Walsall Staffordshire Family History Guide

Walsall Comprises the following parishes:

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

WALSALL, a town, two townships, a parish, a sub-district, and a district, in Stafford. The town stands on the South Staffordshire railway, and on the Birmingham and Wyrley canals, 8 miles N NW of Birmingham; was a place of some note in the Saxon times; was given, by William the Conqueror, to R. Fitz-Asculf; passed to Warwick the king-maker, and to the Protector Dudley; was visited by Queen Elizabeth, and by Queen Henrietta Maria; became a municipal borough in the time of Henry IV., and a parliamentary borough in 1832; is governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors, and sends one member to parliament; is a seat of sessions and county-courts, and a polling place; publishes three weekly newspapers; carries on many departments of iron manufacture, tanning, currying, brush-making, saddlery, harness-making, and an extensive coal trade; commands great traffic from neighbouring mines of coal and iron-stone, and neighbouring sources of limestone and brick-clay; was formerly a resort of invalids to a chalybeate spring, about a mile distant; comprises an old portion on a limestone eminence, and modern portions on adjoining marshlands; has been much improved and enlarged, since about 1835, by renovation of old streets, formation of new streets, and erection of numerous handsome dwellings and public buildings; and has a head post-office, an elegant r. station with telegraph, two banking offices, several chief inns, a town hall, assembly-rooms, a police station and borough jail, four churches, seventeen dissenting chapels, two Roman Catholic chapels, a public cemetery, a subscription library and newsrooms, a public free library, an endowed grammar-school with £778 a year, a blue-coat school, with £29, five national schools, a workhouse, three suites of alms houses, charities £466, markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays, three annual fairs, and a race-stand and annual races. The town hall was built in 1867, at a cost of less than £5,500; and is in the Grecian style, with Doric and Ionic decorations. St. Matthew’s church was mainly rebuilt in 1821, at a cost of more than £22,000; retains the chancel and the tower and spire of a previous church; and is in the later English style, and cruciform. St-Paul’s church was built in 1826, and is in the Grecian style. The grammar-school was rebuilt in 1850; gives a classical education; and had Lord Somers and Bishop Hough for pupils. The borough limits are the same municipally as parliamentarily; and include the greater part of W. parish. Electors in 1833, 597; in 1863, 1,250. Pop. in 1851, 25,680; in 1861, 37,760. Houses, 7,445.
The two townships are W.-Borough and W.-Foreign; and the latter includes the hamlets of W.-Wood, Shelfield, and Bloxwich. Acres of the two, 8,182. Real property of W.-Borough, £26,560; of which £360 are in gasworks. Pop. in 1851, 8,761; in 1861, 8,166. Houses, 1,576. Real property of W.-Foreign, £132,008; of which £8,408 are in mines, £161 in quarries, £7,287 in iron-works, and £68,888 in railways. Pop. in 1851, 18,061; in 1861, 31,524. Houses, 6,242. The parish consists of the two townships; and is ecclesiastically cut into the sections of W.-St. Matthew, W.-St. Peter, W.-Pleck, W.-Wood, and Bloxwich. The living of St. Matthew is a vicarage, and the other livings are p. curacies, in the diocese of Lichfield. Value of St. M., £500; of St. Peter, £300; of W.-Pleck, £112; of Wood, £108. Patron of St. M., the Earl of Bradford; of the others, the Vicar of Walsall. Bloxwich is separately noticed. The sub-district excludes W.-Wood, Shelfield, and Bloxwich. Pop. in 1851, 21,203; in 1861, 30,415. Houses, 6,021. The district comprehends also Bloxwich, Aldridge, and Darlaston sub-districts; and comprises 21,603 acres. Poor rates, in 1863, £15,985. Pop. in 1851, 43,044; in 1861, 59,908. Houses, 11,816. Marriages in 1863, 458; births, 2,762,  of which 146 were illegitimate; deaths, 1,504,  of which 867 were at ages under 5 years, and 18 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 3,923; births, 23,190; deaths, 13,330. The places of worship, in 1851, were 12 of the Church of England, with 8,485 sittings; 3 of Independents, with 1,320 s.; 4 of Baptists, with 1,275 s.; 13 of Wesleyans, with 3,640 s.; 6 of Primitive Methodists, with 2,022 s.; and 2 of Roman Catholics, with 910 s. The schools were 27 public day-schools, with 2,730 scholars; 69 private day-schools, with 1,920 s.; 37 Sunday schools, with 5,495 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 26 s.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

Birth, Marriage, & Death


Migration & Naturalization


Probate & Court



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.

Allen Charles, Bradford street, Walsall, Staffordshire, saddler, Dec. 23, 1842.
Ankrett Joseph, Walsall, Staffordshire, grocer, Oct. .2, 1832.
Ankrett Joseph, Walsall, Staffordshire, grocer and provision dealer, April 9, 1841.
Bagnall William and John, Walsall, Staffordshire, platers, Nov. 9, 1822.
Barber John Vaughan, Walsall, Staffordshire, banker, May 11, 1841.
Barber Richard, Walsall, Staffordshire, wine merchant, April 27, 1830.
Bowler John, Walsall, Staffordshire, carpenter, Aug. 30, 1842.
Brewer Robert, Walsall, Staffordshire, builder, July 11, 1834.
Butler Joseph, Walsall, Staffordshire, saddler’s ironmonger, Sept. 21, 1841.
Eglington John, Walsall, Staffordshire, builder, Feb. 9, 1841.
Eld John, Walsall, Staffordshire, draper, Dec. 19, 1826.
Eld John, Walsall, Staffordshire, innholder, Dec. 11, 1832.
Eyland Lester Holte, Walsall, woollen draper and tailor, March 27, 1827.

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