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The Foothead Family


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Welcome! This website was created on 19 Mar 2010 and last updated on 22 Jan 2018. The family trees on this site contain 617 relatives and 71 photos. If you have any questions or comments you may send a message to the Administrator of this site.

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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/.
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