Gerry LangfordDecember 2018
Having lost Gerry in summer 2017, John and Cliff decided maybe we should update the website and consolidate Gerry’s fabulous work. Gerry was our amateur but very professional genealogist, he was related to the Sharde/alows - we will get him added to the tree as we widen the net. Indeed we must dedicate our work to Gerry. His 48 SHARD's newsletters are themselves part of the family history.
Gerry was running a ‘one name study’ and we extracted as much data as we could from the few records we had from him (he used a software product called TMG but being born in the 1920s his genealogy skills were stronger than his software skills).
Shardelows / Shardalows / Shardlows (and other spellings)
To be clear the ShardElows and the Shardalows are from one and the same family. Shardalow seems to be a spelling that emerged in the 18th century (eg John Shardelow born c. 1692 had a son Edward born c1727 whose 1807 gravestone is Shardalow). Strangely many of that John’s descendants used the Shardalow spelling but when they emigrated to South Africa and to USA and on to Canada, changed the spelling back to Shardelow.
Also, with just 6 ShardAlows alive in the world, (assuming none are hiding!) that spelling will probably discontinue, leaving the ShardElows, of which there are many more, to continue the clan.
How the Shardlows are related is less clear. The name emanates from the town of Shardlow located between Derby and Nottingham. There are two strands of evidence that link them. Firstly, Idonea Schardelawe, 13th century ancestor of the Shardelows (and Shardalows) bought some land just south of Shardlow (recorded in the ‘Feet of Fines’ legal document).
Secondly, Gerry got two volunteers to get DNA testing, one Shardlow and one Shardalow and it indicated we are related with a common ancestor about 1000 years ago.
Also the name has been mispelt many times in many different ways.
The New Website [This one]
John and Cliff discussed how to take things forward. John’s previous version of the website was the vehicle for newsletters and other material but we wanted to get the family trees online as well. We looked at a few options including ancestry.com but everyone would need to subscribe. We had been very impressed with the website of Alan Craxford who is related to the Paddington Shardalow's and so we chose TNG. It is still very much a work in progress, so please bear with us as we get familiar with the software and its capabilities.
Since August we have:
- Migrated the files from Gerry
- Created and populated the TNG website.
- Cousins John and Cliff seemed to have found a synergy with John focusing on the technical and design aspects of the website and Cliff on the research and people linking.
- Created a main family tree called ‘My Genealogy / The Shardalow Name’
- Updated that tree extensively from:
- Living knowledge.
- Census records (a complete scan of all Shardalows and Shardelows in the censuses from 1841 to 1911)
- Information from distant relatives in South Africa and Suffolk.
- Piecing together or rather ‘linking in’ people found in the census records can be difficult and time consuming and so there’s more to do; we have made a good start and have successfully targeted a couple of key areas.
- The Shardelows of Canada have been linked in – emigrated from Norfolk to Portland, USA and then on to Canada eg settling in Nelson, British Columbia. That relates us to the Edward Shardelow who died in World War 2 and had Mt. Shardelow named after him.
- The South African Shardelows have been linked in.
- The ‘ancient’ Shardelowes: When we met up with Gerry in 2009 he had a Shardelow family tree stuck on some ply wood in his garage going back to the 12th century. At that stage he was saying that 2 of the links were unconfirmed. Some years later he said they were confirmed. In the last few months I have tried to confirm those links and find the sources. Most of that is done, with 3 main document sources:
- The Visitation of Norfolk of 1563 and 1613 - containing the Shardelow pedigree from Sir John Shardelow born about 1400 to Thomas Shardelow born 1567.
- ‘Some materials for a history of the parish of Thompson, in the county of Norfolk’ containing the Shardelow pedigree from Robert Shardelow born 1200 to John Shardelowe born about 1400.
- The ‘Calendar of Fines’ or ‘Feet of Fines’ which in 1231 refers to Idonea, daughter of William son of Nigel de Shardelawe renting land.
- These are solid links but it would be good to confirm them more and reduce doubts.
- In the last few days the Great Yarmouth Shardalows/Shardelows have been linked in. They appear in Bermondsey and Docklands in London, then near Newcastle for a bit and in South Wales now. Details of these should be online by the time this is published. [On checking before entering this group of Shardelows into the online tree, I have hit a snag – the John Shardelow who married Hannah Fish is almost certainly not the John Shardelow who was the son of Thomas Shardelow and Dorothy Rodwell who married in 1700. And that Thomas was the son of Thomas Shardelow and Mary Augur (they are in the online tree). I found a record of their son John dying very young. John Shardelow and Hannah Fish married in Norwich in 1726. Their son Joseph married Ann Atcheson and the Great Yarmouth and current South Wales Shardelows are their descendants. I have spent two days trying to resolve this without success – any help would be gratefully received! My next steps will be to visit Dickleburgh in Norfolk, next year, to see if any gravestones help (unlikely that they are legible) or if there is an index of gravestones in the church, then try to build the earlier family links forward to find alternative parents of John who married Hannah Fish.]