Remembering Our Ancestors: Temperance Overton

Colonial Families of the USA 1607-1775 p265
Excerpt from: Colonial Families of the USA, 1607-1775. Vol. VII, at the bottom of p. 265

Today, we remember our 8th (and 9th) great-grandmother Temperance Overton, who was born tomorrow 340 years ago, that is, on March 2, 1679 in Hanover, New Kent County, VA.  She married Col. William Claiborne Harris, son of Robert Harris of “The Forks” and Mary Claiborn Rice, in 1695 in Pamunkey River St. Peter Parish, and died on February 19, 1716 at the age of 36.  As she was buried were she was born, Temperance probably lived her whole life in Hanover, VA.  With William Harris, she had eight children, as the next page in the above quoted book attests:

offspring of William and Temperace Harris
Excerpt from: Colonial Families of the USA, 1607-1775. Vol. VII, at the top of p. 266

Major Robert Harris was our 7th (and 8th) great-grandfather, and was quite probably named for his own maternal great-grandfather.  Temperance’ father William was an immigrant, born 1638 in England, who by the time of her birth had settled in the colonies.  His father, in turn, had been Major-General Robert Overton (about 1609–1678), who, as his Wikipedia-entry claims, was a prominent English soldier and scholar who first fought with, but later turned against Oliver Cromwell.

The Harris line joined the Mulford line in 1875 when Arilla Harris married George Mulford.  The two were our 2nd (and 3rd) great-grandparents.  Their daughter Mattie married Steward Leslie Denney, our (2nd) great-grandfather, in 1899.

Rest in peace, dear Great-Grandma Temperance.  Your life was relatively short, but we have not forgotten you.

headstone temperance
This is the inscription on Temperance (Overton) Harris’ headstone.  Hers may be the earliest known grave site in Hanover County, VA.

5 Replies to “Remembering Our Ancestors: Temperance Overton”

  1. Thank you for remembering Temperance, my 7th Great Grandmother. My daughter and I visited her grave this summer and cleaned up the graveyard as best we could. I am interested in learning more about her life. May she rest in peace.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for doing that, it is much appreciated. I suspect it is easier to find out something about her father and grandfather than about herself, but so much can be inferred from dates. Thank you also for stopping by here and commenting.


  2. Thank you so much for your hard work in putting all this info together. I am also related to William & Temperance Harris – thru their son Samuel Harris of VA.

    Liked by 1 person

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