Tips for Black Country Research

Moderators: Northern Lass, admin, peterd

Tips for Black Country Research

Postby mumbles » Fri May 24, 2013 5:34 pm

Can anyone add to these tips ?

1 ) On 1841 Census ages of adults over 15 were rounded down to nearest multiple of 5. Therefore when searching add 5
2) On all Census records childrens ages were often noted as 15 or more as higher pay rates could be obtained
3) On 1871 Census ages were required to be entered as age next birthday and this confused people and ages were often all over the place
4) Birthdays were not celebrated the way they are today as concept of Birthday Parties was introduced Victoria and Albert. As such people did not often have an accurate idea of when they were born
5) Surnames were often subject to considerable variation or amended by addition or subtraction of a letter or letters. E.g. Brook, Broke, Brookes,, Brooks
6) Christian names were often amended or from census to census ( even from birth registered name) e.g William Edwin Brookes could change to Edwin William Brookes or even just Edwin Brookes or just William Brookes . Christian names in a particular family were often kept down the generations with children named after grandparents or aunts or uncles
Always check registered name if possible.
7) County Boundaries often changed back and forth throughout 19th Century
e.g. a) Halesowen was in Shropshire in 1841 and in Worcestershire in rest of 19th Century
b) Parts of Stourbridge were in Worcestershire and parts in Staffordshire back and forth throughout 19th Century
c) Blackheath was mostly in Rowley Regis Dudley Staffs. But on odd Census records parts came under West Bromwich Staffordshire
d) Kings Norton can be found variously in Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire . This confused people and they often did not know what to put as county of birth e.g.
Oldbury Worcestershire often quoted as Oldbury Staffordshire.
7) Population was surprisingly mobile and whilst some families remained in same streets or districts many Black Country families followed traditional industries such as Steel, Coal,& Bricklaying all over UK to places such as Durham, Sheffield,,Stockton & South Wales. Some remained at new locations but some returned to Black Country ( or children did).
If family disappears from Census it is often because they have emigrated so look at overseas records or immigration/travel records
8) Servants on Census records are of specific interest as often were relatives or went went on to marry into resident family
9) Boarders or Lodgers are of interest as yet again may be relatives ( close or distant)
10) “ or was often confused with “Step.son. or “Step.daughter
11) Witnesses on marriage records are of interest as may give clues ast relatives or marriages of relatives on past or future
12) Children born out of wedlock can be confusing as many variations or options were available or used
a) Some children were born out of wedlock well before mothers subsequent marriage and often were not children by subsequent husband but assume his surname
b) With some children born out of wedlock parents married shortly after birth and although registered in mothers name they then assume fathers name afterwards
c) Some children born out of wedlock are shown on census as children of grandparents ( even though too old) and are actually children of one of their daughters.
d) Some mothers had children out of wedlock and children assumed mothers surname. After initial census records showing as single these mothers often entered later census records as
widowed even though never married
14) Close relatives e.g. Cousins or Step.brothers & Sisters or and often married
15 often re-married making it difficult to trace birth names or marriages of children
16) Wills are available on Ancestry and can often be used to confirm Relationships/ Relatives and addresses
17) Addresses are important as often families remained at same address throughout 19th century or houses were passed on to children
18) Always look at houses next door or even a few doors away as relatives of family researching could be quite close
19) Step.children or children born out of wedlack often changed surnames back & forth as parents married or re-married. Some reverted to original registered surname when they themselves married. Parents who married two or three times often left original children behind .
20) A large number of duplicate records have been found i.e. Persons staying away from home are recorded as at home as well .
21) Occupations are important in Black Country records as families tended to stay in trade or pass on down the generations.
e.g. Coal Miners, Stone Miners, Puddlers & Iron Workers, Butchers & Victuallers , Nail Makers & Forgers, Brickmakers, Bricklayers
22) These traditional Black Country trades came mostly in period from 1841 Census onwards and in 1841 and 1851 one can see evidence that large numbers of population came from country areas around Black Country such as Shropshire and Worcestershire as some still worked as Agricutural Labourers
Posts: 4733
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:55 pm

Re: Tips for Black Country Research

Postby Northern Lass » Fri May 24, 2013 7:02 pm

Thanks Mumbles

User avatar
Northern Lass
Posts: 42727
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:12 am

Re: Tips for Black Country Research

Postby mumbles » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:29 am

Further tips.
1) Divorce for general public was very difficult in pre-20th Century as could only be afforded by wealthy. Obtained through private members bill in Parliament ( Expensive) . As such people tended to separate and move away and marry bigamously
2) Christian names were very often changed around in many combinations. e.g. John William could be William John or John or William or sometimes Jack or something entirely different
Posts: 4733
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:55 pm

Re: Tips for Black Country Research

Postby oldun » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:00 pm

Thank you Mumbles it's very useful to know.
What other people think of me is none of my business
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:58 pm

Return to Tips for Genealogical Research

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests