield, RI, d. 23 Jul 1836, Ontario, NY.

* Phebe Lapham, b. 18 Jan 1759, Danby, Rutland, VT, d. 1819.

* Nathan Lapham, b. 13 Nov 1761, Smithfield, Providence, RI, d. 28 Sep 1846, Danby, VT.

* Asa Lapham, b. 19 Feb 1764, Smithfield, Providence, RI, d. 08 May 1822, NY.

* Nehemiah Lapham, b. 03 Nov 1766, Smithfield, Providence, RI, d. date unknown.

* Hannah Lapham, b. 11 Nov 1773, East Hoosuck, Berkshire, MA, d. 27 Sep 1841, Adams, Berkshire, MA.



1790 Lapham Census in Albany, NY area:

Queensbury, Dutchess

Stephen Lapham 10

Thomas Harris 4

Washington, Dutchess

Benjamin 8

Solon 5

David 4

Johnathan 16

Easton, Albany

Thomas 7

Coxsackie, Albany


Ontario, New York

Abraham 10   1755–1836 • L415-D2H

1800 Census

Northampton, Ontario

Abraham 10   1755–1836 • L415-D2H

Farmington, Ontario 

David  1777-1850 KJDB-8W1

His father was David, brother to Abraham

Scipio, Cayuga

Noah 1

Thomas 6

Queensbury, Washington

Stephen 16


Stanford, Dutchess

Benjamin 8

Solon 8

Reuben 12

David 9