Family Page

The history for the descendants and family of:

James Whitehead

3 Apr 1828
- 30 Apr 1910
Married 08 Sep 1850
Elizabeth Whitehead (nee Richardson)
Unknown - 31 Aug 1909

First Generation Australians

8 Children:

1 Elizabeth Whitehead
5 Oct 1851 - 8 Apr 1939

2 James William Whitehead
3 Nov 1853 - 14 Oct 1927

3 Frederick James Whitehead
2nd June 1858 - 19 Apr 1919

4 Alfred Whitehead
10 Jul 1861 - 4 Aug 1923

5 Edward Whitehead
20 Mar 1864 - 1 Dec 1908

6 Annie Maria Whitehead
10 Jan 1867 - 15 Jun 1932

7 Emma Whitehead
10 Sep 1869 - 31 Jan 1903

8 Thomas Lewis Whitehead
24 dec 1871 - 21 Jul 1954


James & Elizabeth Whitehead

James WHITEHEAD was born on the 3rd April 1828, the fourth son of Edward and Mary Ann WHITEHEAD. The family lived in the Colney Hatch, Friern Barnet Parish, in the County of Middlesex. From what we understand an interest in gardening was evident throughout the family.


For reasons unknown to us, James decided to migrate to Australia and on the 7th March 1850, at the age of 2l years, he embarked on the 'Stag' and sailed from Plymouth. The 'Stag' arrived safely at Adelaide in S.A. on the 1lth June 1850 after a three month journey.

Aboard the same vessel was a young eighteen year old woman passenger by the name of Elizabeth RICHARDSON who was on her way to a new life to work for Mrs Scott in Port Adelaide for five shillings per week plus board and keep. She was to
earn her wages as a nursery maid. We do not know if James and Elizabeth knew each other prior to the journey but the couple were married in St. John's Church, Adelaide on the 8th of September 1850.

We have records that indicate James was working as a gardener in the Adelaide Botanical Gardens during 1856. His older brother, William, who arrived in Australia in 1854, was similarly employed. A third brother, George with the occupation of stone masonry, is believed to have migrated to Australia sometime in 1858.

James and Elizabeth had three children born to them while living in Adelaide before leaving by steamer for Robe in S.A. From there they trekked overland to the Glencoe Station owned by the Leake Bros and here James worked as a shepherd. The station ran some 53,000 sheep and James and his family lived in a one roomed bark hut with a dirt floor. Holes were cut in the walls for windows and covered with sheep skin shutters.

Flour, tea, sugar and meat were supplied and wages paid at the end of each year. Times were very tough. Two more children were born before the family eventually moved to the Glenburnie district, near the Mt. Gambier racecourse. Another three children were born at this new family home, making the total of eight.

James and his family became self-employed market gardeners as well as working their horse teams on other farms and doing seasonal work. James also operated a greengrocers shop in Mt. Gambier not far from the Cave Gardens.

In l88l some of the older family members, who had married, left the Mt. Gambier area for Victoria. James followed a few years later stopping in Penola and renting a house with a shop front in Young Street, before moving to Victoria, settling in the areas of Boyeo and Nhill.

James grew vegetables alongside the Boyeo swamp and also had a fruit and vegie shop in Nelson Street, Nhill. He received praise and recognition for his vegetables. He had the honour of some being sent to Melbourne and put on exhibition at Parliament House in an attempt to promote his home town area. Records show he grew a cauliflower and broccoli to enormous size, each weighing about 74lbs.

James and Elizabeth left Nhill around 1902 to return to Mt. Gambier where they continued to live until their deaths. Elizabeth passed away on the 3lst of August 1909 aged 77 years and James followed on the 30th of April 1910 just after his 82nd birthday. They are both buried in Mt. Gambier.

From Humble Beginnings – Pictorial History of the Whitehead Family.
© Copyright 1997 Rob & Dee Whitehead