The Henry Harold Harrison Family

Henry Harold Harrison’s paternal aunt

Margaret Harrison (1875–1943)

Joseph Harrison
(c. 1835–1908)
Ellen Ball
Edward Harrison
(c. 1855–1894)
Elizabeth Harrison
Henry Harrison
Maria Ormandy Harrison
(c. 1863–1897)
Jemima Harrison
Ellen Harrison
Alice Harrison

Photo of Margaret Harrison Photograph


Margaret, youngest child of Joseph and Ellen (née Ball) Harrison was born in 1875, in the middle of Queen Victoria’s reign and lived until 1943, long enough to witness England’s war with Germany in World War II. Although she never married, her calling seems to have been family caregiver.

Her early years were spent in the Poolstock area of Wigan, the family moving a number of times, but always staying in the same general neighbourhood. Then, in 1894, the year after her mother died, Margaret, her father Joseph, and her unmarried sisters went to live at the pumping station at Boar’s Head, just north of Wigan, in order to care for the six orphaned offspring of her brother Edward his wife Martha, both of whom died untimely deaths in 1894 (he of rabies, age 39; she of cancer, age 39). The children at that time ranged in age from five to fourteen.

Although Margaret’s death certificate states that she was a spinster and gives no occupation, it is known that early on she, as well as all of her sisters, worked as a cotton weaver, most probably from the age of 13, when she left school, up until the time she left the Poolstock area to go to Boar’s Head. Thereafter, Margaret’s time was undoubtedly taken up with childcare and household duties. In fact, according to the 1901 census, in addition to her father Joseph, five of Edward’s six children were still living at home, as well as sisters Ellen and Alice (Margaret’s sister Maria had died in 1897). Eventually, probably about 1902, her nephew, Henry Harold Harrison, also became part of the household, and he likely stayed until 1907 when he immigrated to Canada.

Sometime after the 1901 census and certainly by 1908, the family had moved from the house at the pumping station, since when Margaret’s father Joseph died in 1908, the extended family was living at 130 Barnsley Street.

Margaret was still living at the Barnsley Street address in 1918, the year in which she signed her niece Alice’s death certificate. Then, sometime between 1918 and 1937, she, along with nieces Elizabeth and Martha, and perhaps other family members, moved to 42 Kenyon Road (there may have been other addresses in the interim).

Margaret did not live to see the end of World War II. She died at 67 of a cerebral thrombosis on 5 January 1943, at Billinge Hospital, her address listed as 42 Kenyon Road, Wigan. She is buried, along with her mother Ellen, her father Joseph, and sister Maria in the churchyard at Standish St. Wilfrid.

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