In the mid-1990s, our cousins Cindy Palmer in America and David Goodhind in England "met" via the internet and re-established contact with our Goodhind family in England. How that happened is presented below. But first a little background:

TOM was the 10th known child of William and Ann. They had previously had a child named Thomas, who died in 1846. Although it may seem odd to us, it was not at all unusual for a family to "remember" a deceased child by using the first name again. (It was also not unusual to have two living children with the same name within the same family!) William and Ann's second child, JAMES, born 1832, must also have died in infancy. A sixth child, was subsequently named JAMES THOMAS.


This is a passage from a letter cousin DAVID GOODHIND, a grandson of Tom's son William, wrote to us in June of 1999 just prior to the Goodhind family reunion (that's David in the photo above):

"Until last year, I had no idea that any of the Goodhind brothers had emigrated to the United states. In fact, when I started to research my family history, I knew nothing further back than my grandfather WILLIAM GOODHIND and that he had a brother and a sister; in fact, he had three sisters. (See below). Apart from that I knew of the story that the Goodhinds had come to Dartford, having walked from Devon sometime in the 19th century to work in the Paper Mill at Hawley, a village a mile or so from Dartford, along the Darent river valley.

I can remember my grandfather telling that story, but he didn't say if it was his father, grandfather or even great-grandfather who came. Everyone I asked knew that story too but could add no detail. An obstacle to finding out more was that all our family papers, photographs, etc. were lost when my grandparents' house was destroyed in the bombing in WWII so I had to start from scratch, working through census records and birth certificates until I found about William Goodhind and Ann Norman who arrived in Dartford sometime in 1848, when my great-grandfather, Tom (sic) was just a year old.

During my search I found birth certificates for HARRY, born 29th November 1857, in Overy Street, Dartford, son of HENRY GOODHIND and ELIZA (BLEEZE) and EDWARD, born 3rd February 1862, in Waterside, Dartford, son of JAMES THOMAS GOODHIND and SARAH EMMA (DAVIS). I knew about the eldest brother, WILLIAM and his family through local records and contact with Malcolm McQueen, one of William's descendants through his great-granddaughter, OLIVE GOODHIND, Malcolm's grandmother. Malcolm is pastor of the John Calvin Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, Texas, though his family is a 20th century arrival to the USA via Canada. He wrote to me, having found my name and address courtesy of the North-West Kent Family History Society, not knowing whether I had any connection with his branch of the family. From the information he gave me, I could tell that I had and we have corresponded ever since. At the same time as he wrote to me, Malcolm also contacted WENDY GOODHIND, who is a great-granddaughter of GEORGE GOODHIND, Tom's next younger brother, born in Dartford in 1849. Wendy lives in a place called Bolsterstone, which is near Sheffield in the UK. When I contacted her, she told me that George, unlike his brothers, was not a papermaker but trained as a Millwright and remained n the UK. Apart from ALFRED, the youngest brother, who died in infancy, the only other information I had was about John Goodhind, who apparently was still working at the Phoenix Paper Mill in Dartford in 1878.

I'm sure you can imagine what a great surprise it was to read a letter that Cindy Palmer sent to my son (also John) after finding his name via the Internet. Since then we have been able to exchange a great deal of information and I have been able to correspond or speak to several new-found cousins including Cindy, Tim (Masloski) Goodhind, Liz Goodhind Banas and Sally Andrews. It has been a wonderful experience and an amazing thing, as I wrote to Tim, to think that although we are separated by so many thousands of miles and that so many years have elapsed since Henry, Frederick, Richard, James and John moved to America, we are still so close. I mean that most of us had grandfathers who were first cousins, even though I wonder if mine knew of his relatives in the USA."

David has graciously consented to providing us with a history of Tom Goodhind and his descendants:

"TOM GOODHIND was born in Bradninch Devon on 24th November 1847. Tom was his given name. It appears on his birth, marriage and death certificates. His father, WILLIAM GOODHIND, a journeyman papermaker and mother ANN (NORMAN) GOODHIND, together with brothers, HENRY, FREDERICK, JAMES THOMAS, and RICHARD with sisters, MARY ANNE and MARTHA, moved to Dartford in Kent, sometime in 1848, as a result of industrial unrest in the Devon paper mills. It is said that they walked. Another brother, the eldest, WILLIAM and his family followed them later. For some time they lived in a terrace of houses known as ‘Hall Place’ in Dartford town centre. Theirs was No 14. The road in which they lived was called ‘Waterside’ or ‘Upper Waterside’, but it has since been renamed ‘Hythe Street’. Their home still exists, but like the rest of the houses in the terrace, it has been converted into a shop. It’s not easy now to say exactly which of the shops was their house as the buildings have all been re-numbered, but it is likely that it was one of two in the centre of the terrace.

In 1859, two of Tom’s brothers, Henry, with his wife, ELIZA (BLEEZE) and eighteen month old son, Harry and Frederick, newly married to ELIZA MARTIN, emigrated to the United States. In 1860, his 18-year-old brother Richard followed them. In 1863, his remaining elder brother James Thomas, having married Sarah Emma Davis in 1861, also went to the United States, leaving his wife and son Edward, born in 1862, in Dartford.

Although Tom was only fifteen years of age when the last of his elder brothers, who were all paper makers, left for America, it is interesting that he, who was also a paper maker, did not follow them. His next brother, George (b. 1849) was apprenticed as a Millwright and he too remained in the U.K. However, several years later, around 1879/80, his youngest brother, John, who married AMY DYSON CUCKOO in Dartford and had two young daughters, took his family to the United States as well. In any event, Tom married ELIZABETH EVERSON at the Parish Church (Church of England) in Woolwich, Kent on 26th June 1870 and stayed.

There may be a fascinating story to be told about the reasons that five of the Goodhind brothers left for the United States and three remained behind, to say nothing of the effect it must have had on their parents, who at that time could never have expected to see them again. Perhaps the eldest, William, a paper maker, who followed his parents to Dartford in the early 1850s, felt too settled to uproot him and his wife so soon after coming from Devon. Perhaps there were sufficient opportunities in engineering to make it unnecessary for George to find work in America. And in Tom’s case, well maybe the answer is that Elizabeth just didn’t want to go!

Whatever the reason, Tom and Elizabeth made their home in Dartford and their first child, LILIAN ANN was born there on 3rd July 1872 at No. 65, Overy Street. Then came ANNIE ROSE, born on 13th November 1873. (EMILY ELIZABETH was both 27 January 1877). THOMAS, their eldest son was born on 5th April 1879 and WILLIAM (sometimes known as ‘Joe’ – though nobody knows why) arrived on 2nd May 1882. Thomas and William were born at No. 92, Overy Street. (Though David does not mention her, there was also a daughter LIZZIE born in 1881.) Finally came MARY, for whom at present there are no details of date and place of birth. My father knew her as Aunt Dolly.

Each of their children married and between them provided for Tom and Elizabeth, fifteen grandchildren.

LILLIAN ANN became MRS. JOSEPH HENRY HODDINOTT. They had a son.

ANNIE ROSE married EDWIN ELDRED ASKEW and they had a son and a daughter.

EMILY ELIZABETH married JOSIAH WILLIAM RICHARDS. The couple had two sons and two daughters.

THOMAS’ wife’s name was ELIZA EVERSON and she was a cousin through his mother's family. They had four daughters.

LIZZIE married ARTHUR ALBERT LAMBERT. Unkonwn if the couple had any children.

WILLIAM married ETHEL MAUDE ADLINGTON on 26th December 1908 at the Parish Church of St. Alban (Church of England), Dartford. William was an Iron Moulder by trade and worked for a firm called J and E Hall in Dartford. They had seven children and nine grandchildren, including myself DAVID RONALD GOODHIND and my two brothers.

MARY, known as Aunt Dolly, married THOMAS JONES and they had one daughter.

TOM GOODHIND died in 1909 at the Livingstone Hospital in Dartford. He was 62 years old. At the time, Elizabeth and he were living at 187, Fulwich Road."


Many thanks to David and his family for sharing their story with us.

We are all grateful for the wonders of the Internet, allowing a family like ours to re-unite after so many years. We all hope we can continue to exchange information and keep abreast of the many exciting changes that the Goodhinds will see in the next century.

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