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Unusual Name–Three Ancestors Ago–Alice Virgillia Harris

This post is a part of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge by Amy Johnson Crow at www.amyjohnsoncrow.com/.

  • Etheldred
  • Pheneller
  • Evangeline Beauton
  • Culpeper
  • Irenus Hezakiah
  • Duzdt
  • Frizelle
  • US Grant
  • Ozell
  • Philmore

A few of the unusual names that show up in my tree.  Another, Alice Virgillia. It’s been recorded in a book about the Harris’ as Virginia.  However, my grandmother was always emphatic that it was Virgillia. There’s a few reasons I believe her.  But first, the facts:

  • Born: 8 October 1875
  • Married: 25 April 1894
  • Died: 12 January 1912

Alice is my third ancestor via:

  • Her daughter, Racie Elmira Harris Morris
  • Her son, Randy Harris Morris

Alice was born to Lee and Sarah Russell Harris on October 8, 1875.  She grew up in the Eldorado Community in Montgomery County, NC. In 1880, she lived with her parents. She had a brother who died at 6 months old in December 1877.  Her mother, Sarah, died and Lee soon married again and had several children. His second wife was Nancy Elizabeth Russell. With Nancy, he had Bulah, Travis, Silvia, Oscar, Jessie, and Georgie.

LeeRoy Harris Family--After
After Harris, Lee Roy and family before 1912
Back row: Georgia, Alice, Jessie
Middle: Nancy Russell and Leeroy Whitson Harris
Front: William, Travis, Oscar, Sylvia

On 25 April, 1894, she married William Christopher Harris.

Marriage License of William C. and Alice V. Harris Harris

 By 1900, she’s living with her husband and 2 children. Still in Eldorado.  They’re renting and he’s a day laborer.

In 1910, she and William are still living in Eldorado.  He’s a laborer doing odd jobs. They still rent and they have 7 children; Jonah, Sarah, Clifford, Nina, Mattie, Joe, Iola.  My grandmother, Racie, would come in June of the following year. By January of 1912, Alice is dead.

Her children went separate ways and William visited from time to time.  He suffered from mental illness and committed suicide in 1924.

My grandmother went to live with Alice’s parents.  And now to the reasons I think my grandmother was right about Alice’s name.  Even though she never knew her mother, she did grow up with her grandparents.  Her grandfather, at least, was one of the two people who named Alice and did all they could to help her know her mother.  They would most certainly know Alice’s name.

Racie Harris Personal Account
Handwritten Account by Racie Morris


Virgillia is such an odd name.  I’ve often wondered where it came from.  

Sources:

  • Personal Account of Racie E. Harris Morris, 2007
  • Census Records, 1880, 1900, 1910
  • Marriage License, 1894

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