Michael Sheard (c. 1688-1741)

HOME - Land Introduction - Jonas Sheard (1713-1789), son of Michael Sheard - John Sheard, Briestwell, Thornhill Parish, possible father of Michael Sheard - Birstall Sheards, Early Records - Batley Sheards, Early Records - Thomas Sheard, Mirfield, progenitor of Birstall/Batley Sheards Connections To All Sheard Pages

Birth of Michael Sheard

Circa 1688. Place and parents uncertain. See below of a discussion of his possible parents, birth place and date.

Bastard Child of Michael Sheard and Abigail Healy

The first certain record for Michael Sheard in Birstall parish was the baptism of his bastard son, Michael, in 1709.

Michael bastard of Abigail Healey of Long L and Michael Sheard of Eddercliff the reputed father, June 19, 1709

According to the Yorkshire Archaeological Society: Long L=Long (or Great) Liversedge=Hightown.

Eddercliff may have sometimes been listed under Littletown.

Further Records for Michael Sheard born 1709:

Marriage of Michael Sheard and Abigail Healy

Michael Sheard married Abigail Healy on November 13, 1712 in Birstall parish (BT).

Marriage record of Michael Sheard and Abigail Healy.

Children of Michael Sheard and Abigail Healy

In addition to the "bastard", Michael, born in 1709, Michael Sheard and Abigail Healy had:

  1. Jonas Sheard (1713-1789)

    Jonas, "son of Michael Sheard of Gomersall", was baptized on May 27, 1713 (BT).

    Note: Jonas was born six months after the marriage of Michael Sheard and Abigail Healy

    Marriage: Jonas Sheard married Dinah Kirk in 1739 (BT).


    1. George, 1740 (Birstall Parish Church)
    2. Michael, 1742 (Birstall Parish Church)
    3. Hannah, 1744 (Birstall Parish Church)
    4. Lydia, 1746 (Birstall Parish Church)
    5. Suzanna, 1748 (Birstall Parish Church)
    6. Mary 1750 (Gildersome Baptist Church)
    7. John 1754 (Gildersome Baptist Church)
    8. James 1756 (Gildersome Baptist)

    See Jonas Sheard for more details

  2. Mary Sheard (1715 -) and John Jackson

    Mary "of Michael Sheard of Gomersall" was baptized on January 9, 1715 (BT). Note: Parish Register of Birstall 1687-1724 transcribed by Hartley Thwaite lists "Michael Sheard of GG (Great Gomersal)

    Marriage: Mary Sheard married John Jackson of Robertown on April 11, 1737 in Birstall parish.

  3. Elizabeth Sheard (1716-) and Benjamin Sheard, weaver/cloth maker

    Birth: Elizabeth, "of Michael Sheard of Gomersall" was baptized on September 9, 1716 (BT). Marriage: Elizabeth Sheard married Benjamin Sheard of Littletown, 24 Mar 1733/34, Birstall Parish (Vivien Tomlinson, Jan. 2005).
    Birth of Benjamin Sheard: Benjamin was the son of Benjamin Sheard and the grandson of John Sheard of Thornhill. See John Sheard.
    Residence: Elizabeth and Benajmin lived in Littletown (Little Gomersall) and in Birstall Village in Birstall Parish and had the following children:
    Gildersome Baptist Church: Elizabeth and Benjamin were members of the Gildersome Baptist Congregation from at least 1754. Other members of the congregation were Elizabeth's brother, Jonas, who was a member from at least 1750.

    1. Joseph of Benjamin Sheard of Littletown, 2 June 1734
      Death: Joseph son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Sheard of Birstall "went happily to our Saviour of consumption, age 20, years having been a child and a great boy under the brethren care", April 13, 1754 buried April 26, 1754
    2. John of Benajmin Sheard of Birstall, 9 February 1736
      Death: John son of Benjamin Sheard of Birstall buried 4 August 1747
    3. Elizabeth March 18, 1738 of Benjamin Sheard
    4. Sarah, January 6, 1740 of Benjamin Sheard
    5. Benjamin, of Benajmin Sheard of Birstall, January 10, 1742
      Death: Benjamin son of Benjamin Sheard of Birstall buried 5 March 1744/45
    6. Lydia, January 27, 1743/4 of Benjamin Sheard of Birstall
    7. Hannah, September 6, 1747
      Death: Hannah daughter of Benjamin Sheard of Birstall buried 12 December 1748
    8. Mary, June 28, 1749, Birstall
    9. William of Benjamin and "Dinah" Sheard of Birstall, cloth weaver, born April 13, 1754 baptized April 14, 1754 at the Brethren Chappel at Gomersall (Gildersome Baptist Church Records LDS film #816621)
      Death: William son of Benjamin and "Dinah" Sheard of Birstall, cloth maker "went to our Lord age 16 days" April 29, 1754 buried May 1, 1754.
    10. John of Benjamin and Elizabeth Sheard of Birstall born May 26, 1756 baptized May 29, 1756 at the Brethren Chappel at Gomersall (Gildersome Baptist Church Records LDS film #816621)
      Death: John John Sheard child of Benjamin and Elizabeth Sheard of Birstall died May 17, 1757 buried May 19, 1757
    11. Johanna of Benjamin and Elizabeth Sheard of Birstall born August 28, 1758 baptized August 30, 1758 at the Gomersall Chapel (Gildersome Baptist Church Records LDS film #816621)
    12. John, September 3, 1758 (Parish Index) Need to check this out

    Death of Benjamin Sheard: Benjamin Sheard married brother Birstall died September 7, 1774 buried September 10, 1774
    Death of Elizabeth Sheard: Elizabeth Sheard widow September 17, 1783, September 20, 1783

    Five Year Break

  4. George Sheard (1721-1761) and Mary Midgley

    George of Michael Sheard was baptized on December 27, 1721 (BT). Parish Register of Birstall 1687-1724 transcribed by Hartley Thwaite lists "George s Michael Sheard of GG"

    Marriage: George Sheard of Birstall Parish married Mary Midgley on July 27, 1746 (BT).

    Children: According to the indexes, they had the following children:

    1. Samuel baptized on May 24, 1747, of Great Gomersall (BT).
    2. Michael baptized on January 6, 1748/49, of George Sheard of G Gomersall (BT)
      Death: Michael son of George Sheard of GG buried 12 December 1753
    3. Abigail baptized on July 5, 1750, of George Sheard of Great Gomersall (BT)
    4. Sarah baptized on October 6, 1754, Great Gomersall (BT)
    5. Judith baptized on July 2, 1758 (BT)

    Death of George Sheard: George Sheard of Great Gomersal buried 22 October 1761

  5. Benjamin s Michael Sheard of G, September 8, 1723 (Parish Register of Birstall 1687-1724 transcribed by Hartley Thwaite)

    Death: Benjamin s Michael Sheard of G buried September 9, 1723 (Parish Register of Birstall 1687-1724 transcribed by Hartley Thwaite)

  6. Lydia Sheard (1725-) and William Whitely

    Lydia of Michael Sheard was baptized on April 11, 1725 (BT).
    Marriage: Marriage: Lydia Sheard married William Whiteley February 17, 1747

  7. Sarah of Michael Sheard, Gomersal, baptized on October 27, 1728.

  8. Susannah of Michael Sheard of Littletown baptized on December 12, 1731.

Other Connected Records From The Gildersome Baptist Church

  • Lydia Sheard of Great Gomersall died July 26 buried July 28, 1763, no other information. Was this the daughter of Jonas Dinah born in 1746, or Elizabeth and Benjamin born in 1744?

  • Departed April 6, 1792 buried April 10, 1792 single sister, Hannah Sheard, born in the parish of Birstall August 13, 1755 her parents ____________ (Nothing is written) No birth in Birstall parish records in 1755. Was this "Johanna" baptized in Gildersome Baptist in 1758?

Death of Michael Sheard

Michael Sheard of Great Gomersall buried May 2, 1741

Death of Abigail Healy Sheard

Abigail Sheard, widow, of Great Gomersal buried March 3, 1762.

Michael Sheard

Birth Theories

  1. Born in Birstall Parish, Father Unknown

    There were Sheards in Birstall Parish from at least 1640. However, there is no record in the parish for the baptism of Michael Sheard in the 1680's (or before). There are probably records missing, as there are other Sheards who show up in the records for whom there are no baptismal records. See Other Sheards in Birstall Parish

    The introduction to the Parish Register of Birstall 1687-1724 transcribed by Hartly Thwaite says that "there are no gaps in the registers" from 1687 to 1724. However, there are a fair number of rites that appear to be unrecorded. Of course there is the possibility that people moved into or out of the parish and the records are somewhere else.

    Michael Sheard named the first son of his marriage, Jonas. Jonas is not a common name in the parish in general. However, it is a name that appears with some frequency in the Sheard family in Birstall and Batley Parishes. It is possible that Michael Sheard was the son of a Jonas Sheard.

  2. Michael Sheard was in Eddercliff in Birstall parish at least by 1709.

    After his marriage in 1712 the records show that he lived in Gomersal.

    The earliest records for the Sheard name in Birstall Parish were for the marriage and children of Michael Sheard and Isabell Parkinson. Isabell Parkinson was born in Littletown. The children of Michael Sheard and Isabell Parkinson were born in the villages of Gomersal and Birstall. Subsequent records show Sheards in both Littletown and Gomersall. At least one son of Michael Sheard, another Michael, was known to have children in the parish around the estimated time of the birth of Michael in 1688. However, that Michael had a son, Michael in 1712, too late to be Michael who married Abigail Healey.

    From the History of Batley Parish by Michael Sheard, 1894

    "Thomas Sheard of Overden, in the parish of Halifax, "wolman" died in 1565 and his will was proved on the 7th of November in the same year. He left four sons, Michael, Martin, Matthew, and Luke and one daughter, Sibel. Matthew was married on the 10th of August , 1585 to Margaret Stanton at Batley; there is no further reference to him in the register. I believe he settled at Mirfield, and was the first of the name residing there. Martin was the first of the name to settle in Batley (and the author is a direct descendent). His wife, Jane Wilbore, was the widow of William Wilbore of Healey, who died in 1582, and was interred in Batley Church, leaving no issue."

    See Birstall Sheards, Early Records now or at the bottom of the page.

  3. Dominic Lennon's Theory

    Dominic Lennon, a Sheard researcher and descendant of Michael Sheard, believes that Michael Sheard was the son of John Sheard as follows:

    Generation I: Thomas Sheard of Halifax

    Generation II: Michael Sheard, son of Thomas Sheard, baptized In Mirfield October 21, 1551married Jane File of Flockton in Thornhill Parish in 1615/16

    Generation III: Anthony Sheard son of Michael Sheard baptized Mirfield Parish 1620

    Generation IV: John Sheard, son of Anthony Sheard baptized Mirfield 1644

    Generation V: Michael Sheard, son of John Sheard, baptized 1688 Briestwell, Thornhill Parish

    John Sheard of Thornhill also had a son named Jonas, baptized March 25, 1683. He was the only Jonas listed by the LDS IGI in the 1680's time frame.

    Dominic also points out the "John Sheard of Littletown was buried February 15, 1706/07 (Parish Register of Birstall 1687-1724 transcribed by Hartley Thwaite)" and that this could have been Michael's father.

  4. Vivien Tomlinson's Elaboration of the Briestwell Connection

    Another Sheard researcher and descendant, Vivien Tomlinson, has done extensive research on the Sheards in the area and has coordinated the records of Briestwell (Thornhill Parish) and Birstall. See John Sheard for details.

The Jonas Sheard Connection

The name Jonas, an uncommon name in general, it was popular in the Sheard family.

There were several in the early records for Thornhill and Birstall Parishes:

  1. Jonas of Matthew Sheard, May 21 1643, died January 11, 1646. This is the earliest listing for the name on the IGI
  2. Jonas Sheard son of John Sheard of Briestwell baptized 1683 (VT, Jan 2005)
  3. Jonas, son of Benjamin Sheard, born about 1700 in Thornhill. Was he really the son of Benjamin of Thornhill? Is he the person who married Alice Sheppard and had children in Littleton and Little Gomersal 1720-1733?
  4. Jonas Sheard married Alice Sheppard in Hartshead, and had four children baptized in Birstall parish between 1721 and 1733. See Early Sheard Records in Birstall Parish
  5. Jonas of Michael Sheard and Abigail Healey baptized in 1713 Birstall who married Dinah Kirk and had children in Gomersall 1740-1756

Was Michael Sheard the Descendent of Martin Sheard of Batley Parish?

The History of Batley Parish published in 1894 by Michael Sheard gives a brief history of the family of Thomas Sheard. According to Michael Sheard, Thomas Sheard was the progenitor of the Sheards who settled the Batley and Birstall parishes, and an ancestor of the Michael Sheard (the author of the History of Batley Parish.)

Thomas Sheard of Halifax parish and his wife, Margaret Holdesworthe, had four sons, Michael, Martin, Matthew, and Luke, and one daughter, Sybil. See Thomas Sheard now or at the bottom of the page

Martin Sheard married and settled in Batley parish. There are very few entries for the Sheards in the Bishop's Transcripts for Batley parish (LDS film # 0980660) from 1600 through 1729. There are lots of years missing and the records are very sparse.

Martin Sheard was listed in the Batley parish records for the first time in 1581. He was obviously living in the parish from the time of his marriage to Jane in 1583 to his death fifty two years later in 1635. There is only one baptismal record for a child of Martin Sheard listed in the parish records, that of Michael in 1585. It is possible that baptisms of other children occurred when the records are missing or that they occurred in Mirfield or Halifax.

Illegitimate Son of Matin Sheard and Agnes Rodes: Martin Sheard and Agnes Rodes had an illegitimate son, William, baptized on July 24, 1581 in Batley Parish.

Marriage: Martin Sheard married Jane Wilbore, the widow of William Wilbore, on February 5, 1583 in Batley parish (Michael Sheard and the Parish Records).

According to Michael Sheard:

  • William Wilbore of Healey died in 1582 living no issue.
  • Jane's maiden name was Breare

According to A. Cadman, Jane Breare was a native of Gomersal, Birstall Parish.


  1. Michael, the son of Martin Sheard, was baptized in Batley parish on May 8, 1585 (Batley Parish Records).
    Death: Burial: Michael Sheard buried May 8, 1586.
  2. Martin, d.o.b. (no later than 1596), place unknown.
    Marriage: unknown
    1. Martin of Martin Sheard, February 22, 1616 (BT)
    2. Michael of Martin Sheard, February 22, 1619 (BT)
      Note: This was most likely the Michael Sheard who married, Isabell Parkinson, and had children in Birstall parish. See Birstall Sheards now or at the bottom of the page. If the Michael Sheard who wrote the History of Batley is correct in stating that Matin Sheard was the progenitor of the Sheards in Batley Parish then one of the children of the Michael Sheard of Birstall and his wife, Isabell Parkinson, could have been the parent of Michael born circa 1688. Michael Sheard born circa 1688 is know to be connected the main branch of the Batley Sheards.
    3. Thomas of Martin Sheard, September 20, 1619 (BT)
    4. Grace of Martin Sheard, October 7, 1621 (BT)
    5. Jane of Martin Sheard, August 24, 1623 (BT)
    6. Alice of Martin Sheard, January 29, 1625 (BT)
    7. John of Martin Sheard, January 2, 1628 (BT)
    8. Richard of Martin Sheard, December 12, 1629 (BT)
    Death of Martin Sheard: Martin Sheard buried April 27, 1662
    Death of the wife of Martin Sheard Unknown
  3. John Sheard, Unknown, Based on a minimum age of twenty at the birth of William, John was born no later than 1600.
    Marriage: Unknown
    1. William, the son of John Sheard, baptized February 21, 1621 (BT).
  4. Marmaduke Sheard, based on an age of twenty at the time of the marriage Marmaduke was born no later than 1597.
    Marriage: Janet (?) on July on July 22, 1617.
    Note: Marmaduke was either the son of Martin and Jane Sheard or a relative who married in Batley parish. There are no children for Marmaduke in Batley parish.

Death of Jane Sheard: Jane, the wife of Martin Sheard, was buried on November 11, 1614.

Death of Martin Sheard: Martin Sheard was buried August 22, 1635.

Jonas Sheard in Littletown/Gomersall

Birth of Jonas Sheard:

Marriage of Jonas Sheard:


  1. John of Jonas Sheard of Littletown, November 26, 1721

  2. David son of Jonas Sheard of Littletown October 6, 1723 (PR)

  3. 7 years break

  4. Elliner of Jonas Sheard of Littletown, 19 March, 1730

  5. Sarah of Jonas Sheard of Gomersall, Sept 30, 1733

Death: Jonas Sheard of Little Gomersall March 1, 1740

Other Early Sheard Records in Batley & Birstall Parishs

  1. William Sheard was buried on February 21, 1621. Was this the illegitimate son of Martin and Agnes Rodes baptized in 1581 or was he the son of John baptized on February 21, 1621?

  2. Grace Sheard married John Fawcett on October 15, 1656. Based on an age of twenty at the time of her marriage Grace was born no later than 1636. The only Grace in the records was the daughter of Martin baptized in 1621. Was Grace 35 at the time of her marriage or is this a Sheard from another parish?

  3. Agnes, "of Michael Sheard" of Batley was buried in Mirfield on February 2, 1665 (BT).

    In January 2015 China King wrote that she had been looking through the Mirfield records which listed:

    ffeberoware [February J ] Agneas daughter of Michaell Sheard bur the II day.:

  4. The burial of Anne Sheard on November 9, 1670. I do not know who Anne Sheard was.
  5. Marriage May 11, 1735, Bristall, Michael Sheard of Birstall to Alice Green

For more information on Jonas Sheard (1713-1789) , the son of Michael Sheard, go to Jonas Sheard

For more information on Abigail Healy, the wife of Michael Sheard, go to Abigail Healey

For information on John Sheard of Briestwell, the possible father of Michael Sheard, go to John Sheard
For information on Early Sheard Records in Batley Parish , go to Batley Sheards

More Sheard Genealogy

Vivien Tomlinson is "a member of the Society of Genealogists and several Yorkshire Family History Societies, on the committee of the London Group of the Yorkshire Family History Societies, and have an Advanced Certificate in Family History." She has done extensive work into several Batley familys including the Sheards. See Vivien Tomlinson's Family History

The First Sheards in Birstall Parishes

The first record I have found for the Sheards in Birstall Parish was the marriage of Michael Sheard and Isabell Parkinsen on October 14, 1640. They lived in Gomersall and had several children baptized in Birstall Parish between 1641 and 1646. For more information on the Michael Sheard in Birstall Parish, click on the photo of the village of Gomersall in Birstall Parish

Thomas Sheard and his sons, the First Sheards in Batley Parishes

The first Sheard to settle in the area around Batley and Birstall Parishes was Thomas Sheard who arrived in the area in the late 1500s. His son, Martin Sheard, married and settled in Batley. For more information on Thomas Sheard, click on the the photo of the Batley Parish church

If you have any suggestions, corrections, information, copies of documents, or photos that you would like to share with this page, please contact me at maggie@maggieblanck.com


If you wish to use any of the images or information on this page please feel free to do so provided that you give proper acknowledgement to this web site and include the same acknowledgments that I have made to the provenience of the image or information. Thanks, Maggie

©Maggie Land Blanck - Page created 2004 - Latest update, October 2015