‘George’ was born in Tetbury on 26th January 1859, the son of Jonah and Elizabeth Harris.  Click here to read about Jonah and Elizabeth

We are a bit worried about George’s full name.  In the index of births on the FreeBMD website, his name appears to be ‘John George’.  He used the name of George in all the censuses up to 1891 and he got married under the name of George.  In the 1901 census he uses the name ‘William G’ and the electoral registers up to 1946 show his name as ‘George William Harris’.  Most of the marriage records of his children show his name as William George.  In 1935 when Arthur Harris gets married his father’s name was given as William John Harris, but when Margaret Emily was married in 1938 his name was given as William George again.  The 1939 register compiled in preparation for the war lists him as ‘John G. Harris’.  When he died, his death and burial was registered as John George Harris and his obituary also used that name.  We can only assume that his full name was ‘John George William Harris’ and that he used different forenames throughout his life.

He moved with his parents, first to Avening near Stroud and then about 1865 to Thornbury.  In 1881 census he was living with his widowed mother in Horseshoe Lane.  George was a labourer.

Ellen Harris nee Derrick

On 5th March 1883, ‘George’ married Ellen Derrick who was born in Banwell on 20th January 1858.  She was the daughter of Frederick Derrick, a labourer and his wife, Mary (nee Saunders).  In the 1881 census Ellen had been working as a general domestic servant at the Swan in the High Street.  The marriage took place in St James, Bristol and they both gave their address at the time as 13 St James Parade.  George gave his profession as haulier.  The photo on the left is believed to be Ellen.

The 1885 Rate Book shows ‘George’ was renting a house in Mutton Lane (later known as 4 Crispin Lane) from William Cullimore.  By the 1890 Rate Book he had moved to one the two houses which then adjoined 6 Crispin Lane.  It appears he was renting the property on the end of the row which was soon to be demolished and replaced by the stables and storeroom built there by the Tucker Brothers.

In 1891 George’s and Ellen were living in three roomed house in Mutton Lane.  They were living two doors away from George’s mother, now married to Francis Driscoll.  By this time George and Ellen had had four children: Mary Elizabeth baptised 7th October 1883, Annie baptised 2nd August 1885, Rose baptised 4th December 1887 and William George baptised 6th April 1890.

The 1901 census shows that George was now calling himself ‘William G’.  He was now working as a miller’s labourer and his daughter, Mary was now a laundress.  ‘William’ and Ellen were still living in their tiny cottage.  They now had nine children living with them including: Lily born on 6th May 1892 and baptised on 3rd July 1892, Emily Ellen born on 4th May 1894 and baptised on 1st July 1894, Frederick Charles baptised on 2nd June 1895, Florence May born on 14th May 1897, Victor Albert born on 30th August 1899 and Robert Herbert (Bertie) born on 10th February 1900.

By 1903, when another son, Harold Alfred, was born, the family had moved to 15 St Mary Street, the small Town Trust cottage (which was occupied by Mind charity shop).  Harold died on 7th July 1903 after only 12 days.
They had one more child: Arthur Francis baptised on 7th July 1907.  The 1911 census shows William and Ellen living in St Mary Street with six of their children in their four roomed house: William now a butcher’s assistant, Emily, Fred, Florence, Victor and Bert.  George and Ellen continued to live in the St Mary Street house for the rest of their lives.

In 1939 the register compiled in preparation for the war lists ‘John G’, Ellen and their son Robert B living in the house.  Robert was described as a general labourer.

Ellen died on 26th February 1942 aged 82.  Following her death, her son, Victor, and his wife, Emily, moved from their home at 8 Upper Bath Road to look after George at 15 St Mary Street.  George died in 1949 aged 90.  He was buried in Thornbury Cemetery on 9th November 1949.  Victor and Emily continued living in 15 St Mary Street.

See also our album of the Harris and Dixon families

Of their children:

Annie – married John King, better known as ‘Jack’ on 13th October 1912 at Filton Parish Church.  They had Gladys May born on 11th May 1914, Peggy Matilda born 11th November 1915, Edna Mary born on 2nd September 1917, Leslie John born on 4th September 1919 and Shirley Anne born on 29th September 1935.  Peggy moved to Thornbury when she married Alfred Charles Riddiford in 1937 and when, during the War, the rest of the King family were bombed out of their house near the airfield at Filton, they all moved to Thornbury.  Click here to read more

Rose – married Henry White in 1907.  They settled in Berkeley where they had eight children.  The photo on the right was taken of Rose in 1962.

William George – married Amy Poulton in 1913.  They had two children: Margaret Emily born in 1913 and Derrick born in 1929.  Click here to read  more

Lily – married Austin Dixon on 28th July 1926.  They had one son, George Austin Dixon born 24th May 1929.  Click here to read more 

Emily Ellen – married Harry Skuse and they had three children: Brenda, George and Jean.  Click here to read more

Frederick Charles – married Lily Maud Skillern and they had one son, George Frederick – click here to read more

Florrie RugmanFlorence May – married George Rugman on 11th February 1920.  George was a labourer from Tytherington and the son of Henry Rugman a labourer.  They had four children: Wilfred, Mervyn, Pat and Billie.  We believe that the register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war suggests George and Florrie might have lived 4 or 6 St Mary Street.  It describes George as a quarryman born on 12th September 1892.  It suggests that Florrie was born on 23rd August 1897.  There was no sign of George and Florrie in any of the Thornbury electoral registers before or after 1939 so we don’t know where they lived.  The photo on the right was one taken of Florrie in 1962.

Victor Albert – married Emily Longden in 1927 and they had three children: Doreen, Joan & Patricia.  They lived in 8 Upper Bath Road until 1942 when they moved to 15 St Mary Street to look after Victor’s father.  Click here to read more about them

Arthur Francis – married Emily Mary Josephine Pearce on 30th March 1935 and they had three children: Rodney Francis Charles, Barbara and Rosemary.  Click here to read more