Northumberland Laidmans

The Northumberland Laidmans originate from the time the Reverend Christopher Laidman (1654-1724) was appointed vicar of Woodhorn in Northumberland in 1692. He had originally left the ancestral home of Bowes in Yorkshire around 1682 to become curate of Whickham in Durham in 1684.

Christopher had nine children, all born in either Durham or Northumberland, following his ecclesiastical appointments. The eldest, John (1680-1745), also took holy orders and after appointments in Woodhorn and Mitford became rector of Whalton in 1724, where he died in 1745. From the extant documentation John seems to have been an unpleasant and litigious man. Probably a social climber, it was he who married into the illustrious Mitford family, whose name has been proudly borne by Laidmans right up to the present (the last Mitford Laidman documented died in 2000). The first Mitford Laidman (1711-1746), John's third son, however, ended up in prison, for what misdemeanour is not known, and died shortly after on a small allowance from his father.

The birthplaces of John's eight known children also follow his career, but it was his son Francis (1716-1796) who moved to Morpeth in the late 1740's where he practised as a surgeon. Many of Francis' descendants are well-documented down to the present.

Francis Laidman and his ten children became well-established in Morpeth, a pleasant market town on the river Wansbeck. There were Laidmans in Morpeth until well into the nineteenth century. By then they had branched out to various places in Northumberland, large numbers to nearby Newcastle-on-Tyne. The 1830's saw the first emigration of Northumberland Laidmans to Australia (see Mary Laidman, 1807-1857), but the majority stayed - and still remain - in the north east of England: Northumberland, Yorkshire and Durham counties.

Northumberland Laidmans do not appear to have emigrated to the USA before about 1923 when two sons of a branch which had moved from Northumberland to the south of England in the late 1890's (see James Harper Laidman, 1851-1920) established themselves in New York state, probably for economic/employment reasons, where they continue to thrive today.