Abraham Pridmore, Blacksmith

I cannot recall how or when we first made contact with Tim’s English cousins, and we have long since lost touch with them, but I owe them a debt of gratitude for all the family history material they mailed over the ocean to us. Perhaps one or both of them will see this post somehow and contact us again!

Tim’s 4th-great-grandfather, Abraham Pridmore, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Shepard) Pridmore, was born in 1790 in Brigstock (Northamptonshire) England, and died 20 March 1867 in Syston (Leicestershire) England. He married 9 June 1811 in St. Peter’s Church, Lowick (Northamptonshire) England, Elizabeth Bramston, who was born in 1791 in Lowick, and died 5 January 1866 in Syston, daughter of William and Alice (—) Bramston.

Abraham was baptized 27 July 1790 in St. Andrew’s Church, Brigstock. He worked as a blacksmith, and later as a machinist and a machine supplement maker. Abraham & Elizabeth were members of the Church of England. The following is from the notes Gillian and Gabrielle Rohowsky sent to us:

When they married Abraham was already resident in Thorpe Satchville, the age he was would probably mean that he had recently finished his [blacksmith] apprenticeship, usually marriage was not permitted during an apprenticeship, and of course Elizabeth was pregnant. The marriage was witnessed by Robert Pridmore, brother of the groom, and by John Brown who we think was a parish clerk.

The parish records for Syston parish church have suffered some damage, with sections totally unreadable. Syston is larger than Thorpe Satchville, we can only guess why the family moved there, maybe it was due to expanding trade and close proximity to the main city with better business opportunities, also Syston had a major rail link which would of been a benefit for the distribution of goods. Or maybe the move was purely prompted by family attachment, Christiana, George and Sarah were all resident in Syston. Abraham and Elizabeth probably moved there around the mid 1850’s.

The death date on the certificate states 5 January 1866, whereas the headstone states the 6 January 1866. The age on the certificate states 74, the headstone states 76. These discrepancies could arise from the informant Elizabeth Marchant being illiterate. Elizabeth Marchant was a widow whose husband died in an accident while working on the railways, she lived close to Abraham & Elizabeth and possibly worked as a housekeeper for them.

Elizabeth died of “paralysis justified” and Abraham died of pneumonia and they lie buried together in St. Peter & Paul’s Churchyard. Their headstone is inscribed:

Sacred
to the memory of
Abraham Pridmore
Who died Mar 20: 1867
Aged 77 years
Also Elizabeth his wife
Who died Jan 6: 1866
Aged 76 years
And of Sarah Randall
Granddaughter of the above
Who died Nov 15: 1863

Abraham & Elizabeth were the parents of fourteen children. Four of the sons (Thomas, William, Abraham, and Edward) made their way to America:

1. Thomas Pridmore, born 9 September 1811 in Brigstock, died 23 July 1890 in North Bergen (Genesee) New York. He married (as his first wife) 31 October 1842 in Canterbury (Windham) Connecticut, Jerusha Smith, who was born 20 March 1814 in Canterbury, and died 12 October 1851 in Clarendon (Orleans) New York, daughter of Ichabod and Actisah (Allen) Smith. Thomas married (as his second wife) 24 November 1852 in North Bergen, Mary Ann Grieve, who was born 25 October in England, and died 14 August 1885 in North Bergen, daughter of Stephen and Ann (Baker) Grieve.

An obituary for Thomas appeared in The Batavian in 1890:

Thomas Pridmore, Sr., died Last Wednesday (ed. July 23, 1890) about 4 p.m. For several years he has been in delicate health. He came to this country from Northamptonshire, England, when 22 years of age. He was twice married and was the survivor of both of his wives. Five children survive him: Chauncey, of Holley; Charles of Colorado; Frank of North Byron; and Thomas and Luella of North Bergen. He was in his 79th year. The funeral was held at the church last Saturday at 1 p.m. The interment was at the Root schoolhouse cemetery.

2. Mary Pridmore, born 1812 in Thorpe Satchville (Leicestershire) England, died 3 August 1858 in Freeby (Leicestershire) England. She married 26 December 1831 in St. Michael’s Church in Thorpe Satchville, Joseph Morris, an agricultural laborer who was born 1810 in Freeby, and died there 9 September 1887.

3. Christina Pridmore, born 1814 in Thorpe Satchville, died 3 December 1855 in Syston. She was a servant and married 24 January 1845 in St. Michael’s Church in Thorpe Satchville, George Randall, a publican, inn keeper, and licensed victualler, who was born in 1811 in Milby (Norfolk) England, and died in Syston 18 February 1878, son of James Randall.

4. William Pridmore (Tim’s 3rd-great-grandfather), born before 23 April 1815 in Thorpe Satchville (Leicestershire) England. He was baptized in Thorpe Satchville in St. Michael’s Church on 23 April 1815. He married (as his first wife) 13 October 1835 in St. Luke’s Church, Gaddesby, Mary Anne Smith, who was born in Gaddesby, and probably died there before William married again. William & Mary were the parents of a son. William married (as his second wife) 16 August 1838 in St. Luke’s Church, Gaddesby (Leicestershire) England, Ann Sturgess (Tim’s 3rd-great-grandmother), who was born in 1814 in Gaddesby, daughter of William Sturgess. William & Ann were the parents of six children. All of William’s children were born in England, and he worked both in England and America as a blacksmith. At the time of her marriage, Ann was employed as a servant. The time and place of Ann’s death are unknown. It seems possible that she may have died in England before William came to America in 1857(?) with their children, or perhaps she may have died at sea, because no mention is made of her or the youngest son, Thomas, in family accounts here. There is some mystery surrounding William – a family story says that he went to Chicago on a business trip and was never heard from again, and there is some evidence that he went to South Bend, Indiana with son George in 1875.

5. George Pridmore, born 1816 in Thorpe Satchville, died 16 April 1870 in Syston. He was a blacksmith, machinist, and mechanic and married 4 November 1855 in St. Peter & Paul’s Church in Syston, Mary Jane Dyball, a shopkeeper and dressmaker who was born 1828 in Hanford (Northamptonshire) England, and died 4 April 1888 in Syston.

6. Reuben Pridmore, born 1818 in Thorpe Satchville, died there 7 January 1842, age 24. He was a soldier and married 20 February 1840 in St. Pancras Church, London, England, Caroline Ward.

7. Sarah Pridmore, born 1819 in Thorpe Satchville. She married (as her first husband) 14 September 1846 in St. Peter & Paul’s Church in Syston, Robert Pickard, a husbandman and agricultural laborer, who was born 1816 in Syston and died there 19 December 1853, age 37. Sarah married (as her second husband) 14 October 1856 in The Parish Church, Great Yarmouth (Norfolk) England, George Randall, widower of her sister, Christiana (Pridmore) Randall.

According to Gillian and Gabrielle Rohowsky:

Sarah’s second marriage to George Randall was illegal because he was her brother-in-law, (previously married to her late sister Christiana). Because an act of parliament between 1835-1907 made such unions illegal and incestuous, attempts to change the law started in 1842 with the ‘Wife’s Sisters Bill’ which was put before parliament annually for 65 years until it was finally passed. Maybe this accounts for the fact that they married outside the district in Norfolk, but they later returned to Syston. Obviously Abraham did not object to the union, considering the contents of his will, he certainly held George Randall in high regard.

8. Abraham Pridmore, born 1821 in Thorpe Satchville, died 21 April 1878 in South Bend (St. Joseph) Indiana. He was a blacksmith and married Anna Sheehan/Scheehan, who was born 18 April 1834 in (Cork) Ireland, and died 28 April 1913 in South Bend.

Indiana Naturalization Records, Abraham Pridmore, Tippecanoe County, IN, Circuit Court, Volume 21, Page 536, Years 60:

To the Judge of the Tippecanoe Circuit in the State of Indiana, Abraham Pridmore, being an alien and a free white person, makes the following report of himself: upon his solemn oath declares that he is aged 31 years; that he was born in England that he emigrated from Liverpool in the year 1851 that he arrived in the United States at the City of New York on 17 July 1851 that he owes allegiance to Queen Victoria and that it is bona fide his intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce forever allegiance and fidelity any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty whatsoever. 6 November 1860.

9. Elizabeth Pridmore, born 1822 in Thorpe Satchville. She married 12 May 1851 in St. Michael’s Church in Thorpe Satchville, her first cousin, William March, a carpenter who was born 1828 in Brigstock, son of Daniel Blott and Esther (Pridmore) March.

10. Priscilla Pridmore, born 1825 in Thorpe Satchville, died there 1 July 1838, age 13.

11. John Pridmore, born 1826 in Thorpe Satchville.

12. Charlotte Pridmore, born 1828 in Thorpe Satchville, died 9 November 1896 in The Union Workhouse, Lincoln, England. She was a servant and married (as her first husband) 26 November 1849 in St. Michael’s Church, Thorpe Satchville, William Atkinson, who was born 1828 in Belgrade (Leicestershire) England. Charlotte had a relationship with George Hind, a groom who was born 1811 in Warsop (Nottinghamshire) England, and died 29 May 1897 in Lincoln. Charlotte married (as her second husband) 11 August 1880 in The Register Office, Lincoln, John Thompson, an engine fitter who was born 1820 and died November 1893 in Knight’s Place, Lincoln.

According to Gillian and Gabrielle Rohowsky:

Between the 1851 and 1861 census returns we have no information of Charlotte’s whereabouts. On the 1861 census she was in Lincoln under the name of Charlotte Hind, living with George Hind and their baby son Charles. On the 1871 census she was still in Lincoln, called Charlotte Hind, living with George and their 5 children. We are doubtful that Charlotte and George ever married, we have found no evidence but often people altered the facts to suit circumstances, possibly George was already married because he was 17 years older that Charlotte. If they had married Charlotte would have been a bigamist because George did not die until 1897. [after she married John Thompson]

It was always said within the family that Charlotte was a black sheep, who was disowned by her family, lack of communication between family could account for the fact that she classed Abraham as a blacksmith [on her 1880 marriage record], whereas he had long since been referred to as a machinist/machine maker, or maybe this was purely because of Charlotte’s lack of education, this could be said for her stating that her father was deceased, maybe she just presumed this because he would have been over 90 years old.

13. Eliza Pridmore, born 1829 in Thorpe Satchville, died there 27 July 1841, age 12.

14. Edward Pridmore, born 29 June 1831 in Thorpe Satchville, died 4 March 1910 in Batavia (Genesee) New York. He was a blacksmith and married (as his first wife) 28 November 1850 in St. Michael’s Church, Thorpe Satchville, Jane Marshall, a servant who was born in 1828 in Ashwell (Rutland) England, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Hinman) Marshall. After their marriage Jane & Edward left for America from Liverpool on the Cumberland, arriving in New York on 18 June 1852. Edward married (as his second wife) 11 January 1887 in Batavia, Eliza B. Ware, daughter of T. B. Ware.

An obituary for Edward, in possession of Delorma (Rodgers) Morton, reads:

Inventor of Harvesting Machinery Dead at His Home in Batavia

After an illness of several years with heart disease and complications Edward Pridmore, one of Batavia’s well-known citizens, died at his home at No. 532 East Main street at 2:20 o’clock this morning. Mr Pridmore had not been confined to the house all of the time of his illness, but had not been in good health.

Mr Pridmore was born at Thorp, Satchville, Eng, on June 29, 1831. He spent his boyhood working in his father’s machine shop, where he developed that taste for mechanics and that inventive genius which were so prominent in his after life. At the age of 21 Mr Pridmore came to America and soon afterward entered the employment at Brockport of Ganson & Co, a firm which later became the Johnston Harvester Company of Brockport and now of Batavia. He remained in the employ of the company until the time of his death, a period of over half a century. He was a skilled mechanic and invented a number of improvements and appliances which were afterward used by the harvester company. His inventive work aided largely in perfecting the harvesting machines and he received individual diplomas of honorable mention from the Chicago world’s fair and the St Louis exposition.

Mr Pridmore was twice married. His first wife was Jane Marshall of England, whom he wedded in 1850. By her he had three children, Elizabeth, widow of Homer M Johnston; John W Pridmore and the late Henry E Pridmore, all of Chicago. In 1887 he married Miss Eliza Ware of Batavia, who with two daughters, Fannie and Esther, survives him. He also leaves eleven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, all of whom live in Chicago.

In politics Mr Pridmore was always a Republican. For many years he had been a Baptist and was a member of the First Baptist church of Batavia at the time of his death. Mr Pridmore’s life illustrated the good old English virtues of honesty, thrift and generosity. Although he always lived without ostentation many friends and neighbors recall his kindly words of advice and of material help in their times of need. His integrity of character was above question and his business judgment sound. His death is a great loss to the business interests to which he gave so many years of faithful service and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

2 thoughts on “Abraham Pridmore, Blacksmith”

  1. I am so impressed with your ability to find all these records and tell these stories in such a captivating way. I would definitely find a blacksmith among my husband’s ancestors…a Finnish wagon maker to the Russian Tsar, but not able to find formal records.

    1. A Finnish wagon maker to the Russian Tsar – that sounds like a great story! Maybe some day something will turn up. I owe so much gratitude to other family history researchers, past and present, for their willingness to share and/or publish their findings. It’s amazing to contemplate what a newspaper clipping tucked into a book a hundred years ago will some day mean to the newest sleuth on the family tree. 🙂

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