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Mary A. (Birch) Harrison
(1869- ? )


Mary A. (Birch) Harrison was born on Nov. 8, 1869 or in August 1875 in Greene County, PA, the daughter of Samuel and Susan (Miner) Birch.

When she was about 29 years of age, in 1897, Mary married New Jersey native John Harrison (1874- ? ). Their nuptials were conducted in Ohio County, WV. 

They bore two children, but only one of them is known -- Edgar L. Harrison. The other died as a young child, sometime between 1897 and 1900. 

The U.S. census of 1900 shows the family living on South Main Street in Washington, Washington County, PA. John labored that year in a glass factory. Also boarding under their roof that year were 10-year-old brother Arty Birch and lodger Frank Minderman.

Mary and John relocated to Alexandria, VA, at least as early as 1906. When the federal census was taken in 1910, they continued to make their home there on Cameron Street. John's occupation was listed as a glass blower in a local glass plant.

A local historical landmark in Alexandria --  Christ Church, where George Washington worshipped


In the summer of 1915, Mary's sister Cassie Weir and family drove from Washington, PA for a visit with the Harrisons. The results of the trip generated a story in a Washington newspaper. 

The federal census of 1920 shows the family making its home on Cameron Street in Alexandria. That year, John was employed as a machinist in a U.S. torpedo plant, and 19-year-old son Edgar as an automobile machinist. Three men were roomers in their residence -- Thomas Calloway and William Moore of North Carolina, and Alfred S. Dooley of Virginia. 

Sadly, John died sometime during the 1920s, or perhaps the couple separated, with him out of the picture.

As a widow, Mary continued to take in lodgers as a source of income. The 1930 census shows her still living on North Cameron Street in Alexandria, with son and daughter in law Edgar and Ruth C. Harrison in the household, along with roomers Edward Johnston and Edward Brown.

Mary was residing in Alexandria in 1935, at the time of the death of her brother John Wiley Birch in Washington, PA, and was mentioned in his newspaper obituary.

She has not yet been located in the 1940 census, and her fate is unknown.


~ Son Edgar Harrison ~

Son Edgar Harrison (1900-1960) was born on July 25, 1900 in Washington, Washington County, PA. Although he had no middle name, he appears to have adopted "Lockhart" as that name. 

As a boy, Edgar moved with his parents to Alexandria, VA. He was of medium height and build, standing 5 feet, 8 inches tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. He weighed 145 lbs. and had a ruddy complexion.

Then in young manhood, when required to register for the military draft during World War I, the 18-year-old Edgar was residing with his mother at 1006 Cameron Street in Alexandria. At that time, his occupation was as a motor repairman for Alexandria Aircraft Corporation.

On Nov. 4, 1927, when he was age 27 and she 18, Edgar married Ruth Carol Marston (1909-1960), a native of Virginia. The wedding was held in Rockville, MD.

Their one son was Edgar Lockhart Harrison.

They dwelled with his mother in Alexandria in 1930 as shown on the federal census. That year, he worked as an electrical engineer for Western Electric, and she as a stenographer for the United States Department of Justice. By 1935, they relocated to a residence on Wisconsin Avenue in the District of Columbia.

The pair separated on Nov. 30, 1937, with Ruth moving to 313 Piedmont Street in Arlington, and Edgar living at 1308 23rd Street South, also in Arlington. They eventually divorced in Arlington on Feb. 17, 1940.

The federal census enumeration for 1940 shows Edgar marked as married but living alone, and continuing his work as an engineer for the government.

Edgar entered into marriage again with Anne Lee ( ? - ? ). Their home in the 1940s was at 6227 Sligo Parkway in Hyattsville, Prince Georges County, MD. His employer in 1942 was the U.S. Navy, working at Belleview in the southern tip of the District of Columbia. He likely was based at the Naval Research Laboratory in Belleview.

Edgar is known to have retired to Key West, FL and then in about 1956 relocated to St. Petersburg, FL. His address in St. Pete was 417 9th Street North.

As his health failed, Edgar was admitted to the Pinellas County Home. He passed away there at the age of 60 on Aug. 18, 1960. An obituary was printed in the Tampa Bay Times.

Son Edgar Lockhart Harrison (1931-2017) was born on June 15, 1931 in Arlington,, VA. He was but a boy when his parents divorced, and evidence suggests he and his father were estranged. At the death of his father in 1960, Edgar's whereabouts were unknown to his father's people. Edgar received his bachelor of arts degree from Indiana University and then obtained his master's of business administration degree from the same school. When he was 23 years of age, in about 1954, Edgar was joined in wedlock with Page Wilmer ( ? - ? ). Later, he married Frances Scotti ( ? - ? ). He was the father of two daughters -- Carol Ruth Powers and Sharon Lou Lilly. Edgar made his way to Port Chester, NY (circa 1966) and later to Rye Brook, NY where the family made a home in the 1980s and 1990s at 40 Meadowlark Road. He spent his 50-year career in sales for popular American magazines, among them Look, Tennis, McCall's and Outdoor Life. Then in 1983 he was tapped to be eastern advertising director with Seventeen magazine in New York City with a territory of New York and Boston. When time allowed he liked to play tennis and held memberships in the New York Athletic Club and Westchester Country Club. Evidence suggests that Edgar suffered from Alzheimer's Disease in hia last years. He died at the age of 86 on Dec. 11, 2017. Funeral services were held at the Church of the Resurrection in Rye. 

  • Granddaughter Carol Ruth Harrison ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was a graduate of the School of the Holy Child followed by Villanova University. She was formally presented to society in 1979 at the St. Vincent's Hospital Debutante Ball. She earned a living in 1991 in sales with Deak-Perera Company in New York City. On Aug. 13, 1991, she wed John Edward Powers II ( ? - ? ), son of John Edward Powers Sr. of North Barrington, IL. Officiating the ceremony, held in the chapel of Manhattanville College, was Rev. Francis V. Boyle, pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The marriage was announced in the New York Times, and her bridal portrait was printed in the Port Chester (NY) Daily Item. John received his undergraduate degree cum laude from the University of Cincinnati and in 1991 was employed with Sun Chemical Corporation in New York City as a district sales manager. Two offspring born into this union were Lindsey P. Mangold and Kristen Powers.
  • Granddaughter Sharon Lou Harrison ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She was an alumna of the School of the Holy Child, and she received her bachelor's degree in 1985 from Rosemont College. In 1991, she was employed by First Boston Corporation in New York as a research analyst. On Nov. 2, 1991, she was united in matrimony with John Richard Lilly Jr. ( ? - ? ), son of John Richard and Marcella (Seymour) Lilly Sr. The nuptials were held in the chapel of Manhattanville College, by the hand of Rev. Roger Vaughn. Sharon Lou was pictured in the wedding announcement in the Mamaroneck (NY) Daily Times. John was a graduate of Fairfield Preparatory School and Villanova University. At the time of marriage, he was an assistant vice president with Deutsche Bank AG, New York City. The couple bore a daughter, Alexandra Katherine Ruth Lilly. Clues suggest that the pair dwelled in Greenwich, CT in 2017.


Copyright 2001, 2005, 2008, 2020, 2022 Mark A. Miner