Memorial Day — James Harward

Wake County Court House Marker

Today’s picture is of an historical marker located here in Wake County, NC near downtown Raleigh. It marks the area where the first courthouse of Wake County was built in 1771 when Wake County was formed. During the Revolutionary War, this is where troops gathered and organized before heading out to war. This is where our ancestor James Harward gathered with others under Capt Woodson Daniel before marching off to SC and GA.

I have a copy of James Harward’s pension application he made in 1832. It is a multi-page application detailing many of his experiences. James was actually drafted into service on three separate occasions. In 1779, he was a drummer under Capt Woodson Daniel and in service for 6 months. He would have been about 19 years old. In 1781, he was in service for 3 months as a shoemaker in Hillsborough since he was a “shoemaker by trade”. His third and final service was under Capt Solomon Wood for three months in 1782. Under Capt Wood, James was part of a light horse brigade. This tells us that James was well off enough to have his own horse since soldiers in the horse brigades provided their own horses.

I realize I should provide a little background on James and where he fits into the family tree. James is my great x 5 grandfather [Lester, Connie, Suggy, Caswell, George, James]. He was born 28 Sept 1760, most likely in Virginia. He married Rosannah Barbee (b. 1756) in Wake County, NC on 8 Apr 1786. (Rosannah is a descendant of the prominent Barbee family of Orange, Chatham and Wake Counties. The Barbee family is well documented and the State Library of NC has the books other genealogists have written.) James and Rose had 6 children: Myrick, Wyatt, Susannah, William, George, and James Jr. Their son George Harward (my great x 4 grandfather) eventually migrated to Moore County which today is Lee County.

I hope you have enjoyed meeting James Harward. I have studied him much since I began the family history and in many ways know him better than my neighbors. One of my areas of research currently is determining who his parents were. I have a working theory with quite a bit of circumstantial evidence, but I (and other researchers) just can’t quite prove it. One day…..

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5 comments to Memorial Day — James Harward

  • […] grandfather James Harward was a Revolutionary War soldier.  (You can read about James Harward here and here.)  I have completed the research required, and now I need to get the paperwork together. […]

  • Judy Harward

    Did you ever send in your app for the DAR? My husband descends from James Harward also. If so, first, were you approved and if so, could you share a copy of your application.

    • LisaL

      James Harward has been approved by the DAR. They admitted him to their database as James Harwood since his pension application uses that spelling. I had hoped they would use the Harward spelling since that is how he is predominantly found in other records. I’m happy to share what I have on James Harward. Which of James Harward’s children does your husband descend from? Is there a specific document(s) that you are looking for?

  • Lyle Howard


    Just wanted to chime in that I also descend from James Harward. Wyatt Harward is my family’s link. Wyatt wound up in Overton County, Tennessee, and from there family members went to Texas and Oklahoma. There are still Harwards in Overton County, Tennessee. Thanks for the info on James.

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