Hebden & Variants Family Website


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  The Pioneers: Hebden Family Research
William Hebden


The only son of Harry Hebden and Margaret Richardson, William Richardson Hebden was born in the Yorkshire woollen town of Halifax in 1902. His three sisters, Marjorie, Kathleen and Mary married, but William remained a bachelor all his life. His job as a commercial traveller took him from one end of the country to the other "rubbing shoulders with people of every sort and steeping myself in the historical details of English towns and villages" as he himself described it.

His interests in genealogy were wide-ranging, and he was the honorary secretary of the Yorkshire Parish Register Society from 1947 to 1951, remaining on the council until 1957 when he resigned due to ill health. As well as writing books on a variety of Yorkshire topics, he lectured widely as a speaker of the Royal Society of St. George. Between the Wars he pioneered research into the Medieval period of the Hebden family and the Ripon, Grimwith, Appleton-le-Street and  Burwash (Sussex) families as well as his own Halifax line. He lived in Burnsall for twenty years, and died in 1973. He is buried in the churchyard of St Wilfred's in Burnsall.

I am grateful to Mary De Hebden Taylor MBE for supplying the image of William Hebden.







Thomas Peter Hebden



Peter Hebden was born in Nelson, Lancashire in 1930, one of two sons of Frank Hebden and  Elizabeth Thorpe, and a cousin of John R. Hebden (see below). On retirement from being the harbourmaster at Bahrain, he continued researching his own Raisgill and Oughtershawe family line, and in doing so amassed a wealth of information on other Hebden family lines. The information collected became known by his daughter Janet as "The Big Book of Hebdens". Peter died in 1995.                                                        image courtesy of http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/hebden/





After her father's death Janet continued research into the Hebden family. She  realised that personal computers and the world wide web enabled people all over the world to access and add to the data in "The Big Book".  In addition to researching her own branch of the family, she developed a website describing the lineage of many of the larger Hebden families. The site paved the way for future expansion at a time when family history was becoming a popular hobby, and commercial websites such as "Ancestry" and "Find My Past" gave access to data which was previously beyond the reach of amateurs. Her website is still available at http://www.angelfire.com/hi5/hebden/ but because the passwords were lost it has not been updated since her sudden death in July 2005.                                                                                               image courtesy of Lucy Hebden
John's research into his branch of the family began in 1976 when he joined the Society of Genealogists, as a result of a contact from a Mrs de Hebden Sutherland drawing attention to the work of her late uncle, William Hebden of Halifax.(above)

Over the next few years he was joined by Graham Pratten from the the Braisty Woods branch of the Ripon family and by the Rev David Jackson.  From William Hebden's papers and other material, they developed a searchable chronological database of Hebden family events. He joined the Guild of One-Name Studies in 1980, and was a Vice-President of the Guild for several years. His membership of The Guild brought him into contact with Hebden family history enthusiasts from all over the world.  John died on 24th June 2011.


John Reid Hebden
Janet Hebden







Stuart Hebden: Webmaster


























I certainly wouldn't class myself as a pioneer in any way. I started researching my own family group in 2001 and soon found out that my family had successfully avoided all previous research. 

It was John Hebden, Graham Pratten and David Jackson who led the way in making Hebden data available to a wider audience with their Hebden Timeline Database. As far as I know, Janet Hebden produced the first generalised Hebden website, and on Jan's death, contact with John Hebden made me realise how much data could be digitised and eventually made available on-line. All the main Hebden tree charts have now been digitised and indexed, together with BMD and probate indexes. There is still much to do, so keep coming back to see the latest updates!

For the much of the factual material on this site, I am grateful to the late Peter Hebden and the late Janet Hebden (his daughter), and John Hebden, whose encyclopeadic knowledge of all things Hebden has been invaluable in the preparation of text, charts and images. Also, the late William Hebden (above) of Halifax 1902-1973, who laid the foundations of Hebden family research. I would also like to thank all those individuals who have given their time, information and technical advice (sometimes unknowingly!) without which constructing this site would have been so much more difficult

It was Janet Hebden's idea to develop a website which would become a "One-Stop Shop" for Hebden material - so please get in touch if you are in any way connected with the The Clan, or would like to contribute material, or have any questions!