Can you help Michael find out more about his family?

MAN ON A MISSION: Family tree researcher Michael Atherton.
MAN ON A MISSION: Family tree researcher Michael Atherton.

FORMER postman Michael Atherton is hoping for a helping hand to fill in the blanks in his family tree.

The Billingham man with Hartlepool connections knows plenty about his ancestors, but there are gaps here and there.

George Edward Howe, pictured with Richard Howe as a child. Richard later went on to lie about his age so he could fight for his country.

George Edward Howe, pictured with Richard Howe as a child. Richard later went on to lie about his age so he could fight for his country.

The 58-year-old, who was a postman for more than 20 years and a sales rep in Hartlepool for Rington’s Tea, has turned to the Mail for help.

We are happy to oblige and Michael told us more.

His grandfather, William Edward Harrison, died in 1959 aged 69.

Another of the Harrisons was Renee, who worked at the Odeon in Hartlepool.

Michael told us that the Harrisons were a clan of whom many members were born in India and came to the Tees Valley area. Does anyone know them?

His mother was Joan Atherton (nee Harrison), his grandmother Winnifred Harrison (nee Howe) and his aunt Joyce Harrison.

Part of the family was the Skidmore branch of the ancestry.

Michael added: “I know that most of that side of the family lived in Melrose Street in Hartlepool, going back to my great-grandmother.”

His great-grandfather was George Edward Howe, who died in 1921.

Michael said: “I know his family came from Bishop Auckland and he was born in 1859.”

Ironically, he was also a sales rep and worked for Camerons Brewery in Hartlepool.

Michael added: “I believe he had his own business at one point.”

Pictured with George is a little child who was Richard Howe - Michael’s grandmother’s brother.

Michael said he lied about his age when he joined up to go to war, but he paid dearly for his commitment when he lost a leg in battle.

“Richard has a sister, Doris, who died in 1924, and she had a daughter called Olwyn, but I don’t have many details about her,” added Michael.

Can anyone help with more details on Olwyn? Both Michael and the Mail would be interested to know.

Finally, Michael also has some information on two other members of the family.

His great-grandmother was called Amelia Harrison, nee Hughes, and his great uncle was Lancelot Harrison, who was believed to have spent time in the Territorial Army and who “had a big funeral in Hartlepool”.

Michael added: “I am very interested in family trees, but sadly there is no-one to ask about them in my family because they are nearly all gone.”

We would love to help Michael find out more.

Do you know any of the Harrison clan with links to India as well as Hartlepool. Or how about the Skidmores and Melrose Street?

If you can help, get in touch by emailing sarah.stoner@jpress.co.uk