Thomas Madstard, Mercer, of Stourbridge

Thomas Madstard was a wealthy merchant based in Elizabethan Stourbridge. He died and left a will dated 1587. His wife, Mary, and unmarried second daughter, Ann, also left wills, from which we can build a picture of their life and family. Continue reading →
Last updated on 13 January 2020 by JJ Morgan

RIchard Crosse of Sedgley

The Court of Chancery document C2/JasI/C24/13 in the National Archives perhaps provides some intriguing evidence about the relationship between the Crosse family and the Whitehouse family in Coseley, in the parish of Sedgley, Staffordshire, in the mid 17th century. Continue reading →
Last updated on 26 January 2020 by JJ Morgan

William Baker of Coseley

William Baker, a yeoman of Coseley, died and left a will in 1696. This will identifies him as the father of Elizabeth Shaw the wife of Richard Shaw of Cinder Hill, Sedgley. Elizabeth Baker had married Richard Shaw on 9 Nov 1691 in All Saints Sedgley. Continue reading →
Last updated on 6 December 2019 by JJ Morgan

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

Beacon Lodge Photos, 1920s

Here is a collection of 1920s photos from Mary Downing‘s album “Beacon Lodge & Surroundings”. After the First World War the Beacon remained a shooting lodge for William Edmund Downing. But more pictures of picnics and walks suggest that it also became a regular place to visit for Noel and Molly Downing and their young family until 1939. Continue reading →
Last updated on 5 January 2021 by E 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