My great grandfather James Whitehead was born on 7th April 1856 in North Aston, Oxfordshire. He was the son of Philip Whitehead, an agricultural labourer, and Hannah.
James lived in North Aston his whole life. He was working as an agricultural labourer by the time he was 14 years old, and he carried on working as a carter and agricultural labourer throughout his life.
James married Elizabeth Ann Stockford in in 1878. The last banns were read in North Aston on 28th July 1878, so the ceremony must have taken place during the following week.
My mother remembered:
"Grandpi always wore corduroy trousers, a neckerchief, and clogs, and he smoked a clay pipe. Apart from their golden wedding, which I remember very little about, I felt that I hardly knew him or he us. James and Elizabeth had eight sons and three daughters, which was a much larger family than my mother’s, and they lived in a tiny thatched cottage."
From Greenwich Girl, the memoirs of Margaret Whitehead
James was widowed in 1931. In the 1939 Register he was listed as a general labourer. He was 83 years old.
James died in January or February 1941. He was buried on 4th February 1941 at St Mary's, North Aston.
Unfortunately we have no photographs of James Whitehead and only a handful of my mother's life in the village, including the one below.