Sorry for the delay in replying. Thomas did have a brother Joseph, born in Royton in 1853, I think. William, their father, was a collier according to his marriage certificate, but later became the landlord of the Half Way House on Shaw Road, Oldham. William's father was Stephen Sheard, a weaver from Saddleworth. William's wife was Mary Bottomley, daughter of James Bottomley, also a weaver from Saddleworth. However, this Joseph married and lived with his family and his parents at the Half Way House.He was with his father when the latter died of a cerebral seizure in, I think, 1896. It's exciting to think that some Sheards did progress to the new world, but my lot seem to have been pretty unadventurous, I'm afraid.