Willen People

The Goodman family


The Goodmans have been farm labourers in Willen since the mid 1700s. In 1881, there are two Goodman brothers and a sister living in the village. William (28) lives with his widowed mother Elizabeth (70) and his younger, unmarried sister Louisa (23) in one half the cottage next to the graveyard. Alfred (54), his half brother, lives with his wife Amelia (53) and the last two of their five children, William (17) and Suzanna (13) in a cottage just down the lane towards the ford. John Goodman, their father, died at the age of 81 only last year. Both brothers are farm labourers, but they and their sister are pillars of the local church and greatly respected in the village.
Louisa, like many young working class women, is a domestic servant. She must get up very early to get to her employer's house in time to light fires to warm the rooms and heat water ready for when her employer's family get up. She is sweet on the young man next door, Leonard Stonton (19). She doesn't know it yet but, in three years time they will marry and go on to have six children. These children are pictured round the edge of the page.

The fortunes of the two brothers, Alfred and William, were rather different.

Photographs from the Guy Kennedy collection