The Harland diaspora
A second Harland Sept in Ireland?
In Sanford Harlan’s undated annotation (circa 1964), entitled ‘In Hare Land’, (presumably quoting from Alpheus Harland’s earlier work) it states that James Harland, a yeoman, was born in ‘Oald England’ in 1625 and that his first son “Thomas was born ‘Nigh Durham’ in Bishoprick, England”.  It is important  to know that This name ‘Bishoprick, England’ is not a single town of village – rather,  it is the whole of the territory ruled by the Bishop, in this case the bishop in charge of the Palatinate of Durham, which was an area only slightly smaller than the whole of modern County Durham. (Sources 7)

James Harland is known to have had three sons, Thomas, George, and Michael. It also said that George was baptized in Monkwearmouth Monastery on 11 January 1650, so it is safe to assume that the family lived somewhere between Durham City and the area now known as Sunderland, some 12 miles northeast of the cathedral city. [Modern Sunderland nowadays includes Monkwearmouth within its boundaries].

It is believed that in early adult life the three brothers changed their religious affiliations from the established church to the Society of Friends. It is highly probable that this explains why the three of them joined the plantation of Ulster circa 1670 ‘and located in the Parish of Donnahlong Co. Down’; [this name must have been transcribed incorrectly].  It seems safe to assume that these Harlands from County Durham England will have leased land from William Waring in his newly acquired holding at Waringstown in the civil parish of Donaghcloney.

Old records confirm that Thomas Harland lived, at this time, in this parish; and from the evidence above it appears almost certain to be in the townland of Corcreeny. The townland of Corcreeny was only separated by the townlands of Knocknashane and Tirsogue from Peter Harland’s leasehold in the townland of Ballyblagh; so the homes would have been less than two miles apart. Either coincidence or planning could have  brought these two Harland families so close to each other geographically. However, nobody knows the truth of it.

The Prodigals
George and Michael Harlan (as they subsequently spelled their surname) emigrated to the Americas in 1687, to a Quaker settlement that is now Delaware, leaving their older brother behind. (Sources 12)  It is they who are credited with the creation of the Harlan dynasty in America, going back to less than 200 years after its discovery by Columbus.

Before their departure “George Harland of Donaghcloney married Elizath Duck of Lurgan at Mark Wright’s on 27 September 1678” . The contents of a letter from America, written by George Harlan to William Porter in Ireland dated 27 October 1696 are still in existence. The wording is a reminder that they used, in speech and writing, the English much closer to Shakespeare’s time, with some specific Quaker usage such as the use of numbers for the months of  the year:

27th of the 10th month of 1696"
  "William Porter This may acquaint thee that I have received 4 letters from thee all of one date and tennor [tenor?] being the 20th of the 9th m.[month?] '95 in Relation to Mary Child whose son Thomas died Something more than two years since at Vallentine Hollingsworths, he happening to fall Sick there, & as to what is Reported Concerning his Bequest to his mother I have here Sent thee the Copy of his Will on the other side.
...I was with him in time of his sickness and he being about to make his will I put him in mind of his Relations in Ireland and his answer was thus he had never Received any Letter Since he had been in the country from any of them. Replying further he had been troublesome to his friends in his Life time & Questioning by Reason of the Wars and Mortality that had been of Late in Ireland which of his relations might be living or dead and to Impose So troublesome an undertaking upon his friends (as the making Sale of what he had & turning it into money... he would not do it.
  "Mine with my Wifes dear Love is Remembered unto thee & to the Rest of our friends & relations Let my Bro understand that we are all indifferent well & Know of no alteration Since I wrote by Thomas Musgrave. My Wifes dear Love is Remembered in particular to Robert Hoop and Elenor; having often desired to hear from them, Soe [so?] having not Else at present but remain thy friend

The Elder Brother
But what became of their elder  brother? He must have approved of his brothers’ venture and may have helped finance it; but he elected to stay in Ireland rather than go to the Delaware. By 1687 Thomas was a married man of about 40 years of age, with a large and growing young family as shown by these data.  Existing records show that he, Thomas Harland, had married Katherine Bullock on 7 February 1680 in the Quaker manner at the “house of Francis Robinson in the Parish of Sego County Armagh”. “They were the parents of one son, Ananias, and four daughters Rebecca, Patience, Christian and Katherine. There is uncertainty concerning his date of death, but Quaker records at the Public Record Office in Northern Ireland [PRONI] list the burial of a Thomas Harland at Moyraverty Quaker Burial Ground (near Lurgan) in 1683. His wife died in March 1690.

Alpheus Harlan claims that after being a widower for over 12 years, Thomas Harland married his second wife, Alice Foster, of Lisnegarvy at Richard Boyes house, Ballinderry Meeting, County of Armagh, on 11 August 1702. They were the parents of two sons, James and Thomas, and of one daughter, Abigail.” There is also a 1723 reference to a Thomas Harland being given assistance by the Friends following a fire “he being too old to recoup alone” This could be our Thomas at 76 years of age.

The Quaker records also show that Thomas (c.1648, m.1680) Harland’s daughter, Patience Harland of Lurgan, married James Alderdice of Lurgan in 1707; and that Patience Allerdyce, daughter of George Allerdyce married a James Harland. Could this be Patience Alderdice’s young stepbrother? This marriage did not meet with the approval of the Meeting, because James Harland was not a Quaker, and as a consequence Patience was 'disowned'. The date of the wedding is uncertain, but that they had eight children between 1757 and 1775.   Could either of their sons, George Harland, born 24 April 1761 or his brother Michael born 1 January 1765, be the missing link in a chain revealed elsewhere? (Forebears)
Although it might be assumed that there is bound to be such a link between one or all of these Harlands and those mentioned in later sections, it is certain that no such link has been proven. Indeed, because of the disastrous loss by fire of  many of the Church of Ireland records in Dublin in 1922 the chance of proof seems likely to have gone forever.

More Historical Background - Early Harlands

More History