I can reliably trace my Wickham ancestry back to Jonathan and Hannah Wickham who are my great, great, great, great grandparents.
I’m not that familiar with US history but from the little I’ve learned, I know that Jonathan Wickham was born shortly after the end of the Revolutionary War (also known as the American Revolution).
The British government passed a series of taxation laws and the colonies objected to these new laws. The 13 colonies formed a central government called the Continental Congress and voted to organize an army and navy. In 1775, the American Revolution began.
New York State was the principal battleground and approximately one-third of the skirmishes were fought on New York soil. On 3 Sep 1783, Great Britain formally recognized the United States as an independent country.
So my great, great, great, great grandfather was born into the newly-formed United States of America! End of history lesson! 🙂
Jonathan and Hannah’s first child, Alfred S Wickham (my great, great, great grandfather) was born in Otsego County, New York, in about 1817. Alfred had 3 younger brothers: David W (b: abt 1820), Perry (b: abt 1824) and Lionel P. (b: abt 1827).
Before 1850, the U.S. census lists only the name of the head of household, along with the number of males and females in the household in each age category. So it’s difficult to determine if you have the correct family. The following is the information and documents that I can reliably say are for Jonathan and Hannah Wickham.
Hannah is 54 years old and Jonathan is 64 and employed as a “labourer”.
Living with them is their daughter-in-law, Nancy Ashley Wickham (wife of Alfred), and their grandchildren. Alfred had recently moved to Montgomery County (New York State) and his wife and children followed shortly after.
In 1860, Jonathan (now in his mid 70s) is living with Hannah and their bachelor son, Perry, a farmer in Chatham, Columbia County, New York (USA).
Also living in the household is their married son, Lionel, and his family. Lionel is employed as a carriage trimmer.
I was curious to find out what a “carriage trimmer” is so I googled and found a re-print of a book that was originally published in 1881 called, The Carriage Trimmer’s Manual: Guidebook and Illustrated Technical Dictionary. The website says “…the book describes the complexity of materials—leathers, silks, laces—and range of skills (upholstering, tufting, stitching and binding, cutting enameled leathers, making leather sockets, welting, fabric selection, etc.) required for this branch of the carriage trade.” Interesting!
By 1870, Hannah had moved with her sons, Perry and Lionel and his family, to Penn Yann, Yates County (New York State).
As of the writing of this blog, the only clue that I found about Hannah’s maiden name is an entry in a book called,American Ancestry (Volume 1-2), published in 1887 by Thomas Patrick Hughes and Frank Munsell.
David Wickham (son of Jonathan and Hannah Wickham) had a son named George — so I know that this entry is about my family.
It says that Hannah’s maiden name is “Irish”. But I have not found any record of a Hannah Irish who was born in New York State in about 1796. Some on-line trees have mistakenly recorded “my” Hannah as the daughter of Jesse and Mary Albee Irish — but their daughter Hannah was born in 1747, not 1797!! This is a topic for further research and a future blog!
The entry also says that Jonathan Wickham died in 1862, which “fits”. But I have not found any original document or record to prove this to be true.
In addition, Jonathan’s father is shown as Stephen Wickham (b: 1761 and d: 1811) but no spouse is listed. There is much speculation and discussion on-line about which Stephen Wickham is the father of Jonathan!! Therefore, I have much more research to do before I can definitively say who my Wickham 5th great grandparents are!
Censuses before 1850 that may or may not be Jonathan Wickham and his family