Harris Family 1787 - present

Harris Family 1787 – 2003 (P)

My Direct Line

Evan Harris c1787

David Harris c1828 – 31st December 1898

David Harris 8th February 1851 – 15th October 1931

Herbert Harris 4th February 1897 – 1981

Herbert David Harris 24th May 1925 – 24th January 2003

November 2008 and I have finally found more information on David’s father my great grandfather x 2.  His name was Evan Harris and born c1787 and therefore my great grandfather x 3.  He appears on the 1841 census living at Pantycrai, Llanwyddelan, Treganol.  The registration district is Newtown and Llanidloes, the sub district Tregynon and the Parish Llanwyddelan.  In 1841 Evan was aged 54 and his occupation was a Farmer.  He was living with his wife Jane (surname unknown at this stage).  Jane born c1788 and aged 53.  Evan and Jane had three children living at home with them Mary c1824, aged 17, David c1826, aged 15 and Evan c1831, aged 10.  Source: 1841 Census Ref: H107. Piece 1440, Folio 17/20, Page 10.

As far as I can tell Evan Harris died at the age of 62 and was buried 17th September 1849 his address given as Brynyciliau, Bettws, Tregynon, Montgomeryshire.  Source: MGS

The part of the family that I grew up hearing most about came from Carreghofa, often addressed on the census forms as Lwyntidman, sometimes as Llanymynech eventually on the latter census forms as settled in Pant, Nr. Oswestry Shropshire.  Apart from the 1841 census, for Wales David Harris my great grandfather x 2 born, c1828 appeared on the 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891 census for England.

From census records I learned that David Harris was born in Meifod, Montgomeryshire born about 1828.   He appears on the 1841 census with little information other than he is living at home with his parents and does not appear to have an occupation.  One of the difficulties I found researching David is that on virtually all the census forms his year of birth differs.

He married Sarah Humphreys on 5th September 1951 at the Parish Church, Oswestry by Banns.  Both David and Sarah were of full age, his occupation a Labourer.  Residence for both at the time of their marriage was Pant.  Their father’s names listed at Evan Harris, Labourer and Joseph Humphreys, Labourer.  Witnesses were David Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards.  Source:  Copy of Marriage Certificate

Interestingly on David’s Marriage Certificate Evan is described as a labourer whilst on the 1841 census he is described as a Farmer.  The question I ask myself why did Evan’s occupation change so dramatically?  The information on the marriage certificate is sketchy because if I have Evan’s correct date of death then he should also have been described as deceased on the marriage certificate of his son. 

David’s story starts properly with the 1861 census for England.  The families address shown as Farm, Llanymynech, Shropshire.  As head of the family aged 35, David’s occupation listed as Rockman living in the parish of Llanymynech, Shropshire.  At this time as far as I can tell there were 45 Rockmen in this area.  His wife Sarah aged 37, had given birth to three children, David born 8th February 1851, at Welsh Town (Welshpool), aged 9, Mary born about 1854, aged 7 and Catherine born about 1856, aged 5.  Sarah, Mary and Catherine where all born at Lwyntidman.  David and Mary were both shown on the census as scholars.  Of interest is that the wives of the Rockmen often listed as ‘Rock Wife’, which raises the question, did the wives also work in the quarries?  Or was that simply how they were known?  Source R.G. 9/1875 page 13

The 1871 census for England lists both David and his son David working as Rockmen and living at home.  The address given is Upper House, Llwyntidman, Shropshire.  There were 33 Rockmen listed in this census for this area.  Sarah had given birth to another two children Richard born about 1862, aged 7 and Elizabeth born about 1865, aged six.  Richard listed as a scholar.  Source R.G. 10/2778, Folio 62, page 16.

On the 1881 census David is aged 51, Sarah aged 55 and their son Richard aged 19.  Both David and Richard were working as Labourers; however, the census does not indicate where they were working.  By this time the number of Rockmen recorded in this census were down to 21. Also living with them was their grandson David Harris born about 1875 and aged 5 at this time.  Source RG11/2655

1891 census lists David as a General Labourer living at Rock Hall, High Pant, Llanymynech, Pant, Shropshire.  The registration district is Oswestry, the sub district Knockin and the parish Llanymynech.  His wife Sarah is 66 and they have their grandson David Williams aged 14, occupation General Labourer, living with them.  David Williams born Cefn Denbighshire, born c1877.  Source RG12/2114, Folio 42, Page 4

David died at The High Pant on 31st December 1898 aged 72.  I do not have his burial details currently.  GRO ref: Vol 6a, page 425.

I believe that there is a family Bible in existence, but I have never seen it apparently one of the main features of the bible is that all the family were able to write their own signatures.  As we have already seen, the children all went to school.