The Wilson Harmon and Related Surnames Homepage
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"This Harmon and Related Surnames Family History site is a labor of love for those who have gone before us and for those who come after us. We dedicate this site also to our current Harmon Family and those Related Surnames as our gift to them. It is as much for them and the memory of our Harmon and Related Surnames ancestors as it is for the benefit of our children and grandchildren. Come join us as we travel into the past and into the lives of our forefathers and our current generations of Harmons."

Gordon S. Harmon
Katherine McClure

The Harmon Coat of Arms

The Harmon Coat of Arms hereby illustrated is officially documented in "Burke's General Armory." The original description of the arms (shield) is as follows:

"Quarterly, per fesse indented or and sa. on a bend of the last three lozenges of the first."
When translated the blazon also describes the original colors of the Harmon arms as:

"Quartered gold and black divided horizontally by an indented line; on a black diagonal bend, three diamond shapes."
Above the shield and helmet is the crest which is described as:

"An arm in a black sleeve with a silver cuff holding in the naturally colored hand, two green rose branches, on arching to the right and flowering on top with a white rose, the other to the left in like manner with a red rose."

Read the Meaning of the Harmon Name

"In All of Us There Is A Hunger,
Marrow Deep,
To Know Our Heritage,
To Know Who We Are And Where We Have Come From.
Without This Enriching Knowledge,
There Is A Hollow Yearning.
No Matter What Our Attainments In Life,
There Is Still A Vacuum,
An Emptiness,
And the Most Disquieting Loneliness."

-Alex Hailey
"What Roots Mean To Me"

Life on the Wabash River
Migration to the New Frontier

The Wilson Harmon Family

Gordon S. Harmon
Katherine McClure

Not much is known about the life of Wilson Harmon and Elizabeth (Endicott) Harmon specifically, but much can be gleaned from the historical accounts of the early settlers in southwestern Indiana Territory and namely Posey County and Gibson County, Indiana. It is known that the migration of our Endicott ancestors from Kentucky arrived on September 25, 1815 in Posey County as part of the 44 pioneers involved in that migration. It is believed that our Harmon ancestors migrated about the same time or perhaps a short time later also from Kentucky into Indiana Territory. A major event occurring at this time rightly had a major influence upon the migration of several families into this new frontier providing rich fertile ground adjacent to the Wabash River.
The Wabash River

That major event was the settlement of New Harmony by the Rappites under the leadership of George Rapp. The Rappites had come from Harmony, Pennsylvania where they had established their first community upon their arrival in American from Germany. The Rappites were a communal social order with many ideas far advanced of most thinking at that time in America. They were industrious and strongly believed in a society where all were equal and education was prime importance irregardless of social or economic standing. They also believed in a community system of property. Their belief in equality of rights was matched with union in business, demand of freedom, sincerity, kindness, courtesy, order, obedience, and economy. Much has been written about the Rappites and it is not the intent to go into great detail here about this Society except to say their migration into and founding of New Harmony must have been a tremendous influence for others to follow, but in the case of our Harmons or Endicotts, there is no evidence to suggest that they were members of this society.

Read about Robert Owen and New Harmony

Photo Gallery of New Harmony, Posey County, Indiana

We know from the U.S. Census (1850, 1870, and 1880) that Wilson Harmon's occupation was farming. There is no evidence that he owned land as shown on the census, however he was a sharecropper. Farming at this time was conducted with extremely primitive techniques. However, by 1850, oxen were in use for most farm work and plows with wooden mould boards were common place. Hand sowing of seed was the practice of the time.

Many early customs existed at the time and there is every reason to believe that Wilson Harmon and his family were an integral part of the customs of the time. Exerpts taken from the Goodspeeds History of Posey County, 1886 suggests some of the life of our early Indiana Pioneer ancestors, both the Endicotts and the Harmons. "Realizing that in union there is strength, log rollings and house raisings were frequent and the neighbors would gather for miles around. At these gatherings every man was expected to do his whole duty, and he who was found reaching for the "long end of a handspike" was the butt of all jokes for the balance of the day. They also assisted each other in husking corn. It was customary to gathering corn with the husk on and pile it up in one huge pile in a barn or adjoining cribs or pens. When the crop of the neighborhood was gathered, the husking began. The women, also, were wont to assist each other in their arduous duties, and while the men were husking corn, and passing the "little brown jug" as often as a red ear was husked, the woman were quilting and picking wool. At nightfall, the dance commenced, and by the light of the tallow dip, and to the music of the flute and fiddle,

"Danced on the joyous hours
And it is well; youth has it's time
Merry Heart will merrily chime"

Knowing that Wilson Harmon was a farmer, as this was the chief occupation at the time, it is highly probable that he was involved in clearing the land and building a cabin for his young family. If he was fortunate, he may have had 10 acres that were tillable at the end of the first year. Maybe a floor would be added to the cabin and perhaps if the home had been a three walled leanto the first year, the fourth wall would be added. If any furniture had been carried into the Indian Territory settlement, it was plain and sturdy and probably made of walnut or cherry and some was made of poplar. The average family brought little furniture with them to the Indiana Territory. Beds were made by tying ropes to 4 logs and then corn shucks added. Every family had their own flax patch to provide linen for household needs and clothing.

Women dried fruit, made yeast cakes from hops which they used to make the family's bread supply. Socks were knitted and covers woven.

Yet their family life wasn't dull and drab. To provide excitement, there were frequent hair-raising tales of Indian raids, which caused so much concern that a fort was built in the vicinity of Stewartsville, Robb Township.

Wild animals roamed the entire countryside and on many occasions many narrow escapes were made from the wolves, bear, panther, etc. Small game was plentiful long after the larger animals were gone. School was held in small one or two room houses for three or four months a year.

Religious services were the chief social events and many courtships which later ended in marriage, started in the church. The two chief denominations were Baptists and Methodists. Men went to church their rifle over their shoulder to protect their families. Practically every family had a large family Bible which was read a passage every night by the firelight.

Everything used about the home was generally produced at home. Even the farming tools were made. At first corn was pounded into meal. Later with time, came the mills.

Political issues were discussed just as frequently then as they are now with the exception it was several weeks or months old when it reached the Indiana frontier. The men took great pride in voting and election day meant a good time and holiday for every one. The rallies of modern times are no more zealously attended and discussed than they were in the early days of the Indiana Territory. In the 1856-1876 records for polling places in Gibson County, Indiana, there are entries for Wm. Harmon, Owensville, Montgomery Township and Lewis Harmon, Barneus Chapel, Montgomery Township. Of course the voting by Wm. Harmon and Lewis Harmon could have occurred at any time during the period 1856-1876. We do not believe, that this entry for Wm. Harmon is our Wilson Harmon.

Understanding that Wilson Harmon was a mobile sharecropper explains the fact that his children were born in Indiana and Illinois. We find Wilson Harmon and his family in the 1870 U.S. Census in Equality Township, Gallintin County, Illinois. It was here in Illinois that Flora Belle Harmon (1870) and Martha Harmon (1872) were born. The page of the children of Wilson Harmon and Elizabeth Endicott will show the dates of birth and location of birth of all the children of Wilson Harmon and Elizabeth Endicott. Wilson Harmon and his family were a mobile family leading Wilson to work as a farmer and sharecropper, thus the movement on both sides of the Wabash River. Up until this time, we must conclude that Wilson Harmon was in Indiana as evidence shows him there in 1850 (US Census, Gibson County) and in 1851 (Posey County) at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Endicott (daughter of Joseph Nation Endicott and Elizabeth Varner). In 1865, their son Andrew was born in Indiana and in 1874 their daughter Ida was born in South Bend, Indiana. All evidence suggests that Wilson Harmon was born in Indiana, however, this has not been documented. Based upon information that is available, we can say that Wilson Harmon was born about 1828. The 1880 U.S. Census shows that his place of birth was Indiana, his father's place of birth was Kentucky and his mother's place of birth was Indiana.

Current research (as of March,2001) is focusing on George Harmon and Minerva (Gentry) Harmon as the possible parents of Wilson Harmon. We find a George Harmon who migrated from Kentucky to Indiana ca.1820-1824. George Harmon and Minerva Gentry were married in Gibson County, IN on February 28, 1824. George Harmon was living in Gibson County, NO TWP L, in 1830. The 1830 U.S. Census shows two males under age five. These two children could be Wilson Harmon born ca. 1828 and possible his brother John Lewis Harmon. We find a George Harmon in the 1840 U.S. Census in Posey County 289/563 Robb Twp., IN. Also, we find a George Harmon in the 1840 U.S. Census in Gibson County, 122, IN. Wilson Harmon would be approximately 12 years old at this time. The 1840 U.S. Census in both of these cases, however, do not shown any males between 10-12. In the 1850 US Census, we do not find George Harmon, but we do find Minerva Harmon, age 55 in Gibson County, IN living with Jesse Harmon and Family. At this time, Jesse is the only known son of George and Minerva (Gentry) Harmon. The only other thing that has been found in 1850 regarding George Harmon is the 1850 Mortality Census showing a George D. Harmon, Wayne County, IN who died of cholera. More information on George Harmon and Minerva Gentry will be shown as it becomes available and continues to lead us to believe that they are the possible parents of Wilson Harmon.

It is interesting to note that in the 1850 U.S. Census, Wabash Township, Gibson County, Indiana, Wilson Harmon was age 22 and working as a farm laborer. He is found living with the John Cantrell Family. This is the earliest documented evidence that we have on Wilson Harmon. Next to the Cantrell Family was John L. Harmon, age 22 and Family. Is it possible that there was a close family relationship? Brothers? Cousins? Also shown in the 1850 Census, Gibson County, Indiana is Lemuel Harmon age 45 and family. Living with this Harmon Family is Susanah Cantrell, age 21. Both of these suggest strong family relationships. It is known that the immigrants coming from Kentucky into southwestern Indiana Territory were related and there were numerous intermarriages of cousins.

It was sometime between 1875-1879 that Wilson Harmon moved with his family from Illinois and began to head "West". Wilson Harmon, like many others at this time in American history, were adventuresome and continually looking for a new and better way of life for himself and his family. With new lands opening in the West, this must have prompted Wilson Harmon along with many other families to venture into the freedom of a "new beginning". In the 1880 U.S. Census dated June 11, 1880, the Wilson Harmon Family is found in Carollton Township, Boone County, Arkansas. Joseph and James Louis Harmon are not found in the 1880 U.S. Census with the rest of the Wilson Harmon Family. We do find Joseph Harmon in the 1880 US Census for Hawthorne Township, White County, IL and working as a farmer.

It is also believed that from Boone County, Arkansas, Wilson Harmon lived in Sebastian County, Arkansas or across the border in Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory in what is now Leflore County, Oklahoma. There is no evidence to document this, however.

In the 1890 Reconstructed Census Tax Records for Van Buren County, AR, we find the following individuals that could have very well been the three sons of Wilson and Elizabeth (Endicott)Harmon: Harmon, A. J. (Andrew Jackson Harmon); Harmon, J. L. (James Louis Harmon); Harmon, J. N. (Joseph Nation (?)Harmon). These three individuals were in Archie Valley.When Elizabeth (Endicott) Harmon died, according to family oral history, she was buried at the Old Hall Cemetery near the Kully Cha Ha Community near present day Cameron, Oklahoma. Research of the Old Hall Cemetery has not located Elizabeth (Endicott) Harmon. It is concluded that it is either an unmarked grave; the stone is badly worn or that it is broken over the years and has been removed. Work done by the Poteau Valley Genealogical Society to document the gravesites of Leflore County, OK cemeteries does not show a site for Elizabeth (Endicott) Harmon at the Old Hall Cemetery.

After Elizabeth's death, Wilson Harmon went to live with his daughter Amy (Harmon) Willis and Family in Tobucksy County, Indian Territory . Wilson died ca. 1894 and is buried in Tobucksy County, IT, what is now Pittsburgh County, Oklahoma. The earliest evidence of Amy (Harmon) Willis and Family living in Indian Territory is found in Dwight, IT (Twp 5 North, Range 15 East) in the 1900 Census.

We have been unable to locate and document the burial site of Wilson Harmon, but it is strongly possible that Wilson Harmon could be buried in the immediate Alderson, Oklahoma or surrounding area. This is near McAlester, Oklahoma. Old family letters state that Andrew Harmon rode a mule to his fathers funeral in McAlester.

More Information On the Harmon Family

For Information on the Wilson Harmon Family Write to:

Gordon Harmon
Joseph Harmon Branch

Katherine McClure
James Louis Harmon Branch

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