The Harding name has both Anglo-Saxon and Norman-French origins and is derived from words meaning "hardy" and "strong". It has been used since at least the 12th century, and is thought to have Viking connections. Our own history can be traced back to the very late 1700s in England.
William Harding 1798 - 1868
William was born around 1798 in Bisley, England to unknown parents. In the late 1820s or early 1830s, he married a woman named Phebe, and the two had three children before Phebe passed away in 1837. William then married Mercy Alder in 1845, and they had three more children, all raised in Gloucester, where he worked as a carpenter. William passed away in 1868.
William and Phebe's children:
William Harding, b. 1833
Charles Harding, b. 1834
Thomas Henry Harding, b. 1836
William and Mercy's children:
Joseph Harding, b. 1846, d. 1928
Elizabeth Harding, b. 1848
Charlotte Harding, b. 1850
Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1913
England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973
Joseph Harding 1846 - 1928
Joseph was born in Woodchester in 1846, the first son of William and Mercy. In 1865, he married Harriet Mills, and the two went on to have five children. William worked as a gardener early in their marriage, and later owned his own small grocery store. He passed away in 1928.
Joseph and Harriet's children:
Charles Henry Harding, b. 1867, d. 1929
Elizabeth Harding, b. 1870
Harriett Alice Harding, b. 1875, d. 1930
Edith Harding, b. 1877, d. 1951
George Harding, b. 1885, d. 1960
Charles Harding 1866 - 1929
Charles was born in 1866 in Woodchester, England, the first child of Joseph and Harriet. In 1883, he married Clara Hebert, and the two had three children in England. They then moved to Canada, where they had three more children. Clara passed away in 1910. The following year, he married Barbara Strachan, also English but living in Canada, and they went on to have three children, one of whom was my grandfather. Census records do not say what he did for a living, but his obituary states he was an alderman and civil servant in Lethbridge. Charles died of stomach cancer in 1929.
Charles and Clara's children:
Charles Henry Norris Harding, b. 1885
Phillip Albert Harding, b. 1888, d. 1955
Percival Herbert Harding, b. 1890, d. 1984
Frank Earnest Harding, b. 1892
Beatrice Ethel Harding, b. 1895, d. 1970
Charles and Barbara's children:
Margaret Edina Harding, b.1912, d. 2009
Mavis Clara Harding, b. 1914, d. 2014
Frederick Norman Harding, b. 1917, d. 1971
1901, 1906, 1916 Census
Frederick Harding 1917 - 1971
Frederick was the youngest son of Charles and Barbara (it's interesting to think there is a 32 year difference between Charles' first son and his last), born in 1917 in Lethbridge, Alberta. In 1941, he married Hilda Joule, and shortly thereafter enlisted in the military to join in the war effort. He was wounded on the Dutch border in late 1944, and after being treated for wounds in England, was sent home. It is not clear whether Frederick and Hilda ever had children or not, as she passed away suddenly just three years after his arriving home.
A few years later, Frederick married Joyce Stalker, or as I like to call her, Nana, and the two raised four daughters in Lethbridge. Frederick worked several jobs over the years, but most were related to civil service in one way or another. He passed away in 1971, at just 53 years of age.