First Richard Sheward

The first recorded ancestor in this Sheward family is Richard Sheward, born during 1720 at Rock, Worcestershire, England and he was my 5th great-grandfather. Because Richard is a common name in the Sheward ancestry, I have added numbers (I, II, III) to the various persons, solely to help with tracking them.

The actual lineage to me is:

Richard Sheward I (1720 - 1761) - 5th great-grandfather
John Sheward (1745 - 1825) - son of Richard Sheward I
Edward Sheward (1775 - 1853) - son of John Sheward
Richard Sheward III (1817 - 1870) - son of Edward Sheward
Herbert Sheward (1843 - 1906) - son of Richard Sheward III
Mary Louisa Sheward (1880 - 1967) - daughter of Herbert Sheward (my maternal grandmother)
Alice May Priday (1917 - 2009) - daughter of Mary Louisa Sheward (my mother)
William G Hyde - me

There is no record of Richard's parents or of his actual address in Rock, however it is probable that his family were Farm Labourers and that he was born in one of the numerous Tithe (tied) cottages that littered the area at that time.

Rock parish churchWe have a marriage recorded for Richard, who in 1742 married Margret Matthews at St. Peter & St. Paul church, Rock, Worcestshire, England. St. Peter & St. Paul is the parish church in Rock. Margret, would I believe have come from a local family because at that time there was no form of transport available to move from place to place apart from walking, unless you were part of the landed Gentry.

At that time to be married before you were aged 21 required parental/guardian approval. It seems Richard married Margaret when he was 20 and that because his first son was born on 17 October 1742, it is probable that the marriage between the first Richard & Margret was hurriedly arranged.

The first Richard Sheward & Margret went on to have 6 children:

Richard Sheward II (1742-1782) - [no children]
John Sheward (1745-1825) - [3 children]
Thomas Sheward (1747-1747) - [no children]
Hannah Sheward (1752-1832) - [no children]
James Sheward (1756-1756) - [no children]
Margaret Sheward (1760-1760) - [no children]

As far as I can tell, Richard I died in 1761, just after the 6th child as born.

Records suggest (but do not confim) that Margret died in 1800 at Rock. However, unless she became the tennant (of the tied cottage) following her husbands death (that would have been unusual), once Richard I dies Margret & her surviving children would be made homeless and would invariably have gone back to Margret's parents home - itself almost certainly a Tithe (tied) cottage on one of the farms in Rock.

My lineage continues with John Sheward, son of Richard Sheward I, whose story is told separately.