My great grandmother, Elizabeth Harrison was apparently born on the 25th October 1903, to Frederick Harrison and Theresa Travis in St. Helens. However, things don’t seem as they initially appear.
Although the family have always believed it to be the case that my great grandmother was the daughter of Frederick and Theresa, no birth certificate has been located. By this sort of time, civil registration had been established for quite some time, and other children of Frederick and Theresa were registered.
There was only one Elizabeth Harrison listed whose birth was registered in the December quarter of 1903 in the General Register Office index, and who appears on the Lancashire BMD index as being born in St. Helens.
This Elizabeth was the daughter of Peter Harrison and Margaret Ann Lewis, born at 46 Victoria Street, St. Helens on the 15th September 1903. The birth was registered by Margaret on the 2nd October 1903.
There was another Elizabeth Harrison born in what was known as Newton in Makerfield (now Newton le Willows), at 25 Birch Street, Newton on the 12th September 1903 to John Henry Harrison and Margaret Jones. The birth was registered on the 12th October 1903.
I considered another option, the possibility that one of Theresa Travis’s sisters may have been nan’s mum, I did a search on the Lancashire BMD site for an Elizabeth Travis/Traverse born in St. Helens, there was only one registered in 1903, however, that was a cousin of my great grandmother, daughter of Thomas Henry Travis and Alice Ann Harrison who was born on the 2nd December 1902, and whose birth was registered by Alice Ann on the 13th January 1903.
My great grandmother appears on the 1911 census, intriguingly listed as aged 5, daughter of Frederick and Theresa at 12 Sandon Street, St. Helens.
Elizabeth Harrison, daughter of Peter and Margaret Ann appears on the 1911 census at 12 Peel Street, St. Helens. So this Elizabeth wasn’t adopted by Frederick and Theresa as their own.
There is an Elizabeth Harrison listed on the 1911 census aged 7 as a very likely candidate for the daughter of John Henry Harrison and Margaret Jones. Her father is listed as “Henry”, and widowed, the family are living at 44 Haydock Lane in 1911, so,once again, this doesn’t appear to be nan.
Elizabeth Travis/Traverse, daughter of Thomas Henry and Alice Ann was also lised on the 1911 census, at 99 Eldon Street, St. Helens.
My great grandparents, Elizabeth Harrison and William Bibby married on the 19th April 1924 at St. Peter’s in Parr. Nan, aged 20 gave her dad’s name as “Frederick Harrison”.
I have had a couple of DNA matches with people from Theresa Travis’s side of the family, but as yet, no matches with anyone known through my research into the Harrison family.
UPDATE 4th July 2016 – All Elizabeths born in the St. Helens area in the December quarter of 1903 have now been accounted for. There are no possible births registered for an Elizabeth, whose death wasn’t registered before the 1911 census , or who wasn’t otherwise accounted for on the 1911 Census born on the correct date.
UPDATE 22nd October 2016 – Received the birth certificate of an Elizabeth Harrison born on the 17th October 1905, this Elizabeth was born at 8 Blackhorse Street, St Helens to Joseph and Mary Ann Harrison (nee Wallace), and I think this Elizabeth died in 1909, buried at St. Helens cemetery in a public grave.