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Greetings from California,
I am an archivist more accustomed to helping others with their research. But now I need some help. I am currently writing a monograph on a young Englishman who emigrated to the US in 1845. His English religious roots are an important part of his American saga.
WH Shearman was a grandson of Thomas Shearman, Supervisor of Excise in Doncaster. TS retired to Sheffield sometime before the 1841 census.
Via findmypast.com I found a newspaper notice of Thomas Shearman's death on March 30,1856 (age 86) at his residence on Cemetery Road in Ecclesall Bierlow [Sheffield Independent of April 5, 1856].
Another death notice indicates his widow Mary Martha [Blackwell Horner]Shearman died on April 8, 1864 [Sheffield Daily Telegraph April 9, 1864].
I would like to confirm the religious affiliations of Thomas and Mary Martha. Both came from a non-conformist heritage (Independent - Congregational).
I can only find a record of their 1838 wedding in a Doncaster civil register. So I don't know if they were married by the Church of England or by a non-conformist minister. I suspect the latter.
Perhaps burial records, church records, and/or the actual burial site might confirm that they were still non-conformists at the time of their deaths. Much as I would love to do on-site archival research, distance prevents. Any assistance from afar would be very much appreciated.
PS If the birth dates of Thomas Shearman and Mary Martha Blackwell Horner Shearman appear on burial records, that would be useful information to me as well. Thanks again.
Hi hope this helps for Thomas the minister was Charles Larom
General cemetery Noncomformist burials
Grave No K57
Mary Martha in same grave Died on the 08-04-1864 and buried on the 12-04-1864 She lived on Norfolk St Sheffield. Dave W
Charles Larom was said to be a Baptist Minister on a document on FMP registering his son Charles birth in 1837.
The General Cemetery were the burials took place was opened in 1836 for Non-conformist burials.
The people in the new middle class were mainly Nonconformists, that is, they were Protestants who were separate from the Church of England. They were also known as Dissenters. Nonconformists had their own churches and worshipped in their own ways.
They did not want to be buried in Anglican cemeteries presided over by Anglican priests. In addition, this newly evolved and empowered middle class wanted changes in society : for example, they wanted conditions for the working class to improve.
See history here:
White's 1833 Directory (emphasis added)...
The BAPTIST CHAPEL, in Townhead-street, was erected in
1814, for the use of the congregation which, during the preced-
ing eight years, had occupied the chapel in Coalpit-lane. The
Rev. Charles Larom is the minister.
Larom was still the minister in an 1849 directory.
There are photos of the Townhead Baptist Chapel at PictureSheffield - several of the interior and this of the frontage:
If I am reading the date stone right it must have been rebuilt or altered in 1845.
Thank you so much for you speedy and very helpful response. I was at first confused by the death and burial dates of Mary Martha until I remembered that English date conventions are different from those in the US. Now it all makes perfect sense!
I'm actually quite surprised that the Shearmans were affiliated with the Baptist church rather than the Congregationalists. But I'm delighted that you confirmed my assumption that they were non-conformists. This fact is important to my narrative.
One last question: Does the headstone for Grave No. K47 have any inscription?
Leslie, if you read the earlier answers you wil see that the minister officiating at Thomas Shearman's burial was Charles Loram, the Baptist minister at Townhead. If you Google Loram or Townhead you will see that there is a digitised book online written by Loram and published in 1870 about the history of the Townhead Chapel and its influence on other baptist chapels around the county.
Thanks for providing additional information about Charles Larom.
I love how everyone contributed new bits of info--an information "pile-on!"
Thanks for pointing me to the history of the cemetery on the Sheffield General Cemetery Trust Website. I somehow overlooked that page as I was trying to figure out the different cemeteries in Sheffield. The history was quite illuminating.
Thank you for the further info on Larom's Townsend Baptist Chapel. All of you "Indexers" are terrific! How great to have such knowledgeable and helpful folks to help us far-flung researchers.
I just downloaded Larom's history of Townhead Baptist Chapel and have already perused a chunk of it. It's quite charming in its typical nineteenth-century religious verbiage. The are some delicious quotes applicable to my narrative! Thanks for letting me know about it.