Ambrose Birch of Rowley Regis

Ambrose Birch was buried on 17 Feb 1729/30 in Rowley Regis and left a will, probate 20 Jul 1730. He was the father of Catherine Darby, the great grandmother of Emma Clifton.

He was probably baptized in St Giles, Rowley Regis on 5 Jun 1661. His father was also an Ambrose Birch (bur 18 Jan 1720/21) and mother Margery (bur 14 Nov 1714). He married Elizabeth Oliver on 7 Feb 1697 in St Giles, when he was probably 35 years of age.

His will states that he is a nailer. All his children mentioned in order in the will are matched exactly by entries in the St Giles Register. He is survived by his wife Elizabeth.

The baptisms in the Register are in this same order Elizabeth (bap 10 Feb 1698/99), Ambrose (bap 26 Aug 1700), Catherine (bap 8 Mar 1701/02), Sarah (bap 18 Mar 1704/05), Thomas (bap 26 Dec 1706), William (bap 17 Apr 1709) and John (bap 19 Jun 1711).

The only daughter that appears to be married is Catherine and she had married Edmund Darby at St John’s Halesowen on 22 Jul 1722. Edmund, we know, was literate but Ambrose is unable to sign his will.

There is an inventory attached to his will that shows goods adding up to £17 3s 4d. They include Fire Grate, Shovel, Tongs conducive to his smithy work. It also shows that he had a small holding with 9 cows and barn containing wheat and barley.

The burial entry in the St Giles Register states “Ambrose Byrche (Snr) buried 17 Feb 1729”. Elizabeth Byrche Widow is recorded as being buried on 15 Jan 1743.


  • Parish Registers of St Giles Rowley Regis, Transcript (Staffordshire PRS)
  • Will of Ambrose Birch, Nailer, Probate 20 Jul 1730, Worcester Record Office