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, circa 1897, Mary married New Jersey native John Harrison (1874- ? ).
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 in law 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.
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. The specific facts about his passing are unknown.
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- ? ) was born on July 25 or Aug. 25, 1900 in Washington County, PA. He had no middle 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.
As a young man, 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.
In about 1928, when he was age 27 and she 18, Edgar married Ruth C. (1910- ? ), a native of Virginia.
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, Edgar had relocated to a residence on Wisconsin Avenue in the District of Columbia. The federal census enumeration for 1940 shows him marked as married but living alone, and continuing his work as an engineer for the government.
Edgar remarried to Anne Lee ( ? - ? ). Their home in 1942 was at 6227 Sligo Parkway in Hyattsville, Prince Georges County, MD. His employer that year 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 located in Belleview.
Copyright © 2001, 2005, 2008, 2020 Mark A. Miner