|Description: A single sheet of typewritten text in red ink containing a list of the "Commissions of John Harris From Gentleman Cadet to Major General Royal Regiment of Artillery Aug. 6, 1779 - Dec. 1, 1830" Handwritten in the proper left top corner is the number: "100". The text is typed on the back of a sheet of Geoffrey H. Sayers Insurance letterhead. |
Major General John Harris had the most illustrious career of all the Harris military men. Little is known about his childhood and early life other than he was the eldest son of William Harris. His father died around the age of thirty-two some time in the mid 1760s. John did have two siblings, a sister, Susan, and an unnamed brother who served as a midshipman and is said to have died early in life in the West Indies.
John Harris first joined the army in the Royal Regiment of Artillery as a Gentleman Cadet in August 1779. He rose fairly quickly through the ranks becoming Second Lieutenant in May 1781, First Lieutenant in 1790, Captain Lieutenant in 1794 and Captain in November 1800. His career further advanced when he became a Major in 1805, Lieutenant Colonel in 1808 and Colonel in 1814. His final rank of Major General was achieved in 1825. Two months later he retired from active duty. He died in Plymouth, England, 12 September 1833.
John married Margaret Marshall, daughter of Thomas Marshall, Esq., in 1788. Despite transferring from post to post, John and Margaret were able to have six children, two girls and four boys. All four boys served in the military including his third son Captain James Beveridge Harris (1797-1884) of the 24th Regiment of Foot who settled in Upper Canada at Benares.
These notes were transcribed by Kathleen Sayers, wife of Geoffrey Sayers, whose interest in family history led her to transcribe original papers, letters, newspaper clippings, transcripts and research notes relating to Geoffrey's lineage. Geoffrey was the great grandson of James Beveridge Harris and Elizabeth Molony Harris and grandson of Arthur and Mary Harris.