John Jesson

John Jesson married Amy Darby on 22 Jan 1609 in St Mary’s Handsworth. Amy is mentioned in her father Thomas Darby’s will of 1607 and her spinster Aunt Ann Darby’s will of 1612. Amy Jesson’s grandfather was therefore Edmonde Darby who left a will of 1598.  Continue reading →

Last updated on November 23, 2017 by JJ Morgan

Benjamin Willetts

The Willetts family lived in and around Oldbury. It is one of the most repeated names in the Parish Register of St Giles’ Rowley Regis in the 1700’s. One branch, the descendants of Joseph Willetts, butcher,  seems to have accumulated wealth, attested to by a number of wills. Significantly Joseph was married to Amphillis Russell a member of the Russell family of Portway Hall in Rowley Regis. Continue reading →

Last updated on November 22, 2017 by JJ Morgan

Job Clifton

Job Clifton was baptised on 23 Dec 1734 at Christ Church Oldbury. His father was also called Job Clifton. Continue reading →

Last updated on November 22, 2017 by JJ Morgan

W Ellery Jephcott

W Ellery Jephcott (1880-1960) was a journalist and local historian of the Smethwick and West Bromwich area. Continue reading →

Last updated on November 22, 2017 by JJ Morgan

Thomas Downing

Thomas Downing was born in Smethwick and baptized in All Saints, West Bromwich on 20 Mar 1825. He was the younger brother of William Downing, the wealthy Smethwick maltster. Continue reading →

Last updated on November 22, 2017 by JJ Morgan

Edmund Clifton

Edmund Clifton was baptised on 24 Mar 1776 in St Giles, Rowley Regis. His father was Job Clifton and his mother Alice Darby. The parish register of Rowley Regis records that when his parents died in 1815 and 1819 respectively they lived in Park House in Rowley. This then was probably the house that Edmund and his brothers Job and Samuel were brought up in. The Cliftons were essentially farmers of a middling status, but this economic activity was undergoing substantial change spurred by the rapid urbanisation of the area. Continue reading →

Last updated on November 6, 2017 by JJ Morgan

Daniel Chiswick

Daniel Chiswick was born in about 1827 in Poplar. His was the youngest son of Samuel Jervis Chiswick (1777-1839). He came from a long line of coopers and was to take up the same trade. His grandfather was Samuel Chiswick (1740-1790). Although he lived to a good age of 76 Daniel continued to live in the East End of London and circumstances seem to have got increasingly tough. Continue reading →

Last updated on October 17, 2017 by JJ Morgan

Emma Ida Palmer

Emma Ida Palmer was born on 23 Oct 1883 at 108 Ladbroke Grove Road, Notting Hill. Her parents were Henry Edwin Palmer, a commercial traveller and glove salesman and Elizabeth Jane (nee) Treleaven. Both came from around Plymouth. She was the youngest of three children and her older sister was born in Plymouth. The circumstances of her early life were probably quite tough but the fortune and addresses of her family steadily improved. Continue reading →

Last updated on October 11, 2017 by JJ Morgan

Morgan Back and Co

Morgan Back and Co, a firm of Incorporated Accountants, was founded in 1935 after the dissolution of John R Woodley, Morgan and Co. The draft letter of agreement between William Henry Morgan and William John Back has survived. This document was held in the offices of 34-36 Gresham Street when the building was blitzed in about 1941. Despite the burnt fringes it has been kept and is still legible. Continue reading →

Last updated on October 9, 2017 by JJ Morgan

Noel Letter to Mother 1915

This is the only war letter that has survived written by Noel Downing to his mother Hannah Pitt Downing.   It has no date but it seems to recount his early experiences at Ashtead as a private with the Royal Fusiliers and that would make it most probably around Feb 1915. It would seem to post date the other letter address-headed Ashtead to his sister Mary as the Public School boys are being moved from billets (like Mrs Drew) into the new camp.  Continue reading →

Last updated on October 9, 2017 by JJ Morgan

Florence Marten’s Photo Album

Florence Eliza Marten collected a large photo album of her relatives in the late 1870’s and 1880’s. Some descriptions are annotated by her but most appear to be done at a later date by her daughter, Molly Evans. Here is a list of the individual photos a number of which can be found posted on this web site. Continue reading →

Last updated on September 30, 2017 by JJ Morgan