First Families of Virginia – The Harrisons

The Harrison family was as close to American Royalty as possible, two Presidents bear the family name, and another has his roots intertwined therein. A Harrison signed the Declaration of Independence. Harrison names pepper Virginia’s annals, and they also extended their influence westward as America expanded into the Midwest. Their homes are among Virginia’s crown jewels illustrating just how impressive they were. But as impressive as they were, we know relatively little about their American foundations. In this episode we piece together their history and then show how the family impacted Virginia and later the United States.



  1. Billings, Warren M.; Selby, John E.; and Tate, Thad W. Colonial Virginia: A History. White Plains, NY: KTO Press. 1986.
  2. Billings, Warren M. Sir William Berkeley and the Forging of Colonial Virginia. Baton Rouge, LA: LSU Press, 2004.
  3. Billings, Warren. A Little Parliament: The Virginia General Assembly in the Seventeenth Century. Richmond, VA: Library of Virginia, 2004.
  4. Dabney, Virginius. Virginia: The New Dominion, A History from 1607 to the Present. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 1971.
  5. Dowdey, Clifford. The Great Plantation: A Profile of Berkeley Hundred and Plantation Virginia from Jamestown to Appomattox. Charles City, VA: Berkeley Plantation, 1980.
  6. Evans, Emory G. A “Topping People”: The Rise and Decline of Virginia’s Old Political Elite, 1680-1790. Charlottesville, VA: UVA Press, 2009.
  7. Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America (America: a cultural history). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  8. Freeman, Douglas Southall. George Washington: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribners, 1957. (Specifically Volume 1).
  9. Harrison, J. Houston. Settlers By the Long Grey Trail, Some Pioneers to Old Augusta County, Virginia, and Their Descendants, of the Family of Harrison and Allied Lines. Dayton, VA: Clearfield, 1935.
  10. Hildrup, Robert P. Upper Brandon. Richmond, VA: James River Corporation, 1987.
  11. Horn, James. Adapting to A New World: English Society in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994.
  12. Mapp, Alfred J. Virginia Experiment: The Old Dominion’s Role in the Making of America, 1607-1781Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, Inc., 2006.
  13. McCartney, Martha W. Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers: A Biographical Dictionary, 1607-1635. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2007.
  14. Neill, Edward D. Virginia Carolorum: The Colony under the Rule of Charles The First and Second, A.D. 1625-A.D. 1685. Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s and Sons, 1886.
  15. Pecquet du Bellet, Louise. Some Prominent Virginia Families, vol. 2. Lynchburg, VA:  J.P. Bell Company, 1907.
  16. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Auburn, AL: Ludwig Von Mises Institute, 1999.
  17. Tyler, Lyon Gardiner. The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and the James River. Richmond, VA: The Hermitage Press, 1906.
  18. Walsh, Lorena S. Motives of Honor, Pleasure, and Profit: Plantation Management in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1607-1763. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.
  19. Washburn, Wilcomb E. Virginia Under Charles I and Cromwell 1625-1660. Kindle Edition.
  20. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. Virginia Under the Stuarts: 1607-1688. New York: Russell and Russell, 1959.
  21. Wertenbaker, Thomas Jefferson. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Kindle Edition.
  22. Wright, Louis B. First Gentlemen of Virginia. Charlottesville, VA: Dominion Books, 1982.

Special Links:


All photography used on this site is owned and copyrighted by the author unless otherwise noted. The Featured Image is of the Harrison Family Crest. Links to pictures not my own are President Benjamin Harrison, Benjamin Harrison IV, Claremont Manor, Sarah Blair Harrison Grave, Benjamin Harrison Signature, The Battle of Tippecanoe.

Music used for this episode – Louis Armstrong and the Mills Brothers,”Carry Me Back to Old Virginia” available on iTunes, and “Local Honey” by Sean Watkins, also available on iTunes.


2 thoughts on “First Families of Virginia – The Harrisons

  1. Is there any way of getting a transcript of any of your episodes?
    Most especially this one?
    My dad loves them so much, but he’s older and sometimes it’s difficult for him to listen because the editing has you speaking so fast. It would make his day if I could read it to him!


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