The Henry Harold Harrison Family


Much research has been required to find Henry Harold Harrison’s ancestors and to learn a little of who they were. But there are no bounds to family history research. There are always earlier generations to discover, new family branches to explore, and unsolved puzzles to unlock. We welcome the research contributions of any family members who have the time and inclination to expand this project.

Research to date has surfaced a number of perplexing questions and anomalies in our family’s history, each worthy of a brief note:

We would like to acknowledge and thank the sources listed below, all of which provided information that contributed to this family history website.

The History Shop
The History Shop on Library Street in Wigan, operated by the Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust, contains a reference library housing an invaluable collection of historical and genealogical material including census and BMD records, parish registers for many of the local churches, newspaper archives, old Wigan directories, and ordinance survey maps to name a few.
Wigan Town Hall
Wigan Town Hall, also located on Library Street in Wigan across from the History Shop, has a library of local birth, marriage and death indexes available for consultation and can provide certified copies of civil registration certificates (hand copied) while you wait.
Family Records Centre
The Family Records Centre at 1 Myddelton Street in London has a complete set of BMD indexes and census records for England. Civil registration certificates can be ordered on site for delivery by post. The FRC information is now for the most part available online, eliminating the need to travel to London to conduct this type of research.
Harris Library, Preston
The Harris Library in Market Place, Preston houses a collection of genealogical research material. In particular it has parish registers (on microfilm and microfiche) for a number of our ancestral parishes that are located to the north of Wigan (from Chorley north) and are not available at the Wigan History Shop. Some of the records for family members from the Barton-Garstang area north of Preston can also be found here.
For a fee this commercial website provides access to UK birth, marriage and death indexes from 1837 to 2005, some of which are searchable. It also contains census records for England, Scotland and Wales from 1841 to 1901 (the census is taken every ten years and made public 100 years later). The site also has phone books, parish and probate records, and other resources.
This is another commercial website with records similar to those at
General Register Office
The General Register Office (GRO) provides copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates for England and Wales dating back to 1837. To order a certificate you need the GRO index information that locates the certificate. The index information can be found in the BMD indexes and or Although there are a number of ways to order certificates, perhaps the simplest is to use the online form.
Online Parish Clerks
Online Parish Clerks website contains the transcribed parish records for many churches in Lancashire. It is an excellent source for baptismal, marriage, and burial records where the ancestor’s parish is known and the records for that parish have been transcribed. The records for each parish can be searched.
Lancashire Parish Register Society
The Lancashire Parish Register Society has transcribed and publishes certain parish registers. It is also an excellent source for baptismal, marriage and burial records where the ancestor’s parish is known and the records for that parish are published. The publications generally take the form of books, microfiche and/or CDs. The available publications are listed here, where information on ordering is also provided.
Genuki is a remarkable online database of general historical and genealogical information for the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust
The Wigan Leisure & Culture Trust is a charitable trust working on behalf of Wigan Council. It holds an extensive collection of local books, papers, photographs and other material at several facilities including the Wigan History Shop (see above). See in particular their Heritage Services., a part of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, has probably the largest single searchable database anywhere of baptismal, marriage and burial information. It is particularly useful for tracing records of ancestors who lived before 1837 (when civil registration first became mandatory in England) whose parish is unknown or whose parish records have not been published.
Wigan World
Anything you want to know about Wigan you can find online at But if you are interested in historical or genealogical information, click on “Stuff.” There you can find a wide range of information about Wigan’s past. Of particular use to our research has been the searchable Wigan Cemetery Index and the old Wigan Directories.
Here the Lancashire County Council has published old ordinance survey maps of Lancashire, of which the most useful dates to circa 1850.
Cyndi’s List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet
No list of genealogical research resources is complete without it.
John N Harrison
John has generously shared some of his incredible family photographs, including this group photo taken around 1900 of Joseph Harrison (born 1835) and a number of his children and grandchildren.

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