Relationship to me: Gt.Grandfather
Parents: Thomas Harrison, a
Blacksmith and Ellen (nee West). William was born in
Longford on the 24th July 1856, but no christening has yet been found.
Early Years: William was one of 7 children, having
one brother and 5 sisters. As a child he lived at Foxford, in the district of
Longford, 3 miles north of Coventry centre.
Occupation: By the age of 14 he was a Colliery
Labourer, but for most of his life he was a Blacksmith. Later he had his own
forge in Cow Lane in the centre of Coventry, and among his customers were
Coventry Council, Midland Railway, and J.B.Shelton (Haulage contractor ) who
later became City Archivist.. Quote from un-published papers at
Coventry Records Office by local historian J.B.Shelton, as reproduced in
Coventry Evening Telegraph Saturday 5th July 2003 ("Digging into city's
"Several other houses stood near and also a blacksmith's shop.
When the houses were demolished (1930s), the smithy, Mr Harrison, moved into
the Squirrel Inn Yard where formerly the Elk Cycle Company stood." Before the
invention of removable studs for horseshoes, in winter Mr. Harrison had to
remove the horse's shoes and "steel" them so they would grip in winter
conditions. "Sixty or so Midland Railway horses were taken there during the
night so that they would be ready for delivery next morning." These horses
would carry parcels, letters, people and goods all day long from Coventry
Marriage : At the age of 20 he married
Ellen Barr, from Foleshill, on 25th Dec 1876
at Salem Chapel, Foleshill, Coventry. The witnesses were William's brother
Thomas and a Betsy Smith.
Children: The couple had 4 children:
||Chr. 15 July 1877 at St.Thomas's, Longford,
||Married Ada Morton Sep
QTR 1898. He was a Blacksmith in 1901 living in Chapel Lane, Foleshill.
||Was a Coal Miner in 1901.
William married Gertrude Rawson SMITH (my grandmother) in 1901.
||Was a Coal Miner in 1901. He
married Agnes Leah Wilmot at Nuneaton in Jun QTR 1903. They lived at
Edgwick, Foleshill....Children Violet 1919-1929 and Frederick.
||Was a Cycle Machinist in 1901.
He married Mary Elizabeth Watson at St.Laurence's, Foleshill in 1905. He died
in 1925 in Coventry.
Known Places of Residence:
After their marriage
the couple lived at Windmill Lane, in the district of Foleshill about 3
miles north of Coventry centre.
In 1881 they were at Courthouse
Green, about a mile away, and by 1891 were living at 110 Church Lane
(Old Church Road). The family moved along to a slightly more modern house,
74 Old Church Road, and were there at least between 1914-1927. Their son
William and his family lived 3 doors away.
Sometime after Ellen died in 1921, William moved to live
with his grand-daughter Elsie and her husband George Cakebread, ( my parents)
at the start of their married life in 1929 at 125 Hall Green Road, Bell
He became blind later in life and was looked after by my
parents until his death.
Death: William died in January 1945, and was
buried on the 23rd January at Longford Cemetery in Grave 24N.