James T. Harp (1824-186*) & Nancy Jane Hinds (1826-1886)

James T. Harp & Nancy Jane Hinds are my 3X great grandparents, the parents of my 2x great grandmother Louisa Cumi Harp.

James T. Harp was born in 1824 in Tennessee. He was the son of William Thomas Harp & Mary Jane Workman.

Note 4/2020: For this James T. Harp, the T may stand for Thomas, but we don’t know for sure. He is often confused with another James Thomas Harp/Harper. It was James Thomas Harp/Harper who married a McGinnis.

Nancy Jane Hinds was born December 20, 1826 in Tennessee. She was the daughter of William M. Hinds & Matilda Baker.

James & Nancy were married in about 1842 in Arkansas, when James was about 18 and Nancy was 15.

On the 1850 US Census, the family lived in Spadra, Johnson County, Arkansas. James was 26, Nancy was 24. They had 4 children: William, age 5; Julia, age 3; Sarah, age 2; Joseph, age 1.

On the 1860 US Census, the family lived in the township of War Eagle & Walnut in Benton County, Arkansas. James was 37 and Nancy was 32 – neither could read. They had 8 children: William was 16, Julia was 14, Sarah was 11, Mary was 8, Louisa was 5, John was 4, Martha was 2, and James was 1. Son Joseph had died. They had two more sons, Phillip in 1861 and Thomas in 1863.

James died sometime before 1880. I’ve seen various people online say that he was “bushwhacked in the Civil War.” It’s possible that he served, because I find a James Harp from Madison County Arkansas, age 35, enlisting in Company B, 1st Regiment Arkansas Cavalry (Union) June 24, 1862.

On the 1880 US Census, widowed Nancy was 54. She lived in Prairie, Madison County, Arkansas with sons James, age 21; Phillip Allen, age 18; and Thomas, age 16.

Nancy died on October 6, 1886. She was 59. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

The children of James T. Harp & Nancy Jane Hinds:

William Alexander “Alex” Harp – Alex was born in 1845 in Arkansas. He fought in the Civil War, having enlisted in Company B, Arkansas 1st Cavalry Regiment on June 24, 1862. He married Louisa Jane Evans in about 1863, and they had 6 children. Louisa died in 1887, and Alex married Matilda Holeman the same year – it was the second marriage for both, and Matilda had two sons. Together they had 5 more children. Alex died May 13, 1935 in Madison County, Arkansas. He was about 90 years old. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Julia Ann Harp – Julia was born in April of 1845 in Arkansas. She married Christopher Columbus McDonald in 1869 in Arkansas. They had 6 children. The last record I have of her is the 1900 US Census.

Sarah M. Harp – Sarah was born January 10, 1847 in Arkansas. She married Monroe McDonald in 1868.  They had 5 children. She died May 23, 1905.  She was 58. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Joseph R. Harp – Joseph was born in 1849 in Arkansas. The only record of him is the 1850 US Census.

Mary Harp – Mary was born about 1851 in Arkansas. The only record of her is the 1860 US Census.

Louisa Cumi Harp – My 2x great grandmother Louisa was born November 30, 1852 according to her gravestone, but I suspect she was born in 1855. She married Isaac Newton Hinson in 1870 and they had 10 children. She died April 8, 1918 in Washington County, Arkansas. She was 65. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

Martha Harp – Martha was born April 21, 1856 in Arkansas according to her gravestone, but I think she was born in 1858. She married Abraham H. Neal, probably around 1879 and probably in Texas, and they had 7 children. She married John B. Nail on October 13, 1895 in Clay County, Texas. They had a son. Martha died January 15, 1936 in Wichita Falls, Texas. She was 79. Her Find A Grave memorial is here.

John B. Harp – John was born September 3, 1857 in Arkansas. He died October 27, 1875 in Arkansas. He was 18. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

James Albert Harp – James was born January 2, 1858 in Arkansas. He married Victoria Monterre Hammett in 1891. They had 9 children. He died September 8, 1935 in Arkansas. He was 77. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Phillip Allen Harp – Allen was born August 16, 1861 in War Eagle Twp, Benton County, Arkansas. He married Louise Bristol White and they had 8 children. He died July 28, 1945 in Kirkland, Childress County, Texas. He was 83. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

Thomas Burton Harp – Thomas was born January 9, 1863 in War Eagle Twp, Benton County, Arkansas. He married Delia F. Pierce on November 8, 1891 in Washington County, Arkansas. She died in 1925. He married Gertrude Whittemore Lewis on February 27, 1928 in Madison County, Arkansas. He died November 11, 1937 in Washington County, Arkansas. He was 74. His Find A Grave memorial is here.

11 thoughts on “James T. Harp (1824-186*) & Nancy Jane Hinds (1826-1886)

  1. I am so excited to find this article– My husband is a descendant of James Thomas Harp B. 1824- d. c.a.1870 (GG Grandfather)
    Our DNA family circles confirm that, but my husband’s grandmother was James Thomas Harp’s other wife Mary Martha Jane McGinnis Harp 1826-1886 who remarried after James Thomas Harp passed away. Can you help me solve this mystery? You didn’t mention another wife for James Thomas Harp. Thanks so much for posting your genealogy! I love it and hope you can help me too. Carolyn Shelhamer


    • Hello, and thanks for writing! I have no info on another wife for James Thomas Harp. What do you have that links Mary McGinnis to him? Are you thinking instead of getting bushwacked in the Civil War, he left and married Mary? Anything is possible, since we don’t have any credible information on his death.


  2. I also might mention that my husband has strong DNA family circles with both James Thomas Harp’s parents and Mary Martha Jane McGinnis Harp’s parents


  3. Thanks for quick reply – this is so interesting! I will keep digging: mostly we have DNA family circles to the parents of Mary Martha Jane McGinnis( J.T.’s wife) and notes on how they descend from her and James Thomas Harp– Maybe we have discovered a great hidden love story? Maybe a wife unknown?? I absolutely knew about Nancy Jane Hinds Harp’s marriage and her Find aGrave’s husband description fits our Circles as well— but no DNA connection to Nancy Jane Hinds–I thought maybe I was confusing brothers-
    Something was said about Nancy Hinds being Indian? or applying to the Indian Nation for membership….. and another mention of Mary Jane Workman also being Indian Nation? I didn’t really try to chase those “rabbits” and wondered if you every heard of that? Please stay in touch– maybe I can solve “the other wife”– Carolyn Shelhamer, Abilene, Texas


    • I don’t have info re: native american. It is quite possible that there wasn’t a marriage, but a child. When/where was the child born? Do you know of siblings? What do know about Mary McGinnis?


  4. Hello, I just stumbled onto this conversation and am also interested in getting clarification on the marriage(s) of James.. In my search I have found information referencing Martha Jane McGinnis as Jame’s wife. Marriage was abt. 1845. The information I have seen lists 6 children from that marriage: William Alexander, Nelson, Mary, James, Sarah and Isaac. Isaac Denton Harp is my Great- Great Grandfather. My information comes from “Family Search” at the following web address: https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/K4KP-7YC

    At this point the only thing I’m sure about is my connection to Issac. Thanks for any additional information you may have!

    Brad Harp


    • Hello Brad, and thanks for writing. I don’t have anything that ties James to Martha Jane McGinnis. I looked at your link, and I see a tree, but no documentation. Have you found a marriage record? A family Bible? Is there a census record of the family? Are you sure it is the same James Harp? I am doing a genealogy go-over, and I am working on more recent generations and working my way back. When I get to this family I will delve in and see what records I can find. What I have for the family is certainly not correct, especially with regard to their children’s births …. the dates don’t work. Perhaps we have 1 James Harp with two concurrent families (scandal!) or perhaps we have 2 James Harps that we need to separate into 2 lives. Would be wonderful if we found a will that listed children and spouse. It was such a tumultuous time in Arkansas (and most of the US) and records are hard to find. Let me know what you find. I don’t rely much on family trees posted online … I have learned to use them as a starting point, to verify with other records.


      • Thanks for the reply. I only have that one source to tie my great grandfather, Isaac Denton Harp, with James T. Harp. No family bible or other records. I have pretty firm info getting back to Isaac, but your information above has shed some uncertainty whether or not the link between Isaac and James is real. At some point I would like to take a trip back to the Rocky Comfort – Pineville area this summer to check out marriage and birth records if they are available (I live in Washington State). I have a significant number of aunts and uncles who lived in that area. Maybe you have run across them? Jess Harp, Sarah Harp, Bert Harp, John Oscar Harp? I’m also related to a family named Sparks who came from eastern Kentucky to live in the Pineville, Anderson and Rocky Comfort area.


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