William HARRISON and Emily BURNS
October 15, 2003:
I was browsing through some of the material on “Bytown or Bust” and I found
the following very interesting little tidbit, which was taken from the Ottawa Free Press, 1872.
It’s delightful to find this kind of information! And I just want to say thanks.
OTTAWA FREE PRESS
Mar 11, by the Rev. Harper at Brown's Tavern, and under threat of death by the
bride's brother; William HARRISON to Miss BURNS of Gloucester
(full story in March 12 paper). - Oh Oh, this could be one of my Burns ... Al
For your information, and for fun, I wanted you to know that William Harrison
(Harness Maker, Presbyterian), son of my gr gr grandparents
(John Harrison & Sarah Elizabeth Keenan) and brother to my gr grandfather
John Keenan Harrison, did indeed marry Emily Burns (Plymouth Brethren).
I found William living with his brother, Robert and family by 1891 (classified as married);
the same is true in 1901. Emily Burns Harrison is buried in Dale’s Cumberland
Cemetery. She died in 1914. William died in 1941 at age 90.
William & Emily had 3 children:
Margaret Anne (Annie) born 20 Sep 1872
Minnie born about 1874
Wm. James born abt 1875 and died in 1892 at age 17. (heart disease)
I would love to get to Ottawa sometime and find the “full story in March
12 paper”. Or do you happen to have the full story in your database?
I really am enjoying your work on the Bytown or Bust website. My gr grandfather
John Keenan Harrison and his family were among the families who traveled west.
They settled in Manitoba.
Thanks for an interesting read.
Elaine (Harrison) Wilson
Thanks for the interesting story of William Harrison and Emily Burns!
Do you mind if I add it to my web site? Next month I hope to get over to the National
Archives for a day and get a copy of the "full story".
I'll scan it and add it to the web site also.
You’re welcome to use my little bit of information.
I’m looking forward to seeing the “full story”!!
November 5, 2003:
Hello Elaine and Al,
This is further to your correspondence about the marriage of William
Harrison and Emily Burns on a website containing marriage, birth and death
records from the Ottawa Free Press.
I saw the entry some time ago in about the marriage of William Harrison and
Emily Burns on "Sue's" transcription of Ottawa marriages in 1872's Ottawa
Free Press. When I came across it again yesterday together with your
emails, I could not resist but go to the Ottawa library and look up the said
article. As you do not appear to have it, here it is:
From the Free Press, March 12, 1872 (forgot to get the page, but I think it
was page 3).
MARRIED WITH THE AID OF AN AXE
About five months ago, a young woman named Burns came from Gloucester to
live in the city, having engaged as milliner with Mrs. Ryan. She boarded at
Mrs. Elliotts, on George street, where also boarded a young man, a saddler
by trade, named Wm. Harrison, who has been working for Mr. Borbridge, Rideau
Street. They became intimate, and finally the young man under fair promises
seduced her. The brother on coming into the city yesterday and learning of
the state of affairs, procured a revolver and went to see Harrison. On
going into the yard in rear of Mr. Borbridge's shop, he called the young man
out, and picking up an axe accused him of accomplishing his sister's ruin,
which was not denied, and gave him his choice "to marry her or die"! The
young man, finding his situation rather critical, aquiesced to the wishes of
his soon to-be brother-in-law; and was forced to accompany him to Brown's
tavern, just opposite, where Miss Burns was. Here, he was locked up in a
room with the young lady, Burns guarding the door with a drawn revolver. He
then sent for and obtained a marriage license, also the services of the Rev.
Mr. Harper, who came and performed the marriage ceremony. The couple were
thus married in haste, and they will no doubt repent at leisure.
Hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Please feel free to post it on the
Bytown or Bust site, which I must say was a delightful discovery.
E-mail Elaine Wilson, Carol Gibson and Al Lewis
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