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Henry WINDEATT, blind chimneysweep,1822-1886

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You may need to scroll the right to see all the children.

  |                                       |                                     |
  7 older brothers and sisters   Henry WINDEATT =(1)Ann ELLIOTT                  1 younger brother
                                 cd. 5.12.1822 (Sampford Spiney, Devon)
                                 d. ?1886
                                 m.?(1) 03/04/1846, St. Paul, Exeter to Ann ELLIOT    m.(2) ?1847 Jane GODBEER
                                 |___                         __________________________|______________________________________________________________________________________________
                                 |                           |             |                          |                      |                        |                               |
                                 ?Sophia               Mary Jane       Henry George            John Henry Godbeer      Elizabeth Ann Godbeer    Henry Clarence John Godbeer     Ellen Elford
                                 b. 1844, Exeter       b.1848          b. 1850, Teignmouth      d. June qtr 1850        b.1852 Teignmouth        b.1856 Teignmouth               b. 26/09/1859 
                                                       m.1888 to       d. 1851, Teignmouth      Teignmouth (10 11)      ?m.1878 Newton Abbot     d.1876 Teignmouth, age 19       m. 1880 to William STEER
                                                 to Charles GREENSLADE                                                                                                                d. 6/2/1940

NOTE:  This tree is pretty much guesswork put together from census data.  Dates in bold mean that we have a copy of the relevant certificate.

We don't know too much about Henry although  there are descendants.   There is a slight problem in that we can't be sure whether he married twice or even three times or even whether there were actually two Henry's around at the time.

However, the Henry who was married to or living with a Jane in the various censuses must be the son of John WINDEATT and Thomasine HOSKINS.  The age is right, he gives his birthplace as Sampford Spiney and he went down and joined the rest of the family in West Teignmouth at around the same time  

The only definite marriage certificate we have found though is for a Henry with an Ann Elliott in 1846. And yet in later censuses he is married to a Jane.  Is this a different Henry or did he marry twice?  Or did he marry bigamously the second time - there is a certificate for the marriage of Jane Godbeer but to a 'Fabian' - see below.

There is also the possibility that he may have married a third time because a Henry WINDEATT marries a Jane in Exeter in the December quarter in 1854 and it is interesting that the Jane who is Henry's wife in later censuses gives her birthplace as Tiverton rather than Exeter and is suddenly a couple of years older than him rather than the same age.

Henry and Jane do not seem to have had a very happy life.  All their three sons died, the first two in infancy and the third died aged nineteen.

And Henry himself went blind at some stage.  Certainly, by the 1871 census he is recorded as blind in the disability column and his occupation is given as chimneysweep.

A Henry Windeatt died in the Newton Abbot district in the September quarter of 1886 (GRO REF 5b 71) aged 63 and this is likely to be him.

Who is Fabian?

The only marriage certificate we have found for Henry is the marriage with an Ann Elliott in 1846.  Is this a different Henry from the one in the Census or did he marry twice?   There is also a marriage certificate for a Fabian WINDEATT and a Jane GODBEER who married in 1847:

Marriage Certificate , Register Office,  Exeter

Date Name & Surname Age Condition Rank or Profession Residence at the time of Marriage Father's Name and Forename Rank or profession of Father Witnesses
17/08/1847 Fabian WINDEATT 25 Bachelor Painter & Glazier Cornish Court, Paul St., Exeter John WINDEATT Plasterer Charles JENNINGS

Sally PEAR (mark)

Jane GODBEER 27 Spinster Laundress Wearfield Place,St. Leonards, Exeter John GODBEER Sailor

'Fabian' signed but Jane made her mark and the certificate was signed by the Registrar and the Superintendent Registrar.

There are no other records anywhere of a 'Fabian' as a single first name (rather than a middle name) and all the other details match our Henry.  Did he lie about his first name in order to hide this second 'bigamous' marriage?  Certainly the family which appears in the 1841 census matches both the Henry (6th of the seven brothers) AND the details on the marriage certificate.  But who is Sophie?  Is she Jane's daughter rather than Henry's?  And what happened to Ann Elliot?



We have a marriage certificate for a Henry WINDEATT, painter,  whose father is John WINDEATT, a mason, and who married an Ann ELLIOT in 1846.  But in the 1851 census, Henry, a painter, aged 28, is married to Jane. Second marriages within a short period are not unusual, especially if a wife died and left young children who needed looking after.  The father usually married again quickly (presumably for urgent childcare reasons?) but we have not been able to find either a death certificate for Ann ELLIOT nor a marriage certificate for Henry and Jane.  Perhaps he had left Ann and was just living with Jane?

We know nothing about Ann ELLIOT other than the information on the marriage certificate that she was a spinster, of full age and the daughter of an Edward ELLIOTT, a gardener.  She then completely disappears from any records.  Perhaps she died?  A free BMD search reveals that an Ann WINDETT died in Bermondsey in the June quarter of 1847.  This would be about the right time for a possible match with Henry's first wife (if such she is) but why would she be in Bermondsey? 

Another possibility is that the Henry who married Ann Elliot is not our Henry? This looks likely because of the existence of Sophia, a seven year old daughter living with Henry and Jane in the 1851 census.  If this is correct then Sophia would have been born in about 1843 - well before the marriage with Ann ELLIOT. 

Marriage solemnized by Banns in the Parish of Tormoham in the County of Devon

Date Name & Surname Age Condition Rank or Profession Residence at the time of Marriage Father's Name and Forename Rank or profession of Father Witnesses
April 3 1846 Henry WINDEATT full Bachelor Painter St. Paul Street John WINDEATT  Mason John HARRIS 


Ann ELLIOTT full Spinster   St. Paul Street Edward ELLIOTT Gardener


2. Jane ?GODBEER

From the middle names of the children in the various censuses it looks highly likely that Jane's maiden name was GODBEER and the censuses also reveal that she was probably born in Exeter.  See the marriage certificate for 'Fabian' and Jane above.

A Jane Godbeer WINDEATT died in the December quarter of 1899 in the Newton Abbot Register Office District aged 77 and, although the names and dates don't quite tally, this does seem likely to be her. However, if Jane died in the December quarter of 1889, aged 77, that would make her birthdate 1812.  Either her age has been greatly exaggerated on the death certificate or she had previously lied to make herself out to be younger.  Or she could be a second Jane (from Tiverton) whom Henry married in 1864.

Parents and Siblings

Henry was the eighth child and sixth surviving son of John WINDEATT and Thomasine HOSKINS.


See the Tree above.  We know little of Henry and Jane's children other than the information that appears in the various censuses - see transcriptions below.  We do now, though, thanks to a kind correspondent, have details of Mary Jane's wedding to Charles GREENSLADE.

1841 Census (taken 6th June)

Here's Henry living with his mother, elder sister and brother.  They are in a house on their own (i.e. not shared with other families).  The  address is not specified on the census page but is in St. Paul's parish, Exeter and is probably Paul Street.  John, Henry's father, does not appear to be there?

Name Age (rounded down?) Occupation Born in County
Thomasin WINDEAT 50 Ind Y
Parscho TURNER 33 Ind Y
Edwin WINDEAT 21 Whitesmith Appr. Y
Henry WINDEAT 19 Painter ? Y

So where was John?  Away working?  And why is Thomasine given as being of independent means?  Unless it is just that Edwin and Henry were supporting her? 

1851 Census (taken 30th March)

Living at Brook Street, West Teignmouth, Devon.

Name Relationship Mar Age Sex Occupation Birthplace Possible DOB
Henry WINDCOTT Head M 28 M Painter, Glazier, Plumber Horrabridge-Devon 1822
Jane WINDCOTT Wife M 28 F Keeps a Mangle Exeter-Devon 1822
Sophia WINDCOTT Daur - 7 F Scholar Exeter-Devon 1843
Mary Jane WINDCOTT Daur - 2 F --- Exeter-Devon 1848

1861 Census (taken 7th April) © Crown Copyright

Name Relationship Mar Age Occupation Birthplace Possible DOB
HENRY WINDEATT Hd. Md. 38 Painter Devon, Horrabridge  
JANE WINDEATT Wife Md. 38   Devon, Exeter  
MARY JANE WINDEATT Dtr.   13 Scholar Devon, Exeter  
ELIZABETH WINDEATT Dtr.   10 Scholar Devon, Teignmouth  
HENRY WINDEATT Son   6   Devon, Teignmouth  
ELLEN WINDEATT Dtr.   1   Devon, Teignmouth  
ELIZABETH MILLINGTON Nurse-child   2   Devon, Teignmouth  
EDWIN WINDEATT Brother-in-law Md. 40 Whitesmith Devon, Horrabridge  
MARY WINDEATT B/law's wife Md. 49   Devon, Plymouth  

There was obviously some connection between Elizabeth MILLINGTON (or WELLINGTON) and the WINDEATTs because twenty years earlier, in 1841, there was an Ann WINDEAT (age rounded down to 25) and a Charlotte WINDEATT, aged 4, living in the same property as some MILLINGTONs in Mill Row, Dawlish. 

1871 Census (taken 2nd April) © Crown Copyright > (taken 2nd April)

Henry must have gone blind sometime between the last census and this one.

Living in Chapel St., West Teignmouth, Devon.

Name Surname Relationship Status Age Profession Birthplace


Henry WINDEAT Head Mar 48 Chimney Sweep Devon, Horrabridge Blind
Jane WINDEAT Wife ditto 50   Devon, Tiverton  
Elizabeth ditto Daur Unm 19 Laundress ditto, Teignmouth  
Henery ditto Son   15   ditto, Teignmouth  
Ella ditto Daur   11 Scholar ditto, Teignmouth  
Elisabeth WELLINGTON Orphan Board     13 ditto ditto, Chudleigh  
John ?SHAPTER Servant   15 Servant ditto, Dittisham  

Elizabeth, the nurse child, is still living with them and must have been a foster-child.  But it is unclear whether her surname was Wellington or Millington.

Mary Jane, who would have been 23, has left home - probably she was in service somewhere.

1875 Application for an Annuity

A snippet from the classified ads in The Times of Friday, Nov 19, 1875:


At a meeting of this Society, held at 4, Eaton-place on Nov 12 1875, there were 27 candidates for the three vacant annuities; of these the five highest polled as follows:-

Timothy CONNELL 204
Anne WELCH        180
Harriet REES         31
Henry WINDEATT   26

CONNELL, WELCH, and TREVELYAN were therefore duly elected to an annuity of 8 each.

Edmund C JOHNSON, Chairman
B. JOHNS, Secretary

1881 Census (taken 3rd April 1881) Crown Copyright

Living at 37 Saxe Street, West Teignmouth, Devon with 3 other households.

Name Relationship Marriage Age Sex Profession Birthplace








Horrabridge, Devon, England








Tiverton, Devon, England








Moreton, Devon, England


All the children have left home now but Jane is still taking in lodgers.

1886 & 1889 Deaths

A Henry Windeatt died in the Newton Abbot district in the September quarter of 1886 (GRO REF 5b 71) aged 63 and this is likely to be him.

Similarly a Jane Goodbeer WINDEATT died in the Newton Abbot Register Office district in the December quarter of 1889 (GRO REF 5b 79), given as 77 but, given the middle name, this must be her.  According to the census data she would have been nearer 70 than 77.  The index definitely says 77 but possibly this is a mistranscription of the original entry - we can't tell until someone orders the death certificate.  Of course, this could be her true age - one that she had kept secret while Henry was still alive.

1888 His daughter, Mary Jane, marries

Mary Jane married quite late and followed one of the patterns [* ] usually found in this family, i.e. that of marrying a younger man and lying about her age.   If the transcription of the marriage certificate is accurate she has told a whopping lie about her age - she was actually more like 40!

Marriage solemnized at the Register Office in the District of Newton Abbot in the County of Devon

Date Name & Surname Age Condition Rank or Profession Residence at the time of Marriage Father's Name and Forename Rank or profession of Father Witnesses
24 June 1888 Charles GREENSLADE 35 Bachelor Porter G.W. Railway Diamond Lane, Teignmouth Joseph Greenslade, Deceased  Millar (sic) Samuel MILFORD 

Rosetta Jane MILFORD

Mary Jane WINDEATT 31 Spinster   Lower Brook Street, Teignmouth Henry WINDEATT (deceased) Painter

Did they have any children?  Probably not given Mary Jane's real age.  However if you know any different, please leave a message on the Message Board.

The GREENSLADEs don't seem to appear on the 1891 census for Devon so presumably they had moved away somewhere by then.  Possibly Charles' job had taken them elsewhere.


I believe there are living descendants of Henry and Jane.  If you know any more about this family or can correct or add to anything on this page, please leave a message on the Message Board.


* "One of the patterns":  The other pattern was when a single older female was quickly married to a widower who had children that needed looking after.


Last updated February 2010