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Ask Joan
Joan Leach is a local historian, a volunteer at the Heritage Centre, a founder of The Gaskell Society, and much more besides.

 Good Morning Joan - I was so excited to see your contact for Knutsford and I was delighted to see how interesting your City is. I am contacting you regarding my Great Grandfather George Hammond who was born in Knutsford around 1826/1827. I am an Australian now resident on the Gold Coast just south of Brisbane Queensland.

The arrival of George (Labourer) in Australia is said to be around 1862 (by Ship) and he married a Mrs Mary Holywell in Sydney in 1866- nee Macnamara from Newmarket, Co Clare Ireland. George and Mary then moved to western NSW to the area of Sunny Corner west of Bathurst and had three chidren. He was a Gold Miner and died in 1888. I believe his father was also a George Hammond - a dealer, possibly born in or around Knutsford. I am interested to obtain more information on the Hammond family in Knutsford.
Regards Neal Hammond.

Joan answers:

I am not surprised to hear that here are now 200 Hammonds in Australia : they were prolific in Knutsford in the 19th century.

In the 1841 census George Hammond aged 45 married to Betty (45? She is a year or two older than George in other censuses) listed as carrier or Ag. lab ( not sure about this), had a son George aged 20, Agricultural labourer and I think this must be your emigrant ancestor. He had a brother Thomas aged 25 in the same trade; William (14) and Sarah (13) were also living at home in Crosstown, which is part of Knutsford.

Crosstown Knutsford

By 1851 only William and Sarah are still at home. In 1861 he and his father are listed as Ag. Labs. and the location is given so I may be able to find a picture.

Joseph Hammond aged 40 joiner in 1841 may be same as J (63)- tanner's labourer in 1861. Eliz H ( 34) married but no husband listed in 1841, and Frederick (36, I think) lived next door to each other ,also in Crosstown and may all be related to George senior. There are other Hammonds too and I believe there may still be some in Knutsford but will try to establish more details before I ask about this.

Crosstown Knutsford
The Old cottages on the Mobberley Rd, (Crosstown) which were demolished
by George Acton in 1910

Going back to George (senior) I think I have 'met' him before in Overseers of Poor records (known as The Select Vestry) 1827 George(?) Hammond , wife and three children asked for assistance. He earning 8 shillings a week on the brickhill - refused ( i.e making bricks) 1830 Elizabeth H. applied for relief. She receiving two shillings and sixpence a week and being still dissatisfied ordered to the workhouse.

No wonder your George preferred to try his luck in Australia. Notice he is not in the 1861 census of Knutsford. He wasn't transported was he?

If I had more time I could go to Chester Record Office and look again at the overseers records. And I hope to look at Church records to see if I can find baptisms for both George's and families.