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BIOGRAPHY

Harris was born Ada Marvin Delamar in Carteret County, North Carolina, USA, on 14 February 1878. She was the second of three children born to parents William Bryan Delamar (1848–1913) and Aurelia Rebecca Perkins (1855–1954). Her older sister, Annie, died at the age of 3 in 1880. She had one younger brother, Junious Edgar (1884–1972). Her father was a private in the 67th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry during the American Civil War. Her father left the family somewhere in between 1884 and 1891 and died in the Confederate Soldiers Home in Raleigh in 1913, falsely claiming to be a widower.

On her mother’s side she was descended from an American Revolutionary War patriot, William Cromartie, and two Mayflower passengers (Stephen and Constance Hopkins).

In her youth, she went to live with her maternal aunt and uncle in Salisbury, North Carolina to attend school. In May 1894, according to several news articles, then 16-year-old Ada and a 20-year-old young man were thwarted in their attempts to run off to South Carolina to get married.

In January 1895, at the age of 16, she married Lovic Harris, a postmaster and storekeeper. When she was 21, her first child, Milton Carmine Harris, died at 14 months old. He is buried with her parents-in-law on the property where they lived on Harris Farm Road. The couple had three more children. She didn’t travel much, spending most of her life on a farm in Kershaw in Pamlico County, North Carolina.

Her husband died in 1949, at the age of 80. Her mother died in 1954, at the age of 98. Her second son, Joseph Attmore Harris, died in 1955, at the age of 46, and and her second daughter, Margaret Marie Baughn, died in 1959, at the age of 56.

After the death of her husband, she lived with her eldest daughter, Annie Harris-Phelps, until she was 97 years old, when she was moved into the Guardian Care Assisted Living Center in New Bern in 1975. Her daughter, who was 75 at the time, could no longer take care of her. Her eldest and last surviving child died in 1982.

RECOGNITION

Her age was verified by Jimmy Lindberg, and validated by LongeviQuest on 5 March 2023.

(Biographical information were provided by Harris’ great-granddaughter, Sarah Midyette-Fuller)

ATTRIBUTION

GALLERY

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