Susannah Harrison, First Wife of William Ware

A few years ago I met Kathleen Dawson on another site.  She is descended from Susannah Harrison.  I challenged her regarding Susannah Harrison, being the wife of William Ware, because my research had indicated Susannah Payne.  After much research on her part, she contacted me with her findings.  William was indeed married to both Susannahs.  An overlook in some DAR records had eliminated Susannah Payne.  Susannah Payne is my ancestor.

I had heard about the account of  Susannah Harrison Ware’s  last minutes of life and asked Kathleen for a copy, which I am posting here.

Kathleen Neal Dawson typed this from a typed copy obtained from a Raymond Ware. Misspellings and inconsistent dates were not corrected. The paper states that it is in a collection of papers donated to the Averett College Archives, Danville, V A. I don’t know who the author is. The papers were donated by Mrs. Harry Wooding Spencer, whose husband was a descendent of Susannah Harrison’s sister Anne Payne Harrison, who married Col. Daniel Coleman.

NOTE: There are 3 Anna Payne Harrisons — Susannah’s sister Anne Payne Harrison mentioned above (1) was named for their mother Anne Payne who married William Harrison … becoming Anna Payne Harrison (2) … And Susannah’s cousin Anne Payne married Susannah’s brother Robert Harrison becoming another Anna Payne Harrison (3).

“Susanna Ware (Eldest Daughter to William & Anna Harrison) was born the 22nd January 1768 and departed this life on Sunday the 29th January 1786. She was delivered of a daughter on the 21 st January 1786 and desired it to be named Anna Payne, but being taken very ill, and found she shod not recover, she called her mother to her and desired it might be named Susanna Harrison after herself being her maiden name-she requested her mama would take care of it for her and desired it might be brought up in a Godly course which request she also made to her husband who she took leave of in the most tender and affectionate manner with the rest of her friends-saying that she hoped to see them in heaven where she would be looking for them and hoped they would be preparing to follow her and join in praising God in the pretty green field above the heavens forever and ever. She was asked if she was willing to die, she declared she was but hoped God would not suffer her to die til he had prepared her which she prayed for most ardently. She said this was a troublesome world, and that she had promised herself a great deal of pleasure when she got home to housekeeping but if it is God’s will to take her she was willing to go to him, desired her friends to give her up freely and not to grieve for God took away nothing but what he gave; she told her mama she hoped to see her little sisters & brothers that was gone before her and her grandaddy & join them in praiseing and glorifying God on the throne forever and ever & that she would pray for and be looking for the appearance of her relations in heaven. The next day she desired Mr. Church to sing and pray with her and for her, which he did with many others that was in the house, and while they were singing she was all at once in raptures of joy and said she felt as light as a feather and that it seemed like she could fly up to Heaven into God’s bosom … countenance changed & she seemed to have a view of Heaven by an eye of earth from her looks, words & action-after this her father interrogated her on this matter and told her she might be mistaken, but she said Daddy let me live or die I will never give up what I have now experienced-he asked if she thought God had forgiven her sins, she said yes-and held out her hand & said she knew she was safe and thanked Mr. Church and said he had been an instrument in Gods hands of doing her great good or words to that import-she called her mama to her and desired she would give her little sisters part of her clothes & keep the rest for her little girl, and give one of her rings to her husband to wear in remembrance of her and the rest to be kept for little girl, she said she desired …. she asked her daddy where he would bury her he told her anywhere she would choose-she said one comer of the garden would do as well as any place, he told her that he intended his family shod be buried in the top of the hill, well she replyed Daddy bury me there too–and desired to have a coffin for her and gave her mama some directions about the clothes that she would be buryed in-she said she knew it would do her no good but that it looked clever and decent-she desired that a funeral sermon might be preached on the occasion by some good preacher not that it would do her any good but she hoped that every person that was at her funeral might be benefited by the sermon that might be delivered, she was asked who she would choose to preach it, she was recollecting the name, her mama said is it Mr. Ivy-she readily answered, yes, mama-Mr. Ivy-she desired her husband to endeavor to follow her and that he would mourn for her as long as he lived, there was room in Heaven for him and everybody else that would come-she desired he would take care of her little girl she should look down from Heaven with pleasure and delight to see it jumping and skipping about a little befon she dyed she was heard to say, Oh Blessed Jesus, and breathed out her last with a smile­which she seemed to retain even when she was dead her corpse was most beautiful & pleasant … Susanna Ware was the spouse ofWm Ware … she was born the 22 Jany 1768 she was married Jany … she died 29 Jany 1786 … she had her first & only child 27 Jany 1786.”


Susannah Harrison, First Wife of William Ware — 1 Comment

  1. Heartfelt thanks to all who have preserved this tender remembrance through the years. Thanks also to Ken and Vicki for sharing it with us here.

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