Finding Your Folks: Reader seeks Harps, Norrises in Alabama

Judy Fowler Kilgore's picture

Before you start getting all excited at the names in the title, I should advise you that I have found no connection of these families to the Harps and Norrises in Fayette (except for one teeny tiny clue), although the author of the letter I received does live in Fayetteville.

As you know, I try to keep the column’s focus on families who lived or passed through counties on the south side of Atlanta.

However, those who live in this area presently also are welcome to send letters or e-mails about their ancestors who may have lived elsewhere. So, with that said, I am happy to pass on the family information of Daniel R. Norris of Fayetteville.

Daniel wrote me a letter (the old-fashioned kind on paper) seeking help with the brick wall he has encountered on his paternal grandfather’s side.

Daniel sent a brief pedigree giving his lineage back to Tyre Harp who died in Perote, Bullock County, Ala., and Tyre’s daughter, Susan Emaline C. Harp, who married James Hickman Norris.

I will start in the present and work into the past, giving you the information Daniel gave me.

Daniel, himself, was born in Birmingham, the son of Newton Algernon Norris, born 31 Jan 1898 in Birmingham, died 16 Dec 1963 in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.

Newton Algernon Norris’ father was John Hamilton Norris, born 11 Feb. 1872 in Thomasville, Ala., died 3 Feb. 1953 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
John Hamilton Norris’ father was James Hickman Norris, born about 1847 in Pike County, Ala. (later Bullock County), died 22 March 1893 in Perote, Bullock County. He married Susan Emaline C. Harp, born 4 Aug. 1854 in Georgia, died unknown.

Susan Emaline C. Harp’s father was Tyre Harp, born about 1813 in Georgia, died in Bullock County, Ala. He married Susan C. Unknown who was born about 1817 in Georgia.

Daniel is seeking the parents of Tyre Harp and information on the Harp family.

I did some very light research and turned up a little more information.

The first thing I was thrilled to see was the odd name, “Tyre.” Odd names always give you an advantage when doing searches and I was surprised to find several Tyres in censuses and in other resources from 1840 through 1880. There were Tyre Harps in Granville Co., N.C., in Overton Co., Tenn. (both from’s family databases) in DeWitt Co., Ill. (1840 census), in Marion Co., Ga. (1850) and in Pike (1860) and Bullock (1870, 1880) counties in Alabama.

The most important thing I found was the marriage of Tyre Harp to Susan C. Harris on 10 Oct. 1832 in Stewart County, Ga. (’s Georgia Marriages 1699-1944). This seems to fit Daniel’s information and could easily be checked with an original record at the Georgia Archives or in the courthouse in Stewart County. What fits also is that Stewart County is adjacent to Marion County (where I found one of the Tyre Harps) and is on the Alabama line. It lies south of Columbus (Muscogee Co.) with Chattahoochee County in between. Bullock County appears to be due west, through Russell County, Ala. Seemed like a logical migration path to me.

I did not find any Harps in that area in 1830, but in 1840 there was an A.F. Harp in Harris County, A Cullen Harp in Muscogee, and a Thomas Harp in Stewart.

An interesting aside here is that on the Inman UMC Church Web site, a William Cullen Harp is given as the father of Mozee Harp whose descendants populated Fayette County for generations. Since there was a Cullen in Muscogee County, the same area that Tyre Harp was in, there may be some connection to the Fayette County Harps after all. Like Tyre, Cullen is not a common name either and may indicate a family connection.

Going back to the Tyre Harp in Granville, N.C., a message on Genforum states that this Tyre was born about 1795 and had siblings named Solomon, Charles, Hubbard, Martha, Thomas Marion, William Watson, Alverine, James Marion, Joseph Josiah and three more whose names were not available. All were born in the 1780s and 1790s. Remember, these messages were placed on the forum by those researching this family and may not be 100 percent accurate. But they are a great starting point.

Given the name Tyre which passed down, there is a very good probability that this may be the root family of our Tyre who died in Alabama. If our Tyre was born about 1813, then his father would have been born in the late 1700s. However, the Tyre born in the 1790s appears to be the one who went to Illinois and is probably not the father of our Tyre. I would put my money on one of the other brothers.

I’m sure there is more information out there somewhere and a little more digging may turn up Tyre’s parents.

Those who may have more concrete information on Tyre Harp who died in Alabama (and seems to have passed through Georgia), please write to Daniel Norris at 110 Carrollwood Dr., Fayetteville, GA 30214. He did not give me an e-mail address.

Although time does not permit me to do personal research for others (unless the family connects to my own), I welcome all letters and e-mails about genealogy and info on south metro Atlanta families. Send them to The Citizen, P.O. Drawer 1719, Fayetteville, GA 30214; E-mail or Any letters and/or e-mails I receive are subject to being used in the column.

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