Ann Maria BERESFORD was born on March 23, 1876, on Dingle Street in the town of Oldbury, England. Her father, Thomas, was a coal miner when his youngest child was born; her mother, Mary -- who couldn't write -- signed Ann's birth certificate with an X.
Ann was the youngest of 10 children of Thomas Beresford and Mary WILLOCK. Ann and her family lived in the Midlands of England in an area known, even today, as "The Black Country," likely due to the large number of coal mines which once operated in the area. In fact, several of the Beresford children also worked the mines.
At 19, Ann decided to leave her home in Langley Green (outside Birmingham) in the County of Staffs, and to emigrate to America.
With her long auburn hair and peaches-and-cream complexion, she was quite attractive. She met and married George HEAD (1868-1918), the fifth of seven children of George HEAD and Alice ROBSON. George and Ann lived in various towns in north New Jersey. Their children were Alice (1896), George Dewey Head (1898), and Hilda (1900). Around 1904, they also adopted a young boy named Raymond Brown. By 1905, according to their daughter, Hilda, they operated "Head's Oyster and Chop Shop" on 4th Street in Harrison NJ; the restaurant was on the first floor, and they lived over the store.
At one time, father George was a scenery maker at the Hippodrome and the Metropolitan Opera House, making good use of the carpentry skills which he learned from his father.
Ann, remembered their daughter Hilda, was a woman of breeding and class. "You're a lady," she told her daughters; "don't forget you are a lady." She served formal tea, as well as tea with all the meals.
After dinner, George would play the violin for his family, while Ann played the piano. "Every night after dinner, we'd put on a show" for George in the dining room, Hilda recalled; they'd sing and dance for him while he fiddled.
Hilda says they had a good life; the family never had a lot of money, but "we didn't need it."
One hundred years after Ann's birth, the Beresford Family Society would be founded to trace the family line. With their help, we have discovered how we fit into the Beresford family tree. The owner of this website is proud to be a member of the BFS (member 694).