WILLIAM GOODHIND & ANN NORMAN lived their lives across three British towns: Cullompton, Devon where they were both born, Bradninch, Devon where five of their childen were born, and Dartford, Kent where they lived out the remainder of their lives and were buried.

Below is information regarding each of the three towns. In addition, you will find photo galleries from walking tours taken in 2015.


Cullompton is located in southwest England in the county of Devon, about 13 miles northeast of the city of Exeter.  The 2011 census placed the population at about 8,500.  The name “Cullompton” likely derives from its location on the River Culm. The area of Cullompton was occupied as early as the Roman period in Britain (sometime between 43 and 410 AD). (British soul singer Joss Stone lives near Cullompton.)

Goodhinds were well established in Cullompton as early as 1650, when the name appears in church records.  Goodhinds were butchers, saddlers, shopkeepers, publicans (bar owners/innkeepers), factory workers and, most importantly, papermakers.  Our ancestor, WILLIAM GOODHIND SR., was himself a papermaker, his father JOHN having been an Innkeeper.  His wife, Ann Norman’s family, were also residents of Cullompton for many generations. Her father John Norman was also a papermaker.

St. Andrew's Church, Cullompton

While in Cullompton, both families worshipped at St. Andrew’s Church in the center of the town.  St. Andrew’s is still there and going strong.  It was here that the first four of the couple’s children were baptized: WILLIAM, JAMES, HENRY ROBERT and FREDERICK.  The family left Cullompton for Bradninch sometime after August of 1836 but before February of 1839.  One can speculate that the move was made to put the family closer to William’s work, possibly at Hele paper mill (known today as “Devon Valley Mill”).

You can see photos of Cullompton and St. Andrew’s Church in this photo gallery.  Links below will take you to Google Maps where you can actually “walk” the streets of Cullompton using “Street View.”  You can also visit the website of the current Town Council, read a brief history of the town itself and make a connection to the official website for St. Andrew’s Church.

Cullompton Photo Gallery - Cullompton visit (17 Sep 2015)
Google Maps - https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Cullompton,+UK
Town Council - http://www.cullomptontowncouncil.gov.uk/HOME_5783.aspx
History - http://www.cullomptontowncouncil.gov.uk/History_6658.aspx
St. Andrew’s Church - https://standrewscullompton.com/
Pamphlet describing history of St. Andrew's - https://standrewscullompton.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/St-Andrews-guidebook-revision-10-for-website.pdf


Bradninch is located in southwest England in the county of Devon, along the River Culm, about 4 miles south of the town of Cullompton. The 2011 census placed the population at about 2,000.  The origin of the town name of “Bradninch” is unknown.  Bradninch appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as being granted (given) to William Capra by William the Conqueror under system of feudal barony but was occupied centuries earlier than that under the same system. The Manor was passed down this family until 1649 when King Charles I was executed (as a consequence of the English Civil War) and an act of parliament took Crown gifted lands away from the Royalist Barons and then sold them, this one to Thomas Sanders and John Gorges for £19,517, 11 shillings and 10 1/4 pence! With the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 the feudal baronys and manors were returned to the Crown, Bradninch went to the Dukedom of Cornwall and hence, under Prince Charles.* (The Boone family, who eventually produced American Pioneer Daniel Boone, emigrated from Bradninch.)

Sometime between the birth of William and Ann Goodhind’s fourth child FREDERICK in mid-1836 at Cullumpton and the birth of their fifth child MARY ANN, born in February of 1839, the family had moved to Bradninch.  A total of six children were born there to the couple: MARY ANN, JAMES THOMAS, RICHARD, THOMAS, MARTHA and TOM, the last being born in November of 1847.  By the time the next child, GEORGE, was born in September of 1849, the family had moved on to Dartford, Kent.

The 1841 census of Bradninch, Devon showed WILLIAM GOODHIND (25 years of age), a Paper Maker, his wife ANN (25), with children WILLIAM (11), HENRY (6), FREDERICK (4), JAMES (1), and MARY (2 months). Also in the household was a woman named MARY McLAREN (66), a pauper. It is unknown if she was a relative of some kind. Two households away is the family of one WILLIAM NORMAN. It is very likely he was related to William's wife Ann (née Norman).

St. Disen's Church, Bradninch

While in Bradninch, the family worshipped at St. Disen's (originally St. Denis) Church in the center of the town.  It was here that William and Ann’s 5th through 10th children were baptized, including RICHARD.  There was (and still is) a major paper mill at Hele (today called “Devon Valley Mill”), just south of the village itself.  It is likely that William worked there.  According to the 1841 census, William and Ann Goodhind lived at Cross Cottages, the end unit on the far right as you face the cottages, along the most southwest end of the village on West End Road. These row houses still exist today, even though they are believed to have been built in the 1600s. Follow this link to see the cottage (Goodhind/Bradninch_Home.jpg) or choose the thumbnail on the right sidebar. (Photo by David Goodhind) You can also visit the location on Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/@50.8210325,-3.4332473,3a,90y,182.65h,76.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sLaTIoAeYesMCM-nDjI0prw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192?hl=en

You can see photos of Bradninch and St. Disens Church in this photo gallery.  Links below will take you to Google Maps where you can actually “walk” the streets of Bradninch using “Street View.”  You can also visit the website of the current Town Council, read a brief history of the town itself and make a connection to the official website for St. Disens Church. There is also a link to what was once the Hele paper mill at Bradninch.

Bradninch Photo Gallery - Bradninch visit (17 Sep 2015)
Google Maps - https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Bradninch,+Exeter,+UK
Town Council - http://bradninch-tc.gov.uk/index.php/bradninch-town-council
History – http://bradninch-tc.gov.uk/index.php/bradninch-history
St. Disens Church - http://stdisens.org.uk/ and https://www.genuki.org.uk/node/23409/topicgroup/39.
Hele Mill - (http://www.devonvalleymill.com/)

* This information provided by cousin Valerie Wright.


Dartford is located in southeast England in the county of Kent, about 18 miles southeast of London.  The 2011 census placed the population at about 97,365.  The name “Dartford” likely refers to the River Darent which crosses through the town and the word “ford” meaning “a crossing.”   (Some of Dartford’s more notable offspring are rockers Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Also a much loved English actress Shelia Hancock, although not born in Dartford, went to Dartford County Grammar School.)**

The Goodhinds came to Dartford from Bradninch somewhere around 1849.  There is a family tradition amongst the descendants of son TOM that William and Ann Goodhind travelled by foot with their belongings on an ox-cart.  It was in Dartford that the final five children were born to William & Ann: GEORGE, SARAH, JOHN, ELIZABETH and ALFRED. The adult men of the household (except for GEORGE, who became a Millwright) came to work as papermakers in the Phoenix Mill in an area in the northeast of the town known as “Waterside," as it was adjacent to the River Darent.  By 1851, the family was living at 14 Hall Place, Waterside, along what is now upper Hythe Street. The Hythe Street area has changed quite a bit since the mid-1800s; however, the row of housing which would have included 14 still exists, although the entire row has become commercial storefronts.

[I have included three photos on the right sidebar and the Goodhind's likely townhouse on upper Hythe Street. Photo credits belong to David Goodhind. Thank you, David! There is also a map on the sidebar labelled Dartford street locations which shows the area from above. - TSG]

The 1851 census of Dartford, Kent showed WILLIAM GOODHIND (39 years of age), a papermaker, and his wife ANN (41), residing at 14 Hall Place, Waterside with children HENRY (15), a papermaker, FREDERIC (13), a papermaker, MARY A (11), JAMES (9), RICHARD (7), MARTHA (5), THOMAS (2) and GEORGE (1).

The 1861 census of Dartford, Kent showed WILLIAM GOODHINE (49 years of age), a Paper Maker, his wife NANCY (50), had moved and were now residing at "No 6, End of Nelson Row" with children MARY (22), a servant, MARTHA (15), a scholar, THOMAS (13), a scholar, GEORGE (11), a scholar, SARAH (9), a scholar, JOHN (7), a scholar and ELIZABETH (5), also a scholar.

By the 1871 census, there had been a re-numbering of the Hythe Street and the family was listed as living at 142.  Given old maps of the area, this is undoubtedly the same row housing, if not the same unit itself, as in the 1861 census.  Across the lower Hythe Street from this block was the Phoenix Public House, a place that that would become important to eldest son WILLIAM II as the years passed. Cousin Valerie Wright provides us some detail regarding this area: 

"Next to the location of the former Phoenix Pub there is a pathway (which can be seen in the photos) with leads down to Dartford Creek as it is known locally. The river Darent flows into and out of the Thames: its source is further inland (Kent and Surrey) and it runs on a bed of chalk with springs arising as it flows. Darent is a Celtic word for 'clear water in woodland' and the purity of the water was a major reason for the development of paper and pharmaceuticals in the area. At the Thames end, the Darent is one of last remaining natural tidal creeks in London."

"Today there is the Dartford Creek Barrier across the river Darent as it meets the Thames – 2 x 160 tonne gates which are dropped to hold back a rising tide if it threatens to flood Dartford and Crayford (Crayford creek joins Dartford creek near Long Reach Hospital then the two continue to flow onward into the Thames). The barrier closed 12 times in 2019. Dartford creek was once an important trade artery for industry going back to pre Roman times and was in use during the Goodhinds era, making the pub well sited, but today it is silted up and the reduced flows means only very boats come up to disturb the wildlife."

Returning for a moment to the subject of the Phoenix mill, the Mill was sold in 1889 to Burroughs Wellcome and Co, a business established in 1880 by US pharmaceutical salesmen Silas Mainville Burroughs and Henry Wellcome, who mass-produced remedies and medicines to sell in the UK and its colonies. Much later it became the Wellcome Trust (which was sold to GSK but retained money for health research).**   The mill property, having undergone major renovations and demolitions over the subsequent years, had its final factory building (owned then by Abbott Pharmaceuticals) torn down about 2017 and is currently being replaced by apartment housing opposite “Langley Square.” (Google Maps: Langley Square)

The 1871 census of Dartford, Kent showed WILLIAM GOODHIND (59 years of age), a Paper Maker, his wife ANN (60), residing at 142 Waterside (due to re-numbering, this is likely the same house as the previous census) with children THOMAS (23), a Paper Maker, GEORGE (21), a Millwright, SARAH (19), employed in a papermill, JOHN (17), employed in a papermill and ELIZABETH (15), also employed in a papermill.

The 1881 census of Dartford, Kent showed WILLIAM GOODHIND (69 years of age), a Paper maker, his wife ANN (70), residing at 146 Hythe Street (and again, this is likely the same address as the previous two censuses) with daughter SARAH (29), a Mill Hand.

The final relevant census of 1891 in Dartford showed widowed ANN GOODHIND (80 years of age), still residing at 146 Hythe Street with daughter SARAH (29) and granddaughter KATE MARTIN (15), Dress Makers Apprentice. William had died in 1888. A few houses away was the household of Ann's eldest son WILLIAM II.

William and Ann were buried at East Hill (also known as "Brent") cemetery in Dartford. There does not appear to be a tombstone for them there.

Holy Trinity Church, Dartford

At Dartford, the family worshipped at Holy Trinity Church in the very center of the town along High St.  It was here that the last five of William and Ann’s fifteen children would have been baptized.

Gasworks Explosion - 1879

Shortly after 11 p.m. on the evening of Tuesday, July 1st, 1879, there was a massive explosion at the Dartford Gasworks which abutted Nelson Row in lower Waterside. William and Ann Goodhind would have been living along Nelson Row at the time. Although we have no firsthand accounts from them during this horrific event, we do have newspaper articles which include neighborhood witness accounts. You can read one of those accounts here from the Dartford Chronicle; there are also some historical photos of the Gasworks accompanying the account in the right sidebar on that page. One of the large "Gas-O-Meters," as these gas holder tanks were called, is still present along lower Hythe Street and Victoria Road today.***

Phoenix Public House

The Phoenix Public House (Aug 2011)****

The Phoenix Public House at 149 lower Hythe Street must have figured prominently in the lives of the Goodhinds of the late 1800s, located literally just across the street from their residence on Nelson Row. Further, it sat beside the pathway across the Darent Creek that led to their work at the Phoenix Mill every day.

William & Ann Goodhind's son WILLIAM II became the publican of the Pub following his marriage to its owner Suzannah (née Pope) Harber in 1890.

The Pub itself no longer exists; it was demolished sometime in 2016. Prior to that, it had led a very interesting life, slowly declining over time as this area of lower Hythe Street itself degraded. You can read more about the Phoenix Public House by following these two links: https://whatpub.com/pubs/GRA/457/phoenix-dartford and http://www.dover-kent.com/2014-project-a/Phoenix-Dartford.html.

You can see photos of Dartford and Holy Trinity Church in this photo gallery.  Links below will take you to Google Maps where you can actually “walk” the streets of Dartford using “Street View.”  You can also visit the website of the current Borough Council, read a brief history of the town itself and make a connection to the official website for Holy Trinity Church. Finally, there is a link to some historical information concerning the Phoenix paper mill at Waterside.

Dartford Photo Gallery - Dartford visit (15 Sep 2015)
Google Maps - https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Dartford,+UK
Borough Council - https://www.dartford.gov.uk/
History - https://discoverdartford.co.uk/history
Holy Trinity Church - https://holytrinit3.wixsite.com/holy-trinity-
Phoenix Mill - https://new.millsarchive.org/mills/index/?action=show&which=8454

** Information provided by cousin Valerie Wright.

*** Information on this event provided by members of the genealogy group kent-eng@rootsweb.com. Thanks to Lawrence Pearse, Frances Lee, Bill Deverell and Linda. (2014)

**** Photo of the Phoenix Public House courtesy of Geograph Britain and Ireland, David Anstiss, photographer (2011)

Top of the page
Return to the Goodhind Home Page