Harriton House
500 Harriton Rd.
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010


Harriton Cemetery (Harrison Family)
The Millbank Road entrance is closed
Located off Caversham Road on Private Property
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Harriton House

  The Harriton Cemetery was opened by Richard Harrison in 1719. The date of opening is recorded on a datestone in the stone wall surrounding this Harrison family cemetery. The wall surrounding the burying ground was rebuilt about 1900 utilizing the stone from the old stone wall around the cemetery under the supervision of architect and family member William Sansom Vaux. The date of the first burial in the cemetery is not known; however is presumed to be the 1719 opening date, which is the same year of Richard Harrison's purchase of the Harriton estate from Rowland Ellis.

Burials in the cemetery are principally those of Richard Harrison's immediate family and descendants. Family tradition tells us of those buried in the burial ground through the 18th century, as graves are unmarked for the most part. Common field stones are found poking up throughout the cemetery, as graves were unmarked as memorials in good 18th century Quaker fashion. The field stones were not memorial markers of any kind, they simply marked the spot of the last dug grave. Over the years, these simple stones have been moved, pulled up as weeding was done, knocked over, etc. There are two marked graves with dates before 1800, that of Benjamin Cochran in 1794, and that of his brother Richard in 1796. These two were NOT Harrison family members (see "Strangers to the Family"). The earliest marked Harrison family or descendant grave is that of Charles McClenachan in 1811.

Except for the marked 19th century graves, it is unknown who is buried in the cemetery or where. A "map" of burials started by Richard Harrison once existed. Charles Thomson makes reference to the long-lost "map", and references to it are found in family papers to about 1840. Although locations are unknown, family tradition tells us a little bit about the use of the cemetery. The cemetery contains the remains-of Richard Harrison and his descendants (Harrison's wife, Hannah Norris Harrison, died in 1774 and was buried at Arch Street Meeting in Philadelphia). Richard Harrison is said to be buried next to the wall to the left at the foot of the steps which go up and over the wall. His daughter, Hannah Harrison, and her husband Charles Thomson are said to have been buried "nearby". The cemetery also contains the remains of household servants (Harrison's house slaves). There was a separate cemetery "on the rise behind Harriton House" for field slaves, and this second cemetery was visible on the landscape into the 1870's. At the extreme south end of the little Harriton cemetery are found several inscribed headstones. The headstones - together with footstones - are very different from the 19th century Harrison family inscribed stones. The burials are also separate from the family, and the graves contain what are called in Harrison family tradition "Strangers to the Family".

Although family tradition tells us that Charles and Hannah Thomson are buried in the cemetery (1824 and 1807 respectively), three bodies were removed in 1838 and taken to the new Laurel Hill Cemetery overlooking the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia amid well-publicized controversy. Because the graves were unmarked at Harriton's cemetery when the removals were made, no one knows whose remains were taken. Today there is an enormous memorial at Laurel Hill with a great granite obelisk and three graves: Charles Thomson, Hannah Harrison Thomson, and young Charles Thomson (Charles Thomson's great nephew, son of John Thomson), of Emma Morris Shinn and James T. Shinn, and granddaughter of Namoi & Levi Morris).

This burial record database is the work of Bruce C. Gill, Executive Director and Curator of the Harriton Association. The listings come from family records and documents. Questions about the location and nature of the sources cited may be addressed to the Lower Merion Historical Society at LMHistory@comcast.net

Updated December, 2002


         Members of the Harrison family - marked grave sites
         Unmarked grave sites - buried at Harriton according to family tradition
         "Strangers to the Family" - marked grave sites
Last NameFirst NameBirth DateDeath DateComments
CochranMargaret17291809Wife of Thomas Cochran
CochranMary17341810Sister of Thomas Cochran
CochranThomas17231814Husband of Margaret Cochran
CochranWilliam17631804Son: died in Tennessee
HarrisonIsaacDied young; Son of Richard and Hannah Norris Harrison
HarrisonRichardMarch 2, 1745Husband of Hannah Norris Harrison
HarrisonSamuel1770Son of Richard and Hannah Harrison
HarrisonThomas1759Son of Richard and Hannah Harrison
Harrison3 un-named childrenChildren of Richard and Hannah Norris Harrison. Died before 1746
LindsayJane17571815Daughter of Thomas Cochran
MaierAnna ShinnMay 23, 1874March 17, 1941Wife of Paul D.I. Maier; daughter of Emma Morris & James T. Shinn; granddaughter of Naomi & Levi Morris
MaierJames ShinnMay 29, 1907June 18, 1999Son of Anna Shinn Maier & Paul D.I. Maier
MaierMargaretNovember 19, 1911June 25, 1998Wife of William Morris Maier
MaierPaul D.I.January 15, 1874August 7, 1936Husband of Anna Shinn Maier
MaierPhyllis ClareAugust 2, 1910November 27, 1990Wife of James Shinn Maier
MaierWilliam MorrisJune 11, 1909March 11, 1982Son of Paul D.I. Maier & Anna Shinn; brother: James Shinn Maier
McClenachanAmelia Sophia Harrison1823Wife of Robert McClenachan; daughter of Thomas Harrison
McClenachanCharlesOctober 21, 1811
MorrisAnnie18461847Daughter of Levi & Naomi Morris
MorrisCatherine WisterJune 18, 1840October 18, 1922Daughter of Levi & Naomi Morris
MorrisCharlesSon of Levi & Naomi Morris
MorrisLevi18071863Husband of Naomi McClenachan
MorrisMaryDaughter of Levi & Naomi Morris
MorrisNaomi McClenachanSeptember 1, 18111893Wife of Levi Morris
ThomsonCharles1820Son of John Thomson who was Charles Thomson's nephew.
ThomsonCharlesAugust 16, 1824Husband of Hannah Harrison Thomson; son-in-law of Richard Harrison
ThomsonHannah Harrison1807Wife of Charles Thomson; daughter of Richard & Hannah Harrison
VauxAnne HawksJune 2, 1913Noovember 10, 1978Wife of George Vaux
VauxGeorgeApril 30, 1832April 20, 1915Husband of Sarah Morris Vaux
VauxGeorgeDecember 18, 1863October 24, 1927Son of George & Sarah Morris Vaux
VauxGeorgeSeptember 30, 1908September 19, 1996Son of George & Mary James Vaux
VauxMary JamesAugust 18, 1875February 14, 1956Wife of George Vaux
VauxSarahSeptember 3, 1838December 14, 1880Wife of George Vaux; Daughter of Naomi McClenachan Morris & Levi Morris.
VauxWilliam Sanson Jr.April 1, 1872July 23, 1908Son of Sarah & George Vaux; Grandson of Naomi McClenachan Morris
 MollPossibly a former servant
 Ruth1861May 28, 1929Possibly a former servant.

A Family Tree of the Harrison family is available for viewing.

Updated December, 2002