Andre HARKNESS was a Private in Canadian Voltigeurs Regiment of Light Infantry in 1812. By 1816 he was working for the North West Company at Fort William. In 1821 he joined the Hudson's Bay Company working in various roles until 1838 when he became a storeman and interpreter at Norway House where he stayed until 1854 when he relocated south to the Red River Settlement. They were at Norway house when son Peter HARKNESS was born.
Norway House is located on the Nelson River at the junction of several water routes, It was a hub of the Hudson's Bay Company's fur-trade and supply lines since 1796, and an administrative centre for Rupert's Land.