William Albert Hemmings 1852 – 1926

William Hemmings was born 2 January, 1852, in Swainswick, England. This is a small village 3 miles north of Bath, in Somerset.  William’s death record lists his parents as James Hemmings and Eliza Burton.  There is one family in the village of Swainswick in the 1851 census, where the parents are James and Eliza.  This James was an agricultural laborer, born in St Catherine’s in Somerset and according to that census, was age 35.  Eliza was 40. Their children are a daughter, Elizabeth Clifford, 19, James age 11, Maria 9, Isaac 3, and Elijah age 1.  William is not listed in the household, so he was born after the date of the census, 30 March, 1851.  I did locate an Albert Hemmings born January 1852 in Bath, listed in a birth index, which unfortunately doesn’t list parents.  A tree posted on Ancestry says that Eliza was previously married, and Elizabeth Clifford (or Culliford) is her daughter from that marriage.

The 1861 census lists the James Hemmings family at 17 Rose Hill, in the parish of Walcot, in the Borough of Bath.  James is now listed as 40 years old, and it appears that he has a different wife, Esther, age 31.  Isaac is 12 and Elijah is 9.  The three youngest children are Albert, age 9 (which corresponds with William Albert being born in 1852 instead of 1851), Hannah age 6, and Ann age 19 months.  James is a coal dealer.  Albert is a scholar. 

The 1871 census lists James and wife (called Hester) listed at 6 Rose Hill.  However, William, or Albert, is no longer in the household.  I was not able to locate him in the 1871 Canada census.  The 1910 census indicates that he moved to the US in 1868, and there is a William Hemming born in England in 1852 who was living in Union, New Jersey, working on a farm in 1870.

On 16 October, 1874, William married Josephine Laclair, daughter of Barney Laclair and Sarah Ann Hawkins.  The bride and groom were both residents of Barton VT, and William was a laborer.  Their first child, William Alfred, was born 12 August 1876, in Barton.  Soon after, the Hemmings family moved to Mansonville, Quebec, and two daughters were born – Florence Elizabeth on 10 June 1878, and Rosa May on 19 Sep 1880.

The 1881 Canada census lists the family in Potton, where William was a farmer.  His religion was Church of England, while his wife and children were recorded as Methodist Church of Canada.  More children were born:  Laura Eveline on 18 April 1883, Robert Burton on 8 November 1885, and Minnie Adelaide on 22 June 1888 and Roy Albert on 26 Feb 1891. 

The 1891 census shows the family in Potton.  William was now a carpenter joiner, or someone who worked on interior carpentry, cabinets, furniture.   William’s son Robert died at age 8, after being struck by lightning.  A couple years later, the family moved back to Barton, where his last child, Clara Josephine, was born 23 Feb 1896.

On 23 August, 1897, William bought about two acres of land from Henry Danforth, described as: Being 2 acres more or less in lot number 3 in the 11th range. Beginning on the westerly side of the highway that leads to South Barton at the easterly corner where said land intersects said road and the road that leads to John Gott’s – thence southwesterly on the northerly side of said Gott road to the Railroad – thence northerly on said Railroad to stake and stones fourteen (14) rods and ten (10) feet, then turning and running Easterly to stake and stones twenty two (22) rods and six (6) feet from point of beginning.  Thence southerly on westerly side of said highway to first mentioned point.  Said Hemmings is to build and keep in repair a good and suitable fence on the northerly side of said conveyed land.   

In 1900, the family lived in Barton.  This record indicates that William came to the United States in 1868, and was still an alien resident.  William worked as a carpenter.  The household included his wife, Josephine, and his son William, with his wife Martha and son Vernon, plus the three youngest children, Minnie, Roy, and Clara.

In 1910, William lived with his wife, and two youngest children, in Barton.  William was a carpenter and home builder.  William’s daughters Minnie and Laura both died in 1918.  In 1920, William and Josephine operated a dairy farm in Barton, on Willoughby Road.  William died 15 July 1926 in Barton, cause of death was aortic stenosis.



  1. Linda Brockhurst said,

    June 19, 2012 at 15:29


    I can give you more information on James Hemmings and his family and also clarify some of the details you have such as surnames etc. Plus information on his death and that of his wife Eliza. I descend from a half brother of Albert Hemmings and still live in the Bath area in the UK. Do let me know if you are interested though I am now away for a few days.

    Best wishes

    Linda Brockhurst

  2. Dorothy A Lewis said,

    June 23, 2012 at 15:01

    I also descend from a half brother to Albert and am a cousin to Linda, as we both descend from George Hemmings, a son of James and Hester. I live in south Wales, UK where George moved to from Somerset in around 1890.
    Dorothy Lewis

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