This website contains biographical information on over 550 ancestors and descendants of Henry Harold Harrison. They include Harold’s siblings, parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins of all descriptions. Their lives collectively spanned over 300 years from the late 17th century.

Harold’s was a working class family. His earliest known ancestors were mainly farmers and agricultural labourers from Lancashire. As the industrial revolution unfolded, their children migrated to Wigan and the surrounding villages to take up work in the textile mills and coal mines that were sprouting up throughout the Midlands. Some became shopkeepers. Harold himself apprenticed as a joiner at the beginning of the 20th century before emigrating to Canada where he worked as a carpenter and builder. His children mostly became middle-class business people.

Most of the traced ancestors lived in and around Wigan during the 19th century, their lives following the patterns of the society in which they lived. The children frequently received little schooling, and some were illiterate as adults. They joined the workforce around age 13. They usually lived at home with their parents until they were married. Husbands worked to support the family while wives looked after the home and children. The women bore children more-or-less continuously during their fertile years, however, many of the babies died in infancy. The lives of adults were often cut short by illness.

The biographies for most of Harold’s ancestors are a synopsis of the facts recorded in census records and birth, marriage, and death certificates. This information typically includes their places of residence and occupations at various dates. Sadly, almost nothing more is known about who these people really were; their character, personality, talents, friendships, associations, interests, circumstances, health, contributions, trials, and tribulations are, for the most part, lost to time.

In addition to Harrison, the family’s surnames include Ball, Barton, Mawdsley and Swarbrick. They married Donahues, Masons and Woods, among others. Their biographies can be accessed through our surname index, or from the partial family tree shown above. The biography for each of Harold’s ancestors and descendants is also linked to his or her parents, siblings, and children for convenience.