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From research within this site, 2023
John Odell Whitehead
a gardener at Rushden Hall

John Odell Whitehead was born about 1809 at Wavendon BKM. He was a gardener at Rushden Hall, and he also helped to plant a chestnut tree on the Green, where the old Round House stood.

Told to JESmith: Mr. Sargeant Knight, son of the late Ebenezer Knight says that he remembers the Round House, about where the chestnut tree stands.

The ‘stocks’ were at the apex and the whipping post was part of the same structure as the stocks. Chestnut tree planted in 1861 a few years after the Round House was demolished according to an entry in the notebook of Ebenezer Knight.

When he came to Rushden (before 1841) he came alone. By 1851 his eldest daughter is with him, and he has remarried.

John Odell Whitehead
John Odell Whitehead
John Odell Whitehead married Maria Clements by banns at St Mary’s on 2nd August 1841.

In 1851 Maria is aged 29 and John’s eldest daughter Elizabeth, aged 18 and born at Salford BDF, is living with them. So his first wife must have died shortly before he came here, then his daughter came to join him.

John and Maria lived at No. 3 Lodge at Rushden Hall, and their daughter Mary Ann was born in 1843, a son John in 1845 and a son Thomas in 1847.

By 1861 the family also had another daughter Hannah born in 1851, and John’s widowed mother Mary had joined them from Wavendon, but eldest daughter Elizabeth has left home. The cottage they occupy, owned by Sartoris family, is near Lewis the blacksmith’s.

John died in 1864 aged 56, but curiously the record in the parish register reads “John ODELL 30th October 1864 aged 56” and was crossed through, yet was correctly recorded by the registrar at Wellingborough.

1865 saw 4 more family events : 3 children were married and John’s mother died in October. Son John married Eliz Clayton on 20 Apr 1865, Thomas married Charlotte Nobles on 8th June 1865 and Mary Ann married Thomas Dunkley on 25 Dec 1865.

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