Hardaker One-Name Study


This ‘work in progress’ started with the Hardakers of Rawdon, near Leeds in West Yorkshire and then broadened because descendants of the Hardakers of Rawdon spread to surrounding areas, such as nearby Yeadon, Horsforth and Guiseley, as well as Baildon, Eccleshill and Idle. Early on there were Hardakers in Otley and in and around Leeds. By the latter half of the eighteenth century there were Hardakers in Bradford itself as well as the suburbs of Horton and Wibsey. Mainly in the nineteenth century, Hardakers spread around the world, including North America, India, Australia and New Zealand.

We have information, not all of which is included here yet, on other places where the surname was common, such as Haworth, Keighley, Kildwick and Upper Ribblesdale (where the surname probably originated).

Our family history research to date falls broadly into two categories.  That relating directly to the ancestry of Brian and Shirley Hardaker and the other being work done on Hardakers and immediate relatives from the West Yorkshire area, some of whom we are directly related to, and many others to whom we have no apparent connection. We have therefore organised the available people data into two databases.  One being Brian and Shirley's family tree, and the other being the larger collection of Hardaker-related information.  As a result, a number of individuals are duplicated (deliberately) across the two databases where they are known relatives of ours, and also logically form part of the larger Hardaker one-name study.  Hopefully this does not create any confusion. 

The Hardaker one-name study database contains a number of families that have (so far) not been connected with any certainty through common ancestry.

The Hardakers of Rawdon, near Leeds in West Yorkshire. This is the largest branch of Hardakers in this family tree database. Roger Hardaker #4 of Rawdon who died there in 1667 is a good starting point for this family group.

Anne Hardaker #1025 who baptised an apparently illegitimate daughter named Hannah at Guiseley church on 16 Nov 1740.  We have no clues to help us know who Anne's parents were or where she was born.

Benjamin Hardaker #1637 born Eccleshill c 1787, married Dinah Thornton #894 at Leeds (?) in 1812. Possibly one son named John.

Hannah Hardaker #936 born Idle c 1791. She married Samuel Hardaker #129 and raised a large family at Rawdon. She could be Hannah #734 born Baildon in 1791, but it seems probable that she married William Hudson. She could be Hannah #351 born at Horsforth in 1791 but likely that most of the children of her parents died young. She might have been a widow (and hence Hardaker is not her birth name), but in the marriage register she is described as a spinster of Calverley parish. Currently unresolved.

James Hardacre #1796.  James and his wife Jane (maiden name unknown) had several children in the area of Cockerham Lancashire. They named one son Lancelot, a rather unusual name.  Lancelot was born in 1803 and as best we can tell was the couple's first child.  This would suggest that James and Jane may have married around 1800, and that both would have been born around 1770-1780, however to date we have found no records that we can confidently match to the couple for their marriage or their births/baptisms.  Lancelot married Elizabeth Coates in 1826 and moved to Manningham just outside Bradford and hence became part of our one name study of West Yorkshire Hardakers.

John Hardaker #1763. He married Mary Holmes. Since he died in 1838 he is not in a census so uncertain where he was born. Based only on his reported age when he died we have him born around 1761, but there are too many candidates to guess which John he is. His family has been entered as a separate branch.

John Hardaker #2050. We think this John married Elizabeth Huggon in 1800. The couple appear to have lived at Horsforth and their marriage record indicates that they were both from the same area.   He does not seem to have survived until the 1841 census, so we know very little about him.  We guess his birth to have been around 1780 based only on the fact that the couple's first child James was born 3-4 months after the wedding, and this often means that the parents were quite young at the time.  Determining his ancestry is problematic for the same reason as for John #1763 above.

Joseph Hardaker the cooper #713. He married Esther Ellis in 1728. To date not able find a birth for him, but based on the date of his marriage, is is likely that he was born around 1700. He and his quite numerous descendants are entered as a separate branch.

Joseph Hardaker #1404 born 1799 in Chapel Allerton.  We know that his father's name was John, but we don't know which John this is (there are a large number of candidates).  There are no other births of Hardaker children to a John at Chapel Allerton within 10 years of this Joseph making it difficult to match him to a family already recorded.  We believe that he married Sarah Tomlinson in 1818.  The couple had a least three children at Rawdon, but are missing from the UK censuses.

Michael Hardaker #1.  Michael is one of the first Hardakers we have identified as living in the Guiseley/Rawdon area. He was probably born around 1600, but we have not identified a matching record with any confidence.  We think he baptised two daughters in 1628 and 1630 at Guiseley church, but no sons it seems, so his branch of the Hardaker One-name Study is very small.

Richard Hardaker the worstedman #270. We suspect born around 1742 at Rawdon (best guess).  The ancestor of Brian and Shirley Hardaker with no confidently known ancestry.

Richard Hardaker the badger of Otley #1030.  This Richard lived in the late 1500's at Farnley about 12 miles to the north of Leeds in Yorkshire. He was a "badger", which meant an itinerant trader in cereals such as wheat, oats and flour. The story of his family through the 1600's is rather sad with very few of his descendants surviving to adulthood, and more than a little strange with a confusing series of Francises and Franceses marrying, moving, and having children. We have done our best to untangle all this in this research.  As best we can determine, this particular Hardaker line came to an end in the late 1600s.

Richard Hardaker #199 who went to India. Information from his time in the Indian army suggests that he was born at Rawdon in 1785, son of Richard. We have as yet been unable to determine who his father was.

Samuel Hardaker of Rawdon #114. His birth in 1784, father Samuel, was recorded at Rawdon Chapel.  As yet no certain ancestry and no identified descendants.

Stephen Hardaker #629 ancestor of many of the Haworth Hardakers.  We suspect that this Stephen Hardaker was one of the first Hardakers to move to the Haworth area probably around 1660.  The Haworth church records leave a lot to be desired in terms of data quality making it difficult to trace the the Haworth Hardakers, particularly the earlier generations.  Stephen Carr took up the challenge, and thanks largely to his efforts we have been able to include information about this branch of Hardakers in the Hardaker One-Name Study.  We have no information about Stephen's origins.

William Hardacre #552. This William married Grace Greenwood in August 1748. They appear to have had at least five children baptised at Bramley, Farsley and Pudsey.  We have traced a large number of descendants from this family, however to date we have been unable to determine who William's parents were, or where he was born. We suspect that he was born around 1722/23 based on a likely burial record.


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