Scott Bird's Family Tree

History: England Archives


Gwennap, Cornwall

Gwennap was once a thriving mining town; worth an estimated £10,000,000 as far back as the 19th century. By the end of the 20thC all mining in the area had ceased.

During the 18thC the town gained fame as huge crowds gathered in the Gwennap Pit (photo) to listen to John Wesley preaching on Methodism. His diary records his visits to the town.


Chapman County Code (for Cornwall) : CON (complete list of codes)

Mining in Cornwall (Wikipedia)

Redruth Methodist Circuit

Directory of Redruth, 1866

Kelly's Directory listing for Gwennap, 1910

Ferryhill, Durham

The town of Ferryhill is situated near the southeast boundary of County Durham, about 25 miles south of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Initially a small agricultural settlement, it now boasts a population of around 12,000.

More information on the town's long and varied history can be found on Darrell Nixon's site - Ferryhill: The Town and Its story.

NB : There is also a town of Ferryhill in Aberdeen, Scotland.


Chapman county code : NBL (complete list of codes)

Northumberland County is located in the north of England. The Sterling family lived in the area for several generations.


English to Geordie Translator
Humour, but interesting when researching family from Newcastle, England (the Sterlings in my case).
'Virtual Geordieland'.
North East England History Pages
A fantastic historical resource for the area.


Chapman county codes : YKS, ERY, NRY, WRY (complete list of codes)

Yorkshire covers a massive area in England's north. The county has been broken into smaller counties of YKS (Ainsty and the City of York), ERY (East Riding), NRY (North Ryding) and WRY (West Riding). The Ackroyd, Alderson, Farndale, Welford, Shepherd, Stephenson, Stoddart, Taylor and Wood families lived in the area for several generations.


Yorkshire Tourist Board


Chapman county code : STS (complete list of codes)

The county of Staffordshire is in the English Midlands, covering an area to the north and west of Birmingham [see 1631 map]. The Bird, Chetwynd, Wells, Shaw and Wormington families have lived in various places around Staffordshire over the years, including Halesowen, Kings Norton, Smethwick, Tamworth and West Bromwich.


Brief history of Smethwick
Old county maps of England
Maps of various English counties as they were in 1886.
Cyndi's List : Staffordshire
History of Staffordshire
A brief history of the county.
County map
Map of Staffordshire County from
Staffordshire Registration Service
Responsible for registration of births, deaths and marriages in Staffordshire.
This is Staffordshire
An online Staffordshire newspaper.
Sue's Staffordshire Family History Research Service
Sue is researching the surnames LOTE, LOCKE, DERRY and GLOVER in the Staffordshire area. Research services are available in the Staffordshire area for a small fee.
Staffordshire Look-up Exchange
A list of various Staffordshire historical records (such as census listings, marriage indexes) together with the names of people willing to perform lookups on them. An invaluable resource.
Black Country Maps
Maps of the Black Country put together in the 1830s and 1880s.
Derbyshire Photographic Services
Have the location of your ancestor's childhood, marriage etc professionally photographed by a local photgrapher with excellent knowledge of the area's history. Services available for anywhere in the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire.
Stoke-on-Trent maps
Maps of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire, dated 1890.
This is Halesowen
Birmingham UK : Halesowen
Yeltz MAD
Halesowen pubs


Chapman county code : STS (complete list of codes)

The Sephton families have lived in various places around Oxfordshire over the years.


Oxfordshire Towns
Business and tourism information about the towns in Oxfordshire.


Chapman county code : WAR (complete list of codes)

The county of Warwickshire is in the English Midlands, covering an area to the south and east of Birmingham. The Aldin, Allmark, Aulbrey, Tyson and Watson families lived in various places around Warwickshire over the years including Shipston-on-Sour, Birmingham and Coventry.


Birmingham local history
Coventry City Council
Coventry and Warwickshire Tourist Information
Warwickshire Look-up Exchange


Chapman county code : DUR (complete list of codes)

County Durham is located in the north of England. The Martin, Alderson and Armstrong families lived in the area for several generations.


University of Durham
The Ancient Unicorn Inn
On the Pennine-Way, Bowes, Teesdale, County Durham, England.
Bowes Village, Durham


The name "Smethwick" derives from Anglo-Saxon and is thought to mean "The settlement on the smooth land". Before the late 18th century it was an outlying hamlet of the South Staffordshire village of Harborne; a district of scattered cottages and small farms, country lanes, heaths and woodland. There were nailmakers and blacksmiths from at least the mid 16th century with "metal-bashing" skills which were later to become a major feature of the area.

In the 1760s it was decided that a canal should be cut through Smethwick to carry coal more speedily from the Black Country to the booming industries of Birmingham. Three eminent civil engineers contributed to this: firstly James Brindley in 1769, whose design was improved upon by John Smeaton in 1790, and finally Thomas Telford in 1829. The canal was spanned by the elegant Galton Bridge (Grade I Listed), then the longest single-span bridge in the world. The coming of the railway in 1852 alongside the canal, together with the availability nearby of raw materials such as coal and iron, explains why Smethwick became of such importance as a manufacturing centre.

In the late 18th century Birmingham entrepreneur Matthew Boulton was looking for a site for his expanding business interests and, in partnership with James Watt, established the Soho Foundry. The foundations of one of James Watt's beam engines "The Smethwick Engine" can be seen in Bridge Street, Smethwick, while the engine itself is on display at The Think Tank, Digbeth. Boulton and Watt were both members of the famous Lunar Society which met at Boulton's house nearby. William Murdock, the pioneer of gas lighting, was the Chief Engineer at the Soho Foundry.

Because of its ready access by canal, rail and road, many other industries were soon attracted to the area including Guest Keen & Nettlefold, W & T Avery, Tangyes, Chances Glasswork and The Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Works. Smethwick's reputation for engineering continued to grow, as did the size of its population which by 1901 had grown astonishingly, from 1,097 in 1801 to 54,539.

NB : I'd love to find out more about these people, particularly those from the last 200-300 years.

If you can help flesh out their stories, please get in touch via my personal site, at / contact . Thank-you.