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Ada Harrison - an impenetrable brick wall

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    Ada Harrison - an impenetrable brick wall

    Hello,
    This is my first post and I'm hoping someone will be able to offer advice on what seems to be an impenetrable brick wall:

    Ada Harrison, nee Godwin was born in Berkshire in 1870. She seems to have gone into service, like her sisters, in London. In 1888 she somehow got herself across the Atlantic to marry a Maynard Harrison in Pennsylvania. She was just 17 but a copy of the marriage documents show she lied about her age and pretended to be 21.

    She and Maynard had two sons, Richard and William. In 1897 the family returned to the UK, but the marriage already seemed to be in trouble. Then in 1907 Maynard returned to the US with William and from then on Ada referred to herself as a widow.

    1928 found Ada again crossing the Atlantic, this time on her way to Mexico. Her son Richard was working for an oil company out there and his wife had just died, leaving him with two daughters. The 1930 US Census shows her still with Richard and his daughters in Mexico.

    Shortly after this I picked them up crossing the border between Mexico and Texas, en route to visit a relative in Los Angeles. This is this last sighting I have of Ada. The !940 Census shows Richard and his younger daughter, also called Ada, resident in Texas. It shows they were also there in 1935. There is no trace of Ada senior anywhere on that census.

    Neither is there any trace of her on the UK Incoming Passenger Lists. A relative, who has since died, believed she'd met Ada sometime in the 1930s in the UK. She also believed she'd been told of Ada's death in the early 1940s.

    I would very much like to find out where and when she died but there are too many Ada Harrisons around the right age on the UK Death Index. I have no idea where she would have been living if she was in the UK. There's no permanent address for her after she returned with her family in 1897. On the 1901 and 1911 Censuses she was visiting other people on census night. She had family members in Berkshire and London, but that doesn't help. I feel she may have died in the US but have only limited access to their records. She had a relation in Los Angeles and her son in Texas, but I have no idea where else to look.

    I really can't see the wood for the trees. Can anyone suggest any way round, or over, this brick wall.

    #2
    Originally posted by RoseR View Post
    The 1930 US Census shows her still with Richard and his daughters in Mexico.
    Hi, RoseR-
    Welcome to FTF!

    Could you clarify the above? The US census doesn't cover Mexico - were they in New Mexico?

    Also, would you give links to the 1930 census, the border crossing, and the 1940 census records?

    Thanks!
    Sarah
    ------------------------------------------------------
    My Families
    London-area Coverly Family Finder DNA Project

    Comment


      #3
      Genes Reunited has several of the name Ada Godwin in trees there, one member has 1873 Newbury, Berkshire, member Joan, another has 1870 Cold Ash, Berkshire, member Evelyn

      Edna

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you PhotoFamily and clematised for your replies. With regard to the Genes Reunited website, I'm aware of the entry by Joan and the one by Evelyn is actually me.

        I apologise for misleading you with regard to the 1930 Census. I actually meant the 1930 Mexico National Census, which I found on FamilySearch. In fact all my US references come from that website. Below I give the links to the two censuses and the border crossing. I'm aware that Ada's son Richard also did the crossing in 1924.

        1930 Mexico Census: https://familysearch.org/ark:61903/1:1:MQ8F-YPL

        1930 Border Crossing: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X225-S2Q

        1940 US Census: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K4SP-FPT

        Any advice greatly appreciated. This one has bothered me for years.

        Comment


          #5
          Hi again, I've just tried those links and the first one doesn't work, although I've checked on the FamilySeach website and it's correct. I made a mistake on the second one: it should be https://familysearch.org/ark:61903/1:1:22S-S2X The 3rd one is definitely correct.

          Comment


            #6
            https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVPF-5G3V is this her going to New York in 1887 on the City of Chester

            Edna

            Comment


              #7
              if there was a possibility she was in Berkshire there is a burial of an Ada Harrison age 68 died 24 Feb 1936 buried 27 Feb 1836 All Saints Didcot residence Didcot 200 Broadway


              Val

              Comment


                #8
                On the border crossing,

                http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin...iv=1&ml_rpos=9

                does it say medical certificate attached ? I can't make out the rest once you rotate the image and look at the other card

                ...after 2 acute / asthmatory ??? possibly
                Last edited by Elaine; 17-10-15, 21:25.
                Elaine

                Looking for Ward, Moore, Hunt, Warren...and who was Gertrude Wills

                http://leicestermoores.tribalpages.com
                http://wardnottsleics.tribalpages.com

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Elaine View Post
                  On the border crossing,

                  http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin...iv=1&ml_rpos=9

                  does it say medical certificate attached ? I can't make out the rest once you rotate the image and look at the other card

                  ...after 2 acute / asthmatory ??? possibly
                  The second page of the card
                  Medical Certificate Attached
                  a?? 2 Acute inflamatory condition
                  Part of body affected: neuritis (?maybe?) lower i????
                  ?? ??? ???

                  Significant is that first part of card still indicates she is a UK citizen. I can't read the line underneath that line,
                  Next line seems to indicate her intended US address 1888 ??? Homestead Pa (Pennsylvania)

                  If she were ill at the time, perhaps she died in PA?
                  ------------------------------------------------------
                  My Families
                  London-area Coverly Family Finder DNA Project

                  Comment


                    #10
                    This is the link I'm getting to the Mexican 1930 census:
                    https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQ8F-YP5
                    And Richard is a widower in the census.
                    ------------------------------------------------------
                    My Families
                    London-area Coverly Family Finder DNA Project

                    Comment


                      #11
                      This link
                      https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X225-S2Q
                      is leading me to a US-Canada crossing of Harvey Armstrong Harris, who was born in 1881 in Ontario
                      ------------------------------------------------------
                      My Families
                      London-area Coverly Family Finder DNA Project

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by PhotoFamily View Post
                        Next line seems to indicate her intended US address 1888 ??? Homestead Pa (Pennsylvania)

                        If she were ill at the time, perhaps she died in PA?
                        Homestead is about 7 miles from Pleasant Hill, where this cemetery is:
                        http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...023533&df=all&

                        Go findagrave - yet again.

                        Of course, you'd need more info to confirm.
                        ------------------------------------------------------
                        My Families
                        London-area Coverly Family Finder DNA Project

                        Comment


                          #13
                          You could try contacting the memorial page creator/manager, and ask him if he knows more, or has a photo. I think he would have put dates on if he had had them from the gravestone. You could also ask him if he has any suggestions for locating more info.

                          You could also contact the cemetery directly:
                          http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg...=45197&df=all&

                          It's been a while, but if the cemetery office still exists, they might have records for the grave, and be able to tell you who bought the plot, and when this Ada was buried. And who knows, ask if they have the obit!

                          You could call the local public library, and ask for a librarian, then ask if they have suggestions for getting more info:
                          http://carnegieofhomestead.com/library/

                          You could ask this guy if he would help you:
                          http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb....rsonmem-ph.htm

                          that's a lot to start with. You could also try posting on various boards (ancestry, for instance) and see if someone local could investigate for you.

                          Good luck!
                          ------------------------------------------------------
                          My Families
                          London-area Coverly Family Finder DNA Project

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thank you all for your responses. To answer your questions:

                            The Ada Goodwin on the City of Chester passenger list is a possibility. Godwin often becomes Goodwin. I also have a possible crossing from Liverpool to Philadelphia in Aug 1887: this is an Ada Godwin aged 15. She was actually 16 at the time and I'm doubtful, but haven't yet found anything else. I've assumed that she went out nearer nearer her marriage in April 1888. She was so young anyway and I wonder how she achieved it. She made two visits home in 1889/90 and each time she returned to the US via New York.

                            I've looked at the death in Didcot previously, but can't make any connections with there any more than anywhere else. My problem is that if she died in the UK it could have been anywhere really, apart from her home village which was quite a way from Didcot. Even by putting in her exact year of birth it still throws up a number of possibilities. It's rather expensive to have to buy certificates when I have no idea where she was or even if her age was correct.

                            As to the medical certificate: it says acute inflammatory condition - neuritis lower extremities, which I assume means her feet. Neuritis is painful but not dangerous as such. From what I've read it's usually a complication of another condition. But she'd lived in the heat of Mexico for two years and I don't suppose that helped. The border crossing papers are hard to read, but I do know what the reference to Pennsylvania means. That's where she and her husband were living after their marriage and it's where their two sons were born. Her son Richard is having a bit of trouble. He has a UK passport but he's saying he was born in Pennsylvania, a fact endorsed by his Mum, who should know. It appears he tried to dodge the Draft in 1917 by saying he was born in the UK and therefore wasn't an American citizen. His parents were born in the UK, he was born in the US. I'm not sure if that would give him dual citizenship, but he didn't want to fight in the war. Now he wants to go to Los Angeles, where his paternal aunt lives, to sort it out. It's a very complicated story!

                            That's Richard on the Mexico Census and he was a widower. I assume his Mum Ada went out to help him with his two daughters. This is a really tough one.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              RoseR -
                              I'm favoring that that grave on findagrave is your Ada.

                              I was ruminating after I went to bed: I think the best approach is to call the cemetery (telephone number on that second findagrave link I posted) and determine when that Ada Harrison was buried. If that person died after the border crossing, but before the 1940 census, then I would obtain the death certificate. It appears you can buy it online thru VitalChek (search "VitalChek" - http://www.health.pa.gov/MyRecords/C...ges/11596.aspx)

                              Hope you'll let us know what turns up!
                              ------------------------------------------------------
                              My Families
                              London-area Coverly Family Finder DNA Project

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Thank you so much for that PhotoFamily. I've just sent an email to the cemetery, which is still in use, asking them for anything they can give me. I'm not sure if this will work out, as I can't see what the heck she was doing back in Allegheny, but in this game anything's possible.It never crossed my mind to look there and I have no access to Pennsylvania death records. I've got fingers, and everything else, crossed and will of course let you know the outcome. Thank you for finding it for me.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by RoseR View Post
                                  Thank you so much for that PhotoFamily. just sent an email to the cemetery, which is still in use, asking them for anything they can give me. I'm not sure if this will work out, as I can't see what the heck she was doing back in Allegheny
                                  It was the border crossing doc that made me think to look there - I suspect someone she knew/was related to, lived there. There are ways of looking up US census by address. Might be interesting to see who was there in the 1930 and 1940 - but I think you'd need a clearer image to determine the exact address.
                                  ------------------------------------------------------
                                  My Families
                                  London-area Coverly Family Finder DNA Project

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by RoseR View Post
                                    She and Maynard had two sons, Richard and William. In 1897 the family returned to the UK, but the marriage already seemed to be in trouble. Then in 1907 Maynard returned to the US with William and from then on Ada referred to herself as a widow.
                                    So, are these people in this family somehow? William Harrison, Sr and son William Harrison, Jr, both born England, living in Homestead, PA
                                    1930: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XCHV-P7G
                                    1940: https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KQQQ-VV9

                                    If we could get a clean copy of the border record, we might see the actual address that she said she was going to, but the address on these census records do not have a house number, 1888
                                    ------------------------------------------------------
                                    My Families
                                    London-area Coverly Family Finder DNA Project

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Wrong people I'm afraid. Ada's son was called William but her estranged husband's first name was Maynard. He was born in Wales and William in Allegheny.
                                      I do have the actual address where Ada and Richard said they were going . It took my cousin and I a lot of head scratching to work it out but it's no help I'm afraid. It's the address of Ada's sister-in-law in Los Angeles. The name is Lillian Loveday, although the border records show it as Lovelady. The address is 3484 Jean Franco Street Los Angeles. Lillian appears there on the 1930 census, along with her husband George. By 1940 George is shown as a widower, Lillian presumably having died.
                                      I'm still waiting hopefully for a reply from the cemetery, but nothing so far. I do appreciate your interest. I've just got too close to it and just go round in circles.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Not sure if it helps but a Maynard Harrison travelled from Tampico, Mexico to New York in 1913

                                        Comment

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