18th Century

Adam Read, Barber Surgeon of Dudley

Adam Read was a Barber Surgeon in Dudley, who lived from approximately 1658 to 1717. He left a will dated 20 Jan 1716/17, which clarifies a number of points about his life Continue reading →
Last updated on 5 June 2018 by JJ Morgan

Thomas Bissell

Thomas Bissell of Lyndon Green was born in about 1699 and left a will dated 28 Sep 1763 and executed in 1765. Continue reading →
Last updated on 19 January 2018 by JJ Morgan

John Thompson

John Thompson was a locksmith from Coseley in the parish of Sedgley, near Dudley. He was probably baptised on 24 Feb 1716/17 and was buried on 27 Apr 1807, both in All Saints Sedgley. This would have made him 90 years old.  Continue reading →
Last updated on 12 January 2018 by JJ Morgan

Joseph Whitehouse

Joseph Whitehouse, nailer, of Coseley left a will written on 14 Mar 1727/28. He was probably baptized on 11 May 1682 in All Saints Sedgley, the youngest son of Thomas Whitehouse, a yeoman and nailer. Continue reading →
Last updated on 1 January 2018 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 ‘the Portway’ in Rowley Regis. Continue reading →
Last updated on 8 January 2018 by JJ Morgan

John Bagnall

John Bagnall, the elder, was baptized in St Leonard’s Broseley on 4 Nov 1730. In his will of 1800 he describes himself as a yeoman of Darlaston, some 40 miles to the east. This description though, is a little misleading as it might imply that he earned his living largely through agriculture. We can be pretty sure that the reason he moved to the area was because of the Coal mines that existed or were even opened by him on his land in Darlaston (probably behind Pinfold Street). His sons and grandsons helped build a number of significant Iron Works, first at Gold’s Hill, just west of Walsall, that became a major force across West Bromwich, Walsall and Tipton best known and named after the second generation, John Bagnall the younger, as “John Bagnall and Sons”. Continue reading →
Last updated on 3 May 2018 by JJ Morgan

Samuel Hellier

Samuel Hellier, grandfather to Sir Samuel Hellier, lived from 1672 to 1727. He was the son of Samuel Hellier, a London Merchant and his wife Lydia. There were to be four generations of Samuel Helliers in a row, and each of the first three had a single surviving son, called Samuel to continue the family name. This is significant because when the fourth and last, Sir Samuel Hellier came to write his will in 1784 he was a bachelor and had no first or even second Hellier cousins to whom to leave his vast accumulated estate and also considerable debts.  Continue reading →
Last updated on 29 October 2018 by JJ Morgan

Sir Samuel Hellier

Samuel Hellier was baptized in St Clement Danes, London on 18 Nov 1736, the son of Samuel Hellier, a Staffordshire landowner, barrister and antiquary. He was knighted in 1762, after serving as High Sheriff of Worcestershire in 1760 and making a well received speech on the birth of the Prince of Wales, the future George IV. His father, who died in 1751, had accumulated estates across Staffordshire and Worcestershire, including the new family seat of the Wodehouse, Wombourne. Sir Samuel was also the heir, through his mother, of the Huntbach’s family estates at Featherstone, but did not inherit until his dowager grandmother died in 1782. He himself died two years later bequeathing everything to Rev Thomas Shaw. Continue reading →
Last updated on 22 October 2018 by JJ Morgan

Daniel Shaw

Daniel Shaw was baptized on 28 Feb 1681 on St Thomas, Dudley the eldest son of Oliver Shaw and Alice Jellians. He left a will dated 11 Oct 1739 that describes him as a Mercer of Dudley and names his surviving children as Daniel (bap Nov 1708), James (bap 27 Aug 1710), Frances (bap 15 Jul 1712) and Read (b c1717). This allows us to identify him as the father of James Shaw, attorney and early mine entrepreneur, of Dudley and determine the ancestral lineage of Mary Shaw, wife of Rev Thomas Shaw-Hellier. Continue reading →
Last updated on 27 April 2018 by JJ Morgan

Jane Walford

Jane Walford married Jeremiah Thomings on 7 Oct 1759 at St Laurence, Northfield to the South West of Birmingham. Jane is almost certainly closely related to the Walford family of ironmongers from Birmingham but it is difficult to place exactly how. Continue reading →
Last updated on 31 March 2018 by JJ Morgan

Ann Toovey

Ann Toovey married William Rolles in All Hallows Church in the City of London in 1686. Both their families were from the Turville area on the edge of the Chilterns. Continue reading →
Last updated on 24 September 2017 by JJ Morgan

William Payne

William Payne was probably born around 1670 not far from Thame in Oxfordshire. We know a fair bit about him from various records most notably his will of 1747. He was a glover and clearly ran a successful business as a master glover and breeches maker in the small Oxfordshire market town of Thame where he lived for over fifty years. The glove trade was closely related to the tanning business that was to be a theme repeated in the subsequent generations notably with John Warmington. He was part of the class of literate tradesmen with a progressive and perhaps non-conformist outlook that was typical in a small market town like Thame. Other related trades are currier (curing leather) and fellmongerer (stripping and dealing sheep hides) Continue reading →
Last updated on 25 September 2017 by JJ Morgan

William Styles

William Styles was baptized in Grafton Flyford, Worcestershire on 29 Aug 1771. He was the third eldest surviving son of Thomas Styles, latterly the inn keeper of the Crown Inn in Stone Staffordshire. Continue reading →
Last updated on 12 October 2018 by JJ Morgan

Jeremiah Thomings

Jeremiah Thomings was baptised in Kingswinford on 10 Mar 1733, the son of David and Sarah Thomings. We know a little about him because of the wills of two of his brothers as well as a host of details from various parish registers. Continue reading →
Last updated on 31 March 2018 by JJ Morgan

Joseph Showell

Joseph Showell was baptized on 18 Aug 1769 in St Edburgha’s in Yardley to the East of the then small town of Birmingham. His father was Thomas Rhodes Showell, a victualler and his mother Mary Bissell, from nearby Bickenhill. The Showells came from a stock of middling yeoman farmers based around Sheldon, Coventry and Monks Kirby. Joseph’s grandparents – Joseph Showell and Elizabeth Rhodes were married in St Edburghas in 1729. His grandson Walter Showell, the brewer clearly felt a strong affinity to his heritage in Birmingham and its past, when he famously published the Dictionary of Birmingham in 1885. Continue reading →
Last updated on 9 October 2017 by JJ Morgan

John Hartill

John Hartill was a relatively wealthy merchant and tradesman in Dudley (c1735-1812). It is not clear when and where he was born, but there is good reason to believe he is descended from one of the many Hartill families of nearby Willenhall. Continue reading →
Last updated on 25 September 2017 by JJ Morgan

Edward Bagnall

Edward Bagnall was baptized at St Leonard’s, Broseley in Shropshire on 22 Mar 1761. He was the third of four sons of John Bagnall and Margaret Dixon. John Bagnall is described as a mining engineer , significant because Broseley was at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution, just a mile or so from Coalbrookdale and the famous Ironbridge, built in 1779. The Bagnall family were to embrace the new technology of the revolution and by the time Edward and his older brother John had reached adulthood their father had established important coal and iron interests in the West Midlands, notably the Golds Hill Iron works and in and around  Darlaston and Wednesbury where the pace of industrialization was ever increasing. Continue reading →
Last updated on 12 October 2018 by JJ Morgan