What's in a Name?


Lambshead – interesting name, that.

I am a direct descendent of the Lambshead family of Ontario, and originally of Devon, England. My mother’s paternal grandmother (i.e. her father’s mother) was Mary Lambshead, the daughter of Josias Lambshead and Mary Jane (nee Partridge). My Mother’s maiden name was Mary Lilian Almas.

The photo (left to right) - sitting: Lilian Partridge, Josiah, Mary Jane, Mary, Albert Nelson (Net) - standing - John, Josiah, James Edward.

The Lambshead family emigrated from Christow, Devon, England via Burnley (Burnley Lane), Lancashire (just outside of Liverpool). The family lived there for a few years and at least two siblings of Mary were born there, one of whom - John was born at Cliviger in the area of Burnley.

They were settled there only for the time that father Josias (named in birth record, but later ‘Josiah’) was able work his way back and forth at least two times across the Atlantic on a cattle boat, earning enough passage money not only for himself but also to enable the emigration of the whole family to Canada, which was accomplished in 1884. The family settled in Halton County, Ontario, on the Plains Road (opposite the Job family feed mill), in what is now Burlington.

The name Lambshead has taken many forms over the years, most as related to the pronunciation, but also as per the spelling. The surname has had forms such as: Lambshead, Lambshed, Lambside, Lamshed, Lammyside, Lamsede, and Lamest). Recordings in the Church of 'Pommyland' at Ilsington, Devon, refer to one William Lambshead with children using three variations of the surname.

There is a ‘Lambside Farm’ to this day, located just east of Newton Ferrers in Devon, which is itself a small village just east of Plymouth. It is my theory that the name 'Lambshead' is taken originally from this locale, a place or ancient farmland named 'Lambside.'

I have seen documents from the 1200's showing that the 's' in Lambshead was pronounced as 'sh' - or Lambshyde, with other and various renderings through the years, as above mentioned. Though some family branches have used the name as ‘Lambs – head,’ our branch has always pronounced the name Lamb-shead, which may be closer to the original.

Burlington, Ontario

Photo:  Back row L-R: John, Josiah (Jr), James - Front row L-R Lillian, Josiah, Mary Jane, Mar, ‘Net’

The children of Josiah Lambshead and Mary Jane (Partridge) Lambshead were:

1. Mary Jane - born 21st of March, 1869 - died 22 September, 1950; wife of Newman James Almas (1866 - 1930).

2. Josiah Lambshead - born 18 July, 1872, Newton Abbot, Devon - died 25 February, 1931, Burlington, ON, Canada; buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Husband of Ina Catherine Ghent (1877 - 1932).

3. Elizabeth Ellen Lambshead - born 29 August, 1874, Devon - died 5 November, 1880, Devon. Little is known about this child.

4. John Lambshead - born 29 September, 1876, District of Burnley, Burnley Lane, Lancaster - died 31 December, 1966, Burlington, ON; buried Greenwood Cemetery, Burlington; husband of Mae Lindley (1876 - 1932) - married in 1899, Burlington.

5. Lillian Partridge Lambshead - born 24 November, 1881, Burnley Lane, Lancaster. A wonderful poet, she never married. Lillian died at CAMA Woodland Retirement residence in 13 Mar 1976 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Burlington, Ontario.

6. James Edward Lambshead - born 30 May, 1883 - died 29 December, 1962, Burlington, Ontario. He was a market gardener. On 17 April, 1912, in Burlington he married Georgina Mae Cannom.

7. Frederick Thomas Lambshead - born 21 June, 1886 in Burlington - died 26 December, 1895. He was passing a Christmas tree in his night gown and a candle caused the Christmas tree to catch fire and tragically, he was badly burned. The death certificate indicates that he died 12 hours later, on the 26th of December, 1895.

8. Albert Nelson (Net) Lambshead - born 12 November, 1889, Burlington, ON - died 18 February, 1959 at Canso, Nova Scotia. He was a market gardener and ‘lay pastor, who with Dr. P.W. Philpott, founded The Associated Gospel Churches of Canada. He was the first pastor of Freeman Gospel Tabernacle (evolved now as part of 'Compass Point' church in Burlington, Ontario), originally at Freeman's Corners (now part of Burlington). Uncle Net married Ethel Thompson Job (25 April, 1893, Burlington - 16 March, 1976, Burlington) on 17 December, 1913, at Burlington, ON.

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