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Nathaniel Whitehead of Birmingham.. UPDATED

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Karen Report 23 Mar 2013 05:09


My brickwall concerns ....

Nathaniel Whitehead bc 1778 Chipping Norton Oxfordshire. He marries Ann French in 1801 at Chipping Norton. They have 5 children , who are all christened on 31 Jan 1819 at Wesleyan Methodist Society Birmingham Warwickshire. (familysearch records)
Ann dies in 1818 at brimingham. (familysearch records)

I have the 1841 census of Nathaniel age 63 and a Mary Whitehead at Francis st Birmingham - Nathaniel bc 1780 is a baker.
I have a will of Nathaniel Whitehead of 1844 for his death in 1857, cfming the info I have on his children ( one of whom is my direct descendent).

I have a Familysearch parish record of a Nathaniel Whitehead christened 26 Feb 1778 at Chipping Norton, son of Benjamin Whitehead and Mary.

Now, just to confuse things, I have a 1851 census -
Nathaniel Whitehead bc 1809, age 42 of Chipping Norton - properity owner, and Mary bc 1809 at Francis Street Birmingham ( at same house of the 1841 census)

There are also several marriages fora Nathaniel Whitehead on Familysearch website, one to Charlotte Brown 1823 and then one to Mary Allborn 1829 ...

All these documents are from St Phillips Birmingham Warwickshire ..

Could there be a mistake of ages on the 1851 ??? or are there 2 Nathaniel Whiteheads and not related OR are they father and son....

Would love some help with this .... please ......

Many thks and Cheers
Karen of Brisbane Australia


Jonesey Report 23 Mar 2013 09:48

Purely for reference purposes:

Name: Nathaniel Whitchurch
[Nathaniel Whitehead]
Age: 60
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1781
Gender: Male
Civil parish: Aston
Hundred: Birmingham
County/Island: Warwickshire
Country: England
Street Address:


View image
Registration district: Aston
Sub-registration district: Duddeston and Nechells
Neighbors: View others on page
Piece: 1149
Book: 11
Folio: 29
Page Number: 19
Household Members:
Name Age
Nathaniel Whitchurch 60
Mary Whitchurch 60

Name: Nathl Whitehead
Age: 42
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1809
Relation: Head
Spouse's Name: Mary Whitehead
Gender: M (Male)
Where born: Chepingnorth, Oxfordshire, England
[Chipping North, Oxfordshire]
Civil parish: Aston
County/Island: Warwickshire
Country: England
Street Address:


Condition as to marriage:


View image
Registration district: Aston
Sub-registration district: Duddeston
ED, institution, or vessel: 17
Neighbors: View others on page
Household schedule number: 52
Piece: 2061
Folio: 405
Page Number: 12
Household Members:
Name Age
Nathl Whitehead 42
Mary Whitehead 43


Jonesey Report 23 Mar 2013 10:03


There does not appear to be any confusion about the way the age of of the Nathaniel Whitehead who was recorded in the 1851 census. It is clearly shown as 42.

I note that there was not a Nathaniel amongst those christened at that ceremony in Birmingham in 1819. Have you researched further to see whether Nathaniel bc1778 and his wife Ann had any more children other than those they had christened in 1819?


Karen Report 23 Mar 2013 10:47

Hi Jonesey

Many tks for looking at this for me.....

Yes I agree that is no doubt about the age of Nathaniel on the 1851 census.

I have looked on family search for any other children of Nathaniel bc 1778 and Ann. Eg at CHIPPING NORTON but could not find any.

From the will of 1857, of Nathaniel ,I have the children listed from the christening of 1819, but on the will there is also a Benjamin Whitehead listed as well and I cannot find a birth for him either..there is no son called Nathaniel on the will.



Jonesey Report 23 Mar 2013 11:16

Hi again Karen,

Have you obtained a copy of the death certificate for the Nathaniel Whitehead who died in 1857? It might be interesting to see if an age at death is shown. It might also be interesting to see who registered the death:

Deaths Jun 1857
Whitehead Nathaniel Aston 6d 144

I cannot spot any other Nathaniel Whitehead who might be a candidate in the 1851 census other than the one in Aston so perhaps there was a recording error which ended up showing his age at 42. I know that it appears to be quite common to have adjusted your age to reduce the age gap between spouses but it was usually the wife's age that was adjusted rather than the husbands. If it was the Nathaniel bc 1778 then over 30 years were lost which seems rather a lot.

The fact that a Benjamin was mentioned in the will would I suppose be logical for the name of a son since that appears to be the name of Nathaniel's father and it was common to name one of your sons after your father.

Baptism/Christening was of course not compulsory so may be the couple did have other children who for various reasons were not included in the "Job lot" christening in 1819.

These little problems are sent to keep us on our toes. :-D


Karen Report 23 Mar 2013 11:39


Yes I can see now that I need the death cert..

Again, tks for the interest.



Karen Report 24 Mar 2013 10:41

Nudge. :-D :-D :-D :-D


Karen Report 25 Mar 2013 08:20

.. after going thru my old notes I found the christening on the family search website - for
Benjamin Whitehead
1 Dec 1805 - Chris
Church Lane - Wesleyan Methodist
Banbury, Oxford.England
2 Nov 1805 - Birth
Nathl. Whitehead - father
Ann French - mother

A thought - maybe Benjamin called himself Nathaniel ( the dates fit )

As I said I have the will of Nathaniel Whitehead of 1857 - but I am finding it really hard to read - is there anyone who would kindly read thru the document in case I have missed something.

Maybe PM me ... :-( :-( :-S :-S

Many tks

ps .. I ordered the death cert last night

ps .. never throw away any old research notes, they are all connected somehow :-) :-)


Karen Report 12 Apr 2013 05:11


Hi Jonesey

I have just received the death certificate for Nathaniel Whitehead ..
info states - Nathaniel Whitehead died 6 April 1857
of 8 Court,Francis Street
age 79 - Master Baker
informant is James Hunt of 138 Ashted Street - flour dealer (from

The address on the death cert is the same as the 1851 census address ( it had the very strange birth years ).

So, can one 'assume' that the Nathaniel Whitehead on the 1841 and the Nathaniel Whitehead on the 1851 census are one in the same ....

Look forward to hearing your thoughts...

Many thanks
Karen :-) :-)


Jonesey Report 12 Apr 2013 08:51


There is always an element of risk in making assumptions but having said that an assumption made on the basis of strong evidence is sometimes the only way forward.

I would think it very likely that the Nathaniel who appears in the 1841 census in Francis Street is indeed the same Nathaniel who is shown to be living in the same street in the 1851 census. The fact that the 1857 death certificate confirms that the deceased was the same man who appeared in the 1851 census and that his occupation indicated on the death certificate was the same (Baker) as that of the man in the 1841 census, to me is further proof that all 3 records relate to the same man.

It is a mystery as to why his age recorded in 1851 should be so far out. It is obviously not a modern day transcription error and because an unlikely almost 30 years were "Lost" I think that the most likely explanation is that the enumerator made a mistake when recording. I wouldn't be overly concerned about the different occupation recorded in 1851 as changes of occupation in life are common and at approximately 73 years old it is highly likely that Nathaniel had moved on from baking to becoming a landlord.

The occupation (Flour Dealer) of the man who registered the death would imply that he was likely not only to be one of Nathaniel's neighbours but possibly also one of his suppliers. That being the case it is probable that when asked by the registrar what the deceased's occupation had been, the informant would have responded, "Master Baker"


Karen Report 12 Apr 2013 09:45

Hi Jonesy

Many Tks for your thoughts on this .....

Till next time..

Ps.. Would love to hear what others think ... Tks

:-) :-) :-) :-)