Saturday, 12 July 2014

52 Ancestors #44 Simeon Lord (senior)

Simeon Lord was born on 3 September 1744 at  Dobroyd, Todmorden which being on the Lancashire and Yorkshire border has been listed in either county over the years. Simeon was the son of John Lord (1699-1795) and Mary Sutcliffe (1700-1772).  From records found so far we know of only sister of Simeon Lord and that is Mary who was born in 1741 and died on 19 August 1841.

The direct line of this section of the Lord family tree in the Todmorden area has been traced back through the generations to this Simeon Lord's great (x2) grandfather who died in 1667. You would think that researching a family relating to Simeon Lord (a name which we would consider to be unusual) would be easy but there are many Simeon Lords in the area including those not in the direct line. Names such as Simeon, Joshua and John were popular name choices. Many members of the family were buried at St Mary's Church in Todmorden.
St Mary's Church Todmorden August 2011
In the 1930s and again in 1968 road widening impacted on the church yard resulting in the gravestones were moved and relaid around the church.
Walking through the church grounds on a wet morning we located a number of stones commemorating members of the Lord family including a memorial near the church entrance containing slabs with inscriptions copied from old grave stones.
Two years ago I wrote a post about the Lord family in the Todmorden area. For may generations the family had lived at Howroyd but Dobroyd is the  location mentioned as the area where the Lord family lived in the second part of the 1700s and early 1800s. The Dobroyd area is a mile south from the centre of Todmorden and initially would have consisted of groups of small farms. Simeon Lord was a yeoman farmer at Dobroyd - a farmer who owned or leased his land and could use it without direction from others. The Todmorden and Walsden website - a great resource for the history of this region - includes a section on the textile cottage industries that existed in the area for around five hundred years.
Todmorden was surrounded by hills and dales and was good country for grazing sheep. It was common for groups of families to live in small communities of three or four houses from where they could look after their sheep and also spin and weave the wool in a room in one of the houses. The wool or woven fabric would  be taken to taken over narrow paths to market on the back of a packhorse. When cotton became popular the farmers would bring back unprocessed cotton to spin and weave and then sell at market. It was this form of cottage industry that Simeon and his family would have worked at. By 1780 however the production of cotton and woollen cloth was becoming mechanised. The industrial revolution had begun.

Simeon Lord married Ann Fielden (1745-1786) on 28 February 1764 at Rochdale, possibly at St Chads. Simeon and Ann had ten children - John Lord (1765-1801), Mary Lord (1766-1790), Joshua Lord (b. 1768), Simeon Lord , Betty Lord (1773-1774), Samuel Lord (1774-1792), Thomas Lord (b. 1777), Richard Lord (1778-1778), William Lord (1778-1778) and Sarah (1778-1798). The birth date for Sarah requires checking when records become available. Richard and William appear to have been twins born on 12 March with William dying when he was one week old and Richard dying at six weeks. Sarah's birth date is given as 17 March.

As their son, Simeon, was one of the few convicts in the early settlement at Sydney Cove who could read or write, Simeon and Ann must have ensured that the children had some education. Simeon  would have been 16 when his father died. Maybe that was when he decided to go to Manchester where he was arrested for theft when he was 19. This is a gap in the story where we can only surmise. We do know however that Simeon's early life in Todmorden with its emphasis on the textile trade provided him with a basis for his later career operating woollen mills at Botany.

Simeon Lord died in Todmorden on 11 May 1787. He was 42. His wife, Ann, had died a year earlier in Todmorden on 14 March 1786. She was 40.

Simeon Lord was my great (x4) grandfather.

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