My grandfather, William Thomas Williams (known as Bill) was born in Staffordshire, as was his father, Isaac. The story in the family was that his father (whose name was unknown to the family member telling me the story) was born in Wales.
Well, the evidence I uncovered in my research didn’t quite back this up – Isaac senior was actually born in Rotherham, in Yorkshire!
His parents, James and Charlotte, had moved there briefly for work at Parkgate ironworks, but James was actually born in “Aston, Shropshire” as he consistently said on all census records during his lifetime.
Finding his birth in “Aston” was a brick wall for over 20 years but, finally, with the release of Shropshire parish registers, I was able to find reasonable proof that most people who gave Aston, Shropshire as their place of birth were actually born in Church Aston.
James moved from Shropshire to the Black Country. By 1836, he was in Wednesbury and had married Charlotte Summerhill, who had been born in Gloucestershire c. 1814, but whose family had moved to the Tipton/Bilston area in the mid-1820s. The marriage of James and Charlotte is proving elusive but I am hopeful that I shall be able to find it when the Staffordshire parish registers are released on Find My Past later in 2014.
The Williams family seem to have been limestone miners in Church Aston, and then moved into the iron trade, working for Baldwin’s in Wilden, Swindon (Staffs) and Wolverhampton. More information about their work in the iron trade will follow.
Please feel free to explore my Williams family tree and do get in touch if you think we’re related or you have any information that you think would help.