Whilst there is one reference to Harris in 16th century parish records (marriage of Richard Harris in 1584) and a few references to the name Harris (or its variant Harrys) in the 17th century, it was not until the mid 18th century that the Harris family came to live in Badsey and Aldington, with the occasional mention in Wickhamford records. Descendants of James Harris (c1770-1830) remained in the village for five generations, only dying out at the end of the 20th century.
The name Harris is very common in the local area and, from the 18th century onwards, several different families with the surname came to live in Badsey, but they seem to be unrelated.
17th century and early 18th century Harris families
In 1609, Richard Harrys was buried at Badsey. When probate was granted at Worcester in 1610, his name appeared as Richard Harris. An Alice Harrys married in 1619 and an Anne Harris was buried in 1622. In 1642, Rahab Harris was baptised at Badsey. It is not known how these individuals are connected. An Ingles Harris married at Wickhamford in 1719.
Ann Harris (?-1776)
Ann Harris was living in Badsey in 1735 when she had an illegitimate daughter, Mary, baptised at St James Church, Badsey. Mary Harris died in 1769 and Ann Harris in 1776.
Joseph Harris (c1745-1840)
On 7th March 1770, Joseph Harris (c1745-1840) married Jane Stevens at the Church of St John the Baptist, Wickhamford. It is not known where Joseph was born (or whether he was related to the above Ann and Mary Harris) but, if his age of death as 95 is to be believed, he was born about 1745. Jane was born at Wickhamford in 1749, the daughter of William and Anne Stevens. The young married couple then settled in Badsey where their son, Samuel, was baptised on 1st July. Four other children followed: William (1772-1816), Elizabeth (1774-1779), John (1775-1805) and Joseph (1778-1778). Jane died shortly after giving birth to her youngest child in 1778, and baby Joseph followed shortly afterwards to the grave.
Samuel Harris, the eldest child of Joseph and Jane, married Jane Hunt at Wickhamford in 1806. Joseph Harris, the father, moved to Cropthorne where he appeared to have Harris relatives. Joseph died at Cropthorne in December 1840, aged 95, having outlived at least four of his children. He was buried at Badsey.
James Harris (c1770-1830) and Descendants
James Harris (c1770-1830)
By the 1790s, another Harris family was living in Badsey and it was this family which was to continue down five generations to the end of the 20th century. James Harris (c1770-1830) had married Sarah Jefferies at Offenham in 1793. It is not known for certain if he was related to the above Joseph Harris in some way but, as Joseph ended his days in Cropthorne, and James later sold his property to a Harris of Cropthorne and in his will appointed a Harris of Cropthorne as executor, there may have been a family connection. A James Harris, son of William and Mary Harris, was baptised at Birlingham (a village 13 miles to the west of Badsey), but there is no certainty that this was the same person.
James and Sarah had five sons and seven daughters, all born at Badsey: Betty (1794), Mary (1796), Joseph (1798), Jane (1800-1803), John (1802), Jacob (1804), Jane (1807), Ann (1809-1823), Catherine (1811), James (1814), Maria/Sarah Sophia (1820) and William (1820). James was described as a farmer.
At the time of the Badsey Enclosure Act in 1812, James owned land in Badsey (a house, barn and stable which was later known as Glebe Farm on Willersey Road and was demolished in the 1930s, and a piece of arable land called The Pinnock). Documents at Birmingham City Archives reveal that, in 1813, James seems to have bought (probably from Edward Savage) the following pieces of land in the open and common fields of Badsey: 2a 1r 8p in Bretforton Field, 0a 3r 12p in Fox Hill Field, 1a 0r 19p in Meerden Field, 1a 1r 4p in Bully Brook Field and 0a 3r 15p in Sand Field. He took out a mortgage of £300 on this land from William Fisher of Bengeworth to finance the deal. In 1815, as a result of the Enclosure Commissioners’ awards, James was allotted two pieces of land in lieu of his common land rights: 37 perches at Powells Green (adjacent to the house, barn and stable) in a fairly central part of the village and 10a 3r 13p of land, about a mile away, being part of a large field named Meerden Field. By February 1816, James Harris required another £100 and took out a mortgage on the house, barn, stable and garden which represented the old enclosure. William Fisher died in November 1816 and, by April 1817, his executors, Stephen and Thomas Fisher, were asking for the return of the original £300. James was unable to repay them and so borrowed £300 from Thomas Bishop.
With growing financial problems, it seems that James must have sold the buildings and land to William Harris (assumed to be William Harris of Cropthorne, c1757-1839, though the precise nature of the relationship is unknown). Certainly, the 1831 Land Tax of Badsey shows that William Harris was the owner of the land with a J Knight as tenant.
Sarah Harris died in 1822, aged 44; James died in 1830, aged 60. By his will of 1830, James’ children were the beneficiaries in equal shares and he entrusted his executors, William Collett of Badsey, Gentleman, and John Harris of Cropthorne, maltster, to sell, either by public auction or private contract, all his “goods, chattels, implements in husbandry, live and dead stock and effects in and about the farm and premises” then in his occupation, to be divided equally among his children. John Harris of Cropthorne (William Harris’ son) was named as the executor. A sale of James Harris' stock, implements and household items took place on 13th May 1830 and a sale of his crops took place on 3rd August 1830.
As the owner of land in Badsey, John Harris was entitled to vote and appears on the electoral register for 1860-1861, his address being given as Elmbridge, Droitwich. The Harris family continued to own the farm until 1864 when John Harris sold it to Christ Church for £1200. For a time, he installed his sister and brother-in-law, Sarah and John Checketts, as tenant farmers. They occupied the farm in 1851 and still had a connection with the farm in 1861, as three of their children were living there, whilst John and Sarah were also farming at Alderminster.
The Second Generation
By the time of the 1841 census, just four of James and Sarah’s 12 children were living in Badsey and the family fortunes (if any) had diminished.
- Mary Harris (1796-1877) was working as a servant in the household of Thomas and Sarah Gee in Badsey in 1841. She married William Tricker in 1844 at Badsey and died in 1877. William Tricker is mentioned in Savory's Grain and Chaff from an English Manor.
- John Harris (1802-1871), the fifth child and second son of James and Sarah Harris, married Sarah Pantin at Badsey in 1824. They had three children: William (1824), Joseph (1826) and Ann (1830). Sarah died in April 1834 and John married again, shortly after, to another Sarah, who hailed from Evesham. They had a long line of children: Sarah (1836-1917), James (1838-1906), Thomas (1840-1892), Mary (1842), Elizabeth (1844-1930), Jane (1846-1867), John (1848-1896), Charles (1850), Caroline (1853) and Selina (1857). In the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census, they were living in The Street in a cottage (since demolished) on the site of the present-day 28 High Street. Sarah died in 1857, aged 40, leaving John living as a widower with five of his children: Mary, John, Charles, Caroline and Selina. In 1871, John was living with his youngest daughter, Selina, in the home of his daughter, Elizabeth Perkins and her growing family. John Harris died at Badsey in July 1871.
- Sarah Sophia Harris (1820), the youngest daughter of James and Sarah (and twin of William), was baptised as Maria Sophia but married as Sarah Sophia. She married William Vicarage at Badsey in 1839. Where Sarah Vicarage’s husband was at the time of the 1841 census is not known, because she was alone with her one-year-old son, William, and they had gone from the village by 1851.
- William Harris (1820-1900), the youngest son of James and Sarah (and twin of Sarah Sophia), was a servant in the household of Thomas and Catherine Byrd in Aldington in 1841 and 1851. He married Mary from Ebrington. In 1871, working as an agricultural labourer, his address was described as “Badsey Brook”, in the parish of Bengeworth (between Bengeworth Field and Knowle Hill). By 1881, he was described as a Market gardener and the address given as “The Fields”. He was still a Market gardener in 1891, described as living at “Workers’ House”, next to Frederick Hooper at Knowle Hill. William and Mary had no children. By the time of William’s death in January 1900, he was living at Aldington (as indicated in his will), although he was not buried in the parish.
The Third Generation
- Of all James Harris’ long line of children, it was only the children of his son, John (1802-1871), who carried on the name of Harris in the village for a further generation.
- Joseph Harris (1826-1900), John’s second son by his first wife, who had been lodging with the Sanders family in 1851 (four doors away from his father) was, by 1861, married to Joyce Smith and had a daughter, Fanny (1855), who was deaf and dumb. Joseph and Joyce went on to have four more children born at Badsey: Joice (1859), Joseph (1862), Henry (1864-1871), William (1868) and Henry (c1873). The first Henry died as a young boy of six at Evesham Union on 24th March 1871. This obviously severely affected the family as they were all split up by the time of the census on 2nd April 1871. Joseph Harris was lodging in Chapel Street, Evesham, the young deaf and dumb Fanny was working as a nurse in the house of Samuel and Eliza Stanley, William was living in the same household as Fanny described as a boarder, nine-year-old Joseph was working as a nurse for the New family (the enumerator obviously wanted it made known that he had not made a mistake, because he underlined the age and gender of Joseph). It is not known where Joseph’s wife, Joyce, or daughter, Joyce, were, but presumably they may well have been in the workhouse as well; there is no further mention of young Joyce, so presumably she died. By 1881, the family (bar young Joyce) was back together again and living in Bretforton; another son, Henry, was born about 1873, and seven-month-old grandson, Charles (Fanny’s illegitimate son), was also living there. Joseph died at Bretforton in 1900 and Joyce in 1905.
- Sarah Harris (1836-1917), John’s eldest child by his second wife, married William Bell (who later became Farm Bailiff for Arthur Savory and had a whole chapter written about him in Grain and Chaff from an English Manor) and spent the rest of her life in Aldington, dying there at the age of 81.
- James Harris (1838-1906), John’s second child by his second wife, never married. He began work in Badsey as an agricultural labourer but then joined the army. He was away from Badsey for the 1861 and 1871 census, but then spent the remaining years of his life in the village of his birth, described as an army pensioner. He lived with his younger brother, Thomas, and family; then, after Thomas’ death, he lived with his nephew, James Perkins, and family, the son of his sister, Elizabeth. James died in 1906.
- Thomas Harris (1840-1892), third child of John by his second wife, married Eliza and had five children: Amy (1866), Thomas James (1868), David John (1870-1952), Sarah Jane (1873-1887) and Elizabeth (1879-1949). The first three children were born in Evesham, but the family returned to Badsey in the 1870s and were living on Old Road (Old Post Office Lane) in the 1881 census; Thomas’ unmarried brother, James, a pensioner soldier and agricultural labourer, also lived with them. In 1881, 14-year-old Thomas James was working as a servant at Glebe Farm. In 1891, Thomas and Eliza had just their eldest and youngest daughter with them, plus Thomas’ brother, James. A photo of the youngest girl, Elizabeth, is on a Badsey School photo of about 1890. Thomas died in 1892. Eliza went to live with her youngest daughter, Elizabeth Willis, and family on Old Road (present-day Old Post Office Lane. She died at Badsey in 1914.
- Elizabeth Harris (1844-1930) married Frederick Perkins in 1863. Their first son, James, was born at Bengeworth, but all the other eight children were born in Badsey. Elizabeth spent the rest of her life in Badsey, dying in 1930.
- Jane Harris (1846-1867) was working as a servant in the home of Jacob and Esther Butler in the parish of St Andrew, Worcester, in 1861. She died at Badsey in 1867, aged 21.
- John Harris (1848-1896) married Elizabeth Sears from Wickhamford in 1869. He was living at The Leys, Bengeworth, in 1871, working as a Gardener’s labourer. By 1881, they were living at 7 Chapel Street, All Saints, Evesham. They had six sons and two daughters, all born in Evesham: Mary Jane (1871), Charles F (1875-1927), William H (c1878) and Sarah Ann (1880), Francis John (1883-1917), Albert Edgar (1885-1965), Alfred Leonard (1880-1970) and Arthur Edwin (c1891). Whilst John never returned to live in the village of his birth, his son, Albert Edgar, many years later, retired to Badsey, whilst another son, Alfred Leonard, rented land at Wickhamford. John also retained links with Badsey as he was employed as a labourer at Sladden & Collier’s Brewery, Evesham, in the 1880s and 1890s. This was owned by Julius Sladden of Seward House, Badsey. John died in 1896 and Elizabeth in 1934.
- Charles Harris (1850) was boarding with his sister, Sarah Bell, and family at Aldington in 1871, but after that it is not known what happened to him.
- Selina Harris (1857), the youngest in the family, whose mother had died just a few months after she was born, was still in Badsey in 1871, living with her father in the home of her married sister, Elizabeth Perkins. Their father, John Harris, died in July 1871. Selina had left the village by 1881.
The Fourth Generation
David John Harris (1870-1952), son of Thomas and Eliza Harris, was born at Hampton, Evesham, but moved to Badsey, the birthplace of his father, as a young child. In 1889 he married Martha Lampitt. By 1891 they were living at Sharps Cottage with their young daughter, Florence Jane (1889-1981). A son, John Thomas (1898-1978) was born in July 1898. In 1901, David and Martha lived with their two children at Belmont Terrace, which had been built in 1900. Valuation Survey records for 1912 reveal that David had nearly 8 acres of land at Francis’ Grave. Three decades later, the World War II National Farm Survey gave more detailed information about his land. During the First World War, newspaper articles of 30th September 1916 and 28th October 1916 reveal that David sent vegetables to Birmingham for auction. They remained at Belmont Terrace for the rest of their lives but, in 1926, they took the opportunity to buy the house across the road, 13 Cotswold View (present-day 58 Willersey Road), as a place for their son, John Thomas, and family to live. David died in 1952 at Avonside Hospital, Evesham, and Martha died at their home, Belmont Terrace, in 1954. Her will was proved at Birmingham in October 1954.
David John Jones with granddaughter, Florence Haines, in cart in Willersey Road.
Francis John Harris (1883-1917), known as Frank, son of John and Elizabeth Harris, never lived in Badsey, but was mentioned in a few of the war-time letters of Cyril Sladden as he served for a short time in the 9th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment in Mesopotamia and Frank’s father had been employed by Cyril’s father at Sladden & Collier’s Brewery.
- Albert Edgar Harris (1885-1965), son of John and Elizabeth Harris, was born in Evesham, but came to live in Badsey, probably in retirement. In 1939 he had been living in Aston Somerville with his wife, Gertrude Grace, and two children. Gertrude died at Badsey in 1958 and Albert in 1965; both are buried in the churchyard of St James.
- Alfred Leonard Harris (1888-1970), son of John and Elizabeth Harris, rented under 5 acres of land at Wickhamford in the 1940s, as revealed in the World War II National Farm Survey.
- Fanny Harris (1855-1926), daughter of Joseph and Joyce, never married. She had an illegitimate son, Charles (1880-1920), born at Badsey. Shortly after this, Fanny moved with her son, parents and three brothers to Bretforton. Another illegitimate son, Richard, was born at Bretforton (1889-1937). Fanny remained in Bretforton for the rest of her life, dying there in 1926.
The Fifth Generation
- Although they did not live in Badsey, Fanny Harris’s sons, Charles and Richard (who both lived in Bretforton), occupied land in Badsey. Valuation Survey records for 1912 reveal that Charles Harris occupied just over 1½ acres of land at Knights Dean on the Bretforton Road. He was also foreman for W H Thomas during the First World War, as indicated in a news report about the tribunal of Cecil Byrd who worked as a gardener's labourer for Charles. Charles was married to Annie Phillips; five of their eight children were delivered by Eliza Stanley, midwife, and appear in her midwife’s register. Charles died in 1920. The land was now occupied by his younger brother, Richard, who thus was listed on the electoral roll for 1924.
- The two children of David John Harris both remained in the area. Florence (1889-1981) became a pupil teacher at Badsey School but did not remain in teaching. She married Norris Haines in 1910 and, after living in Badsey for a short time, moved to Wickhamford where she ended her days.
- John Thomas Harris (1898-1978), known as Tom, became eligible for conscription in the First World War in July 1916. He applied for exemption and appeared before a military tribunal in February 1917 as he helped his father with 12 acres of market garden land. He was given conditional exemption until a substitute was found. He later joined the Royal Field Artillery. A report in the September 1917 Parish Magazine revealed that he was badly kicked in the face by a horse. The March 1918 magazine revealed that he had been admitted to hospital in France suffering from trench-fever. He appeared on the Absent Voters’ list for 1918. Tom married Celia Isabella Rouse in the Shipston district of Warwickshire in 1923. They had two children: Barbara Helen Geraldine (1924-2013) and Malcolm David John (1927-1959). They lived at 13 Cotswold View (the present-day 58 Willersey Road, Badsey), which Tom’s father bought for them; they later lived at Silk Mill, Mill Lane. The World War II National Farm Survey reveals that Tom Harris rented under 5 acres of land. A photo of Tom driving his cart past Cotswold View may be seen in the article 34-62 Willersey Road. Tom died in 1978 and Celia in 1992; both were buried at Badsey. John Thomas Harris was the last of this branch of the family to live in Badsey.
Jonathan Harris (1775-1838) and Descendants
Jonathan Harris (1775-1838)
Jonathan Harris (1775-1838) most likely moved to Badsey in 1810 after his marriage to Badsey-born Sarah Holland on 14th June at St James’ Church. It is possible that he is the same Jonathan Harris who was baptised at Church Honeybourne in 1775, the son of James and Mary (although this makes him older than the 59 years of age recorded against his burial entry).
Jonathan and Sarah had one son and four daughters: James (1815), Mary Ann (1819), Sally (1822-1847), Sophia (1826) and Betsey (1828). Jonathan died July 1838. At the time of the 1841 census, widowed Sarah was living with her daughter Sally (or Sarah as she was also known) in Badsey. In 1851, widowed Sarah was living at The Alley in Badsey (a cottage demolished in about the 1950s) with two lodgers. Sarah died in August 1854, aged 62.
The Second Generation
- James (1815-?), the only son of Jonathan Harris, married Ann Halford of Aldington on 9th May 1839 at Badsey. James and Ann had four sons and five daughters, all born at Aldington: Sarah (1840), William (1841), Alfred (1842), Alice (1843), Sophia (1846), Betsey (1848), Mary Anne (1849), Jonathan (1850) and Thomas (1852). At the time of the 1841 census and 1851 census, they lived in the Village Street, Aldington, in a thatched cottage which was demolished in the 20th century. They moved to 17 Harford Street, Harborne, Staffordshire some time during the 1850s, after Thomas’ birth. It is possible that they moved shortly after the death of his widowed mother in 1854. It is possible that the children may have started at the National School which opened at Badsey in 1854. In Harborne, James became a labourer in the Iron Works. They were still there in 1871, but with just two of their daughters, Sarah and Elizabeth. By the time of the 1881 census, James and Ann had moved to 48 Oldbury Road, Harborne, with their daughter, Mary Anne, their son, Alfred, a widower, and Alfred’s three young boys. By 1891, James Harris was living with son Alfred and family at 59 Oldbury Road. James’ wife, Ann, was staying with her daughter, Sarah Stanford and family at 29 Victoria Street, Sedgley, Staffordshire. Ann had died by 1901 and James Harris was living with Sarah Stanford at Victoria Street, Sedgley. It is not known when he died.
- Mary Ann Harris (1819) was not in Badsey at the time of the 1841 census. In 1843 at Badsey she married widower Thomas Smith; they were no longer living in the village by 1851.
- Sally Harris (1822-1847) died at Badsey in 1847, aged 24.
- Sophia Harris (1826-1898) was a servant in the home of Thomas White of Bretforton in 1841. By 1842 she was working for Thomas Byrd, as she was recommended by him for a domestic service prize in 1845 at the Vale of Evesham Agricultural Association annual awards. “Sophy Harris, Badsey, 19 years of age, service 3” was awarded second prize of £1. In 1851 she was a house servant in the home of Cornelius Warmington of Bridge Street, Evesham, in 1851. Sophia married Job Stanley in 1857 in the Evesham area. They settled in Job’s home village of Snowshill, Gloucestershire, where three daughters were born: Rhoda (c1859), Ann (c1861) and Mary S (c1864). By 1871, they were living in Broadway. Sophia died in 1898.
- Betsey (or Elizabeth as she was also known) Harris (1828) was working as a servant in the home of John and Sarah Sheaf in Badsey who were living at the Manor House in 1841.
John Harris (1820-1892)
By the mid 1840s, there was another Harris family living in Badsey (in The Street), which seem to be unrelated to the other Harrises.
John Harris was born at Weston Subedge, Gloucestershire, in 1820, the son of Richard and Anne Harris. He married Elizabeth Heekes in 1843 and their first child, Sarah, was born at Aston Somerville about 1844. They were living in Badsey by 1845 when a son, Henry, was baptised at St James’ Church in September 1845. There then followed six more children: George (1848), Mary Ann (1850), Fanny (1853-1853), Jane (1854), Fanny (1856) and William (1861). The baptism register for July 1850 clearly says Mary Salis Harris, but everywhere else she is referred to as Mary Ann; it is believed that there may have been two children baptised on the same day, Mary Ann Harris and Mary Sallis Attwood, and the Curate in his confusion mixed the two.
In 1851 and 1861 John and Elizabeth were living in a cottage (demolished in the 1950s on the site of 38 High Street) owned by the Allies family. In 1851, John was a farm labourer and in 1861, a shepherd. In 1861, John and Elizabeth had their children, George, Mary Ann, Jane and Fanny still at home. By 1871, still a shepherd, John and Elizabeth now lived at Claybrook Farm (owned by the Appelbee family). They just had their eldest and youngest sons with them, Henry and William. Their daughter, Fanny, was working as a servant at Ivy House, Aldington.
By 1881, John and Elizabeth were living on their own at The Green (current-day 22 Brewers Lane); John was now described as a former shepherd and Market gardener of three acres. By 1891, they were living at Vale Cottage, Old Post Office Lane (also owned by the Appelbees until sold later in 1891). John died at Badsey in 1892 and Elizabeth in 1904.
Two of their daughters had married at Badsey (Sarah in 1863 to William Thomas Davis and Fanny in 1885 to John Rigby Pickford) but then moved away. Similarly, all the other children moved away so Elizabeth Harris’ death in 1904 marked the end of their connection with Badsey.
William Harris (1828-1860s)
For about a ten-year period from the early 1850s to the early 1860s, another unrelated Harris family lived in Badsey when William and Catherine Harris came with their growing family.
William Harris was baptised at Salford Priors, Warwickshire, in 1828, the illegitimate son of Hester Harris. He married Catherine Womans, also from Salford, in the Birmingham area in 1847. In 1851 they were living in the Iron Cross district of Salford with their first two children, Mary Millicent (1848) and William John (1849), with William working as a grocer and shopkeeper. Esther was born in Salford in 1851 a month or two after the census, but by the time of Charles’ birth (c1853), they were living in Badsey. Catherine (1854-1925), Sarah Ann (c1856), Emily (1857), William (1860) and Fanny (1862) were all born at Badsey, though not baptised at St James’ Church. At the time of the 1861 census, William was a 33-year-old beer seller and shopkeeper, living in the house next to the present-day Spar.
The Harris family had moved to Birmingham by 1864 when their tenth child, Rebecca, was born. Their association with Badsey was at an end. By 1871, William Harris Senior had died.
20th Century Harris Families in Badsey
Except for the descendants of James Harris (c1880-1830), the Harrises who lived in Badsey in the 20th century all appear to be totally unrelated. Please note that, because of data protection, only members of the Harris family that are deceased are recorded below.
Josiah Harris (1837-?) and Eliza Elizabeth Harris (c1836-1901)
In 1901, two doors away from David Harris in Belmont Terrace lived Josiah Harris family but he is not believed to be related. Josiah Harris was born at Lye, Worcestershire, in 1837, the son of Noah Harris, a Forge Man, and Ann, his wife. In 1862 Josiah married Eliza Jasper (c1841). They had three sons and three daughters: Alfred (c1864), Frank (c1868), Agnes (c1872), Clara (c1875), Emily (c1875) and James (1880). He moved to Badsey to take up market gardening, presumably because his elder sister, Lucy Jane, had moved to Badsey in the late 1880s when her husband, Joseph Fletcher Marshall, took up market gardening.
In the household at Belmont Terrace there was also his unmarried daughter, Agnes, who was working as a lady’s maid, his son, Frank, a law clerk, and Frank’s wife, Elizabeth and daughter, Gladys May. Gladys was a pupil at Badsey School for a few months 1900-1901, before leaving the village shortly after the census. Josiah and Eliza had moved from Badsey by 1911 and were living at South Lodge, Crakenmarsh, Uttoxeter.
Josiah’s sister, Eliza Elizabeth (c1836-1901), was also in the village, living with Joseph and Lucy Marshall (1833-1916) and family at South View Terrace. Like her brother and sister, she was born at Lye. Her relationship on the census return was described as aunt, but she was actually the sister of Lucy and aunt to Lucy’s daughter, Rose Sparrow, who lived there with her husband. Eliza, described in the census as a cook, died shortly after the census on 20th April 1901 and was buried at Badsey. Probate was granted to William Henry Harris, iron works manager, believed to be a brother.
William Harris (1876-1909) and Henry Harris (1871-1962)
For eight years at the beginning of the 20th century, a Harris family, originally from Oxfordshire, lived in Badsey. William Harris was born at Kidlington, Oxfordshire, in 1876, the fourth of five sons of William and Fanny Harris, both of Kidlington. William married Lavinia Sarah Mustoe at Kidlington in 1895. William and Lavinia had six sons and three daughters: Frederick William (1895-1973), William Harry (1895-1896), Albert Vernon (1896-1958), Ernest George (1899-1966), Florence Lavinia (1901-1901), Gwendoline (1903-1903), Harold (1903-1904), Nellie May (1907-1998) and Wilfrid John (1909-1978). The eldest three were born at Kidlington and Ernest at Swell Wold, Gloucestershire. Florence, was born early in 1901 at Pershore, but by the time of the 1901 census they were living in Bretforton, with William working as a carter at Manor House Farm. When they moved to Badsey in October 1901, William worked as a hay trusser. The eldest children enrolled at Badsey Council School on 14th October, having previously been at Bretforton School. The youngest four children were born at Badsey, twins dying in infancy and Wilfrid, the youngest, born posthumously.
William Harris died in October 1909, aged 34, and was buried in Badsey churchyard on 7th October. Family legend has it that he fell on a hay knife and died from his injuries. As he worked as a Hay Trusser, this was entirely possible. However, the death certificate reveals that he died in the General Infirmary on 4th October 1909 of, amongst other things, heart failure. He was living at Fairview, Brewers Lane, at the time of his death.
The last date of attendance at Badsey Council School for Ernest George Harris was given as 9th October 1909, two days after the burial of his father. The family was still living in Badsey in February 1910, as Albert Vernon Harris left school on 21st February. At the time of the 1911 census, Lavinia and her three youngest surviving children were living with Lavinia’s mother, Harriet Harper (now married for a third time), at Ganborough in the civil parish of Sezincote and Longborough, Gloucestershire.
During the Great War, Albert enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment and was discharged in June 1918; he was awarded the Silver War Badge.
For a brief time in 1907, William’s older brother, Henry (1871-1962), and family lived at Wickhamford. Henry married Florence Ellen Stephens at Kidlington in 1904. They had seven children, the first two being born at Kidlington and the last four at Moreton-in-Marsh. Their third child, Herbert Cyril Harris (1907-1989), was born at Wickhamford on 4th January 1907 and baptised in the Church of St John the Baptist just over three weeks later. Henry was working as a hay trusser and had obviously sought work in the vicinity of his brother.
Ernest Henry Harris (1872-1952) and Emily Annie Harris
By 1924, Ernest Henry Harris (1872-1952), known as Henry, and his wife, Emily Annie, had moved to Badsey, as both Henry and Emily appear on the electoral roll for 1924. Henry was born at Bishampton in 1872, the son of John and Ellen Harris. He married Emily Annie Smith in 1898; they had no children. In 1911 they were living at 14 Port Street, Evesham; Ernest worked as Steward for the Conservative Club. Emily died in 1934. In 1939, Henry was living alone at 4 Belmont Terrace. Henry died in the Evesham area in 1952.
Frederick Walter Harris (1899-1939) and Olive Harris
In 1926, Frederick Walter Harris (1899-1939) married Olive Ellen Emms. Frederick had been born at Offenham, the son of William and Agnes Harris. Some time after their marriage, they moved to Badsey. Frederick Harris died at the Cottage Hospital, Evesham, in January 1939. Probate of his will was granted to his widow. When the 1939 Register was taken in September, Olive was living alone at 4 Synehurst, Badsey. She never remarried and died in 1982 in the Worcester area.
John William Harris (1884-1959) & Hilda Harris
John William Harris (1884-1959), known as Jack, and his wife, Hilda, moved to Badsey some time in the 1920s or 1930s. They are not thought to be related to earlier Harris families. Jack is thought to have been the son of William Hawling Harris, a shepherd, and his wife, Lavinia. Jack was born at Ramsden, Oxfordshire, in 1884; the family moved to Bickmarsh, Warwickshire, in the 1890s. At the time of the 1939 register they were living at Orchard Way, High Street, Jack employed as a general labourer for the local authority. He later became a pig man for the Churchill family. Hilda died in 1956 and Jack in 1959. At the time of Hilda’s death, when probate was granted at Gloucester to Jack, he was described as a retired market gardener. Probate for Jack was granted at Gloucester to Charles Frederick Harris, a stillroom hand, who was his younger brother.
Edward Thomas Harris (1913-1990) and Audrey Dora Harris
Edward Thomas Harris (1913-1990) and Audrey Dora Harris moved to Badsey in the early 1950s, living firstly at The Alley in the High Street, and then moving to a newly-built house at Green Leys. They are not thought to be related to earlier Harris families. Edward died in 1990 and Audrey in 1993. There is a memorial to both of them in the churchyard of St James.
Norah Elizabeth Harris (1902-1983)
In 1959, Mrs Norah Elizabeth Harris, widow, of Blenheim Cottage, Old Post Office Lane, bought No 50 High Street, Badsey. She remained there for the rest of her life until her death in 1983; she was buried in the churchyard of St James.
Thomas Henry Harris (1873-1936) of Bretforton
Thomas Henry Harris (1873-1936) of Bretforton never lived in Badsey but, in 1919, bought four houses in the terrace of houses called Cotswold View, Willersey Road.
20th Century Harris Families in Wickhamford
In the first decade of the 20th century, two separate strands of families by the name of Harris lived in Wickhamford.
Mary Hilda Harris (c1876-1954), born at Buckland, Gloucestershire, the daughter of Edward and Mary Harris, had married Robert Heritage in 1898. After living briefly in Evesham, they were living in Wickhamford by 1901. They had staying with them Mary’s ten-year-old niece, Mary.
Mary Harris, born at Langley, Worcestershire, in 1891, was the youngest child of Frederick and Mary Ann Harris. Frederick was the brother of Mary Heritage and had recently lost his wife. He was living in Oldbury with his 11-year-old son, Samuel. Mary, meanwhile, came to stay with her aunt in Wickhamford and enrolled at Badsey School in February 1901 and appeared on the census of that year. She had previously been a pupil at St Michael’s, Langley Green. It is probable that she was the Mary Jane was baptized at Wickhamford as an adult in 1905.
By 1911, Mary Jane Harris had gone from the village but her brother, Samuel Harris (1889-1931), was staying with the Heritages. On the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Samuel enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment. Reports in the Parish Magazine of 1917 and 1918 revealed that he had been wounded; he received further wounds when the hospital he was in at St Omer was bombed. He was discharged in September 1918 as unfit for service and was awarded the Silver War Badge.
Leah Harriss (1871-1959), the older sister of Mary Heritage, married Humphrey Edward Wheeler at Wickhamford in 1902 (it was only in the marriage register that her surname appeared as Harriss).
Some time between 1911 and 1914, Joseph Harris (1895-1916), thought to be totally unrelated, moved to Wickhamford. The only reason why we know he must have resided for a time in Wickhamford is because his name appears on the War Memorial. Joseph was born at Shipston-on-Stour in 1895, the third of four children of Charles and Jane Harris. His mother died in 1901 and it is thought that his father had died by 1911 as the family was split up. In 1911, he was working as a domestic servant in the home of farmer Samuel Stanley and his wife Jane at Ebrington near Chipping Campden. Joseph enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment, later transferring to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was killed in action in September 1916 in France.
- Three females, Hester Harris, Esther Harris and Mary Harris, were buried at Wickhamford in the 18th century, but who they were is unknown.
- William Harris, aged 47, was buried at Badsey in August 1841. His abode was given as Totnes. A newspaper article of September 1841 reveals the circumstances of his death, by drowning in a well.
- George Harris, the illegitimate son of Sarah Harris of Badsey, was baptised at Badsey in July 1846. He died 13 days later and was buried in the churchyard.
- Mary Anne Harris, the illegitimate daughter of Ann Harris of Badsey, was baptised at Badsey in November 1864. She died 13 four months later and was buried in the churchyard.
- In 1861, there was a Mary Harris working at Badsey Parsonage as Nurse to the Reverend Hunt's two young children. She was baptised at St Mary de Lode, Gloucester, in 1836, the daughter of Richard and Hannah Harris.
- In 1861, at Elm Farm, Wickhamford, 16-year-old Elizabeth Harris was working as a servant. She had been born at Alderton, Gloucestershire, in 1844, the daughter of William and Sarah Harris.
- Annie Matilda Harris was baptized at Badsey in February 1865. She was the daughter of John Harris, a whitesmith, and his wife, Matilda, who were living at Aldington at the time. By 1871 the family was at Offenham where John was described as a bell hanger. None of the rest of the family had been born in Badsey/Aldington, so it seems they were just temporarily resident for a short time.
- In 1891, in a place described as Lime House, Wickhamford, lived 31-year-old Charles Harris and his 20-year-old wife, Rosa; this was thought to be an outbuilding at Whitfurrows Farm. Charles was born about 1860 at Alcester, the son of Charles and Elizabeth Harris.
- Philip Henry Harris was baptized at Badsey in August 1898. He had been born at Bretforton, the son of market gardener William Harris and his wife, Mercy Asenath. William and all his children were Bretforton born and bred, so it is unknown why Philip was baptized at Badsey.
- Norah Evelyn Harris (1908) was a pupil at Badsey School from 1912-1917. Norah was the youngest of three children of George Henry Harris (known as Henry), a boiler maker, and his wife, Hilda Jane. Both Henry and Hilda were from the Evesham area but had moved to Birmingham around the turn of the century (though Henry, born at Atch Lench, does not appear to be related to any of the other Harris families). At the time of the 1911 census, the family was living at 52 Norman Street, Birmingham. Just a month or two after the census was taken, Hilda died. Norah, the youngest child, was sent to live in Badsey at Belmont Terrace with her aunt and uncle, James and Sarah Elizabeth Keyte (Sarah was the older sister of Norah’s father). When Norah started at Badsey School in 1912 her guardian was listed as James Keyte; in 1914 when she entered the Mixed Department, her guardian was given as James Harris, but this is assumed to be an error and should have said James Keyte. In 1916, a newspaper article reveals that she did a recitation at a Christmas concert in the Baptist Schoolroom at Aldington. Norah left in 1917 to live with her father at Birmingham.
- Leah Rachel Harris (1889-1985) married Allen Halford at Wickhamford in 1911. Leah was born in 1889 at Naunton, Gloucestershire, the daughter of James and Ellen Harris. She had been working as a servant in Evesham.
- Position in League Table: 3 (Badsey top ten 1800s)
- Name variants: Harriss, Harrys
- Name origin: The name Harris derives from the 11th century personal name Harry, itself a nickname form of Henry. "Henry", which originates from the pre 7th century Frankish name "Henn- ric", meaning "home-rule", was first introduced into Britain at the Norman Conquest. Over the next four centuries the name in all its spellings became very popular. An early examples of the "Harry" surname includes Nicholas Herri, in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire.
- Total number of Badsey baptism records: 69
- Total number of Badsey marriage records: 16
- Total number of Badsey burial records: 48
- Total number of Badsey census records: 129
- Total number of Wickhamford baptism records: 2
- Total number of Wickhamford marriage records: 5
- Total number of Wickhamford burial records: 4
- Total number of Wickhamford census records: 5
Mentioned in Publications
- Heads and Tales: A History of Badsey Schools – p 33, photo of Elizabeth Harris; pp 90 & 93, photos of Barbara Harris; pp 121 & 126, photos of Raymond Harris; p 138, photo of Matthew Harris; p 168, Florence Jane Harris, pupil teacher at Badsey School.
- Peace, War & Remembrance: The Great War in Badsey, Aldington & Wickhamford – p 38, David John Harris, gift of market gardening produce; p 38, social tea organized by Mrs Harris of Wickhamford; p 85, death of Frank Harris; pp 18 & 87, Samuel Harris, early volunteer and wounded.
Maureen Spinks, July 2019