Background to my family history research
I began my family history research in the early 1990s and unexpectedly found that I soon became addicted, even in those pre-Internet times. I think it happened when I obtained a copy of my grandfather’s birth certificate and found out the names of my great-grandparents, which I hadn’t known before. I also discovered that they had lived in a number of small villages in Staffordshire – Swindon, Pattingham and Wombourne. This led me to find out all I could about their lives and try to set it in some kind of local and national context.
I found I have a particular interest in migration patterns – where and when people moved, and the circumstances surrounding the move. This is an area I should like to research in more detail when I have time.
Staffordshire and Worcestershire migration
Apart from a brief foray into Yorkshire (Rawmarsh, near Rotherham) most of the families I have been tracing have been in the West Midlands area of England for at least the last 200 years. The WILLIAMS family moved from Shropshire to Staffordshire and Worcester, then back to Staffordshire. When they did move, it was to follow work and move to different factories belonging to the same company. I did some research into the relative migration patterns of iron workers and farm labourers in Staffordshire for an Open University course using my family history information.
The CORNS family have remained in Wombourne, Staffordshire from 1700 to the present day.
The CRUMP family have lived in Wolverhampton from at leas the early 1800s to the present day.
The JONES family moved from Ellesmere, Shropshire to live in Pattingham, Staffordshire during the 1830s and were there until at least the 1960s.
The HADEN/YEADON family lived in the Heath Town and Wednesfield areas of Wolverhampton from the 1850s to the present day, having moved from the Old Swinford (Stourbridge) area.
The BALDWIN family have been in the Stourport/Kidderminster area since at least the late 1770s.
The SUMMERHILL family seem to have been the most mobile of my direct lines. They appear in parish registers in various South Gloucestershire villages near Bristol in the 16th century, and moved from Gloucestershire to Staffordshire and Worcestershire in the 1820s. One side branch moved to Wales c. 1860 and to Scotland (one branch moved there c. 1864, another followed c. 1880, with about 5 years in Italy from c. 1890) . One branch of the Summerhills moved from Gloucestershire to Wales c. 1860 and, after a brush with the law, emigrated to the USA c. 1865.
Members of the FERN family seem to have moved from Braunston, Northamptonshire to the Wednesfield area of Staffordshire c. 1820.
I haven’t done very much research on the MOORE family, which moved from somewhere in Warwickshire (possibly Nuneaton) to Wednesfield in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire, sometime between about 1804 and 1836.