Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Harrison Family History

Welcome to the Harrison Family History blog. 

The following is my family history down to my grandparents. 

1.  Joseph HARRISON (1707-1780) married Jane HODGSON (?-1743) about 1730.  Returns of Roman Catholics made for Archbishop Blackburn's visitation and dated 21 Sep 1735, do list Joseph and Jane HARRISON in the parish of Whitby, however, Joseph is described as a 'mariner'.  Joseph HARRISON is also listed in the recusant list of 1767 aged 60 years and having lived in the township for 12 years.  This suggests a date of 1755 for migration to here from Whitby Parish, however the entry in the parish register for St. Mary's (Anglican) parish church in Whitby has the following burial:  August 31, 1741  Dorothy daughter of Joseph HARRISON of Tranmire dying at Whitby.  This suggests that the family was living in Tranmire by at least 1741.  Jane HODGSON died in April 1843 as recorded in the Whitby Anglican Parish Register as the wife of Joseph HARRISON, husbandman, Whitby. Why the listing in Whitby is unknown as we know they were living in Tranmire, Parish of Lythe by 1741.  The 1745 recusant list has Joseph HARRISON in Newton Mulgrave township.   These dates are at odds with the fact that his son Joseph is listed as aged 25 living in the township for his entire lifetime - or did Joseph Sr. move away from Newton Mulgrave township and return in 1755?  

Joseph HARRISON of Whins 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 (Henry, Joseph and Elizabeth) and mentions Henry and his "four children"; Joseph and his "seven children" and his daughter Elizabeth GARBUT, as well as his brother John.  The following bequests are granted:  Both Henry and Joseph are given the farms they currently occupy in Tranmire in the township of Newton Mulgrave.  Their living children are given £5 each when they "attain the ages" of 21 years.  Henry is further granted £15 owed to his father Joseph by his brother John.   Elizabeth GARBUT 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. So it seems reasonable to assume that Henry's mother was the former Jane HODGSON.  Henry would later marry Hannah DALE.
  • Elizabeth (1735- ?).  married to William ? Garbut.  Elizabeth was mentioned in her father's will of 1780.
  • Dorothy (?-1741)  Dorothy died and was in buried in the cemetery at St. Mary's Anglican Church in Whitby on August 31, 1741.
  • Joseph (1738-1815) married Mary DALE (sister of Hannah DALE)

2.  Joseph HARRISON (c1738-1815) 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 1767 recusant list.   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 1780 recusant list for 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 and September 1780 when the recusant list was dated).   Joseph HARRISON of Barnby died in 1815 and is buried in Lythe and his wife Mary DALE died the following year in 1816 and was buried with him.

Joseph and Mary DALE had the following known children:
  • John - married Elizabeth LENNARD on June 30, 1816 at Lythe.  He died sometime before 1841.
  • George - married Ann LENNET on April 14, 1804 in Whitby.  They had a least three children - John born in 1805 who died in a threshing machine accident in 1824 and is buried at Lythe with his parents; Mary Ann born in 1807 who later married Thomas WATSON; and, Hannah born 1813 who later married John LENG.
  • Joseph - ?
  • William - born circa 1780 married Mary HUTCHINSON in Egton on January 24, 1804
  • Mary - would be the eldest daughter if 1780 recusant list is in order of age.
  • Alice - 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.
  • Dorothy - ?
  • Jane - did she marry a George DALE on January 14, 1815? 
  • Hannah - 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.

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 though exactly what farm it was is not known for certain.  The area gets its name from the Murkside Esk that flows southerly into the Esk River.  It could have been Murkside House or Murkside Farm.  It was somewhere in this location that William and Mary raised their family worshiping at 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 the 1867 long after William Harrison and his family had left).  The family were still here in 1824 as evidence by the listing of William Harrison in the 1824 rateable returns for Egton township as well as the 1826 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 marriage to Mary Hutchinson in 1804; and also witnessed the marriage with William Harrison of his sister Hannah 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 on the will of Joseph's father John Readman who died 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.
  • 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- 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 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 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. 

4. 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 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 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. 

5. 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. 

6. 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 

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 (1853-1806) 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.

Looking further at the family of Joseph Harrison and Mary Dale I discovered that for the marriage of Joseph and Mary Dale's son John Harrison to Elizabeth Lennard on June 30, 1816 at Lythe a Matthew Harrison was the witness.  I have a mysterious Matthew Harrison who died here in Canada in 1884 with age of birth about 1795 and the signatures I have for this Matthew Harrison in Canada match the one in the Lythe marriage register.  

My William Harrison (1780-1831) 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.