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William Jackson Harley, Sr., of Barnwell District, S.C.
Posted by: Milton W. Harden (ID *****3961) Date: April 03, 2003 at 17:33:04
  of 662

For purposes of clarification:

Maj. William Jackson Harley, Sr., (Jan. 12, 1812-Apr. 20, 1861), eldest child of Almedia Brown (1793-1855) and Preston Harley (1792-1837), was married first on Jan. 3, 1833 to Ann Moncrief Adams Bruton (1816-c.1843), a daughter of Sarah Richard Moncrief (1794-1838) and Benjamin Bruton (died 1827).

Children of Ann M. A. Bruton and William Jackson Harley, Sr:

1. Sarah Almedia Harley (Dec. 3, 1833-Apr. 16, 1892) married Feb. 1, 1855 Samuel Preston Langley (Nov. 5, 1832-Feb. 14, 1903), eldest son of Sarah Rebecca Harley (1813-1878) and Christopher Henry Langley, Sr. (1809-1881). They are buried in the Seven Pines Baptist Church cemetery at Snelling, near Barnwell, S.C., as are Samuel Preston Langley’s parents.
2. William Jackson Harley, Jr., (June 22, 1835-May 12, 1901) was married twice – name of first wife uncertain (some sources report a Miss Bruton; others report a Miss Miller); married secondly Ann Gibbs. He is buried at Mt. Moriah Church near Lyons, Ga.
3. Benjamin J. Harley (Nov. 18, 1836-Aug. 15, 1876) married Sara Eliza Davis (July 26, 1840-Jan. 20, 1932), a daughter of Mary E. Harden (1814-1895) and William Washington Davis (1810-1880). They are buried in the churchyard of Siloam Methodist Church south of Barnwell, S.C., on Hwy #3.
4. Elizabeth America Harley (Apr. 3, 1838---1876) was married first on Oct. 1, 1856 to Maj. James Washington Rountree (Apr. 4, 1818-June 13, 1860) (his second wife); Elizabeth later married John Benjamin Rountree (Aug. 3, 1848-Dec. 4, 1907), son of William and Martha Rountree. John Benjamin Rountree and his second wife, Eugenia Holly Rountree (1840-1908) are buried in the churchyard of Siloam Methodist Church.
5. Preston Harley (1839-1911) married Theodosia Alston Willis (b. 1839).
6. Alexander Campbell Harley (Jan. 10, 1841-Feb. 17, 1910) married Feb. 24, 1860 Sarah Virginia Langley (Apr. 8, 1842-May 11, 1907), a daughter of Sarah Rebecca Harley and Christopher Henry Langley, Sr. Alexander Campbell Harley and Sarah Virginia Langley Harley are buried in the cemetery of Seven Pines Baptist Church at Snelling, S.C. The family Bible of Sarah Virginia Langley Harley is now in the keeping of one of her great-grandsons, Milton W. Harden, of Kline, S.C.
7. Alonzo Moncrief Harley (Sept. 27, 1843-June 17, 1911) married first Apr. 1, 1865 Lucy Foreman (1839-1882). His second wife was Sarah Ann Stallings.

Maj. William Jackson Harley married again, after the passing of Ann Bruton Harley. His second wife was America Elizabeth Brown (Nov. 4, 1820-Feb. 8, 1871), a daughter of Elizabeth Lee Brown (1796-1850) and Dr. Wilson Brown (1787-1829). Maj. William Jackson Harley and his second wife, America Brown Harley, and her parents are buried in the Barnwell First Baptist Cemetery. The burial place of Ann Bruton Harley is unknown to the present writer.

Children of America E. Brown and Maj. William Jackson Harley, Sr.

8. Franklin S. Harley (1845—May 11, 1871) married Mar. 20, 1870 Joseph Emily Langley (Jan. 2, 1851-May 22, 1871), a daughter of Sarah Rebecca Harley and Christopher Henry Langley, Sr. This is not a typo - her given name was "Joseph."
9. Virginia A. Harley (July 15, 1846-Jan. 9, 1921) married Jan. 30, 1879 Joseph Jennings Brown (Oct. 9, 1833-Feb. 17, 1904), a son of Eliza C. Duncan and Barnett H. Brown (1786-1879). Col. Joseph Jennings Brown and Virginia Harley Brown are buried in the Barnwell First Baptist Cemetery near her parents, America Brown Harley and Maj. William Jackson Harley, Sr.
10. Rivers Wilson Harley (Jan. 6, 1851-Feb. 5, 1912) married Philippa Eliza Hallonquist (Sept. 10, 1850-Dec. 10, 1913), a daughter of Sophia Berney and Laurent Daniel Hallonquist (1815-1879). Rivers W. Harley and Philippa Hallonquist Harley are buried in the churchyard of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Apostles in Barnwell, S.C.


The above is hardly error-free, and the careful genealogist may choose to pick it apart. There are some points that deserve emphasis. In a number of genealogies, some dating back many years and written by some of the finest genealogists, the name of the sixth child of Ann M. A. Bruton and Maj. William Jackson Harley, Sr., appears as “Alexander Clark Harley,” based on the descent (?) of the Harleys from one Alexander Clark, who had died in 1718. It is interesting that it would take a family as aware of its ancestry as the Harleys some 123 years to honor this ancestor. Indeed, the true name of my great-grandfather was ALEXANDER CAMPBELL HARLEY. He was named for Rev. Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), co-founder (with his father, Thomas) of the Christian (Disciples of Christ) denomination. Rev. Alexander Campbell had preached at Antioch Christian Church, in present-day Allendale County, in 1838, and had been the guest of Gen. James Daniel Erwin at Erwinton at that same time. This is not far from Barnwell, and it is possible that William Jackson Harley, Sr. had met Rev. Campbell. My great-grandfather was one of those infants who was named for a famous minister. My grandmother was his daughter, Josie Emma Harley (1874-1962), who married Milton Austin Harden (1864-1940) in 1897. I had the pleasure and honor of having known her and three of her younger sisters, my great-aunts, and an assortment of older cousins who remembered both Alexander Campbell Harley and his wife, Sarah Virginia Langley. I do not think that all of their memories were consistently flawed. In fact, my grandmother’s memory was prodigious.

Second of all, many sources show the date of the marriage of Maj. William Jackson Harley, Sr., and America Elizabeth Brown to have been in 1847. Actually, it is most likely that Ann Bruton Harley died at or shortly after the birth of Alonzo Moncrief Harley in 1843, and that William Jackson Harley, Sr., and America Elizabeth Brown were married in 1844. Take a close look at the dates of birth of the first two of their three children.


Milton W. Harden
April 3, 2003


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