A Brief History of VERYARDs in England


Compiled by Fran Danilewicz

March 2000





Branscombe, Devon
Payhembury and Broadhembury, Devon
Hawkchurch, Devon
Castle Cary, Somerset
Portsea, Hampshire
The information contained within these pages has been compiled from many sources. Many have been transcribed from old hand-written records where mistakes can be made. As such the author cannot verify any individuals or dates listed.
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Branscombe, Devon, England

The earliest recorded use of the name occurs in Branscombe, a small village on the south coast of Devon.

The marriage of Elise VERYARD to Rowlin CLAPP on 27th June 1569 in Branscombe is amongst the earliest records that I have discovered They are the starting point for a family tree stretching well over a century all born in Branscombe. Elise and Rowlin (also spelt Rawlyn in some transcriptions) had ten children, Five girls and five boys. We can trace the family through four generations via the third son Henry, born 6th February 1577. Henry married Joyce Tucker in 1609 and had two sons Thomas and Nicholas. Nicholas later married Joan and fathered a son Thomas VERYARD on 22nd January 1671.

Payhembury and Broadhembury, Devon, England

To the north west of Branscombe lie the villages of Payhembury and Broadhembury now divided by the A373.

Although the International Genealogical Index lists the birth of a Mr VERYARD about 1628 in Broadhembury, Dorset but the best evidence is from the 1851 census returns.

James VERYARD is listed as a ‘Shoe Maker Master employing 2 men’. Born in 1789, James married Anna Maria and, in 1851, lived in Payhembury Village with his son William Dommett then unmarried and aged 39.

By the time of the 1881 census William Dommett had married, fathered two children, Agnes Haymen and Wm. James, and was living at St Andrews Wood Broadhembury.

Hawkchurch, Devon, England

Less than fifteen miles to the north east of Branscombe lies Hawkchurch on the border of Devon and Dorset.

Once again our search begins with the 1851 census with a listing of Joseph VERYARD, born 1799, and his wife Mary. This time we have evidence of a family on the move as, although Joseph was born in Hawkchurch, Mary was born in Cofley, Devon, their three eldest children were born in Bristol before they returned to Hawkchurch where their youngest four children were all born.

There is also a record of a father and son, both James VERYARD, living nearby in Thorncombe who could possibly be Joseph’s father and brother.

In the 1881 census we can trace four of Joseph’s sons. Rueben the eldest son has returned to Bristol where he is a General Labourer. Robert, James and Youngest Son, Abraham, have all moved to nearby Axminster where they are all employed in the Wood industry. By this time both Robert and James were married with young families.

Castle Cary, Somerset, England

At some point in the early nineteenth century a contingent of VERYARD’s left Hawkchurch and moved to Castle Cary, Somerset. Whether these travellers were the original Castle Cary VERYARD’s or whether they were merely joining or rejoining the existing Clan is unclear. What is clear is that there have been VERYARD’s in Castle Cary ever since this time.

Eliza and Samuel VERYARD were both born in Hawkchurch in the 1820’s. Eliza never married whilst Samuel married and fathered five children. In 1881 there were five families of VERYARD living in Castle Cary whilst three of the youngest generation of girls were in service in local households.

A Former Castle Cary VERYARD, Thomas, born in 1855, left Somerset in the 1870’s and moved his wife and young son, Robert, to Middlesex where he practised his trade as a Printer Compositor.

London, England

I have a few record of VERYARD’s in London in the eighteenth century but the first family I have a record of is that started by the Marriage of Hezekiah VERYARD to Sarah Jane CUNNINGHAM on 9th January 1842 in Saint Leonard’s, Shoreditch, London.

Hezekiah and Sarah had six sons and one daughter. The eldest son, George Hezekiah, married Mary Elizabeth KING on 24th August 1862. The second son Robert Charles married Eliza of Bethnal Green where, in 1881, he lived with his youngest brother, Thomas, his own three sons and daughter and George’s widow, Mary. William, the third Son, married another Eliza – this one from Bristol and fathered three daughters and one son. Edward the second youngest son married Laura from Trowbridge, Wiltshire and moved to West Ham. Robert, William and Thomas were all warehousemen, whilst Edward classes himself as a spice packer. The middle son Albert was born handicapped and, as was the fashion in those days, he became a patient in an Asylum.

The only daughter of Hezekiah and Sarah was Elizabeth Ruth who was christened on 9th November 18751 at Saint John the Baptist, Shoreditch, London

Hereford, England

At last I have found a VERYARD who was a coppersmith. Thomas VERYARD was born in Hereford in 1842. He married his wife Anne on 16th April 1864 in Saint Nicholas, Hereford, England. Shortly after he moved to Dublin, Ireland where all of his four children, George, Annie, Clara and Thomas, were born. In the 1870’s he moved back to England and in 1881 was living in Battersea, Surrey.

1832 saw another marriage this time John VERYARD married Mary Ann LEES at Breinton, Hereford whilst 1833 saw the Christening of Robert Biddulph VERYARD, son of Robert VERYARD and Mary Ann at Eign Brook Independent, Hereford.

Portsea, Hampshire, England

We finally end up back on the South Coast for our final VERYARD Family. William VERYARD and his wife Harriet Lucy were both born in Portsea although their three children were all born in Walmer, Kent. William was a commissioned Boatman on the vessel ‘Greyhound’ and the 1881 census finds him at Great Wakering, Essex.

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Text copyright © 2000 Fran Danilewicz.  All rights reserved.