DNA match breaks research brick wall

Recently a DNA match of mine made contact with me.  It appeared that we were both descended from a William Harrison and his wife who lived in Liverpool, England. William and Ann are my ggg grandparents.

Family members here in Australia had searched for years to discover the death of both William and Ann. The last record we could discover for them was the 1861 census where they were living at 3 Hornby Street in Liverpool with their daughter Ann Meacock, her husband and family.

I was sent a link to a video from the Museum of Liverpool which talks about Court Housing - small houses build off dark, narrow courtyards which provided cheap housing for the huge numbers of people moving moving to the city. Hornby Street is mentioned at the end of the video.

Our conclusion was that William and Ann both died sometime between the 1861 and 1871 censuses. Our only clue to his death was a story told by my nanna that her great grandfather had died after being kicked by his horse. Of course you never know whether these stories are true or not!
However, my newfound relative Lyn who lives in Liverpool has had more success. She has death certificates for them both and also a copy of the newspaper report into the inquest into William's death on 30th October 1861.

Liverpool Mercury, 1 November 1861, p. 3, col. 7

His death certificate (297/1861) states that he received a compound fracture of his right leg after being run over by his own cart.

It looks like the story my nanna told may at least have some element of truth in it.  I wonder if there are further archival inquest records available in Liverpool.

Perhaps we may find out the truth of the other stories my nanna told about both William and Ann.

My lineage from William Harrison.

William Harrison
Elizabeth Harrison m. Peter Ogden
Sarah Ogden m. Michael Patrick Ryan
Elsie Ryan m. Donovan Dawson (my grandparents)


  1. Wonderful, I love the possibilities DNA matches bring!


  2. Great story re how collaboration with DNA matches can bring great sharing of information! (am currently contacting all those with whom I have a DNA match so hoping for this wonderful level of success!!!)

    1. I'm now thinking of getting my mtDNA tested next as I have a direct female line back to Ann.


Post a Comment