First Name:  Last Name: 
[Advanced Search]  [Surnames]


Male Abt 1695 - 1745  (~ 50 years)

Personal Information    |    PDF

  • Name Benjamin HARRISON 
    Suffix IV 
    Born Abt 1695 
    Gender Male 
    AFN 4B7X-8R 
    Will 17 Oct 1743  Charles City County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 12 Jul 1745  "Berkeley," Charles City County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate Aug 1745  Charles City County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location 

    • (1) Roberts, Gary Boyd, Ancestors of American Presidents, Santa Clarita, CA: Carl Boyer, 3rd, 1995, p. 15:

      Benjamin Harrison, IV, c. 1695-Berkeley 12 July 1745, c. 1722.

      (2) Family History: Virginia Genealogies #1, pre-1600 to 1900s, Genealogies of Virginia Families III, Fl-Ha, Harrison of James River, pp. 708-716 [database online,], © The Generations Network, March 3, 2008:

      BENJAMIN HARRISON . . . , of "Berkeley", was born _____ , and died in 1745. He was educated at William and Mary College and at an early age entered public life. He represented Charles City county in the House of Burgesses at the sessions of August 1736, November 1738, May 1740, August 1740, May 1742, and September 1744. He married Anne, daughter of Robert Carter, of "Corotoman", President of the Council. Col. Carter in his will left to his daughter, Anne Harrison, ??540 sterling (having no doubt made a previous gift when she was married) and to her daughters Betty and Anne Harrison, ??500 sterling each. Benjamin Harrison met a tragic death. The Maryland Gazette for August 16, 1745, prints a letter from Williamsburg, dated July 18th "Last Friday evening [July 12] a most terrible accident happened in Charles City county; when a violent Thunder Gust arose, and the lightning struck the House of Col. Benjamin Harrison of Berkeley, which killed him and his two youngest daughters". These daughters were Lucy and Hannah. It would appear from the probate of the will that Mrs. Harrison had died between its making and proving.

      One of the record books of Albemarle county was evidently at one time an account book of the executors of Benjamin Harrison, of "Berkeley", who died in 1745. It appears that after a few pages were used the large folio volume must have been sold to Albemarle court. At one end are the following entries:

      Sept. 20, 1745. To the Estate of Col. Benjamin Harrison, Dr.

      To cash p'd Richard Weir for mourning ??2.11.6.
      To Cash p'd for coffins 1.16.6.
      To cash p'd for Taylor's work 5.2.0.
      To Do. p'd John Gardner, overseer 6.7.11.
      Cash p'd to Secretary's Office for a Testament 1.10.0.
      [That is for probate of will]
      Do. p'd Nimmo a lawyer, for advice 1.1.8.
      Do. given Carter Harrison for pocket money 0.10.9.
      Do. p'd George Hierd, Baker,3.0.0.
      Cash p'd Spalding, the Taylor, for work done in Col. Harrison's life, 2.8.0.
      Do. p'd Fr. Barham 0.15.0.
      Cash p'd David Clark for Rum bought in Colo. Harrison's life, 1.11.101??
      Cash p'd Betty Harrison 2.17.11.
      Do. p'd Charles Stagg for 2 Months and 4 Days Wages on the Schooner, 4.5.0.
      Do. p'd Thomas Brokett, overseer, 3.2.6.
      P'd Wm .Roister for Shingling the House 0.5.0.
      Cash p'd Ben. Harrison, Overseer, 12.0.0.
      To my expenses taking Inventory 0.10.0.
      P'd Betty Smith for Shoe Thread 0.4.0.
      Cash given Ben. Harrison for Pocket money, 2.3.0.
      Cash p'd for funeral expenses, 1.0.0.

      P'r. Contra. Cr.
      July 22d, 1745.
      By Cash found in the House at Colo. Harrison's Death 140.8.3.
      By Cash rec'd for Bread, 3.8.6.

      Here the account ends abruptly. It is evident from the reference to the baker and the money received for bread, that Col. Harrison, like Charles Carter, of "Cleve", and a few other enterprising planters, had established a bakery, where bread, or rather biscuits, for ships' supplies were made.

      The will of Benjamin Harrison is as follows :

      In the name of God Amen: I Benjamin Harrison of Berkly in the County of Charles City and Parrish of Westover, Gent., being of perfect sense and memory, ordain this my last will and Testament. Imprimis I Give and bequeath my Soul to Almighty God who first gave it its being, in sure and certain hope of a Joyfull resurrection thro' the death and Passion of my blessed Savior Jesus Christ, my body to the Earth from which it was first taken, to be decently buried on Berkley Plantation near my little dear son Henry's grave, at the Discression of my executor hereafter mentioned, and as to all my worldly goods with which it bath pleased the Almighty to bless me my just Debts and Funeral charges being first paid, I Give and dispose of in the following manner:

      I give and bequeath unto my well beloved wife one equal third part of the neet proceeds or profits of my whole Estate during her Natural life, and forasmuch as my wife hath at all times behaved in a most dutiful and affectionate manner to me and all-allways been assisting through my whole affairs, I therefore think proper to Give my dear wife as a small requital over and above the Thirds of my Estate as aforesaid, the use and occupation of the Plantation whereon I now live, commonly called Berkley, with all the Slaves, Property belonging to the Crop of the said Plantation, with all my household furniture of what kind soever and house Servants, except my Cook wench Patty and her children and the boy levy son of Sarah, which Slaves I would have to go to my son Benjamin on his being of age; I also give to my wife the use of all my plate and kitchen Furniture as also the use of my flocks of Cattle, Hogs, Horses and Sheep upon the said Plantation, all which said gifts I give to the use of my said Dear Wife so long as she shall remain a widow or shall abide on or inhabit the said Plantation, with full power to Cut down and make use of any Timber or Wood either for building or repairing, making fencing or firing, or any other use whatsoever for the said Plantation of or from any Part of my Estate in Charles City County Dureing the time aforesaid, she allowing yearly out of her own Estate Nine thousand Pounds of good Crop Tobo in nine cask to be thrown into two thirds of my estate which is hereafter Ordered to be divided amongst my children untill my son Benjamin shall come to age but no longer, and after her decease or nonresidence as aforesaid the Premisses to go and descend to my well beloved son Benjamin Harrison and to the Heir of his Body Lawfully begotten forever. I also give to my wife my Coach, chariot, chair, Six horses and all Furniture thereto belonging as also all my Saddle horses, mares and Colts on the said Plantation, together with her Gold Watch and all Jewels now in her possession.

      Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Benjamin Harrison all that Tract of Land commonly called Berkley and Kimadges and also that whereon my mother formerly lived as also the Gleeb Land bought of the Parish of Westover in the County of Charles City, to him and his heirs of his Body lawfully begotten forever. I also give to my said son Benjamin the land called Bieres with the Land Escheated of John Resbie and all my land on the south side Nottoway River belonging to the Chiticorah Tract and all the additional Surveys made adjacent thereto, and all my Lands at the Falls of James River bought of Davis and others with the slaves and stocks thereon to him and his heirs forever.

      Item. I give unto my son Carter Henry Harrison all my land at Willises Creek with all the slaves and stocks thereon, and all the Land called Scotland Neck and the slaves and stocks of all sorts thereon to go and descend accordingly to will of the Honbl, Robert Carter Dec'd.

      Item. I Give unto my son Henry all that estate of Land on the South Side Nottoway River by Peter's Bridge being Seven Plantations with all the Slaves and stock of all Sorts thereon, to him and his heirs Forever, and the mill thereon. I also give him the Tract of Land lying on Nottoway on the North Side the River at Peter's Bridge to him and his heirs forever.

      Item. I give unto my son Robert Harrison all my several Tracts of Land lying at the Falls of the Appomattox River bought of Abraham Cocke, Christopher Herntory, Thomas Williams, James Munf ord and Richard Smith and the lots bought of Abraham Jones and that in the Town of Petersburg and the Slaves and Stocks of all Sorts thereon, and also the remaining Part of Chitecorah Tract lying on the North Side of Nottoway River with the Slaves and Stocks of all Sorts that shall be found thereon, to him and his heirs forever.

      Item. I Give unto my son Nathaniel my land at Amelia Court House and all the Slaves and Stocks thereon. I also give unto my said son my land at Great Creek, and Meherrin (Vizt) the Tract whereon Benjamin Harrison is overseer, that where Clayton is overseer, with all the Slaves and Stocks thereon to him and his heirs forever.

      Item. I Give unto my son Charles all my Land Secarnis with all the Slaves and Stocks thereon and the Land called the Allen Tract. I also Give to my said Son all the Lands that will fall to me by the death of Mr. Willis (to-wit) Cabbin Point Mill and that at Huntington, with all the Keepers thereof, to him and his heirs forever, and my desire is that there may be Five Slaves bought (Vizt) three women and two men as soon as Conveniently can be to Full Slave the three Plantations on Secarnis. And my desire in that so many Slaves as shall be occupied on the Pond Quarter and Black Water, at the death of Mrs. Willis shall be and belong unto my said son and his heirs forever.

      Item. My will and desire is that the mulatto man John shall be for the sole use of my wife so long as she shall be a widow, and that the rest of my Sawyer's Carpenters and Coopers shall be used for the use of my Estate in general until my son Benjamin comes of age, and then to go to him and his heirs forever.

      Item. I give unto my son Robert my Tract of Land on Brunswick Creek, lying at the mouth of Great Creek, containing seventeen hundred acres, be it more or less, to him and his heirs forever. I also give unto my said son Robert my mill on Harry's Swamp with the Land thereto belonging, being three hundred and Fifty Acres more or less, to him and his heirs forever.

      Item. I give unto my son Benjamin all the Negroes and Stocks of all Sorts upon the Six Plantations that now are Settled on my Berkley and Kimadges Tracts, to him and his heirs forever; and whereas I have given my Manor House and Plantation to my wife on terms as above to ascertain the bounds, my meaning is that from the upper bounds of the Glebe shall be the Eastward Limits, and from thence as the Shirley road runs to the Ford on Kimadges Creek, containing all the Land between the Glebe Road and the River, and if by Experience that should be found too little I add to it that Land on tother side the Road called Woodfords.

      Item. My will and Desire is that the Land I bought of William Glover whereon my Surry Store stands be sold, and the Slaves thence be Immediately removed to that part of the Chetecorah Tract given my son Robert for him and his heirs forever, and the money arising By the Sale of the Land to be laid out for Negroes for the same uses, To wit, for the better Settling the same Part of the Chetecorah Tract.

      Item. Forasmuch as there are a great number of Slaves which, after the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Willis relict of Henry Harrison, Esqr, Dec'd. and by the last Will of the said Henry Harrison, are to revert to me and my heirs, my Will and desire therefore is, that when the estate in Negroes shall revert by the death of the Said Willis now in possession, that then the said Negroes shall be divided into six as equal Parts as possible, Without Parting men and their wives, by three able and discreet persons to be appointed by the General Court, which division being made my will and desire is that three already Given to my son Charles go in Proportion to his Part, that my son Benjamin have the first choice, and the Rest of my six sons to choose according to Seniority, which Negroes I Give to them and their heirs forever.

      Item. I Give unto my son Carter Henry and Henry, to be equally divided between them, all the house hold Plate that belonged to Henry Harrison, Esq., dec'd., now in possession of Mrs. Elizabeth Willis his relect, and after her death to revert to me, as will appear by an instrument of writing between the said Willis and myself recorded in Surry Court.

      Item. I Give and bequeath unto my daughter Betty Harrison one thousand pounds sterling including my mother's legacy of two hundred pounds that is to say five hundred pounds to be paid by my Executors within Twelve months after she shall arrive at the age of twenty-one years, or be married, and the other Five Hundred Pounds within three years after, and also I give to my Daughter Betty these several Slaves following and their increase to-wit: Leddy, Chariot and Cate, the Daughter of Aggy, to her and her heirs forever.

      Item. I Give and bequeath to my Daughter Anne the sum of one thousand pounds Sterling, Five hundred to be paid by my Executors within Twelve months after she shall arrive to the Age of Twenty-one or be married, and the other Five hundred pounds within three years after that. I also give to my Daughter Anne a negro girl named Dorcas to her and her heirs forever. The Thousand pounds is to be with my mother's Legacy _____ hundred Pounds inclusive.

      Item. I Give to my Daughter Lucy Eight hundred Pounds Sterling including my Mother's Legacy, to be paid her in four years after she arrives to the Age of twenty-one or is married. I also give to my Said Daughter Lucy three Slaves and their increase to-wit: Aaron, Hannah the Daughter of Tamer, and Martha the Daughter of Bess, to her and her heirs forever.

      Item. I Give to my Daughter Hannah Five hundred pounds Sterling including my Mother's Legacy, to be paid her within three years after she arrives to the Age of twenty-one or married. Also a negro girl Suckey, the Daughter of Bess and her increase, to her and her heirs forever.

      Item. My will and desire is that my whole Estate shall be kept entire until my Debts are paid and the two Eldest Daughter's Fortunes are raised, and until my son Benjamin comes of Age, and then whatever Legacys remain unraised the Estate of Each of my sons shall be taxed in Proportion to their Annual _____ for the Payment thereof.

      Item. That the Guardianship and disposal of my children shall be entirely in the Power of my wife, and that they be maintained and educated at her discression _____ of my estate; of whose prudence I have had sufficient Proof dureing her Life, that if my Daughters dureing their minority Do marry without first having had the Consent and approval of my said wife, then they or every one of them so marrying shall forfeit all Claims or Pretensions whatsoever to all and every part of the Legacies given them, by this my will, and I doe heartily and Earnestly recommend to my said Children that they behave with Duty and obedience to their mother, and that they live in Love and Friendship with one another, and Lastly I doe hereby appoint my Dear Wife Ann Harrison, and all my sons as they shall come of Age, Executors of this my Last Will and Testament, and I further order that there be no appraisement of my Estate nor Security given but her own. In witness whereof I have here set my hand and Seal this 17th day of October 1743, and I utterly revoke all other Wills by me heretofore made. This my last containing two sheets of Paper.

      Benjamin Harrison [Seal.]

      Signed Sealed Etc. in the Pressence of Robert West, Joseph Royal, John Stith.

      Charles City County ss-August Court 1745.

      The Afore written Last will and Testament of Col. Benjamin Harrison Dec'd was Presented in Court by William Randolph Gent. and Wife and Miss Betty Harrison, who made oath there and being proved by the oath of Joseph Royall one of the witnesses thereto is admitted to Record, and the said Joseph Royall also on his oath declared he saw John Stith and Robert West the other two witnesses sign the said Will as witnesses and on the motion of the said William Randolph and Betty Harrison, and performing what is usual on such Cases Certificate is granted them for obtaining Letters of Administration with the said Will annext in due forme Durante Minori estate of Benjamin Harrison son and heirs of the Dec'd.

      Lewellin Eppes, Clk. Curia

      Copy Test-
      Lewellin Eppes, Clk. Curia

      Benjamin and Anne (Carter) Harrison had issue: . . .

      [1] Henry, died in childhood. . . .

      [2] Benjamin. . . .

      [3] Carter Henry. . . .

      [4] Nathaniel. . . .

      [5] Henry. . . .

      [6] Robert. . . .

      [7] Lucy, killed by lightning. . . .

      [8] Hannah, killed by lightning. . . .

      [9] Anne, married William Randolph of "Wilton", Henrico county. . . .

      [10] Elizabeth, (commonly called Betty) married Peyton Randolph, of Williamsburg. . . .

      (3) Family History: Virginia Genealogies #1, pre-1600 to 1900s, Genealogies of Virginia Families III, Fl-Ha, Harrison of James River, pp. 718-721 [database online,], © The Generations Network, March 3, 2008:

      Memo. re Order of Birth of children of Benj. Harrison IV and Anne Carter
      As per researches of Henry H. Wilson

      Will of Benjamin Harrison IV . . . mentions sons in following order. . . :

      1. Benjamin

      2. Carter Henry

      3. Henry

      4. Robert

      5. Nathaniel

      6. Charles

      Will mentions daughters in following order . . . :

      1. Elizabeth

      2. Anne

      3. Lucy

      4. Hannah

      Listings in genealogical work are as follows: Stanard's Genealogy of Harrison of Jas. River . . . :

      1. Benjamin

      2. Carter Henry

      3. Nathaniel

      4. Henry

      5. Robert

      6. Charles (p. 384, Oct. 1926 issue) **

      7. Lucy

      8. Hannah

      9. Anne

      10. Elizabeth

      Keith's "Ancestry of Benj. Harrison" . . . :

      1. Benjamin

      2. Carter Henry

      3. Robert

      4. Henry

      5. Nathaniel

      6. Charles

      The Will of Benjamin Harrison IV was dated Oct. 17, 1743, and proved in August, 1745. . . . It was presented in Court by "Wm. Randolph and wife" (Anne Harrison) and "Miss Betty Harrison". From the fact that these two daughters made oath to the will and that no son did (although each son was appointed an executor as he came of age) it would appear that they were adults at the time and the eldest children. Although the two daughters, Lucy and Hannah. had been killed by lightning with their father, the fact that he mentions them last among the daughters, plus the fact that Benjamin Harrison IV and Anne Carter appear to have been married about 1722, seems conclusive that they were younger than Elizabeth, Anne, and some of the sons. It would also appear that their mother appointed an executor under the will had died between the making and proving of same. Certificate was granted to Wm. Randolph and Betty Harrison for obtaining letters of administration.

      The probation of the will shows clearly that Wm. Randolph and Anne Harrison had married prior to August, 1745, (when the eldest son Benjamin, The Signer, was only 19) but that Elizabeth (Betty) Harrison had not yet married. The will also shows that Anne could not have married about 1735 (as stated in the Page genealogy) as it indicates she was unmarried on Oct. 17, 1743, when it was drawn. The proving of the will indicates rather conclusively that Anne was the first child to marry but the will itself indicates that Elizabeth was the older of the two sisters.

      The fact that Elizabeth was older than any of her brothers is further (though not conclusively of course) strengthened by the fact that Peyton Randolph who married her, was considerably older than her eldest brother, Governor Benj. Harrison, The Signer (born 1726) according to Stanard. . . . Peyton Randolph was admitted to the Middle Temple, Oct. 13, 1739, and called to the Bar, Feb'y 10, 1743. According to the Page genealogy, he was born in 1720. This is evidently incorrect however, since his epitaph on tomb . . . states that he died on Oct. 22, 1775, in his 59th year, which would make his year of birth 1716 or 1717. This made him at least nine years older than his wife's eldest brother, Benjamin Harrison. Governor Harrison in a letter to General George Washington on July 20, 1775, refers to Randolph as "The old Speaker," which expression may be taken to indicate both superior age to Washington (b. 1732) and himself (b. 1726), as well as affection.

      Under all the circumstances, and again particularly recalling those incident to probation of the will and the order in which the daughters are mentioned in the father's will, it would appear that Elizabeth who married Peyton Randolph of Williamsburg, First President of the Continental Congress, was the oldest child and Anne, who married Wm. Randolph of "Wilton," the second oldest child of Benj. Harrison and Anne Carter.


      The order of birth of the sons appears to be indicated in the father's will as noted above and all evidence available supports that order. The will directs the division of certain property among the sons . . . according to "Seniority."

      In Keith's '"Ancestry of Benjamin Harrison" (Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1893), it is stated that, according to the family record prepared by Edmund Harrison (son of Nathaniel Harrison, the 5th son according to the will of Benj. Harrison IV), Nathaniel Harrison was born Sept 30, 1742, and was probably twin brother to Charles Harrison, the 6th son. One of the Bursar's books of William & Mary College still preserved, reveals the fact that Carter, Henry, Robert and Nathaniel Harrison, were all students at William & Mary in 1754 and 1755, their names occurring in the order given (which accords with the father's will) in two entries for board at the College. It does not, therefore, appear reasonable to assume that Nathaniel was born as late as 1742. As diligent effort has failed to locate the manuscript of Edmund Harrison, it would appear probable that an error occurred in the statement of the date in Keith's publication. The time of Charles Harrison's birth appears to be fixed by a statement in the MS. of his son in law, John Herbert Peterson (copy in Va. Hist. Soc.) in which it is stated that he was married in 1763 to Mary Herbert Claiborne (Peterson's aunt) when not quite 19. The Bursar's book of William & Mary College shows that he was a student there in 1761 and 1762, six years after his brother Nathaniel appears as a student.

      The fact that Carter Henry Harrison was the second eldest son appears attested not only by the father's will and records of William & Mary College, but also by the will of his grandfather, Robert "King" Carter. The indication in the father's will that Henry was the 3rd son is further strengthened by the fact that he was appointed Captain in the French and Indian War in 1755 (Dinwiddie Papers) in the room of his brother, Carter Henry, who resigned because of sickness.

      Keith's authority for stating Robert as the 3rd son was the fact (so stated) that Robert appears as the 3rd son in a list of the sons in the 'MS. of John H. Peterson. It would of course not be surprising if Peterson had not been exactly informed, in writing a private MS. as to the precise sequence in the ages of all brothers of his father in law, Charles Harrison.

      The fact that the four brothers, Carter Henry, Henry, Robert and Nathaniel, were all sufficiently close in age, to be at College together for at least a portion of two years, strengthens the suggestion to be derived from Keith that there were twin brothers in this family. However, the evidence as to a gap of around six years between the time Nathaniel and Charles were at college, effectually disposes of the statement that they were probably twins. If there were twins, it would appear that they were either Henry and Robert or Robert and Nathaniel. Mr. Chas. P. Keith has stated to the writer that he merely followed data sent him by investigators.

      The only evidence regarding the daughters Lucy and Hannah is the letter from Williamsburg . . . , published in the Maryland Gazette for Aug. 16, 1745, and dated July 18, 1745, stating that lightning had struck the Berkeley house on July 12, 1745, and killed Col. Benj. Harrison of Berkeley and his "two youngest daughters."
      Disregarding the daughters Lucy and Hannah, regarding whom nothing is known except that they were the youngest daughters, the order of birth of the other children is reasonably clear to have been as follows :

      1. Elizabeth

      2. Anne

      3. Benjamin

      4. Carter Henry

      5. Henry

      6. Robert

      7. Nathaniel

      8. Charles
    Person ID I16086  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2018 

    Father Benjamin HARRISON, III,   b. Abt 1673,   d. 10 Apr 1710, "Berkeley," Charles City County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 37 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Elizabeth BURWELL,   b. Abt 1678,   d. 30 Dec 1734, "Berkeley," Charles City County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 56 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F7191  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Anne CARTER,   b. Abt 1702, "Corotoman," Lancaster County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 17 Oct 1743 and Aug 1745, "Berkeley," Charles City County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 41 years) 
    Married Abt 1722 
     1. Robert HARRISON  [natural]
     2. Henry HARRISON  [natural]
     3. Charles HARRISON  [natural]
     4. Nathaniel HARRISON  [natural]
     5. Anne HARRISON  [natural]
     6. Elizabeth HARRISON,   d. 31 Jan 1783  [natural]
     7. Benjamin HARRISON, V,   b. Abt Apr 1726, "Berkeley," Charles City County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Apr 1791, "Berkeley," Charles City County, VA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 65 years)  [natural]
     8. Carter Henry HARRISON,   b. Aft 22 Aug 1726,   d. 1794  (Age < 67 years)  [natural]
    Last Modified 29 Dec 2018 19:11:43 
    Family ID F7192  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart