Family History

Shier (or Shire) is not a common name in Sussex. There were very few of the name recorded on the IGI before the 19th century. There were also a few Shyers and Sheers. Holders of the name were randomly spread, nearly all in West Sussex and there is no clear connection between any of them. This family of Francis Shier and that of Joseph Shier in Harting are the first families of the name traceable on IGI. I think it most likely that Francis and Joseph are related. There is no baptism record for either but age on his burial register entry would give Joseph a birth date of about 1750. Francis was married in 1760 so may have been born between say 1735 and 1740. The only other Shier recorded in Harting on IGI before this marriage was the marriage of Thomas Shier to Mary Challen in Harting on 20/9/1747. Both are recorded as being from Bepton, Thomas as husbandman. . Licence was issued 29/8/1747 with Jo Denton victualler from Chichester as sponsor. These could be the parents of Joseph but not Francis, and Thomas wasnít recorded as a widower.

There is evidence that some of the name originated from the Palatine in Germany and went from England to settle in Ireland (Public Records Office has 'Lists of Germans who came to England in 1709'). One version is that they came from Speyer, Germany, though apparently that town has no record of any version of the name. A line of the name has also been traced back in West Country to 14th century,



Buried: 10/2/1811 Harting

Married: 10/10/1760 Harting (see Note 1)

Spouse: Elizabeth Jackson.

Baptised: 28/8/1737 Harting

Parents: Thomas & Elizabeth Jckson

Buried: 1814 Harting

Children: Elizabeth Shier? (see Note 2)

William Shier b 1770 Harting

Sarah Shier b 1773 Harting

Lucy Shier b 1776 Harting

Francis Shier b 1779 Harting

Note 1: Witnessed by George Pay and Ralph Eames? Francis a labourer

Note 2: It seems likely that this was the daughter of Francis & Elizabeth


Children of Francis & Elizabeth Shier


Father: Francis Shier

Mother: Elizabeth Jackson

Married: 20/2/1787 (see note 1)

Spouse: George White

Children: Sarah White b 1788 Harting (bapt15/7/1788 Harting) . George White b 1790 Harting (bapt 12/12/1790 Harting).

Note 1: witnessed by Lucy Bowles and Benjamin Blackmore. George recorded as living Elsted.


Born: 1780 Harting

Father: Francis Shier

Mother: Elizabeth Jackson

Baptised: 18/3/1770 Harting

Buried; 19/11/1834 Harting

Married: 27/12/1790 East or West Meon, Hants

Spouse; Mary Lock

Baptised: probably 14/7/1776 East Meon, Hants

Parents: William & Mary Lock

Buried: 9/5/1833 Harting

Children: Charlotte Shier b. 1791 Harting

William Shier b. 1794 Harting

Lucy Shier b. 1796 Harting

George Shier b. 1799 Harting

George Shier b. 1800 Harting



Born: 1773 Harting

Father: Francis Shier

Mother: Elizabeth Jackson

Baptised: 27/4/1773 Harting

Buried: 18/12/1818 Harting

Married: 9/4/1891 Harting (see Note 2)

Spouse; William Hill

Baptised: 19/7/1778 Elsted

Father: Nicholas Hill

Mother: Mary Fossee

Died: 14/4/1852 Harting (see Note 1)

Buried; 18/4/1852 Harting

Children: .William Hill b 1802 Harting

Elizabeth Hill b 1804 Harting

John Hill b 1806 Harting

George Hill b 1809 Harting

Sarah Hill b 1812 Harting

Charlotte Hill b 1815 Harting

James Hill b 1818 Harting

1841 census: William widow Living with son George..

1851 census: William widow was a pauper lodging with son William

Note 1: Cause of death was natural decay. Death registered 15/4/1851 by George Hill who was in attendance. Williamís occupation was labourer.

Note 2: Marriage was witnessed by Benjamin Blackmore (he witnessed many marriages so so was probably town clerk or similar) and Sarah Nash.



Born: 1776 Harting

Father: Francis Shier

Mother; Elizabeth Jackson

Baptised: 28/2/1776 Harting

Buried; 27/10/1816 Harting, from West Harting

Married: 10/5/1789 (see Note 1)

Spouse; Thomas Nash

Children: Rose Nash b 1799 Harting (bapt 20/10/1799 Harting)

Note 1: Witnessed by Sarah Shier and Benjamin Blackmore


BORN: 1779 Harting

Father: Francis Shier

Mother: Elizabeth Jackson

Baptised; 4/9/1779 Harting

Died: 1857 Harting

Married: 15/12/1802 Harting

Spouse; Hannah Munden

Born; 1782 Wickham (Witcham) Hants

Children: Ann Shier b 1804 Harting

George Shier b 1805 Harting

Henry Shier b. 1808 West Dean

Martha Shier b. 1811 West Dean

James Shier b. 1813 West Dean

Emily Shier b. 1817 West Dean

Francis Shier b. 1821 West Dean

Hannah SHier b. 1824-West Dean

William Shier b. 1825 West Dean

1841 census: Residing West Dean

1851 census; Residing West Dean. Occupation; agricultural labourer on the parish living with son William, his wife Sarah and their son Philip

1861 census: Hannah living West Dean with grandchild Henry and Martha Caplin . Henry b 1831 West Dean & Martha 1839 Chichester, and their children Thomas Caplin b 1858 West Dean and William Caplin b 1860 West Dean

Note 1; Marriage witnessed by Lucy Nash and Thomas Blackmore

Note 2: Died aged 77 of old age chronic bronchitis, informant Hannah Ellis.