Her maternal grandfather, the Presbyterian minister, Rev. John McCamey Wilson, was not a dirt-poor, humble itinerent minister riding about the country on a donkey. He had been born in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina to a patriotic family and was related to Andrew Jackson. In fact, a young President Jackson and his mother had taken refuge with the Wilsons during the British Invasion of South Carolina. His early education had been under the private instruction of Dr. Thomas Henderson of Charlotte, NC and he then went on to graduate with high honors from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He furthered his education with a focus in Theology by apprenticing under a respected minister in Iredell County and afterwards served as a missionary to Western North Carolina for a period.
|Reinactor portraying Alexander Burke in Morganton|
He would settle in as the pastor of Quaker Meadows Presbyterian Church in Burke County, NC, where he would meet his wife Mary, a daughter of the wealthy and illustrous Planter and Patriot, Alexander Erwin of Burke County. The minister had to have impressed Colonel Erwin to such a degree to have earned the hand of his favorite daughter, a lady so beautiful her name has came down to us through history as "Pretty Polly".
The Wilsons would settle back east in Mecklenburg County to raise their family, among them a daughter named Margaret. As Margaret would grow up, one of the families 9 children, her father would be ministering in the Rocky River and Philadelphia congregations and teaching at the Rocky River Academy that he had established. Margaret would have been raised as a proper young southern lady of the early 19th Century. When he died, Rev. Wilson was also the owner of 7 Plantations with a large acreage. So when it came to choose a husband for his daughter, not just any old John or Thomas would do.
John, James and William Means had arrived in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina by 1779 and were from London originally. They settled on adjoining tracts on English Buffalo Creek and Coddle Creek, in an area that would soon become Cabarrus county and eventually purchase property on the "Head Branch of Rocky River on the Welsh Tract". John Means was signer of the 1778 Petition.
By the early 1800's they had became an established and useful family of the area. John Works Had a son, William Melvin Means who married a girl, Isabella Catherine Works, from Iredell County, whose origins hailed from the Worke, Creswell and Baird familes of Chester and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania.
So by the time the educated Preacher's daughter, Margaret was of marriagiable age, a member of the Work - Means family, of whom he was likely very familiar, was deemed a suitable candidate.
John Work Means appears in history as more of a spoiled dandy than anything. He was not as industrious as his predecessors or those of his wife, Margaret. He loved to spend money instead of make it, so instead of increasing what he was born into, he sucked from it like a leach, and his family suffered.
By the time Rev. Wilson died, he deemed his son-in-law insolvent and put the welfare and inheritance of his daughter Margaret into the hands of her brothers.
"...that said Means in the lifetime of the testor became ? embarrassed insomuch that his property was on several occasions sold under debts?against him ...further complain that said Means is as they believe totally insolvent...
From the Will of Rev. John McCamey Wilson
This was 1931 and little Harriett Catherine Means would have been 6 when her grandfather died, the youngest daughter and 5th of 7 children. Harrietts life would grow tragic after that.
Despite John W. Means being called insolvent by his father-in-law, the 1840 census, he is shown as owning 7 slaves and an average amount of property. Not extremely wealthy, but not impovershed.
|Name:||John W Means|
|Home in 1840 (City, County, State):||Cabarrus, North Carolina|
|Free White Persons - Males - Under 5:||1|
|Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:||1|
|Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 49:||1|
|Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 9:||1|
|Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14:||1|
|Free White Persons - Females - 15 thru 19:||3|
|Slaves - Males - 10 thru 23:||2|
|Slaves - Males - 36 thru 54:||1|
|Slaves - Females - Under 10:||1|
|Slaves - Females - 10 thru 23:||1|
|Slaves - Females - 24 thru 35:||1|
|Slaves - Females - 36 thru 54:||1|
|Persons Employed in Agriculture:||8|
|Free White Persons - Under 20:||6|
|Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:||2|
|Total Free White Persons:||8|
|Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:||15|
In 1848, he was still involved in lawsuits in Morganton.
But by the 1850 census, Margaret had been declared insane. Harriett had given birth to her daughter Sarah out of wedlock, and only she and her baby brother, John McCamey Wilson Means, where still at home. I'm sure she was taking care of her mother, her daughter and seeing to the needs of the men in the home as well. A tough burden for a young woman.
|Birth Year:||abt 1800|
|Home in 1850:||Cabarrus, North Carolina, USA|
|Name:||Harriett C Means|
|Spouse:||John Q Lammons|
|Bond date:||2 Feb 1852|
|Marriage Date:||2 Feb 1852|
|Level Info:||North Carolina Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868|
|Record #:||01 112|
|Witness:||R. W. Foard|
|Performed By:||P. T. Penick|
|Birth Year:||abt 1827|
|Birth Place:||North Carolina|
|Home in 1860:||Union, North Carolina|
|Post Office:||Oak Grove|
|Age in 1870:||37|
|Birth Year:||abt 1833|
|Home in 1870:||Goose Creek, Union, North Carolina|
|Post Office:||Oak Grove|
|Inferred Spouse:||John Lemond|
|Name:||Jos. Q. Leminand|
[Jos. Q. Lemmonds]
[Jon Q. Lemmond]
|Birth Date:||Abt 1820|
|Home in 1880:||Goose Creek, Union, North Carolina, USA|
|Relation to Head of House:||Self (Head)|
|Father's Birthplace:||North Carolina|
|Mother's Birthplace:||North Carolina|