Harrison Family Of Virginia
The Harrison family is a prominent political family in U.S. history. Most famously, this family produced numerous Governors of Virginia (serving during both the Colonial era and after independence), as well as two U.S. Presidents: William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison.
The family has a longer recorded heritage in politics, however. Their earliest notable ancestor is the thirteenth century Baron Robert II de Holland, also an ancestor to James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and Winston Churchill. Another early ancestor, Henry deHede, was the first man in England to use a surname. Some genealogists speculate that the Harrisons were Viking warriors of Norse orgin, and that they arrived in England with Canute the Great. Other sources say that they are of Norman, Irish and Scottish descent.
Among the First Families of Virginia, they came to the Colony of Virginia in 1630 when Benjamin Harrison (the first of many to bear that name) left England for the Americas.
His son, Benjamin Harrison Jr., fathered Benjamin Harrison III, who fathered Colonel Benjamin Harrison IV in 1693. His son is known in modern times as Benjamin Harrison V, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a Governor of Virginia. For the next two centuries the Harrisons would play some role in American political history.
When John Trumbull was painting his Declaration of Independence, he had no portrait of Benjamin Harrison V to work with. Benjamin Harrison VI was said to have resembled his father, so he was painted instead. Benjamin Harrison VI was brother to General and President William Henry Harrison, who was the father of John Scott Harrison, an Ohio congressman. John Scott Harrison was the father of President Benjamin Harrison and is the only person to be both the son and the father of a U.S. president. President Benjamin Harrison was named after Benjamin Harrison V and John Scott Harrison's brother, Dr. Benjamin Harrison VII, making President Benjamin Harrison the eighth member of his family to bear that name. Since the other seven are less historically prominent, he is usually known simply as Benjamin Harrison, even though Benjamin Harrison VIII is technically correct.
By marriage the Harrisons are related to the Lee family, the Washington family, the Tyler family and the Randolph family.
Famous quotes containing the words harrison and/or family:
“The death of William Tecumseh Sherman, which took place to-day at his residence in the city of New York at 1 oclock and 50 minutes p.m., is an event that will bring sorrow to the heart of every patriotic citizen. No living American was so loved and venerated as he.”
—Benjamin Harrison (18331901)
“As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live.”
—John Paul II [Karol Wojtyla] (b. 1920)