The Harper Family Newsletter

Volume6                                                                            Spring 2001



Reunion 2000!

250 Years of Harpers

in America


After five years, the dream finally became a reality!  “Reunion 2000!  250 Years of Harpers in America” was held on the 2nd weekend in August in Pendleton County.

What a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime weekend this was for 125 Harper Cousins from all over the United States.  From 2-year-old Madeline Jory of Huntsville, Alabama, to 92-year-old Albert Harper of Dryfork, West Virginia, a good time was had by all.

Friday’s banquet and square dance marked 250 years to the day when our Harper immigrants first set foot on American soil.  On Saturday, we took a bus tour of the Harper homesteads and cemeteries (including the only traffic light in all of Pendleton County).  On Sunday, we visited the Civil War-era home where  Jacob C. and Susan (McDonald) Harper raised their twenty children.

If anyone wants a copy of my speech from Friday night’s banquet, the text is in the Reunion 2000! Section of the Harper website at:

I want to mention that the bus drivers and the women who made the food said over and over again that they had never dealt with such nice people!  Harpers really are nice addition to coming from hearty pioneer stock and being able to do most anything! 

Friday Evening’s Banquet


Several of you suggested that we do this again in 5 years. In order for this to happen, we’ll need people to sign up for the Reunion 2005! Committee and position of Reunion Coordinator.  Caryn Johnson has already volunteered to be on the committee.  You can contact her at:  1209 Madras Ct., Virginia Beach, VA 23454 or <>

If you want a CD of photographs or a videotape from Reunion 2000!, contact Eddie Jory at: 14008 Galveston Cir., Huntsville, AL 35803 or <>

At the end of a long, hard reunion


Items of Interest


Ø      I finished copying the Harper photos in February and mailed them all back to their owners.  If you think you sent me a photo that wasn’t returned, please write or email me.

Ø      For a limited time, I have access to a state-of-the-art scanner.  If you have any photos that you haven’t sent me, do it now!  I’ll have them back to you in two weeks.

Ø      I wanted to thank everyone for their encouragement and support as I prepared my application for certification by the Board for Certified Genealogists.  Yes, I passed!  I’m now a Certified Genealogical Records Specialist®  (now isn’t that a mouthfull!).

Ø      From Gladys Carter, granddaughter of Oscar Miles Harper, son of Thomas Benjamin Harper, son of Noah Harper:  “Just got an e-mail from Ron & Janet Harper who visited us here in Missouri last month - our first meeting face-to-face. They live in Meridian, Idaho (Boise area).  Again, thanks so much for contacting me.  I am in the process of moving to Washington County Missouri after being in this house about 30 years.  I still substitute teach but at 71 I should retire but I enjoy working.  Perhaps I will do a little counseling or sub-teaching when I get settled there.  We have had a place there since last February but have not put our house up for sale here.  Just got a grandson graduated from UMSL (University of Missouri here in St. Louis).  He lived with us for 15 years and we are about to get another grandson on his own so maybe the two of us will be alone since Lin is nearly 75 and in April I will be 72 (married 53 years).” 

Ø      There are a few copies of the reprinted The Harper Family History 1713-1995.  Send check or money order for $36.25 to Marsha Fuller, P.O. Box 3623, Hagerstown, MD 21742.

Ø      My summer vacation was spent near Lexington, Kentucky, visiting with a friend who used to live in Hagerstown.  While touring around one day, I realized we were near Midland, the town where Jacob Harper the Pioneer had relocated to from Pendleton County in the 1790s.  We went to the library, located a map of the Harper land, and were able to drive around it.  It was a beautiful farm and even had a Harper cemetery.



“The Harper Family Newsletter”

is published once a year by

The Harper Cemetery Association

HC 66  Box 10 B, Hendricks, WV 26271

Marsha L. Fuller, CGRS, Editor

P.O. Box 3623, Hagerstown, MD  21742




 “A Favorite Story About Jacob C. Harper”

by Charlotte Gibson

Jacob C. Harper’s corn kept disappearing from his corn crib, so he set a bear trap.  Early the next morning, he heard a man yelling.  Jacob and some of his sons ran to the corn crib and found a man caught in the bear trap.  They removed the trap, took the man into the house and gave him breakfast.  They also gave a sack of corn to him to take home.  They were never bothered by anyone taking corn from the corn crib again.




Ø      Newsletters sent to the following people were returned with “Forwarding Order Expired” last year.  Does anyone have current addresses for:

Ø       Mrs. Gerald L. Harrison, Jr., Dayton, OH

Ø      Mary E. Anger, Mocksville, NC and Elkins, WV

Ø      Virginia & John Dilks, Sullivan, MO

Ø      Bette Conway, Johnstown, OH

Ø      Kenneth Burley Harper, Arlington, VA

Ø      Carol Fennelly, Milton, DE

Ø      Willa M. Schroeder, Granite City, IL

Ø      Vickie Arbaugh, Ellicott City, MD

Ø      Charles R. Moyers, Morgantown, WV

Ø      Maxine Santmyer, Elkins, WV

Ø      Renee Montoney Simpkins, Radnor, OH

Ø      William Rolig, Laurel, MD


“I Was a Sears Roebuck Bride”

by Avonell (Shaffer) Painter:


I became a part of the Harper family when I married Fred Harman Painter, son of Elizabeth (Harman) Painter on July 23, 1948.  I was a Sears Roebuck bride – it happened like this:

My sister, Joy, had just had an appendectomy at the Myers Clinic Hospital in Philippi, WV.  I was a student medical technologist at this institution and, as part of the training, had collected the routine admissions blood work on a new - very ill – patient.  She was an older patient who had been temporarily admitted to the noisy obstetrics floor.

Joy was asked if she would agree to be moved to a noisier room on a lower floor in order for this ill patient to have a quieter environment.  She agreed.

Another sister, June, and I were visiting Joy as she recuperated from the surgery.  June’s neighbor, Mrs. Elizabeth (Harman) Painter, passed by the room and my sister greeted her.  Mrs. Painter was there to visit her mother, Elmira (Harper) Harman – the lady who was moved to the quiet room.  June introduced all of us to each other.

Later, June and Mrs. Painter got together and agreed that Harman and I should meet.  They cooked up a plot for the next time I spent a weekend at June’s house.  The plan went like this:  Elizabeth would call and ask if June had a Sears Roebuck Catalog and, if she did, could Elizabeth borrow it?  Well, all went as planned and guess who came to pick up the Catalog?! 

Harman and I met and that was the end of the beginning.







Ø       Nicholas Albert Fitzgerald, born January 14, 2000, to Kevin and Clara Fitzgerald.



Ø      Leslie Pittman, daughter of Lorraine Pittman of Redwood Valley, California, was married to David Chade of Connecticut on July 29, 2000.



Ø       Dale Boyce Fuller, grandson of Elizabeth Harper (16th Child), September 2000, Cumberland, MD.

Ø      Warren Carter, husband of Nela Harper Carter, December 31, 2000 in Akron, Ohio.

Ø      Richard J. Blake, husband of Sally Lou Harper (granddaughter of Seymour (5th Child), December 29, 1999 in Oklahoma.

Ø      Grace Harper Nelson, daughter of Walter Harper (15th  Child).

Ø      Ted McDonald, July 2000, Dryfork, WV.

Ø      Evelyn Harper Roy, daughter of Minor (11th Child) & Clara Harper, April 2000, Harman, WV.

Ø      Eston Harman Cooper, March 2001, Elkins, WV.

Ø      Gladys Fansler, mother of Owen and Bob Fansler, March 2001, Elkins, WV.

Ø      Barbara Louise (Ormand) Neil, 70 years, July 1, 1999, Houston, Texas, granddaughter of Peter (3rd Child) & Sarah Jane Harper.

Ø      Carl Harman, husband of Ruth Harman, grandson of Elmira Harper (12th Child), on November 21, 2000 in Grafton, WV.

Ø      Cromwell Graham, son of Margaret (Harman) Graham, and grandson of Elmira Harper (12th Child), on February 10, 2001. 

Ø      Mabel Blanche (Harper) Worrell, daughter of Seymour Harper (5th Child), born 15 Dec 1901 in Davis, WV, passed away on 23 Feb 2001 in Lakewood, Colorado.  In the fall of 2000, she told her son, Bob, that she remembered sitting behind her grandmother, Susan McDonald Harper, on the saddle of a horse while jumping fences out in the fields.



Harper Cemetery Association

HC 66  Box 10 B

Hendricks, WV 26271

Harper Family Website

Sponsored by Dale B. Fuller and The Harper Cemetery Association


Check out the photos and information on the website!



You Know You’re An Addicted Genealogist…


q     If you get locked in a library overnight and don’t even notice.

q     If you’d rather browse in a cemetery than a shopping mall.

q     If you’d rather read census schedules than a good book.

q     If town clerks lock the doors when they see you coming.

q     If you store your clothes under the bed and your closet is carefully stacked with notebooks and journals.

q     If you can pinpoint Niederweiler, Koblentz, and Barenbach on a map of Germany, but you can’t locate Topeka, Kansas.

q     If you’ve traced every one of your ancestral lines back to Adam and Eve, and still don’t want to quit.


Annual Harper Reunion

May 27, 2001

1:00 pm

Covered Dish Dinner

Harman, West Virginia


©2001 Marsha L. Fuller, CGRS, All Rights Reserved.


April 5, 2001


To: All Harper Descendants

From: Harper Cemetery Association Board of Directors

Subject: 2001 Harper Reunion

Date: Sunday, May 27, 2001


Dear Family and Friends:

     This has been a long winter and the nice weather is upon us and we are planning for our 2001 Reunion.  The family will gather on  Sunday of Memorial Weekend, May 27, 2001, at the Harper Pavilion located on the Minor Harper Farm located 2.2 miles East on US Route 33 from Harman, WV.  Turn in at the Jacob C. Harper Cemetery sign and continue on a gravel road bearing right to the white farm house.  The pavilion is located to the right.

     The picnic lunch is a covered dish dinner to begin at 1:00 pm.  Bring your favorite dish and an appetite to join in great fellowship in renewing our family ties.  If you are traveling and cannot fix anything, come anyway.  There is always more food than we can eat from some of the best cooks in the world.  When you arrive please register and get a name tag and a door prize ticket.  If there has been changes in your address or if this is your first time, it is essential to get your complete address recorded.  For those of you with email addresses the news letter will be sent electronically in order to cut expenses in postage.  We have a web page that can be accessed at .  Marsha Fuller, a member of the Board of Directors, is maintaining this site and has been responsible for collection of the family history that is present on that site.

     The Board of Directors will meet later in the afternoon to discuss the business of the family.  Donations are accepted for the care and upkeep of the Cemetery, Pavilion, and road.  We are working toward making the Jacob C. Harper Cemetery a perpetual care cemetery with donations going to expenses and investment annuities.  Descendants are encouraged consider the Cemetery in their estate planning.   If you cannot attend the Reunion and wish to make a donation, you can mail your donation to our treasurer, Eleanor Nestor at HC66 Box 10B, Hendricks, WV 26271.

     The weather is always something to think about in coming to the mountains.  We have been fortunate the last two years in having pretty weather with only  a small sprinkle last year.  However, it is sometimes breezy and cool in the pavilion and up at the Cemetery so bring something warm. 

      We hope to see you there and know that it will  be great to visit and get to know all of our family all over again.