Local Genealogy

by Andrew Hill

If anyone knows anything of Churchill and Blakedown's history and  would be interested in sharing their knowledge, or if anyone has any old photos, interesting anecdotes, myths or legends about the area, it would be nice to include them on this page.  Email me at Webster

I decided to write this piece after talking to the Malc ( Webster and my Brother-In-Law ) and looking through a few books he had on Churchill and Blakedown. Hopefully most will find this information interesting and might stir someone into tracing their family history, or looking into some of the history of Blakedown and Churchill.

I thought it best to trace one couple from each village to show how easy it can be to trace a family tree. I could have done a lot more research, but it gives you an idea. I started by visiting the churches at Blakedown and Churchill and taking a few photos of graves I found there.

In Blakedown I found a grave for Joshua William Wilkinson 1867-1944 and his Brother Alfred Harry Wilkinson 1868-1945 Sons of William and Susan Wilkinson. I found them on the 1871 census first and worked forwards and backwards to find who they married etc.

1891 census
Blakedown, Worcestershire.
William Wilkinson, Head, 64, Anvil and pick iron manufacturer and justice of the peace, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Susannah Wilkinson, Wife, 65, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Elizabeth Wilkinson, Daughter, 36, Unmarried, Living at home, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Joshua Wilkinson, Son, 33, Unmarried, Clerk at home, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Muriel Wilkinson, Daughter, 28, Unmarried, Living at home, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Henry Wilkinson, Son, 24, Unmarried,  Clerk in iron works, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Catherine Hill, Granddaughter, 1, born Chaddesley, Worcestershire, Susan Shaw, Niece, 10, Scholar, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Lydsay Shaw, Nephew, 12, Scholar, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Elizabeth Ledbetter, Visitor, 32, Unmarried, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Catherine Tracy, Servant, 18, Unmarried, Cook domestic, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Matilda Coalman, Servant, 15, Housemaid domestic, born Brierley Hill, Worcestershire, Ruth Rand?, Servant, 13, Housemaid domestic, born Hagley, Worcestershire.

1881 census
Hagley, Blakedown, Worcestershire.
William Wilkinson, Head, 54, Magistrate, alderman, iron manufacturer employing 194 men and 45 boys, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Susannah Wilkinson, Wife, 55, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Elizabeth Wilkinson, Daughter, 27, unmarried, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Joshua William Wilkinson,Son, 23, Scholar, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Minnie Wilkinson, Daughter, 18, Unmarried, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Nellie Wilkinson, Daughter, 13, born Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, Clara Critchley, Servant, 25, Unmarried, Governess, born Beauford, Worcestershire, Eliza Hunt, Servant, 21, Unmarried, Cook, born Hascott, Worcestershire, Fanny Jordan, Servant, 14, Housemaid, born Hascott, Worcestershire.

1871 census
Hagley, Village, Dudley House, Worcestershire.
William Wilkinson, Head, 44, Magistrate, alderman, manufacturer employing 130 men and 50 boys, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Susannah Wilkinson, Wife, 45, born Dudley, Worcestershire,  Joshua William Wilkinson,Son, 13, Scholar, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Mary Ann Herbert, Niece, 36, Unmarried, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Ann Webb, Visitor, 74, Widow, born Bearwood, Staffordshire, Ann Richards, Servant, 26, Unmarried, Domestic servant, born Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and Mary Spriston, Servant, 26, Unmarried, Cook, born Bewdley, Worcestershire.

1861 census
Wellington Road, Dudley, Worcestershire.
Elizabeth Shaw, Head, 73, Widow, Formerly Innkeeper, born Bloxwich? Staffordshire, William Wilkinson, Boarder, 34, Married, Manufacturer employing 130 men and 61 boys, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Susannah Wilkinson, Boarder, 35, Married, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Joshua W.Wilkinson, Boarder, 3, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Hannah Holland, Servant, 24, Unmarried, Servant, born Sydenland? Oxfordshire, Emma Badger, Servant, 16, Unmarried, Servant, born Dudley, Worcestershire.

1851 census
Queen's Cross, Dudley, Worcestershire.
William Wilkinson, Head, 24, Anvil vee manufacturer, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Ann Wilkinson, Mother, 56, Widow, Dudley, Worcestershire, Elizabeth Wilkinson, Sister, 22, Unmarried, Born Dudley, Worcestershire, Joshua Wilkinson, Brother, 20, Unmarried, Anvil vice maker, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Joshua Brookbank, Nephew, 6, Scholar, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Susannah Haywood, Servant, 25, Unmarried, Servant, born Dudley, Worcestershire.

1851 census
High Street, Dudley, Worcestershire.
Elizabeth Shaw, Head, 63, Widow, Maltster, born Bloxwich, Staffordshire, Susan Shaw, Daughter, 25, Unmarried, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Gilbert Shaw, Son, 23, Unmarried, Maltster, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Thomas Shaw, Son, 20, Unmarried, Pattern maker, Born Dudley, Worcestershire, Eliza Hadcock, Servant, 29, Unmarried, Servant, born Dudley, Worcestershire, Caroline Clayton, Servant, 19, Unmarried, Servant, born Dudley, Worcestershire.

1841 census
High Street, Dudley, Worcestershire.
Obadiah Shaw, Head, 60, Victualler, born in Worcestershire, Elizabeth Shaw, 50, not born in Worcestershire, William Shaw, 25, born in Worcestershire, Gilbert Shaw, 13, born in Worcestershire, Thomas Shaw, 10, born in Worcestershire, Susan Shaw, 15, born in Worcestershire.

1841 census
High Street, Dudley, Worcestershire.
Joshua Wilkinson, 45, Vicemaker, born in Worcestershire, Ann Wilkinson, 45, born in Worcestershire, William Wilkinson, 14, born in Worcestershire, Susannah Wilkinson, 15, born in Worcestershire, Joshua Wilkinson, 11, born Worcestershire, Mary Walker, 20, Female servant, not born in Worcestershire.

From I.G.I. (International Genealogy Index) and G.R.O. (General Registry Office)
William Wilkinson married Susannah Shaw December Quarter 1851 Dudley 18 437.
Gilbert Read Shaw born 30/1/1828 ch 8/11/1829 St Thomas's Church, Dudley.
Parents: Obadiah and Elizabeth Shaw.
Thomas Charles Shaw born 8/9/1829 ch 10/10/1830 St Thomas's Church, Dudley.
Parents: Obadiah and Elizabeth Shaw.
Susannah Shaw ch 27/4/1828 Chebsey, Staffordshire. Parents: Obadiah and
Elizabeth Shaw.
Obadiah Gilbert Shaw married Elizabeth Dace 5/10/1824 Chebsey,
Obadiah Gilbert Shaw death registered December Quarter 1847 Dudley 18 212.
Children of Joshua and Ann Wilkinson: Mary Ann ch 26/5/1822, Hannah ch
24/10/1824, William ch 6/8/1826, Elizabeth ch 1/2/1829 and Joshua ch
27/2/1831 all christened at St Thomas's Church, Dudley.

Note the numbers after the place name are the volume number and page where
they appear in the register.

In Churchill churchyard I found a grave of Mary wife of Thomas Ellis 1872 aged 52. So I took a look at the census returns for Churchill and found the family. I looked at 1871 census first and then worked backwards, then forwards. I paid for few months to use Ancestry.com, which allowed me to view and printout the census returns. It is surname indexed to a good degree of accuracy, so made it alot quicker and I could research from home. Ancestry.com is still a very good site to use as you can trawl through the Births, Deaths and Marriages for free as a guest. The 1881 census and I.G.I. (Church records of Christenings and Marriages dating along way back) records are free to view at The Latterday Saints site: www.familysearch.org

Census returns can be viewed at www.ancestry.com     at a fee per month of about £9.95.

1891 census
Cottage Churchill.
Thomas Ellis, Head, 70, Horse waggoner born Amblecote, Staffordshire, Sarah Ellis, Wife, 69, born Sutton, Shropshire.

1881 census
Churchill next to, "Churchill Court".Thomas Ellis, Head, 62, Agricultural labourer, born Amblecote, Worcestershire, Sarah Ellis, Wife, 59, born Sutton, Shropshire.

"Galton" Belbroughton.
John Foxall, Head, 30, Labourer in Scythe works born Belbroughton, Worcestershire, Emma Foxall, Wife, 31, born Belbroughton, Worcestershire, Emma Foxall, Daughter, 11, Scholar born Belbroughton, Worcestershire, William H. Foxall, Son, 10, Scholar born Belbroughton, Worcestershire, John Foxall, Son, 9, Scholar born Belbroughton, Worcestershire, Charles E. Foxall, 6, Scholar born Belbroughton, Worcestershire, Thomas Foxall, Son, 5, Scholar born Belbroughton, Worcestershire and George Foxall, Son, 2 months, born Belbroughton, Worcestershire.

"Middleton Villa" Chiswick, Middlesex.
Jane Grasebrook, Head, Widow, 73, Annuitant born Worcester, Henry Grasebrook, Son, 44, Barrister (not in practice) also examiner of accounts at Treasury County court born Worcester, Charles Grasebrook, Son visitor, 33, Cab proprietor, born Pedmore, Worcestershire, Esther Ellis, Servant, 25, Cook domestic servant born Churchill, Worcestershire and Martha Hawkins, Servant, 18, Housemaid born Collingbourne, Wiltshire.

Dunsley (next to Dunsley Manor Farmhouse), Kinver.
William Ellis, Head, 34, Agricultural labourer born Blakedown, Worcestershire, Hannah Ellis, Wife, 36, born Lincoln, Edwin Ellis, Son, 7, Scholar born Churchill, Worcestershire, Martha Ellis, Daughter, 5, born Kinver (Stourton), Staffordshire, Esther Ellis, Daughter, 3, born Churchill ( urton ), Staffordshire and Edith Mary Ellis, Daughter, 8 months born Kinver, Staffordshire.

1871 census
Living next to the, "Barn" in Churchill.
Thomas Ellis, Head, 56, Agricultural labourer born Amblecote Staffordshire, Mary Ellis, Wife, 40, born Hagley, Worcestershire, William Ellis, Son, 23, Wagonner born Hagley, Worcestershire, Ester Ellis, Daughter, 16,  Scholar born Churchill, Worcestershire and Emma Foxall, Visitor, 1, born Belbroughton, Worcestershire.

1861 census
Living in cottage next to, "High House Farm", Churchill.
Thomas Ellis, Head, 45,  Waggoner born in Old Swinford, Worcestershire, Mary Ellis, Wife, 37, born in Hagley, Worcestershire, Thomas Ellis, Son, 13, Waggoner's lad born Hagley, Worcestershire, Emma Ellis, Daughter, 11, Scholar born Hagley, Worcestershire, Esther Ellis, Daughter, 7, Scholar born Hagley, Worcestershire and Mary Ellis, Daughter, 4 born Churchill, Worcestershire.

1851 census
Thomas Ellis, Head, 28, Waggoner born France (British subject), Mary Ellis,Wife, 25, born Hagley, Worcestershire, Thomas Ellis, Son, 3 born
Hagley, Worcestershire and Emma Ellis, 1,  born Hagley, Worcestershire.

So we see some interesting things. Their ages vary quite a lot between census returns. Thomas Ellis b 1848 was also known as William Ellis. After Mary Ellis's death Thomas remarried a Sarah Evans ( believed to be Evan Evans widow ?) March Quarter 1875 Kidderminster 6C 251. Also that in 1851 Thomas Ellis is given born in France.
Looking at the G.R.O. marriages we see that Emma Ellis b 1850 married John Foxall June Quarter 1869 Kidderminster 6C 245. Thomas Ellis married Sarah Evans March Quarter 1875 Kidderminster 6C 251. William Ellis Married Hannah Taylor December Quarter 1872 Kidderminster 6C 405.

Sarah Ellis death registered December Quarter 1893 Kidderminster 6C 129. age 77. Thomas Ellis death registered June Quarter 1894 Kidderminster 6C 97. age 71. These are more than likely Sarah and Thomas, but I cannot be 100%.

One of the most important places in a small village is the pub and Blakedown has two !
The "Swan" is an 18th century Inn built around 1760 and appeared on early plans of Blakedown. The landlord in 1837 was Thomas Hopkins and from 1890 - 1900 it was George Willey. From 1900-1925 Thomas Davies had it and 1925-1938 Thomas Davies's Widow Eleanor kept it after his death.

1841 census shows Thomas Hopkins 30, Inn keeper, not born in the County, Esther Hopkins, 30, not born in the County, William Hopkins, 6, born in Worcestershire, Esther Hopkins, 4, born in Worcestershire and Harriott Hopkins, 1, born in Worcestershire.

1851 census tells us that Thomas Hopkins, 43, Inn keeper, was born in Bauchamwell, Norfolk and Esther Hopkins, 44, was born in Burton, Shropshire.

1861 census shows Richard Griffiths 33, Inn keeper, born Cleobury Mortimer, Caroline Griffiths, 34, born Kingswinford, Ann Griffiths, 9, born Kingswinford, Caroline Griffiths, 4, born Oldswinford, Richard Griffiths, 4, born Oldswinford, Mary Griffiths, 1, born Hagley, Thomas Hodgkiss, 74, Wood sawyer, born Alveley and Mary Hodgkiss, 59, born Alveley.
Note there is a James Griffiths, Head, 47, and his Wife Mary Griffiths, 39 in the village and his occupation is given as a Brewer, so may have been Richard's relative and working with him ?

1881 census Elizabeth Griffiths, 45, Inn keeper, born Kidderminster was a widow.

1891 census George Willey, Head, 48, Victualler, born Kidderminster, Worcestershire, Catherine Willey, Wife, 44, born Kidderminster, Worcestershire and their children.

1901 census Thomas Davies, Head, 38, Publican, born Stourport, Worcestershire, Ellen Davies, Wife, 37, born Kidderminster, Worcestershire and their children.

"The Old House At Home" did not exist in 1833, but by 1837 Benjamin Christopher occupied it.

1841 census Benjamin Christopher's occupation is given as a Millwright. It was a beerhouse for a number of years before it was named and so was only known by the landlord's name. A directory of 1873 is the first to name it, "Old House" when it was being run by William Maybury. Some of this information was taken from the excellent, "A Pictorial History Of Churchill And Blakedown." by Churchill and Blakedown Parish council. Interestingly from the 1851 census there is a William Mayberry, 19, Son of Charles and Harriot Mayberry, all born Stourbridge and living next door to Benjamin Christopher in Blakedown. 1871 census has William Maybury aged 49 and born Stourbridge, so more than likely the same William Maybury ?

1851 census Benjamin Christopher, Head, 49, Millwright, born Hagley, Worcestershire, Sarah Christopher, Wife, 44?, born Bradley, Worcestershire and their children.

1861 census Phillip Baynton, 46, Inn keeper, born Clent, Mary A. Baynton, 36, born Stourbridge, William Baynton, 11, Scholar, born Tipton, George Baynton, 9, Scholar, born Tipton, Thomas Baynton, 6, Scholar, born Churchill, Charles Baynton, 4, born Churchill.

1891 Elizabeth Maybury, Head, 58, Widow, Publican, born Hagley, Worcestershire, Clara Christopher, 27, Niece, House keeper, born West Bromwich, Staffordshire, Effie Wilkins, Niece, 13, born Werst Bromwich, Staffordshire and Ambrose J. Christopher, Visitor, 56, Storekeeper and bottle? manufacturer, born Hagley, Worcestershire.

1901 Joseph Gaurdson? Head, 49, Inn keeper pub, born Lye, Worcestershire, Clara Perry, Niece, 24, House keeper domestic, born Southport, Lancashire, Elizabeth Doyle, Niece, 15, General servant, born Blakedown, Worcestershire.

I am busy researching my own family tree, but I will try to help others if possible ? Be patient please. e-mail me at: benny_hill100@hotmail.com