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Have you lost a Davidson? Thomas William Davidson born 1869 in Co Antrim, Ireland

Have you lost a Davidson? Thomas William Davidson born 1869 in Co Antrim, Ireland

Posted: 7 Apr 2013 4:51PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 15 Apr 2013 4:38AM GMT
Surnames: DAVIDSON,HARRISON
Thomas William Davidson born 1869 in Co Antrim, Ireland - my husbands grand father - who went to university in Ireland. He changed his name to Harrison and eventually joined the army using that name.
However, this has made tracing him very difficult - I can't find his family!
Have you 'lost' an ancestor - a Davidson in your past family who just can't be found? Please contact me if you have - I may be able help you find him!

Re: Have you lost a Davidson?

Posted: 8 Apr 2013 10:51AM GMT
Classification: Query
If no one contacts you, Do you know more info on him eg what university Ireland or Glasgow etc, when did he join army, did he marry before or after changing his name Did he stay long in the army and was moved around? I have come across changes of name because the groom is marrying into a wealthier or social class or is just being over grateful!. Did you find him in the irish census for 1901 ie http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie ?

I looked at the Ulster Historical Foundation’s website ancestryireland no apparent birth in that year for Davidson in Co Antrim or Co down

Could he have changed his name just before marriage and married in England eg
From freeBMDs website ie covering England its not clear if these married each other or other people
Marriages Dec 1889 (>99%)
Harrison Mary Jane Sheffield 9c 867
Harrison Thomas William Sheffield 9c 867
Or
Marriages Jun 1898 (>99%)
HARRISON Margaret Annie Pocklington 9d 159
HARRISON Thomas William Pocklington 9d 159

In Ireland you can try http://www.emeraldancestors.com/ then by entering first all Thomas Harrison, you can then match the date of marriage with all Harrison girls. This is hit or miss method of reducing your odds of finding anyone relevant and assumes he has changed his name to Harrison before marriage, my quick pick was matching
1887 Thomas HARRISON marries a Mary Anne Castleblayney Armagh
1887 a Mary Anne Harrison marries a Thomas in Castleblayney Armagh
1892 Thomas HARRISON marries a Susanna in Belfast Co Antrim
1892 a Susanna Harrison marries a Thomas in Belfast Co Antrim
1893 Thomas HARRISON marries a Sarah Jane in Dungannon Tyrone
1893 a Sarah Jane Harrison marries a Thomas in Dungannon Tyrone

Going further back in time Finally on familysearch.com you can enter up Thomas William Davidson with birth date and you get a variety of results some in Co Antrim, giving you eg Glenwhirry Co Antrim, anyway a variety of parents is offered
good luck in your search JimG

Re: Have you lost a Davidson?

Posted: 8 Apr 2013 12:11PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Davidson/ Harrison
Jim, Thank you so much for your reply - and for all the helpful suggestions.
I don't know which university he went to - neither do I have a lot of information about the army, apart from him being stationed in Balincollig, Cork when his son was young.
I know that Thomas Davidson had changed his name to Harrison by the time he married Alice May Griffiths in 1905 in Kent. They had one son William Thomas Harrison - my husbands father.
I will keep on with my search. Pamela

Re: Have you lost a Davidson?

Posted: 10 Apr 2013 12:55PM GMT
Classification: Query
Can i send you a pm, if I am allowed

Re: Have you lost a Davidson?

Posted: 12 Apr 2013 11:06AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 12 Apr 2013 11:07AM GMT
Hi Pam. Working backwards
1. In the 1911 census they are boarders at Rosa Rossers boarding house at
55 Walnut Tree Walk Parish Lambeth
Thomas Harrison Married ;Age 41 Estimated Year of Birth 1870
Occupation Market Porter; Place of Birth Co Antrim Ireland. British
Alice Mary Harrison Married / 6 Years Total Children Born Alive 1 Children Still Living 1 Age 38 Estimated Year of Birth 1873 Employed N Working at Home N Place of Birth Gosport Hampshire Nationality British
William Thomas Harrison Age 5 Estimated Year of Birth 1906 Place of Birth Woolwich Kent Woolwich JimG’s Notes. Thomas’s occupation means he has left the army or he hasn’t joined it yet
2. freeBMDs website
Births Mar 1906
Harrison, William Thomas Woolwich 1d 1301
Marriages Qter Yr ending Jun 1905
Griffiths, Alice May Woolwich 1d ref 1985
Harrison, Thomas Woolwich 1d ref 1985
3. To clear if he registered changing his name, a book exists
The Index to Changes of Name for UK and Ireland 1760-1901 by WP Phillimore and Edward Alex Fry: is made up of information from the following sources:Private Acts of Parliamen;Royal Licences published in the London and Dublin Gazettes;notices of changes of name published in The Times after 1861 with a few notices from other newspapers;registers of the Lord Lyon [King of Arms] where Scottish changes of name were commonly recorded;records in the office of the Ulster King at Arms;some private information. It does not include changes by Royal licence not advertised in the London Gazette, changes by deed poll that were enrolled but not advertised in The Times.
A copy is available at The National Archives and some libraries (ISBN: 1861500432) or can be ordered as a CD online. It would great if he did register it somehow , but I think it unlikely unless the army insisted.
4. The 1901 English census I have tried. there are several possibles including Thomas Harrisons who were married without children egThomas Harrison Head Married Age Last Birthday 33{~ ie1868} Bricklayer Born Ireland. If he was in the army and the 2nd Dgn Gds he should be in SA Boer war.
5. The 1901 Irish Census I have tried.
6. The 1891 English census includes
Canterbury barracks includes 12th Lancers; 7th Hussars; 1st Dragoon Guards 2nd Dragoon Guards, Capt. Douglas, Lieut. Cordeaux, Lieut. Gordon etc
Thomas Harrison;Age 23 Est Birth 1868; Occupation Private 2nd Dgn Gds Birth Place Ireland; [There is also a Michael Harrison aged 18, born Ireland in same barracks]. I went hunting for 2nd Dragoon Guards and Ballincollig,Co Cork. The results state the 2nd Dgn Gds stayed in Ireland during 1875-1885, and during 1886 while the 1ST Irish Home Rule Bill was being discussed . If Thomas was recruited say when he was 16 or 17, he might have left home to volunteer and forwhatever reason changed his name as he did so. 2nd Dgn Gds were also stationed at Ballincollig barracks. So I reach the point that this could be your Thomas William, who then leaves the army, when is not clear, if he stayed he could have left when he got married. If he was in the Boer wars in the 2nd Dgn Gds he should have been issued with a medal or two, that list was in the national archives, but I think now is only available from a website Findmypast. Com with fee charges. WW1 medal lists are available at the National Archives Kew but I couldn’t find quickly find any Thomas serving in the 2nd Dgn Gds.
I found eg Reference:WO 372/24/112742 Description:
Medal card of Harrison, Thomas Royal Engineers 60663 Farrier Serjeant Reference:WO 372/9/69861
Medal card of Harrison, Thomas Royal Horse Artillery 51147 Corporal Royal Garrison Artillery173738 Serjeant
Finally which university, the nearest would have been Queen’s College est 1845, it became a university in its own right in 1908, but called itself a univ before that date. In Dublin is Trinity college with aluminae lists published. Some Co Antrim students went to Glasgow university, To have completed a degree would mean 3 years and so he would have been 20 at least. So he couldn’t have joined the army until say 1888 at the earliest. Lets suppose he graduated as Davidson, that should be findable. Then something traumatic happened for him to join the army whenever.
I think that’s all I can offer, You need the details of the marriage, in particular witnesses, the same at any baptism.

Re: Have you lost a Davidson?

Posted: 15 Apr 2013 4:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi Jim - Wow, you have been busy!! Some of your information I have already discovered but where I have failed you suggest some avenues to try that I hadn't thought of.
However, what I did find was on the form that was filled out when Thomas joined up in 1914. He has declared that he was in the forces before - Royal Garrison Artillery - invalided out 17th May 1906. The RGA were stationed near Gosport in the early 1900's - which is where Alice May Griffiths came from. A possible link?
I agree that it is unlikely that the change of name was registered anywhere but I will try the library regarding the book you mention.
So, I shall plough on and hope to achieve a breakthrough.
Many thanks for your help. Pam
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