John Sears (1838-1918) was born at Wickhamford in 1838, the second of five children of Thomas Sears, an agricultural labourer, and his wife, Sarah (née Chandler). He grew up in Wickhamford where he was living at the time of the 1841 and 1851 census John’s father died in 1852.
At the time of the 1861 census, John was working as a groom at Wickhamford Manor for farmer John Nind. John married Mary Ann Hicks at Badsey on 7th November 1861; they had no children. In 1871, they were living in Wickhamford; John’s younger brother, Benjamin, was lodging with them.
In 1872, John and Mary Ann emigrated to America. They arrived in Quebec, Canada, on 18th June 1872, together with friends from Badsey, Theodore and Jane Hall, having set sail from Liverpool. This was just eight weeks after Theodore’s younger brother, Owen Joseph Hall, had set off for a new life overseas. It is then assumed that they made their way to Auburn, Ohio, where Owen was living. Whereas Theodore, Jane and Owen all returned to England and to Badsey a few years later, John and Mary Ann remained.
At the time of the 1880 Federal Census, they were living in Auburn Township, Geauga, Ohio; John was a farmer. His parents-in-law, John and Ann Hicks (or Heeks as the name then appeared), were also living with them, having emigrated to Canada in 1875; John Heeks was also a farmer. Just nine houses away lived another Vale of Evesham family: Oliver and Ruth Rogers, who had emigrated the year after the Sears, plus Oliver’s parents. In 1874, John’s younger brother, David, emigrated.
John and Mary Ann were still in Auburn Township in 1900. By this time, Mary Ann’s father had died but her mother was still living with them.
Mary Ann died in 1904. At the time of the 1910 census, John was boarding with the Wells family in Cleveland Township, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. John died on 8th November 1918 at Cleveland. He was buried with Mary Ann at Shadyside Cemetery, Auburn.