Harrison family of Virginia

Benjamin Harrison V, Signer of the Declaration of Independence

The Harrison family is a prominent political family in U.S. history. Most famously, this family produced numerous Governors of Virginia (serving during both the Colonial era and after independence), as well as two U.S. Presidents: William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison.

The family has a longer recorded heritage in politics, however. Their earliest notable ancestor is the thirteenth century Baron Robert II de Holland, also an ancestor to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and Winston Churchill. Some genealogists speculate that the Harrisons were Viking warriors of Norse origin, and that they arrived in England with Canute the Great. Other sources say that they are of Norman, Irish and Scottish descent.

Among the First Families of Virginia, they came to the Colony of Virginia in 1630 when Benjamin Harrison (the first of many to bear that name) left England for the Americas.

His son, Benjamin Harrison Jr., fathered Benjamin Harrison III, who fathered Colonel Benjamin Harrison IV in 1693. His son is known in modern times as Benjamin Harrison V, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a Governor of Virginia. For the next two centuries the Harrisons would play some role in American political history.

Benjamin Harrison VI was brother to General and President William Henry Harrison, who was the father of John Scott Harrison, an Ohio congressman. John Scott Harrison was the father of President Benjamin Harrison and is the only person to be both the son and the father of a U.S. president. President Benjamin Harrison was named after Benjamin Harrison V and John Scott Harrison's brother, Dr. Benjamin Harrison VII, making President Benjamin Harrison the eighth member of his family to bear that name. Since the other seven are less historically prominent, he is usually known simply as Benjamin Harrison, even though Benjamin Harrison VIII is technically correct.

By marriage the Harrisons are related to the Byrd Family, Lee family, the Washington family, the Tyler family, the Randolph family and the Carter Family.

Plantation, namings

Berkeley Plantation in Charles City County, Virginia, the site in 1619 of the first Thanksgiving in what is now the United States, was long the seat of the Harrison family. Other historic homes in Virginia associated with the Harrison family include Brandon Plantation, Upper Brandon, Hunting Quarter, Four Mile Tree and Kittiewan, home of Dr. William Rickman and his wife Elizabeth Harrison.

Nearby along Virginia State Route 5 and the Virginia Capital Trail, the Benjamin Harrison Memorial Bridge, a major drawbridge across the James River, is named in honor of Benjamin Harrison V, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and Governor of Virginia. The U.S. Army Fort Benjamin Harrison near Indianapolis, Indiana was named for President Benjamin Harrison, who was born in Ohio but is descended from the Harrison family of Virginia.[1][2]

Family tree (partial list of noteworthy persons)

President William Henry Harrison
President Benjamin Harrison—the eighth of that name in his family.

All the Harrisons up to Benjamin Harrison V are related to King Edward I of England, because of Benjamin Harrison IV's intermarriage with the Carter family.

See also


External links

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