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 #2713.  We have records for six children baptised between 1746 and 1762 where the father was recorded as Benjamin Hardaker.  Three were are Calverley Church with Benjamin residing at Bolton or Calverley.  The others were recorded at Leeds St Peter, Holbeck Chapel and Leeds West Park United Reformed Church with Benjamin residing at Leeds or Holbeck.   The first two baptisms, one at Calverley the other at Leeds St Peter, occurred a day apart (Thomas on 30th March 1746, then Betty on 31st March 1746).  All of this appears to point to there being two Benjamin Hardakers, one living at (or near) Bolton, the other at (or near) Holbeck.  Unfortunately we have only one birth/baptism and one marriage to match to these six children, that being Benjamin, son of John Hardaker, born about 1717 at Carlton (near Yeadon), and the marriage of (we guess the same) Benjamin Hardaker to Elizabeth Holmes in 1744 at Calverley Church.  We have assigned the three children baptised at Calverley Church to this couple, leaving us with no known birth/baptism or marriage for Benjamin #2713, the father of the other three children.

Benjamin Hardaker #1637 born Eccleshill c 1787, married Dinah Thornton #894 at Leeds (?) in 1812. 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 #2669.  This John married Ann Benson in October 1793 at Leeds St Peter. The couple had one child that we know of, Elizabeth Benson Hardaker born in 1794 at Mill Hill (Leeds).  We have nothing to help us determine John's birth year or place, but we might guess that he was born between 1760 and 1770.

John Hardaker #2750.  This one married Sarah Watter in July 1805 at Guiseley St Oswald.  The had at least nine children between 1806 and 1823.  We have a likely burial for John in 1839 with his age given as 56, so born about 1783 (the same age as Sarah, who can be found in several of the census records).  Unfortunately we have eliminated the other Johns born about that time (either married to other women, or died young).

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 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 #438 Joiner of Eccleshill.  We know that he married Sarah Burnley in 1811, and later Hannah Willam (or possibly Wittam) in 1816.  He died in August 1847 aged 59, indicating a birth year of 1788.   All known West Yorkshire baptisms around this time are allocated to other individuals with good confidence, and we have  found no information pointing to the names of his parents, or his place of birth.  Richard and Sarah were the parents of Joseph Burnley Hardaker (born 1815), who emigrated to the United States and became a successful and well known businessman in Pennsylvania.

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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