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FALL 2010, NO. 37 - Contents

Judith Harlan Chaffin - Present Day Patriot

by Virginia Harlan Hess

"Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things . . ." Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

Judith Harlan ChaffinPoised, passionate, patriotic — words which aptly described Judith Harlan Chaffin as she took the stage at Constitution Hall during the 119th Continental Congress of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington, D.C., this past summer. Judith was completing her 3-year term as the State Regent of Tennessee, and she presented a glowing report of the projects and activities that her state society had completed during her term of office.

Prior to the Congress, Judith had also been nominated by the Tennessee Daughters to stand for election as a Vice President General, one of the highest offices in the NSDAR. Seven members are elected each year by the Continental Congress for a term of three years. Not surprisingly, Judith was handed a decisive victory. Accepting the office is an honor and responsibility that she does not take lightly, as she is passionate about her service to God, Home and Country.

Judy, as she is known to her family and friends, has been on an amazing journey that began with her birth in Jonesboro, Ark., on August 3, 1947. Undoubtedly, her father's return from World War II, where he fought on Bataan and Corregidor, was captured by the Japanese, and spent more than three years as a prisoner of war, left an indelible impression on Judy and her younger sister Marilyn. Grateful to have survived the war, her father and her schoolteacher-turned-homemaker mother instilled in their daughters a sense of responsibility, a feeling of compassion, and a love of learning.

Judy grew up on the family farm in the shadow of her Grandfather "Papa" Harlan's general store, attended a country school, and had a typical childhood filled with 4-H Club, sports, piano lessons and pets. She worked in the cotton fields from a young age, learning to save and manage her money well. In high school she excelled as a student and was editor of the high school yearbook. While attending Arkansas State University, Judy met her future husband, James A. Chaffin. After they married, Jim served a 7-year stint in the U.S. Air Force, and Judy completed her studies in English and Library Science, graduating from Washburn University in Topeka, Kan. Moving frequently and living in different places during their years with the military gave Judy a love of travel, an interest in history, and a passion for new experiences. According to her friend, Susan Thomas, "Judith cares deeply about her family and her friends, and is a multi-talented, bright and interesting woman with a quick and curious mind."

Jim and Judy eventually settled in Memphis where Jim became a pilot for Federal Express and Judy took on the duties of raising their two boys, Brett and Blake. She taught school, served as a children's librarian, and became involved in a variety of other activities, including genealogy and family history. Judy taught Bible study classes for 25 years, and the Chaffins are now active members of Covenant Baptist Church, a church they helped found in 1997. She has published a 903-page book with a DVD preserving images and information from over a thousand pre-Depression Era Bibles.

An invitation to join the DAR started her on her present path. Her accomplishments in the chapter, state and national organizations are numerous and impressive, with an emphasis on education and America's veterans and military. She is especially committed to such DAR projects as the rehabilitation of the war-wounded, providing supplies to female soldiers overseas, establishing scholarships for American History teachers, and funding educational programs in schools.

Judy says, "I am very proud of my Harlan lineage," adding that she is also a member of the National Society, Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America. To qualify for this small but mighty group, a member must descend directly from someone who was in the country by 1687 and have a direct patriot in that line who served the revolutionary cause. She qualified through George (#3) and his grandson, Aaron (#41). The two Chaffin grandchildren, Olivia and Abigail, are members of the Children of the American Revolution.

According to Susan, Judith Harlan Chaffin, being the hard worker and inspirational leader that she is, is ready for the new challenge, that of serving her term as Vice President General, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution.

Judy's recorded Harlan family lineage is: George (#3), Aaron (#8), Aaron (#41), Valentine (#200), Valentine (#746-a), Don Sebastian (#2570-g), Mortimer, Leonidas, and her father, Henry Crawford Harlan.

Officers of the Harlan Family of America

President - Robert R. Harlan
1716 Clark Ave., Yuba City, CA 95991

Vice President - Junior F. Harlan
6218 Betty Elyse Ln.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

Secretary - Gerry Harlan Lundgren
2517 - 190th, Stanton, IA 51573

Treasurer - John R. Harlan
422 Aumond Rd., Augusta, GA 30909


Pat Fluetsch (CA)
Joe Hannon (CA)
Katherine M. Harlan (PA)
Kurt Harlan (OR)
Robert A. Harlan (PA)
William K. Harlan (CA)
Becky Hines (FL)
Ruth Harlan Lamb (MO)
Mary Harlan Murphy (PA)


Dan Harlan (NC)
C. J. King (VT)
Liz Harlan Sly (VA)

The Harlan Record is published semiannually by

The Harlan Family in America
P. O. Box 1654
Independence, MO 64055
a permanent organization established to document the historical contributions made by Harlans in America. Submissions of articles are welcome. They are subject to editing and may be held until a future issue if space is limited.

E-mail to: C. J. King, Editor

or Ruth Harlan Lamb, Layout/Mailing

or mail to the organization's address shown above.

If you want an electronic version of The Harlan Record, e-mail your request to: harlamb@aol.com. The e-mail newsletter will be sent close to the time that printed newsletters are mailed. The Harlan Record is also available on the Harlan Web site: www.harlanfamily.org under the link “Newsletter.”

Contributors to The Harlan Family in America

Donations received from since February 1, 2010.

AR - Joe & Martha Lowder
CA - Joseph B. Smith
FL - Eugene Harlan Brown
Carolyn Jones
IA - Phyllis J. Luckinbill
IN - Mary Kathleen Wiese
IL - Ellen L. Davis
Clifford H. Hullinger
KS - Betty & Patricia Connor
MN - Larry Harlan
MO - James N. Harlan
Robert D. Mustain
TN - Jonathan V. Harlan
TX - Mr. & Mrs. Tom Harlan
James C. Cantrell
WA - Florence Stevens
James Harlan Tribbett

Thank you for your support.

Remembrance Fund

in memory of.....

Harry Bristol and Harry Bristol II (Mike) by Grace Harlan Bristol, wife and mother - TX
Cara Harlan Grimes by Hubert N. Grimes, M.D. - IN
Grover Van Harlan by his son, Jonathan V. Harlan - TN
Louis R. Harlan and Melba Harlan King by Gerry Harlan Lundgren - IA
Phyllis A. Harland by Evalene Harland Wolf - IN
T. S. Shuler by Mrs. T. S. Shuler - MS

Order Harlan Family History Book

To order a copy of Alpheus Harlan's book, History & Genealogy of the Harlan Family, contact:

Peggy Harlan Talley
104 Fern
Poteau, OK 74953
The cost is $60, postpaid. Make check payable to The Harlan Family in America.

Reminders . . .

When sending e-mails with Harlan information or if making Harlan inquiries, please put “Harlan” somewhere in the subject line of your e-mail.

For The Harlan Record, send postal and e-mail address changes to

The Harlan Family in America, P. O. Box 1654, Independence, MO 64055 or e-mail harlamb@aol.com

If you'd like to be on the Harlan e-mail registry, send your address and any changes to Junior Harlan at: harlanjay@cox.net. Addresses are kept confidential unless permission is granted.



August 1, 2010

Checking Account Balance:
2/1/2010 $4025.05
Contributions since 2/1/10 $ 945.00
Harlan Gen'logy Bk. Sales 960.00
Interest from CD 337.18
% from Mowday Grp. 50.00
TOTAL INCOME $ 2292.18
Newsletter Printing/Mail'g $1429.26
Book Shipping 62.69
Checking Account Balance:
8/1/2010 $ 4825.28
Certificate of Deposit $ 30,000.00
Net worth 9/1/09 $ 34,825.28

Thomas "Dan" Harlan Was Influential in Falls Co., TX

By Robert Powers
("Texas Red Books" #4500)

Thomas 'Dan' Harlan
Thomas Daniel Harlan stands beside the cooling tower and cistern outside of his cotton gin sometime during the 1930s. Water was used to cool the diesel engine that powered the gin's machinery. The gin crew took baths in the cistern because the water was warm and fairly clean.

Thomas Daniel Harlan (called "Dan" or "Daniel") was a 10th generation descendant of Capt. William Harland, grandfather of George (#3) & Michael (#4) Harlan, the two brothers who came to America in 1687. Dan was also an admirable, influential citizen of Falls County, Texas.

Using Alpheus Harlan's numbering system, Dan's Harlan lineage is: William Harland (#1), George Harlan (#3), Aaron (#8), Aaron (#41), Aaron (#194), James (#708), Thomas Daniel Harlan (#2380), John Luther Harlan (#6095), Thomas Daniel Harlan [Dan is listed among his father's children, p. 543 of Alpheus Harlan's History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, but is not given his own number; he is #2022 in Joydell Garrett Wolfram's Updated Genealogy: The Descendants of #194 Aaron and Elizabeth (Stuart) Harlan, commonly called "Texas Red Books," see p. 467-71].

Dan was a farmer, stockman and cotton ginner in the Blue Ridge community of Falls Co., Texas. Born October 29, 1894, he died July 5, 1939, probably of pneumonia, and is buried in the Calvary Cemetery, Marlin, Falls Co., Texas.

Dan was the first child of John Luther Harlan and Elizabeth Strawdy McGlasson. John was a cotton ginner and passed the business down to his son.

Dan attended schools in Blue Ridge and Reagan, Texas, and then he entered The Peacock Military College in San Antonio. On April 28, 1914, Wesley Peacock, of the Peacock Military College, wrote the following to Dan's parents:

"… Now that our school session is drawing to a close, I feel constrained to express to you my appreciation of your son, both from the viewpoint of a student and a personal friend, for I consider him one of the finest boys in Texas, a dutiful son, diligent pupil and already a good citizen. I use the term ‘dutiful son' advisedly, in the belief that he has been a good boy at home, profiting by the advice of his father and mother, as he has always shown the strongest attachment for the home folks and the highest appreciation of the home influence. I do not know a higher compliment I can pay a boy than the foregoing sentiment, unless it be that in my opinion he is a perfect gentleman. I wish you to know that he enjoys not only the favor and friendship of every teacher and officer of this school, but he enjoys also the confidence and respect of every student in the institution. Withal, he is one of the most popular men among our boys and I am sure that when you see him again you will be pleased not only with his physical and moral development, but with his improvement in the amenities of life and the many little courtesies in evidence of appreciation of the sacrifices you and his dear mother have made for his temporal welfare. I should like very much to have Tom Daniel return to us in September …"

It is no exaggeration to state that he maintained this reputation throughout his lifetime. Some remember him as being a strong possible candidate for elected office in Texas or Washington, D.C., but he died before he could attain a place in Texas political history.

In 1917, when the United States entered WWI, Dan enlisted in the Army and served as a corporal until the end of the war, earning an Honorable Discharge.

On January 15, 1922, Dan married Josephine Blocker Torrence (1895-1978), daughter of Clifton Hurley Torrence and Julia Agnes Blocker. Dan and Josephine lived in an upstairs apartment at his parents' home in the Blue Ridge community until 1923, when their home was constructed in Marlin. (The John & Elizabeth Harlan home still stands, bought and restored/updated by another Harlan descendant.) Dan and Josephine had two daughters, Julia Elizabeth, born in 1923, and Agnes Versula, born in 1924.

Dan's activities were not limited to farming and ginning in the Blue Ridge community but extended into Robertson County where he owned another gin. He had many interests and diversified his ventures. He was active in community, state and federal affairs; served on the Marlin school board for many years; was a director and president of the Marlin Country Club, and was a member of Masonic Lodge #152. His primary relaxations were hunting and skeet shooting, and he established a skeet range for that sport.

In 1932, Dan went with a group of Texans to Washington, D.C., in support of a "Relief Bill" for cotton farmers, passed in 1933. He assisted many men to establish their own businesses and quietly helped young students to attain higher educations.

Reared as a Baptist, in his later years his friendship with Episcopal Bishop Frederick Percy Goddard led him to an interest in St. John's Episcopal Church in Marlin, and he supported that church's activities.

Herschel Powers (father of this article's author) was married to Harlan descendant Arrilla Cobb ["Texas Red Book" #2538] and worked for Dan Harlan (his wife's distant cousin) as foreman at the Blue Ridge gin. During the fall harvest and ginning season, the gin crew closed down at noon every Saturday so workers and their families could go to town for weekly shopping, etc.

Another Harlan descendant, George Dewey Owen ("Dewey"), a great-grandson of Isaiah Harlan, was a local cotton farmer. He was notorious for bringing his last weekly load of cotton for ginning almost at noon every Saturday.

One fall Saturday, the gin crew members had finished ahead of schedule and were taking a quick bath in the gin's cistern when they heard Dewey's team of mules pulling his wagon toward the gin. They immediately locked up and hid out in the cottonseed house. Dewey called for them without receiving a reply. He then drove his wagon home, instead of leaving it under the gin's shed. It started raining that weekend and Dewey's cotton sprouted in his unprotected wagon, ruining the cotton lint and seed. Dan Harlan found out about this from Dewey and did not like the fact that the gin crew had not ginned Dewey's cotton. He bawled out gin foreman Herschel Powers.

Still, Dan was loyal to his foreman. He helped Arrilla and Herschel during the Depression era. When the Depression hit, the couple worried about how they would make ends meet, put food on the table for their five children, and simply stay healthy. Dan told them not to worry. "Let's stick together and we'll come out of this all right," he said. And so they did.

Dan gave Herschel a wonderful barbeque sauce recipe that is still used by the Powers family. When Dan died, Herschel Powers lost one of his best friends ever. He remembered Thomas Daniel Harlan often and had learned many lessons from him.

A Few Copies of Jacob W. Harlan's Eyewitness To the Settlement of the West Still Available

Limited copies of the new edition of the Jacob Harlan's Eyewitness to the Settlement of the West: Jacob Wright Harlan's California 1846 to 1888 are still available for purchase. Originally published as Jacob Wright Harlan's California '46 to '88, the book was out of print for a number of years before Bruce Mowday and The Harlan Family in America teamed up to reprint it with a new title and an updated section of Harlan family history for the 2007 national reunion in Reno, Nevada.

Jacob Wright Harlan took part in many historic events. He traveled west with the ill-fated Donner Party, took part in the Gold Rush, fought for California independence, and knew many of the pioneers of the West.

Sales of the book benefit The Harlan Family in America organization. The cost of the book is $23 (includes shipping). To order copies, include your mailing address and send a check to: Squire Cheyney Books, P.O. Box 439, Downingtown, PA 19335.

2012 Texas National Reunion Update

Board Meeting Attendees
2010 Board Meeting Attendees
Back row, L to R: Bob Harlan (PA), Robert Harlan (CA), Robert Powers (TX), Dorothy & Junior Harlan (AZ), Mary Harlan Murphy (PA), LaRena & Joe Hannon (CA), Becky Hines (FL).
Front row, L to R: Annette Harlan (GA), Cindy Harlan (PA), Pat Fluetsch (CA), Katherine Harlan (PA), Ann Harlan Whitis (TX), Ruth Harlan Lamb (MO), John Harlan (GA), Gerry Harlan Lundgren (IA)

Planning for the national Harlan reunion to celebrate the 325th anniversary of the Harlan family's arrival in America are now well underway. The Harlan Family in America Board of Directors and reunion planning committee met for nearly seven hours at the Marriott Plaza in San Antonio, Texas, on July 24.

The next national reunion is scheduled for July 5-8, 2012, at the Marriott Plaza in San Antonio. Please hold those dates and, as always, expect a great time for all Harlans of all ages!

Many details on the exciting schedule of events will be mailed in July of 2011. Registration forms will be mailed in February of 2012.

Reunion co-coordinators Ann Whitis and Robert Powers are both Texans with a broad knowledge of the Lone Star State. To assist them, leadership of 25 committees was also established at the recent board meeting.

Marriott Plaza
The Marriott Plaza in San Antonio, Texas, will be the host site for the next national reunion of the Harlan Family in America, to be held July 5-8, 2012. This graceful live oak and fountain add southern character to the Marriott grounds.

The Board and committee members are excited about the facility and about the host city. San Antonio, the second-largest city in Texas (after Houston), is home to the Alamo, Six Flags Fiesta, SeaWorld San Antonio, the River Walk, the San Antonio Zoo (the nation's third-largest zoo), and scores of other attractions. You can take a virtual guided tour of the hotel and conference facilities of Marriott Plaza San Antonio at www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/sat pl-marriott-plaza-san-antonio. In addition, complete information on the San Antonio area is available from the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau web site at www.visitsanantonio.com. Or call the San Antonio Visitors Center for a free guidebook at (800) 447- 3372.

90th Harlan-Miller Indiana Reunion

By Esther Harlan Wells & C.J. King

In the Fall 2009 issue of The Harlan Record, a story was published about the Harlan-Miller Reunion in Crawfordsville, Ind., and how it became the setting for a reunion between Nina Harlan Kohl and cousins she had never met, all descendants of George Newton Harlan and Carrie Belle Snyder.

That Harlan-Miller reunion has been meeting almost every year since 1921, and on the second Sunday of June, 2011, the gathering will celebrate its 90th anniversary. The reunion is held in the North Shelter at Milligan Park in Crawfordsville, and the gathering will be extra special in June 2011. In addition to the usual potluck feast and conversation, there will be a skit and special prizes, including a quilt made with squares that the family members have signed.

The reunion started in 1921 as the Miller-Gass reunion, but Harlans were part of that family. The first gathering was organized to celebrate Anne Miller, the last surviving child of Michael and Mary (Gass) Miller. That year the family members all met at a park in Lafayette, near Anne's home in Monon. The reunion was held in Lafayette for five years, until Anne died in 1926. After that, the reunion was held in Crawfordsville, then in Indianapolis for awhile, and now back in Crawfordsville for many years.

Many Harlans are buried in the two Oak Hill Cemeteries in Crawfordsville. According to Alpheus Harlan's book (p. 495), George (#2246) and Ruth (Gregg) Harlan emigrated to the Crawfordsville area from Warren County, Ohio, in 1826. George and Ruth's children were double Harlans because Ruth was reportedly a descendant of Michael Harlan. One of George and Ruth's children was Marcellas (#5711), who had a son named George Newton Harlan (#5711-2), who married Carrie Belle Snyder, granddaughter of Michael Miller.

George and Carrie attended the Miller-Gass reunion (later renamed the Harlan-Miller reunion) for many years with their eight children: Charles Merle (Nina's great-grandfather), Paul Homer (grandfather of Harlan Record editor C.J. King), Helen Inez, Doris Kathryn, Ernest Carlton, Benton Miller, Austin Elwin (father of Esther Harlan Wells, lead organizer for the Harlan-Miller reunion), and Caretta Louise. The last of this generation to attend the reunion was Helen in 1991. Helen was an avid genealogical researcher who discovered that this branch of Harlans is related to Abraham Lincoln's descendants.

Today, it is the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of George and Carrie who continue the reunion tradition.

All Harlans are welcome to attend the 90th reunion. For more information, e-mail Esther Harlan Wells at bewell123@comcast.net.

Report from the Keeper of the Harlan Database

The work Alpheus Hibben Harlan did compiling and publishing the History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family is just amazing considering the means that were available at the turn of the 20th century for gathering information. His work has been the inspiration and reference for thousands of Harlans across the United States to do their own genealogy research. This continued genealogical pursuit by descendants of George and Michael has led to the accumulation of over 100,000 more entries on the Harlan Family Tree.

A number of years ago the Harlan Family organization began an effort to provide a place for individual Harlans who were working on their personal family trees to submit their information to be included in a single database. Using Family Tree Maker software, Esther Harlan Wells entered into the program the entire contents of Alpheus' book. Many other Harlan genealogists then submitted their work to be included in the database.

Today, including the names from Alpheus' book, there are over 118,000 names in the database along with a countless number of dates, places and facts that make genealogy research and information so interesting.

The Harlan Family tree continues to grow every day and hundreds, if not thousands, of people are gathering the information and writing it down or putting it into computer programs. If you are one of them and want to submit your information for inclusion in the main Harlan Family database, we would love to have it.

The data can be submitted as a computer file or on paper; either way works just as well. They can be mailed or e-mailed. If you have any questions about which computer program format works best or any questions about submitting your information, please contact me:

Fred J. Harlan
PO Box 9024
New Castle, PA 16107

Harlan Database Fast Facts

118,291 names currently
13,894 unique surnames
281 Georges
86 George Washingtons
37 Michaels
19 Ulysseses
10 Abraham Lincolns
10 Jeff(erson) Davises

Slightly Damaged Copies of Alpheus Harlanʼs Genealogy Book Available at a Discount

Twenty slightly-damaged copies of Alpheus Harlan's History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family are now available for half-price, at $30 per copy (includes shipping). The Harlan Family in America's supply of these books sustained some water damage, and the more-significantly damaged copies will be offered for inspection and an even deeper discount at the 2012 reunion.

Meanwhile, the $30 copies can be purchased by sending a check payable to The Harlan Family in America, c/o Peggy Harlan Talley, 104 Fern St., Poteau, OK 74953. These $30 copies have some discoloration of the index pages but are otherwise in good shape.

Historic Harlan House in Limbo

By Mike Fluetsch

El Nido
El Nido 2010
Joel Harlan, who immigrated to California as a teenager with his family's wagon train, was a successful prospector in the California Gold Rush. He and his wife Minerva used some of their gold money to buy land and build this house in the San Ramon Valley. Finished in 1858 and nicknamed "El Nido," meaning "nest," this Gothic Revival house still stands on San Ramon Valley Boulevard today, but, as illustrated by these "before" and "after" pictures, the house needs to be restored. The Harlan Family in America is trying to help make that happen.

In 1846, George Harlan (#852) and his extended family traveled overland to California from Niles, Michigan. Among the travelers was Joel Harlan (#2992), George's oldest son.

In 1852, after successful financial ventures in San Francisco and in the gold fields near Coloma, Calif., Joel moved to what is now San Ramon, east of Oakland. He built a home amid several thousand acres of prime agricultural land. The home, which they named "El Nido"("Nest" in Spanish), remains in Harlan family ownership after nearly 160 years. It eventually passed to Harlan Geldermann, great-grandson of Joel, and is currently controlled by a private family trust.

For several years this trust has been trying to develop the land on which the house stands. The City of San Ramon and the San Ramon Historic Foundation have been trying to find a way to secure the house from the Geldermann Trust and move it to another location, allowing the Trust to develop the 0.7 acres of very valuable land. The City of San Ramon has suggested some existing park sites as a future home for the house but somehow the cost of moving the house will need to be paid.

The San Ramon Historic Foundation wants the house protected and eventually renovated since it is one of the oldest homes in the area. The Historic Foundation does not have the funding to commit and can offer only moral support for the project. The City of San Ramon does not want to own a historic home with no site for the home to be moved to. The Geldermann Trust has recently offered to pay to move the house and build a new foundation predicated on the approval of the City of San Ramon to allow development of the empty land.

At its July 2010 meeting, the Harlan Family in America Board adopted a statement of support for the preservation of El Nido. The statement will be mailed to the mayor of San Ramon.

Further information on the issue can be obtained from William K. Harlan, Walnut Creek, Calif., at orsinox@comcast.net.

In Memory of ...

Grover Van Harlan, Jackson, Tenn., passed away September 10, 2009. He was born January 21, 1930, in Laurel Bluff, Ky. He was inducted in the U. S. Army in 1951 and served during the Korean conflict and in East Germany. He left the Army in 1955 but continued to serve in the Army Reserves, retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1990.

Van was an insurance agent and business man and was active in several civic organizations. He was a loyal supporter of The Harlan Family in America and attended several national reunions. He is survived by his wife, Sally; children, Thomas, Jonathan and Elizabeth; and several grandchildren.

Three New Members in the Ninety Plus Club

Mary Drews Lominac was born December 21, 1917, daughter of Bessie Harland and Charles E. Drews. She married Ernest Lominac and lived most of her life in Memphis, Tenn., but recently moved to O'Fallon, Mo. Mary has two sons, Charles and John Kent.

Clifford Harlan Hullinger was born on July 3, 1920. His 90th birthday was celebrated by a large family reunion of all the descendants of his parents, John and Pearl Harlan Hullinger. Clifford was the Director of Research of American Maize Corporation. He served in the 109th Engineers of the 34th Infantry Division in World War II, serving in Africa and Italy, and receiving a battlefield Commission at Anzio. He was a founder and former President of the Beacon School. Clifford married Louis Liffengren. They have four children: Craig, Neil, Anne, and Scott Hullinger; and six grandchildren.

James Harland Smith was born August 1, 1916, to Hazel Harland and James P. Smith. He lived his teen and young adult years near Oxford, Kans., and worked in the oil fields. In the 1960s, he became a Baptist minister, ending his career in Concordia, Kans., where he and his wife, Ruby, now reside. They have four children, James, Jr.; Barbara; Donald and Patricia.

Thomas Harlan Founded Newspapers in Northwest

Editor's Note: Dorothy Wear, author of the article "Double Harlan Ancestry," in the Fall 2009 Harlan Record, came across the following obituary during her genealogical research. The obituary, dated May 16, 1918, appeared in the Skamania County Pioneer, a weekly newspaper for the Columbia River Gorge region in southwestern Washington State.

Thomas Harlan (#2293), the subject of the obituary, is from the following Harlan line: George (#3), Aaron (#8), George (#37), George (#180), and Moses (#676), his father. Alpheus Harlan has no further record of this Thomas Harlan. A review of several books about Abraham Lincoln yielded no information about Thomas Harlan, but both practiced law in Illinois around the same time. If anyone has more information about this Thomas Harlan, including his relationship with the various Presidents mentioned below, please pass it along to the Harlan Record.

Thomas Harlan Dead

Thomas Harlan, almost 84 years old, Civil War Veteran, personal friend of Abraham Lincoln, classmate of Robert G. Ingersoll, and pioneer newspaper man of the Northwest, died at the home of his son, Newell Harlan, East Vancouver, last Saturday.

Mr. Harlan was born September 22, 1834 [Alpheus says Sept. 23], in Peoria, Ill., and took up the study of law. In Iowa, in 1861, he married Miss Elizabeth Stearns [Sarah E. Stearns, according to Alpheus], a school teacher from Vermont. In 1861 he enlisted in the army. In 1860 General Grant appointed him Internal Revenue Collector for Wyoming territory and three years later he resigned to take a colony of settlers to the Republican River Valley in Nebraska. Harlan Co., Nebraska, was named after him by the State Legislature.

President Arthur appointed Mr. Harlan special timber agent in the Dakotas in 1882, and in 1889 he went to Southern Oregon to establish the Medford Mail, at Medford, Ore. In 1890, President Harrison appointed him special agent to investigate alleged frauds in land and timber claims in Oregon and Idaho. In 1894 he took up a homestead near Mosier, Ore. Mr. Harlan established the White Salmon Enterprise, Rochester News, Lyle Washingtonian, and was actively connected with several others.

Mr. Harlan is survived by two sons, Newell Harlan, of Vancouver, Wash., and Milton Harlan, of San Francisco, and a stepson, Frank Ginger, who, with his mother [Marietta, Thomas's second wife], lives on the homestead near Mosier. There are 14 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

While Milton Harlan was publisher of the Pioneer from 1902 to 1906, Thomas Harlan was connected with the paper as traveling agent and solicitor and thus became well acquainted with the people of Skamania County. A brilliant man in his younger days, Thomas Harlan became rather erratic and peculiar as old age crept upon him, but always his heart was in the right place, and he could not witness suffering from any cause without hastening to relieve it. Old settlers of this area will remember him kindly and be sorry that he has passed away.

Free Harlan Record Newsletter Needs Your Donations, Story Contributions

By Bruce Mowday

This edition of The Harlan Record is full of valuable information on the history of the Harlan Family, notifications of upcoming family events, and contact information to help find those long-lost Harlan cousins.

Each edition of The Harlan Record is put together by volunteers. They give of their free time to complete many valuable tasks. They do the research, writing and editing of the stories. The articles are then formulated for the layout of the newsletter and sent to the print shop. After the copies are printed, volunteers distribute them to The Harlan Family in America members.

The newsletter is a year around endeavor, as stories have to be solicited for each edition and mailing lists need to be continuously updated.

The printing and mailing costs of The Harlan Record are paid for by donations to The Harlan Family in America. The Harlan Family in America also provides financial support for a number of worthwhile family-history-related causes, including defraying costs of the national family reunions and contributing to historical institutions preserving Harlan history.

Even though The Harlan Record is distributed free of charge, donations are welcomed. Each newsletter costs 75 cents to print and mail, or $1.50 a year for each address. The mailing list contains over 2,000 addresses, and currently, the costs are more than the donations. In addition to financial donations, your time and talents are needed to help write, edit and produce The Harlan Record. Story ideas and contributions from readers are always welcome.

To contribute time, talents or money, contact The Harlan Family in America.

Harlan Record Editor: C. J. King joking@sover.net

Updates to Mailing List Layout and Mailing: Ruth Harlan Lamb harlamb@aol.com

Donations may be sent to:
The Harlan Family in America
P.O. Box 1654
Independence, MO 64055


In a recent issue of a lineage society magazine called The Colonial Courier, I found an article about a new database that is being developed by the LDS Web site called www.familysearchlab.org. Try just doing a search for "FamilySearchLab" using Google or another search engine and see if it comes up. Not all of the databases are up to speed but it is being updated all of the time and the best part of the Web site is it's free! Unlike many research Web sites today that require a membership fee, this one has no charge to use. When Alice S. Ellingsberg, CG, was writing the article for The Colonial Courier, she was very clear that this new phase of FamilySearch.org is still under construction.

Some states' records are more accessible than others. For marriage records, AK, IN, LA, MA, MI and WV are most of the states that seem to be more complete. Digitized death records and certificates are available for AZ, GA, ID, LA, MI, NC, OH, SC, TX, UT and WV. Of course you must remember death records only date back about 100 years, whereas marriage records have been recorded for a much longer period of time.

The document collections are not limited to vital records. Census, land and property records, and military records are some of the other things that are available on a limited basis. Since more information is being added on a regular basis, you will need to check back from time to time to see if new information has been recorded.

To do a records search you can highlight (click) on the world map and select the US. Then a list will appear showing what records are available. Also highlighted will be new records just added. Since this is a work in progress, I hope you all will find something helpful. It's been fun for me to see whom in my family I can find. I won't start sharing any family secrets here, but you may be surprised what does show up on your family.

Cynthia Rhoades,
Director of Genealogy


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Harlan Record No. 36, Spring 2010
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Send comments or suggestions to Ruth Harlan Lamb harlamb@aol.com
P.O. Box 1654, Independence, MO  64055