Author Topic: James Harkness of Worcester  (Read 7273 times)

Offline Gillg

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James Harkness of Worcester
« on: Thursday 29 December 05 12:37 GMT (UK) »
An American friend is trying to obtain a birth certificate for her great-grandfather, James Fleming Harkness, according to family legend born 5 March 1841, St Martins, Worcester.  I cannot find an entry for him on Free BMD.  :(  Would anyone have access to parish records or BVRI, or can you suggest which would be the appropriate Record Office to write to?
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

FAIREY/FAIRY/FAREY/FEARY, LAWSON, CHURCH, BENSON, HALSTEAD from Easton, Ellington, Eynesbury, Gt Catworth, Huntingdon, Spaldwick, Hunts;  Burnley, Lancs;  New Zealand, Australia & US.

HURST, BOLTON,  BUTTERWORTH, ADAMSON, WILD, MCIVOR from Milnrow, Newhey, Oldham & Rochdale, Lancs.

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Offline Puffcat

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Re: James Harkness of Worcester
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 29 December 05 18:13 GMT (UK) »
Worcester Register Office
at 29/30 Foregate Street Worcester WR1 1DS

Many register offices are indexing their records, and it may be that Worcestershire have all the County births indexed by now, so if the Certificate is not in Worcester itself, they may be able to locate which office is holding it.
Not a common name so should be a lot easier.

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Offline Gillg

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Re: James Harkness of Worcester
« Reply #2 on: Friday 30 December 05 11:05 GMT (UK) »
Thanks very much.  :) That's a good starting point.  An initial (free) search on Ancestry hasn't found him either, and I'm wondering if there has been some kind of mistranscription, or whether family history is incorrect.  An 1841 or 1851 census for Worcester might give a clue, but I have no other facts to work on.
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

FAIREY/FAIRY/FAREY/FEARY, LAWSON, CHURCH, BENSON, HALSTEAD from Easton, Ellington, Eynesbury, Gt Catworth, Huntingdon, Spaldwick, Hunts;  Burnley, Lancs;  New Zealand, Australia & US.

HURST, BOLTON,  BUTTERWORTH, ADAMSON, WILD, MCIVOR from Milnrow, Newhey, Oldham & Rochdale, Lancs.

Offline Gillg

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Re: James Harkness of Worcester
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 15 February 06 15:51 GMT (UK) »
Another thought, since my gt grandfather, coincidentally also born 1841 but elsewhere, doesn't appear in any records other than the 1841 census aged 20 days, maybe someone has the 1841 Worcester images, and could find James Fleming Harkness and family for me there.  My American friend would be most grateful.  :D
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

FAIREY/FAIRY/FAREY/FEARY, LAWSON, CHURCH, BENSON, HALSTEAD from Easton, Ellington, Eynesbury, Gt Catworth, Huntingdon, Spaldwick, Hunts;  Burnley, Lancs;  New Zealand, Australia & US.

HURST, BOLTON,  BUTTERWORTH, ADAMSON, WILD, MCIVOR from Milnrow, Newhey, Oldham & Rochdale, Lancs.

Offline Gardener

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Re: James Harkness of Worcester
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 16 February 06 13:57 GMT (UK) »
I can't find any Harkness family on the Worcs 1851 census ??? By 1861 there is one family but they don't have a James and are at Malvern. Not very helpful I am afraid.
Rose (Black Country),Downs (Black Country),Wolloxall (any and all),Bark (Derbyshire),Wright (Derbyshire),Marsden (Derbyshire), Wallace (Black Country)

All census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Gillg

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Re: James Harkness of Worcester
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 16 February 06 15:55 GMT (UK) »
I, too, am baffled!  I have just discovered that my local FHS has the 1841 for Worcester and have searched on that, but again without success.  And yet there are births/baptisms of 3 potential siblings, Margaret, Elizabeth Gondie and Isabella Harkness, registered on FreeBMD in Worcester in 1843, 1845 & 1848  ???  I can only surmise that the family lived elsewhere, but that for some reason family births/baptisms took place in Worcester. 

The only James Harkness of the right age I have been able to find is living with his parents James and Margaret in Wigton, Cumberland, and was born in Scotland, in fact Harkness is clearly a Scottish name when you start looking at records.  I wonder if my friend's family Bible, or rather a family member's memory of what was in there, could have got the wrong town name .... and yet the date is so precise.

Thank you for trying. 

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

FAIREY/FAIRY/FAREY/FEARY, LAWSON, CHURCH, BENSON, HALSTEAD from Easton, Ellington, Eynesbury, Gt Catworth, Huntingdon, Spaldwick, Hunts;  Burnley, Lancs;  New Zealand, Australia & US.

HURST, BOLTON,  BUTTERWORTH, ADAMSON, WILD, MCIVOR from Milnrow, Newhey, Oldham & Rochdale, Lancs.

Offline Gardener

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Re: James Harkness of Worcester
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 16 February 06 21:18 GMT (UK) »
And yet there are births/baptisms of 3 potential siblings, Margaret, Elizabeth Gondie and Isabella Harkness, registered on FreeBMD in Worcester in 1843, 1845 & 1848  ???  I can only surmise that the family lived elsewhere, but that for some reason family births/baptisms took place in Worcester. 


 ;D Now we may be getting somewhere ;D
The IGI has an entry for birth and bapt of Margaret Dobie Harkness 1843 at Angel St Congregational nonconformist church in Worcester, parents James Harkness and Isabella Stewart.
There is also an Isabella Harkng bpt same place same parents 1848.
That all seems to fit together so at least these people existed and they do sound Scottish to me as well what with Fleming and Stewart mixed in there too.

I suggest that you ask if anyone can look at the actual entries for you, possibly at Worcester Family History centre. You may get lucky and find the father's occupation or their address or something. You can never tell with the independent churches. There may be a few more entries lurking there too, the entries may be difficult to read unless you are actuallly looking for a particular name if you see what I mean.

PS Elizabeth Gondie may be Condie as there are a few Condies from Scotland in the Worcester area in 1851.
Rose (Black Country),Downs (Black Country),Wolloxall (any and all),Bark (Derbyshire),Wright (Derbyshire),Marsden (Derbyshire), Wallace (Black Country)

All census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Gillg

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Re: James Harkness of Worcester
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 16 February 06 22:32 GMT (UK) »
Non-Conformist is good, though Methodist would have been better than Congregationalist.  James F Harkness emigrated with his Scottish wife and a group of like-minded Scots to America around 1880, and together they founded a township and set up a Methodist Church there.  Two of his sons became Methodist ministers.

I think a look at the parish register for St Martin's, Worcester, will have to be the next step, to see if there really is an entry there, also to check out the parentage of the three potential sisters.  Unfortunately I don't live near there, so have suggested to my friend that she emails the Record Office there with an enquiry. However, if anyone feels able to offer to visit the RO to take this further, I'd be most grateful.

Many thanks again, Gardener.  :)
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

FAIREY/FAIRY/FAREY/FEARY, LAWSON, CHURCH, BENSON, HALSTEAD from Easton, Ellington, Eynesbury, Gt Catworth, Huntingdon, Spaldwick, Hunts;  Burnley, Lancs;  New Zealand, Australia & US.

HURST, BOLTON,  BUTTERWORTH, ADAMSON, WILD, MCIVOR from Milnrow, Newhey, Oldham & Rochdale, Lancs.

Offline stewart ritchie

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Re: James Harkness of Worcester
« Reply #8 on: Friday 12 February 10 16:56 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for this... I have been wondering for a while where my Harkness Family disappeared to.

James Fleming Harkness, b. 1841, Worcester, Worcestershire, England was the son of James Fleming Harkness, b. abt 1817, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland and Isabella Stewart, b. abt 1816, Paisley Renfrewshire, Scotland.

The family moved back to Paisley and appear on the 1851 census there, and then on the Glasgow, St George census in 1861.  I have no trace of them after that, and I had assumed that they emigrated.

James (Senior) worked for the railways as a Carriers Clerk.

His parents were William Harkness and Jane Fleming.  I know that William was a police sargeant, but not much else, except that the family came from Northern Ireland.

James (Senior) had two older brothers that I know about, John and Thomas.  Both were born in County Derry.

Thomas is my 3x Great Grandfather.

Most of the Harkness's disappear from the local scottish records after 1851.  It would be good to find out where they settled in the US.