RBCM Archives

Harris (family)

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Harris (family)

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



Martha Douglas (1854-1933) and Dennis Reginald Harris (1851-1932) were married in 1878, lived in Victoria, and had seven children together.

Martha Harris (née Douglas) was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1854 and was the youngest member of her family. Her father was James Douglas, the Governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island and her mother was Amelia Douglas.

When Martha was 18, she was sent to England for her education. Martha returned to Victoria in 1874, and in 1878 she married Dennis Harris shortly after her father’s death. Dennis Harris was a land surveyor with the Canadian Pacific Railway and later became an engineer and businessman in Victoria.

Both of Martha’s parents were mixed race – her father had been born in British Guyana to a mixed race mother and a Scottish father, and her mother was part Cree. Although her parents faced prejudice, her mother still taught Martha Cree legends and stories, as well as other First Nations stories from the west coast. After both of her parents had passed away, Martha Harris wrote and published adapted versions of the stories her mother had passed down.

Martha Harris was a member of societies such as the Island Arts and Crafts Society, the Lace Club of Victoria, and the Women’s Institute Weavers Guild. She and her husband had seven children together, and Dennis passed away in 1932 and Martha passed away in 1933.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

DDUFFY 2012-03-19
Revised EFeduk, 2017-07-18




BC BookLook. Pacific BookWorld News Society, 21 Feb. 2014,

Maintenance notes