[HOME][Introduction][Staverton tree][John WINDETT(1778-1735)]John H. WINDEATT(1823-1900)

Woolcomber to Haircomber - John H Windeatt

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John & Margaret 
John Hollet WINDEATT
Hairdresser & Wigmaker											
bpt 15.06.1823 (Buckfastleigh)	
d 16.12.1900 (Plymouth)											
m ?date? Mary MACEY of Buckfastleigh b.1823/4											
   |                          |	                         |                      |                              |		                        |
John WINDEATT               Mary Jane              Elizabeth              Robert WINDEATT              William James WINDEATT             James Samuel WINDEATT 
Hairdresser (1862)        age 2 at 51 census   age 6 mo. at 51 census   Hairdresser (1871 Census      Compositor, Printer, Journeyman    Freelance Photographer
b 07.1846 (B'fastleigh)   b 1848 (B'fastleigh) b 1850 (B'fastleigh)     b. 1851 (B'fastleigh)         b 14.08.1857 (Plymouth)            b 17.03.1861
d 1924, age 78 (Plymouth)    ?                 d. ?1854                 poss died 1875 (22) Plymouth  d 1938 (Plymouth), age 81          emigrated in ?1882 to US
m 28.05.1882                                                                                          m 08.01.1879 (Plymouth)            m Augusta b 1868, West Indies                                                                                                                 			
Blanche Elizabeth MARTIN                                                                             Frances Sarah LAVERS (?1859-?1906)    (German parents)
(?1859-1937)                                                                                                    |                                  |
   |                                                                                                         11 children                     3 children 
9 children

John Hollet WINDEATT (1823-1900)

His details have been pieced together from a number of clues:


1841 Census (taken 6th June 1841) © Crown Copyright (taken 6th June 1841)

Here's John in the 1841 census living in Buckfastleigh Upper Town with his father and his sisters, Jane and Dorothy (although it could be his grandfather and aunt).  The address is just given as 'Buckfast' (along with hundreds of others).

Name Age Occupation Born in County?
John WINDEATT 65 Ag. Lab. Y
John WINDEATT 18 Woolcomber Y
Jane WINDEATTT 35 Warper Y
Dorothy WINDEATT 20 Warper Y

We think young John was the son of the older John and born  at the end of a long line of children.  This older John appears in the 1851 census now aged 76 and an agricultural labourer (pauper). The older John was living with his son William (who was married to Mary Ann FRENCH and the family emigrated to Canada shortly afterwards).  See census transcription

1851 Census (taken 30th March 1851)

Here he is again in the 1851 census still working as a Woolcomber.  He is recorded as aged 27 and living in Church Cross Cottages, Buckfastleigh with wife Mary and children, John and Mary J and baby Elizabeth.  Buckfastleigh, Staverton and Dean Prior are all within a few miles of each other - see the Staverton tree map .

Name Relationship Mar Age Sex Occupation Birthplace DOB?
John WINDEATT Head M 27 M Wool Comber Devon - Buckfastleigh 1823
Mary WINDEATT Wife M 28 F --- Devon - Buckfastleigh 1822
John WINDEATT Son - 4 M --- Devon - Buckfastleigh 1846
Mary J. WINDEATT Daur - 2 F --- Devon - Buckfastleigh 1848
Elizabeth WINDEATT Daur - 6 mo. F --- Devon - Buckfastleigh 1850

Note: Errors on this census transcription were spotted by a kind correspondent and the information above has now been corrected (November 2008).  The previous details on this page were based on a secondary source and stated that they were born in Staverton rather than Buckfastleigh and that Elizabeth was six rather than six months. 

Mary Jane

A kind correspondent has sent us details of Mary's birth

1848 Birth in the Sub-district of Buckfastleigh in the County of Devon

When & WhereNameSexName and Surname of FatherName, surname and maiden surname of motherOccupation of fatherSignature, description and residence of informantWhen registered
4th September 1848 Buckfastleigh 1868 Mary JaneGirl John WINDEATTMary WINDEATT formerly MACEY Wool ComberThe mark of Mary Windeatt Mother Buckfastleigh27th September 1848

There is a bit more about Mary Jane further down the page.


Elizabeth does not appear on the following census so she presumably died in childhood.   Free BMD records the death of an Elizabeth WINDEATT in the Totnes district in the December quarter of 1854 and this was probably her.

1861 Census (taken 7th April) © Crown Copyright >

Living at Old Town Street, St. Andrew's, Plymouth

Name Relationship Mar Sex Age Occupation Birthplace DOB?
John WINDEATT Head M M 36 Hair Dresser Devon - Buckfastleigh 1823
Mary WINDEATT Wife - F 39 Dress Maker Devon - Buckfastleigh 1822
John WINDEATT Son U M 16 - Devon - Buckfastleigh 1844
Mary J. WINDEATT Daur U F 13 Scholar Devon - Buckfastleigh 1847
Robert WINDEATT Son - M 9 - Devon - Plymouth 1851
William J WINDEATT Son - M 4 - Devon - Plymouth 1857
James Samuel WINDEATT Son - M 1m - Devon - Plymouth 1861
Richard HANING Lodger U M 40 Wool Comber Devon - Buckfastleigh 1840
George TRAVERS Lodger U M 35 Canvas Weaver Dorset - Bridport 1845

RG9 45/1/4


John's occupation was still given as a Wool Comber in 1857 when his son, William James, was born in Plymouth.   In 1861, at the time of this census and on his son, James Samuel's birth certificate, his occupation is recorded as a Hairdresser (Master) so exactly when and how he changed his occupation is uncertain.  Admittedly there does not seem to be sufficient time for him to have served a seven-year apprenticeship and then to have become a Master. 


Presumably the change in occupation came with the move to Plymouth - probably in 1851 if we are to believe the census information that Robert was born there.


Mary's age?

Mary is recorded here as being three years older than her husband - a detail repeated in the following census of 1871.  In 1851, however, she is recorded as being only one year older than him.  Did she finally come clean about being a bit older than her husband?  Or is it possible that John married twice - to two Marys?

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

Living at 66 Union Street, East Stonehouse, Devonport in a house to themselves

Name Relationship Mar Sex Age Occupation Birthplace DOB?
John WINDEATT Head M M 47 Hair Dresser Devon - Buckfastleigh 1823
Mary WINDEATT Wife M F 50 Dress Maker Devon - Buckfastleigh 1822
John WINDEATT Son U M 24 Hair Dresser Devon - Buckfastleigh 1844
Mary J. WINDEATT Daur U F 22   Devon - Buckfastleigh 1847
Robert WINDEATT Son - M 18 Hair Dresser Devon - Plymouth 1851
William J WINDEATT Son - M 13 Scholar Devon - Plymouth 1857
James Samuel WINDEATT Son - M 9 Scholar Devon - Plymouth 1861
Henry BEAL Lodger Border M 28 Labourer Cornwall 1840

Union Street

Union Street is a famous Plymouth street.  You can even buy a book about its history:

1881 Census (taken 3rd April 1881) Crown Copyright

Here they are living in Fore St., Callington, Cornwall.

 Name  Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation
John WINDEATT Head M Male 57 Buckfastleigh, Devon, England Hair Dresser etc
Mary WINDEATT   Wife   M   Female   57   Buckfastleigh, Devon, England    
Mary Jane WINDEATT  Dau   U   Female   34   Buckfastleigh, Devon, England    
Jas. Saml. WINDEATT  Son   U   Male   22   Plymouth, Devon, England   Photographer 

Move to Cornwall?

So why the move across the Tamar?  Number 47 Fore St., is right next to a large coaching inn:  Goldings Hotel.  Possibly John was working at the hotel?

1891 Census

Here's John - now a widower and still living with his daughter Mary Jane (also widowed and with two children) in Cornwall in a house to themselves.  But she can't have been 36! Assuming she was born in 1848, she would have been 42 or 43.  This tallies a little better with the age given in 1881.  Both John and his daughter's birthplaces are given as Plymouth but, as so often in the census, it is probably that the fine detail of the birthplace has been lost the further away the census place is from the birthplace.  What were they living on I wonder?  No-one appears to be gainfully employed.

Address: 47 Fore Street, Saltash, Cornwall,

Surname First name(s) Rel Status Sex Age Occupation Where Born
WINDEATT John Head W M 65 Hairdresser(Notem) Devon - Plymouth
BRADFORD Mary J Dau W F 36   Devon - Plymouth
BRADFORD Margaret Grndau S F 9   Cornwall - Saltash
BRADFORD Robert J Grnson S M 6   Cornwall - Saltash

Mary Jane's marriage?

Mary Jane must have married sometime between the two census dates of 1881 and 1891.  According to free BMD, a Mary Jane WINDEATT married in the Newton Abbott district in the June quarter of 1888  [CRP REF; Newton A. 5b 319].   If this was Mary, then she would have been the stepmother rather than the actual mother of the two children.  This may well be the case because I have  observed that an older spinster is often quickly married off to a recently widowed man who had been left with young children to care for.  However, it looks as if Mr BRADFORD died not long after after as well leaving both the children as orphans in the care of the step family.


1. John WINDEATT (1846-1924)

Recorded as an apprentice to Thomas Williams (Plymouth) Hair Cutter, Hairdresser and wig maker commencing 1862 age 15. He also appears as a hairdresser in the 1871 Census.  He married Blanche Elizabeth MARTIN on 28.05.1882 and went on to have at least nine children.

2. Robert WINDEATT (1851-?1875)

Robert also appears as a hairdresser in the 1871 census, aged 18,  but we know very little more about him.  A Robert died in Plymouth in 1875 but aged 22, which could be him.

3. William James WINDEATT (1857-1938)

William James married Frances Sarah LAVERS on 08.01.1879 in Plymouth and went on to have at least eleven children, nine of whom survived him.  On their birth certificates his occupation is recorded as 'compositor' until 1896 and then 'printer compositor journeyman'.  From 1890, they lived at 2 Gilwell Cottages, East Plymouth. He went to Canada with his younger brother James Samuel, probably in 1881 or 2, but only stayed for a year or so.  His obituary, below, does not tell us whether his wife went with him but his eldest son, Bob (born in 1880) was living there in 1938.

Obituary, Western Morning News, 16th August, 1938

Death occurred yesterday, after a long illness of Mr. J. W. Windeatt at 68 Durham Avenue, Plymouth where he lived with a married daughter, Mrs. E. Marshall.   Eleven years ago, after 53 years' service on the printing staff of the Western Morning News co. Ltd. and (before amalgamation) on the "Western Daily Mercury" staff, Mr. Windeatt retired on a pension, and was also one of the recipients of gold watches presented by the proprietors of "The Western Morning News" for long and faithful service.

Mr. Windeatt, who was a superannuated member of the Typographical Association, just lived to celebrate his 81st birthday on Sunday.

Entering the printing trade with the "Wester Daily Mercury" as a boy, Mr. Windeatt some years later, went to Canada with a brother, who remained abroad.  Mr. Windeatt returned after about a year and re-entered the employment of the proprietors of the "Western Daily Mercury".

Mr. Windeatt was a widower.  He leaves three sons (the eldest of whom is in Canada) and six daughters all married.  His grandchildren number 18 including six grandsons in Canada and seven great-grandchildren.

4. James Samuel WINDEATT (1861-?)

James was the photographer who emigrated to the United States [More ] 



NOTE: If you can correct or add to any of the information on this page I would be very grateful.

Author picture These pages are being put together by Sandra Windeatt with a lot of help from many correspondents and in particular 

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