John Leachman IV was born in 1799 in Norwell according to the census returns of 1851 and 1861. Not being able to find a birth record, I have placed him as the eldest child in the family of Elizabeth and John Leachman III. I am open to correction, of course, if other evidence comes to light.
There are records of two children born to John and Elizabeth Leachman at Caunton: Leonard in 1801 and Mary in 1802. Their parents were married in 1799 at Norwell close by, and it makes sense that John could also have been their child.
John was married at Lea near Gainsborough, his wife Mary’s birthplace. They began their married life in Gainsborough where their first two children were born: Elizabeth in 1820 and John (our ancestor) in 1824. Then they moved to Lea, no doubt to be near the family there, and had four more children.
I have not found any mention of them in the 1841 census but in 1851 John and Mary were still living in Lea. Their youngest daughter Fanny, aged 11, was the only one of their children left at home. They were also looking after their grand-daughter Phebe. (Phebe’s parents John and Kezia have completely dropped off the radar by now – I can find no deaths, no census returns, no emigration: no information since Phoebe was baptised in 1845.)
Mary Leachman died in February 1853 and about a year later John married Ann Drinkald, a widow from York. They were married in Gainsborough and one of the witnesses was John’s daughter Mary, now Mrs Blow. The second Mrs Leachman now takes a hand in the care of her step-grand-daughter Phoebe and when she is old enough, finds her a position as a housemaid with some of Ann’s own relatives in York. Ann herself had been a domestic servant: the boundaries between employer and employed seem a little more blurred than you might expect.
In 1861 John and Ann are living in Gainsborough by themselves. By 1871 they have taken in a lodger and John is still recorded as being a farm labourer, even at the age of 75. When he died in 1876, John was taken to be buried in Lea.
Ann stayed on in Gainsborough and the lodger, William South, remained with her. By 1881 she was forced to accept outdoor poor relief, but at least avoided the workhouse. She died in 1888, in Gainsborough, at the age of 81.
No record of baptism found but born 1799? at Norwell, Nottinghamshire
Married Mary Kitchin on 4 August 1819 at Lea, Lincolnshire: second Ann Drinkald on 25 March 1854
Buried 10 April 1876