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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mathias Harman: Too Soon Gone


Just a few more notes on Henry Harman, Sr., “Old Skygusty,” before I go on to the next generation.  Henry and Nancy, his wife, had nine children:

·      1) Daniel Conrad, born 26 June or January 1760, Abbot’s Creek in Rowan County NC.
·      2) Henry, Jr., born 5 August 1763, New River, Giles County, Virginia.
·      3) Adam, born 3 January 1765.
·      4) George, born 25 January 1767.
·      5) Mathias, born 9 February 1769.
·      6) Hezekiah, born 30 October 1771.
·      7) Elias, born 1780.
·      8) Rhoda, birth date unknown, married William Neel, 1794.
·      9) Louisa, born 1780 (same year as Elias?), married James Davis in 1799.[1]

Henry was described by contemporaries as “very tall, of massive frame and very strongly built.” Apparently, he dressed in the fashion of the day in short pants with silver knee buckles.[2] His wife Nancy must have been a very brave and patient woman to have raised a family in a place where uncertainty for their safety was often the norm. She died in 1808[3] at age 70. After a long life, Henry died in 1822[4] at age 95. They were both buried in the Harman cemetery near their home at Hollybrook, Bland County, Virginia, but Nancy’s grave is not marked. In Henry’s will, he named all his sons and his two sons-in-law.[5]

Mathias Harman, the fifth son of Henry, Sr., and Nancy (Wilburn) Harman, was my fourth great-grandfather. All indications point to the fact that Mathias lived an active and adventurous life, too, but a much shorter life than his father’s.  He and his brother George were the two sons described in an earlier blog as fighting alongside their father against seven Shawnee at Tug River. Mathias was 19 years old at the time. (This is not the same Mathias Harman who led the settlers in a search for Jenny Wiley and established Harman Station near Paintsville, Kentucky. That Mathias was Henry, Sr.’s brother.)

On 25 January 1791, at about age 22, our Mathias married Mary Polly Dunn,[6] daughter of Revolutionary War veteran,  Thomas Dunn[7] and his wife Mary (Tickle) Dunn.[8] Mathias and Mary had five children:
·      1) Daniel, born 4 February 1793.[9]
·      2) Jezareel, born 3 February 1795.[10]
·      3) Henry J., born 22 February 1797,[11] Mary Waggoner Troutman's ancestor.
·      4) Nancy, born 5 October 1801.[12]
·      5) Mary (Polly), birth date unknown.[13]

Through a Virginia land grant, Mathias owned a farm in Smyth County.[14] Tragically, he died in 1802 at age 33 in an accident while riding his horse when the horse ran “between two trees.”[15] At his death, his children ranged in age from about 3 through 10. His third son, Henry, my third great-grandfather, was only five years old. Mathias’ wife, Mary, must have been able to manage the farm fairly well, as it was still in the hands of her descendants in 1924.[16] In 1850, Mary was living with her son, Henry and his children in Smyth County, Virginia. She was 75 years old.[17] She died there in March 1858 at age 83.[17]



[1] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy (Southern Branch) with Biographical Sketches and Historical Notes, 1700-1924 (Radford, Virginia: Commonwealth Press, Incorporated, 1925), p. 71. The births of Daniel, George, Mathias, Henry, Jr., and two others whose names are illegible, were also recorded in the Harman Bible, pages of which the author has copies. This Bible is stored at The Historical Society of Virginia, Richmond.
[2] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 70.
[3] U. S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970, about Nancy Wilburn; digital image, Ancesty.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 28 April 2014); Vol. 322, SAR membership number 64369.
[4] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 71.
[5] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 71. An abstract of the will is also included on page 336.
[6] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 158.
[7] U. S. Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783, database Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 April 2014), Thos Dunn, Virginia.
[8] U. S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900, database Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 April 2014), Thomas Dunn and Mary Fickle [Tickle], 1772.
[8] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 158.
[10] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 159.
[11] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 159.
[12] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 162.
[13] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 162.
[14] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 158.
[15] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 158.
[16] John Newton Harman, Sr., Harman Genealogy, p. 158.
[17] 1850 U.S. census, Smyth County, Virginia, 60th district, p. 237 (stamped), dwelling 1108, family 1117, Henry Harman family; digital image, Ancesty.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 28 April 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication M432, roll 976.
[18] Virginia Deaths and Burials Index, 1853-1917, database Ancesty.com (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 28 April 2014); Mary Harmon.

© 2014, Z. T. Noble.

4 comments:

  1. It's me again, so sorry to bother you again, but I just realized that "my" Mathias is the Harman Station Mathias...

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    Replies
    1. Not a problem. So many Harmans share the same names that it's easy to get them mixed up. Have you done much research on Mathias, Sr.?

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    2. Mathias Harman who was married to Lydia Skaggs is my 5th Great Grand Uncle

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    3. Your Mathias, doodad 3366, is the same one Okie Fields refers to in the comment above. He was "my" Mathias' uncle (Henry, Sr.'s brother). So he was my 5th great grand uncle, too, I think--if I figured that correctly.

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