Thomas Ward III was the third of his parents’ four children, but the only boy, which meant he would inherit his father’s farm in due course. Before the days of the census we can’t be sure, but it would be normal for him to work on the farm alongside his father and any workers they hired.
At the age of 27 he married Mary Hallat in Dronfield parish church, where the vicar, the Rev Laurence Bourne, recorded Mary’s surname as Allot in spite of a clear signature from both parties. The family name is recorded both ways in different church records, which has proved mighty confusing to a hapless researcher!
The marriage was witnessed by Francis Ward, probably Thomas’s uncle: he can’t write his name which would be an indication perhaps of changing times or changing fortunes.
Thomas and Mary had four children, our ancestor John being the youngest. There is a record of a Thomas Ward paying Land Tax in 1798, on his own property and that of a tenant. This could have been our Thomas or his eldest son: as we do not know the date of Thomas’ death, the land may have already been passed on.
Born at Unstone and baptised Thomas Ward on 15 January 1744 (1743 OS) at Dronfield, Derbyshire
Married Mary Allott on 11 February 1771
No convincing record of burial found