British Trail of a Western Family

Head Family genealogy and history: From Kent, England (Plumstead & Woolwich) after 1800; Hampshire, England (Romsey, Milbrook, Eling, & Broughton) after 1700; and Wiltshire, England (Winterbourne Gunner, Woodford, and Great Wishford) after 1580. HEAD surname.

Also Related Families from Canada, Scotland, and Ireland


The following first five generations of HEAD ancestry has not been proven, but are offered for consideration:

William HEAD was born abt 1526. His children: William Hedd b.1556 Great Woodford, Wiltshire m. Brownjohn, Elizabeth; and Grace Hedd b. abt. 1560 m. Thomas Brownjohn

William HEDD was born abt.1556 Great Woodford, Wiltshire; d. 1588 in Great Woodford, Wiltshire; 1576 Taxes Woodford. Held lease of Yardlands in Woodford.

George HEDD was born abt 1580 in Great Woodford, Wiltshire; m. Alice THORNETON 20 JUL 1607 Winterbourne Gunner, Wiltshire; d. 1636

George HEDD was christened on 26 August 1610 in Woodford, Wiltshire, England; m. Ann Unknown abt 1634. Parents George and Alice Hedd.

Following the greater probability, we will suggest that John HEAD was the father of Christopher, while noting in the records that this is not certain. We know John HEAD d. 16 Aug 1724, in Great Wishford, and since Christopher named his first son John it is likely it was his father's name. The only other HEAD in the Great Wishford parish register during that time is Robert HEAD, the son of George Head and Ann, b. 04 Apr 1635. I will assume that John and Robert are siblings, both sons of George Head and Ann, and that John is a few years younger.

The following nine generations of HEAD ancestry have been proven, and documented:

Christopher HEAD was born about 1665/70 possibly in Great Wishford, Wiltshire, England He married Martha Unknown before 1688.

John HEAD was born b. 21 May 1692 in Great Wishford, Wiltshire, England . He married Sarah (BEECHAM) 1714

Thomas HEAD was born about 1717/18 in Broughton, Hampshire, England. He married Mary COOK 17 Jun 1738 in Eling, Hampshire, England.

Thomas HEAD was born about 1738/39. He married Sarah WHITEHORN in Eling, Hampshire, England, 6 APR 1769.

John HEADD [Royal Artillery soldier] was born 1771 in Milbrook, Hampshire; baptized 25 DEC 1771 Romsey, Hampshire. He married Sophia SMITH 14 MAY 1802 St. Nicholas, Plumstead, Kent; died 3 JUN 1855 in Plumstead, Kent. Related family BUTCHER.

The above five generations have all lived in villages with watermills (Great Wishford, Broughton, Eling, Millbrook, and Romsey). One has to wonder if our early HEADS were millers, millwrights, or some trade associated with mills?

Stephen HEAD [Foreman Royal Dockyard Woolwich] was born 29 JUL 1817 Plumstead, Kent. He married Margaret WILKIE 9 Dec 1844 St. Nicholas, Plumbstead, Kent. Stephen died 28 DEC 1881 in Plumstead, Kent. Related families: MORRIS, CUMMIN(S), GILBERT, POPE, BROWN, ASHDOWN, BARLING, and FRENCH.

Stephen John HEAD [Assistant Foreman Royal Carriage Department Woolwich Arsenal] born 16 APR 1853 Plumstead, Kent, England. He married Susannah AVERY 4 May 1876 St. Mary's church in the parish of Lewisham, Kent, England. He retired from the Royal Gun and Carriage Factory in Woolwich, England (aka: the Woolwich Arsenal) in 1917 as its Assistant Foreman of the RCF. He worked there for 42 years. He was originally a coppersmith. His Grandfather, Thomas WILKIE, was a British sergeant in the "Royal Newfoundland Regiment" about 1812. He is also descended from the AUSTIN and REEVES families of Scotland. His children's families are: WALKEM, HARRIS, CRAWFORD, DUMBRILL, GLIDE and McNEIL.

Stephen William HEAD [Home Builder in Detroit, Michigan] born 20 MAY 1889 Plumstead, Kent, England. He emigrated from England to the USA in 1910. He married Annie MC NEIL 24 Mar 1913 Detroit, Wayne Co., MI. He was Jointer in England, and became a Home Builder in Detroit, Michigan.

Leonard John HEAD [Home Builder in California] b. 22 JUN 1914 Detroit, Wayne Co., MI; m. Velma BAILEY 20 Aug 1936; d. 31 DEC 1998 Thousand Oaks, CA at age 84.

Annie MC NEIL was b. 8 NOV1892 in Detroit, MI, but her family lived in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. She was of Scotch-Irish descent. She is descended from the William PROCTOR, Hugh STURDY, ANDERSON, and SHAW families who came to Canada from Ireland and the Duncan MCNEIL and MCDONALD families who emigrated from Scotland.


Recommended links to learn more about Plumstead, Woolwich, and the Royal Arsenal where our HEAD family lived from 1800 to 1820:

Stories and photos from Plumstead

Historic Images from Plumstead

History of Plumstead

Historic Plumstead from 1800 to 1900

Historic Images from Woolwich

History of Woolwich

Pigot's 1840 Description of Woolwich and Plumstead

Royal Arsenal History

The Royal Carriage Factory

Arsenal Today

Photos of Arsenal Buildings


Do you know him? -- Mystery Photograph WWII British Naval Officer

Most Wanted: Allan Mc Neil b. 1865 Ontario, Canada


HEAD Family History and Genealogy © Pat Lunnon, Mark Head, and Jerry England, 1997 - 2006


Jerry's visit to England in 1978. The Woodland Hills Football Club (WHFC) won 5-3,

but the victory went to the British Royal Navy officers in Plymouth for their humor and kindness.


© Jerry England 2006

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