Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Harrison Family History

Welcome to the Harrison Family History blog.

The origins of my Harrison family are in a corner of North Yorkshire near the North Sea.  So far, research has confirmed my oldest ancestor as Joseph Harrison (1707-1780), originally a mariner and ship's carpenter who lived in Whitby, North Yorkshire on the North Sea coast in the 1730s.  He later took up farming in Newton Mulgrave Township to the west of Whitby when he purchased Pearson's Farm located in the Tranmire area in 1738. 

This is the story of my Harrison family down to my grandparents. 

1.  Joseph HARRISON (1707-1780) married Jane HODGSON (?-1743) about 1733 (her father's will - William HODGSON - dated December 1730 lists her as Jane Hodgson - while the deed that settles the will in 1737 lists her as Jane Harrison).  Returns of Roman Catholics made for Anglican Archbishop Blackburn and dated 21 September 1735, do list Joseph and Jane HARRISON in the parish of Whitby.  Joseph is described as a mariner.  This is confirmed in an indenture in the North Yorkshire Deeds Registry from 1737 which lists him as a ship's carpenter.  A James Harrison, mariner, witnessed the document as well (a relative? - however there is no James Harrison on the 1735 recusant list).  On May 3, 1738 Joseph Harrison, using the proxy of John Peirson of Egton, purchased present day High Whins Farm (then called Pearson's Farm) in Newton Mulgrave township for £225. Did Joseph Harrison use a proxy because he was Catholic and afraid that the land could be taken by the government given his illegal faith?  On August 31, 1741 the burial of his daughter Dorothy was recorded in the parish register for St. Mary's (Anglican) church in Whitby as follows: Dorothy daughter of Joseph HARRISON of Tranmire dying at Whitby.  In 1745 Joseph and his family were still living in Newton Mulgrave township, parish of Lythe as they are included there on the recusant list from that year.   Joseph HARRISON next appears on the recusant list of 1767 aged 60 years (this suggests a birth year of 1707).  The list also states that he has lived in the township of Newton Mulgrave, parish of Lythe, for 12 years but we know this is a mistake as he purchased the land in 1738.    

Jane HODGSON died in April 1743 as recorded in the Whitby Anglican Parish Register as the wife of Joseph HARRISON, husbandman, Whitby. Now, the description of Joseph HARRISON as a husbandman is interesting.  This essentially describes a tenant farmer but we know that he had purchased his farm in Tranmire in 1738 and so should have been described as a yeoman.  Even though this was in secret, given his Roman Catholic faith, it was not in Whitby township.  So, was he actually a tenant farmer on a farm in Whitby township at the same time he also owned - and was presumably renting out - the farm in Tranmire?  What makes this even more mysterious is that he was clearly living in Tranmire in 1741 when his daughter Dorothy died as stated in the same Whitby Anglican parish register.  If he was indeed renting a farm in Whitby Township it might explain the listing in the 1767 recusant list where it stated that he was living in Newton Mulgrave Township for 12 years (that is since 1755).  This however raises another question.  If he already owned a farm why was he not farming it and instead renting a farm in another location? 

Joseph HARRISON of High Whins (the one on the left) died and was buried at Egton on April 18, 1780.  His will dated February 18, 1780, and passed almost exactly one year later on April 7, 1781 lists his three children; as well as stating that his son Henry had "four children"; his son Joseph had "seven children" and his daughter Elizabeth's married name was GARBUT; as well as stating that he had a brother John HARRISON.  The following bequests were granted by his will:  Both Henry and Joseph are given the farms they currently occupied in Tranmire in the township of Newton Mulgrave.  Their living children were to be given £5 each when they "attain the ages" of 21 years.  Henry was further granted £15 owed to his father Joseph by his brother John.   Elizabeth GARBUT, his daughter, is granted £1.  Joseph Jr.'s daughter Mary is specifically mentioned and left a bed. 

Joseph and Jane had four known children:

  • Henry (1734-1812)  He was baptized by Father Monox Hervey, Roman Catholic priest at Ugthorpe, on November 19, 1734. Mary HODGSON was Godmother and was identified as the child's aunt.   Joseph and Jane Harrison are described as being of "Ugthorpe".  Henry would later marry Hannah DALE.
  • Elizabeth (c1735- ?).  married to William (?) GARBUT.  Elizabeth GARBUT was mentioned in her father's will of 1780.
  • Joseph (c1737-1816) married Mary DALE (sister of Hannah DALE)
  • Dorothy (?-1741)  Dorothy died and was buried in the cemetery at St. Mary's Anglican Church in Whitby on August 31, 1741.

2.  Joseph HARRISON (c1737-1816) married Mary DALE (1740-1816) at Lythe on May 26, 1761.  Witnesses were Thomas MILBURN, George DALE and William GARBUTT.  They first appear on the recusant list of 1767.  Though this list is just initials for North Yorkshire it is clear that it is them.   Joseph Harrison and Mary Dale are both listed as 25 years old (which would give them a birth year of 1742 if correct). Joseph is listed as a farmer resident in the township for 25 years (so essentially lived in the township for his entire life).  They next appear on the recusant list of 1780 for the Parish of Lythe as follows:  Joseph and Mary Harrison with sons John, George,  Joseph and William; and daughters Mary, Alice, Dorothy and Jane. (This is one more than the "seven" noted in Joseph Harrison's will of 1780 so one additional child was born between February 18, 1780 when the will was written and September 1780 when the recusant list was dated).  In his manuscript "Hearts of Oak", Leslie O'Connor noted that:  

"It appears that at some time after their fathers death, Henry and Joseph may have separated the former remaining in the Tranmire area occupying the farms at Redmires and Whins, whilst the latter with his wife Mary, moved to Mickleby, two or three miles nearer the coast. This is evident from a careful analysis of the Ugthorpe Easter Communion records over the period 1795-1827, in the first of which a Joseph and Mary are shown and continue to be shown till 1804 when a move to Barnby is noticed."

Joseph HARRISON of Barnby died on January 16, 1816 at the age of 78 and was buried at Lythe on January 19th.  His death date was recorded in the Roman Catholic Parish records from Ugthorpe, and his burial on January 19, 1816 was recorded in the burial register for St Oswald Anglican Church in Lythe.  Since his death was at the very beginning of 1816 he most likely turned 78 years old in 1815 giving a probable birth year of 1737.  His wife Mary DALE died a few months later in June 1816 and was buried with him on June 26.   No will has been found so the majority of the children listed below are based on the names from the recusant list of 1780.  

Joseph HARRISON died without a will (or no will survived) and with the gap in Roman Catholic Parish records for the late 1700s I only have the 1780 recusant list to work from to try and reconstruct his family.  Therefore, using the 1780 recusant list  Joseph HARRISON and Mary DALE are believed to have had the following children:
  • Mary - would be the eldest daughter if the 1780 recusant list has the children in order of age.  This looks to be correct as her grandfather specifically mentioned her in his will and left her a bed - a valuable piece of furniture in the 18th century.  Was she about to get married and so needed one for her own household?  However these does not appear to be a corresponding marriage for a Mary Harrison around this time in the Lythe Anglican Parish records.
  • John - (c 1765-?) - the 1780 recusant list has a son John listed near the beginning of the list which suggests he is one of the older sons.  If the John who married Elizabeth LENNARD at Lythe in 1814 is the son of Joseph HARRISON and Mary DALE then this John must have died. Or he did marry and the John born circa 1789 who married Elizabeth LENNARD is his son making him a grandson of Joseph HARRISON and Mary DALE?
  • Alice (c 1768-1826) - married Solomon HARKER on August 29, 1789.  She died in 1826 and is buried at Lythe.  Only one child is known from this marriage - Jane HARKER born in 1791 who married George MARSAY on February 3, 1811 at Lythe and had a large family.
    • George (c 1776-1840) - married Ann LENNIT, at Whitby, on 14 Apr 1804.  Four children are recorded in the Lythe parish register: John in 1804, Mary Ann in 1808 (who married the widowed Thomas Watson in Gainford, Durham on November 3, 1841), Elizabeth in 1812 and Hannah in 1814. The family lived at Whins and deeds copied in the North Yorkshire Deeds Register indicate that George Harrison was a tenant on the same farm that Joseph Harrison previously owned (and then rented).  Based on this fact I have made the assumption that he is the son of Joseph HARRISON and Mary DALE.  However, the fact that he appears to have been Anglican may indicate that this assumption is mistaken, or simply that he had left the Catholic Church.  The records for the Catholic Chapel at Egton Bridge exist from 1812 but there is no baptism for their last two children (Elizabeth and Hannah) recorded there.  George died in July 1840 when a horse and cart fell on him and is buried in the cemetery at St. Oswald's Anglican Church at Lythe.  The inscription on the stone read: “In memory of John son of George and Ann HARRISON a promising youth who was unfortunately killed by a thrashing machine 18 Nov 1824 aged 19 yrs. 4 line verse. Also the above George HARRISON who d 6 Jul 18(40?) aged 60 yrs. Also Ann his wife who d - line illegible”.  George died without a will and his wife Ann became the administrator of his estate.  Unfortunately the only family member mentioned in the few pages related to the administration of the estate is his wife.  Testing the Y DNA of a direct male descendant would prove whether or not George is indeed descended from this family.     
    • Joseph - (1775-1825).  There is a burial for a Joseph HARRISON of Barnby in the Lythe Parish Register that could well be the son of Joseph Harrison and Mary Dale.
    • William - (c. 1780 - May 2, 1836) married Mary HUTCHINSON in Egton on January 24, 1804.  Later lived in Egton township at Murkside and then immigrated to Canada in April 1831 (see below).
    • Dorothy - No information has been found on Dorothy.
    • Jane - did she marry a George DALE on January 14, 1815 at Lythe? The witnesses were Johane HARKER and William ELAND. 
    • Hannah (c 1782- 1849) - I believe that Hannah was the sister of William Harrison 1780-1836 as both he and Joseph READMAN were witnesses at her marriage to Isaac LINTON at Egton on April 21, 1829.  She was born circa 1785 and so was born after the 1780 recusant list was made.
    • John - (c 1789-1816), married Elizabeth LENNARD of Lythe, spinster, on 31 Jan 1814. Witnesses were George HARRISON and Matthew HARRISON.  The signature for George Harrison matches that on the marriage of George Harrison and Ann Lennit so this is John's brother George?  The witness Matthew HARRISON is none other than the mysterious Matthew HARRISON who died in 1884 and is buried at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church in Wildfield, here in Canada.  His signature on documents in Canada matches the one in the marriage register in Lythe.  Only one child - John HARRISON was the product of this marriage before John's death in 1816.  According to their marriage license John HARRISON was a mariner from Hinderwell parish and therefore probably based at Staithes.  Is this John a son of Joseph HARRISON and Mary DALE?  She would have been about 50 years old when she had him.  Or is it a grandson of Joseph HARRISON and Mary DALE through one of their older children?

    3. William Harrison (c 1780 - May 2, 1836) married 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.  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.  

    When he married Mary Hutchinson in 1804 in Egton both were listed as being of that parish.   William and his family lived at Murkside in Egton township.  Various clues suggest it was Murkside Farm (as opposed to Murkside House which appears to have been the long time farm of the Hodgson family).  The area gets its name from the Murkside Esk that flows northerly into the Esk River.  William and Mary raised their family at Murkside attending the nearby Roman Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge.  The original chapel was built in 1798 and is now a school (a new church was built beside it in 1867 long after William Harrison and his family had left).  William Harrison was listed here in 1824 in tax assessment records for Egton township (assessed with an annual value of over £49); and was still in this location in 1826 as they are listed in the  Easter Communion List for the Roman Catholic Chapel at Egton Bridge.  I would also note that the family of John Readman 1742-1826 and Sarah Dowson 1740-1824 also lived in Murkside.  Their son Joseph Readman 1781-1843 was the best man at William Harrison's wedding to Mary Hutchinson in 1804; and along with William Harrison witnessed the marriage of William's sister Hannah Harrison to Isaac Linton in Egton in 1829.  Joseph Readman (and his brother William) also immigrated to Canada and settled on the lot just south of William Harrison in Toronto Gore Township before dying there in 1843 intestate.  William Harrison was a witness to the will of Joseph's father John Readman who died in Egton Township in 1826.

    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 (present day City of Brampton) north west of present day Toronto. William purchased Lot 8, Concession 9, Toronto Gore Township, 100 acres, from John Beikie, first clerk of the Executive Council in the city of Toronto 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. 

    The surviving baptismal records for the Roman Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge (built in 1798) only begin 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).  The names of children born before 1813 are noted below and are taken from the 1826 Easter Communion list for the Roman Catholic Chapel at Egton Bridge.
    William Harrison and Mary Hutchinson had the following known children: 
    • Joseph - ?  The only mention I can find of this child is in the 1826 Easter Communion list for the Roman Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge.  
    • John - ?  The only mention I can find of this child is in the 1826 Easter Communion list for the Roman Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge. 
    • Alice - ?  The only mention I can find of this child is in the 1826 Easter Communion list for the Roman Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge.  
    • George (1809-1855) married Faith –later Mary- LINTON (bap June 17, 1804, Goathland, North Yorkshire, England - January 1884) on December 15, 1829, in Goathland (Parish of Pickering) (Church of England), North Yorkshire, England.  Esther Linton, Faith's sister was the witnesses.  Faith changed her name to Mary when she made her "profession of faith" and converted to Catholicism on June 17, 1837. Faith was the daugher of Thomas LINTON and Mary LOWNSBROUGH.  Her brothers Brian and Moses also immigrated to Canada.  Faith's brother Isaac married William Harrison's sister Hannah (Ann) at Egton in April 1829.  George and his family originally lived in Toronto Gore township but later moved to King Township in York County.  He was included in the 1826 Easter Communion list for the Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge.  He would have been 17 years old then.
    • 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.  He was included in the 1826 Easter Communion list for the Catholic Chapel in Egton Bridge.  He would have been 14 years old then.
    • Ann (1813- before 1827) was baptised at the Roman Catholic Chapel at Egton Bridge on January 14, 1813.  The sponsors were James Harrison and Dorothy Roe.   She must have died before 1827 when the second Ann was born but no burial or death record has been found in Egton for her. 
    • 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.  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 and Ann Harrison.  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 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. 
    • Ann (c1827-1855) no baptismal record is found for her baptism at the Roman Catholic Chapel at Egton Bridge (there are a few for 1827 and entries for 1828 are missing).  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 January 1855. The age on her tombstone is 27 years which suggests she was born in circa 1827.   

    William HARRISON died in May 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 suggests a birth year of 1780 or 1781.  

    An educated and literate man himself, he made specific mention in his will that his executor William Harrison, 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. 

    4. Matthew HARRISON (1821 - January 6, 1887) married 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 Catholicism 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. When the city of Brampton landscaped the cemetery they cut down the old apple tree being removed (contrary to what I was told me).  

    Matthew purchased his first farm -  100 acres on Lot 9, Concession 10, Toronto Gore Township on March 1, 1854.  However, there was an existing lease on the property and so he had to wait three years until moving to this lot.  In the meantime he was renting a farm further north.  This is a bit of a mystery since he already owned 50 acres nearby that he purchased in 1845.  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) married 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) married 1. Julia Ann O'BRIEN, married 2 Mary Jane BRYNE. 
    • John Francis (1857-1858) 
    • Ann Jane (1860-1943) married 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) married 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) married 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-?) married 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-?) married 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 which is a real mystery since his nephew Nicholas Harrison was the local registrar.  I suspect that Nicholas did indeed file the required documents but they were subsequently lost.  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. 

    5. William HARRISON (February 28, 1852- June 22, 1923) married 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. 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.  

    They had the following children:
    • Matthew Joseph (August 2, 1884 - 1946) married 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 Esther (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) married 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) married Madeline BOYCE (1895-?) at St. Cecilia's Roman Catholic Church on January 2, 1918.  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) 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. She died on February 22, 1993 and is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Vaughan. 

    6. James Francis (Frank) HARRISON (April 8, 1888 - January 31, 1948) married 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 worked for the Grand Truck Railway (which 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 

    Y DNA test proves Henry Harrison (c 1660 - 1727) paternal line - though it is not mine

    After a few years I managed to find a direct male descendant of John Harrison 1720-1780 and Helen Lyth.  John Harrison is the anchor for the Henry Harrison line as Henry left this farm at Greenhouses to his son John Harrison when he died in 1727.  As such there is no question that John Harrison is his son.

    I am grateful that this direct male descendant of John Harrison and Helen Lyth agreed to do a Y DNA test for me.

    The results prove that my Joseph Harrison 1707-1780 line is not descended from Henry Harrison.

    The direct male descendant of John Harrison and Helen Lyth matches the descendants of William Harrison 1715-1778 of Glaisdaleside in Egton Township.

    So who were the parents of my Joseph Harrison then?  The earliest records we have from 1735 and 1737 indicate that he was a mariner and ship's carpenter from Whitby.  Is his ancestry from Whitby or somewhere nearby on the North Sea coast?  There is also the possibility that Joseph Harrison was adopted by Henry Harrison and raised as his son but there is no documentary evidence to prove that.  At least nothing has been found so far.  More research is needed.

    Thursday, December 21, 2017

    Big Y DNA Results

    Curious about my Harrison line I recently went for the Big Y DNA testing.  According to Family Tree DNA:

    "The Big Y product is a Y-chromosome direct paternal lineage test. We have designed it to explore deep ancestral links on our common paternal tree. Big Y tests thousands of known branch markers as well as millions of places where there may be new branch markers."

    It took several months but my results were posted recently and provide some additional insight deep into my paternal line.

    My original Y DNA test determined that my Y haplogroup is I-M223.   The Big Y test determined what my terminal SNP is.  The terminal SNP is the most defined branch that my ancestors belong to on the I-M223 tree and in my case it is I-Y56413.  

    In the Big Y testing database I match two other people.  One with paternal ancestors near Bremen, Germany in the late 1600s and another with paternal ancestors in the area of Kiikka, Finland also in the late 1600s.  

    The test also determined that my branch (I-Y56413) formed around 2,900 to 2,100 years ago and that the time to the most recent common ancestor between my matches and I is estimated at 1,900 to 750 years ago.  This is a rather long time frame.  I would be nice if it could be refined in the future. 

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    Harrison Y DNA Haplogroups in the Egton/Glaisdale/Lyth area of North Yorkshire

    So far three distinct Y DNA haplogroups have been discovered in the Catholic Harrison lines of the Egton/Glaisdale/Lyth area of North Yorkshire.

    The William Harrison (d. 1778) and Ann line of Glaisdaleside in Egton is haplogroup R-M269.  This is the most common haplogroup in Europe and has more than 100 million people in it. 

    The Joseph Harrison (d. 1780) and Jane Hodgson line of Whinns is haplogroup I-M223 (I2b).  Haplogroup I is found almost exclusively in Europe, where about 20% of men have Y-chromosomes belonging to the haplogroup. It began spreading about 30,000 to 45,000 years ago among some of the first Homo sapiens to inhabit Europe.

    The haplogroup's two main branches, I1 and I2, divided about 28,000 years ago. My Harrisons are I2b.  Archaeological evidence indicates it was a time of rapid change in Europe, as a new culture known as the Gravettian moved westward across the continent. The Grevettian people introduced new stone tool technology, as well as novel art forms typified by the distinctive fertility symbols known as "Venus" figurines.

    Not long after haplogroup I arrived in Europe, the advancing Ice Age limited most of the continent's inhabitants to its southern fringes. Only Iberia, the Italian peninsula and the Balkans were mild enough to support substantial numbers of humans. As a result, the distribution of the haplogroup's branches today reflects the migrations that took place as the glaciers began retreating about 12,000 to 15,000 years ago.

    Having two distinct Y DNA haplogroups in this area raises the question of which line is truly descended from Henry Harrison (d. 1727) and Dorothy Rudd?  

    Further testing of other lines might give some indication. However the naming of the children of Henry's children may provide some clue.   It has not gone unnoticed that there are no children named Henry or Dorothy in the William Harrison line of Glaisdaleside in Egton while the names repeat through the generations of the Joseph Harrison and Jane Hodgson line of Tranmire and in the proper order (The eldest daughter is named Dorothy after the paternal grandmother Dorothy Rudd; and the eldest son is named Henry after the paternal grandfather Henry Harrison).  Testing the Y DNA of direct male descendants of Henry Harrison's other three sons - Francis of Shorefoot, John of Greenhouses and Henry of Shorefoot would certainly provide added weight to one line versus the other.  Now, if I could only find a living direct male descendant of these lines to test.  They are proving elusive.

    [Update - see post from August 13, 2019 on the Y DNA results from a direct male descendant of John Harrison - son of Henry Harrison]

    Finally, there is the line of Catholic Henry Harrison and his wife Frances Cornforth who show up in the 1780 recusant list from Skelton a bit to the north.  His line is haplogroup J-M172.  Descendants of this Henry Harrison later moved to Greenhouses in Glaisdale which of course led to confusion between the family lines.

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017

    William Harrison Found ! - Or how DNA confirmed my ancestral line

    At long last, after many years of research, I have finally discovered the ancestry of my great great great grandfather William Harrison (1780-1836).  

    The journey to finding where my ancestor William Harrison (1780-1836) fits into the various Catholic Harrison families of North Yorkshire started over 20 years ago.   Based on research from the Harrison brothers Oswald, Basil and Hilary; and that of Leslie O'Connor is his manuscript Hearts of Oak, I came to the conclusion early on that my ancestor William Harrison 1780-1836 was the son of William Harrison 1742-1825 and Elizabeth Allen of Glaisdaleside in Egton township.  In 2012 evidence surfaced that the son of William Harrison 1742-1825 and Elizabeth Allen had actually died in Egton in 1848 and so I undertook further research. Weighing all the evidence I then settled on my William Harrison 1780-1836 as the son of Joseph Harrison (1753-1806) and Mary Readman.  In order to confirm this research I had my Y DNA tested and then tested three direct male Harrisons in the William Harrison (1715-1778) line in what I thought would confirm my place in this Harrison line.  But there was no match which effectively proved that my William Harrison (1780-1836) was not from this line of Harrisons.    

    So it was back to the drawing board.  I began by trying to determine exactly where my William Harrison (1780-1836) lived in Egton township.  He was married there to Mary Hutchinson in 1804 and at the time the Egton parish record indicated that he lived in the parish. Fortunately tax assessment records from 1824 are available.  Examining the 1824 lists of "rateable returns" for Egton determined that there were three William Harrisons in Egton township.  The assessor helpfully indicated where each one lived so there would not be any confusion between them.  One was in Glaisdale(side) which is William Harrison married to Elizabeth Allen. He died in 1825 but his family continued to live on in Glaisdaleside.  One was living in Struntry Carr.  This was the William Harrison who married Mary Consit, and when she died Christiana Dale.  He was still living on this farm in the 1841 census (he was actually the son of Joseph Harrison and Mary Readman born in 1774 based on this age in the 1841 and 1851 census, as well as the death register for Lythe).  He retired from farming after 1841 and moved to East Row on the North Sea coast with his second wife Christiana.  That left the William Harrison at Murkside. 

    As luck would have it, some of the Easter Communion Lists for the Roman Catholic Chapel at Egton Bridge have survived.  A review of the 1826 Easter Communion Lists showed that all three William Harrisons of Egton township and their families were Catholic.  For the William Harrison at Murkside it shows a wife Mary Harrison and children including George, William, John, Joseph, Mary and importantly an Alice.  Only children of age would be listed on the Easter Communion Lists.  In the early 19th century children generally did not have their first communion until approximately the age of 10 or 11 years (even sometimes later) so only the older children were listed.

    Checking the next available Easter Communion list in 1836 the only ones missing are William Harrison and his family from Murkside.  My William Harrison and his family immigrated to Canada in 1831.

    Looking in the Harrison Saga in Hearts of Oak as well as the 1780 recusant list for Lythe there is only one family with a child named Alice and that is the family of Joseph Harrison and Mary Dale.  The 1780 recusant list for Lythe lists the family as follows:  Joseph and Mary Harrison with sons John, George, Joseph and Wm; and daughters Mary, Alice, Dorothy and Jane.  If these children were listed in order of birth as expected then William Harrison was the youngest son.

    Looking at my own family's seven known lines in Canada the name Alice repeats in four of them.
    My William Harrison (1780-1836) was from Lythe as confirmed in the 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 by John Crowther.  In that book 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 and Thos. Taylor." 

    Information on the family of Joseph Harrison and Mary Dale is difficult to obtain as there are gaps in the Catholic records for Ugthorpe and Egton Bridge and when Joseph Harrison died in Barnby in the Parish of Lythe in 1815 he did not leave a will.

    Without any documentation to prove this connection I needed something else to tip the balance in favour of this family as my ancestors and Y DNA proved to be that evidence.  If I could find a direct male descendant of this family and test their Y DNA and compare it against mine I could determine if I had the right family or not.

    After many months of searching I did find a direct male Harrison descendant of this family from Joseph Harrison's brother Henry Harrison 1734-1812 who generously agreed to be tested.  The line of his ancestor Henry Harrison's is well documented (including the fact he also had a son William who remained in England) and Henry left a will when he died in 1812.

    Testing of this Harrison male confirmed that we are a match, and so confirms my connection to this family.

    While not a 100% guarantee of an exact pedigree for my ancestor William Harrison 1780-1836, taking into consideration the small pool of Catholic Harrisons in this area of North Yorkshire, including the even smaller pool of William Harrisons born around 1780; plus all the evidence as laid out above, I have concluded that my William Harrison 1780-1836 is the son of Joseph Harrison 1738-1815 and Mary Dale.

    The Y DNA results also confirm that this line of Catholic Harrisons is different than the William Harrison (1715-1778) line of Glaisdaleside in Egton township.

    Monday, February 6, 2017

    The Search for William Harrison (again) or how DNA Blew Up My Family Tree

    Researching my family over the past 20 years or so I had long believed that my Harrison Catholic ancestors were descended from Henry Harrison and Dorothy Rudd of Green Houses in North Yorkshire.  It had appeared that Henry Harrison was the patriarch of all the Catholic Harrisons of this area of North Yorkshire but that does not appear to be the case.

    My family research has gone through two phases already.  In the first go around it appeared that my William Harrison was the son of William Harrison and Elizabeth Allen of Glaisdaleside in Egton township.  But then the prayer book of Elizabeth Underwood, daughter of William Harrison and Elizabeth Allen, came to light clearly showing that her brother William died in Egton in 1848.  We now have determined that that William Harrison was actually married to Mary Webster.

    That caused me to reexamine the place of my ancestors in the larger Harrison family tree and after considerable research and weighing all the alternatives it appeared that my William Harrison was the son of Joseph Harrison (brother of William Harrison who married Elizabeth Allen) and Mary Readman.  

    In 2015 I had my Y DNA tested and in 2016 tested a direct male descendant of William Harrison and Elizabeth Allen in what I thought would confirm my place in the family tree.  However there was no match (and testing of two further UK Harrisons has confirmed this).  So barring any undisclosed adoption or other anomaly it looks like there is more than one Catholic Harrison family from this part of Yorkshire and not one as originally thought.  (William the son of Joseph Harrison and Mary Readman actually married Mary Consit and later Christiana Dale and lived at Struntry Carr Farm, later moving to East Row on the North Sea coast.)

    So the search continues.   More research in the communion and confirmation lists of the Roman Catholic churches of Egton Bridge, Ugthorpe and Whitby await, as does the search for direct male descendants of other Catholic Harrison lines to test and compare Y DNA with.  If you are descended from a Catholic Harrison family with roots in the Egton/Glaisdale/Lythe area of North Yorkshire I would love to hear from you.

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

    Some thoughts on Henry Harrison (circa 1660-1727)

    Henry Harrison is believed to the the patriarch of all the Catholic Harrison families of the Egton/Glaisdale area of North Yorkshire (though recent DNA tests now seem to indicate otherwise).  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 - 2013 attempt - now proved incorrect by Y DNA

    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 Allen.   

    However, in 2012 a transcript of the prayer book of Elizabeth Underwood (nee Harrison), daughter of William Harrison and Elizabeth Allen 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 Allen 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 Allen - 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 (Lot 9, Concession 10), 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.  Did he sign a petition in Toronto Gore in 1834?  The other Matthew Harrison would only have been a teenager of the age of 13.  The signature on the 1834 petition is different than the one on the will of Matthew Harrison who died in 1887 but could it be a juvenile signature that he changed in later life?   

    No obituary has been found in any of the local papers for the Matthew Harrison who died in 1884.  If he was indeed 89 years old when he died in 1884 he would be born circa 1795.   Also of note is that there is no death registration for him either!  

    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 (1780-1836)?  Seems unlikely given that Mary Dale William's mother would have been 58 years old in 1795!  So they must be cousins?  

    He likely came to Canada in the early 1830s, possibly with William Harrison and his family in 1831 or a bit later.  He was certainly here by 1834 if that is his signature on the petition.  

    However, this older Matthew Harrison appears to be the one that purchased a 50 acre lot composed of the SE ¼ of Lot 11, Con 9, Gore of Toronto (at the north west corner of The Gore Road and Castlemore Side Road) on Feb 19, 1845 for £200. One of the witnesses on the indenture was William Harrison (Jr who died in 1849).  This Matthew was listed as living on this lot in the 1850 Directory.  However does not appear in the 1852 census records nor in any subsequent census records.

    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.  It is mentioned in her father's obituary in December 1925 that she was ill in hospital in San Francisco.  She seems to have suffered from a long illness though I do not know what it was.  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.