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Marsden is a village in the Colne Valley, high in the Pennines of West Yorkshire, 7 miles south west of the town of Huddersfield. This site is dedicated to tracing the history of one family, the Whiteheads, who have inhabited the village for upwards of 400 years.

After extensive genealogical research, a database of Whitehead family members who were born in the village has been assembled.

This database contains details of around 500 Whiteheads, spread over 12 generations, 465 of these are direct descendents of one Henry Whitehead, who probably settled in the village in about 1570. The database only encompasses people born before 1910, to protect the privacy of people who are still living.

The family was a significant proportion of the population of the village, particularly during the 18th and 19th centuries. There were 97 Whiteheads in the village at the time of the 1901 census, today there are three Whiteheads listed in the Marsden phone book.

If you are researching your family's history and have connections with the Whiteheads of Marsden, then move to the index page, search out an ancestor and follow the links to learn more details of your family.

If you are successful in establishing a connection with the family, then please contact me so that we can exchange information for our mutual benefit. There is a great deal more information available on family members than is displayed on this site which can be passed on to you, and I may also be able to put you in touch with long lost relatives! In return you can hopefully add some further detail to the database.

Additional Material

The information displayed on this site is minimal but sufficient to identify a link to the family. During the course of researching the family a great deal of additional material has been accumulated that would be of interest to genealogists with family connections:

Church Records - details of baptisms, marriages and burials. These records often give additional information with regards to the occupation and place of abode of family members.

Monumental Inscriptions - full details of all Whiteheads buried in Marsden.

Census - complete information of Whiteheads resident in Marsden from all seven published censuses.

Wills - copies of over 40 wills/administrations/inventories made by family members dating back to 1688.

Maps - copies of early maps of the district identifying locations where family members resided.

Photos - many of the houses occupied by Whiteheads in the village, the oldest dating from 1670, still stand and have been photographed.

Manorial records - many early family members were tenant farmers and references from the Manorial Court going back to 1660 have collected.

About the author

Peter Whitehead was born and raised in Marsden, he has lived in New Zealand for the last 40 years.


Help with accumulating the data has come from many sources, but special mention must be made of the contribution made by Steve Whitwam whose assistance and hospitality has been much appreciated. Steve Russell has also been of great help, not only with his grandfather's research notes but also with supplying many of the photos.