The Harland diaspora

The diversity of the Harland diaspora is in large part a product of the fact that John Harland married twice, in 1880 and then, as a result of the death of his first wife, again in 1891.  The first family generated  four sons, the second family a daughter and two sons.

Emma Gaynor Wells  - Mrs. John Harland
b. 1 July 1853 in Dublin City
m.  23 April 1880
d.22 January 1890
Emma Gaynor Wells (1853 - 1890)

Emma’s portrait (circa 1880), photographed by K Harland

No one seems to know how John Harland met Emma Gaynor Wells. She was born and brought up in Dublin, the second daughter of William (“Willie”) and Mary Wells, who lived at 20 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin, where her father owned and ran a chemist shop. Later they lived at Sackville Street, Dublin.

As a newly wed at the age of 27 she moved into Hillside in 1880. She had her first three sons in quick succession, 1881-85, and her fourth in 1888. Sadly she died of pulmonary tuberculosis when the youngest was just 19 months old.   She was still only 36 years old, and her husband a year younger. She was a gifted artist and left several water colours.  John went on to remarry, but the children of his second family had no children of their own. This means that the Harland family tree described in this website comprises the descendants of John and Emma only.

John and Emma with their sons, Tom, Willie and Jack, 1886


This old photograph comes from a different age when boys using nappies were dressed in skirts and is a poignant reminder of the ravages caused by pulmonary tuberculosis. It should be compared with the portrait of these three boys, taken with their youngest brother in 1891.