Archive for March, 2010

My Great Great Grandparents were William and Eve (nee Barnett) Harris.

John Gould found the marriage announcement in the Jewish Chronicle dated 23rd November 1860.  John is the great great Grandson of Eve’s parents (Caroline Lazarus and Abraham Barnett)

Marriage Announcement
On Wednesday the 21st November at the New Synagogue, Gt St Helens by the Rev. Dr Adler, assisted by the father of the bride, Mr William Harris, Esq. of Lima South America to Eve, elder daughter of the Rev. Abraham Barnett, Minister of the New Synagogue, Great St Helens.

William Harris is thought to have been born in Germany, but the marriage announcement says he is from Lima South America, I wonder what the story is behind that…


william eve marriage announcement

Click Image to Enlarge

Updates Added to this Post – 27th March 2010 in green

My Great Great Grandparents were William Harris and Eve Barnett. Eve Barnetts mother was Caroline Lazarus  (my Great Great Great Grandmother)  :  View  us all here in –>  The Harris Family Tree  <— click link

View the FULL STORY —> “BANKRUPTCY and the BARNET FAMILY”   <– click link .   It was published in Shemot, the Journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain.

My thanks  to John Gould for sending it to me. John Gould and I made contact as a result of Tribal Pages finding Lionel Harris in my family tree and Lionel Harris in another family tree. Both Lionel Harris’s had matching parents names of William Harris and Eve  Barnett.  Turns out that John Gould has been trying to find a living Harris relative for over a year.   I am Anita Harris,  John Gould’s father’s second cousin’s granddaughter.. 😉

My thanks to Morlin who has supplied me with extracts from a copy of the London Gazette (see below) in 1881 which details William Harris Senior’s “Liquidation by Arrangement” which is (explained by John Gould) technically not quite the same as bankruptcy and does not have all the drastic legal consequences (e.g. severe limitations on obtaining future credit). The extract details his various addresses and the countries with which he did business in in South America before ending up in Calle Encarnación in Madrid. Morlin has explained that it was obviously a very difficult time for people trading with this area of South America, as there were earthquakes and political upheavals, and the insolvency listings at the time were littered with people connected with Lima going under. 

The 1881 census  shows that Williams wife and family had moved back into the family home of her father. The “liquidation” is most likely the reason.

The London Gazette December 1981William Harris bankruptcy 1881jpg

The London Gazette December 1982William Bancruptcy 1882

Trailer for the 2009 Film – Garbo the Spy

Check out You Tube Trailer for the film “GARBO the SPY” 

Read more about GARBO (The Spy who saved D-Day – Double Spy)   

Read more about Tomas Harris (Garbo’s MI5 Controller)

Read more about GARBO and Tomas Harris working for MI5


About Garbo and Tomas in MI5

GARBO and Tomas came to work together at MI5 for three years of scheming and planning during World War II. Their efforts which were supported by various agencies of British intelligence contributed to a huge reduction of casualties among tens of thousands of allied servicemen who landed in Normandy in France on D-Day to fight to hold the Normandy Beachheads. Many, many more would have perished had their plan failed.

Garbo (Juan Pujol) and Tomas Harris (My Great Uncle) devised a plan to build a network (The GARBO Network) of 27 imaginary spies, who mislead the Germans into expecting the landings to occur in Calais instead of the Normany beacheads. As a result, the Germans maintained all their forces in Calais and built sea defenses, instead of moving them to Normandy. Even when the Normandy invasion began the Germans,  Tomas and Garbo led them to believe it was just a diversionary tactic.  

The success of this operation led to the beginning of the end of the second world War.

William Harris Jr and son Ronald Harris

I’m being really optimistic.  My Dad has always known that his father, William Harris,  had been in the Merchant Navy during the war at some time,  BUT never knew anything about what he did, or about what happened while he was there.  This I think is going to change very soon.  I recently discovered that the Merchant Navy website offers a service for £50, for which they research their records and supply information they may have on an individual who served in the Merchant Navy during the war.

But to apply for this information we wanted to supply the Merchant Navy my grandfathers date of birth. And we had no clue as to when or where he died until now.   My father even thought he may have actually died in the war as he had never heard ever again since he vanished in 1943.  Read more in the the post -> William Harris rediscovered.  Morlin, who’s parents had been good friends with William Harris in Wales after the war, had no record of the date he died, and she only suspected he had probably died in a nursing home or hospital in Llandudno  or Colwyn Bay between 1981 and 1984.

Back in October 2009, I contacted the Gwynedd Registry office,  and they tried to be so helpful, but they could not find any record of William Harris with the little information that I supplied. No wonder, I had no date of birth, no exact place of death, and only a date of death that was somewhere between 1980 and 1985.  I also had no idea which nursing home or hospital in North Wales that he had died in. Not much to go on, no wonder we got no results back in October.

About a month later, I had made contact with Sophia and as a result my parents travelled to Caernarfon to meet her to try to learn more about the life of William Harris after the war. We managed to narrow down the date of Williams death to either 1982 or 1983,  and then just a couple of weeks ago Morlin somehow tracked down Williams will and registration of probate, and sent me copies. What a result!!! We finally have a date of death –  10th December 1982. Thank you Morlin! Any chance I can publish the will and probate on this post please?

Now finally,  having his actual date of death, I provided my father with contact details for Gwynedd registry office, and he arranged for Cathy who works there to attempt another search for William. She got a hit almost straight away. She promply contacted my parents, received a small payment for the document, and immediately posted it to them. My parents are finally the proud owners of my grandfathers death certificate, which has not only provided us with his date of birth, but also with the fact that he died at the Great Orme nursing home in Llandudno.

great ormeNow finally, knowing William Harris’s date of birth, my father has been able to complete the Merchant Navy’s application form in the hope of discovering even more about his fathers life time during the war.  We hope to learn more about his rescues from the sea after two different torpedo attacks (his hair turned white overnight after one of them) , and you never know, some information provided by the Merchant Navy may even hold a clue as to why he returned to his wife and family in 1943, one last time, never to return again.

The Merchant Navy’s application form has now been sent along with payment. Confirmation of its receipt and a contact name of their assigned researcher has already been emailed to us..  Wow!  What an amazing service….   So, my family and I are now waiting in the greatest anticipation – for more news about William Harris..

I will write more as soon as I know any more. If you want to automatically receive the next published post by email, please click this link here and enter your email address.

More to come – I hope 😉