"The Shards" — Newsletter of the Shard*low Study Group

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Issue #14

Family pictures
No one has come up with pictures of themselves but Marj. has sent me these thought to be her great grandparents Charles Marquand and Sarah Shardalow with some of their family. Marj's family chart was published with "Shards7".

Data base
I have been using a program called "Custodian" for this and, until recently, I have maintained separate files for the two most usual spellings and entered other variations in the one which experience told me was correct. The database now has over 900 entries and as these have increased so have the variations some of which are difficult to know in which file to put them. This is particularly so with data from the 1992 edition of the IGI which includes entries from a wider range of sources the accuracy of which varies considerably. In some cases three different versions are entered for what I know to be a single event but had been given different reference numbers in the LDS files. This is not such a problem when I have also extracted the information from the original source but using data transcribed by someone  else is less certain.

At first I used a double entry system, cross referencing the two files to each other but, apart from the extra work of making two entries, it meant switching backwards between the two when searching for details of a particular person.

I have recently upgraded the basic program and am merging the two into one, until this is complete it may take me a little longer to answer queries.

"Family Search"
Following on from my reference to the "Medieval Families Project" in "Shards 13", I wrote a second letter which has been returned marked `Moved left no address' so it looks as if that is a dead end.

I have had some excellent help from the Lowestoft Branch of the Suffolk Record Office. They have supplied me with copies of the following wills Joan Schardelowe, 1328, Ela Shardelowe, 1457, Thomas Shardelow, 1612 and Elizabeth Shardelow, 1615.

As might be expected the first two are in Latin so have to be translated and the last two are in an Old English hand which, although I can read it to some extent, I have also had to have translated to be sure of the exact meaning. The first of these was disappointing as there was no reference to relations, all her bequests being to the church. I had hoped it would establish that she was the mother of a Robert Shardelow for whom I have several references. The will of Ela Shardelowe is not much better, it does say she is the widow of Robert but whether this the Robert mentioned above is not clear. That for Thomas Shardelow is much more informative and names his wife and 6 children as well as a nephew and a married niece.

I have also obtained six wills from the Norfolk RO. for dates from 1574 to 1678 some of which were mentioned in the family charts supplied by the late Gordon Keys.

As I have said before the period1500 - 1660 is proving the most difficult, the keeping of parish records had hardly started and of those which have survived many are incomplete. The Civil War (1649 -1660) saw the banning of Church Registers and although this was not always observed it did cause significant gaps so wills are often the only means of proving relationships.

Shard*low* properties
Paul has sent me several interesting extracts from "A History of Cambridgeshire" which make it clear that the farms bearing the Shardelow name were once part of Shardelowes Manor which came into the hands of Sir John Shardelowe in 1350 having been part of Waltham Abbey who, in turn had it from Alexander de Scalers a hundred years earlier. The Shardelowes held it for a comparatively short time before passing it to the college they founded at Thompson , Norfolk. What interests me is that, of the various owners, it is the Shardelowe name which has survived.

Much the same is true of Shardeloes, a large Manor House in Buckinghamshire. The name derives from a life interest in it once held by Adam de Schardelowe early in the 14th century.

Shardlow interests
Unfortunately this issue does not have much about this variation of our interest which is the largest in terms of persons living today. In the last few days I have received an E-mail from a gentleman of that name in South Africa but I am sure there are many more who have a interest in family history if we could contact them.

I apologise for the poor quality of the photographs, they were difficult to reproduce but my efforts do not do them justice.


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