Who Were John Orchard’s Parents?
by Linda Okazaki
In 1820, John Orchard married Mary Hambley in the parish of Lesnewth, Cornwall. They started a family, left Cornwall for the Americas and set up a life for themselves and their children in New Hamburg, New York. But who were John’s parents? I have proven Mary’s parents, grand parents and great grandparents. And there were a good number of Orchard families living in the Lesnewth area for several generations. Sometimes the name was spelled “Orchett”. Of the probate records located so far, most of the Orchard men in that area were “husbandmen”, which simply means farmers, gardeners or orchardists, as per wikipedia. John was initially employed as a gardener when he arrived in New York, so I’d like to think that the surname actually has occupational origins. But I haven’t found proof of John’s parents. I think I’ll need to scroll through the baptismal records again. Maybe I missed it. Maybe it isn’t there. One thing is evident, if John were an orchardist, I have inherited his interest. My roses are blooming like gangbusters. The fruit trees are full of green leaves, now that the blossoms have fallen. I’m a bit late planting the pumpkin seeds this year, but will get to that this week. Even if I can’t find John’s parents, he would be happy to know that the Orchard line continues in spirit.