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John Clay Harris (#47322896)
 member for 5 years, 6 months, 26 days
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Bio Photo A Miami Florida Native who has found ,Find a Grave a valuable tool to further my family's history.It also has become a place in which I can honor my family and friends by writing their individual biographies when possible.I have had the pleasure of living and working in Miami,Chicago,Orlando,Boston and Vermont the native state of my paternal great grandfather U.S.Army Quartermaster Corps Captain, Charles Winfred Sanderson .I currently live in North Carolina the native state of my 4th gg father, Robert Sandlin and 5th gg father, John King .

My interest in genealogy began years ago when I was still living in Miami.My dear grandmother,Gertrude(Trudy)Sanderson Harris,was a major influence in sparking my interest in pursuing my family history.With her superb memory she was an excellent source of information when we started together compiling the familiy history.My grandmother,Trudy,all her life had a fear of flying due to an incident in which my grandfather, Harry Lee Harris, took her,just after they were married,flying upside down in a bi-winged acrobatic airplane. She,as I, was very enthusiastic about the prospects of furthering the family genealogy should we make a trip to New England.So,Grandma Trudy was able to overcome her fear of flying,giving her the chance,as she had in her childhood,to see Vermont,the native state of her father,Charles Winfred Sanderson again.On June 26,1992,we boarded a flight to Boston,Massachusetts where we took a twelve day driving trip that took us though Vermont,New Hampshire,Maine and Canada.In preparation for our trip we had done some preliminary research that allowed us to visit several Sanderson family sites and former homes.The first important site was the cemetery where my grand mother's Grandfather,Civil War Union Veteran,William Harley Sanderson ,was buried.His grave along with his father David Sanderson and mother Lucy Elwell were at Brandon,Vermont's Pine Hill Cemetery.David Sanderson's father was, Ebenezer Sanderson ,a Revolutionary War veteran,who had come to Vermont from Petersham,Massachusetts in 1790.Another stop was to see the former Art Studio,at 20 Beacon Street in Boston,of Uncle Charles Wesley Sanderson ,older brother of above mentioned William Harley Sanderson.Charles Wesley,a successful artist and musician,had studied in Paris at the prestigious,Ecole des Beaux Arts.He had exhibited his art work in Boston,New York,London ,Munich and the Hague.In Boston he was well known in literary and artistic circles.His close friend ,concert pianist, Johann Ernst Perabo performed at many of the receptions that Charles gave in Boston.The guests list often included Henry Wadsworth Longfellow , Ralph Waldo Emerson , Harriet Beecher Stowe , and many others.In Boston he also became a benifactor of Boston socialite, Mrs Isabella Stewart Gardner , a patron of the arts who encoraged his work and purchased many of his paintings.A final stop was to the Grove Hill Cemetery in Waltham, Massachusetts where we had discovered our first generation Sanderson relative. Deacon Jonathan Sanderson, was born Sep. 14,1646 and was the first generation American born son of the immigrant Edward Sanderson(1615-1660).Edward with his brother,Colonial Silversmith Robert Sanderson(1608-1693) had come to America in about 1638.

Continuing on these early successes I have recently had more time to spend on doing genealogy ,enabling me to make great progress in advancing my family tree.My southern ancestor's were pioneer settlers of the state of Florida,migrating from Georgia,North and South Carolina and Virginia including numerous Revolutionary War,Indian Wars and Confederate Veterans and whose surnames partially include,Harris,King,Lee,Turner,Sandlin,Smith and my 3rd great grandfather,William Baldwin Harrison a Savanna,Georgia Newspaper Pubisher was a forebear of, Benjamin Harrison signer to the Declaration of Independence as well as two U.S.Presidents,William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison. My northern ancestors whose names partially include Bartlett,Elwell,Foster,Gray,Howe,Kelsey,Sanderson,Stone,and Whipple,is where I have made the most progress futhering my family tree in the past few years.I have identified most them as early colonial settlers of The Massachusetts Bay Colony immigrating here from England between 1620-1640.

A few of my most recent discoveries have been of my New England family of Howe. My 7th great grandfather,Nehemiah How and his son , Caleb How with wife,Jemima Sawtell were among the first white settlers in the 1740's to settle lands on the "Great Meadow" on the frontier of Vermont and New Hampshire.Their story is well known to most Vermont and New Hampshire historians as it has been written about in multiple historical publications though the years.The first account was "A Narrative of the Captivity of, Nehemiah How" published in 1748 from his hand written journals he took while held in a French Prison in Quebec,Canada. Just seven years later Nehemiah's son Caleb Howe and his wife Jemiama would make their own mark in the history books when Caleb Howe was killed by Indians who then took his wife and children captive.

Knowing how my ancestors stood strong and survived despite the hardships and obstacles they faced ,gives me a deep respect admiration and pride for all they went though in order for me to have the life I have today.
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Ashley Dean, Mayflower Pilgr..., Ryan-O
Messages left for John Clay Harri... (115)[Leave Message]
Coleen Bontrager
RE: Ens. Timothy Foster Jr Corbin
After our mother's passing a few years ago, we discovered that her great grandfather's gravestone (Benjamin Kidder) in Alden, NY was also down on the ground and snapped in half, so we used a money from her estate to have it repaired. We also discovered that her grandparents (Foster B & Mary Kidder) and four of their six adult children, were all buried together at the Lancaster Rural Cemetery in Lancaster, NY and none of them had a headstone. So we also ordered one large stone for all of them. We had an actual dedication ceremony, by the pastor of the family church. We know Mom would have been very pleased.
Added by Coleen Bontrager on Jan 11, 2016 7:39 AM
Donald Tuttle
RE: Neomi Stone Lawrence
Will do, John.
Added by Donald Tuttle on Nov 20, 2015 7:41 AM
Donald Tuttle
Neomi Stone Lawrence
Hi, John.
I made the change for Neomi's birth city. I also noticed in the photo you attached that her name was spelled Naomi. Should I change that?

Don T
Added by Donald Tuttle on Nov 19, 2015 3:30 PM
Debby (Patt) Margiotta
Alice and Timothy Stone
I have transferred them to you. Take good care of them.

Added by Debby (Patt) Margiotta on Nov 17, 2015 5:52 PM
Coleen Bontrager
RE: Ens. Timothy Foster Jr Corbin
PS I checked and I am able to get into your tree, even though I don't have an active membership...and yes I see familiar names from my tree (Foster Kidder). Thanks for sharing.
Added by Coleen Bontrager on Oct 31, 2015 5:53 PM
Coleen Bontrager
RE: Ens. Timothy Foster Jr Corbin
thanks SO much John , this is awesome. I don't know if I'll be able to see your tree or not (I did get the email), because I let my membership lapse during the summer, and sign up again in the winter. Saves some money. It's awesome what you've done, and I'll spend lots of time reading it. It's on my bucket list to get to New England someday and "Visit" my ancestors. THANKYOU!!!! Coleen
Added by Coleen Bontrager on Oct 31, 2015 5:46 PM
Coleen Bontrager
Ens. Timothy Foster Jr Corbin
You wrote an amazing bio on this man, who is in my family tree. You have provided me with vital information, and I'd like to know if I can have your permission to use the information to build my tree, and copy the photo of his grave stone. We are the Bontrager-Kidder Family Tree on My ancestor, Foster B Kidder and his father Benjamin Kidder brought their families from New England to Western New York (specifically to the towns of Alden and Lancaster) to which our family is still here. I am curious to know WHY they left NE, and WHY they came to this area...only, jobs, etc? Wish I could get into a time machine. I also want to travel thru New England someday to see the homes of my ancestors. THanks, Coleen
Added by Coleen Bontrager on Oct 31, 2015 4:43 PM
Charles Ledbetter
RE: John Wesley Smith
I did see that, death on that one is 1899. Harden & wife Louella both appear on the 1910 census in Cumberland Co. along with all of children except Dora L Smith. I did see where she died 1908.

Thanks John
Added by Charles Ledbetter on Sep 19, 2015 12:08 PM
Robin Knowles Miner
James Jackson Knowles
I cannot thank you enough for posting the photo of his home! (And for all the other photos you have posted) I never knew much about my Knowles family. My grandfather, Thomas Camden Knowles, died long before I was born. So I started this journey to find my relatives and discovered this wonderful site. I was able to find many graves on a trip to Florida, but did not have time to stay and research. So thank you so much for your hard work!
Added by Robin Knowles Miner on Sep 15, 2015 9:07 AM
Charles Ledbetter
John Wesley Smith
Hi John,

Hope all is well. Iíll been looking at the 1900,s & 1910 census for Cumberland Co. Tn.
John W Smith had brother by the name Hardin Smith that live nearby him in Cumberland Co.
I cannot fine any census on him after 1910. Do you ever remember any of the family talk
About his brother Harden Smith. 1910 census show Harden with wife & eight children. John W. Smith with wife
& four children. I did fine where one of the boys die here in MI. Another than that couldnít anything on them.

Thanks John

Charles Ledbetter
Added by Charles Ledbetter on Sep 14, 2015 3:17 PM
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