Our earliest known ancestor on the direct BARNARD line is my great, great, grandfather Thomas Barnard (c.1790-1849) who married Sarah BROOKS in Beccles, Suffolk in 1821.

I have not yet discovered the birthplace of Thomas despite over thirty years of research. It was indicated on the 1841 census of Beccles that neither Thomas or Sarah were born in Suffolk, although all their eight known children were born in Beccles, Suffolk. Unlike Thomas, Sarah survived to give her place of birth as Arminghall, Norfolk, in the 1851 census.

My earliest known ancestors are Sarah's grandparents, Thomas & Sarah Brooks, and William & Sarah CUSHING (nee GOOCH) all of whom were born about 1750, possibly in Norwich, Norfolk.

At his marriage in 1821, Thomas was noted as Thomas BERNARD, which may or may not be a spelling mistake which continues to occur very often to this day when people write my surname of Barnard. On the other hand, it is believed that the Barnard antecedents were Huguenot refugees who left France in 1685 and fled to England. Bernard is a fairly common French surname. Whatever the origins of the name may be, since 1821 virtually every record found has recorded our surname as Barnard.

Thomas and Sarah had their first child, a boy, uncomfortably close to their marriage in 1821. This first son was also named Thomas, and in 1845 as a clay tobacco pipe maker, he had left Beccles and married Mary WALTON in Wigan, Lancashire. No further connection of the family with Wigan has been discovered.

In 1851, Thomas, Mary, and their young son, also named Thomas were living with Mary's mother Margaret Walton (nee TUNACLIFFE), and her two younger daughters in Stockport, Cheshire. Professed husband of Margaret, William Walton was nowhere to be found, and to date has still not been found in any record.

Thomas & Mary had at least six more children, namely Samuel George (1851-1916), Sarah (1854-1932), Margaret (1858-1927), Mary( 1860-1936), William Henry (1862-1937), and Hannah (1865-1888).

Benjamin Barnard (born 1823) is believed to have died as an infant, but it is not yet confirmed.

Samuel Barnard (c.1826- after 1882) the third child of Thomas & Sarah Barnard, married Susan CHASTON in 1853 and became a pork butcher in Beccles. After the deaths of his wife Susan in 1873, his only daughter Sarah in 1874, and his mother in 1875, Samuel left Beccles and married Ellen Woods in Lexden, Essex in 1877. In the 1881 census Samuel was noted as the Landlord of the Marlborough Head Inn in Dedham, Essex, (top left) where he lived with his wife Ellen. Samuel was still there in 1882 but later moved on to Stratford St. Mary, Suffolk where he was a shoe maker and where he died in 1898.

Samuel's oldest sister Lydia Elizabeth (c.1831-after 1881) always known as Elizabeth, married Frederick LEAVOLD in Beccles in 1853. They had at least 6 children, two boys and four girls. Their second daughter and third child Rose or Rosa Leavold (1865-1936) married Edward Henry ASHLEY, called 'Henry' and son of a renowned London watch maker, in October 1890.

Henry and a very pregnant Rose left England in late 1891 and sailed to America where they are understood to have arrived in January 1892. They travelled to California where they made their home and raised 5 children, 3 girls and 2 boys. Their descendants now live in a number of American States including California, Illinois, Utah, and Florida.

The next child of Thomas & Sarah, son William Barnard (1833-1903) could not be found in any British census after 1851, but I now know that William is the person found in the US 1870 and 1880 censuses at Grant's Lick, Campbell County, Kentucky, and we are now in touch with one of his descendants. William married Emily Fleet a Beccles girl, and they had four children all born in the U.S, William Frederick (1865-1968), Samuel J. (1868-1933), Thomas Hobart (1871-1928) and Sarah known as Sally (b.1875-?).

William Frederick and his wife Mary Jane Roberts had ten children, nine sons and one daughter, and it is the youngest and only surviving son Oliver, now a nonagenarian, whose daughter Marilyn contacted me just before Christmas 2012 and confirmed that my guess that her great, great grandparents had emigrated from Beccles, Suffolk to Ohio initially in the United States.

Henry Barnard the fifth son of Thomas & Sarah, (born 1836), married Harriet Myall in 1861, and they later lived in the Cleveland district of Yorkshire where Henry was a miner. There are no known children.

Harriet Ann Barnard (born 1837) appeared on the 1841 and 1851 Censuses. She was the second youngest member of her family, and appeared as a witness on sister Elizabeth's marriage certificate in 1853. In 2005 Cousin Mike Slater found the marriage entry for Harriet Ann Barnard to James William Mantripp in the June quarter of 1857 at Mutford, Suffolk. Mike also sent a copy of the 1861 Census of St. Margaret, Lowestoft, Suffolk, showing James, Harriet and their two young children. This led to our discovery of Harriet and her family in the 1881 census of Lowestoft.

The youngest daughter Sarah (born 1842) married George Taylor in Beccles in 1868 and produced at least 6 sons from 1869 to 1883.  

All the known details of the family to date - excluding living persons - can be found on the Family Tree link top left.





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