Biography

Elizabeth Ormandy, the daughter of Joseph Ormandy and Elizabeth Ingold, was born in Upholland, probably in January 1813, and baptized in the Church of St. Thomas the Martyr on 2 February 1813. Around 1816, the family left Upholland, lived in Blackrod for a period of time, and eventually settled in Adlington where both of Elizabeth’s parents taught school. The family was living in Adlington in 1826 when Elizabeth’s youngest sister, Alice, was born.

Circa 1834, Elizabeth married John Harrison, the son of John and Jemima. There is reason to believe that Elizabeth and John were next door neighbours, and perhaps childhood sweethearts. The couple’s early years of marriage left little trace; no record of their marriage or the birth of their first two sons, Joseph and John Jr. (Adllington Christ Church, where their later children were baptized, was not founded until 1839). It is known from son William’s birth certificate that the family was living in Heath Charnock, north of Adlington, in 1838. By the time daughter Alice was born in 1840, the family had moved to Adlington where they remained for fifteen to twenty years. In the 1841 census, Elizabeth was enumerated living at Toll House in Adlington, occupation shopkeeper, with their children William and Alice and John’s sister, Ellen. John was apparently not at home when the census taker called, nor were their two older sons, Joseph and John Jr. When their daughter Ellen Ormandy was born in 1843 the family was living in Adlington and husband John was working as a labourer.

Circa 1846, John became the innkeeper at the Waggon & Horses Inn on Nightingale Road in Adlington. The family took up residence at the inn, and the four youngest Harrison children were born there. The 1851 census recorded John, Elizabeth, and eight children (excluding Joseph, the eldest, and Henry who was not yet born) at the inn on the night of 30 March 1851. The family was at the Waggon & Horses when Henry was born in December 1853. However,  John was back working as a labourer by 1855, and around that time, the family moved from Adlington to Wigan. This move probably transpired around the same time as eldest son Joseph moved with his family from Blackrod, near Adlington, to Wigan.

The 1861 census taker found Elizabeth and her family living at 134 Great George Street close to the centre of Wigan. All of their children except the two eldest sons, Joseph and John, were living with the parents. Elizabeth’s mother-in-law, Jemima, was also at their home on the night of 7 April 1861—whether living there or visiting it is unknown.

At the time of the 1871 census, the family address had changed to nearby 17 St. Thomas Street. Children Jemima, James, and Henry were living with their parents. Also staying at their home was Mary E Williams, a granddaughter (probably fathered out of wedlock by one of Elizabeth’s sons) and James Ormandy, the nephew, whom it is assumed to be the son of Elizabeth’s aforementioned brother James, who also lived on St. Thomas Street.

From 1879 until the end of their days, John and Elizabeth lived together with their son James, daughter-in-law Annie, and their young family. Around this time, the two families moved together to a house at 148 Chapel Lane in Wigan. They were there at the time of the 1881 census. James was also living there with his wife and three children. Their son Henry was living at the house next door with his wife and four children. John and Elizabeth were both approaching age 70 and, as people of few means, were struggling to make ends meet. John gave his occupation as a cowkeeper and Elizabeth as a dairy maiden.

Circa 1882, John, Elizabeth, James, Annie, and children all moved to Elm Farm, Little Lane, Pemberton. This farm, 2 km or so from Wigan town centre, is still shown on modern maps. John Harrison died three years later in September 1885. Elizabeth died a few months thereafter on 27 December 1885 of senile decay, or old age. Elizabeth and John are buried together with John’s mother, Jemima, in the churchyard at Standish St. Wilfrid.


Details and Facts

Burial

2 Feb 1813
Standish St. Wilfrid's Church Yard

Christening

2 Feb 1813
Upholland St. Thomas

Residence John Harrison & Elizabeth Ormandy family home

23 Aug 1838
Heath Charnock, Lancashire, England

Per William Harrison’s Birth Certificate.

Residence John Harrison & Elizabeth Ormandy family home

13 Dec 1840
Adlington, Lancashire, England

Per Alice Harrison’s Birth Certificate.

Residence John & Elizabeth Harrison family home

24 Jan 1841
Adlington, Lancashire, England

Per Alice Harrison’s Baptism Record.

Residence John Harrison & Elizabeth Ormandy family home

9 Feb 1843
Adlington, Lancashire, England

Per Ellen Ormandy Harrison’s Birth Certificate.

Residence John & Elizabeth Harrison family home

3 Mar 1843
Adlington, Lancashire, England

Per Ellen Ormandy Harrison’s Baptism Record.

Residence John & Elizabeth Harrison family home

16 Mar 1845
Adlington, Lancashire, England

Per Jemima’s Birth Certificate.

Residence John & Elizabeth Harrison family home

7 Jun 1847
Adlington, Lancashire, England

Per Elizabeth Harrison’s Birth Certificate, likely the Waggon & Horses.

Residence John & Elizabeth Harrison family home

8 Aug 1847
Adlington, Lancashire, England

Per Elizabeth Harrison’s Baptism Certificate.

Residence John & Elizabeth family home

4 Apr 1849
Adlington, Lancashire, England

Per James Harrison’s Birth Certificate, probably at the Waggon & Horses.

Residence John & Elizabeth Harrison family home

20 Dec 1850
Adlington, Lancashire, England

Per Mozella Harrison’s Birth Certificate and per 1851 Census, the family almost certainly lived at the Waggon & Horses.

Residence John & Elizabeth Harrison family home

30 Mar 1851
Waggon & Horses, Adlington

Residence John & Elizabeth Harrison family home

10 Dec 1853
Adlington, Lancashire, England

Per Henry Harrison’s Birth Certificate. They were likely living at the Waggon & Horses, as John’s occupation was still innkeeper.

Residence John and Elizabeth Harrison family home

7 Apr 1861
134 Great George Street, Wigan

Per 1861 Census.

Residence John & Elizabeth Harrison family home

17 Sep 1870
St Thomas Street, Wigan

Per Marriage Registration of son William Harrison and Ann Williams.

Residence John & Elizabeth Harrison family home

2 Apr 1871
17 St Thomas Street, Wigan

Per 1871 Census.

Residence John & Elizabeth Harrison family home

3 Apr 1881
148 Chapel Lane, Wigan

Per 1881 Census.

Residence

27 Dec 1885
Elm Farm, Little Lane, Pemberton

Per Death Certificate.


Research Notes

There is no direct evidence that John and Elizabeth were the parents of Joseph Harrison and therefore the great grandparents of Henry Harold. Joseph was born before mandatory civil registration began in 1837. We have not been able to locate a record of his baptism. Although he should have been living with his parents at the time of the 1841 census, the census-taker appears to have missed both John and Joseph. By the time of the 1851 census Joseph was apprenticed and no longer living with his family.

Therefore we have had to rely on the following indirect evidence to make this family connection:

  • In 1855 Joseph identified his father in his marriage register as John Harrison, a labourer. This John Harrison was a labourer prior to 1846 and may have become a labourer again upon leaving the Waggon & Horses
  • Joseph was born in Adlington, as were all of John and Elizabeth’s children insofar as we know (some census records incorrectly give their birthplaces as Standish)
  • Joseph named one of his daughters “Jemima”, a very unusual given name at that time and place, but also the name of John’s mother
  • Joseph named one of his daughters “Maria Ormandy Harrison.” Ormandy was Elizabeth’s maiden name
  • The 1901 census for the Honeysuckle Inn recorded a John Harrison, age 26, identified as a cousin of Henry Harrison. John and Elizabeth Harrison’s son William had a son of this age and lived in Poolstock in 1901
  • We have not been able to identify any other “John Harrison” who might reasonably be a candidate for Joseph’s father

The names of firstborn children can also be evidence of family ties as they were often, although not always, named after their grandparents. Joseph and Ellen named their first two sons Edward and Henry, most likely after Ellen’s father and grandfather. (They did not give the name John to any of their children.) They did, however, name their first daughter Elizabeth, perhaps after Joseph’s mother.

Taken together this evidence, albeit indirect, is compelling in establishing John and Elizabeth as Joseph’s parents.


Source Documents