Halesowen Shropshire & Worcestershire Family History Guide

Photo of Halesowen Church by Tony Hisgett from Birmingham, UK, some rights reserved.

Halesowen is an Ancient Parish in the county of Worcestershire. Frankley is a chapelry of Halesowen.

Halesowen was a detached part of the county of Shropshire but was incorporated into Worcestershire in 1844 by the Counties (Detached Parts) Act. Since the local government reorganisation of 1974 it has formed a part of the West Midlands Metropolitan county and Conurbation, in the Dudley Metropolitan Borough, which it joined at the same time as neighbouring Stourbridge, which had also been in Worcestershire until that point.

The parish comprises the townships of Cakemore, Cradley, Hasbury, Hawn, Hill, Hunnington, Illy, Langley, Lapal, Lutley, Oldbury, Ridgacre, Romsley, Warley-Salop, and Warley-Wigorn.

Parish registers begin: Halesowen, 1559. Romsley, 1736.

Parishes adjacent to Halesowen

Historical Descriptions


The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

HALESOWEN, a town, a township, and a sub-district in Stourbridge district, and a parish partly also in West Bromwich and Bromsgrove districts, Worcester. The town stands in a fertile valley, on the river Stour, near the Netherton canal, and near the boundary with Stafford, 4½ miles E by S of Stourbridge r. station, and 5 SSE of Dudley: and is to be connected with the West Midland railway by a branch line to Netherton, and with the Midland by a branch to Bromsgrove. It comprises a principal street and smaller diverging ones; and has been improved by the demolition of old unsightly houses in the principal street, and the erection of modern houses and shops. It is said to have once been a borough; but it does not appear to have ever sent members to parliament. It is a seat of petty sessions; and has a police station, built in 1847. The church in it dates from about the time of the Conquest; exhibits characters of Norman, early English, early decorated, and perpendicular; comprises nave, aisles, and chancel; measures 120 feet in length, and 60 feet in width; has a tower with graceful spire; was repaired in 1838, at a cost of £3,000; and contains a Norman font, a monument to the poet Shenstone, and a costly monument to Major Halliday. There are chapels for Independents, New Connexion Methodists, and Primitive Methodists, a national school, a grammar school, and several small charities. A Premonstratensian priory was built, about ½ a mile from the town, by Bishop de Rupibus; was given, at the dissolution, to Sir John Dudley; and has left some small vestiges. The town has a post office‡ under Birmingham, and two chief inns. A weekly market is held on Saturday; and fairs on 1 April and 22 June. The making of gun barrels, edge tools, gas tubes, files, spades, nails, rivets, anchors, anvils, and horn buttons is carried on. Real property, £5,836; of which £60 are in gas works. Pop. in 1851, 2,412; in 1861, 2,911. Houses, 580. The township is conterminate with the town. The sub-district contains also the townships of Cradley, Lntley, Hasbury, Hawn, Cakemore, Ridgacre, Hill, Lapal, and Illey. Acres, 5,570. Pop., 11,511. Houses, 2,251. The parish contains likewise the townships of Oldbury, and Warley-Salop, and the hamlet of Warley-Wigorn, in West Bromwich district, and the townships of Romsley and Hunnington, in Bromsgrove district. Acres, 12,245. Real property, £99,042; of which £28,917 are in mines, and £1,825 in iron works. Pop. in 1851, 23,330; in 1861, 29,293. Houses, 5,589. The property is much subdivided. The Grange is the chief seat. Bellevue, Witley Lodge, and Leasowes also are here, and the last Was the birth place and residence of Shenstone. The church of St. Kenelm, in Romsley, with a tower, built in the time of Henry VIII., is on the spot where the body of Kenelm, son of Kenulf, King of Mercia, was found. The surface of the parish is hilly; and there are many small dairy farms. Sandstone is quarried; lime is worked;. and fire bricks are made. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Worcester. Value, £680. Patron, Lord Lyttleton. The rectories of Romsley and Quinton, and the vicarages of Cradley, Langley, and Oldbury, are separate benefices.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

Hales-Owen (St. Mary and St. John the Evangelist), a market-town and parish, in the unions of Bromsgrove, Stourbridge, and West Bromwich, partly in the Upper division of the hundred of Halfshire, Hales-Owen and E. divisions of Worcestershire, and partly in the Lower division of the same hundred, Stourbridge and Dudley, and E. divisions of the county, 7 miles (W. by S.) from Birmingham, 20 (N. by E.) from Worcester, 42 (S. E.) from Shrewsbury, and 120 (N. W.) from London; containing 17,376 inhabitants, of whom 2056 are in the town. King John, in the 16th year of his reign, gave the manor, and the advowson of the church, which is stated to have been built prior to the Norman Conquest, to Peter de Rupibus, Bishop of Winchester, who founded here a priory of Præmonstratensian canons. This priory, from parts of the walls yet remaining, though concealed by brambles and weeds, seems to have been an extensive edifice, and, from the gable end of the chapter-house, in which are some fine lancet windows, to have been in the early English style. At the Dissolution its revenue was estimated at £337. 15. 6. in Salop, and at £282. 13. 4. in Worcestershire. Hales-Owen was created a borough by the convent, but does not appear to have ever returned members to parliament. It is situated in a fertile vale watered by the river Stour, which has its source in the neighbouring hills; and consists chiefly of one street, in which are some respectable houses, and of some smaller streets containing humbler dwellings irregularly built. The town is lighted with gas. In the vicinity is the Leasowes, the patrimonial estate of Shenstone, which has been deservedly eulogized for the classic taste and elegant chasteness of style with which, during his lifetime, the natural beauty of the grounds was artificially heightened and improved, but of which few traces remain. Belle-Vue House is the seat of John Meredith, Esq. The principal articles of manufacture are large horn-buttons, nails, and some few other articles of iron; the manufacture of steel is extensively carried on at Corngreaves, and there are some coal-mines in the parish. An act was passed in 1846, for making a branch from the Birmingham and Gloucester railway, to Hales-Owen, 5½ miles in length. The small river Stour runs through the town, and the Netherton canal passes within half a mile of it. The market is on Monday, but is indifferently attended; the fairs are on the Mondays in Easter and Whitsun weeks. The town is within the jurisdiction of the county magistrates; and a high and low bailiff, a constable, and headborough, are annually appointed at the court leet of the lord of the manor. A court baron is held for the recovery of debts under 40s.
The parish comprises the townships of Cakemore, Cradley, Hasbury, Hawn, Hill, Hunnington, Illy, Langley, Lapal, Lutley, Oldbury, Ridgacre, Romsley, Warley-Salop, and Warley-Wigorn. It contains by computation 11,000 acres, of which about 150 are woodland; the surface is boldly undulated, and the scenery abounds with interesting features. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king’s books at £15. 8. 11½.; patron and impropriator, Lord Lyttelton: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for £900, of which £84 have been alienated as an endowment for the new church of the Quinton. The parochial church is a spacious structure, having a tower surmounted by a lofty and graceful spire: a principal part of the west end is Norman, and the body of the edifice is in the early English style: it was enlarged in 1840, at a cost of about £2000, and contains a handsome monument to the memory of Major Halliday, and an urn to the poet Shenstone, who was buried in the churchyard. At Cradley, Langley, the Quinton, Oldbury, and St. Kenelm, are separate incumbencies. There are places of worship for Wesleyans and others. The free grammar school was founded in 1652, and endowed with lands and tenements now yielding more than £100 per annum: Shenstone received the rudiments of his education in it. Contiguous to the churchyard are schoolrooms capable of receiving 600 children, built in 1838. In 1804, many curious Roman coins were found in an earthen vessel deposited at a small depth below the surface, at Cakemore; but a few only were preserved. Dr. Adam Littleton, author of a Latin Dictionary and other works, who died in 1694; the poet Shenstone, who died in 1763; and William Caslon, the celebrated type-founder, who died in 1766, were born in the parish.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England. Samuel Lewis, London, 1848.


Gregory Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Cradley. A township in the parish of Hales Owen, and in the Hales Owen division of the hundred of Brimstry. 2 miles north-west of Hales Owen.
Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Worcestershire Delineated C. and J. Greenwood 1822

Cradley – a township and chapelry in the parish of Hales Owen, Salop, and hundred of Halfshire, lower division, 3 miles E.N.E. from Stourbridge, on the borders of Staffordshire; containing 231 inhabited houses. Nearly the whole of the population of this place, both male and female, are employed in the manufacture of various articles in the iron trade. It is a curacy to Hales Owen, in the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry. Population, 1801, 1434 – 1811, 1521 – 1821, 1696.
Source: Worcestershire Delineated: Being a Topographical Description of Each Parish, Chapelry, Hamlet, &c. In the County; with the distances and bearings from their respective market towns, &c. By C. and J. Greenwood. Printed by T. Bensley, Crane Court, Fleet Street, London, 1822.


Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Lapal, a township in Halesowen parish, Worcester; near Halesowen. Pop., 360. Houses, 65.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


England and Wales Delineated Thomas Dugdale 1835

Name of Place: Oldbury; County: Salop; Number of Miles from: Hales Owen – 5; Dudley – 3; Birmingham – 6; Dist. Lond. – 115; Population: 126.
Oldbury. The iron trade is extensively carried on here, and the steel works are also considerable. The Birmingham-canal almost surrounds the village. A court of requests is held once a fortnight for the recovery of small debts; the decisions are final, and not subject to a higher court.
Source: England and Wales Delineated by Thomas Dugdale assisted by William Burnett; published by Tallis & Co., Green Arbour Court, Old Bailey, 1835.

Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Oldbury. A chapel, in the parish of Hales Owen, and in the Hales Owen division of the Hundred of Brimstry, in the diocese of Worcester, the deanery of Kidderminster, and archdeaconry of Worcester. 4 miles north-east of Hales Owen.
Source: The Shropshire Gazetteer, with an Appendix, including a Survey of the County and Valuable Miscellaneous Information, with Plates. Printed and Published by T. Gregory, Wem, 1824

Parish Registers

Oldbury The Old Dissenting Chapel 1732 to 1749

The Old Dissenting Chapel, Oldbury – Register II.

Parish Records

Historical Maps


The following records for Halesowen are available free from FamilySearch.

Birth, Marriage, & Death

England and Wales Census Records


United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

Ireland Calendar of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1920


Halesowen Bennett’s Business Directory for Worcestershire, 1914

Lutley Lewis Worcestershire Directory 1820

Warley Wigom Lewis Worcestershire Directory 1820


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.
Eaton Richard Augustus, Lutley mill, Worcestershire, miller, Dec. 22, 1837.


  • County: Worcestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Stourbridge
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Worcester
  • Rural Deanery: Kidderminster
  • Poor Law Union: Stourbridge
  • Hundred: Halfshire
  • Province: Canterbury

Further Reading

Tracing Your Black Country Ancestors (Tracing Your Ancestors) by Michael Pearson | 18 Oct 2012

A Black Country Miscellany: Aspects of West Midlands History by Andrew Homer | 7 Nov 2016

Black Country Murders (Sutton True Crime History) by Bott | 23 Mar 2009

Birmingham & Black Country Murder Stories by Brendan Hawthorne | 17 Jul 2017

Black Country Murders by Don Cochrane

A Grim Almanac of the Black Country (Grim Almanacs) by Nicola Sly | 14 Dec 2012

A-Z of The Black Country: Places-People-History by Andrew Homer | 15 Nov 2018

Historic England: The Black Country: Unique Images from the Archives of Historic England by Andrew Homer | 15 Jun 2019

Chain and Anchor Making in the Black Country by Ron Moss | 20 Jul 2006

Memories of the Black Country: 100 Years of Photography (Alton Douglas Presents) by Alton Douglas | 1 Feb 1999

Birmingham & The Black Country’s Canalside Industries (Archive Photographs) by Shill | 29 Jul 2005

Black Country Chronicles by Larkin | 30 Mar 2009

Whatever Happened to the Real Black Country?: Black Country Chronicles 1939-1999 by Tom Larkin | 20 Nov 2019

A Century of the Black Country (Century of North of England) by Williams | 1 Nov 2007

Black Country in the Great War (Your Towns & Cities/Great War) by Michael Pearson | 3 Sep 2014

The Little Book of the Black Country by Michael Pearson | 1 Oct 2013

Black Country, The by Edward Chitham | 1 Sep 2009

As If It Were Yesterday: Birmingham and The Black Country – Photographs From A Time Remembered by Mr Peter Donnelly and Simon Donnelly | 1 Nov 2019

Black Country Memories by Carl Chinn | 1 Nov 2004

Black Country Memories: v. 2 by Carl Chinn | 1 Nov 2005

Black Country Memories: v. 3 by Carl Chinn | 18 Nov 2006

Black Country Memories: v. 4 by Carl Chinn | 5 Nov 2007

Black Country Memories: v. 5 by Carl Chinn | 21 Nov 2008

Francis Frith’s the Black Country (Photographic Memories) by Alan Rose, Dorothy Nicolle, et al. | 27 Jun 2002