Michael Harris was born into a distinguished family in Dublin, Ireland in 1795. Little is currently known of his younger years there.
Michael enlisted with the 100th (H.R.H. Prince Regent’s, County of Dublin) Regiment of Foot (later renumbered as the 99th). Michael was only ten years old when the regiment sailed from Ireland to British North America for garrison duty in the colonies. It is unclear at this time if Michael actually sailed with the regiment in 1805 because of his young age but it was not uncommon for young boys to enlist. (and an actual date of enlistment has not been found)