My husband's family name was changed from Nolan to Harris after moving from Nashville to Indianapolis in about 1910. I find them in the 1900 and 1910 census as Nolan- then in Nashville. We have always been told the original name is Harrika. My husband's grandmother was Sophia Nolan, immigrated about 1898 with infant daughter Bula. 1900 census lists her with with child and a peddler. Appears to be separated from her husband and in a Nashville boarding house. Appears her husband, Solomon Deep Nolan living in Nashville with an uncle named Faris. In 1910, Sophia and Solomon or Saleem are together as a family in Nashville. My father in- law was Joseph Thomas Harris, born about 3 Sept 1910. We have been told he was born in Nashville, but I do not believe this is true. There is secrecy re: his birth and name. When he applied for SS at age 65, he was unable to produce a birth certificate. I heard he then learned his name was Nolan and was finally able to get his SS with an old life insure. policy. He was never able to obtain a passport- could not prove where he was born. I think he was born in Indianapolis- no proof. I do know he was Baptized in Nashville at around 6 months, but again, told no records because the church burned??? It would have been unusual to wait until a Catholic infant was 6 months to baptize- I am thinking they traveled from Indianapolis to Nashville for the Baptism. I have waited until my in laws were deceased to tell his children the rumors I have heard. Solomon or Saleem deserted his family in Indianapolis. Rumor is that he was near Pittsburg or Wheeling, WVA, possibly Turtle Creek, Pa and played vaudeville. I do find Solomon and Sophia on S West St in a 1913 Indianapolis City Directory. Shorlty there after, Sophia began using the name Harris. I had looked for this man for years and got the shock of my life! I found Solomom D Nolan in Green River, Wy. 1920 census- Syrian Republic, right age. The clincher, absolute proof is his 1917 draft registration card in Green River- person to contact, Sophia Nolan S West St Indianapolis, Ind. He is again in the census for 1930 and 1940. In the last census he was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad still living In Green River, but going by the name John. Sophia Nolan Harika died in Indianapolis about 1935 and buried in that city. I believe she attended St Johns's Catholic Church. No one seems to know how or why they had the name Harris. Our family in Birmingham uses Harris and belongs to St Elias Church. Do not know if we are related to other Harika's- i imagine we are. My husband's first cousin Geo. Harris was once owner of Nolans Restaurant at Gulf Shores, Ala. Other family owed property and retail establishments in Homewood, Ala. One family member believes Sophia's maiden name was Harrika. I saw a family tree at St Elias- numerous branches and they all appear to come from Harrika, go back to about 1400. The Curusaders came and they split- 1 group going to Beirut on the sea. I read this has aways been a warring people. No written documentation- stories passed through the centuries. I have also read that the ancient tribes were nomadic and had no surnames. All of my husband's family is Catholic. We have family in Birmingham, Nashville roots, the Francis family in Winsted, Conn. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. Sibs of my father in law are Buelah Toner, George, Phillip, Maltida Francis, Joseph Thoams and supposedly a Louis that died at around age 3- maybe in 1915. However, I do not believe Sophia was actually his mother. Sophia ran a bd house and grocery near the old Union Depot near St Jons in Indianapolis. I believe her last address was on Church St in that city. I know nothing about any sibs she may have had or parents. I do know she traveled back and forth to Syria several times. I have also heard a tale that she was a house servant and the husband's family were wealthy vineyard owners. They fell in love and moved to America. I have also heard
the name was something like De- Aries or something like that and was French. Sounds like a " yarn " to me. Anyway, some things to think about. There was supposedly a large Lebanese community in Nashville at 1 time- surely there must be some history some where!