Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Harrison Family History

Welcome to the Harrison Family History blog. 

The following is my family history down to my grandparents. 

1. Henry Harrison (circa 1660-1727)

married Dorothy Rudd (1665-1753)
Dorothy was the daughter of Francis Rudd and was baptized at the Chapelry in Glaisdale on December 10, 1665.  Francis Rudd bought the farm he was already occupying at Greenhouses in 1656 when the Danby Estate was sold off.  
It appears that the Rudd family was also Catholic - notwithstanding the fact that Dorothy was baptized at St Thomas Anglican Church in Glaisdale.  Francis Rudd died between 1670 when his will was dated and 1676 when it was proved.  No burial record has been found at either Danby or Egton but there are gaps in the Egton parish records for this time frame.  He left his estate to his two minor daughters, Dorothy and Mary.   However Mary must have also died as Dorothy inherited all his lands at Greenhouses (35 acres).  

We do not know for certain when Henry Harrison was born but have estimated a time of circa 1660 based on Dorothy Rudd's known birth of 1665.  They lived at Green Houses, Glaisdale Township, Danby Parish, North Yorkshire.  The farm that Henry Harrison would eventually own was occupied and then purchased by John Temple when the Danby Estate was sold off in 1656.  We do not know when Henry purchased the farm but he was living there with his wife Dorothy Rudd by 1691 as they are on the recusant list for that year.

Children include:
  • Mary (?-?)
  • Dorothy (1723-1790) married William Hodgson
  • Francis (?-1772) married Ann
  • Barbara (?-?) married Robert Atkinson
  • Joseph (?-1782) married Jane (or Mary)
  • William (?-1778) married Ann
  • John (?-1779) married Helen Lyth
  • Henry (?-1785) married Ann
According to the "Harrison Saga" in the mss Hearts of Oak by Leslie O'Connor: "As yet only three records of Henry Harrison occur apart from his will. First, as previously stated, one of nineteen others in the civil recusant returns for Danby in 1691. Secondly in the Registration of Papist Estates in 1717, this gives the information that he was a yeoman with landed property in Greenhouses, a hamlet which was at that time apparently, in Danby parish. He holds in the right of his wife from her father Francis Rudd, thirty-five acres, and in his own right a further twenty. Thirdly, Egton Registers reveal his [Henry's] death on January 4th 1727....  Henry's will, proved in 1727, sets the family away handsomely. Assuming seniority of mention, he had three girls first and five boys later. The girls, to each of whom he gives £25 receive no more mention anywhere except Barbara. She became the wife of Robert Atkinson and the mother of twins as revealed in Father Hervey's Ugthorpe registers and died on November 21st 1747. Three of his sons apparently had farms of their own whilst Francis and Henry, to whom he left £25 and £20 respectively, became tenants in Shorefoot, part of the Lordship of Egton. Here they were on the opposite side of Stonegate Beck to their family home in the adjacent parish, barely a mile away. Joseph, who received £25, settled a mile or so higher up the same valley in Tranmire; William getting £30 settled in Glaisdaleside further afield across the River Esk, and John inherited Greenhouses. The baptisms of these children have not been found, nor have their deaths, if found, given any indication of age at death." 

The detailed description of Henry's Greenhouses farm in the "Registrations of Papist's Estates" from 1717 is as follows:

"Henry Harrison of Greenhouse, yeom - In the mannour, castle or lordship of Danby, Lealeholme and Glasedale, the messge called Greenhouses and all those closes called Straingfeild close, the Kilnfeild-close, the Beckfeild close, the Holme-ing-close, the three Roundfolds, the Hither-Kiln Pits, the Far-Kiln Pits, and the Lower Kiln Pits, the Brow-close, the Woodmires-close, the Low-Bothom, the Far Low-Bothom, and the High Intacks, thirty-five acres, in my own possession, of which I am seized in right of my wife, settled and given to her in fee by her father before our intermarriage; also I am seized in fee simple of certain closes called New Intack-close, the Low-close, the Low Haverfeild-close, the High Haverfeild-close, the Redmyers, or Highfeilds, twenty acres, in my own possession." (pg 28)

2. William Harrison ( b ? d. April 15, 1778)
married 1.  Ann (? - April 9,1784) (no marriage found).  It has been suggested that William's wife Ann is Ann Elders but this does not seem to be the case as the signatures on the Egton Parish Register and that on William Harrison's will do not match.  As well, Elders does not appear to be a Catholic family as they do not appear on any of the early recusant lists.   In the comprehensive recusant list for Egton in 1735, generated by all parish ministers at the request of Archbishop Blackburn of York,  William and Ann Harrison are listed with no children.  Mysteriously they are not included on the recusant lists made for Egton in 1745 or 1746 but those lists are exceedingly short compared to the list of 1735.  It would seem that the creator of these lists were not as diligent as those that created the list of 1735.  Eighteen years later we have the  recusant list of 1753.  This comprehensive list was generated in response to complaints made by Mr. Elwes, the new owner of the Egton Estate, who was appalled to discover that a large number of his tenants were Catholic.  He informed the Archbishop of York who asked Minister Robinson, the Vicar of Egton, for details on the families.  Minister Robinson responded with a comprehensive list.  William Harrison, wife and two children (must be William and Ann) are listed.   William Harrison lived in Glaisdaleside, Egton Township, Lythe Parish, North Yorkshire.  The family farm, leased from the Egton Estate, was located on the Glaisdale side of Egton Township (hence Glaisdaleside).  The farmhouse was called Toad Hall (a corruption perhaps of "The Old Hall").  It was later demolished and replaced with a new house at which time the farm became known as the New House Farm, a name that has remained until the present day.  A cottage was also located on the property called Poplar Hall.  It was built in the seventeenth century and covered by a thatched roof.  William died on April 15, 1778.  In his will he left £100 to his son Joseph, with the proviso to provide to his mother Ann 20 shillings (£1) each year for life.  The same bequest of £100 was given to his daughter Ann Roe, wife of Matthew.  Ann was to also pay her mother 20 shillings (£1) yearly for life.  He left his wife Ann £50.  His eldest son William received the balance of the estate, including the leasehold on the farm in Glaisdaleside, Egton Township, and as a result, was to pay his mother £4 yearly, as long as she remained a widow.  Known children include:
  • William (1741/2-1825) married Elizabeth Alcon at Lythe on November 23, 1778.
  • Ann (c. 1745 - d. October 3, 1786) married Matthew Roe at Egton on June 5, 1763.  Matthew was a weaver and lived in Egton Township.
  •  Joseph (c. 1753-1806) married Mary Readman 

3.  Joseph Harrison (c. 1753 - 1806) 
married Mary Readman (1746/7 - March 24, 1825?)  at Egton on June 10, 1770 lived Glaisdaleside, Egton Township, North Yorkshire.  Joseph was a tailor.  In 1778 he was left £100 in his father's will and was to pay his mother 20 shillings a year for life. Joseph died and was buried at Egton on July 11, 1806.  His age at death was not recorded but he must have been born after 1753 as only two children (his elder siblings William and Ann) are listed on the 1753 Egton recusant list.  No will has been found for him.  In the Egton Anglican Parish records he is recorded as living in Glaisdale.  His father's farm was in Glaisdaleside the portion of the  Glaisdale valley within Egton Township (the boundary follows the beck that flows down the valley to the Esk River).  Based on subsequent baptismal entries for his children in the St. Thomas Anglican Church records that they lived in Glaisdale, I feel pretty confident that he and his family lived in a cottage on the farm of his brother William (who inherited the leasehold from this father William) called Poplar Hall.  This cottage later became the home of his nephew Robert who was also a tailor. I wonder if Robert might have been an apprentice of Joseph?  Robert Harrison moved into Poplar Hall after his marriage in 1822. It is understood that at the time some work was necessary as the house had been vacant for some time.  It was demolished about 1900.  Since Joseph Harrison died in 1806 perhaps the house was empty from that date - or sometime after.  I am uncertain where Mary Harrison and her children lived after Joseph's death in 1806.  There is a burial for a Mary Harrison recorded in Egton on March 25, 1825.  Her abode is given as East End, a farm located east of Egton.   Her age is given as 75 years, which suggests a birth year of circa 1750 which fits well with the known birth year of Mary Readman. 
Known children include:
  • Unknown child - the 1780 Glaisdale Recusant list indicates that Joseph and Mary Harrison had 3 children.  However only 2 are known - William and Mary.  This child is most likely a girl given that William is named after his grandfather as per the naming convention of the time of naming the first born male after the father's father. 
  • William baptized February 8, 1773 at Egton Anglican Church.  William married Mary Hutchinson at Egton in 1804, and immigrated to Canada in 1831 with his family.
  • Dorothy born ? (named after Joseph Harrison's grandmother Dorothy Rudd) who died and was buried at Egton on October 18, 1778.
  • Joseph baptized May 8, 1778 at St. Thomas' Anglican Church, Chapelry of Glaisdale, Danby Parish.  The present church was built in 1793 so Joseph's children would have been baptized in the previous structure "a cruciform straw-thatched building, for which a date stone of 1585 may be seen in the side of the steps leading to the present tower".  Joseph died and was buried on December 6, 1778 at Egton.
  • Mary b. 1779 baptized April 12 1780 at St. Thomas' Anglican Church, Chapelry of Glaisdale, Danby Parish. Married William Lyth of Westonby Farm, Egton Township at Egton on October 21, 1822. The witnesses were John Parkes, Richard Lyth and Ann Barker.  Mary Harrison was William Lyth’s second wife. She would have been about 43 years of age at the time of the marriage. His first marriage was to Elizabeth Mead on August 10, 1795 at Danby.  William Lyth and Mary Harrison only appear to have had one child:
    • William, baptized on August 21, 1823 at the Roman Catholic Chapel, Egton Bridge.  The sponsors were Richard Lyth and Helen Barker. William Lyth would go on to marry his cousin Elizabeth Harrison (b. April 23, 1826) daughter of John Harrison (son of William Harrison and Elizabeth Alcon) and Margaret Child at the Roman Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge on November 13, 1844.  They had at least two children:  George b. 1848 and Thomas b. 1851.  It looks like Elizabeth Lyth (nee Harrison) died on March 4, 1881 at Egton Bridge aged 66 years (though she was actually only 55 years of age).  I have not found a death entry for William Lyth.
  • Ann, baptized February 12, 1783 at St. Thomas' Anglican Church, Chapelry of Glaisdale, Danby Parish.  Ann (Hannah) married Isaac Linton at Egton on April 21, 1829.  Witnesses were William Harrison, Joseph Readman and Faith Linton (George Harrison’s future wife – they were married in December 1829 at Goathland).  Ann was 46 years old when she married so it is no surprise that there are no known children.  Hannah and Isaac lived in Scalby, near Scarborough, North Yorkshire.  Hannah died there on August 16, 1849.  She did not leave a will.

4. William Harrison (February 8, 1773 - May 2, 1836) m. Mary Hutchinson (May 13, 1782 - August 17, 1856) at Egton Anglican Church on January 24, 1804. The witnesses were Joseph Readman and William Hutchinson.  Under the Marriage Act of 1753 only marriages performed by the Church of England were considered legal. They were no doubt married the same day by the priest at the Roman Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge. Mary was the daughter of John and Margaret Hutchinson of Egton Township. John Hutchinson was a tailor just like William's father.  Her birth date of May 13, 1782 was registered with the Anglican Church in Egton.  William Hutchinson who was a witness at the wedding was her brother.   Joseph Readman was William Harrison's first cousin, son of Joseph Readman and Mary Wedgewood.

I am not sure where William Harrison lived after he married Mary Hutchinson in 1804.  

The Rateable Returns from 1824 list three William Harrisons in Egton township.  One is William Harrison married to Elizabeth Alcon in Glaisdaleside (He died in 1825).  One is listed as "William Harrison (Car), Farmer".  This seems to be Strunty Carr Farm.  I think that is the William Harrison who married Mary Consitt in Egton in 1806.  She died and he remarried Christina Dale in Egton in 1823.  In the 1841 census William and Christina Harrsion are living at Struntry Carr Farm.  So that leaves "William Harrison (Works) Farmer."  Was this my William Harrison who married Mary Hutchinson or was it the William Harrison who married Mary Webster.  There are no Harrisons listed in Lythe township.      

 In his book A History of the Ancient Parish of Lythe including Sandsend, East Row, Mulgrave Castle, Mulgrave Woods and grounds, The Hermitage, Foss Mill, published in 1888, John Crowther references the following entry in the Lythe parish registers and churchwarden's accounts: "1831 ...In this year many families from Lythe emigrated to America. Among them may be mentioned, Thomas Ward, W. Terry, John Ingledew, Thomas Coverdale, Wm. Harrison, John Bailey, Rt. English, Lennard Watson, John Readman  [given the Joseph Readman connection to William Harrison I wonder if this really should be "Joseph" instead of John] and Thos. Taylor."   Researchers have tried several times to find this entry in the parish records without success to verify the transcription.  Also the confusing thing about this is that it was common for people in Egton to say they were in the Parish of Lythe even though the Egton Anglican Church was separate from Lythe.  So in 1831 was Egton considered to be in Lythe Parish?  As noted above the 1824 Rateable Returns do not list one Harrison in Lythe and there are three in Egton.   

The family immigrated to Canada on board the 380 ton King William which left Whitby on April 11, 1831 with about 300 passengers for Quebec. This is confirmed by my research in the 1831 editions of the Quebec Mercury newspaper which lists the King William leaving Whitby on April 11, 1831 and arriving in Quebec City with 271 settlers on May 22, 1831; and Richard Weatherill's The Ancient Port of Whitby and its Shipping, published in 1908 that confirms the information in the Quebec Mercury. Upon their arrival in Canada they would have taken another ship to Montreal and then from there to the Town of York (Toronto).  The King William was a new ship which was launched on March 7, 1831 at Whitby built for Mr N Campion and Mr R Campion of Whitby.   The journey to Quebec was its maiden voyage.

The family then settled in Toronto Gore Township, Peel County, Upper Canada, in the present day City of Brampton, north west of Toronto. William purchased Lot 8, Concession 9, Toronto Gore Township, 100 acres, from John Beikie, first clerk of the Executive Council in York and the original Crown patent holder, on June 5, 1835 for £75. Though the purchase of the property was not made until 1835 the Harrison family had settled on this property in 1831, as proven by the fact that they were noted in this location by John Dixon in his letter of 1832. I believe that the location of St. Patrick's Roman Catholic church, established in 1830 a short distance to the north, was a critical factor in the selection of this lot by William Harrison. Interestingly William Porter in his mss History of Claireville, written in 1910, stated that "a half mile north" of John Dark's tavern in Claireville where "one Joseph Champlin kept his hostelry in good old Yorkshire Style" the settlement was named Egton.   Egton would be located at the corner of present day Clarkway Drive and Highway 50 in the present day City of Brampton. This is the only reference that I have come across for the Egton name outside of North Yorkshire suggesting that a number of families from Egton settled in the area.  Claireville was located at the intersection of Toronto Gore Township, Peel County and Etobicoke Township, York County. Remnants of the old hamlet of Claireville still exist close to present day Steeles Avenue West and Highway 50 centered on Codlin Crescent in the City of Toronto. 

Since they were married in 1804 you would expect there to be more children between then and when William was born circa 1812.  However, the existing baptismal records for the Roman Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge (built in 1798) only start in 1813 and Catholic families were generally no longer baptizing or registering their children in the Anglican Church in Egton at that time.  A note in the Egton Anglican Church records states that the Catholics had not been baptizing their children there since 1781 (though a few families did register their children).

William Harrison and Mary Hutchinson had the following known children:    
  • William (1812-1849) married Mary O'CONNOR, April 19, 1838 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County. William Harrison died on March 11, 1849.  Mary O'CONNOR remarried Edward GALVIN at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield on January 27, 1864 though her four sons soon sent Edward on his way.   The extant baptismal records of the Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge only begin in 1813.
  • Ann (1813-1855) was baptised at the Roman Catholic Chapel at Egton Bridge on January 14, 1813.  The sponsors were James Harrison, William Harrison's first cousin and Dorothy Roe, James Harrison's future wife.  She married James C. SMYTH on July 20, 1841 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County.  She died and was buried at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic cemetery, Wildfield in 1855. The age on her tombstone however suggests she was born in circa 1828. 
  • Margaret (1814-1891) was baptised at the Roman Catholic Chapel at Egton Bridge on August 19, 1814.  Sponsors were William Hutchinson, Mary Hutchinson's brother and Agnes Readman (nee White), the wife of William Harrison's cousin John Readman, son of John Readman and Sarah Dowson.  She married George JACKSON on June 23, 1836 at St. James Cathedral (Church of England) Toronto - and then at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church, Toronto on January 10, 1837 no doubt at the insistence of her mother. George and Margaret left Canada and immigrated to the United States in 1871 settling in Troy, Missouri, north west of St. Louis. 
  • Mary (1818 - ?) was baptized at the Roman Catholic Chapel at Egton Bridge on February 8, 1818.  The sponsor's were William Harrison, son of William Harrison and Elizabeth Alcon, William Harrison's first cousin and Ann Harrison most likely William Harrison's sister (Mary's aunt).  I do not have any additional information on Mary or know what happened to her.   Did she marry?  The marriage records for St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Wildfield are well documented from 1830 but there is no marriage for her.  There is however a Mary Harrison about the same age who married John Maw on October 7, 1846 in Etobicoke Township.  This marriage was by a Wesleyan Minister and her witness was a William Harrison. Is this her?  Or did she die?  It is possible as the burial records for St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Wildfield are very poor.
  • Jane (1820-1901) married James MIDDLETON on February 27, 1838 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County (though for some reason her name is recorded as Jean).  No baptism has been found in the the Roman Catholic Chapel records for Egton Bridge.
  • Matthew (1821-1887) was baptised at the Roman Catholic Chapel at Egton Bridge on March 10, 1821.  However no first name or sponsors are listed.  He was married twice.  First to Ann HEWGILL and then after her death to Winnifred BULGER. 
William HARRISON died in 1836 and was buried at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church cemetery at Wildfield, Peel County, Ontario.  The age of 55 years on his tombstone suggested a birth year of 1781.  This led to years of confusion between him and his first cousin William who was born in that year.  Since William HARRISON was actually born in 1773 he was 63 years of age when he died in 1836.   An educated and literate man himself, he made specific mention in his will that his executor and eldest son William, provide his younger brother Matthew with "reasonable schooling until of age."   Four years after his death his widow Mary HUTCHINSON married Thomas SMYTH on April 27, 1840 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County. 

5. Matthew HARRISON (1821 - January 6, 1887) m. 1. Ann HEWGILL (August 9, 1829 - July 17, 1869) (converted to Catholicism on June 17, 1869) on May 20, 1849 in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County. They were married a second time by a Wesleyan Minister on July 1, 1849.  Ann HEWGILL died of consumption on July 17, 1869 and was buried on the Matthew Harrison farm on Lot 9, Concession 10, Toronto Gore Township along with a child. The cemetery was protected and preserved as part of the residential development of the property. It is a mystery why she was buried here but I speculate that there was a dispute between the Harrison and Hewgill families over her last resting place. Given that she only converted to Catholicsm one month before her death I am guessing that Matthew Harrison wanted her buried in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Wildfield and her father William Hewgill wanted her buried at the Hilltop Gore Methodist Cemetery. Burial on the farm seems to have been a compromise for all concerned. The cemetery can be viewed here. Ann Hewgill's white marble tombstone lying flat on the ground can be easily seen under the tree in the centre - part of the original apple orchard. Recent work on the site however has resulted in the old apple tree being removed (contrary to what I was told by the City of Brampton). Matthew Harrison originally owned 100 acres on Lot 9, Concession 10, Toronto Gore Township where he built his house. Later he acquired another 100 acres of Part Lots 14 and 15, Concession 10, Toronto Gore Township. Part Lots 14 and 15, Concession 10 would be given to his son William Harrison (my great grandfather). Matthew Harrison and Ann Hewgill had the following children: 

  • Mary Elizabeth (1850-1904) m. Martin BRYNE at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County. They had 11 children. 
  • unnamed twins - lived 2 days (referred to in a letter by William Hewgill).
  • William (1854-1923) m. 1. Julia Ann O'BRIEN, m. 2 Mary Jane BRYNE. 
  • John Francis (1857-1858) 
  • Ann Jane (1860-1943) m. Thomas O'BRIEN on February 6, 1883 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County. They lived in Huron County near Clinton, Ontario and had 6 children. 
  • Unnamed child (1869-1869) buried on Lot 9, Concession 10, Toronto Gore Township with Ann HEWGILL (only one grave shaft was found during the archaeological investigation of the cemetery). 
Matthew HARRISON married his second wife, Winnifred BULGER on November 7, 1869 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County. Winnifred was the daughter of James BULGER and Ann CULLITON. They had the following children: 
  • Alice Josephine (1870-1937) m. John James KEHOE on February 23, 1892 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield. They had 7 children (including 2 priests and 1 nun). 
  • Theresa (1872-?) She could have been registered as "Eliza" when she was born on March 26, 1872. There is a birth registration of a daughter of Matthew Harrison and Winnifered Bulger for this date with this name. She married William DAVIS on January 31, 1894 in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield. In the 1911 Census they had 6 children.
  • Agnes Loretto (1873-1963) - never married. 
  • John Francis (1875-1954) m. Mary ROBINSON on May 6, 1895 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County. They had 7 children. Upon his father's death John inherited the 100 acres of Lot 9, Concession 10. However, due to bad investments in the late 1920s he became indebted to his brother-in-law John James Kehoe. In the early 1930s John James Kehoe took over the property in payment of the debt. John Francis Harrison remained on the farm until he retired in 1943 when he held an auction to sell all this farm produce and equipment.  He then moved to Brampton and died there in 1954.  Mary Robinson died in Brampton in 1956.  The property would remain in the Kehoe family well after the death of John James Kehoe in 1950.  His executors held the property until the late 1950s before selling it.
  • Charles Augustus (1878-1898) - never married.  Charles died of appendicitis when he was 21 years of age.  
  • Emanuel (1879-?) m. Mary HORAN at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, Albion Township, Peel County on October 6, 1903 and them moved to Rochester, New York where he worked on the railway.  In the 1910 US census he is living at 56 Barnum Street in Rochester.  By the 1920 US census he is living not too far away at 1 Greenleaf Street in Rochester, New York.  They had the following children: Henry (b. 1906, California), Theodore (b. 1908, New York), Mary (b. 1911, New York), Helena (b. 1915, New York) and Alma (b. 1918, New York). He and his family were living at the same location in the 1930 and 1940 census. 
  • Mary Helena (1882-?) m. Bernard CAMPBELL on January 16, 1907 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield 
  • still born male child - twin of Mary Helena (1882-1882) 
Matthew Harrison died on January 6, 1887 and is buried in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Wildfield. I have not been able to locate a death registration for him. According to her death registration, Winnifred Bulger died on February 19, 1921 of old age. She is buried in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Wildfield. 

6. William HARRISON (February 28, 1852- June 22, 1923) m. 1. Julia Ann O'BRIEN (1855 - February 24, 1882) on March 12, 1881 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Dixie, Peel County.  Julia was the daughter of Christopher O'Brien of Etobicoke Township, York County.  According to her death registration Julia died of septicemia 10 days after the birth of her daughter Mary Clare. When Julia died she was buried in the Fifth Line Cemetery (also known as Elmbank Cemetery). The cemetery later became landlocked within the grounds of the Malton Airport (now Pearson International Airport). Though many opposed it (including me), the cemetery was "closed" in 2005 to allow for further expansion of the airport and the 634 remains were excavated and re interred at Assumption Catholic Cemetery on Tomken Road just south of Derry Road East in Mississauga. The remains were placed in a dedicated section at the east end of the cemetery with a ceremonial plaque listing all the names of those buried there. From the excavations it was possible to identify a number of the remains but unfortunately Julia Ann O'Brien was not one of them. William had 100 acres of land on the west side of present day Clarkway Drive south of Mayfield Road. He sold this circa 1906 and moved to the north east corner of Dixie Road and Dundas Street in Toronto Township (present day City of Mississauga) where he operated a market garden. They had one child: 
  • Mary Clare (February 14, 1882 - April 23, 1932) m. Thomas COLLINS on May 5, 1908 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church. They had no children.  
William Harrison married his second wife, Mary Jane BRYNE (1857 - August 31, 1932) at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, Arthur, Ontario on June 11, 1883. Mary Jane Bryne was the daughter of James and Ann Bryne. William Davis and Lizzie Bryne were the witnesses. The marriage registration writes "Bryne" as "Burns". Mary Jane Byrne was a cousin of William's.  Her family was originally from Toronto Gore Township.  They had the following children:
  • Matthew Joseph (August 2, 1884 - 1946) m. Anne Loretto KELLY on November 22, 1916 at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Port Credit, Peel County Annie was born in Streetsville and was the daughter of William KELLY and Anna MCKEOWN. Witnesses to the marriage were James Francis Harrison (my grandfather) of New Toronto and Nellie Madigan of 321 Brock Avenue. The Kelly family was originally from Oxford County.  They had 5 children together. Matthew worked as a Stationary Engineer for Dominion Bridge Company making sure that the machinery in the facility was running properly. Matthew lived with his family first on Brad Street, then Dundas Street West, and later at 318 Pacific Avenue across the street from St. Cecelia's Roman Catholic Church. Originally in the Town of West Toronto, it was a short streetcar ride down Dundas Street West to the Dominion Bridge Company located on Sorauren Avenue just south of Dundas Street West. 
  • Anne Easther (March 24, 1886 - April 7, 1905). According to her death registration Anne died of consumption after an illness of 2 years. She never married. 
  • James Francis (April 8, 1888 - 1948) m. Helen Teresa SANDFORD (1889-1975) 
  • William Joseph (October 3, 1890 - April 19, 1931) According to the 1911 census Bill was a linesman employed by the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario. According to his death registration record, William was listed as a Market Gardener. He died in St. Michael's Hospital on April 19, 1931 of tuberculosis meningitis, an inflammation of the brain. His sister told me that this was a result of an infection that developed after he had a number of teeth extracted. He never married. He is buried in Mount Peace Cemetery in Mississauga. 
  • Bridget (1892-?) 
  • John (Jack) Joseph (September 6, 1893 - May 26, 1922) According to his death registration he was an auto mechanic and died of a stroke. He never married. 
  • Martin Ambrose (October 28, 1895 - 1980) m. Madeline BOYCE (1895-?) at St. Cecilia's Roman Catholic Church in December 1917. Their marriage registration however says January 1917 with a "1918" written on the page. They were both 22 years of age. Madeline was the daughter of Alex BOYCE and Mary FARLEY. Witnesses were William J. Harrison, Ambrose's brother and Evelyn Boyce. At the time Ambrose was living at 195 Perth Avenue and Madeline at 136 Edwin Avenue, Toronto. Madeline was born in New Westminster, British Columbia. They had 15 children. Ambrose worked for the Toronto Transit Commission as a streetcar driver. For a while Ambrose and his family were in the running for the big prize in the Great Stork Derby - an interesting tale of Charles Vance Miller who left the majority of this estate to the mother who had the most children within ten years of his death.  The contest ran from 1926 to 1936. The Harrison family did not win but were featured in an advertising campaign for Carnation milk products due to the publicity.
  • Mary Margaret Rita (September 10, 1901 - 1993) Rita entered St. Joseph's Convent, Toronto in 1921 and became Sister Mary Caroline. Sister Mary Caroline was educated at the Toronto Normal School and taught in Catholic schools in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Ontario. 
According to his death registration, William Harrison died on June 22, 1923 of cystitis. It indicates that he was buried in Port Credit. According to her death registration, Mary Jane Bryne died on August 31, 1932. 

7. James Francis (Frank) HARRISON (April 8, 1888 - January 31, 1948) m. Helen Teresa SANDFORD (November 14, 1889 - June 8, 1975) on June 15, 1926 at St. Theresa's Roman Catholic Church, New Toronto, York County. Frank was 36 years old and a railroad conductor. Helen was 35 years of age. Witnesses were William Harrison, Frank's brother and Madeline Sandford, Helen's sister. 
Frank went to work for the Grand Truck Railway (became the Canadian National Railway in 1923) where he eventually became a conductor. At the time his parents were living at the north east corner of Dixie Road and Dundas Street in Toronto Township (present day City of Mississauga) and he was working out of the Mimico Yards in the Town of New Toronto. This was too far to commute on a daily basis so he boarded at homes in New Toronto. In the 1911 census he is boarding at the home of James O'Neill on Sixth Street. In that year he listed his occupation as "trainman" with an annual salary of $720. He had $250 worth of life insurance for which his annual dues were $7.30.  By 1918 he was boarding at the home of Edward Sandford and Mary Coady on the north west corner of Seventh Street (present day Islington Avenue) and the Lake Shore Road (present day Lake Shore Blvd West).  He is also listed as living there in the 1921 census.  Today it is the TNT store. It was here that he met their daughter Helen and fell in love. They were married in 1926 and the new couple moved to a new home that they had built in the adjacent community of Mimico.  

They had two children: 
  • Francis Edward (Ed) Harrison (July 27, 1927 - February 10, 2012) Ed attended St. Michael's College School in Toronto, playing both hockey and football before beginning his professional hockey career with the Boston Bruins in 1947. He later played for other teams both in the NHL and other leagues before retiring from professional hockey in 1962. He then moved to Brantford, Ontario to raise his family. 
  • living 

Some thoughts on Henry Harrison (circa 1660-1727)

My earliest confirmed ancestor is Henry Harrison.  He was born circa 1660 and died at Greenhouses, Glaisdale Township in 1727. 

Researching a James Harrison who lived and died at Greenhouses in late 1730 it was discovered that two and possibly three of Henry Harrison's children were involved in the processing of James' estate. Henry's sons John and William were witnesses to James' will and it looks like Henry's son Francis assisted with the valuation of the estate.

We are fortunate that the deed documenting James' purchase of his farm at Greenhouses in 1704 has survived and is now in the North Yorkshire Country Record Office in Northallerton.  This predates the North Yorkshire Register of deeds which only started in 1736.  It is clear from this document that James was of Hall Park Farm, Lealholm.  This was the farm of a John Harrison.  John purchased the property when the Danby Estate was sold off in 1655.

John Harrison died on December 28, 1680, and was buried at Danby according to the Danby Anglican Parish Records.  There is no will only an Admon document dated April 15, 1681 which left the administration of the estate to his son James.  This document provides very little information as the original file, which might have had more detail and documentation, is now lost and we only have a few lines in the official copybook.

Given that three of Henry Harrison's children were involved in the estate of James Harrison I suspect that Henry and James were brothers and therefore the sons of John Harrison of Hall Park Farm, Lealholm.

However, it is worth noting that James Harrison seems to have succumbed to the pressure to join the Church of England as he baptized all his children there and he does not appear in the Registration of Papist Estates in 1717 as Henry does.

Strengthening this link is the fact that Joseph Harrison, the son of James Harrison, also appears to be a witness to the will of Henry Harrison.

Of course to prove this connection more proof is required.

If I could find a male descendant of James Harrison we could prove it with a DNA test.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Finding William Harrison

Research done by previous researchers, including the late Harrison brothers (Father Basil, Oswald, Francis and Edwin); and the huge contribution of Hearts of Oak by the late Leslie O'Connor; had pegged the William Harrison who married Mary Hutchinson in Egton in 1804 (my great great great grandparents) as the son of William Harrison and Elizabeth Alcon.   

However, in 2012 a transcript of the prayer book of Elizabeth Underwood (nee Harrison), daughter of William Harrison and Elizabeth Alcon came to light which listed her brother William Harrison as dying in England in 1848.  This provided convincing proof that my William Harrison was not the son of William Harrison and Elizabeth Alcon as my William Harrison had died in Toronto Gore Township, Peel County, Upper Canada in May 1836.  I thus began the search for my William Harrison in the extended family tree of Catholic Harrisons from the Egton area of North Yorkshire.  As it turned out the key was the connection between my William Harrison and the Readman family.  

It began with the fact that a Joseph Readman was the best man at William Harrison's wedding to Mary Hutchinson in Egton in 1804 instead of a brother.   Further work on the Readman family determined that this Joseph Readman (there were three around at the same time) was the son of Joseph Readman (1740-? ) and Mary Wedgewood (1744-?).  

William Harrison and Joseph Readman obviously had a close relationship and were best friends.  Therefore there had to be a close link between the Readman and Harrison families.  

Reviewing the marriages in the Anglican Parish Records of the area indicated that there was really only one possible marriage - that of Joseph Harrison to Mary Readman in Egton in 1770.  
It then all began to fall into place.

Hearts of Oak provided the information on the family of Joseph Harrison and Mary Readman (in the chapter on the Ward Papers), including the fact that William Harrison had no brothers that lived past infancy and only two sisters that survived childhood.  

That this was the right family was further confirmed by the marriage of Hannah Harrison and Isaac Linton in Egton in 1829. Both William Harrison and Joseph Readman were witnesses (though I believe this Joseph Readman was the son of John Readman and Sarah Dowson - this Joseph Readman marked his signature with an X - the Joseph Readman who married Elizabeth Smallwood could write.).  This was therefore William's sister Ann (Hannah) as outlined in Hearts of Oak. 

Mary Readman was, I believe, the daughter of William Readman (1713 - ) and Ann White (1716 - 1777). (William is a descendant of John Readman and Alice Walker married in Whitby in 1630 - an online tree focuses on the Egton branch of the family).     

There were other Mary Readmans around at the same time but this Mary Readman is the closest in relationship to the Joseph Readman that was the best man at William Harrison's wedding and she would have been an aunt of Joseph Readman making William Harrison and Joseph Readman first cousins.  I see proof of this relationship due to the fact that Joseph Harrison (William's father) was the best man at the wedding of Joseph Readman (1740-? ) and Mary Wedgewood (1744-?) in Egton in 1778 (8 years after his wedding to Mary Readman).  The Joseph Readman who would be the best man at William Harrison's wedding in 1804 was their son.  The online Readman family tree has this Mary Readman married to Thomas Rhea but having looked at this marriage I don't see any proof of what Mary Readman this is (none of the witnesses are Readmans) and the Rhea family appears to have been Anglican and not Catholic. 

Thus, William Harrison was the son of Joseph Harrison and Mary Readman and the first cousin of the Joseph Readman who was the best man at his wedding (as the son of Mary Readman's brother Joseph Readman and his wife Mary Wedgewood).

As such, Leslie O'Connor was pretty close in his analysis of the parentage of William Harrison in his work Hearts of Oak.  William was just the son of Joseph Harrison and not Joseph's brother William.  

This was an understandable mistake as with so few siblings (no brothers), and an obviously close relationship with the family of William Harrison and Elizabeth Alcon - since he grew up in a cottage on the same farm with them -  William's first cousins were often the sponsors at the baptisms of his children at the Roman Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge.  

Leslie O'Connor naturally took the sponsors of William Harrison's children to be his brothers and sisters.  All in all, pretty good research, and an indication of how valuable this work remains today for those researching their Catholic roots in the Esk River valley communities.

The Mystery of the Two Matthew Harrisons

As part of my family history research I have been dealing with the mystery of two Matthew Harrisons buried at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Wildfield for over 20 years.  

One is my great great grandfather Matthew Harrison born in 1821 in Egton Township, North Yorkshire and baptized at the Roman Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge.  He died on his farm at Castlemore, Toronto Gore Township, Peel County on January 6, 1887 and was buried in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Wildfield, Peel County.  Mysteriously there is no death registration for him even though his nephew Nicholas Harrison was the township clerk and the local registrar.  Nor has an obituary been found in any local Brampton papers.

Death entry for Matthew Harrison - Jan 6, 1887
Death Register St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, 

There is however another Matthew Harrison, a mysterious fellow who also appears in the spotty burial records for St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church listed as dying in September 1884 at the age of 89 years.  He most likely signed a petition in Toronto Gore in 1834.  The other Matthew Harrison would only have been a teenager and it seems unlikely that he would have signed.  The signature on the 1834 petition is different than the one on the will of Matthew Harrison who died in 1887 as well indicating that they are two different people.  I do think that he was the Matthew Harrison living on Lot 11, Con 9, Toronto Gore township in the 1850 directory.  

This Matthew Harrison purchased a 50 acre lot composed of the SE ¼ of Lot 11, Con 9, Gore of Toronto on Feb 19, 1845 for £200. One of the witnesses on the indenture was William Harrison (Jr who died in 1849). The other Matthew Harrison would only have been about 24 years of age at the time.  Was this him?  I don't think so.  He later lived on Lot 9, Concession 10 but didn't purchase the lot until March 1, 1854.  This must be the older Matthew as why would Matthew Harrison and Ann Hewgill be living on a rented farm as detailed by her father in a letter in 1856 if he already owned Lot 11, Con 9 Toronto Gore? (Though Matthew Harrison purchased this lot it was already leased to another owner who had four more years on their lease).   Also, this lot appears to have been purchased with ready cash with no mortgage. When Matthew Harrison bought Lot 9, Con 10 he took out a mortgage on the property.  All of this suggests it was the older Matthew Harrison on this lot.   It is therefore a mystery why he does not appear in any census returns from 1852 to 1881; nor is there a death registration for him.  No obituary has been found in any of the local papers either.  If he was indeed 89 years old when he died in 1884 he would be born circa 1795.  

Death entry for Matthew Harrison September 1884
St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church Parish Records

Could this Matthew Harrison have been an uncle of the Matthew Harrison who died in 1887, and a younger brother to William Harrison (1773-1836).  The existing Catholic Records from the Roman Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge only begin in 1813 so there is a possibility that this Matthew Harrison could be a brother of William Harrison.  However given that Mary Readman would have been about 47 years old in 1795 may call this into question, unless of course she was younger which is entirely possible given the fluidity of ages at this time.  Or could he have been from one of the other related Harrison families from Egton Township, North Yorkshire and area?  A check of the local census returns for Egton and area does not find a Matthew Harrison born in the late 1700s in any of the census returns from 1841-1881.

One of the obvious answers would be to check the tombstones in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery for any other details. Unfortunately the cemetery was essentially cleared (vandalized in my opinion) in the late 1960s by the parish priest and while some of the early tombstones were placed in a cairn on the site (including many of my family), many of the later ones were simply moved to the bottom of the hill and covered in soil where they remain today.

Does the answer to this mystery lie buried beneath the ground on a tombstone?

Any help solving this mystery would be greatly appreciated.  You can contact me at kikoamoki at yahoo dot ca.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Dr. Francis Harrison (1842-1925)

Dr. Francis Harrison (April 5, 1842 - December 28, 1925) married Mary A. Creed (October 17, 1853 -1935), daughter of James and Mary Creed of Dixon, Illinois, on January 1, 1875, at Evanston, Wyoming.

They had the following children:

• James (Frank) Francis (May 26, 1877 - December 20, 1914) - Attended the New York College of Pharmacy beginning in 1897. He graduated in 1899 and began working at Hocker and Solomon in Evanston as a pharmacist. He later went to work with his father. In 1904 he went to St. Louis to attend the World's Fair with his sister Mary. He was married to Emily Cabel in Salt Lake City on July 27, 1911 in the Methodist Church.  Frank died in 1914 of cancer in Salt Lake City where he was being treated.  At the time he was living in the Covey Apartments.  They did not have any children.  The difference in religion seems to have been a sticking point for his family as his best man was not his brother, nor is his family mentioned in the article when they returned to Evanton after the wedding, or is his wife mentioned by name in his obituary in the Evanston papers in 1914.  Emily Cabel remarried Edward Philip Hoehner, civil engineer with the Union Pacific Railway at Odgen, Utah on June 9, 1917.  He would be shot in October 1918 during an altercation between two security guards at the Aspen Tunnel works which he was managing, and would die in hospital in Salt Lake City on October 13, 1918.  He was buried in the Evanston City Cemetery.  The April 1, 1920 US census finds Emily Cabel living in Evanston alone with a servant.  A few months later Emily Cabel married her third husband Jesse Fearn on June 9, 1920 in Farmington, Utah.  They had one son Cabell born in Evanston, Wyoming on February 1, 1921.  I cannot find them in the 1930 US census.  Jesse Fearn died in 1938 and is buried at the Evanston City Cemetery.   However, it appears that Emily Cabel divorced Jesse Fearn sometime before 1936 as I found a reference in the 
September 8, 1936 edition of the Ogden Standard-Examiner which states:  VISIT FROM IDAHO Mrs. R. E. Schmidt and son.  Cabel Fearn of Gooding, Idaho, spent Monday with Mr. and Mrs. Roger Lachappelle and family.  Therefore she married her fourth husband Rolland Schmidt, civil railroad engineer, sometime before this reference in September 8, 1936.  They appear together in the 1940 US census with son Cabel in Pocatello, Idaho.  On the census both indicated that they lived in Ketchum, Blaine, Idaho in 1935.   Emily Schmidt died in Pacatello, Idaho on April 18, 1967.  Rolland Schmidt died in Pocatello, Idaho on February 19, 1978.  Both are buried in Mountainview Cemetery, Pocatello, Idaho.  Emily's son after a stint in the US Army during WWII married late in life at the age of 62 years to Barbara Rhoades on April 23, 1983.  She died on July 15, 1999.  He died in Boulder Colorado on December 19, 2001. 

• Mary (1880-April 21, 1927) She attended St. Mary's Academy in South Bend, Indiana. I have a great photo of her class in 1899. She then became a teacher in Evanston. For the 1903 school year beginning in September she was teaching Grade 6. In 1904 she went with her brother Frank to visit the World's Fair in St. Louis. She died at the home of her uncle (Mary Creed's brother - most likely James Warren Creed) in San Francisco, California on April 21, 1927 and is buried in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery ,Colma, San Mateo County, California just south of San Francisco.

• Helena (1884 - 1949) m. Charles Branham. She attended St. Mary's Academy in South Bend, Indiana from 1899 to ? ,and then the University of Utah in Salt Lake City for about a year from the spring of 1906 until sometime in the 1907 without receiving a degree. She played both the piano and violin, performing in many private and public functions in Evanston. Charles was born in Litchfield, Minnesota on December 26, 1884, and was the son of Hiram Branham and Jessie Greenleaf.  He is living in Salt Lake City as indicated by the 1910 US Census.  He must have met Helena there.  They were married in Odgen, Utah on June 11, 1911.  Given that they were not married in Evanston, Wyoming makes me wonder if they eloped?  They lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the 1910s where Charles was the manager of the Strand Theatre.  By 1920 they were living in Detroit where Charles was the manager of the Majestic Theatre.  (I can't find them in the 1920 US census)  Later they were living in Atlanta, Georgia where Charles managed the Howard Theatre.  In 1926 he moved to Sarasota, Florida to manage the 1500 seat Edwards Theatre.  Charles was a manager in the Publix Theatre chain and moved to St. Petersburg Florida in 1930 to be the new district supervisor of the theatres on the west coast of Florida.  In 1936 they were living at 1401 Beacon Street, Brookline, Massachusetts, as indicated by the documentation in Helena's mothers probate file.  By 1942 Charles was retired and they were living in South Laguna, California.  Helena died there in 1949 and was buried in Fairhaven Memorial Park Cemetery.  Charles died there on December 22, 1975 and was buried in Fairhaven Memorial Park Cemetery.   They do not appear to have had any children.  

• Frederick (Ted) William (1889-1962) m. Ana Toelle (1889-1974) in 1922. They had one daughter Hellen. 1903 was an eventful year for him as a child. On July 4th a firework went off in his face causing severe injury. There was concern that he would loose the use of his eyes though he recovered.  The Wyoming Press indicated that "he will carry ugly scars as a result of the unfortunate affair". A few weeks later he had to have his appendix out. Ted seems to have also attended "college" in Salt Lake City. There is an article in the January 6, 1906 edition of the Wyoming Press that mentions him returning to school. I am not sure if this was the University of Utah or some other school. Ted was involved in cattle ranching near Daniel, Wyoming. The 1920 census finds him living in Lincoln County, Wyoming working as a farmer. He was single then. His mother is also listed and must have been visiting him at the time. In 1935 he was living in Evanston according to the probate records for his mother's will. Later he worked for the Union Pacific Railway. In the 1940 census he is living in his father's house on 9th Street, with his wife Ana and his daughter Helena.   Sometime later they made their way to Seattle, Washington where Fred worked for Westinghouse. He retired about 1953 and moved to Suquamish, North Kitsap. He died there on October 15, 1962. His obituary from the Bremerton Sun says that he was survived by his wife, daughter Hellen Wright and two grandsons. His wife Ana T. Toelle, lived to be 84, and died at Suquamish in April 1974 in Poulsbo. Ana was born in Wismer, Nebraska on July 30, 1889. She was a former nurse. Her obituary in the April 8,1974 edition of the Bremerton Sun says that she was survived by her daughter Mrs. Hellen Wright of Suquamish, two grandsons, brother Joseph Toelle of San Antonio,Tex, and a sister Miss Hedwig Toelle of New Haven,Conn (a former professor of Public Health Nursing at Yale University from 1937 until 1960). Both Fred and Ana are buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Kitsap. A search for their daughter Hellen came to the conclusion that she died on May 10, 2007 in Suquamish, Washington at the age of 88.

Dr. Francis Harrison's House in Evanston Wyoming on the corner of Centre and Ninth Street in 1990:
© Michael Harrison 2009

Here is an illustration of his drugstore in Evanston Wyoming in 1892

The son of William Harrison and Mary O'Connor, Dr. Harrison was the subject of a number of biographical entries during his lifetime.

The following entry was in the Progressive Men of the State of Wyoming, published in Chicago, Illinois by A.W. Bowen & Company in 1903:

The life of a country physician is full of toil and hardship, but it has compensation in the reflection that it is also full of benefaction to the community which he services and that no effort in behalf of suffering humanity is thrown away. Among the prominent and highly esteemed physicians of Evanston, Wyoming, Dr. Frank Harrison is in the front rank. He was born in 1842 in Toronto, Canada, the son of William and Mary (O’Connor) Harrison, the former a native of England and the latter of Ireland. Both were brought by parents to the New World in childhood, it being the desire to secure for them better opportunities than were afforded in their native land. The families settled at or near Toronto, where they prospered and reared their offspring. Doctor Harrison received his academic education at the public schools of his native country and began his medical training at the Toronto University. He continued it at St. Michael’s Medical College in Toronto, and fully completed it with another two-years’ course at Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York City, and from which he was duly graduated on March 1, 1866. On March 1, 1865, he had been appointed a medical cadet in the service of the U.S. government, a class of officials which the government had created and to which undergraduates were admitted as assistant surgeons. His first assignment was on board the transport S. R. Spaulding, which conveyed sick and wounded soldiers to New Haven, Conn., where a military hospital was located. He remained at the hospital until November and the experience he had there has been an invaluable service to him in his subsequent practice. After his graduation from Bellevue College he came to Denver, Colorado, at that time a city of not far from 4,000 inhabitants. He passed his first summer in the West in traveling and then came to Cheyenne, following the railroad in his professional work as far as Wasatch. He next went to Sweetwater mines, there he passed two years in the practice of his profession and then removed to Evanston, where he has been in an active medical practice for more than thirty years. At the first election held after this arrival the total poll of voters, men and women, numbered only 300. In politics Doctor Harrison is a Democrat and has been active in the interest of the party. He has been honoured with several places of responsibility in public life, discharging the duties of all with fidelity, intelligence and zeal. In 1871 and 1872 he represented Sweetwater county in the Territorial Legislature, and from 1876 to 1880 was one of its county commissioners. In Unita county he was a probate judge for six years and county treasurer from 1884-1890, being also mayor of Evanston for three years. He is also a valued member of the Grand Army of the Republic, being very much esteemed as a leader in all of its meetings. On January 1, 1875, he was united in holy marriage with Miss Mary A. Creed, a daughter of James Creed, a native of Illinois, and whose father died in 1896 in Clinton, Iowa, and the mother, whose maiden name is Egan, is still living, her residence being Dixon, Ill. Doctor and Mrs. Harrison have four children, James F., Mary, Helen and Fred W. Doctor Harrison ranks high in his profession as a physician and surgeon, as a close student and as an intelligent practitioner.
The following entry is in the History of Wyoming, edited by I.S. Bartlett and published in 1918:

Dr. F. H. Harrison is today the oldest physician in Wyoming in years of continuous connection with the medical profession. He practices at Evanston, where he has remained since 1872. He has not only been identified with the science of medicine and surgery, however, for as a pioneer he has been active in many of these movements which have led to the upbuilding and development of the state. He is familiar with all phases of Indian warfare and with all phases of frontier life and the history of Wyoming is to him an open book, for he has been a most active participant in events which figure most prominently in its annals.

He was born in Toronto, Canada, April 2, 1842, and is a son of William and Mary (O'Connor) Harrison. The father was a native of England and in his boyhood days made the voyage across the briny deep to Canada, settling near Toronto, where he engaged in farming, there maintaining his residence until his death, which occurred in 1849, when his son. Dr. Harrison, was a little lad of but seven years. The mother was born in Wexford, Ireland, and in childhood became a resident of Canada, where she was married and continued to reside until called to the home beyond in 1904. She had at that time reached the eighty-fourth milestone on life's journey. In the family were five children, of whom one daughter died at the age of sixteen years. The others are: Willam, who is living in Brampton, Canada ; John, also located at Brampton ; and Nicholas, who still lives in Canada. The other member of the family is Dr. F. H. Harrison, of this review, who in his youthful days was a pupil in the public schools of Canada and afterward took up the study of medicine in New York city, matriculating in the Bellevue Hospital Medical College, from which he was graduated with the class of 1866. His collegiate training was comprehensive and thorough, and thus well equipped for professional duties, he made his way westward to Colorado, crossing the plains with team and wagon. He took up his abode at Gilpin, where he remained for a year and a half, and in November, 1867 he removed to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he practiced for a short time. He was afterward with the Union Pacific grading camps in his professional capacity and continued with the road until the line was extended to Evanston. He then went to the South Pass mines, where he followed mining for two and a half years, but in 1872 returned to Evanston, where he has since been in constant practice. Entering upon professional duties in this state in 1867, he is today the oldest physician in Wyoming. Through the intervening period of a half century he has kept in touch with the trend of modem professional thought and progress, acquainting himself with those discoveries which scientific investigation has brought to light. He is a well informed physician and one thoroughly skilled in all departments of medical and surgical practice. In the early days he went through all the experiences that come to the frontier physician. He fought in many of the Indian wars and was with the posse in the Wind River campaign, in which Black Bear the chief of the Arapahoes, was killed. The summer's sun and winter's cold could not deter him from the faithful performance of his duties and at times he would ride for miles and miles over wind swept districts, facing the storms of winter, yet he never hesitated when his professional service was needed. He belongs to the Wyoming State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. Aside from his active connection with the profession he has also extended his efforts into other fields and is now president of the Evanston National Bank, president of the Evanston Drug Company, a director of the Evanston Electric Light Company and president of the Harrison Stock Growing Company of Uinta County. In business affairs he has displayed sound judgment and unfaltering enterprise and his cooperation with any project has constituted an element in its growing success.

On the 1st of January. 1875, Dr. Harrison was married to Miss Mary Creed, of Evanston, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Creed, formerly of Dixon, Illinois. They have become the parents of three children who are still living and lost one son, James Francis, who died in 1914 at the age of thirty-seven years, while acting as manager of the Evanston Drug Company. Those who survive are: Mary, who was born in Evanston in 1880 and is a graduate of the high school and of the Notre Dame Academy at South Bend, Indiana ; Helena, who was born in Evanston in 1884 and is a graduate of the high school of that city; and Frederick William, who was born in 1889 and is also a graduate of the Evanston high school. He is now in business with his father.

Dr. Harrison is connected through fraternal relations with the Independent Order of Odd Fellow- and with the Masons. In the latter organization he has taken the degrees of lodge, chapter and commandery. His political endorsement is given to the democratic party and he has several times been called upon to serve in positions of honor and trust. For four years he filled the office of county commissioner and for six years was county treasurer of Uinta county. For one term he served in the second territorial legislature and at all times his aid and influence have been given on the side of right, progress, reform and improvement. He is today one of the most valued and prominent citizens of Wyoming, standing very high in professional circles, and no story could contain more exciting or interesting chapters than could be found in the life record of Dr. Harrison if space would permit this to be written in detail. His memory goes back to the time when this entire region was but sparsely settled, when the Indians were more numerous than the white men, when the land had not been reclaimed for the purposes of civilization but remained in the primitive condition in which it came from the hand of nature. His life activities constitute a connecting link between the primitive past and the progressive present and no history of Wyoming would be complete without his record.

Upon his death in December 1925 there were a number of obituaries in local papers. The following – perhaps the most complete – was in the Evanston Press:

Early Evanston Pioneer Expires – Dr. F.H. Harrison
Hail to the pioneer – another stalwart has been summoned from the ranks to the Great Beyond – may he rest in peace.

The bugle sounded and one of our best citizens answered the call – having the honor and distinction of being one of the two surviving members of Post No. 53, G.A.R.

Dr. Frank H. Harrison passed away Monday morning, Dec. 28, 1925, at this home on Ninth and Center Streets, having been ill but fourty eight hours – pneumonia being the cause of this death, which came as a shock to the community, and very unexpected, as he appeared hale and cheery and enjoyed Christmas.

Dr. Harrison was born at Toronto, Canada, April 20, 1842. He attended medical college at the University of Toronto, and later entered Bellview (sic) Medical school of New York; also attended Yale, graduating with honours from each institution. During the Civil War he enlisted in the Medical Corps and served until the end of the conflict.

Later he moved to St. Louis, thence to Denver, and finally to Laramie, Wyo., where he established the first doctor’s office in May 1868. He was appointed contract surgeon for the U.P. Ry. Co., and followed the building of the railroad as far west as Wasatch. He left there for the South Pass country during the mining excitement, and finally came to Evanston. In 1872 he opened the first drug store here, which was located on Front street, in the Palace building.

For years Dr. Harrison was the dependable and beloved physician of our county and town.

He was a public benefactor and ever interested in the moral uplift of the community. He became a financial success and applied his influence, capital and endeavors for the advancement and upbuilding of a good town – Evanston – which he always avowed would be his home while in life – and he remained true to that promise. No citizen has ever been more loyal to our city; more generous spirited and dependable; or was more highly respected or esteemed; nor has none passed who will be more missed and mourned than this venerable pioneer.

Some of this public callings were as a member of the first State Legislature and he was at one time Probate Judge, City Mayor, County Commissioner and President of the Evanston National Bank; was also Wyoming’s first physician. He was affiliated with the Masonic and Odd Fellow societies, but had not been an active member for several years.

Surviving are his widow, two daughters, Miss Mary Harrison, who is ill in a hospital in San Francisco; Mrs. Helen Branham; and one son, Fred Harrison of Daniel Wyo.

Funeral services were held today noon at the Catholic Church conducted by Father O’Connor and were well attended, the floral offerings being profuse and beautiful.

The American Legion members attended the body.

Honorary Pallbearers – All physicians of the city. Hon. Mayor Thomas Painter, John W.R. Rennie, Judge Sam’l Dickey, Charles Myers and Donald McAllister.

Interment was in the Catholic cemetery, he being laid to rest beside his son J. Frank Harrison, who passed away several years ago.

Beeman & Cashin, directors.

The family have the sympathy of this community in the loss of one of Evanston’s best men – loyal citizens – true friend, husband and father.

Ever live his name – long may we cherish his memory.

The world is surely better that he lived; and praise be that he was spared to an advanced age to scatter sunshine and good deeds – which influences will continue to abide in the hearts of all who knew Dr. Harrison.

Friday, March 6, 2009

North Yorkshire - Esk River Valley

The family of William Harrison and Mary Hutchinson came from the area around the hamlet of Glaisdale and Egton, in the Esk River Valley of North Yorkshire, England (just above the first "o" in "Moors" in the map above). I am fairly confident that William's father Joseph Harrison, lived in a Poplar Hall, a cottage on the farm leased by his brother William in Glaisdaleside, Egton Township.  William's first cousin Robert Harrison, son of William Harrison and Elizabeth Alcon moved into Poplar Hall after his marriage in 1822.  Where William Harrison and Mary Hutchinson were living is not clear but they were certainly close by.

Further back however, our Harrisons came from the small community of Green Houses to the north west of Glaisdale on the edge of the moors.

Some of the cottages located here are for rent for vacations. The buildings have been converted from "the traditional farm buildings at Greenhouses Farm" but it is not clear if these are the buildings that the Harrisons lived in or not.

The Esk River has its headwaters in the western edges of the North Yorkshire Moors and flows in an easterly direction, joining the North Sea at Whitby. Today this, and a vast area around it, are located within the popular, North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

John Dixon's Letter From America (Canada)

Mr. John Dixon, who travelled with William Hewgill (Hugill) - one of my great great great grandfathers - from Whitby, North Yorkshire to Quebec, and then from Quebec to the Town of York (Toronto) in 1832, goes off to visit William Harrison of the Gore of Toronto, my great great great grandfather. The following is excerpted from the letter

To Mr. George Dixon, Darlington

Whit Church, Sept. 30th, 1832.

....We arrived at York on June 7th. William Hugill, who went from Glazedale, and ourselves took a house to put our goods and to sleep in, until we could get situations; we paid five shillings a week, and a miserable hovel it was. York is about the size of Darlington, the houses are chiefly built of wood, but there are a few handsomely built of brick. A house, such as I last lived in when at Whitby, would be £60 a year here; and fire wood costs about 9s. per week in winter. I never saw so many shoe-makers' shops by one half in any town the size of York; the trade at present is dull, and the following are the prices ...... I soon found that York would not suit me. William Hugill has friends in the Gore of Toronto, about eighteen miles from York. One William Harrison, a distant relation of ours, lives in the same place. I went with William Hugill to see him; he was very kind to me, and wished me to settle there; he said they were in great want of a shoe-maker, and if I would take up my abode among them, he would build me a house on his own ground, and I might keep a cow, which could go in the woods so that I might be at no expense. It being a new settlement , and the road to it very bad I thought it better to look about me before I made any choice. William Hugill took up his abode there…..

John Dixon

source: Whitby Repository and Monthly Miscellany, Volume III, February 1833 (copy in the Whitby Museum, Whitby North Yorkshire)

Family of Ann Harrison (1813-1855) and James C. Smyth (1820-1901)

Ann HARRISON (1813-1855) daughter of William HARRISON and Mary HUTCHINSON was baptised at the Roman Catholic Chapel at Egton Bridge, North Yorkshire on January 14, 1813.  The sponsors were James HARRISON, William Harrison's first cousin (son of William HARRISON and Elizabeth ALCON) and Dorothy ROE, James Harrison's future wife.  

Ann HARRISON married James C. SMYTH on July 20, 1841 at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County.  They lived in the nearby community of Claireville, Etobicoke Township, York County.  In the 1852 Census they were living in Claireville with Thomas SMYTH, James’ father. Thomas’ second wife was Mary HUTCHINSON so Ann was living with her mother (who was also her mother-in-law). This is an interesting instance of a father and son marrying a mother and daughter.  Ann HARRISON died and was buried at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic cemetery, Wildfield in 1855. The age on her tombstone however suggests she was born in circa 1828.

Tombstone of Ann Harrison, wife of James Smyth
St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Wildfield
© Michael Harrison 2010

Upon Ann HARRISON's death on January 12, 1855 James C. SMYTH married his second wife Bridget DOHERTY at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church on June 5, 1856 and had more children.

In the 1861 Census James and his new wife Bridget are living in Etobicoke Township.

In the 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 census James and his family were living in the City of Toronto.  James is listed as a Grain Merchant. James died on April 4, 1901 at 313 King Street.  After his death his widow (Bridget) carried on the grain business and after she retired their daughter Annie carried on the business.

James Smyth and Ann Harrison had the following children:

• Mary Ann (1843-1925) married William EGAN.  They had the following children:

  • James A (1873-1978) m. Annie KAIN in 1904 – 8 children
  • Annie
  • Nicholas A. (1867-1879)
  • Ellen
  • Catherine
  • Agnes
  • William
  • John
• Margaret (b. 1845-?)  She is listed with the family in the 1861 census in Etobicoke but not with them in the 1871 census in Toronto.

• Thomas (Dec 1847-?)  He is listed with the family in the 1861 census in Etobicoke but not with them in the 1871 census in Toronto.  He is most likely the Thomas who died on March 27, 1861 aged 13 years and 3 months, buried at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Wildfield.

• William A. (1849-1888) married Sarah Helen JOHNSON on January 29, 1887 at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Toronto. 

According to the Commemorative Biographical Record of County of York by JH Beers and Co, Toronto, published in 1907:

William A. Smyth who passed away at this late residence in Toronto, No. 187 Crawford Street, Feb. 17, 1888 (he actually died on Feb 24, 1888 according to his death registration) was born in Ontario, son of James and Anna (Harrison) Smyth, the former a native of Ireland, and the latter of England.

James Smyth came to Canada when a young man, and soon thereafter settled in Toronto, where he became a commission merchant, continuing in this business until his death. He was twice married, his first wife being the mother of our subject.

William A. Smyth began business with his father, but later went to the office of the Massey Harris Company, as an accountant, where he continued until his death. He had a large acquaintance in business circles, and wherever known was highly esteemed.

Mr. Smyth married Miss Sarah Helen Johnson, born in Toronto, daughter of Samuel and Ann (Fair) Johnson, natives of County Mayo, Ireland. Mrs. Johnson came to Montreal in 1829, and to Toronto in 1833. She was the daughter of Robert and Margaret Fair, natives of County Mayo, Ireland where they died. They had children: John, William, Robert, James, Mary, Elizabeth and Ann, all of whom lived to be eighty-five years old or over. To Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Johnson the following children were born: Samuel, William and Margaret, deceased; Annie, of New York; John, deceased; Lizzie, of Albany, New York; James; and Sarah Helen, Mrs. Smyth. 

Mr. and Mrs. Smyth were the parent of children as follows: Leo S. B., born in Toronto, day accountant at the Massey-Harris works; and Basil W. H., also born in Toronto, and an accountant at the same works. Mr. Smyth was a Reformer. In religious faith he was a Roman Catholic.

Upon William's death in 1888 Sarah and his sons continued to live at 187 Crawford Street, backing onto present day Trinity Bellwoods Park - though at the time it was Trinity College.

Leo and Basil continued to live at 187 Crawford Street until their deaths in 1955 and 1957 respectively.  They never married and no relatives other than their parents and each other are mentioned in their obituaries.

Tombstone of Leo and Basil Smyth
Mount Hope Cemetery
© Michael Harrison 2010

• Eliza J (1850- ?) married Theophilus COSTELLO (1851-1921).   She is listed with the family in the 1861 census in Etobicoke and the 1871 census in Toronto.  She married Theophilus COSTELLO, a hotelkeeper, son of Michael and Mary COSTELLO in Toronto on April 24, 1876.  They had a number of children in Toronto and Hamilton before moving to Chicago in 1890.  The known children were:  Anna Bertha (b. 1877); Michael (b. 1878); Mary (Mae) (b. 1880) and Louis (b. 1883).   The family seems to have remained in Chicago.  I have found Louis Costello with his wife Catherine and children in the 1940 US census.