Thomas GARDENER (1776) and wife Elizabeth (1785) Whitchurch (General)

by ipmp @, Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, November 27, 2022, 04:44 (540 days ago)

I am posting in the hope that there may be someone in the Forum who has some knowledge about trades in the late 1700s, specifically cordwaining or leather work generally, in the Herefordshire area, which may help me solve a mystery concerning Thomas Gardener and his wife Elizabeth.

This couple were married in Whitchurch, Herefordshire in 1798 and then, it seems, have just disappeared.

I found details for Thomas in Whitchurch through the FoD “Parish Records” link (this data set is an incredible resource btw, congrats to those who set that up). He was baptised in Whitchurch in 1776 and married Elizabeth Moore there in 1798. She was only very young (about 13-14) when they married which may have accounted for them not having any children straight away after their marriage. In fact, after their marriage there is no trace of them that I can find and this has led me to think that maybe they left Whitchurch after 1798.

As a result of many weeks of effort, I finally made a tenuous connection between this Thomas and a Thomas Gardener who lived with his wife Elizabeth and family in Worcester at least between 1805 and 1822, possibly longer. I found an Apprentices’ Indentures record dated 1786 (when the Whitchurch Thomas would have been 10 years old) for a Tho Gardener who was apprenticed as a cordwainer to George Jarrett in Whitchurch. The tenuous link I referred to is that the Thomas in Worcester was working as a “grounder of leather” - this information appears in the baptism records of his children in Worcester.

Lastly, and this may have zero relevance but it may explain why he went to Worcester in the first place, is that some of the baptisms in Worcester were in non-conformist churches (eg Worcester St Helen Pump Street Methodist) - perhaps he was a member of a non-conformist church in Whitchurch.

Sorry that was so long-winded.

So, my question to the Forum is - would anyone know of any information available, relating to cordwaining or leather work generally, perhaps information in guild records or other local or church records, in fact anything at all that might help me tie these two Thomas Gardeners together?

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