Walsall Staffordshire Family History Guide

High Street, Walsall
High Street, Walsall. Watercolour by F.T. Webb in The New Art Gallery Walsall permanent Collection

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.