Thomas Gledhill of Heckmondwike, Yorkshire, England and his descendants

These details have been kindly provided by the Jersey County Historical Society.

"Thomas Gledhill was born in Hickmondwick, Yorkshire, England. His six sons were members of the famous Black Horse Cavalry of the Battle of Waterloo of 1815. (Lloyd Gledhill:  This is very doubtful.  See note at bottom of this page)

One of the sons, Joseph Gledhill, also born in Hickmondwick, Yorkshire, married Emeline Christy of Philadelphia.

Their son, Robert Christy Gledhill,  was born April 1, 1839 at Good Intent, NJ, a suburb of Philadelphia, located on the Delaware River across from that city.   His father was a woolen merchant and died when Robert was nine years old.    Robert was in the Civil War, Co. A, 10th Ill. Inf.  He married Mrs. Cornelia (Ducher) Strong in 1868.  When he died January 1917, he left his widow, one son, Dr. Henry R. Gledhill, one step-son, C.H. Strong of New York, and a sister, Harriet Barry of Oakland, CA.  He was preceded in death by a son, Herbert Gledhill, who died in 1877 in his fourth year. 

Dr. Henry Robert Gledhill (also known as Dr. Harry Gledhill) was born 15 Jan 1869 in Jerseyville, IL.  He graduated from Harvard University in 1891 and studied medicine at Columbia University, graduating in 1894.

He married Cornelia Newton 3 Mar 1905 in Jerseyville IL. Two children were born to them, Robert Henry Gledhill and Mary Florence Gledhill. 

Robert Gledhill got his A.B. degree at Harvard.  After graduation he lived in Paris, France for two years where he studied the language in the Sorbonne and lectured on art to tourists in the Louvre.  He married Dorothy Rommersberger in 1947. No children were born to them.  He died January 1984 and was survived only by his widow.    

Dorothy Gledhill, the last surviving member of this famiily, died in July 1991 and her heirs gave the family home to the Jersey County Historical Society to be used as a museum.       

Mary Florence Gledhill graduated at Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri and was a school teacher.  She never married; died in August 1974 and was survived only by her brother." 

The Gledhill Museum of Jerseyville, Illinois, which is operated by the Jersey County Historical Society, was named in honor of the Gledhill family of Jerseyville.  The museum is located in the former home of the Gledhill family and sets on Lots 1 & 2 in the original Town of Jerseyville.  This property came into the hands of  Dr. H.R. Gledhill and Cornelia W. Gledhill in 1908.  With the Gledhills occupying the 14 room house, it soon became the center of social activity for the town.  The Gledhills were very gracious hosts and, if they were not entertaining their friends, the Medical Association, or local business people, Mrs. Gledhill would have a group from their church there working on a project.  In those days it was usually a money-making project for something needed at the church.  The heirs of Dorothy Gledhill, the last surviving Gledhill, gave the house to the Jersey County Historical Society in 1991 to be used as a museum.        (These details have been kindly provided by the Society).

Lloyd Gledhill's note on the above claim re the Black Horse Cavalry:

In 1999 I commissioned Graham Davies, a military history researcher, to look for the six sons of Thomas Gledhill of Heckmondwike “who were members of the famous Black Horse Cavalry of the Battle of Waterloo of 1815” as stated by the Jersey County (Illinois) Historical Society.  I thought that this achievement of the six brothers would be a most noteworthy and unique feature of Gledhill history.

The research of Graham Davies throws great doubt on the claim however.  For one thing, there was no regiment bearing the name of the Black Horse Cavalry.  Secondly, the National Army Museum advised Graham that “the only unit known as the 'Black Horse' was the 7th Dragoon Guards and that regiment was not at Waterloo”. 

Graham also searched the computer index for Attestations and Discharges for Gledhills born in Heckmondwike who were in the Dragoon Guards.  He found two:

James Gledhill, enlisted 1820, discharged 1832, age 29, 3rd Dragoon Guards and 1st Dragoon Guards (WO 97/53)
Benjamin Gledhill, enlisted 1812, discharged 1827, age 34, 20th Dragoons and 1st Foot Guards (WO 97/172)

These men are of no use because the Battle of Waterloo was fought in 1815 and they hadn't enlisted by then.  However Graham makes the comment "The Waterloo Medal wasn't issued until about 1848 so the Roll isn't complete because quite a few men had died by then and didn't receive it. The army only retained the documents of men who were discharged to pension, they destroyed those for any who died or left for any other reason, so WO 97 is nowhere near complete.  It's a great pity that the family story hasn't got a proper name for the regiment, if I knew that I could search the musters."