First Generation

1. JONATHAN HARRISON1,2 died after 1809 in prob Claiborne County, Tennessee.

Most databases give the father of Elisha Harrison as John Harrison. This is incorrect.
According to the research by David Travillion Bunton based on old family letters, Jonathan Harrison and Mercy Terry were the parents of Elisha Harrison.

Regarding the incorrect story: Jonathan Harrison is sometimes said to be the son of John Harrison (1716-1776) and Susanna Edmunds (1720-1771) but I have found no proof of that relationship. To the contrary, John Harrison & wife Susannah had a son baptized Albemarle Parish, Sussex, on 2 Apr 1745 - his name was JOHN, not Jonathan.] John Harrison left a will which names no son John, or Jonathan. John Harrison filed a will in the County of Sussex, VA in 1776, the year he died, leaving his land and leases in Surry Co to his son William Harrison (b. 1747), along with several slaves, livestock, tools, and household items. The will of 1776 also mentions daughters Mary Peebles married to Thomas Peeples, Lucy Adkins, and Betty Mason, deceased, who had been married to James Mason. There are baptisms for children of John Harrison & Susanna in Albemarle Parish (Surry Co before Sussex was formed in 1754) for Lucy, Elizabeth (Betty), William, and the John mention above, but not daughter Mary. Neither a son John nor any descendants of a John were mentioned in the will which might indicate he was not living and had no issue.

Mercy Terry was the daughter of William and Rachel Terry of Botetourt County, VA. Records of the estate of William Terry [died1808] from 1808 reveal that "Mercy Terry, wife of Jonathan Harrison" received her one/eighth share in her father's estate.
Jonathan Terry is listed in tax lists of Botetourt Co in the 1770's & 1780's.

Kegley's Virginia Frontier
p.561 Captain Martin's Company Tax List - Early Residents of Bent Mountain (no date)
Jonathan Harrison: 4 horses, 6 cattle

Mr. Bunton descends from William Canady Harrison, a grandson of William & Rachel Terry Harrison through their son, Elisha Harrison. He has a family letter stating that Elisha H. Harrison's father was Elisha [Elisha H. was a brother of William Canady and my ancestor Nathaniel Harrison]; his grandfather was Jonathan Harrison; his great-grandfather was Elias Harrison. The grandmother Harrison was a Terry. The letter also mentions a second cousin named Joseph Terry who lived in Madison Co KY - there was a Joseph Terry in the 1850 Madison Co KY. This Joseph Terry was a grandson of John Terry, brother of Mercy Terry; thereby proving that that Elisha H. Harrison did have a 2nd cousin named Joseph Terry.

The Harrison Y-DNA study indicates no relationship between descendants of the Harrisons from Sussex/Surry and descendants of Jonathan Harrison & Mercy Terry. Descendants of Jonathan, Jr., Elias, Elisha & Rachel, have various autosomal DNA matches to each other.

Online information that seems to be pertinent to this Jonathan Harrison.
In Virginia
8 Sep 1772 - Botetourt Co, VA. Jonathan named in court minutes [Annals of SW Virginia, 1769-1800, Part 1, p.149] “Archibald Fisher, William Adams, Jonathan Harrison and Hugh McNeill having been summoned to attend this court as jurymen were solemnly called but came not. Therefore it is considered by the court that every of them be fined four hundred pounds of tobacco according to the law for their contempt.”
1785 - Jonathan Harrison on tax list, Capt Goodson's District, Botetourt Co, VA
18 Mar 1786. Jonathan Harrison received a land grant, 24 acres at Roanoke, Botetourt. [Annals of SW Virginia, 1769-1800, Part 1, p.492]

In North Carolina:
1790 Census. Stokes Co, NC. Jonathan Harrison with 2 males over 16, 4 males under 16 and 2 females.
3 Mar 1792 Jonathan Harrison sold 100 acres on Marshal's Creek, branch of Big River, in Stokes County, NC to Richard Beasley for 60#'s. Note: 5 Oct 1800. Richard Beasley wrote his will, Stokes, NC and left his estate to wife Martha and named a daughter Patty Harrison. Could this have been the Martha "Patty" who was married to Jonathan's son Eli/Elias? Elias & Martha's two eldest children are said to have been born in NC. This is not the surname usually seen for Elias's wife but then that surname has never had evidence of any proof.
7 Nov 1795 Stokes Co. Rachel Harrison married Elisha Beller; Eli Beller, bondsman; Christ. Lash, witness. Possible daughter since no other Harrison families seem to be in that location - she could have been once of the females in 1790 and named for her grandmother, Rachel Terry.

And then here is Jonathan Harrison in Tennessee:
1797 - Jonathan Harrison appears on a tax list in Grainger, TN [Note: Claiborne was formed from part of Grainger in 1801]
Jonathan appears in Court minutes, Claiborne Co., TN. Vol. 2 No 5593-Pg 87-88-89-95-67-164 in 1803 and 1806.
In 1803 - A Thomas Harrison was on a Grainger tax lists - could he have been another of the four sons in 1790?
In 1804 he was on Jury Duty.
27 Feb 1804 - Deed from Walter Evans to Jonathan Harrison for 155#'s. Tract in Claiborne, part of Lot A in Henderson & Co; the Valley line, Norwell's line, Snuffer's corner & line; Davis Line. 68 acres. Singed, Walter Evans. Wit: Will Nowell, Nancy (x) Rector, C. C. ___ (Claiborne Deeds, Book A, p.173; img 101,
In Sept. 1805 he gave bail for Silas Williams. Pg. 164.
Feb. 1807 On jury to review road. Pg. 45
May 1807 appointed to review road. Pg 82.
May 1808 Juryman.
May 1808. Deed of conveyance from Jonathan Harrison, Sr. and wf Mercy 300 acres to John Persinger proved in open court by Webster and Jonathan Harrison, Jr. The land was in Botetourt Co, VA. [The witness Jonathan Jr. could have been another of the 4 sons in 1790]
23 Oct 1809 Jonathan Harrison Senr, grantor to Elias Harrison for $160. Tract in Claiborne, part of Lot A in Henderson's survey. Norville's line; Snuffer's corner, his line; Davis's line; Renfro's corner, Norville's line. 68 acres. Signed: Jonathan (x) Harrison. Wit: William Weaver, Beverly Markham [Bk. A2, Pg. 219, img 567]
4 Oct 1809 Elias Harrison of Claiborne sold to William Hord a tract on Russell's Creek; line of Stewart's Survey, Neal's line; Hord's grant, 200 acres. Signed: Elias Harrison. Wit: Walter Evans. Acknowledged by Harrison in open court the same day. [Bk. A2, pg.230, img 572,]

There is the suggestion of a Jonathan Harrison, Jr. - so some of the above records could have been his, but certainly both Jonathan and Mercy were alive as late as 1809 - and may have lived until after the 1830 census - see later.

1812 - A tax list in Bedford Co, TN lists Jonathan and Thomas Harrison next to each other. Likely this is the younger Jonathan.

1830 – Bedford County Tennessee census describes a Harrison household. The name first name is difficult to read but it is likely Polly. The ages of the children match with the children of Jonathan Harrison and his wife Mary Garren/Garron who established Garrondale Farm in Bedford County around 1820 (this farm still owned by the Harrison family as of 2017). The household includes 2 males 10-15, 2 males 15-20, 1 male 80-90, 1 female under 5, 2 females 5-10, 1 female 40-50, 1 female 80-90. An Obediah Harrison/Garrison is listed next door (age 30-40). We know that
Jonathan Harrison Jr. died in the late 1820's. His wife would have been the head of household listed here (Mary “Polly” Harrison). Mary’s parent died prior to this census so I can only presume that the 80-90 year old couple shown here would be her in-laws, Jonathan and Mercy Harrison. That would place their births between 1740 and 1750 which fits with what we know about them.

Some state that Jonathan or John "Jack" Harrison was a Longhunter - this may be a confusion with another John "Jack" Harrison who was at Ft. Boonesborough but is NOT the father of Elisha. I don't think there is any proof that the Longhunter was the either a Jonathan, or was the son of John Harrison of Sussex/Surry in Virginia.

JONATHAN HARRISON and MERCY TERRY were married.1 MERCY TERRY, daughter of WILLIAM TERRY and RACHEL [TERRY], died after 1809. She was born in Botetourt County, Virginia.1

Mercy's parents were William and Rachel Terry.
There is a marriage for a William Terry to Rachel Marson/Manson in "Meeting of Friends, Pennsylvania Marriages", a New Jersey license, on 3 Feb 1759. This is often seen as the marriage record for this couple, but no proof has been found that this couple who married in Pennsylvania is the same as the William Terry & wife Rachel found in Botetourt Co VA.

There exists a sale bill for the estate of William Terry, 13 Dec 1744, in Augusta Co VA - obviously an earlier person of this same name.

Neelly's District, Botetourt Co, VA, Tax list of 1785
Lists William Terry

1808 Records of the estate of William Terry in Botetourt Co VA named 8 children including "Mercy Terry, wife of Jonathan Harrison". The other children were William who married Patience, John born 1760 who married Esther Brown, Miles who married Hannan Horton, Susannah who married Thomas Brown, Jasper who married (1) Ruth and (2) Margaret Snidow, Rachel who married John Martin and Jemima who married Ezekial Boucher.

JONATHAN HARRISON and MERCY TERRY had the following children:



Elias "Eli" HARRISON.






Jonathan HARRISON Jr. (private).






Thomas HARRISON was born (date unknown).

Probable son of Jonathan & Mercy Terry.

Was on a Tennessee tax list by 1803. Nothing found after Bedford Co, TN tax list of 1812.



Obediah HARRISON was born (date unknown).

Possible son of Jonathan & Mercy Terry Harrison - perhaps the youngest son.

1 Sep 1802 - Obediah Harrison was received into the congregation of the Big Springs Baptist Church in Claiborne Co, TN, about a month after Elias Harrison.

An Obediah Harrison married Charlotte Potter, Clark Co, KY, 2 Jul 1816 - neighboring county to Madison, where Elisha Harrison was then living.