John Sheard (16??-1690)
Briestwell, Thornhill Parish

Land Introduction
Michael Sheard (c 1688-??)
Jonas Sheard (1713-1789)
Connection To All Sheard Pages

Vivien Tomlinson's Family History

Birth of Michael Sheard c 1688 of Birstall Parish

There is some question concerning the birth record of Michael Sheard who married Abigail Healy and had children in the early 1700s in Birstall Parish. The following information is is support of the theory that Michael was the son of John Sheard born in Briestwell in Thornhill Parish in 1867.

Vivien Tomlinson's Research of the Sheard in Briestwell

All of the information on this page, except where noted, was graciously provided by Sheard descendant, Vivien Tomlinson, January 2005.

Vivien notes that:

The will of George Sheard of Briestwell, mentions a nephew, George, son of Michael. Although, George was not the elder son, he could have been less well provided for or even George's godson. George's will also mentions Benjamin, son of his brother, Benjamin. In Birstall we have two Benjamins who fit on age. Unfortunately I have not found a baptism for the younger Benjamin. A definite baptismal record for him could help solidify the Briestwell/Birstall Sheard connection. It is thought that he married his cousin, Elizabeth Sheard. She had a sister, Lydia, and they had a daughter of that name. Other names fit into a plausible pattern. Parts of the information do duplicate on account of Benjamin's marriage.

Dominic Lennon's suggestion of John son of Anthony as John of Briestwell is a possibility. However, Anthony was a Blacksmith. Paver's Marriage Licences has an entry in 1643 for Anthony Sheard, Blacksmith of Dewsbury and Dorothy Naylor of St. Crux, York, to be married in either parish.

This was the period of our Civil War, and 1643 was the most disruptive year locally. Blacksmiths would have been required with the troops and I do wonder if this could have taken Anthony to York.

However, there were earlier Sheards in Briestwell. Thornhill registers have:-

  • Matthew Sheard of Briestwell buried 22. 4 . 1646
  • Matthew Sheard's wife buried 29. 6 .1649
  • 25. 8. 1639 Jane d of Matthew Sheard of Briestwell bapt
  • 21. 5. 1643 Jonas s of Matthew Sheard of Briestwell bapt
  • 1. 7. 1665 Jane Sheard of Briestwell buried

Tenancies commonly passed from father to son, so I have wondered if John was another, apparently unrecorded, son of this Matthew. If there was no surviving son the tenancy could perhaps have been passed on to another relative, just as George hoped.

John of Briestwell also had sons Joseph and John. In Birstall we have burials for a Joseph in 1700 and a John 1706/7. They are probably adult as it doesn't say infant of--. Could they be John's other sons, who died before their brother George? I have looked for them in later Thornhill records, and not found any trace of them there. The Jonas of Littletown who married Alice Shepherd could even be Jonas born 1683, though this would be a latish marriage.

John Sheard

Birth: Unknown

Marriage: Elizabeth Armitage, 12 August 1669 in Thornhill


  1. Mary Sheard, born in Briestwell. Baptism: 27 Nov 1670, Thornhill

  2. George Sheard, born 1673 in Briestwell

    Marriage: Sarah Fisher, 4 Feb 1712/13 Thornhill


    1. George Sheard, baptism: 11 Oct 1716, Thornhill
      Death: 24 May 1718 in Briestwell

    Death of George Sheard: Buried 14 Sept 1751 Thornhill.

  3. Joseph Sheard, in Briestwell. Baptism: 21 Mar 1673/74, Thornhill

  4. John Sheard, in Briestwell. Baptism: 29 May 1677, Thornhill

  5. Benjamin Sheard, in Briestwell. Baptism: 23 Nov 1679, Thornhill

    Marriage: Unknown

    Residence: Littletown at baptisms of children


    1. Jonas born Abt. 1700.
      Marriage: Alice Shepherd 3 Oct 1720 in Birstall (? Not in Thwaite's Birstall Parish Registers, listed on LDS IGI as Hartsheard?) (MLB, Jan 2005), daughter of William Shepherd.
      Residence: Littletown
      Children of Jonas Sheard and Alice Shepherd
      1. John baptized 7 Nov 1721, Birstall
      2. David Sheard, baptized: 6 Oct 1723, Birstall
      3. Elinor Sheard, baptized: 19 Mar 1730/31, Birstall
        Marriage: Ellenor Sheard married Benjamin Blackburn July 9, 1759, Birstall Parish (MLB Jan. 2005)
      4. Sarah of Jonas Sheard of Little Gomersall, September 30, 1733, Birstall Parish (MLB, Jan 2005)
    2. Benjamin Sheard birth unknown, No later than 1713, could have been the son of Elizabeth Brooke. See below. (MLB, Jan 2005)
      Marriage: Elizabeth Sheard 24 Mar 1733/34 in Birstall, daughter of Michael Sheard and Abigail Healey. See Michael Sheard
      Residences: Littletown
      Children of Benjamin Sheard and Elizabeth Sheard:
      1. Joseph Sheard. Baptism: 2 Jun 1734, Birstall Littletown (MLB)
      2. John Sheard Baptism: 9 Feb 1736/37, Birstall
        Death before 1756
      3. Elizabeth Sheard. Baptism: 18 Mar 1738/39, Birstall
      4. Sarah, baptized January 6, 1740, Birstall Parish (MLB, Jan 2005)
      5. Benjamin Sheard. Baptism: 10 Jan 1742/43, Birstall
      6. Lydia Sheard. Baptism: 27 Jan 1744/45, Birstall
      7. Hannah September 6, 1747 Birstall Parish (MLB, Jan 2005)
      8. Mary June 28, 1749 Birstall Parish (MLB, Jan 2005)
      9. John September 3, 1758 Birstall Parish (MLB, Jan 2005)
      Note: 24 year year span.

    3. James Sheard , birth unknown. No later than 1726. Was he a son or grandson of Benajmin? (MLB, Jan 2005)
      Marriage: James Sheard married Sarah Yates 21 Sep 1746 in Birstall, daughter of John Yates and Martha Gledhill.
      Residence: Littletown
      Children of James Sheard and Sarah Yates:
      1. John Sheard: Baptism: 17 Feb 1749/50, bapt. Birstall
      2. James Sheard, Baptism: 11 Feb 1755, bapt Birstall
      3. Mary Sheard, born Abt. 1760.
      4. Jonas Sheard, born 1761.
      5. Benjamin Sheard, born Unknown.
        Marriage: Benajmin Sheard married Elizabeth Charlesworth.

    Marriage of Benajmin Sheard and Elizabeth Brooke 1709: Benjamin Sheard of Littletown married Elizabeth Brooke July 28, 1709, Birstall Parish (MLB, Jan 2005)

    Children of Benjamin Sheard and Elizabeth Brooke :

    1. Elizabeth of Benjamin Sheard of Littletown baptized August 13, 1710 (MLB, 2005)
    2. Joseph Sheard, born 13 Nov 1712. Joseph of Benjamin Sheard of Littletown November 13, 1712 (MLB, 2005)

  6. Jonas Sheard, in Briestwell. Baptism: 25 Mar 1683, Thornhill.

  7. Ellin Sheard, in Briestwell. Baptism: 18 Oct 1685, Thornhill

    Death: She must have died as another Ellen was baptized in 1690.

  8. Michael Sheard, in Briestwell. Baptized 29 Jan 1687/88 Thornhill Parish

    Marriage: Abigail Healey, 13 Nov 1712 in Birstall Parish


    1. Michael Healey, baptized 19 Jun 1709, Birstall Parish "bastard of Abigail Healey of Long Liversedge, Michael Sheard of Eddercliff (Littletown) the reputed father.
      Note: It is likely that Michael Healey later took the name Sheard and is the Michael Sheard who married Alice Green in Birstall in 1735, and whose children included Joshua and Michael
    2. Jonas Sheard, Baptized 24 May 1713, Birstall, W.YKS
      Marriage: Dinah Kirk, 19 Nov 1739 in Birstall, daughter of Jonathan Kirk. See Dinah Kirk now or at the bottom of the page.
      1. George Sheard, of Jonas Sheard of Great Gomersall, baptized September 14, 1740, Birstall Parish Church (MLB, Jan 2005)
        Further Records: George Sheard married Hannah Blakeley and had a large family with many descendants living in Batley. For more information go to George Sheard now or at the bottom of the page.
      2. Michael Sheard of Jonas Sheard of Great Gomersall, baptized December 12, 1742, Birstall Parish Church (MLB, Jan 2005)
        Further Records: Michael Sheard married Sarah Barber. They had several daughters who had families in Batley. For more information go to Michael Sheard now or at the bottom of the page.
      3. Hannah Sheard: Baptism: 21 Oct 1744, Birstall Parish Church
      4. Lydia Sheard: Baptism: 29 Sep 1746, Birstall Parish Church
      5. Suzanna, daughter of Jonas Sheard of Great Gomersall was baptized on February 8, 1748 (Birstall Parish). (MLB, Jan 2005)
        Death: Suzanna, daughter of Jonas Sheard of Birstall, was buried October 15, 1764. (MLB, Jan 2005)
      6. James Sheard: Baptism: 18 Jul 1756, Gomersal Moravian Church
      See Jonas Sheard now or at the bottom of the page.
    3. Mary Sheard, Baptism: 9 Jan 1714/15, Birstall
      Marriage: Mary Sheard married John Jackson, April 11, 1737 in Birstall Parish (MLB, Jan 2005)
    4. Elizabeth Sheard, born 1716.
      Marriage: Elizabeth Sheard married Benjamin Sheard 24, Mar 1733/34 in Birstall, son of Benjamin Sheard., See Benjamin Sheard of Littletown above.
    5. George Sheard: Baptism: 27 Dec 1721, Birstall
      Marriage; George Sheard married Mary Midgeley 27 Jul 1746 in Birstall.
      Children of George Sheard and Mary Midgeley
      1. Michael Sheard: Baptism: 6 Jan 1748/49, Birstall
      2. Abigail Sheard: 15 Jul 1750, bapt. Birstall
      3. Judith Sheard: Baptism, 2 Jul 1758, bapt. Birstall
      4. Samuel Sheard, born Unknown.
    6. Benjamin Sheard, baptism: 8 Sep 1723, Birstall
    7. Lydia Sheard, born 1725, baptism: 11 Apr 1725, Birstall
      Marriage: William Whiteley 17 Feb 1747/48.
    8. Susanna Sheard, Baptism: 12 Dec 1731, Birstall

    For additional information on Michael Sheard and Abigail Healey go to Michael Sheard or Healey now or at the bottom of the page

  9. Ellen Sheard, Baptism: 19 Oct 1690, Thornhill

    Marriage: Joseph Fisher 24 Jun 1713 in Thornhill.

Death of John Sheard: John Sheard of Briestwell buried 18 April 1690, Thornhill Parish

Death of Elizabeth Armitage Sheard: Unknown

Excerpts From the Will of George Sheard of Briestwell, Thornhill, Dated 29 Jan 1750

(Some early wills were copied into ledgers, but this appears to be a photocopy of an original document. It is competently written but a bit untidy with the odd smudge and crossing out and perhaps a badly trimmed pen!)

There is a standard preamble -"very lame and infirm of body but of right mind and memory", and George, described as Cloathier, asks to be buried amongst his ancestors in Thornhill churchyard.

He asks that his nephew Benjamin Sheard son of his brother Benjamin be given the tenant right of the farm - this subject to permission of the landlord Sir John Armatage and his guardians. (presumably a minor, and one of the Armytages of Kirklees who did own land hereabouts.

5 is due to him which he lent to his brother Benjamin. If Sir John allows the transfer of tenancy then George asks that he shall pay 5 to George the son of the testator's brother Michael, and 5 to Michael's widow. If Benjamin is not allowed the tenancy the the 10 is not a charge on the executors.

The remainder of his goods and chattels go to his wife Sarah and son-in-law John Fisher who are joint executors.

The will is signed with his mark and sealed with his seal Witnesses John Baildon signs John Fisher x-es Joseph Fisher x-es

There is a short inventory

He has a cow, corn in 2 fields, hay in barn and manure in fold. Three rooms are mentioned the upper parlour, the house (Yorkshire usage for main living room) with fire and range, and a middle parlour. There are two beds with bedding valued at 10s each, six chairs, various chests and boxes. The cow was valued at 2.5s. A pewter case together with a buffet is valued at 6d. The total value is 11.1s.0d Appraised by Amos Senior and Joseph Armitage who sign, and John and Joseph Fisher who make their marks.

There is no mention of a loom or anything associated with his trade, but George and his wife were elderly; he was born in 1673. I have found only one child, a son George who died young. I think the pewter case is interesting as pewter was something of a status possession, but it is empty. It is possible he was in reduced circumstances or had previously helped his relatives.

VET 1/12/2004

More Sheard Genealogy

Vivien Tomlinson is "a member of the Society of Genealogists and several Yorkshire Family History Societies, on the committee of the London Group of the Yorkshire Family History Societies, and have an Advanced Certificate in Family History." She has done extensive work into several Batley familys including the Sheards. See Vivien Tomlinson's Family History

Other Sheards from Thornhill

On August 10, 2005 Angela wrote:

Charles Sheard, clothmaker of Lees Moor, Thornhill had a son, Charles, baptised at Thornhill Parish Church on 25 Dec 1788. Charles Sheard (1788) married Elizabeth Howarth at Mirfield Parish Church on 9 Oct 1823, but he unfortunately died young, (in 1841 and was buried at Batley Parish Church). The son of Charles and Elizabeth, another Charles, went on to become a master dyer and founded, eventually Charles Sheard and Sons Ltd at Carr Mills, Birstall.

Michael Sheard

Michael Sheard, married Abigail Healey in Birstall Parish in 1712. For more information on Michael Sheard go to Michael Sheard. For information on Abigail Healey go to Abigail Healey

Jonas Sheard, son of Michael Sheard

Jonas Sheard, married Dinah Kirk in Birstall Parish in 1739. For more information on Jonas Sheard go to Jonas Sheard. For information on Dinah Kirk go to Dinah Kirk

George Sheard, son of Jonas Sheard

Jonas Sheard, married Hannah Blakeley in Batley Parish in 1762. For more information on George Sheard go to George Sheard.

Michael Sheard, son of Jonas Sheard

Michael Sheard, married Sarah Barber in Birstall Parish in 1763. For more information on Michael Sheard go to Michael Sheard. For information on Sarah Barber go to Barber

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