Welcome to Balean.net - Harrison Family Name

The origins of this name are probably English.  Harrison implies son of Harris. This was possibly a forename as it doesn’t refer to a trade or profession. In recent times the Harrisons were big landowners in the Brighton area and extremely wealthy. They owned the Harrisons Hotel at 25 Kings Road, Brighton, which had previously been known as The Old Ship and Gun.1 They are believed to be related to John Harrison who invented the chronometer that enabled seamen to find longitude, although I have not yet made a definitive connection. They are also supposed to be descended from Geoffrey Harrison, who was a signatory to the death warrant of Charles I. Unfortunately our history of the Harrison family only goes back as far as 1780 and we would very much like to find any older links.

Thomas Harrison (b. 1780) married Sarah Thomas (b. 1782) They had five children; George (1809-1866), Eliza, Sarah, Thomas and Emma.

George Harrison (b. 1809) married *Sarah Bradford (b. 1812) on 21st June 1836 at St Nicholas’ Church, Brighton by the Rev. Thomas Trooke. George Harrison was born on 13th March 1809 and was a licensed victualler. Sarah’s mother thoroughly disapproved of George Harrison though the reason for this is unknown. Sarah would wait until her mother was out and then arranged the curtains in a certain way so that George would know that it was safe to visit. Sarah ‘ran away’ to get married, though her mother knew quite well that she was getting married, but refused to go to the wedding. Nevertheless she gave orders to Messers Lashmers (now Harrington’s) that ‘Miss Sally’ was to have everything she wanted. She never went to Sarah’s house, but Sarah and her children always went to see her at 79 West Street. There were seven children in all, Sarah (1839-1919), George (1841-1873), William (1846-1912), Eliza (1848-1881), Henry (1851-1900), Frederick (1853-1925) and Fanny (1855-1915). George Harrison died on 22nd January 1866 aged 56 and Sarah died on 3rd March 1895 aged 82. Both are buried at St. Nicholas’ Church in Brighton.

* For further information on Sarah Bradford’s antecedents, click on the Bradford link.

Sarah Harrison was born on 16th September 1839. She married *Herman Balean, son of Etienne and Anna Balian of Cologne. Hermann was a tutor of French and German languages and Sarah was his pupil. Their marriage took place at St. Nicholas Church in Brighton on 26th July 1870. They lived initially at 21 Clifton Road in Brighton and later moved to 15 Alexandra Villas. They had six children, Alice (1871-1923), Hilda (1873-1953), Hermann (1875-1945), Thekla (1876-1952), Oswald (1879-1928) and Alan (1881-1921) (*see under the heading of the Baleans). Sarah died on 12th December 1919 and is buried at Pycombe Churchyard with her husband.

William Harrison (b.1846) married Emily Sophie Harris (1859-1935).

Eliza Harrison (b. 1848) died at Nervi near Genoa in Italy in 1881.

Henry Harrison (b. 1851) married Rosa Churton at St Nicholas Church, Cliftonville in Brighton, on 1st June 1878.

Frederick Harrison (b.1853) married Berthe Hauser, second daughter of Frederick Hauser of Paris and London, at St. Stephen’s Church, Paddington, on 23rd January 1878. Frederick was a solicitor and worked in the family firm of Morgan and Harrison, 57 Coleman Street, Kings Arms Yard, London EC2. Freddie and Berthe had a son, Digby Harrison, who was killed in action in France in WW1, on 26th September 1917 aged 17. Frederick died on 27th December 1925.

Fanny Harrison was born on 15th August 1855. She was the bluestocking of the family and obtained a mathematical Tripos with honours from Girton College, Cambridge in 1879 at a time when few women were represented in academic circles. She was the recipient of ‘Maundy Money’, and when she died, unmarried and without heirs, she bequeathed it to her nephew, Hermann Balean.

1 G. Bishop, ‘The Brighton Chain Pier’ I.C.E. Library Lon. P.4. Also mentioned in Musgrave’s ‘Life in Brighton’ 1970.

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