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Stephen Summerhill’s occupation

  • 9 February 2011

I know from the baptisms/birthplaces of his children that Stephen Summerhill moved from Saul, Gloucestershire to Tipton, Staffordshire sometime between 1822 and 1825. I’m trying to establish where he might have worked as it looks as if he might have been at Springvale Furnaces (later Bilston Steelworks) c. 1833, a tin shearer at Wilden by 1841, a tin shearer at Wolverhampton by 1851 (living in St Matthew’s district), at Farfield, Kidderminster in 1861, still listed as a tin shearer at the age of 69.

He died in 1862 and the entry for him in the probate calendar indicates that he was “formerly of Falling Sands but late of Farfield”. Presumably, he was at Falling Sands sometime between 1851 and 1861. There is a wonderful account of life at Falling Sands Lock around the time of the Second World War – I suspect it hadn’t changed all that much in the meantime. The author notes the lock as being on the main canal, linking Wilden with the Black Country, which may explain how they all came to move so frequently.

I would like to know what job Stephen did in Saul. A colleague with family links to the Forest of Dean area has been told in her family that many people from this area moved from mining into the iron and steel industries. This could explain the move from rural Gloucestershire to the Black Country.

To do list:

  • Find daughter Charlotte’s baptism c. 1814, Saul, Gloucestershire and note father’s occupation – UPDATE: baptism doesn’t appear to be listed
  • Find baptism of son Stephen at Tipton, 3rd April 1825 and note father’s occupation
  • Plot migration on Google maps mashup (this may have to wait until I have time to learn a bit about Javascript and how to work with Google’s API)

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