45.61 – James Whitehead Redman

This plot marker displays carved initials that were clearly carved by someone who knew how to do it but wasn’t a formally trained stonemason – less crude than the Colemans in the lower yard, but still someone’s attempt to remember a lost loved one in a manner they could afford. We narrowed down the possible candidates to a single young child: James Whitehead Redman, who died in July 1876 only eight months old, and who may not be resting alone.

We think this because his father, Alfred Redman, died suddenly at the age of 25 just a few months beforehand, and is not named on any other stone or in any other burial record for this church apart from the register. Alfred’s cause of death was typhoid fever and it’s very likely that this is what took James away too. Alfred had been a journeyman joiner and the family more or less settled in Whitworth prior to something prompting their move back to Todmorden, a decision that turned fatal. Maybe it would have anyway, who knows…

Alfred’s and then James’s death left widow and mother Lucy Hannah (Whitehead) alone with their daughter Sarah Hannah. In 1881 and 1891 she was living with her sister Sophia Sellars, a married woman whose husband was nonetheless nowhere to be seen on either census. A second chance at happiness came in 1897 when she marred Benjamin Stephenson, her sister Mary’s widower. Lucy became his third wife. She died in 1904 and was buried at Cross Stone.

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