Thomas Sheard, Mirfield

Land Introduction
Michael Sheard (1688-??)
Connection To All Sheard Pages

Thomas Sheard

The History of Batley Parish published in 1894 by Michael Sheard gives a brief history of the family of Thomas Sheard and contains a copy of his will written in 1565. Thomas Sheard was the progenitor of the Sheards who settled the Batley and Birstall parishes, and an ancestor of the Michael Sheard (the author of the History of Batley Parish.)

According to the history written by Michael Sheard, Thomas Sheard of Halifax parish and his wife, Margaret Holdesworthe, had four sons, Michael, Martin, Matthew, and Luke, and one daughter, Sybil.

Martin Sheard married and settled in Batley parish.

Michael, Matthew, and Luke settled in Mirfield parish.

The history of the family is interesting in showing how one family in the mid 1500's spread out to several different parishes.

The will of Thomas Sheard indicates that in addition to the five children listed above, he had two siblings, Elizabeth Sheard Barwike and Robert Sheard. Thomas Sheard's wife, Margaret Holdesworthe had a brother, Edward.

The last will and testament of Thomas Sheard of Ovenden in Halifax Parish in 1565 reads,

"In the name of God, amen, the 12th September, 1565, I, Thomas Sheard of Ovenden, in the prsh of Halifax, within the co. of York, wolman, of whole myne and pfete remembrance but………………………and troubled with seckness, and therefore fearinge and mistrusting the uncertantie of this miserable and wretched world, do ordayne and make this my last will and testament in manner and forme as hereafter ensuythe ffirst and principallie I do giue and bequeathe my soule unto God almyghtie Or heavenie father, surlie Trustynge and stedfastlie belevenge to have full remisscon of all my synes in the bold shedding of his most dearlie beloved sone Or Savor Jesu Christ, and in the meritte of his blessed passion, and my bodie to be buried in the churche or churche garthe of Halifax, emongst the bodies of the other faith full people of God, and one mortuatie to the Vicar of the same church, according to the Raite of the late prince of most famous memory King Henrye the eigth statutes for that purpose established and pvided, ffirst, it is my will that I be decentlie brought further of all my goods according to my vocacon and whereas before the daite here of my deed bearing Date the seavent of June, in this instant seaventhe year of the reign of Or soveryne ladie queene that now is, I have gyven and delivered by good will and concent of Margaret Sheard, my wife, to Mychaell, Martin, Mathew and luke Sheard, my sones and Sibell Sheard my Doughter, the full some of one hundrethe pounds of good and lawful English money, as by the said deide bearing date as it more plainlie it appeareth, the said whiche gyfte I will shall be and remayne fyrme and stable, and irremovable, in althings, and contente according to the proportine and terme of the same deide, ther my last will, or any other thinge or content to the contarie not withe standing, also, I do gyve and bequithe to the saide Margaret, my wife, the full third part of the Residue of all my goods, cattells, detts, and implements, where with she the said being prst at the making and reading hereof for the naturall faver and goodwill she hath and bearithe to her said children is agred and fulie contented, also I gyve to John Davye X, also I gyve and bequithe to ………….. Davye XL. To the said John XL. I do gyve also and bequeathe to Thomas byshoppe of Surrobie, in Lincolnshire, X. I do gyve and bequithe to everyone of my god children xij. I do gyve also and bequithe to Grace…… viij. I do gyve and bequeathe to Eliz. Barwike, my sister, iij iiij. I do gyve also and bequeithe to Edward Haldesworthe, my wyfes brother, two stone of shotte wolle, to make his children clothers to array them withal. The other two ptes and residue of all my goods, cattels, detts and implements besides the said hundreth pounds given by deide as is said, the said third pte appointed to the said Margaret Sheard, my wyfe, my detts, legaces and funeral expences deducted and discharged, I gyve and bequethe to the said Mychaell, Martin, Mathew, luke and Sebell Sheard, my children, who with the said Margaret Sheard, my wife, I do ordyne and make my lawful Executors of this my last will and testament, also, I have desired my verye faithful frends Mr John Waterhouse of Schysden, Gentleman, as principall, Robert Sheard, my brother, John Craven, John Whitley, Thomas Wilkinson, and William Oats, to be supervisors of this my said last will and Testament, unto whom I gyve authoritie and power to ovrsee, correct, and assyste my said Executores in all thing four about, and asuringe the true executing and prformance of this my last will and testament according to the terms of the same. The which said supervisors I will shall have there costes and charges fullie borne and………...of my said goods. Witnes, Rob T Bryghouse, Henrie Ryshworthe, John Spensor, Thomas Gledhill, and William Burton, Gylberte Galdworthe, John Hedgyerde Proved 7 November 1565
The IGI does not list the baptism of Thomas Sheard, the baptism of his wife, Margaret Holdesworthe, or their marriage. It does includes the baptism of three of their children, Michael, Luke, and Sibbell. The dates of birth of Matthew and Martin are unknown.

The Children on Thomas Sheard and Margaret Holdsworthe

Thomas Sheard and Margaret Holdsworthe of Halifax parish had:

  1. Birth: Michael, the son of "Thome" Sheard, baptized in Halifax parish on October 21, 1551 (IGI)

    Marriage: Michael Sheard married Agnes Hepworth on May 2, 1580 in Mirfield parish (Mirfield parish indexes)


    1. Agnes, September 15, 1581 (Mirfield parish baptismal indexes compiled by the LDS)

    2. Thomas baptized April 12, 1583 (Mirfield parish baptismal indexes compiled by the LDS)

    3. Sibill baptized on September 13, 1584 (Mirfield parish baptismal indexes compiled by the LDS)

    4. Anthony, October 9, 1586 (Mirfield parish baptismal indexes compiled by the LDS)

    5. Michael baptized on March 29, 1589 (Mirfield parish baptismal indexes compiled by the LDS)

      Marriage: Michael Sheard of Mirfield parish married Jane File of Flockton on April 15th, 1615 or 1616 in Thornhill by Dewsbury parish. (The year is not legible) (Thornhill Parish Records)


      1. Michael, May 25, 1617 (Mirfield parish baptismal indexes compiled by the LDS)
      2. Anthony, August 8, 1620 (Mirfield parish baptismal indexes compiled by the LDS)
      3. Ester on April 18, 1625 (Mirfield parish baptismal indexes compiled by the LDS)
      4. Thomas on March 30, 1628 (Mirfield parish baptismal indexes compiled by the LDS)

    6. Elizabeth baptized on October 28, 1590 (Mirfield parish baptismal indexes compiled by the LDS)

    7. Alice, March 23, 1593 (Mirfield parish baptismal indexes compiled by the LDS)

  2. Luke Sheard, the son of ____, was baptized in ____ parish, on July 20, 1561 (IGI).
    Marriage Luke Sheard married Elizabeth Blackburn on January 30, 1586 in Mirfield parish.
    Children: According to the Mirfield parish indexes compiled by the LDS, they had at east six children all baptized in Mirfield parish:
    1. Elizabeth baptized on July 21, 1588 and buried in 1587
    2. Elizabeth in 1588
    3. Luke baptized on June 14, 1590
    4. Sara baptized on October 1, 1592
    5. John baptized on January 3, 1594
    6. Thomas baptized on August 29, 1596
    7. Richard baptized on November 19, 1598
    I did not follow the family of Luke Sheard in Mirfield.

  3. Sibbell, the daughter of ____ Sheard, was baptized in ___ parish on May 15, 1554 (IGI).

    Marriage: Sybell Sheard married Johnne Townend on June 20, 1574 in Mirfield parish (Mirfield Parish Indexes)

  4. Matthew, date and place of birth unknown.
    Marriage: Matthew Sheard married Margaret Staton in Batley on August 10, 1584 (BT) According to Michael Sheard's book they settled in Mirfield.

  5. Martin, date and place of birth unknown. According to Michael Sheard, Martin was the first Sheard to settle in Batley parish. See Martin Sheard below.

Martin Sheard in Batley Parish

There are very few entries for the Sheards in the Bishop's Transcripts for Batley parish (LDS film # 0980660) from 1600 through 1729. There are lots of years missing and the records are very sparse.

Martin Sheard was listed in the Batley parish records for the first time in 1581. He was obviously living in the parish from the time of his marriage to Jane in 1583 to his death fifty two years later in 1635. There is only one baptismal record for a child of Martin Sheard listed in the parish records, that of Michael in 1585. It is possible that baptisms of other children occurred when the records are missing or that they occurred in Mirfield or Halifax.

Illegitimate Son of Matin Sheard and Agnes Rodes: Martin Sheard and Agnes Rodes had an illegitimate son, William, baptized on July 24, 1581 in Batley Parish.

Marriage: Martin Sheard married Jane Wilbore, the widow of William Wilbore, on February 5, 1583 in Batley parish (Michael Sheard and the Parish Records).

According to Michael Sheard:

  • William Wilbore of Healey died in 1582 living no issue.
  • Jane's maiden name was Breare

According to A. Cadman, Jane Breare was a native of Gomersal, Birstall Parish.


  1. Michael, the son of Martin Sheard, was baptized in Batley parish on May 8, 1585 (Batley Parish Records).
    Death: Burial: Michael Sheard buried May 8, 1586.
  2. Martin, d.o.b. (no later than 1596), place unknown.
    Marriage: unknown
    1. Martin of Martin Sheard, February 22, 1616 (BT)
    2. Michael of Martin Sheard, February 22, 1619 (BT)
      Note: This was most likely the Michael Sheard who married and had children in Birstall parish. See below.
    3. Thomas of Martin Sheard, September 20, 1619 (BT)
    4. Grace of Martin Sheard, October 7, 1621 (BT)
    5. Jane of Martin Sheard, August 24, 1623 (BT)
    6. Alice of Martin Sheard, January 29, 1625 (BT)
    7. John of Martin Sheard, January 2, 1628 (BT)
    8. Richard of Martin Sheard, December 12, 1629 (BT)
    Death of Martin Sheard: Martin Sheard buried April 27, 1662
    Death of the wife of Martin Sheard Unknown
  3. John Sheard, Unknown, Based on a minimum age of twenty at the birth of William, John was born no later than 1600.
    Marriage: Unknown
    1. William, the son of John Sheard, baptized February 21, 1621 (BT).
  4. Marmaduke Sheard, based on an age of twenty at the time of the marriage Marmaduke was born no later than 1597.
    Marriage: Janet (?) on July on July 22, 1617.
    Note: Marmaduke was either the son of Martin and Jane Sheard or a relative who married in Batley parish. There are no children for Marmaduke in Batley parish.

Death of Jane Sheard: Jane, the wife of Martin Sheard, was buried on November 11, 1614.

Death of Martin Sheard: Martin Sheard was buried August 22, 1635.

Other Early Sheard Records in Batley Parish

  1. William Sheard was buried on February 21, 1621. Was this the illegitimate son of Martin and Agnes Rodes baptized in 1581 or was he the son of John baptized on February 21, 1621?

  2. Grace Sheard married John Fawcett on October 15, 1656. Based on an age of twenty at the time of her marriage Grace was born no later than 1636. The only Grace in the records was the daughter of Martin baptized in 1621. Was Grace 35 at the time of her marriage or is this a Sheard from another parish?

  3. Agnes, "of Michael Sheard" of Batley was buried in Mirfield on February 2, 1665 (BT). Unfortunately this record does not give the relationship to Michael. Was Agnes a wife or daughter of Michael Sheard?

  4. The burial of Anne Sheard on November 9, 1670. I do not know who Anne Sheard was.

Early Sheard Records in Birstall Parish

The records in general show a fair amount of movement between Batley and Birstall Parishes.

There were Sheards in Birstall Parish as early as 1640, when Michael Sheard married Isabell Parkinson. As noted above it is likely that this was Michael, the son of Martin, baptized in 1619.

For more information on the Sheards in Birstall Parish go to Early Records for Sheard in Birstall Parish

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