The Head family history

The Head surname appears in my paternal family tree, with origins in the village of Barkway in Hertfordshire, England.

The earliest record I've found so far, is that of my 4x Great Grandfather John Head when he marries my 4x Great Grandmother Sarah Haggar at the parish church in 1827.

Character 'very bad'

Unfortunately, John had a bit of a hobby - theft - and it doesn't go unnoticed.

By 1834 he is being convicted of larceny and being imprisoned for 7 years with a whipping on a Prison Hulk ship moored at Woolwich, Greater London. A note in the prison hulk register and letters book against John's name reads "Inn before. Convicted of felony. Character very bad", revealing that this was not the first time John had been in trouble.

Warrior Prison Hulk at Woolwich
Above: John was sent to the Warrior Prison Hulk ship to serve a 7 year sentence. Image: Illustrated London News, 1846/The National Archives

Despite this, and with only a couple of years of freedom, he returns to crime in 1843, when he steals "a quantity of peas". Eventually he settles down and either turns away from crime or simply gets better at not being caught.

Despite this colourful past-time involving prison sentences, he manages to have at least two children with his wife - the youngest being my 3x Great Grandmother, Mary Head in about 1829.

Mary didn't share her father's hobby, and instead went on to marry William Barker of Barkway, and raise eight children, therefore ending my Head family ancestry, and increasing my Barker family tree.

Head family connections

My research has so far found only two ancestral links for my Head family: