Henry Harris


Henry Harris appears in the 1870 US Census living in Santa Clara Township.  The data in the Census indicates that he was then 51 years old, born in England, and living with his 56 year old wife Mary who was born in Scotland.  Also living with them are their two California born children, 20 year old Miriam and 19 year old Albert. Henry’s occupation is listed as “Cabinet-Maker” and Mary’s as “Keeping House”.


Henry Harris also appears in the 1880 US Census still living in Santa Clara.  His occupation is listed as “Capitalist” and he is 61 years old.  His 65 year old wife Mary is still listed as “Keeping House”.  Also still in the household are his 29 year old daughter Miriam, who is described as “at home” and his 28 year old son Albert who is described as an “Orchardist”.


Around 1886, after the death of his wife Mary, Henry and his daughter moved to San Jose.


Henry’s younger brother Nathaniel Harris was also a Santa Clara pioneer, coming to Santa Clara in the early 1850s. The brothers were obviously close.  Nathaniel and his English born wife Rebecca had eight children: John, Julia, Priscilla known as Percy, Morris/Maurice, Louisa, Henry, Emily and Alice Maud all probably born in Santa Clara. 



An obituary notice for Henry Harris appeared in The Evening News (San Jose) on March 6, 1899.  Here is a transcription:


The Death of A Pioneer.

  The death of Henry Harris, a retired capitalist and one of the pioneers of this valley, occurred this morning at his residence, 415 West San Fernando street.  He was a widower and leaves two children, Albert, a son, and Miriam, a daughter.  Paralysis was the immediate cause of death.

  Deceased came to this State July 31, 1846, and for many years he resided in Santa Clara. He was a brother of the late Nathaniel Harris.

  He was a successful business man, and had a wide reputation for integrity and honesty and his death is deeply regretted.


The following information was compiled by Harris descendants

Keira Lockyer and Sue Woolf of Australia


Father                           Jacob Harris, c1767-1852, born in Prussia, died in                                                                                                                                           London.

Mother:                         Catherine Phillips 1777-1840


Born                               c.1819 Surrey, London


Religion                       Born into a Jewish family but married out.

His family may have followed the Presbyterian religion.


Siblings:                      Nancy “Ann” (Solomons), Morris “Monny” Harris, Sarah (Simmons), Elizabeth (Chapman) and Nathaniel Harris who was also a pioneer in the San Jose region.


Left England                Possibly 1839, but before1845, for Australia, Chile and                                                                                                                                   Mexico.

Arrived California       31 July 1846


Occupation                  Cabinet Maker, Miner, Farmer and then ‘Capitalist’


Married                         Between late 1846 and early 1849


Wife                               MARY MURRAY c1814-1884, of Aberdeen, Scotland


Children                       Miriam E.  Unmarried.

Albert  Married Ada M. Jordan and had one child Miriam A. (Blanchard)



Continue to transcript of Henry’s will