Harriet was probably born in or around Dunham, Quebec, Canada. It was here that she married Joseph Bates on 21 Jul, 1811 at the Anglican Church. Marriage ceremonies at that time were held in a schoolhouse at Chapel Corner in Dunham. (History of Dunham).
Joseph and Harriet had four sons and four daughters: Thomas (1813-1849) who died on the Isthmus of Panama on his way to the gold rush in California, Truman (1813-1853), Melinda Bates Hancock (1815-1849), Joseph J (1817-1866), Harriet Bates Landon (1820-1862, Mary Bates Barrett (1822-1894), James (1823-1908) and Elizabeth Bates Alvord (1827-1907).
A family story passed down was there was North American Indian lineage in the Bates family. Interestingly my mother and her siblings possessed a photo of "John Smith", a Indian man. When I asked the primary Bates researcher about the Indian lineage he laughed and said no. Marjorie Muench advised me her grandfather finally admitted to the Indian heritage. Apparently the forefathers were ashamed of this fact. A Bates descendant said on the back of the posted photo it says Iroquois woman.