Allen Basil Bratton

Allen Basil Bratton was born in Shrewsbury in 1890 the son of Doctor James Allen Bratton. His father died when he was 3. Continue reading →
Last updated on 30 September 2019 by JJ Morgan

William Barnesley of Trysull, died 1571

William Barnesley of Trysull in Staffordshire died and left a will written on 28 Mar 1571. He is described as a Yeoman and is the grandfather of the William Barnesley, who died in 1640. It would appear to be this grandson William, son of his eldest son Thomas, who succeeded in adopting the Coat of Arms of the Barnesley family of Bromsgrove in about 1597, proving the common line of descent with the Barnesleys of Barnesley Hall. Certainly his will shows a number of important connections with the landed and merchant classes in Elizabethan South Staffordshire. Continue reading →
Last updated on 3 February 2020 by JJ Morgan

Thomas Dolman of Seisdon

Thomas Dolman was baptized in All Saints, Trysull on 8 Sep 1611 and was one of a group of minor Staffordshire Gentry and Mercers who supported Parliament in the Civil War. He served on the Parliamentary Committee at Stafford in 1643 and worked closely with William Bendy. Continue reading →
Last updated on 2 August 2019 by JJ Morgan

William Pynson of Wolverhampton

William Pynson of Wolverhampton left a will with probate in 1670. He was an attorney and is connected to a number of the families discussed on this site. His will is particularly interesting as it names so many of his relatives. Continue reading →
Last updated on 27 February 2020 by JJ Morgan

Ann Cookes of West Bromwich

Ann Cookes, a widow of West Bromwich, left a will in 1645 that lists a large number of bequests that cover important family lines discussed on this site. She was evidently childless but the list of legacies indicates that she was a close relation to the Darby and Finch families. She is very likely the widow of Henry Cookes of Handsworth, who left a will in 1642, and the marriage date would appear to be before 1607. Continue reading →
Last updated on 10 May 2019 by JJ Morgan

Thomas Bradley of the Wood, Sedgley

In Dugdale’s 1663 Visitation of Staffordshire  the Bradley family (disclaimed 1664) is traced back to a Thomas Bradley of Baggeridge Forest (‘The Wood’) in Sedgley, Staffordshire. Later on, this Bradley family are simply all described as of ‘the Wood’ in Sedgley. Continue reading →
Last updated on 1 May 2019 by JJ Morgan

Thomas Elwall of Ettingshall, Sedgley

Thomas Elwall, yeoman of Ettingshall, died in early 1716 leaving a will written in 1712. Here he lists his four children as Thomas Elwall, Edward Elwall, Elizabeth Gibbens and Mary Elwall. The following sequence of baptisms can be found in the All Saints, Sedgley Parish register viz. Thomas (bap 21 Aug 1673), Edward (bap 9 Nov 1676), Elizabeth (No Baptism found), Mary (bap 22 Oct 1670) Continue reading →
Last updated on 28 March 2019 by JJ Morgan

John Shaw of Kingswinford, 1606-1674

This article is designed to disambiguate some of the ‘John Shaws’ alive in Dudley and the surrounding areas in the early Seventeenth Century. It focuses on the John Shaw, who Richard Shaw describes as his ‘natural son’ in his 1657 will and is also described as his ‘natural brother’ in the 1646 will of Richard Shaw, the younger. His position amongst Richard Shaw’s children is a little enigmatic. Continue reading →
Last updated on 10 May 2019 by JJ Morgan

Chester Racecard, 1766

This early Racecard comes from the archive of the Evans family, later of the Red Lion Inn, Wolverhampton. It may have belonged to John Evans. It is evidence of an early interest in horses and a foretaste for the extensive stable kept by the Evans family in Wolverhampton. Later the family were certainly keen sportsmen, but they also required the stable for the major Coaching Inn running the stages from Wednesbury to the Red Lion and on out to Albrighton. Continue reading →
Last updated on 5 February 2019 by E Morgan

Joyce Rugeley of Moor Hall

Joyce Rugeley must have been born about 1480 and was descended from the Rugeley family of Dunton in Warwickshire. The Rugeley ancestry is somewhat erratically recorded in the contemporary Heraldic Visitations of Warwickshire of 1619 and it is not altogether clear exactly where she fits in. She died and left a will in 1553.  Importantly she married twice and was widowed twice. Her two husbands were wealthy and extremely well connected. This kind of widowhood was in reality the only way a woman in Tudor times could gain important independent social status. Continue reading →
Last updated on 31 January 2019 by JJ Morgan

Molly uncovers the news of her brother’s death

Captain Charles Wilmot Evans of the 6th South Staffordshires was killed on 1 Jul 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. At the time, his sister Molly Evans was working at the No 2 General hospital in Le Havre. Below are extracts from her diary that chronicle how she found out the news and how it affected those around her. It contrasts with the account of this very same episode narrated in Alan MacDonald’s Book, “Lack of Offensive Spirit” which is based on the records of her letters to the War Office. Continue reading →
Last updated on 25 January 2020 by JJ Morgan