JOHN SEAMONS the Third

(Also known as "Big John")
Born in 1653 at Weedon, Bucks, England.
Christened at Hardwick Parish, 17 May 1653.
Died in 1733.
Married Sarah Goldney in 1682, at Hardwick, Bucks, England.
(Sarah was born in 1645, was Christened at Hardwick on 10 January, 1646 and died in 1704).
John and Sarah had five sons, including a set of twins:

  • John, born 1683, Christened at Hardwick 22 July 1683, married Mary Watkins in Quainton on 27 June 1707, died 1757;
  • Michael, born 1685, Christened at Hardwick 6 September 1685, died 7 Jan 1713;
  • Joseph, born 1688, Christened at Hardwick 21 September 1688, married Sarah Lucas at Cheddington on 27 June 1717, died in 1741;
  • William, born 1691, Christened at Hardwick 21 June 1691, married Elizabeth Wells at Aston Clinton on 22 September 1722, and died in 1760; and
  • James, born and christened in 1691 (twin to William), married Elizabeth Grace at Cheddington on 8 May 1718, and died in 1753.

The third John, having little prospect of being willed any major portion of the family fortunes, worked competently and furiously. Once, undoubtedly looking for yet more area to farm, he was in trouble for ploughing into a right of way at the head of his lands.

John married Sarah Goldney, who had come from a very old Weedon family, the name Goldney being listed in the Domesday Book from the days of William the Conqueror. Through family marriage, the Goldneys had inherited two farmsteads, and John and Sarah rented one of them for a period of time, until the untimely deaths of Sarah's brother and his wife, gave John the total care of both of the holdings. John farmed them to good purpose, building up his wealth to such a point that he was able to purchase for himself, one of the holdings. The other farmstead passed from the Goldney family to John's nephew, at the time that he attained his majority.

Skilfully, and in a businesslike manner, John purchased freeholds and some copyholds, and also rented other lands. Before his death at the age of 80 years, he had virtually retired, having fixed up his four sons as independent farmers! Proudly he opened up his Will in this fashion; "Having provided for all my sons in my life-time, and having yet more to bestow, I will as follows.....".

In the Seamons' family story, he is referred to as "Big John". It was also this John who, once and for all, settled the spelling of the surname as "SEAMONS", for all his future descendants.

Male descent failed by his son Michael, who died at age 28, unmarried. However all other sons had families, with the eldest son John, heading a line of son, grandson and great-grandson all named John .

The house in the East End of Weedon which came into the family when "Powerful John" married Sarah Goldney, and several generations of Seamons lived there. The families that lived in this house came from the eldest son of "Powerful John", also named John. The last of his descendants - eventually through the female line - left Weedon in 1910. The house was demolished in the 1930s.

Only by his youngest twin sons, William and James, did the now firmly established surname survive into the 20th Century. Until the 1960s, male descent by William within England, hung on the thread of one life, although his descendants in Australia continued to flourish, and even today number a great many and are still growing.

In Australia, twin William's descendant's generally came from son William (b 1727, married Sarah Clarke in 1750), grandson John (born 1751, married Elizabeth Holdam in 1796), g-grandson Joseph (born 1802, married Anna Maria Peck in 1821), and g-g-grandson Charles Michael Seamons (born June 1833, married Elizabeth Packer in Bathurst NSW, Australia in May 1859). Charles Michael Seamons and his wife Elizabeth had seven sons and two daughters, and their descendants are now widely spread throughout Australia.

Male descent by James Seamons was limited to the descendants of only one of his great-grandsons, John (1800 - 1890), who emigrated to Australia during the time of the Bendigo gold rush in the 1850s.