Canadian Laidmans

Samuel Laidman (1789-1867) and Elizabeth Pickersgill (1789-1862) were both born and grew up in Redmire, West Witton, Yorkshire. They married there in 1812 and set up house as tenant farmers. As the years passed, their family grew to include nine children, all born in Yorkshire. Samuel and Elizabeth made the decision to migrate to North America and left England in August 1830 aboard the Sarah Parker bound for New York City and Lower Canada. They settled in Mount Albion, just outside of Hamilton, helping on the farm of Elijah Secord until obtaining 163 acres of Crown land of their own in nearby Binbrook Township. They cleared the land and built a small frame house for their family. The first Laidman born in Canada (John) arrived in 1833.

As the children grew up and married, many settled on nearby farms. The story has come down in the family that when all of Samuel and Elizabeth's children became settled in their own homes, Elizabeth could go out into her yard in the morning and see the smoke from the chimneys of their houses. Beside the door to her home, Elizabeth tended a rose bush that she had brought from England. Apparently it survived for over 100 years. The home that they built still stands, appropriately enough on Laidman Road, in what is now Glanbrook Township, part of The New City of Hamilton. It is little changed when viewed from the road, but has had some additions over the years to the rear of the house. The last Laidman to occupy the house was Samuel and Elizabeth's grandson Erland, who passed away in 1974.

In the tradition of all farming families, the Laidmans all had large families and hence a ready made labour force. Over the years the family has grown enormously and spread all across Canada. As well, many have moved south of the border into the United States. Two of Samuel and Elizabeth's granddaughters, Martha and Jane (daughters of Marmaduke Laidman) married and settled in Minnesota. Their families have also grown and spread across much of the United States. Other family members have settled in nearby Michigan, but have not been as prolific.

Many of Samuel and Elizabeth's descendants have gone on to distinguish themselves in farming, business and academic spheres. Many served in both World Wars, some who gave the ultimate sacrifice and others who came home to tell their tales. As much information as possible has been included in the notes attached to each person but there is certainly much more to discover. At last count, there are over four thousand direct descendants of these intrepid pioneers, Samuel Laidman and Elizabeth Pickersgill.

It is interesting that old Samuel was actually born to his mother, Martha Laidman (1768-1837), out of wedlock, the father being one James Sayer. Had they ever married, these thousands of descendants would have been not Laidmans but Sayers.