Personal Quest -
|Will Hardwick of Edinburgh, Scotland - here with his sister Marg - was tracing his ancestors in this area, and e-mailed for information to the website.
This gave him a contact with Eddie Hardwick in Langford, and the rest is history ... !
|6th March, 2004
Many thanks for your note giving me Edwin Hardwick's address. You asked me to let you know what the outcome was and this is why I am replying.
I have been looking into my family roots for about two years now and every now and then find a web site that contains a snippet of interest. Yours was one of them - an excellent site and one of the best of its kind, I think.
I knew there were a lot of Hardwicks in North Somerset but until about a year and a half ago didn't know that my family came from the Gordano valley(at least the line goes back to Clapton and a Richard Hardwick who farmed there in the early 1600s). With a lot of assistance from other Hardwick descendants who I have found on the Net I have also discovered that there are still Hardwick relatives still living in the area which I am able to link up to my own family-George Hardwick of Kingston Seymour left for London in 1832 or 1833. He was my great great grandfather.
I had never been to this area of England so last month my wife and I decided on making a short visit from Scotland just to get a picture in my mind of where we all came from. Visiting the area made all the hours in front of lists and other documents and in front of the computer 'real' and with your information I was able to meet Ed, have afternoon tea with him and his wife and exchange information about our family - he invited me to come along to the next Hardwick 'gathering' which is sometimes held at the farm of a Hardwick descendant who still farms in Clapton in Gordano. For me this is quite exciting and almost like a 'homecoming'. The visit was a great success.
The small bit of information that started this line of interest and which I found in your Wrington site concerned Abel Hardwick. I have still not found conclusive proof that he is a relative of mine but feel sure he must be . The information has expanded though and I have the following:
Abel was the eldest son of William Hardwick (b 1791) and Susannah (b 1794) and was born in Congresbury. He may have married a Jemima Hassell, but the date of 1879 seems a bit wrong. In the 1881 Census he was a farmer with 125 acres.
I also have a photograph from a London descendant of the Stuckey family showing Abel and Jemima as part of a wedding photograph showing a group with their daughter and (a) son in law (Mark Lock) and two of his sisters, one apparently married an Albert John Rowles. I believe all these names to be local to this part of the county.
I wonder if you are able to solve where Abel fits into my family. Also, I wonder of you have records or information where the following might be discovered:
An old copy of the Weston Mercury relates a story about a Mrs Martha Peters (93 at the time) talking about her father, a Yatton policeman called William Hardwick marching those he arrested at a local 'ox roast' in 1886, all the way to Shepton Mallet gaol, just as his father, John Hardwick had done before him when he arrested someone.
I have a number of likely candidates for this line but no one stands out at all. There was a John Hardwick who became superintendent of police who was born in Yatton and he had a son called William Henry who might possibly be a candidate. But this is another line of enquiry in your area that is proving difficult.
Anyway, thank you for making the meeting with Ed possible, as well as with his cousin Herbert Ross of Thornbury.
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11th March, 2004
Further to what I wrote last week I was contacted immediately after having written to you by a new source of information who was able to 'fill me in' with just about all the bits of the puzzle regarding my family's link with Wrington's Abel Hardwick. I thought I'd better write immediately in case you wanted to run something about it as you indicated before.
Mrs Liz Bang, a writer from London wrote me confirming details already received from Lynne Davis, a Kingston Seymour Hardwick family member whose family left Somerset for Vancouver Island about 100 years ago, plus some extra information that appears to make the links certain. They are both connected to my family by marriage (Lynnne's grandmother was a Hardwick) but all quite some time ago.
Here is the information I now have:
Abel Hardwick was born in Congresbury, in 1827, the first of seven children to William Hardwick and his wife Susan(na)(?) William's details are a little confused but it seems as if he was born in Portbury on 13th January 1789 and was a farmer in Iwood, nr Congresbury with 100 acres (1851 Census). Susanna came from Congresbury and was born after 1791
William's parents, also from Portbury were Thomas Hardwick(1739-1816) and his wife Betty Yeeles(1750-1796). They had perhaps ten children and William was one of the younger boys.
My line stems from his elder brother Thomas, who married a Pheobe Oldfield and had my great great grandfather George Hardwick, who left for London at age 16 in 1832 to be an apprentice in the workshop of the famous engineering company of Maudslay & Son, and Field, of Lambeth.
or 1890s. Abel looks about 60.