The Henry Harold Harrison Family

Henry Harold Harrison’s paternal aunt

Maria Ormandy Harrison (c. 1863–1897)

Parents:
Joseph Harrison
(c. 1835–1908)
Ellen Ball
(1832–1893)
Siblings:
Edward Harrison
(c. 1855–1894)
Elizabeth Harrison
(1858–)
Henry Harrison
(1860–1937)
Jemima Harrison
(1865–?)
Ellen Harrison
(1867–?)
Alice Harrison
(1870–?)
Margaret Harrison
(1875–1943)

Biography

Maria Ormandy Harrison was the fourth of eight children (six girls and two boys) born to Joseph and Ellen (née Ball) Harrison, although there may have been other children who died in infancy. Her brother Henry was Henry Harold Harrison’s father.

At the time of Maria’s birth, about 1863, and for many years thereafter, the family lived in the Poolstock neighbourhood of Wigan, moving from house to house, likely as renters, every few years. During this time, Maria and her sisters went to school until about the age of 13, and then contributed to the family income by working as cotton weavers at one of the large textile mills in the area. Maria and her five sisters (Elizabeth, Jemima, Ellen, Alice, and Margaret) lived with their parents, until after their mother Ellen died in 1893.

A year after Ellen’s death, Maria’s brother Edward and his wife Martha both died within a month of each other (in 1894). Maria’s father Joseph moved then, along with his unmarried daughters, to the Boar’s Head pumping station to care for the couple’s six orphaned children. Joseph was given his deceased son Edward’s job at the pumping station, enabling the family to continue living in the company-owned house.

Maria was obviously one of Joseph’s unmarried daughters who travelled to Boar’s Head (about 3 km north of Wigan) with her father at this time (1894) – her death certificate indicates that she died three years later at Thorn Hill, Standish. Since this location is only about 100 metres south of Boar’s Head at the modern-day location of the Standish reservoir, it is reasonable to assume that Maria died at the pumping station residence.

Maria may have continued throughout her life to work at a textile mill, and at the time of her death, on 16 January 1897, at age 33, her occupation was listed as a cotton weaver (steamloom). The cause of death was recorded as morbus cordis (heart disease) mitral (heart valve) and general anasarca (fluid retention that often accompanies heart malfunction).

She is buried in the same plot as her mother, father, and sister Margaret in the churchyard at Standish St. Wilfrid.

Although we know little about Maria’s life, her middle name “Ormandy” provided a critical clue in researching her father Joseph’s history, since it links him to his parents John Harrison and Elizabeth Ormandy.


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