|About The Foothead Family
The Foothead family seem to have their origins in Yorkshire. The first occurence of the name being in the 15th century. The moated manor house known as Foothead Garth passed out of the family by marriage in the 17th Century as their were no direct male heirs to the then owner. The house sits at the FOOT of Spurn HEAD and this may indicate the origins of the name. Alternatively Foot, like Bottom, is a term used in Yorkshire to describe a valley. A Head in Yorkshire is the opposite of a Bottom, so is a hill top or high ground. It is also a term used for a water source, where a stream or river rises, so a spring in a valley or just the head (the non open end)of a valley could be described as a Foot-head. A foothead is also a measure of water pressure/flow rates. The town of Helmsley in Yorkshire used to draw its water from a spring a mile out of town called the Foot Head. All of these are possible origins for the name and additionally, the Garth was also built at the HEAD of the Keyingham FLEET( now drained) which may also give a clue to the names origins. However the most likely origin can be found in the geography of the area. This area of Yorkshire, South Holderness, was a marshy area drained by 4 Fleets which fed into the Humber and were also subject to seasonal flooding. Keyingham Fleet ran almost the entire width of the South Holderness Peninsula. There were agricultural areas on the higher pieces of ground which rose out of the marsh, these would at times be almost islands and at others hill heads. The one on which Foothead Garth is situated is a very odd shape; the contour lines are shaped like a right foot, the house itself being located on the big toe! Thus the family were the family who lived in the Garth(a name for a cultivated area and from which Garden is derived) on the Foot(shaped)Head. The house being also at the Head of the Foot would reinforce that. The family name died out in England in 1935 with the death of Emily Mary Ann Foothead, but continues in Australasia. Edward James Foothead emmigrated with his wife in 1874 to New Zealand taking 2 UK born sons with him and having a further 6 sons and one daughter after settling there. I have collated all the available information on the family in these pages and there is an article on The Indian Raj and the Foothead Family at http://cubits.org/Ancestry/articles/view/49/.