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Early Harris Research

All Saints Church Staplehurst viewed from the main road

Key to Research for Andrew's Birthplace

Research of Andrew Harris' birthplace is focusing on one possiblity in Staplehurst, Kent, very near Tenterden and Ashford. Andrew's daughter Parnell was a passenger on the Hercules. She joined her brothers William and Thomas in New England in 1635. It is evident many of the passengers on board the ship Hercules were close friends and relatives, bound together by a common bond of religious dissent. Research has shown many on board had close ties to John Lathrop (Lothropp) who was admitted 1609 as the perpetual curate in charge of the Egerton Church, a parish a few miles from Staplehurst and Tenterden. In 1623 he left the Church of England and moved to London to head a dissenter church group meeting in Southwark. He was imprisoned for three years then quickly left for New England in 1634. Many of his followers traveled with him or joined him in Scituate MA. Many of the passengers on the Hercules were also connected to the earlier pilgrims who had lived in Holland, after leaving England and then ventured forth to New England on the early Mayflower voyages in 1620. These connected families on board the Hercules were from Ashford, Tenterden, Sandwich and surrounding areas in Kent. Since individuals in Sandwich were relatives to those in the Ashford, Tenterden areas it was very likely that Andrew Harris' could have come from that same area before settling in Northbourne. Records show numerous Harris families throughout this central part of Kent.

Jonas Austen's aunt Johan Austen married Henry Harris in Staplehurst 4696-14

Jonas Austen was on board the Hercules. The Austen’s were prominent in Staplehurst. Jonas was close friends to Nathaniel Tilden and many who migrated together to new England on those ships. Records show Andrew was most likely born to Henry Harris and Johan Austen in Staplehurst. Johan (Joan) was an aunt of Jonas. This relationship of family and friendship explains why Andrew's daughter Parnell along with her stepbrother James Sayers would have joined the others on board the Hercules to make the long journey.

Transcribed parish records for Staplehurst show "An____  Harris (1 1/2" blank space indicates an incomplete name entry) the ___ (1" blank space) of Henry Harris" which could likely represents Andrew Harris born 1585. Andrew married in 1603 (at 18?) and died in 1616 in Northbourne.

Henry Harris married Johan Austen 25 Oct 1579 in Staplehurst, Kent. Johan died 28 Oct 1586

Their Children:

John Harris 14 July 1580 Christened

Sara Harris 26 Apr 1584 Christened

An____ Harris 6 Jun 1585 Christened

Dorytye Harris 27 Apr 1589 Buried

For more information see: Andrew Harris Page also see: Staplehurst connection.


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