|Birth: ||1752, Ireland|
|Death: ||Nov. 26, 1807|
New York, USA
from Pioneer Irish of Onondaga (about 1776-1847) pg 278-281
CLARK in his numerous references to John
McHarrie does not mention his nationality.
Bruce simply states he was of Scotch ancestry.
Beauchamp in various articles on this pioneer
does not tell his nationality. He stated, however,
that McHarrie was most certainly Irish or of Irish
descent. Col. John M. Strong also said that
both John McHarrie and his wife were Irish, that
his father, who came to this County in 1801, and
who knew the McHarries well, had so informed
Dr. Jonas C. Baldwin and wife lodged in 1797 with
a Mr. McHarrie who had then settled on the south
bank of the river.
The first settlements were made (in Van Buren) in
1 792-1 794 by John McHarrie and others.2
Knowing McHarrie's Rifts to be an excellent water
power the settlers drew up a memorial and sent it on
in 1807 to Dr. Baldwin.3
*1 Clark, vol. ii., p. 163.
*2 Ibid., vol. ii., p. 328.
*3 Ibid., vol. ii., p. 163.
John McHarrie was the first permanent settler in the northern part of the town (Van Buren), where he
located probably in 1792, although the date is given
1794 on the gravestone of his son, John, Jr., who died
in 1834. This pioneer was a veteran of the Revolution.
He removed his family from Maryland to the Seneca
country and thence proceeded down the Seneca River
to Lot 7 at what became known as "McHarrie's
Rifts" near Baldwinsville. He died there November
26, 1807, at the age of fifty-five years and was buried
in a field near his home.
John McHarrie, Jr., was the only son of the pioneer and left no descendants but a daughter Lydia, who married Gabriel Tappan.
McHarrie had discovered an ideal spot for his
wilderness home. Fish and game abounded and he
found considerable occupation in helping boats
through the rifts in their up-river trips. A ford
crossed the river at that point. 2
John McHarrie and Gabriel Tappan built an early mill on Lot 7. McHarrie sold land, built houses,etc. The place was called McHarrie's Rifts and Macksville. The first grass was cut in Lysander by John McHarrie in about 1796. It was "wild grass", there being no other grass to be found in this section
at that period. The first apple trees were set out in
the town of Lysander by John McHarrie in about
The Souvenir Edition, 1896, of the Baldwinsville
*1 Bruce, vol. i., p. 713.
*2 Bruce, vol. i., p. 719.
Gazette and Farmer^s Journal contains an article on
early settlers by the Rev. W. M. Beauchamp,
S.T.D. In it are these references to John
The land was bought of John McHarrie, the earliest
settler on the spot. He came there possibly in 1792,
certainly as early as 1794, and the place was known
as McHarrie's Rifts from him. Until 1840 it appeared
on county maps as Macksville.
John McHarrie bought 500 acres out of this (Lot 7)
on the Van Buren side for seventy-five cents per
acre. On the south side in 1825 the owners of Lot 7
(among others) was John McHarrie.
The Baldwinsville Soldiers' Monument has also a
good list of Revolutionary soldiers and others are in
the pension lists of 1822 and 1840. Among these is
the name of McHarrie.
We were sorry to learn on inquiry that there is no
picture in existence of John McHarrie.
In 1827 John McHarrie sold the first village lot
south of the river. It should be said that this was a
son of the first John McHarrie, the latter having
died November 26, 1807, at the age of 55 years. He
came from Maryland.
The name McHarrie is uncommon—almost
unknown. It is spelled McHarrie and McHarry,
and this member of the family was called by the
prefix Mc, that is Mac or Mack. He came from
*1 Baldwinsville Gazette.
Maryland where the Irish were numerous from
the earliest colonial days. The name readily
suggests the name McHenry and McSherry as well
as O'Hara. The testimony of Rev. W. M. Beauchamp
and Col. John M. Strong that this particular
member of the family was Irish either by birth or
descent must be accepted.
A Revolutionary soldier, a woodsman, riverman,
farmer, builder, John McHarrie must have been a valuable member of the little colony in the wilderness. He must have been in touch with all the events of those days when as host he received the travellers, and as guide helped them on their way through the Rifts. His wife no doubt shared the labors and pleasures of the forest home. She
was well known and esteemed in the County more
than a century ago. The regret is that so little
is now known of this pioneer Irish woman.
Lydia McHarie (1748 - 1818)
Lydia McHarie Tappan (1788 - 1855)*
John McHarie (1792 - 1834)*
New York, USA
Created by: Barbara LeClaire
Record added: Jul 09, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20373369