The Byard Family


Notes about the Byard surname

I am interested in the Byard family of London, England.  For the most part of the 18th century, this family lived in the hamlet of Ratcliff(e), close to the River Thames.  They were tallow chandlers and later clockmakers.  Due to their proximity to the river, much of their business was likely driven by the shipping trade which dominated the eastern part of London.

This family may have originally been Huguenots who arrived in English in the seventeenth century (descended from Bayards), but there is also evidence this surname was present in England from the thirteenth century.

Surname distribution

The highest concentration of Byards in 1881 is in Derby.  Note that there is still a Byard presence in East London in 1881.

Byard surname distribution in UK 1881

Byard surname distribution in UK 1881. The highest concentration of the surname is in Derby

Important branches on my tree

  • Thomas Byard (abt 1702-1790) and Patience Parker (abt 1710-1746).  This is the farthest that I have been able to trace back the Byard family.  Thomas Byard was a tallow chandler and barber in Ratcliff in East London.  He was wealthy enough to own houses on Brook Street in Ratcliff.
  • John Byard (1742-1813) and Ann Lacy (abt 1741-1821).  Thomas’ son.  John Byard was a clockmaker.  Several generations of his daughter Patience’s descendants would continue in this trade. He moved to Kentish Town from Ratcliff in the later years of his life.  This is likely a sign of his prosperity.
  • Patience Byard (1769-1831) and John Player (abt 1760-abt 1808). Patience Byard was John Byard’s daughter.  Her first son and later her great-grandson is named after her father.  I don’t know much about Patience’s life, other than the fact that John Player died young, and she was left to care for several children on her own.  Although her father had moved to Kentish Town, Patience can be found in Ratcliff at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Byards on Twigged

 Posted by at 2:37 pm

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