Elementary my dear Watson…

Postcard view of the Grove Colliery, from whence Grove Cottages were probably names. Image from the book ‘Brownhills and Walsall Wood on old picture postcards’ by Jan Farrow.

While I’m busy today, here’s an interesting family history enquiry from Jo Clifford, who’s tracing her family which seems focussed on the Pelsall area – and I know we have lots of the Pelsall Contingent in.

Jo wrote:

Dear Bob,

I’ve been researching my family history (which is centred, for generations, around Pelsall, Bloxwich and Shelfield) and, during the course of my investigations, I came across your blog. I am not sure if it actually covers the areas I’ve mentioned exactly but I found the parts about the history of the area completely fascinating all the same.

I know it is a long shot but I wondered if you, or any of your contributors, know anything about the Watson family that were registered as living in Watson’s Lane in Pelsall in the 1901 census, at Wolverhampton Road in 1911 and at The Grove Cottages, Norton Road, Pelsall in 19030 [sic – think that’s 1930 – Bob] probate documents. The head of the family was an Enoch Watson who was a coal miner. His wife was Clara Jane.

They had many children but my direct ancestors were Harry Watson and his wife Edith (nee Nicholls) who lived at Irene Villa, Green Lane, Shelfield in 1911. Harry was a solicitors clerk at Enoch Evans & Son in Walsall (I think his boss Enoch Evans was once Mayor of Walsall and Harry was a pallbearer at Enoch’s funeral). Edith is sometimes listed as a school teacher and their children, Harry Charles, Madeline, Donald Eric (I believe Donald may have once been struck by lightning and suffered an injury that led to him dying of diabetes in 1929 but I am not sure if this is true), Joan Edith and Jean Yvonne.

Harry was my great grandfather but I know almost nothing about him.

Apologies if your expertise doesn’t cover this area but I live in Suffolk and don’t know your part of the UK at all (yet).

Many thanks, in advance, for any info you may have or any direction you could point me in.

All the best,
Jo Clifford

If you can help, please do – and thanks to Jo for a fab enquiry. Please comment here, seek me out on social media or even email on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers all!

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8 Responses to Elementary my dear Watson…

  1. Godfrey Eland says:

    The 1939 Register shows Harry Watson, Solicitors Clerk, (b1877), Edith (b1879, Jean Yvonne Hodson (b1916), living at 50 Woodend Road, Walsall. I don’t know whether this is of any help.

  2. David Evans says:

    Hello Jo

    Walsall Observer 15 June 1918 page 3;-

    “Pte Harry Chas Watson, son of Mr and Mrs H Watson, Irene Villa, Green Lane Shelfield, who was reported missing from April 10, after less than a week in France with the Lincolns , has written home stating that he is a prisoner of war at Soltan, Hanover, and is in good health”

    kind regards
    David

  3. Pedro says:

    The Walsall Observer of February 1927 reports the Golden Wedding of Mr and Mrs Watson of Wolverhampton Road, who married at Pelsall Parish Church in Jan 1877. (70 and 73). They have 4 sons and 4 daughters, 22 grandchildren, and 2 g grandchildren of MR H. Watson, a clerk at Enoch Evans.

  4. Pedro says:

    1909 Enoch was member of the “Pelsall Pride” Lodge of the Oddfellows.

  5. Jean Willey says:

    Will – Harry Charles Watson of Fordbrook Lane Pelsall, died 26 May 1965 at the Manor Hospital Walsall. Probate Birmingham – 25 June to Gordon Peter Watson, electrician. £287.

  6. Jean Willey says:

    Harry Charles Watson
    Rank: Pte
    Record Type: Disability
    Residence Place: Walsall
    Military Service Region: Midlands, England
    Service Number: 51913
    Corps, Regiment or Unit: Lincolnshire Regiment
    Service Branch: Military (Army)
    Title: PRC Ledgers
    Description: Pension Record Ledger
    Reference Number: 6/MW/No.3113
    Next of Kin:
    Name Relation to Soldier
    Harry Charles Watson

  7. Jean Willey says:

    1939 census – Harry C b.25 June 1899, Established Civil Servant, Doris E, 27 Aug 1899 and Gordon P 23 Apr 1923 electrician, plus one blanked other at 228 Pelsall Lane (Dist.Aldridge) could be Shelfield.

  8. Jean Willey says:

    It was reported in the Walsall Observer, 29 Jul 1944

    “Hospital Collectors death Mrs. Edith Watson, 54. Wood End Road. Walsall, who died recently, had been an honorary collector on .behalf of the Birmingham Hospitals Contributory Association in Shenstone for about 15 years. After she and her husband removed to Walsall she continued, this voluntary service until October last, when she was compelled ny ill-health give it up. At that time she received a grateful letter from the secretary of the association. who wrote after her death regretting the loss of such a conscientious and willing worker. Mrs. Watson was the wife of Mr. Harry Watson, who has been with Messrs. Enoch Evans and Sons, solicitors of Walsall for over 50 years. “

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