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About the study
My mother died three years after my father. Both were effectively only children, Dad's older brother died when he was 17 and my father 12. So I grew up 'not doing or understanding extended families.' Imagine my surprise when I found photographs amongst my parents' belongings with phrases like Uncle Henry, Aunt Lizzie on the back. Just who were these people? Later I found a picture of a grave stone, just who takes official pictures of a grave, and finally a picture of the vicar who, according to the writing on the back apparently may have married my great grandparents? I had to find out more. Like most people it took me some time to find out how to start my research properly and by then I had amassed a huge database of Greatheads, very few seemed to be related to me. One visit to a Family History Fair in 1997 and a chat to a lovely 'GOON' convinced me to turn my database into a one-named study. This will include eventually everyone who enjoyed the name by birth, adoption, marriage or by choice, both living and dead, wherever they live or lived in the world. I have organised a Greathead reunion meetings in London on 30 April 2011 and 14 June 2014 and helped organise another for my particular branch in Hartlepool on 13 August 2011
History of the name
One of the brave 1820 South African settlers sailing to a new Country and a new life- James Henry I
The inventor of the first self righting lifeboat - Henry (Francis)
The inventor of the Greathead Shield, a wonderful tunnelling tool and other engineering inventions - James Henry III
Cheeky workhouse boy - James Frederick Greethead also known as Leotard Bosco (Music Hall owner, Legerdemain which I believe to mean a skill to deceive or conjure trick with the hands, trickery and a ventriloquist
Distribution of the name
I have many birth, death and marriage certificates.
I have collected copies of all the PCC wills that I can locate in TNA. The largest one I have is 63 pages long. I have created a spreadsheet of the entries in the index of wills after 1858 at First Avenue, and am collecting copies of them where possible, since they are now £10 each I cannot afford them. If you have one, please do share
I have a multitude of spreadsheets with data collected from all sorts of sources, many primary
I am very interested in my Greatheads as people and try to find out as much about them and where they lived as possible, see my other information pages on my website
I would be very pleased to help anyone with an interest in the Greathead family seeking information on their ancestors and would also be delighted to receive information, photographs, certificates etc. that might assist me in my quest to help grow the Greathead family tree and find that elusive first Ancestor. I am pretty sure he was NOT called Adam!!