Finding Annie’s Father

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My great-grandmother, Annie Marshall, married Tom Savage in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England in 1885. 1)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (long form), Thomas Savage and Annie Marshall Harris; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1885, vol. 9c: 609. They had three known children: Annie Elizabeth born in 1885, 2)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth (long form), Annie Elizabeth Savage; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1885, vol. 9c: 430. Albert born in 1887, 3)England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 20 February 2010), birth of Albert Savage; citing Sheffield Mar [quarter]1887, vol. 9c: 409. and Mary born in 1888. 4)England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 20 February 2010), birth of Mary Savage; citing Sheffield Dec [quarter]1888, vol. 9c: 425. Tom worked as a metal caster in the early part of his life, 5)1881 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 14 July 2006), Tom Savage household, Class: RG11, Piece: 4645, Folio: 124, Page: 5, and GSU roll: 1342122; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1881; 1881 British Isles Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. and in later years he was a labourer in a brewery.  6)1911 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Find my Past (http://www.findmypast.co.uk : downloaded image 17 January 2009), Tom Savage household, RG14PN27891 RG78PN1595 RD510 SD2 ED24 SN315; Data imaged from the National Archives of the UK (TNA). After their marriage, Annie helped to support their young family by working as a buffer in a silversmith’s shop. 7)1891 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 6 August 2006), Tom Savage household, Class: RG12, Piece: 3817, Folio 40, Page 29, and GSU roll: 6098927; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1891. Tom Savage died at the age of forty-nine in 1915, 8)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Death (long form), Thomas Savage; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1915, vol. 9c: 596. and despite being in poor health and bedridden with arthritis, Annie outlived her husband by thirty years, dying in 1945. 9)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Death (long form), Annie Savage; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1945, vol. 9c: 448, age 79. Family stories about Annie’s parents were vague and incomplete and there were innuendos of long hidden family secrets.  Who were Annie’s parents and what was the mysterious family story?

Finding Annie’s Birth Record

Annie Savage’s death was registered in the second quarter of 1945 in Sheffield, Yorkshire. 10)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Death (long form), Annie Savage, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1945, vol. 9c: 448, age 79. Annie was said to be seventy-nine years old at the time of her death which would suggest that her year of birth was about 1866.   Tom and Annie were married after banns at St. Philip’s Church in Sheffield on 5 July 1885. 11)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (long form), Thomas Savage and Annie Marshall Harris, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1885. Their marriage certificate shows that Thomas Savage was nineteen years old when he married seventeen year old Annie Marshall Harris.  Annie’s father’s name is shown on the marriage certificate as Albert Harris (deceased), a grinder.  If Annie was seventeen years old when she married, that would suggest that her birth year was about 1868. Using this information to search free BMD database of the civil registration records in England for an Annie Marshall Harris born in Sheffield between 1865 and 1870 brings no results so more information is needed about Annie before we can search for her birth record.

Searching the census records from the year 1881 for Annie Harris born in Sheffield between 1866 and 1868 we find only one entry that looks likely:

26 Suffolk St., Sheffield 12)1881 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 14 July 2006), Alfred Marshall household, Class: RG11, Piece: 4645, Folio: 99, Page: 7, and GSU roll: 1342122; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1881; 1881 British Isles Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Alfred Marshall, head, unmarried, aged 26, furnace man, born Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Albert Harris, lodger, married, aged 30, file grinder, born Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Elizabeth Harris, wife, married, aged 32, dressmaker, born Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Annie Harris, daughter, aged 12, scholar, born Yorkshire Sheffield;

Bertha Harris, daughter, aged 10, scholar, born Yorkshire, Sheffield;

From this census entry, it seems possible that Annie’s mother was Elizabeth, her father was Albert and that she had a sister named Bertha.  Searching the BMD database for a marriage between Albert Harris and a woman named Elizabeth in Sheffield between 1860 and 1881 returns only one possible registration.  The marriage certificate for this registration shows that Albert Harris, age twenty-three, a grinder of Woodside Lane married Elizabeth Marshall, aged twenty-five, spinster of Woodside Lane on 4 June 1874 at Christ Church in Pitsmoor. 13)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (long form), Albert Harris and Elizabeth Marshall; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Jun [quarter]1874, vol. 9c: 496. Albert’s father is shown as John Harris, a grinder, and Elizabeth’s father is shown as Richard Marshall, a saw smith.  Witnesses to Albert and Elizabeth’s marriage are Walter Marshall and Margaret Marshall.  Marshall is the middle name used by Annie Harris but a marriage date of 1874 for her parents is puzzling since Annie was probably born in about 1868 or 1869, five or six years earlier.

The marriage certificate shows that Albert Harris was a bachelor and Elizabeth Marshall a spinster so it seems unlikely that this was a second marriage for either of them but to be thorough, a search is made of the BMD database for marriages in Sheffield between 1865 and 1874 but no further entries are found.

Albert Harris and Elizabeth Marshall might be Annie Marshall Harris’s parents but more information is required.  If Annie was born in about 1868 or 1869, she should be listed in the 1871 census but a search for her does not return any results; however a search for Elizabeth Marshall, born about 1849 finds this rather large family:

63 Hoyle Street, Sheffield, Yorkshire 14)1871 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 14 July 2006), Richard Marshall household, Class: RG10, Piece: 4680, Folio: 174, Page: 41, and GSU roll: 847230; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1871.

Richard Marshall, head, married, aged 42, saw maker, York, Sheffield;

Emma Marshall, wife, married, aged 40, York, Sheffield;

Elizabeth Marshall, daughter, unmarried, aged 22, dressmaker, York, Sheffield;

Walter Marshall, son, unmarried, aged 21, silver finisher, York, Sheffield;

Alfred Marshall, son, unmarried, aged 16, errand boy, York, Sheffield;

Reuben Marshall, son unmarried, aged 13, errand boy, York, Sheffield;

Emma Marshall, daughter, aged 11, York, Sheffield;

Henry Marshall, son, aged 10, York, Sheffield;

Margaret Marshall, daughter, aged 8, York, Sheffield;

Tom Marshall, son, aged 7 York, Sheffield;

Mary Marshall, son, aged 5, York, Sheffield;

Edward Marshall, son, aged 3, York, Sheffield;

Herbert Marshall, son, aged 1, York, Sheffield;

Hannah Marshall, granddaughter, aged 2, York, Sheffield;

Bertha Marshall, daughter, aged 6 months, York, Sheffield;

On the marriage certificate for Albert Harris and Elizabeth Marshall, Elizabeth’s father is shown as Richard Marshall, a saw maker, which is consistent with the head of this household. The second oldest son is Alfred Marshall, the name of the head of the household from the 1881 census for the Albert Harris family.  Also in the family are Walter and Margaret Marshall, the names of the witnesses to Albert and Elizabeth’s marriage.  Finally, the names Richard and Emma Marshall are consistent with family stories of Annie’s grandparents. 15)Interview with Jean Bond, granddaughter of Annie (Marshall) Savage [address for private use], by Barbara J Starmans, about 2005, notes held by Barbara J Starmans [address for private use].

The last person listed in this household is Bertha Marshall, aged six months.  The name Bertha is a somewhat unusual first name and was seen in the 1881 census entry as a daughter of Albert Harris.  This Bertha is listed as the daughter of Richard, but if Herbert Marshall is Richard’s one year old son, then it is not very likely that Bertha is his six month old daughter.  The relationship of Bertha to the head of household may be incorrect.  The second last person in the Marshall household is Hannah Marshall, granddaughter of Richard, aged two.  This child is the right age to be Annie Harris although the name is not correct. However, Hannah and Annie sound similar when spoken, especially in a Yorkshire dialect where the letter ‘h’ is routinely dropped, 16)“Talk: Yorkshire dialect.” article, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AYorkshire_dialect : accessed 20 Jan 2011). so this may also be an error made when this household was enumerated.

Since Albert Harris and Elizabeth Marshall did not marry until 1874 and since the 1871 census shows Annie and Bertha living with the unmarried Elizabeth Marshall and her parents, a search for a birth entry for Annie with the surname of Marshall is made in the BMD database.  One entry is found in the June quarter of 1868 for Annie Harris Marshall in the Sheffield registration district. 17)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth (long form), Annie Harris Marshall; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Jun [quarter]1868, vol. 9c: 384. The birth certificate for this registration shows Annie Harris Marshall was born at 63 Hoyle Street on 22 April 1868 to mother Elizabeth Marshall.  This Hoyle Street address is consistent with the 1871 census entry for the Richard Marshall household.  On Annie’s birth certificate her father’s name and occupation are left blank.  A second search is made in the database for Bertha Marshall and an entry is found in the December quarter of 1870 for Bertha Harris Marshall. 18)England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 28 February 2010), birth of Bertha Harris Marshall; citing Sheffield Dec [quarter]1870, vol. 9c: 362.

These birth records, along with the 1871 Marshall household census record, show that Elizabeth Marshall was the mother of both Annie and Bertha and that she was unmarried when she gave birth to them.  When Elizabeth married Albert Harris, Annie was six years old and Bertha was four years old.  Does this mean that Albert Harris was not their father?  Maybe not.  Both Annie and Bertha have the unusual middle name of Harris.  The use of a surname as a middle name in the nineteenth century was often intended to name the father of an illegitimate child. 19)Penelope Christensen, Understanding Names in Genealogy, (Toronto: National Institute for Genealogical Studies, 2002), p. 04-39.

Who was Albert Harris?

The marriage certificate for Albert Harris and Elizabeth Marshall shows that Albert Harris’ father was John Harris, a grinder and that Albert was twenty-three years old at the time of their marriage in 1874 suggesting that he was born about 1851.  The census entry from 1881 shows that Albert was aged thirty, confirming the estimated birth year as 1851.  His birth place is shown as Sheffield, Yorkshire.  A query against the BMD database for Albert Harris, born in Sheffield between 1850 and 1852 returns only one possibility in the September quarter of 1850.  The birth certificate for that entry shows that Albert Harriss was born 17 August 1850 to father John Harriss, a grinder, and mother Elizabeth Harriss, formerly Byrn. 20)All other known records show Harris with one ‘s’.  The spelling of Harriss with a double ‘s’ was probably introduced by the registrar since Elizabeth Harris was likely illiterate.  On the birth registration, she made her mark, rather than signing her name.

Searching the 1851 census for Albert Harris, born in Sheffield in about 1850 with parents John and Elizabeth Harris, we find this family:

6 Cornish Street, Sheffield, Yorkshire 21)1851 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 14 July 2006), John Harris household, Sheffield, Class: HO107, Piece: 2339, Folio: 352, Page: 14, and GSU roll: 87590-87593; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1851.

John Harris, head, married, aged 37, file grinder, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Elizabeth Harris, wife, married, aged 33, Middlesex, Chelsea;

John Harris, son, aged 15, file grinder, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

William Harris, son, aged 13, file grinder, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Frederick Harris, son, aged 11, file grinder, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Charles Harris, son, aged 4, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Henry Harris, son, aged 2, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Albert Harris, son, aged 8 mo, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Ten years later, when the 1861 census was recorded, the John Harris family consisted of children Fred, Henry, Albert, Susanah, Ellen and Arthur. 22)1861 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 7 August 2006), John Harris household, Sheffield, Class: RG9, Piece: 3497, Folio: 8, Page: 9, and GSU roll: 543141; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1861. The wife of John Harris in 1861 is Mary A Harris, aged fifty-one.  A search of the BMD database reveals that Elizabeth Harris died in the second quarter of 1859, 23)Brightsolid, “Find My Past – Death Index 1837-1983,” database, Find My Past (http://www.findmypast.co.uk/: accessed 7 May 2011), death of Elizabeth Harris; citing Ecclesall B[ierlow]Jun [quarter]1859, vol. 9c: 129. and that John Harris married Mary Ann Skelton in the first quarter of 1860. 24)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (long form), John Harris and Mary Ann Skelton; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Mar [quarter]1860, vol. 9c: 244. A further search of the BMD database finds the death records for Albert’s stepmother Mary Ann in the second quarter of 1866, 25)England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 5 January 2011), death of Mary Harris; citing Ecclesall B[ierlow]Jun [quarter]1866, vol. 9c: 176. and his father John in the fourth quarter of 1866, 26)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Death (long form), John Harris; General Register Office, London, England, citing Ecclesall B[ierlow]Dec [quarter]1866, vol. 9c: 216. leaving Albert an orphan at the age of sixteen.

Could Albert Harris be the father of Annie?

What reasons could there be for the six year delay between Annie’s birth and Albert and Elizabeth’s marriage?  A search of the Sheffield newspaper gives some insight.  On 8 May 1872, an article appeared in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent newspaper entitled “Stoning the Police.” 27)“Stoning the Police,” news, The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 8 May 1872, Albert Harris convicted of assault upon the police; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers. It described how Albert Harris, a file grinder of Meadow Street, was charged with assaulting a police officer.  At about midnight, Albert and several other young men were observed by officers Hickson and Springthorpe “conducting themselves in a very disgraceful manner.”  When the officers challenged the group, the boys threw stones at them and a large stone struck Officer Hickson on the chest.  Albert was apprehended when he tried to run off.  The sentence given to Albert for the assault was four months imprisonment with hard labour.  The article also mentions that Albert had previously been in prison for assault upon the police, although it does not mention when this occurred. 28)Jennie Kiff, Research Consultant, West Yorkshire Archives, Wakefield, Yorks, England, [address for private use], to Barbara Jean Starmans, letter, 5 April 2011, “Research Service Report,” Albert Harris Criminal Records; privately held by Starmans, [address for private use], 2011, search of QS7/11, Calendars of Prisoners, 1867-1872 and C118, Wakefield Prison, nominal register, 1871, no records found. Could this Albert Harris be the future husband of Elizabeth Marshall?

A search for Albert Harris in the 1871 census does not return any likely entries however when examining the census enumeration for Meadow Street, the street mentioned in the 1872 newspaper article, an entry is found for a household headed by William Harris who is the right age to be Albert’s brother.

143 Meadow St, Sheffield, Yorkshire 29)1871 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 20 August 2010), William Harris household, Class: RG10, Piece: 4681, Folio: 37, Page: 6, GSU roll: 847230.

William Harris, head, married, aged 32, file grinder, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Emma Harris, wife, married, aged 26, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

George Harris, son, aged 7, scholar, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Sarah A Harris, daughter, aged 5, scholar, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Florance Harris, daughter, aged 2, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Ellen Harris, sister, unmarried, aged 16, metal rubber, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Arthur Harris, brother, aged 14, file grinder, Yorkshire, Sheffield;

Walter Harris, brother, aged 12, Yorkshire, Sheffield

It appears from the Meadow Street entry that Albert’s younger brothers and sister went to live with their older brother William after the deaths of their father and stepmother.  Given the address quoted in the Sheffield newspaper, it seems probable Albert normally lived there as well.

Knowing that Albert had been in prison previous to 1872 and that he is not listed with the William Harris family on Meadow street in 1871, a search is made of the census entries for institutions and a likely entry was found from the District West Riding Prison showing the initials A.H., along with the correct age, occupation and birth place:

District West Riding Prison, Wakefield, Yorkshire 30)1871 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 21 August 2010), District West Riding Prison, Wakefield, Class: RG10, Piece: 4625, Folio: 172, Page: 27, and GSU roll: 848402.; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1871.

Line 3, #1175 AH, prisoner, unmarried, aged 21, file grinder, born Yorkshire, Sheffield

If Albert Harris was imprisoned in May 1872 31)Kiff to Starmans, 5 April 2011, search of QS4/101 and 102 Indictment Books, June 1871 to May 1873, no records found. and possibly also in April 1871, 32)Kiff to Starmans, 5 April 2011, search of QS7/11 Calendars of Prisoners, 1867-1872, no entry found; search of C118, Wakefield Prison, nominal register, 1871, no entry found. it seems likely that this may be at least part of the reason that he did not marry Elizabeth and left her to raise their two daughters alone for six years.

Another article concerning Albert Harris appears in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent newspaper on 8 October 1872. 33)“A Long Standing Account,” The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 8 October 1872, Albert Harris was brought up on a warrant charged with arrears of bastardy and committed to the House of Correction for one month; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers. The title of this article is “A Long Standing Account,” and it reads in part: “Albert Harris, file grinder, was brought up on a warrant charged with arrears of bastardy.”  The article does not give details of the warrant but Albert was obviously the father of an illegitimate child and was behind on paying support to the mother. 34)Robin Wiltshire, Archivist, Sheffield Archives, Sheffield, Yorks, England, [address for private use]to Barbara Jean Starmans, email, 23 February 2011, “Criminal Records of Albert Harris of Sheffield;” privately held by Starmans, [address for private use], 2011, no records available prior to 1880. The article goes on to say that since Albert could not make the payment against the arrears, he was committed to the House of Correction for one month. 35)Kiff to Starmans, 5 May 2011, search of QS4/101 and 102 Indictment Books, June 1871 to May 1873, no records found. In the same article, a charge of assault against Albert is described.  He was charged with violently assaulting Alfred Parkins, another file grinder during an argument about sixpence.  This charge against Albert was remanded to the following day.  On 9 October, another article appears entitled “The Charge of Assault.” 36)“The Charge of Assault,” The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 9 October 1872, Albert Harris charged with violently assaulting Alfred Parkins and sentenced to two months hard labour; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers. Albert was found guilty of the assault charge and sentenced to an additional two months imprisonment with hard labour. 37)Kiff to Starmans, 5 April 2011, search of QS4/101 and 102 Indictment Books, June 1871 to May 1873, no records found.

On 12 October 1872, Albert Harris is mentioned again in an article in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent. 38)“Assault with Intent to Rob,” The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 12 October 1872, Albert Harris charged with assault with intent to rob John Hamner and sentenced to six months hard labour; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers. He was charged with the assault of John Hamner with the intent to rob him and was sentenced to a six months imprisonment with hard labour. 39)Wakefield, Yorkshire, Sheffield Quarter Sessions, QS4/102, Indictment Books, July 1872 – May 1873, Sheffield Sessions 19 May 1873, Page 315 Albert Harris assault of John Hamner, Wakefield Yorkshire Archives.

In June 1874, Albert finally married Elizabeth, 40)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (long form), Albert Harris and Elizabeth Marshall, citing Sheffield Jun [quarter]1874. but an article in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent that appeared on 13 April 1876 entitled “Neglect of Family” indicates that he did not support them for long, if at all.  He was committed again to the House of Correction for one month on the charge of deserting his family.  Elizabeth and the children had been forced to seek assistance from the Sheffield Union and had received £5. 41)“Neglect of Family,” The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 13 April 1876, Albert Harris committed to House of Correction for one month for deserting his family; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers.

Albert Harris died at the age of thirty on 15 December 1884 of tuberculosis. 42)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Death (long form), Albert Harris; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Dec [quarter]1884, aged 35, vol. 9c: 356. At the time of his death, he again had assault charges pending against him at the Sheffield Quarter Sessions. 43)England and Wales, Criminal Registers 1791-1892, Class: HO 27; Piece: 202; Page: 228, “Scheduled Trial of Albert Harris, died before sessions,” 2 January 1885; database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image, 21 August 2010). Yet another article in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent stated that Albert was too ill to attend the trial. 44)“A Defendant Too Ill to Appear,” The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 24 October 1884, Albert Harris charged with assaulting Elizabeth Harris and causing bodily harm, however he was too ill to appear; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers.  He was charged with the assault of Elizabeth Harris, causing bodily harm. 45)“A Defendant Too Ill to Appear,” The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 24 October 1884, Albert Harris charged with assaulting Elizabeth Harris and causing bodily harm, however he was too ill to appear; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers.

Fortunately Albert Harris’ criminal history is well documented in the newspapers of the day since an exhaustive search in the court records held at the Wakefield Archives in Yorkshire resulted in either no extant records found or few additional details of his activities. 46)Jennie Kiff, Research Consultant, West Yorkshire Archives, Wakefield, Yorks, England, [address for private use]to Barbara Jean Starmans, letter, 5 April 2011, “Research Service Report,” Albert Harris Criminal Records; privately held by Starmans, [address for private use], 2011. A timeline summary of the previously discussed events effectively illustrates why there was a six year span between the births of Annie and Bertha and the marriage of Albert Harris to Elizabeth Marshall.

 

Date

Event

22 Apr 1868

Birth: Annie Harris Marshall to Elizabeth Marshall; Sheffield

between Oct and Dec 1870

Birth: Bertha Harris Marshall to Elizabeth Marshall; Sheffield

2 Apr 1871

Census 1871: Albert imprisoned at District West Riding Prison; Wakefield; duration unknown

8 May 1872

Legal: Albert charged with assaulting the police; Sheffield

From May 1872 to Sep 1872

Prison: Albert – six months imprisonment with hard labour; Sheffield

8 Oct 1872

Legal: Albert charged with arrears of bastardy and committed to the House of Corrections for one month; Sheffield

9 Oct 1872

Legal: Albert charged with the violent assault of Alfred Parkins and sentenced to two months imprisonment with hard labour; Sheffield

From Oct 1872 to Jan 1873

Prison: Albert – one month + two months imprisonment with hard labour; Sheffield

19 May 1873

Legal: Albert charged with assault with the intent to rob John Hamner; Sheffield

From May 1873 to Nov 1873

Prison: Albert – six months imprisonment with hard labour; Sheffield

4 Jun 1874

Marriage: Elizabeth Marshall; Sheffield

Conclusions

The tale of Annie’s childhood is an ugly one, full of scandal and violence, and it is understandable that the details were cloaked in mystery whenever family stories were shared.

Elizabeth Marshall was clearly the mother of Annie as evidenced by Annie’s birth certificate. 47)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth (long form), Annie Harris Marshall, citing Sheffield Jun [quarter]1868.

Although Annie’s birth certificate does not name Albert Harris as her father, there is substantial indirect evidence that this was the case and no evidence has been found to the contrary.  Annie’s middle name was Harris. 48)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth (long form), Annie Harris Marshall, citing Sheffield Jun [quarter]1868. At the time of Annie’s marriage, soon after Albert’s death, she stated that her father was Albert Harris, deceased. 49)England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (long form), Thomas Savage and Annie Marshall Harris, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1885. While the fact that Annie named Albert Harris as her father is not in itself evidence that he was her father, it most certainly indicates that she believed he was.  Although many court records for Albert Harris do not survive, the copious newspaper accounts of the various charges against him paint a picture of a violent criminal who refused responsibility for his wife Elizabeth and her two illegitimate daughters.  That the courts held Albert responsible for the family implies that his paternity of the children was officially known, if not specifically documented.  Based on the analysis of the existing evidence, it seems very likely that Albert Harris is Annie’s father.

 

References   [ + ]

1. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (long form), Thomas Savage and Annie Marshall Harris; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1885, vol. 9c: 609.
2. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth (long form), Annie Elizabeth Savage; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1885, vol. 9c: 430.
3. England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 20 February 2010), birth of Albert Savage; citing Sheffield Mar [quarter]1887, vol. 9c: 409.
4. England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 20 February 2010), birth of Mary Savage; citing Sheffield Dec [quarter]1888, vol. 9c: 425.
5. 1881 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 14 July 2006), Tom Savage household, Class: RG11, Piece: 4645, Folio: 124, Page: 5, and GSU roll: 1342122; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1881; 1881 British Isles Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
6. 1911 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Find my Past (http://www.findmypast.co.uk : downloaded image 17 January 2009), Tom Savage household, RG14PN27891 RG78PN1595 RD510 SD2 ED24 SN315; Data imaged from the National Archives of the UK (TNA).
7. 1891 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 6 August 2006), Tom Savage household, Class: RG12, Piece: 3817, Folio 40, Page 29, and GSU roll: 6098927; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1891. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1891.
8. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Death (long form), Thomas Savage; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1915, vol. 9c: 596.
9. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Death (long form), Annie Savage; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1945, vol. 9c: 448, age 79.
10. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Death (long form), Annie Savage, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1945, vol. 9c: 448, age 79.
11, 49. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (long form), Thomas Savage and Annie Marshall Harris, citing Sheffield Sep [quarter]1885.
12. 1881 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 14 July 2006), Alfred Marshall household, Class: RG11, Piece: 4645, Folio: 99, Page: 7, and GSU roll: 1342122; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1881. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1881; 1881 British Isles Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
13. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (long form), Albert Harris and Elizabeth Marshall; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Jun [quarter]1874, vol. 9c: 496.
14. 1871 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 14 July 2006), Richard Marshall household, Class: RG10, Piece: 4680, Folio: 174, Page: 41, and GSU roll: 847230; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1871.
15. Interview with Jean Bond, granddaughter of Annie (Marshall) Savage [address for private use], by Barbara J Starmans, about 2005, notes held by Barbara J Starmans [address for private use].
16. “Talk: Yorkshire dialect.” article, Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3AYorkshire_dialect : accessed 20 Jan 2011).
17. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth (long form), Annie Harris Marshall; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Jun [quarter]1868, vol. 9c: 384.
18. England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 28 February 2010), birth of Bertha Harris Marshall; citing Sheffield Dec [quarter]1870, vol. 9c: 362.
19. Penelope Christensen, Understanding Names in Genealogy, (Toronto: National Institute for Genealogical Studies, 2002), p. 04-39.
20. All other known records show Harris with one ‘s’.  The spelling of Harriss with a double ‘s’ was probably introduced by the registrar since Elizabeth Harris was likely illiterate.  On the birth registration, she made her mark, rather than signing her name.
21. 1851 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 14 July 2006), John Harris household, Sheffield, Class: HO107, Piece: 2339, Folio: 352, Page: 14, and GSU roll: 87590-87593; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1851. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1851.
22. 1861 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 7 August 2006), John Harris household, Sheffield, Class: RG9, Piece: 3497, Folio: 8, Page: 9, and GSU roll: 543141; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1861. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1861.
23. Brightsolid, “Find My Past – Death Index 1837-1983,” database, Find My Past (http://www.findmypast.co.uk/: accessed 7 May 2011), death of Elizabeth Harris; citing Ecclesall B[ierlow]Jun [quarter]1859, vol. 9c: 129.
24. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (long form), John Harris and Mary Ann Skelton; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Mar [quarter]1860, vol. 9c: 244.
25. England & Wales, “FreeBMD Index 1837-1983,” database, FreeBMD (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/: accessed 5 January 2011), death of Mary Harris; citing Ecclesall B[ierlow]Jun [quarter]1866, vol. 9c: 176.
26. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Death (long form), John Harris; General Register Office, London, England, citing Ecclesall B[ierlow]Dec [quarter]1866, vol. 9c: 216.
27. “Stoning the Police,” news, The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 8 May 1872, Albert Harris convicted of assault upon the police; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers.
28. Jennie Kiff, Research Consultant, West Yorkshire Archives, Wakefield, Yorks, England, [address for private use], to Barbara Jean Starmans, letter, 5 April 2011, “Research Service Report,” Albert Harris Criminal Records; privately held by Starmans, [address for private use], 2011, search of QS7/11, Calendars of Prisoners, 1867-1872 and C118, Wakefield Prison, nominal register, 1871, no records found.
29. 1871 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 20 August 2010), William Harris household, Class: RG10, Piece: 4681, Folio: 37, Page: 6, GSU roll: 847230.
30. 1871 England Census, database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image 21 August 2010), District West Riding Prison, Wakefield, Class: RG10, Piece: 4625, Folio: 172, Page: 27, and GSU roll: 848402.; Census Returns of England and Wales, 1871. Kew, Surrey, England: The National Archives of the UK (TNA) : Public Record Office (PRO), 1871.
31, 37. Kiff to Starmans, 5 April 2011, search of QS4/101 and 102 Indictment Books, June 1871 to May 1873, no records found.
32. Kiff to Starmans, 5 April 2011, search of QS7/11 Calendars of Prisoners, 1867-1872, no entry found; search of C118, Wakefield Prison, nominal register, 1871, no entry found.
33. “A Long Standing Account,” The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 8 October 1872, Albert Harris was brought up on a warrant charged with arrears of bastardy and committed to the House of Correction for one month; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers.
34. Robin Wiltshire, Archivist, Sheffield Archives, Sheffield, Yorks, England, [address for private use]to Barbara Jean Starmans, email, 23 February 2011, “Criminal Records of Albert Harris of Sheffield;” privately held by Starmans, [address for private use], 2011, no records available prior to 1880.
35. Kiff to Starmans, 5 May 2011, search of QS4/101 and 102 Indictment Books, June 1871 to May 1873, no records found.
36. “The Charge of Assault,” The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 9 October 1872, Albert Harris charged with violently assaulting Alfred Parkins and sentenced to two months hard labour; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers.
38. “Assault with Intent to Rob,” The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 12 October 1872, Albert Harris charged with assault with intent to rob John Hamner and sentenced to six months hard labour; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers.
39. Wakefield, Yorkshire, Sheffield Quarter Sessions, QS4/102, Indictment Books, July 1872 – May 1873, Sheffield Sessions 19 May 1873, Page 315 Albert Harris assault of John Hamner, Wakefield Yorkshire Archives.
40. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Marriage (long form), Albert Harris and Elizabeth Marshall, citing Sheffield Jun [quarter]1874.
41. “Neglect of Family,” The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 13 April 1876, Albert Harris committed to House of Correction for one month for deserting his family; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers.
42. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Death (long form), Albert Harris; General Register Office, London, England, citing Sheffield Dec [quarter]1884, aged 35, vol. 9c: 356.
43. England and Wales, Criminal Registers 1791-1892, Class: HO 27; Piece: 202; Page: 228, “Scheduled Trial of Albert Harris, died before sessions,” 2 January 1885; database on-line and digital images, Ancestry UK, (http://www.ancestry.co.uk : downloaded image, 21 August 2010).
44, 45. “A Defendant Too Ill to Appear,” The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent, 24 October 1884, Albert Harris charged with assaulting Elizabeth Harris and causing bodily harm, however he was too ill to appear; Gale Group (http://find.galegroup.com : downloaded image 21 August 2010), 19th Century British Library Newspapers.
46. Jennie Kiff, Research Consultant, West Yorkshire Archives, Wakefield, Yorks, England, [address for private use]to Barbara Jean Starmans, letter, 5 April 2011, “Research Service Report,” Albert Harris Criminal Records; privately held by Starmans, [address for private use], 2011.
47, 48. England, Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth (long form), Annie Harris Marshall, citing Sheffield Jun [quarter]1868.

Barbara J Starmans is a social historian, freelance writer and obsessed genealogist living in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada and has been doing genealogical research for the past 35 years. She is a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies in Toronto, Canada with professional learning certificates in General Methodology and in English Records and recently become an instructor for them with an intermediate course on Social History.

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