London Laidmans

John - or Jonathan - Laidman (the two names were often used interchangeably) was born in Bowes, Yorkshire, in 1776 and as a young man made his way to London, where in 1797 he married a London girl by whom he had seven children.

John was not the first Laidman to go to the capital. Leonard Laidman (circa 1660-1741) established himself in the City as a barber-surgeon. His son John (1704-1744) became a watchmaker in Smithfield, but the family has not been traced further.

There had been Laidmans in London even earlier than this, but they appear under the name of Lodsman or other variants and have not yet been traced back to the Bowes Laidmans, if indeed, they are the same family. Some of them undoubtedly are however. and maintained contact with their Bowes relatives: in his Will of 1608 John Lodsman of Holborn bequeathed his house and lands in Bowes to his sister.

To return to John or Jonathan, his first son, also John, moved to Devon and established himself as a solicitor in Exeter (see the Devon Laidmans), and his youngest son Mark went to Jamaica (see the Jamaican Laidmans). His fifth child Leonard remained in the metropolis however, and all his 150 or so documented descendants stayed in London or the south of England, where many still are today.