Jamaican Laidmans

John (or Jonathan) Laidman (born ca 1776) left the ancestral home of Bowes in the late eighteenth century to establish himself in Southwark, London. John was a customs officer, an occupation at that time often passed down in families. His son Mark Laidman (1811-1884) inherited this position, and in 1844 was appointed to HM Customs department in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Mark's career appears to have been undistinguished, but his love-life was certainly not, and he is reported to have had no less than six wives and mistresses, by all of whom there was issue.

Of Mark's four documented sons, two emigrated to New York and two remained in Jamaica where they raised families. Most of these eleven children subsequently also moved to the USA, and there are probably no Laidmans left in Jamaica today, although there are rumours that Mark's philandering resulted in a Laidman gene pool being established in the island.