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Home: Surnames: Sard Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Samuel Austin Sard b 1819 Bermondsey UK
Posted by: Steve Sard (ID *****9159) Date: July 02, 2010 at 04:27:49
In Reply to: Re: Samuel Austin Sard b 1819 Bermondsey UK by Cate Gow of 13

Hi there - here's most of the info I have - which is posted on my "Sard in Oz" facebook page - Hope it helps..!!


All persons with the surname "Sard" in Australia...
(with the exception of one – who changed their name by deed poll because they liked it!)....

...Have come from Richard William Sard (as far as I can tell...)...

Richard came out in 1850 on the ship HMS London, and was from a reasonably wealthy industrial family in South London, who owned Sard's Ship and Rope Chandlers, and a street of tenament houses called Sard's Rents (knocked down for railway approach to Tower Bridge)...

Richard, settled in Port Adelaide and had 5 kids, but only two survived childhood... William Richard Sard and Samuel Austin Sard

Both sons went on to have large families - William Richard settled in Port Pirie, South Australia and Samuel Austin stayed in Adelaide...

I put some of their family pictures on my Facebook Page with names to help anyone with their family tree. Click on the link to look…

(I never really cared to ask until I was in my 20's - and my Dad had no idea about the family tree - lucky I got these photos back then... It would be pretty tough now)...

Sard as a surname comes from either the Baeleric Islands, or Sardinia... As surnames usually were occupational, family driven, or geographical (as in the instance of Sard - from Sardinia)...

In the book "Surnames of the UK" by Henry Harrison and Gyda (Pulling) Harrison 1912.... The Sard surname (which has been in England, Italy and Europe for a long time) is defined thus...

SARD: (Fr.) SARDINIAN (Fr. Sarde; f. Sardi), the name of the earliest inhabitants of Sardinia, the Gr. Sardo (Zapoio)...


From the information I have been able to gather so far….

Richard William Sard was born to parents Sam Austin and Sarah Sard in London, somewhere near Bermondsey, around 1825. Church records from St John Horsleydowns Church show that Richard William Sard was christened there on the 3rd of October 1827.

Richard came form a large family of seven children. His brothers and sisters were Samuel Stevens Sard (b. circa 1818 -), George James Sard (b. circa 1822), Sarah Phillis Sard (b. c. 1822 - )Catherine Sard (1824 - ), Catherine Marshall Sard? (c.1826-) and Mary Sard (c. 1829-).

The above list comes from the same church, and lists the same parents to each of these children upon their christening. Perhaps Sam and Sarah waited to have George James baptized, as it is unlikely that two children would be born in the same year, or perhaps they were twins?

Many of the brothers and sisters names were passed on to Richard William Sard’s own Children (eg. Sarah Phyllis and Katherine – with slight changes in spelling).

Before coming to Australia it would seem Richard worked as a sailmaker at the Rope, Twine and Spinning company owned by the family – later to be known as Samuel Stevens Sard and Son’s Ship Chandlers (the eldest inheriting the business).

The family stories of the Sards also owning a street called Sard’s Rents, appears to be true… Often factory owners would own a string of rental properties to house employees, and the Sard family did too. The street was eventually knocked down during the construction of Tower Bridge, and subsequent widenings of the railway approaches to the bridge, the last remnants being swallowed up just after World War 2.

I have purchased the “London Bridge Station 1872- 1893 Old Ordinance Survey map” and it is indeed true – Sard’s Rents is on the Map..!! It runs parralell to the Railway Lines Straight off of Church Street – Any widening of the Lines would have swallowed it – and the Sard Factory up – and by 1894 – 96 – It was the sight of early electrical works – whether that meant it was getting electricity – or being swallowed up by progress, I’m not sure..!!

Stephen Humphrey, Archivist for the Soutwark local studies Library in London writes…

“Sard’s Rents was an alley that ran eastwards of Church Street, near the present Tower Bridge Road. It might have been diminished by an extension of
the railway viaduct, but it certainly outlived Charles Booth; the alley was
still there between the world wars. Its site was eventually used to build
the St. John's Estate on the eastern side of Tower Bridge Road. In fact, I
would say that the laying out of Tower Bridge Road itself (in 1902) was
probably more important than the widening of the railway viaduct.

The ropery was in the same place. I see from the Kelly's Post Office London
Directory of 1883 that the business was entered as Samuel Steven Sard & Son,
Church Street, Horselydown. The last name was an ancient name for that
vicinity, which is no longer in use.

The Ordnance Survey map of 1872 shows the alley and the ropery, and so does
the next edition of 1893. You can buy a reproduction of these maps in the
series published by Alan Godfrey. One publication entitled London Bridge
Station 1872-1893 includes both maps (see
Sards Rents went across the boundary of the sheet to which I refer, but it
would be the best one to obtain.

Ropemaking was a traditional industry in that area, associated of course
with shipping on the River Thames, but normally based just a little inland,
presumably where the land was cheaper. A ropery (or 'rope walk') needed a
large elongated piece of land”.

Apparently in the St. John's Estate on the eastern side of Tower Bridge Road, there are still some steps left from Sard’s Rents – would love to go see them..!!

A message from Stella Wilson states

“the now Dickens Estate between George Row and Bermondsey Wall was roughly where Sards Rents used to be. The street ran to "Horsleydown Stairs"... stairs were literally steps down from the road into the Thames that gave access to the river and the flats at low tide. If you look along the map you can see lots of other names of "stairs" still there today.

You have to remember what the Thames was like in those days... ships from all over the world mooring into the docks and trade flowed into Bermondsey, the larder of London... they would have needed a lot of rope!!! If you've ever read Dickens' Oliver Twist it'll give you a picture of what life was like here... he based those final scenes in the slum tenements around Horselydown stairs and that's why today it's called the Dickens Housing Estate, rebuilt after WW2 and all the bomb damage.

The rope was made in the alley that lead down to the stairs.. straight past Sards Rents.
There were many benefactors/employers who built accommodation for their workers like the Sards. They were Neckinger (Neckinger Mill), Guinness (now the Guinness Trust) and Peak (the Peak Freanes biscuit factory where my old Nan used to work!!!)) “ ( reference).


Richard William Sard traveled on the ship HMS London to Sydney in 1850 (

Richard William married Deborah Sard (nee Prickett) (born c1826 – d.27/12/1898), and settled in Port Adelaide sometime before 1864.

In Port Adelaide the couple lived at 3 main addresses: Dale Street (allotment no. 153 – a wooden house of four rooms) Port Adelaide; Elizabeth Street, Glanville; and spent their twilight years at Bower Road Cottage Homes, 200 Bower Road, Semaphore Park.

They had five children: Samuel Austin Sard (1860 - ), Willaim Richard Sard (30/3/1864 – 7/8/1938), Sarah Phyllis Sard (31/1/1866 – 7/3/1875), Harriet Sard (1868 – 30/3/1875) and Katherine Mary Sard (1870 – 6/5/1875).

Neeedless to say 1875 must have been a hard year for the family as their lives were shattered with the death of three of their five children.

Sarah (9 years old) died of “Scarletina” (Typhoid fever), Harriet Sard (6 years old) died of typhoid in the same month, then – just over a month later – 5 year old Katherine Mary died from “Atrophy”, most likely the result of Typhoid.

The impact of such an effect on the family would have been hard to contemplate, needless to say their grief would have been deep.

Richard William was employed as a labourer initially, but found work as a sailmaker in and around Port Adelaide, while his son William Richard, who had a love of mechanics and engineering secured an engine driver’s ticket while working at the Port Adelaide Tanneries and Port Adlaide Flour Mill, and became engaged in Marine work.

Samuel Austin Sard (the eldest brother) became a….

Richard Willaim and his wife Deborah moved to Bower Road Cottage Homes in Semaphore where they lived for the rest of their lives. Richard lost his wife on the 27th December 1898. His son William moved to Port Pirie in 1904, with his own growing family to work as a fitter and engine driver at Dunn’s flour mill. Close to one year later, Richard died of heart failure at Bower Cottage homes on the 3rd June 1905.

There are old family photos of both Samuel Austin Sard’s family and William Richard Sards Family on my Facebook website if you’re interested !!

Steve Sard

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