On Monday 3rd February 1862, a collier called Isaac Summerhill appeared at the Petty Sessions court in Kidderminster, charged with allowing his wife and children to become chargeable to the parish of Dudley. His family had been in the workhouse since 5th January. The court didn’t believe his defence of being unable to find work and he was sentenced to 14 days’ hard labour.

Workhouse register indexes at Dudley Archives indicate that his wife was Priscilla (née Pool) and his children were Elizabeth, Amelia, Sarah Jane, Hannah, Comfort Priscilla and Esther.

I have traced back another couple of generations but have yet to find a link between this Isaac and my Summerhill line. I’m fairly sure there must be a connection as Isaac Summerhill is a family name (I have ten of them in the family tree) and Isaac’s father (also Isaac) was born in Bristol in 1779 and had moved to Dudley by 1818 when he got married. My Summerhills moved from just outside Bristol (Saul and Frampton-on-Severn) to Tipton between 1822 and 1825.

TO DO: Visit Dudley Archives and check the workhouse registers for additional details; visit Worcestershire Record Office at the Hive and check the Petty Sessions court records.

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