Stephen Whitehead was born on the 20th September 1772 in Westwell, Kent in England and remained within 6 miles of his birthplace his whole life. Stephen had two known siblings. A brother William born in 1770 and a brother James born in 1775. Stephen was the son of William Whitehead also of Kent and his wife Mary Bassenden of Somerset. William and Mary also raised their family and live what appears to be their whole lives in Kent. On the 8th August 1795 Stephen married Susanna Cook in Willesborought, Kent. Stephen wsa 22 and Susanna 23. Willesborough was on the eastern side of Ashford and was a farming village.
Stephen and Susanna went on to have eight children. James Stephen Whitehead b. 1796, Frances Whitehead b. 1797, Lydia Whitehead b. 1798, Mary Ann Whitehead b.1800, Louisa Whitehead b.1806, Susanna Whitehead b.1809 and Sarah Whitehead b.811. The following baptisms occured at St Mary’s in Willesborough Kent. In those days baptisms usually occurred within a few weeks of the childs birth as part of the weekly mass. James is baptised on the 13th March 1796. Frances on the 27th August 1797. Lydia is baptised at St Marys on the 7th October 1798. Mary Ann on the 19th January 1800. Louisa on the 27th July 1806. Susannah on the 19th March 1809. Sarah on the 8th December 1811.
Throughout their lives, St Mary’s in Willesborough has been the scene for family baptisms etc. It would stand to reason at this time in history that both Susanna and Stephen would have been regular church goers. If only for the socialisation. At this point my details on Stephen and Susanna are quite sparse. I know that Stephen was employed it would appear as a gardener at different times. He is also recorded in the Willesborough records as owning a small amount of land and a brook that is used as pasture land. Stephen died on the 4th January 1852 aged 80, in Willesborough. Susanna died a few months later on the 11th April 1852 aged 81, also in Willesborough. It would appear that their daughter Frances had lived with them throughout their latter years.