From Shire Oak to way out West: Can you help with this family history?

Hednesford Road Brownhills West – nowadays, the building on the right is the Thai Lanna restaurant, but back then was The Wilkin Inn, affectionately known as The Monkey. This is a scene Charles and Catherine would recognise. Image from ‘Memories of Old Brownhills’ By Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

It’s about time we got back to some local history here, so here’s a nice one for the family historians and archive diggers for a wet spring weekend. So sorry for the lack of posts lately: I am very busy with work and not possessed of the energy I was ten years ago, sadly

Reader Pat Ward has been in touch, looking for some help untangling her family tree, which has Brownhills West and Shire Oak connections.

I’ll let Pat explain:

Dear Bob,

I wonder if any of your readers could help me please.

My cousin Max is researching the family tree, but he has not been able to find anything out about the brothers and sisters of our Grandfather Charles Aldridge who was born 5th March 1882 at Norton Canes.

His father was Robert Aldridge Born 1851 at Penkridge.

My grandfather was married to Catherine Caulton who came from Shire Oaks, Brownhills.

When they married they moved in with Catherine’s mother in Hednesford Road, Brownhills where they had four children and then moved to Coventry with three of their children and leaving behind with her grandmother my mother Evelyn and after moving to Coventry had eleven more children.

Pat Ward

Nw, perhaps the old hands can help a bit here as the name Charles Aldridge sounds very familiar, and I can’t put my finger on why: So I’m wondering if any of the blog elders here can enlighten me.

It would be most excellent if we could help Pat and Max find out more about their family and I’m sure readers will do their best to rise to the challenge.

Thanks to Pat for an interesting enquiry.

If you can help, please do: Either comment here, mail me on BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com or whisper in my ear on social media. Thanks to everyone for their patience in the face of my apparent lethargy!

Hednesford Road looking into the camera from the photo at the top of the article: It was, back then, a street of dense housing and a tightly. knit community of it’s own, quite distinct from the rest of Brownhills. From ‘Memories of BrownhillsPast’ by Clarice Mayo and Geoff Harrington.

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21 Responses to From Shire Oak to way out West: Can you help with this family history?

  1. Pedro says:

    I presume you have the information from Ancestry site? If not we can reproduce.
    Interesting that in 1891 Robert Aldridge was a Haulage Engine Driver, and in 1901 Charles is down as Engine tender, Later in 1911 as a Mechanical Engineer, Colliery.

    At that time he had 2 children
    and living at 31 Green St.

  2. andkindred says:

    As Pedro points out, finding Charles in the 1891 census is easy enough (via Ancestry, and presumably other online providers). At the time there were 5 other siblings. They lived at High Street, Norton Canes.

    There are several trees on Ancestry belonging to people researching this family. One has 7 other siblings, though details for some are scant.

    Best wishes

  3. Jean Willey says:

    In 1891 the family were living in High Street Norton Canes
    Robert Aldridge 39 Hauling engine driver.
    wife Elizabeth 35, children William 16, Robert 14, both born Cannock, Charles 9, Louisa 7, Sydney 4, Julia 1 + Albert (on 1901 census aged 9 and now living on Watling Street) born Norton.

    William married Elizabeth Green 1899 in West Bromwich
    1901 William (colliery blacksmith) and Elizabeth lived at 238 Beeches Road West Bromwich
    With daughter Dorothy Louise 1 and Sydney Albert 1 month born West Bromwich.
    1911 William (mechanical engineer) and Elizabeth lived at Hamstead House Great Barr with their children plus daughter Gladys May 7 b.West Bromwich and widowed mother in law Eliza Green 70.

    Dorothy Louise married Ernest Evans 1922 West Bromwich
    1939 census Dorothy (b.13 Dec 1900) and Ernest (23 June 1901), fitter, Vice Hand, Metal worker, were living at Hamstead House Great Barr with William Aldridge (b 29 Nov 1875) Colliery Engineer.
    There are two blanks on this census which indicated that these people are still alive, they could be Dorothy and Ernest’s son Ernest b.1923 and daughter Edna, b. 1930.

    Sydney Albert Aldridge (B.14 Feb 1901) married Winifred M Holmes (B.9 June 1905) in 1930 West Bromwich
    1939 census they are lodging at The Hamstead Farm Top James Road West Bromwich with their son William b. 24 June 1930. Albert is a colliery mechanic. William Thomas Aldridge b. 24 June 1930 died 1991 Birmingham.

    Gladys May Aldridge (15 Jan 1904) married Horace Benjamin Hitchins 1927 West Bromwich.
    Gladys May Hitchins died 1990 Sandwell.
    1939 census Gladys May is living with Horace Hitchins (b. 30 May 1903 died 1961) There are two blanks at this address. Maybe Gladys and Horace’s children Albert H b. 1930 and Colin 1939.

  4. Jean Willey says:

    Robert Aldridge (B.1876) married Florence Elizabeth Keziah Marklew 17 Feb. 1899 at Ogley Hay (this could be Brownhills parish church)

    1901 They lived with their son Frank W. Aldridge aged 1, on Watling Street next door to Henry Marklew 55 widr. a coal hewer b. Polesworth.
    Robert was also a coal hewer.

    1911- Robert (Coal miner loader) and Florence lived at Marklew Villa Watling street with their ADOPTED son Frank W Meacham Aldridge (Mother Theresa Meacham) 11 and their daughter Gladys May 8 and Henry Marklew 64 (school caretaker) There was a son Robert H Aldridge 1912.

    1939 census Robert Aldridge b.18 Nov 1877) and Florence ( 23 Sep. 1873) lived at 139 Watling Street with son Bert public works contractor, painter.(b.28 Mar 1815), Bert’s wife, Dorothy (11 July 1815)and their daughter Shirley (B.16 Apr. 1936)

    Robert died in 1956. Florence died 1963

    Frank W Aldridge married Daisy E Woodhouse1919

    1939 census Frank W( b. 14 Sep 1899) and Daisy E (B.13 Mar 1899) lived at 41 Whitehorse Road Brownhills with |William A (B.17 May1926) and Tony Turner (B. 24 Oct 1937)

    Frank William Aldridge died 1977. Daisy Ellen Aldridge died 1979.

    William Arthur Aldridge married Edna Brookes 1946 dist. Cannock, (this incudes Brownhills) can’t find any children.

    William Arthur Aldridge died 2003. Edna Aldridge b.20 Jun 1926 died 2001. At the time of death William lived at 35 Cedar Avenue Walsall.

    • Martin Littler says:

      Knew Frank and Daisy Aldridge ,as you say they lived up Whitehorse Road then moved to Howdles Lane early 50’s she was Aunty Daisy to all the Kids in the Lane , Frank loved fishing and run a fishing club for many years, remember Tony Turner ,he was in a motor bike accident lost his arm, he died at a young age ,there was also a Robert (Bob) Aldridge Brother to Frank also lived on the Watling Street .

  5. Jean Willey says:

    Robert and Florence Aldridge son Bert, born 28 March 1915, was Christened Bertie. Lcpl Bert Aldridge died 8 October 1944 and is buried in St.James Churchyard Brownhills.

    Bert married Dorothy Howard in 1934 Dist.Lichfield. His widow, Dorothy, married Ronald I Horobin in 1948, Dist. Lichfield.

    Bert and Dorothy’s daughter Shirley Dorothy married Ronald F Ashley 1956 Dist. Lichfield. Dorothy and Ronald had two children, Roger N Aldridge 1964 and Joanna Lisa Aldridge 1968.

  6. Jean Willey says:

    ‘Bert and Dorothy’s daughter Shirley Dorothy married Ronald F Ashley 1956 Dist. Lichfield. Dorothy and Ronald had two children, Roger N Aldridge 1964 and Joanna Lisa Aldridge 1968.’ – from above

    Roger N Aldridge should read Roger N ASHLEY and Joanna Lisa Aldridge should read Joanna LIsa ASHLEY

    Sorry brain fog!

  7. Jean Willey says:

    Robert and Florence Aldridge daughter Louisa was christened Edith Louisa Aldridge on 22 May 1884 at St. James Norton Canes.

    Edith Louisa Aldridge married Richard Frederick Murcott 1905 Dist. Lichfield.

    1911 – Edith Louisa and Richard Frederick Murcott (miner) lived at Spring Hill Chasetown. Living with them were Richard’s mother Ann 62, nephew Thomas 8 and Edith Louisa and Richard’s children Albert William 5, Frank Leslie 3 and Leonard 7 months

    Edith Louisa Murcott (39) died 12 June 1923 Dist. Lichfield.

    Albert William Murcott birth 10 April 1905 – (17) died 27 May 1923 dist. Lichfield.

    Frank Leslie Murcott married Ethel E A Davis 1935 Dist.Cannock.

    Frank Leslie Murcott (b.1907) of 67 Aliance Street Stafford died 22 June 1982.

    1939 census – Ethel E A Murcott is living at 117 Lichfield Road at the home of her mother Ann and brothers and sisters. Frank Leslie Murcott not found on the census.

    A son David Leslie Charles Murcott was born in 1944. He married Glenys J Turner 1970 dist. Stafford.

    Leonard Murcott (B.20 Aug.1910-D 2004) married Hilda M Ainsworth dist. Stafford

    1939 census – Leonard (b.20 Aug 1910) (chief clerk at coal merchants) and Hilda M (b.28 Apr.1907) lived at 42 Cramer Street Stafford with two others – probably son William O b.1937 and daughter Ann b.1939 – later there was a son Peter C b.1942.

    William O Murcott married Della Lees 1963 dist. Coventry
    Wiliam Owen Murcott died 26 Apr. 2010 dist. Birmingham

    Ann Murcott married David Charles Whitlock at St. Paul Stafford 1965

    Peter Charles Murcott married Patricia May Allsopp St. Paul Stafford 1967

  8. Jean Willey says:

    Robert and Florence Aldridge son Sidney was christened Sidney Grafton Aldridge 24 October 1886 at St. James Norton Canes.

    Grafton S Aldridge (74) died 17 July 1961 dist. Lichfield.

    1911 – Grafton Aldridge 24 coalminer b. Norton Canes was lodging with Harry Bird and family at Green Lane Wilnecote Tamworth.

    Grafton Aldridge married Joyce Abbott 1913 Tamworth.

    Daughter Freda b. 20 June 1915 Tamworth dist. Christened 11 July 1915 Wilnecote.

    Freda Aldridge married Leslie Frank Thorpe 1938 Dist. Sutton Coldfield

    1939 census Leslie F (bread and confection maker + special constable) and Freda Thorpe(B.20 Jul 1913) were living at ‘Greenlawn’ Hockley Road Wilnecote with Harry Bird a lodger and a blank. The blank is probably Ian Thorpe. b.1939 child of Leslie and Freda.

    2003-2005 Ian Thorpe was, maybe, living at 25 Orchard close Austrey Coventry

    1939 census Grafton Aldridge b. 31 Aug. 1886 Haulage road repairer is lodging with Maud Higginson and her son Norman at 233 Watling Street Wilnecote Tamworth.

    1939 census Joyce Aldridge b.1887 inmate at County Mental Hospital Hatton

    Joyce Aldridge died 1948.

  9. Pat Ward says:

    Thank you Jean and Martin for this information it is a bit mind blowing but I think my cousin Max will sought it out. Jean if you were an Aldridge before a Willey I think I will know you from school days at Ogley Hay senior girls.

    • Jean Willey says:

      Hello Pat, your welcome, I’ll continue with Julia and Albert and finish the family. No I wasn’t an Aldridge but I was at school with Hilary Aldridge, from Walsall Wood. I was an Ensor.

      • David Evans says:

        Hello Jean…I think there is a photo of HIlary Aldridge ( Oak Road?)and the Girl Guides somewhere in Brownhills Bobs blog..circa 1951
        kind regards

  10. Jean Willey says:

    Robert and Florence Aldridge daughter Julia was christened 15 Jan. 1890 at St. James Norton Canes. – Photo of Julia Aldridge

    Julia Aldridge married Caleb Smith 1911 dist. Lichfield

    1911 census – Caleb Smith, 21, coal miner hewer b. Brownhills, Julia Smith 21b. Norton Canes. Living at no.5 Mount Pleasant Cottages, Watling Street, Brownhills.

    Sons Robert Caleb Smith b. 19 Aug.1911, Frank S Smith b. 1913 (died 1916).

    1939 census Living at ‘The Chase Inn’ Newtown Brownhills were Caleb Smith (b.21 May 1889) Coal merchant and Coach proprietor, wife, Julia Smith (b.27 Nov. 1889)

    Son, Robert Caleb Smith married Lilian Mabel Weldon 1939 dist. Lichfield.

    1939 census Robert Caleb Smith (b.19 Aug 1911) Coach driver and coal merchant, Lilian M Smith (b.26 May 1916) living at Newtown Brownhills.

    Robert and Lilian had 2 children – Sylvia Irene 1941, Janet Elaine 1947

    Robert Caleb Smith died 1982 dist. Bedford.

  11. Jean Willey says:

    Robert and Florence Aldridge son Albert Edward b. 26 Jan 1892 married Phoebe Hodson 1913 dist. Lichfield. There are three sons registered with the mother’s surname Hodson, Wilfred Thomas Edward 1913, Cyril 1915, Cyril 1916. Can’t find a Cyril death about this time.

    1939 census – 7 Woburn? Street Ampthill, Bedfordshire –
    Cyril Aldridge (b. 26 June 1915) Police constable Bedford Constabulary.
    Phoebe Aldridge (9 Jan. 1894) + a blank!

    Phoebe Aldridge died 1966 Bedford.

    1939 census – 423 E J? Dock Road Poplar London
    Wilfred T E Aldridge (b.18 Sep. 1913) lodger Store keeper engineer PWM

    Wilfred T E Aldridge married Evelyn E Melton/Thomas 1942 Poplar London
    Wilfred T E Aldridge married Ann Murphy 1953 Poplar London
    " " " Dorothy L Gibson/Carlyle 1984 Watford Herts.

    Wilfred T E Aldridge died July 1994 Great Yarmouth.

  12. Jean Willey says:

    In addition — Albert Edward and Phoebe Aldridge had a daughter Freda Louisa. Born 22 May 1921 in Thorne Yorkshire.

    Albert Edward Aldridge died 1937 Doncaster.

    Freda Louisa Aldridge married Kenneth William Stanbridge 21 December 1940 in Ampthill Bedfordshire, father named as Albert Edward Aldridge.

    There were two children – Julia L (b. 1947) and Clive W (b. 1950) Stanbridge in Bedford.

    Freda Louisa Aldridge Died May 1989 Kettering Northamptonshire.

  13. Max Ayriss says:

    Thank you for the detailed replies to this request.
    It has certainly enhanced existing records are created records for those items after the 1911 census.
    It has taken quite a time to work through the replies but all in all very rewarding.
    Thank you.

    • Jean Willey says:

      Hello Max
      If you are stuck with anything else, just let me know and I will try to help.

      • Max Ayriss says:

        Thank you so much for your kind words.
        Just so where you can see where I sit in the tree on the family search website I am the son of Dorothy Aldridge LDRX-WTS.

  14. Just a note.. Florence was my 3rd cousin 4x removed. Quite distant I know but nice to find some bits of info on her I didn’t know. Many thanks, Lisa

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