Jane Walford

Jane Walford married Jeremiah Thomings on 7 Oct 1759 at St Laurence, Northfield to the South West of Birmingham. Jane is almost certainly closely related to the Walford family of ironmongers from Birmingham but it is difficult to place exactly how.

When she was buried on 5 Aug 1799 in Brierley Hill, she was recorded as being 59 years of age. This gives her a birth year of 1740. She had ten children and many of her descendants went on to be wealthy iron merchants, most notably Edward Bagnall Dimmack. It is likely therefore that her parents were closely related to a number of Walfords who left wills in the mid 18th century as wealthy ironmongers in Birmingham.

The Lord Hardwicke marriage form has survived from 1759 and shows that she was literate. There is no mention of her being a minor though she was probably only 19 years of age. A witness to the wedding is named as William Falkener. Significantly there is a marriage on 28 Sep 1755 also in St Laurence’s of a Mary Walford to William Falkener. We can presume that Jane therefore had an elder sister called Mary.

The will of Abel Walford, ironmonger of Birmingham and that of his widow Susannah Walford (nee Venour) shows a very wealthy branch of the family. Susannah’s will of 1773 talks of Samuel and John Walford, the former being ‘of Northfield’, but this is really as close as it gets to any possible Walford family close to Jane. We can presume that this Samuel and John Walford are the two sons of Samuel Walford, ironmonger, who leaves a will of 1755, mentioning both sons. It is therefore possible that Samuel Walford the elder is the father of Jane but neither she nor her sister Mary have any mention in the 1755 will.

Matters are further obscured by the fact that these Walfords were at some time non-conformists. This fits nicely with what we know about the later Dimmack family but means that the records are more deeply hidden. Four children of Samuel Walford and his wife Sarah (nee Hassell) are recorded as being baptized in the New Meeting House Birmingham Moor Street – there also appear to be secondary baptisms of Abel and Susannah Walford’s two daughters in the same Unitarian congregation. But again there is no Mary or Jane.

Samuel names a brother Hugh Walford and a brother-in-law John Russell in his 1755 will but none can seem to get us any closer to Jane, despite these coincidences.

Selected Sources

  • Will of Abel Walford, National Archives, Probate 23 Apr 1770
  • Will of Susannah Walford, National Archives, Probate 31 Dec 1773
  • Will of Samuel Walford, National Archives, Probate 27 Oct 1755
  • Moor Street Independent Baptism Register – Ancestry.com