Parentage of Esther Harrison Ashcroft

Christening record for Esther Harrison, 1784, Mosley, Lancashire, England

Esther Harrison married Joshua Ashcroft in the cathedral in Manchester, Lancashire, on 19 May 1802. I had originally named William and Sarah Slator Harrison as her parents in my family tree based on research done by another Ashcroft descendant, Rodney Kerr. According to Rodney, a William Harrison was recorded at Dolefield, a craft area of old inner Manchester, in 1788 and as a dyer at 4 Water Street in Hulme, another craft area, in 1800. A Joshua Ashcroft, a slater (roofer), was also in Hulme in 1800. William Harrison, a weaver, and his wife Sarah, were the parents of an Esther baptised at Mossley, Manchester, on 11 April 1784.

However, in researching her birth I found others who could just as easily be her parents:

Esther Harrison born to John and Anne and christened 2 Nov 1777 in Mossley, Lancashire. This Esther would have been 25 when she married.

Esther Harrison born to William and Sarah and christened 5 Sept 1779 at St. Michael’s, Ashton-Under_Lyne, Lancashire. This Esther would have been 23 when she married.

Esther Harrison born to John and Sarah Harrison and christened 24 Apr 1785 at the Cathedral in Manchester, Lancashire. This Esther would have been about 17 when she married.

After Joshua died in 1806, Esther seems to have disappeared. No marriage record has been found - if she remarried; and no death or census record has turned up. A death record would have given us her age at death, making it easier to find a match.

So far, I have researched christening records for other children of Sarah and William Harrison and John and Anne Harrison in Mossley, Lancashire. The following children were found for William and Sarah Harrison:

Willm. Harrison, chr. 23 Nov 1777
Mary Harrison, chr. 24 Sept 1780
Sarah Harrison, chr. 30 Dec 1781
John Harrison, chr. 16 Feb 1783
Esther Harrison, chr. 11 Apr 1784
Ann Harrison, chr. 4 May 1785
James Harrison, chr. 26 Mar 1786

The following children were found for John and Anne Harrison:

Wm. Harrison, chr. 2 Sept 1774
Esther Harrison, chr. 2 Nov 1777

There were also several marriage records for a William Harrison and a Sarah:

Sarah Slator, married 6 June 1773, St. Michael, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire
Sarah Platt, married 8 Jul 1777, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire
Sarah Scholfield, married 5 Oct 1773, St. Chad, Rochdale, Lancashire

Marriage records for John Harrison and Anne:

Anne Taylor, married 2 May 1769, St. Mary, Oldham, Lancashire
Hannah Hulley, married 23 May 1768, St. Michael, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire
Ann Sealey, married 25 Oct 1768, St. Michael, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire
Anne Andrew, married 14 Feb 1774, St. Michael, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire

Esther, when she married, was “of Manchester” as was Joshua. Also, the witness was John Harrison, possibly a brother John, born to William and Sarah in Mossley, possibly Esther’s father – if her father was John. Joshua and Esther's children were William and John and William's children were William, Esther, Joshua, Ann, Mary and John. Without more information, such as Esther's death date, there is no way to say for certain who her parents were.

Image source: Parish register transcripts, 1756-1821, Chapelry of Mossley (Lancashire) Church of England, Christenings. FHL microfilm 223722. This shows an Esther born 11 April 1784 to W [William] and Sarah Harrison. He is a we [weaver] of Broadca [Broad Carr]. There is a Broadcarr Ln., Mossley, Ashton-Under-Lyne, Lancashire. This may have been where they lived. Other microfilms searched: 1545445, 547822, 1520051, 438165, 443327.

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30 Dec 2009
Updated 13 June 2012