All I knew about the Harris’s was that we were four. My parents, my sister and I. That all changed when Enriqueta Harris’s obituary was printed in the Sunday Times in 2006, and my father just happened to spot it on a rainy sunday morning, at home, in London. He recognised the unusual name (Enriqueta) and went to check it against his old copy of a will made by Lionel Harris ( Senior), my fathers grandfather.
At last a lead to the Harris family… a family who had long ago forgotton that my father existed. His own father William (a sister of Enriqueta) had left my father, two brothers and his mother when my father was just 16 years old during the war.
Anyway, from this copy of Lionel Senior’s will I eventually found the name of a company of solicitors, who had connections with the Harris family, and I was informed that David Harris and Anthony Harris, sons of Lionel Harris Junior (a brother of William Harris) were still alive.
I drew many blanks. Then in October 2009, through the internet, we were contacted by a researcher, who has studied Spanish Art, and was reasearching the Harris Family for Nigel Glendinning who is writing a book about the Harris Family, as he knew Enriqeuta very well, and also the famous Tomas Harris (another brother of hers – artist, scholar, MI5 officer, goya specialist) . We were contacted through a family tree website, which was found because our family tree contained Enriquetas names and other names I had found on the copy of Lionels will that my father had. The Spanish names on our family tree were recognised as being names connected to William Harris, Lionel Harris’s son, founder of the Spanish Art Gallery in London.
So in October 2009, we learned where my grandfather lived since the war, since he left home!
Since November 2009 I have developed two websites, this one and www.tomasharris.com. And I have to say they are keeping me very busy.