WILLIAM GOODHIND and ANN NORMAN were both born in the little village of Cullompton in the county of Devon (then known as Devonshire), England. [The county of Devon is located in the southwest corner of the English mainland; Cullompton is northeast of the city of Exeter. I have included several maps on the right sidebar - TSG] William was born on June 8, 1811, the son of JOHN GOODHIND and SARAH BENNETT. Ann was born January 10, 1810, the daughter of JOHN NORMAN and ELIZABETH COLE. They were married in Cullompton on July 29, 1829.

Note: you can review William Goodhind's pedigree chart (which shows his known ancestors) using this link or by clicking the icon in the right side bar.

The couple's first son WILLIAM II was born a few months later on November 25, 1829. Twenty-nine years later, Ann gave birth to their FIFTEENTH child, ALFRED in August of 1858!

You can read about the children of William & Ann by following this link or by choosing the link on the left sidebar.

William was a papermaker by trade, an occupation that would follow the Goodhind family for many generations, even across an ocean. Sometime between 1838 and 1839, the family moved one town to the south along the River Culm, to the village of Bradninch, Devon. They remained just a few short years. Eventually they settled in Dartford, in the County of Kent, by 1848. According to cousin David Goodhind of Kent, "they probably arrived in Dartford because there was industrial unrest in the paper trade of Devon and the main employer in Dartford, T.H. Saunders, was prepared to take on unionized labor."

Beginning in 1859, five of William and Ann's sons emigrated to the United States. We don't know why. Most probably, they were in search of better job opportunities. In the mid-1800s, it was expected that when a man like William Goodhind Sr. passed away, his estate would primarily have fallen to his eldest son. That would have been William II, also a papermaker, who never left England. The five younger brothers, papermakers all, were: HENRY ROBERT and FREDERICK, together with their wives in 1859; RICHARD in 1860; JAMES THOMAS in 1863; and finally JOHN sometime after that. (John was never naturalized as an American citizen; therefore, his date of original entry into America is more difficult to pin down.)

There is a tradition in the family, according to ALICE MARSH SPERL, that "the brothers brought with them a papermaking 'recipe' that proved very successful for them." All five brothers worked in papermaking mills in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Our English cousin, DAVID GOODHIND, is a descendant of another Goodhind brother, Tom, who remained in England. It is interesting to note that there was no oral tradition within David's family as to what happened to these five brothers. No word was passed along down through the years that they had emigrated to the United States. They had simply vanished.

William died in Dartford, Kent on January 3, 1888 at the age of 76. Ann passed away on May 29, 1897, also in Dartford, at the age of 86.

Goodhinds in the UK census

Since 1801, the British government has conducted a census of its citizens every 10 years, as we have here in America. These census records provide a "snapshot" of families that are invaluable to family historians. Unfortunately, as one might expect, errors crept into the information. Misspelled or completely incorrect names and wrong ages were commonplace mistakes. It is the same with our family.

William and Ann appeared in the censuses of 1841 through 1891. We have provided a synopsis of the information from each of those censuses below. You can also click the hyperlink in the first sentence of each census to see the actual census image itself.

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).

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 (today known as Hythe Street) with children HENRY (15), a papermaker, FREDERIC (13), a papermaker, MARY A (11), JAMES (9), RICHARD (7), MARTHA (5), THOMAS (2) and GEORGE (1).

[I have included two photos on the right sidebar of their likely townhouse on upper Hythe Street more recently. Photo credits belong to David Goodhind. Thank you, David! - TSG]

The 1861 census of Dartford, Kent showed WILLIAM GOODHINE (49 years of age), a Paper Maker, his wife NANCY (50), residing at "No 6, End of Nelson Row" (this is the lower end of Hythe Street nearer to the Phoenix paper mill, across from the Phoenix Pub) 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.

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 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. A few houses away was the household of Ann's eldest son WILLIAM II.

A short history of the family

MALCOLM McQUEEN of San Antonio, Texas, a Presbyterian minister and one of our many cousins, has done quite a bit of research on our family in England.  Here below is his short history of William and Ann:

The Parish of Cullompton, in the county of Devon, extends about seven miles along the valley of the River Culm. The name is Saxon meaning "the 'Tun' (town), or settlement, on the Culm." By the 9th century it was part of the personal property of the Royal House of Wessex. Over the centuries, the land was passed down to various royal personages. Like many towns in Devon, Cullompton owed its early growth and prosperity to the woolen cloth industry. The parish church--St. Andrews--was built during this period. The woolen industry, however, declined around the end of the 18th century and in its place paper mills developed.

The first known Goodhind "clans" appear in the Cullompton Parish Register in the year 1689. Most of the records up to 1712 relate to three Goodhind families. It is not known if these three families were inter-related nor is there an indication of where they came might have originally come from. However, in Somerset (the neighboring county to the east), there was/is another group of Goodhind families recorded in the Parish of Saltford. There are still some Goodhind families living in the areas of Bath and Bristolwhich are in the general vicinity of Saltford. There is a Goodhind Street in Bristol and a Goodhind is buried in Bath Abbey.

My particular interest is with William Goodhind, who grew up in Cullompton, Devon and married a local girl named Ann Norman on July 19, 1829 (in Cullompton). At the time of the marriage, William was a papermaker. Just how it was that William got into the papermaking trade is unknown although the Cullompton area had several papermills in operation. Likely, William got into this trade because papermaking offered steady employment and there were enough mills hiring the locals.

Whether William's father (John) at some point entered the papermaking trade or William entered this vocation on his own, for the next several decades the names "Goodhind" and "papermakers" seemed synonymous. The census returns for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, and 1891 all indicate that most members of the Goodhind family plied their trade as papermakers. Attached is an article I received from a woman in England, Ms. Jean Stirk, who has spent a considerable amount of time doing research on the papermaking trade. It is most helpful in understanding what our Goodhinds did to earn a living and the conditions of such an occupation.

Read more about papermaking, according to Ms. Jean Stirk

After marriage, William and Ann stayed in Cullompton for ten to twelve years. Then they moved to the neighboring town of Bradninch and stayed there approximately seven to nine years. Nine (yes, nine!) of their fifteen (yes, fifteen!) children were born in Cullompton-Bradninch. It is interesting to note that the 1841 Bradninch census indicates that William and Ann were living next door to a Norman family--presumably some of Ann's relatives.

According to various local sources, it appears fires occurred with some frequency in Cullompton and were especially destructive to houses because of the straw thatched roofs. The April 28, 1838 issue of the local paper Western Times indicates that one such fire burned the house occupied by a William Goodhind and though it is possible this was William and Ann's place, absolute proof is not in hand. In 1839 there was a particularly dangerous fire in which Cullompton suffered greatly. Over 100 houses and cottages were destroyed.

William and Ann (with kids) packed up and moved to Dartford, Kent somewhere around 1848. According to DAVID GOODHIND:
"There is a tradition in my branch of the family and I'm sure in others, that the first Dartford Goodhinds traveled across from Devon with all their goods and chattels on an ox-cart in order to find work at the paper mill in Hawley. Hawley is a village a couple of miles outside of Dartford."
Why did William and Ann find it necessary to relocate the family to Dartford? The most plausible answer comes from a piece of information that Jean Stirk has come across in an old monthly circular of the Original Society of Papermakers dated 1902. Commenting on the history of the O.S.P. it says:
All the Devon mills were in a state of unrest in 1847. Dewdney at Hele was in a race with Joynson of Cray (Kent) to produce the finest quality paper by machine. There were strikes and soon men came to Kent ...Excellent workmen they were ... part of the backbone of the O.S.P.
We know that William and Ann lived in or near Bradninch from around 1841 until 1847. We also know there was a paper mill of considerable importance at Hele. This is attested by a comment from the book Devon Villages (by S.H. Burton) which says:
Between James the First's reign and 1835, Bradninch was [a] Borough. Perhaps it was not unreasonable to remove it from the roll, for its councilors were spending half its income on feasting themselves. (That was a much better record than most Devon Boroughs could show). Reasonable or not, the status was removed and, by that day the woolen and lace manufacture had all gone. Even the weekly market was a mere memory. But for the Hele Paper Mills, Bradninch would have sunk to nothing. It is worth remembering that at these mills, the first glazed writing paper in all Britain was produced and that this rural spot manufactured the paper that was used for the Great Exhibition in 1851.
It seems reasonable to conclude William worked at this Hele paper mill and was caught up in the unrest/strikes of 1847. In turn, William decided to leave the Hele mill and go to a mill at Hawley. By 1852, T.H. Saunders had opened the Phoenix Mill in Dartford, William's next place of employment.

According to the 1851 census of Dartford, William and Ann had settled among a terrace of houses known as "Hall Place," at number 14, along a street known as "Waterside." Today, the road is known as "Hythe Street." Hall Place still exists although part has been demolished. Hall Place is a row of cottages converted into shops. David believes number 14 was situated where there is now a [convenience store]. It was in Dartford that the remaining five children were born to William and Ann.

Whatever the living conditions had been in the Cullompton and Bradninch areas from 1810 through 1850, they were terrible in Dartford. Owing to the rapid increase in population (2,500 people in 1801 swelling to 10,163 in 1881), the infrastructure such as drains and sewers were not adequate to support the numbers living there.  Pools and ditches became stagnant and water for washing and drinking was often contaminated. It also seemed that because of the demand for extra housing, insufficient attention had been paid to the separation of houses from privies.  Typhus, bronchitis, smallpox and pneumonia were common. Three hundred and twenty-seven people died in Dartford between February 1847 and February 1848, and in 1849 twenty people passed away due to cholera in Waterside. (Source: The Book of Dartford by Geoff Porteus)

It is simply amazing (and a miracle) that so many of the Goodhinds survived. Actually, death likely did find its way to at least one of William and Ann's children. The second son--JAMES--never shows up on a census return from 1841 onward and he should. Another indication of James' death is due to another James having been born to William and Ann nine years after the first James. It was a custom in those days, having lost a child, to give a subsequent child the same name. However, it has also been known that in large families more than one child would have the same name. It is possible that the first James stayed, for whatever reason, in Devon and did not join the rest of the family in moving to Dartford. [Subsequent records have demonstrated that this JAMES, born in 1832 did, in fact, die in 1835 at just 3 years of age -TSG.]

According to various birth certificates, it appears William and Ann moved around quite a bit. Eventually, they settled at 142 Hythe Street, near the Phoenix Public House, where William died at the age of 76 on January 3, 1888. The following note was found at the Public Records Office in London at Somerset House:
Administration of the personal estate of William Goodhind late of 142, Hythe street Dartford in the County of Kent, who died 3rd January 1888, was granted at the principle registry to Ann Goodhind of 142 Hythe Street, widow of the relict. Personal estate £233--14s--8d.
Not much else is known of Ann. She was still alive for the 1891 census, living at 146 Hythe St. (age 80) with daughter SARAH GOODHIND (age 39) and a granddaughter KATE MARTIN (age 16). [We now know that Ann passed away on May 29, 1897, there on Hythe Street in Dartford, at the age of 86 -TSG]
[I want to thank David Goodhind and Jean Stirk for their help with much of this information - MM]

Again, our thanks to cousin Malcolm McQueen for sharing this excellent historical background.

Malcolm's family connection to the Goodhinds of Devon and Kent comes by way of his paternal grandmother, OLIVE HILDA HUBBLE GOODHIND. Read more about Malcolm's family, descended from William and Ann's eldest son, William II at this link.

Read about the Children of William & Ann
Read about William's parents John Goodhind & Sarah Bennett
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