Guest Book

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214 thoughts on “Guest Book

  1. Does anyone know anything about my Grandad John Aldridge Snape who was a miner and also a well known photographer he took photos concerning the murder of a woman in Bridgtown whom was going out with a Great Wyrley man and also had photos taken of the Wyrley Horse slashings,I found out my Grandfather was born illegitimately has his Mother was working has maid to a well known man and could not marry her and her maiden name was Snape so my Grandad had her surname and his middle name was Aldridge, which I think is unusual,Grandad had 3 sons Gilbert Osmond (my father) Jack and Leslie my father was a miner in Huntington and he also did photography, in fact Great Wyrley High school loaned some photos Grandad Snape took about the Wyrley slashings and the murder etc, from my Mom, sadly we never got them back and my Mom passed away, would like to know what Great Wyrley School did with them or who has them now.

    • Thanks for your fascinating enquiry Gillian and I will take your statements, point by point.
      1. Your granddad was an acknowledged local photographer and we have many of his photographs/postcards in our collection.
      2. The murder of the Bridgtown woman is a well documented case but I have never seen any photographs involving it. Do you have any of these photographs that we might copy please?
      3. There were hundreds of the Wyrley horse slashings postcards circulated and are quite common. I will do what I can to retrieve your postcards from Great Wyrley School for you.
      4. Finally your grandfather must have been a prolific photographer with an eye for the ‘real stories’ – would you know where any of his photographs are today? If so, might we borrow them, just to copy them for our archives and I will ensure their safe return to you within four days.
      Kindest regards

  2. Thank you for sending me, some time ago, details of the Parsonage family. I would dearly love to know where my grandmother, Matilda Collier (nee Parsonage) was buried. She died in Bridgtown on 3 May 1917 at 35 North Street. Although her husband was present, I don’t think he took her home to Aylesbury to be buried. She was a Primitive Methodist. Did they have their own burial ground? Any information would be greatly valued.
    Nina Boyd

    • Thanks for your enquiry Nina. We have checked out the Cheslyn Hay and Great Wyrley cemeteries but Matilda Collier is not buries in either of them.
      The Primitive Methodists did not have their own burial ground and I’ve checked with the Methodist Archivist who says that around the time Matilda was buried the Primitive Methodists would have used the Cannock Cemetery on the Pye Green Road, which we are now looking into.

    • We have finally traced Matilda Collier’s grave but only via the Lichfield Records Office. Matilda was only 40 when she died and she was buried on 8th May 1917 at Cannock Cemetery.
      I will forward all the other details including the Plot numbers directly to you.
      Thanks for your enquiry

  3. Do you have any old pictures of Station Street in Cheslyn Hay from approx. 100 years ago – in particular from the area where the park is now down to Coppice Lane.
    Thank you.

    • Thanks for your enquiry. And yes, we have 161 photographs of Station Street in our archives, but the park, or the ‘Rec’ as it’s known was not given to the village by the Hawkins family until the 1920s. Before then it was still part of Hawkins land with the railway running through it between the pits. All these photographs are available to everyone at our Salem Base every Tuesday between 10am and 3pm as well as archive information on Hawkins Colliery.

  4. My father Charles William Wright Pitchford used to own/manage a cinema in Cheslyn Hay ( so I was told). I think he had a business partner. It ws during the 1930’s. That is all I know. Can anyone fill in any details. Good or bad I would love to know aout his life there.. Thanks Marie Fellows, nee Pitchford.

    • An interesting enquiry Marie. I’ve checked our previous research work into the Palladium Picture House in Cheslyn Hay and we have not found any mention of you father, but we will look into this further.
      Thanks for your interest

  5. I read that you have some Sayer family history at Cheslyn Hall – I can find Edward Sayer who was a coal manager and believe his father was Henry Sayer born 1725 but can go no further than that. The family lived at Great Wyrley, Cannock and I understand that a John Sayer was the innkeeper at the Red Lion in Rugeley. I would very much appreciate some direction, thank you

    • The Sayer family were involved in the early mining development of Cheslyn Hay and we even have a picture of Edward Sayer from the early 1800s! I will respond directly to you after our researchers have looked into our interlinking Cheslyn Hay family tree.

    • Edward Sayer was my second great grandfather and a colliery master. I would be very interested in any information that you could provide or could point me in the direction to find out more for myself.

      • My mother born Marjorie Blanche Sayer is youngest child of Bernard Francis Sayer and granddaughter of William Wilberforce Sayer who in turn I think was youngest child of the colliery master Edward Sayer.(although I may have missed out a generation as I looked into this a few years back without continuing)good luck with search

  6. I recently visited New Zealand – accompanying my parents on a Diamond Anniversary Celebration Where I learned of an Evacuees association. I wonder if you could help me pleare. My father Alec Edwin Carter was evacuated to Chesney Hay Staffordshire in 1939 His three sisters also were evacuated to the same place – the Wheatsheaf pub. The host mother was expecting a baby therefore couls not afford to keep my father Alec, so he and his sister Doreen Carter were sent to live on a nearby farm. Gladys and Mary stayed with the lady at the Wheatsheaf. Could you please advise where I could find out more about the evacuees of that cohort please. Kind regards, Denise Carter-Evans.

    • Many thanks Denise for such an evocative email. We had many evacuees in our area and there are a few we are still in touch with today. We have, in our archives, a handful of interviews with evacuees and also some photographs, so I will research our archives for you and contact you directly.
      Many thanks

      • my mum is mary carter she has told us lots of stories of her time there , joe and annie wright ran the wheatsheaf, mr broadhurst lived in the cottage opposite and owned the pub his grand daughter Muriel still lives in the cottage and sends mum cards etc . with kind regards Teresa lee

        • Dear Teresa – my apologies!!
          I’ve only just picked up your email from months ago.
          The visit went particularly well and we were all delighted to have met Mr Alec and his family.
          They also seemed to appreciate the day – they were marvellous.
          But I just wonder – I would love to hear of any of your Mum’s stories about Joe & Annie Wright – or the Wheatsheaf – or Mr Broadhurst etc etc.
          Once again please accept my apologies for ‘ignoring(!)’ your email
          Take care and very best wishes

        • The visit to our Base by Alec Carter and his family went off wonderfully well and everybody enjoyed the ‘get together’ after almost 70 years1
          However I’d love to hear of the stories that your Mum has told you of the people and her times here. So I would appreciate talking to you – or if you would care to email me, I will gladly include your stories and your Mum’s memories in our archives.
          Thanks for contacting us

  7. Trevor,

    I’m starting to do some research on the area and found your site. I’ve traced my 3rd G Grandparents to Cheslyn Hay, partially due to my research and partially due to Keith Whitehouse of the self named Whitehouse Family Historical Center. James Thomas Whitehouse (Possibly Thomas James and sometimes went by Tom) married a Sophia Sarah Lockett both born about 1799-1800. One of their children, William (b. 1835) married a Elizabeth A Cooper (b. 1837) (her parents were Samuel G. Cooper and Ann). Some of my research came across a Samuel Cooper in the area whose DOB would fall in line for having a daughter of the right age.

    Basically, wondering if any of this information rings a bell with what you may have come across. Also, would you have any suggestions of reading materials that would further my understanding of the history of the area.

    Thank you,


  8. Hi Trevor,
    I’m born and (for the most part) bred in Cheslyn Hay and it’s fascinating reading through your books to get a better understanding of our rich local history.
    I attended the old primary school (I was probably one of the final sets of pupils to pass through in the mid 80’s) and now live on the same site of the old Hatherton Street school. I believe we have Mary Allens final surviving tree in our front garden and having just read through your piece on her life it makes the tree an even more poignant landmark for us.
    Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks Dan for your kind comments and such comments make us all feel what we do is all the more rewarding knowing that our efforts are being appreciated.
      Best wishes

  9. Hi Trevor,
    re the old school building. I have emailed the British and Foreign School Society /archive who still exist and who gave the original grant for any details they may have about the building. I have been up and examined the stone with the builder and apart from “sunday school , ad and a d” is a basket case totally indecipherable. have you managed to find anything.
    regards, Bob Denson

  10. I am looking for any descendants of Beatrice Gertrude Holland ( nee Hickman )
    she was the wife of my great uncle who was tragically killed in WW1, is there anyone who has information on her I would be grateful.
    Thank you.

    • Hello I’ve recently found out I’m related to the Hickman’s and am also working on his. I don’t have a lot of info yet but am working on it. Let me know if your still interested.

  11. My Grandfather came from Cheslyn Hay. I believe his brother Mr. Joe Dutton and his wife Lizzie lived at 31 Saredon Rd. My grandfather was Alfred Thomas Dutton and he married Amy Clara Garrett in Buckinghamshire in approx. 1919. They settled in Cheslyn Hay and went on to have four daughters, Edith, Betty, Ivy and Thelma. My mother was Ivy born in 1924 and when she was 6 they moved back to Bucks. Would be very interested to hear of any memories people may have of my family.

    • Dear Gill
      Many thanks for your email – I’ll be delighted to include in this week’s newsletter.
      I’ve looked in our Photograph Archives and we have over 50 photos of the Duttons, including one photo (MU-GRP-5) of Joe & Lizzie together in a Musical Concert dated 1932 and they’re in the ‘Sunspots’!
      Also we have Lizzie in a photograph with the Duttons (PE-DUT-4) but she is labelled Lizzie Dutton (nee Walker) – is this correct?
      Let’s see what response we get this weekend – and I’ll send you a copy of the Newsletter.
      Best wishes

    • Dear Mrs Beales

      I am currently researching my family history and I am writing to you in response to the below post. I have been undertaking family history research for 6 years and enjoy it immensely. I have undertaking the research primarily for my grandfather Victor Maurice Gamble Hill (known as moggie), who is now in his ninety-second year and to provide him with further insight into his past. His memories of long ago are still vivid and he is able to recollect events and has been able to aid my research with interesting stories and details of his early life.

      My grandfather was born in Jersey in 1922 the son of Joseph George Hill and Agnes Bertha Cecelia Hill (nee Skladnikiewicz). Joseph was born in Stoke Goldington Buckinghamshire in 1877 one of six children. One of Josephs sisters was Elizabeth Hill (1876-1930) who is my grandfathers aunt and I believe your great grand mother. Elizabeth married William Garratt in 1900. In 1901 Amy Clara Garratt was born followed by the birth of Alwyn George Garratt in 1903. My grandfather remembers your mother and her three sisters when he visited his cousin Amy upon his returned from Germany in September 1945. It was the first time he had met them and when he explained that he was from Jersey, he recalls that that Ivy, Edith, Betty and Thelma were somewhat astounded that he spoke English! I was overwhelmed to read your post after an internet search and hope that we can correspond. I hope that this email find you well.


      Jamie Beckford

  12. Hi Trevor,i wonder if you have any info or photos of Churchbridge Coaches and drivers.I know it is probably a long shot but worth a try.
    Thank you.

  13. So pleased to have found this site, so many happy memories of the ‘bonk’!
    I lived in Mitre Rd from 1964 till 1975 when the family ‘defected’ to Wyrley.
    I went to the school on Hill St as an infant and junior, remember Mr Martin the headmaster with his gold Vauxhall Viva { he was a semi professional footballer in his youth i recall for either Villa or W Brom??} Mr Cartwright – think they had the printing firm in Cheslyn Hay also? I recall the Mary Rose pub opening and many many more things, i really should call in to the base and say hi. My uncle also went to the same school back in the 40’s, i recall finding his name in the old registers…recall the explosion in the garages in Mitre Rd?? I was in the Boys Brigade and went to Salem Sunday School. i occasionally drive round the village when im in the area just for nostalgia, much has changed but the core of this special place still comes through. Went to Great Wyrley High School 74-79.

  14. My name is Mike Shorter. I am reading the comments on the site from Australia but I normally live in Chester UK. I was born in Cheslyn Hay in1943. Went to the primary/junior school in Hatherton Street then to Great Wyrley school between 1954 and 1959. My grandfather was Ted Brough who was the engineer at Hawkins Colliery where he lived with his family including my mother Hetty Brough. Her siblings were Harold Dennis Wess Bert Mary and I recall my grandmothers maiden name was Mary Fellows. My dad was Harry Shorter, born 1902 . He lived most of his life in Wolverhampton Road at bottom of cemetery street. The family had connections with Salem chapel for many years. His siblings were Millie , Sara Ann Wollaston (known as Tan), Elsie, Will (lost in America) and Hal (emigrated to Canada. His dad’s name was Jabez and his mother was Eliza (nee Whitehouse). I was interested to reas of the mining issues and also hoped I would recognise some of your guests. I did not but most of the names mentioned sounded familiar.

    • Hi Mike,

      I am working on a project that you fall into through your Edward Brough as well as your Eliza Whitehouse connection. Rhoda Brough (nee Whitehouse) was the sister to Charles Whitehouse.
      I have just done a bit of snooping around and it looks like Will may have emigrated to the US in 1908 while Hal may have emigrated to Canada in 1911 in the company of a Joseph Whitehouse and John Price.
      I managed to find a connection to him in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada which is where I currently live but lose him after 1925. Waiting for a few replies to see if I can pick him up again.
      Any more information you may have would be helpful.

      • Hi David.
        I forgot to say that my dad also had a sister named Beatress. She married Sid Whitehouse and for many years they lived at Weston Super Mare. Sid I believe had connections with Essington/Shareshill /Saredon. Lucy Whitehouse a relative rings a bell. You will be interested to know they emigrated to Winnipeg in their early married life before returning to live in Weston. In fact their daughter was named Winnie. As regards my uncle Hall (who I never knew) he emigrated. to BC and worked in the paper mills on Victoria Island. Don’t know if he has connections with Winnipeg. Will Shorter went to the US working for Avery scales. It was thought he went missing in the Mexican Revolution. I believe my grandmother Eliza was born in 1869 and was 95 when she died. Your dates sound about right.
        Hope this helps. Mike

        • Hi Mike,

          Harold married in Winnipeg and appears to have worked for the railway. His death is registered 1972 in Victoria, BC. Emaill me at and I will send you family sheets and descendent lists as I have it so far. Hopefully, you may be able to add some info and/or correct any errors.

  15. I had contact with Andrew Pearson ” An Honorary Member of The Cheslyn Hay & District Local History Society who is one of their Researchers and working on one of their Projects Of Working on a Family History Database of Local Families of the Area And Track Backwards as far as Possible and Search their Descendants”. Thanks for the great record of my Altree ancestors. I had researched some before and it was great to get confirmation for my records. My part of the family migrated to Australia. Thanks for some great work in preserving your history.

  16. I wonder if anyone remembers a bakery shop at 35 North Street, Bridgetown, owned by my great-grandmother Lucy Parsonage? I am researching my Parsonage ancestors, but have problems with a mother who didn’t name the father, and left her son (Charles, husband of Lucy) in the care of others.
    Any information would be gratefully received! Thanks, Nina

  17. I have been trying to find the English roots of John Henry KINGSTON, who according to his WWI draft registration in Michigan USA, was born 29 NOV 1893 at Cheslyn Hay, Staffordshire, occupation listed as butcher. His year of birth is also given at 1889, 1891 and 1892 in other records in Michigan. The only possible link I can find is to a John Henry TURNER, (1911 census), son of Thomas Henry Kingston TURNER and Annie Elizabeth, his age is given as 19, born at Cheslyn Hay and his occupation is a butchers assistant. Does anyone know of this family and if this is indeed my John Henry, why he may have taken the surname of KINGSTON upon his immigration to the U.S. Any help appreciated. Best Regards, Scott, Manteca, California

  18. I am looking for any information on my great grandparents,Thomas Henry Hawkins 1877 to 1950 married to Elizabeth Crutchley 1878 to 1956 I am also trying to confirm their parents names, any info would be most appreciated, many thanks Mark.

    • Dear Mark
      I’m fascinated by your email as the Hawkins family are a big part of our history in Cheslyn Hay – but the dates you have don’t seem to fit with our information!!
      This is what we have –
      Henry Hawkins (3 Nov 1846) married Sarah Jane Crutchley on 15 November 1877.
      They had 5 sons and 2 daughters – the sons were Henry (1871-73), Arnold Seymour (1875- 1957), Wilfred Hubert (1881 – 1882), Laurence Crutchley Henry (1888 – 1973), Raymond Everard (1892 – 1960), Leslie C (1894 – 1985).
      Please let me know if you live locally as we can easily help you as we have our Base open every Tuesday for such researches, but please let me know in advance so we can be ready for you.
      Best wishes
      01922 414772

    • Elzabeth Crutchley married Thomas Henry Hawkins in 1901 Elizabeths Father was Henry Crutchley born 1842 her mothers name was Ann I think they were married in 1864 and her maiden name could have been Haddon or Dutton sorry this is vague but hope it helps.
      Elizabeth’s sister Hannah was married to Thomas Whitehouse who is in my family tree

  19. Hi my grandad lenoard clifford smith was born in the royal oak in great wryley 1921 and went on to owning many pubs in the area the talbot colliers arms ect i would love to here anything about my nan and grandad as i just adored them and love learning what they did in there life thanks

    • Dear Sean
      Many thanks for your email – and yes your grandparents were well respected licensees around this area. They kept the Talbot (ie the Dog) from 1964 – 78 and then they took over the Colliers until 1987.
      I’ll put in an appeal for anyone who may remember them in our Weekly Newsletter.
      Have you any photographs of them at all – if so we’d love to copy them for our archives. We have a few of Leonard in our Archives but none of Florence. If you wish to look at them – please drop in at our Base at the Salem any Tuesday from 10am – 3pm.
      All the best

  20. Former Benton resident of Esssington, doing a lot of family tree research – can tie into the family name Hemmingsley which I saw in your postings. Lots of other links and ties – can go back as far as 1566. Any interest e-mail me. There is not many of us left with genuine memories of Essington – oh by the way I’m in Canada.

    • Thanks Ray and yes, we’re certainly interested in any connections with the Hemmingsley family (all spellings!) so please email me with any requests to help you on your Hemmingsley (or Benton) family trees and I’ll include it in our weekly newsletter.
      And as you live in Canada I’ll send you these newsletters every week so you can keep in touch with what’s happening. We have other members researching the same trees as yourself so we should bw able to help.
      Have you your trees on gedcom by any chance?
      Wait to hear from you again
      Best wishes

  21. My Great Grandfather JOHN JACKSON was born at Hollybush Hall, now known as Hollybush Gardens (Warston Rd A462) Southwest of Cheslyn Hay in 1833. His mother was Sarah Cartwright and his father was Joseph Jackson. I am searching for assistance in finding any record of this family or their ancestors. It is thought that the Jackson family lived at Hollybush Hall for generations. Sarah Cartwright became Sarah TUFT upon the death of Joseph Jackson. Mr. Tuft was a butcher in Cheslyn Hay. Thank you so much and God bless.

  22. my dads mum was evlyn hacket, they had the butchers shop. somewhere near the war memorial, dad is 85 and has a couple of stories abot the shop, contact me for more info, i might try to get dad to post

    bb ged huffadine, we now livi in hoptopn out side stafford

    • Dear Mr Huffadine
      Delighted to hear from you and I’d love to hear any stories/nostalgia or whatever from your father on the Hackett family, or indeed anything regarding Cheslyn Hay. These will be appreciated and kept in our archives for reference and also for displays at our Exhibitions etc
      Many thanks for your contact
      Very best wishes

  23. Hi, wondered if you might be able to help. Trying to get hold of a book “the Cannock Line – 14 miles of history” by Frank Allen. My father was on the front cover !. Chasewater Railway’s shop have run out. Look forward to your reply. Regards, William Shaw

    • Dear William
      I’ve been in touch with Frank Allen and he still has some books.
      They’re £5 each – if you live locally ie around Walsall or Cannock etc, I’ll drop one in to you.
      Best wishes
      Trevor (McFarlane)

  24. Hey I was born in the bonk in 1979 and lived a happy life there as a child until we moved out of the area in the early 1990’s. The history is something i have to say i did not study much at my first school there, which is a shame as i am now finding myself with questions about the village i spent my early childhood in. So it is good to see that there is now somewhere we can learn about the old place i used to attend the salem in cheslyn hay as a child in girls brigade and sunday service. If any one could help me on the old legends of the town and especially the history i would appreciate it, it was always a good place to live and very friendly not like where i am now.

  25. Hi, I have become curious about my family history and would really love to learn more about my nan’s side of the family the Whitehouse’s who lived in Cheslyn Hay. By the looks of things, this seems like a popular name.
    My nan’s name in Elizabeth Anne Whitehouse, and her dad was called Bert Whitehouse and her mum Hannah Evans (Whitehouse). She had three sisters Mary, Yvonne and Janet (Margaret) and from what I know she had four brothers Bertie, Harold and Noel and I don’t know the last name…

    I don’t know if anyone has any connections to my family or knew them, I don’t know anything would be interesting.

  26. Hello!
    I lived in Cheslyn Hay, Hawthorne Road, from my birth in 1971 for approx 10 years. I went to Cheslyn Hay Primary School, in Hill Street, when the Headmaster was Mr Meades. My son is currently doing a project about schools in the past and I am struggling to find an image of the original primary school. If anyone could point me in the right direction that would be great. Not only to help my son but for me to see my old school. I loved it there!
    Many thanks

  27. Hi
    I have recently found out that my Grandmother used to be a Nanny for a Major Hawkins who lived at Glenthorne, Cheslyn Hay and Aldridge Court, Aldridge. She must have worked for Mr Hawkins around 1922 to about 1940 and I am trying to find out who Major Hawkins was. I am assuming it is not Thomas Albert Hawkins but that it was one of his sons. Can anyone help me all I know is he was Major Hawkins who lived at Aldridge Court prior to 1940.
    Thank you x

  28. I have had a look through your site and found it very interesting and educational. I just want to say that I’ll be coming down from Edinburgh on holiday on a week tomorrow for a week so I’m planning to pop in t some time. I haven’t forgotten Trevor that I’m due you some money. I have learnt that some of my ancestors have come from Brewood not far from Cheslyn Hay. Not only that a little further on in Wellington is where my parents married and my oldest brother ws born there.

    Ernie Gray

  29. Whilst looking for Hednesford Miners’ Memorial I came across your site and have just spent an hour or so going through your newsletters. My childhood came back to me! My parents were Margaret and Arthur Chilton and I have a sister, Dorothy. We lived at Hawkins Colliery from about 1952 until about 1960. My father was undermanager at the colliery. I think he was amongst those responsible for seeing to the closure of Hawkins and later Brereton colliery before being undermanager at Lea Hall, Rugeley. Margaret died 26th November 2003 and Arthur died 11th May 2009.
    I remember attending Great Wyrley school from c. 1958 until c.1963 when Mr. Davies was Headmaster and Ken Handley taught me. I particularly remember Hawkins Cricket Club though. Dad was wicket keeper and seeing the names of Peter and Joe Cadman, Jean, Frank and Lynda Hemmingsley, Sid Thacker, Boyd Price, etc. brought it all back. I also seem to remember the name Paul Whitehouse. I acted at scorer at many matches even though very young and loved going to away matches on the coach. The teas provided by mum and other wives were very good, particularly the cream cheese and onion sandwiches and the scones. After the cricket some played bowls and we finished off the day in the clubhouse with a packet of crisps and Vimto. Good memories.

    • Hi my name is Paul Whitehouse born in Cheslyn Hay and still living here. I was born in 1949. There were two Paul Whitehouse’s the other Paul was a bout 3 or 4 years older than me but not related
      Kind Regards
      Paul whitehouse

      • Hello Paul,
        I’m hoping you are the brother of Peter who i used to play with when i lived in Cheslyn Hay where i was born until going to live at Great Wyrlet in 1953.I went to the junior school with Peter but i don’t think i have seen or heard of him since. I hope that if you are Peters brother you could tell him i have asked about him.
        John Russell.

  30. Peter Cadman has directed me to your group. It’s most interesting!
    My father was Douglas Haycock (b.31.01.1919) who was one of six boys. I’ve traced his line back to the mid 1600’s mainly via St. Luke’s parish registers and the bishop’s transcripts at Lichfield. I have a family bible with records of births back to the early 19th.c.
    Family traditions, anecdotes and folklore, together with my father’s autobiography, give a wide insight into past times. There are links to various families: the Bills and the Perks, the Jones family from Bridgtown and others in the general area. One relative died in the Hawkin’s Pit cage disaster.
    Regards, Bruce Haycock

  31. I have recently been researching my family tree. My great-grandfather Jonathan Buckley married Eliza Walker in 1871 and lived at various addresses in Station Street and Station Road. Both Jonathan, and his father Thomas Buckley (born Haywood 1819) were coal miners. Jonathan and Eliza had 6 children, all born in Cheslyn Hay: Sarah Elizabeth born 1872, Eliza Ann 1874, Mary Gertrude 1879, Martha Rose 1881, James Edward 1844, and my grandfather Jonathan Wilfred Buckley born in 1888. In 1911 the Rev.Shapuri Edalji wrote a glowing reference which led to his career as an Electrical Engineer with Coutaulds, Coventry.

    I have traced most of the family, but have been unable to learn much about the life of James Edward Buckley. Any leads would be welcomed.

  32. Am looking to find relations that lived in Cheslyn around the time of 1870’s. There were several Pearsons mentioned and I notice that “Stuart Pitchford Pearson” has information on certain Pearsons. Would be happy to find out more. Thanks.

  33. Hello from New Zealand.
    I am researching my Ridgway [Essington] and Whitehouse [Cheslyn hay] ancestors and am interested in William Whitehouse, 1818. I think his father was Samuel Whitehouse. My great grandfather was Bernard Whitehouse, 1843,son of William. Bernard’s daughter, Ethel Wilkins Whitehouse [married name Ridgway] was my grandmother. I wonder if anyone can help me find out anything about William or Samuel? Thankyou.

    • Hello, I may have something for you, I am connected to RIDGEWAY through the REUBEN DUDLEY family my great grandmother EMILY PACE nee CULWICK of Cannock Road married about 1870s after EDWARD PACE died, a mining accident – also WHITEHOUSE – HARRIET CULWICK, my grt.grandmother’s sister married a WILLIAM WHITEHOUSE about 1870s – 1871 census has them next door to JOSHUA PACE my 2x great grandparents – JOSHUA & HANNAH PACE (nee HICKEN) – my website is down at the moment, my info unfortunately is all on it. If this info is of interest, keep in touch. Gord Pace, Colborne, Ontario, Canada

      • I forgot to mention – the JUKES family also comes into it – in the HICKEN-FARLEY family of my 2x great grandmother HANNAH PACE (nee HICKEN from NORTON CANES area
        Thomas HICKIN
        + Mary FARLEY – m 17 Apr 1797 in Norton Canes, Staffordshire

        HARRIET CULWICK, sister of my gt/gr/mother EMILY, married
        WILLIAM WHITEHOUSE H M 40 born Cheslyn Hay
        Engine Tender at Colliery
        Betsy WHITEHOUSE daur 3 Saredon Stafford
        Clara WHITEHOUSE daur 2 Saredon Stafford
        Samuel WHITEHOUSE son 9 months Laney Green Stafford

        WILLIAM, thought to be s/o
        1841 Census – White Lion Row
        DANIEL WHITEHOUSE 40 Coal Miner born in county
        John WHITEHOUSE 20 Locksmith
        Daniel WHITEHOUSE 15 Coal MIner

        In the 1861 census in Wednesbury,
        HARRIET CULWICK (later Mrs WHITEHOUSE) appears to be living with her mother SARAH CULWICK nee WARD’s younger brother SAMUEL WARD and his wife ELIZABETH nee HASSALL. (WARD & HUNT family of Tanworth in Arden – Wythall)

        • Hi I just noticed you have replied (albeit a while ago) to pam jukes re PACE. pam and I are related through her price side of family.But what really caught my attention was the HICKIN -FARLEY CONNECTION as these are on my husband side. strange how these things work info is on

    • hi! as you can see I am a Ridgway, my father was Edwin (ted) ridgway who married milly..we lived in littlewood rd cheslyn hay..My family lived there for many years until moving to Rosemary Rd..We have a wide range of family members. There are two Ridgway families in Cheslyn hay, ours is spelt without the E. Please feel free to contact me if I can help in your search

      • Hi Caroline,
        I found an Edwin Ridgway who married Millicent Perks in 1946. While I do show an Edwin Ridgway in my database he was born in 1904 unlikely but not impossible he is the same one. Having said your Edwin could be a child of one of the brothers in the family in a line I have been so far unable to extend. Drop me an email, and let’s see if we connect.

  34. My dad, Leslie Plant, was from Cheslyn Hay. He was born about November 1923 and had a brother Jim, a brother Ray and a sister (?). I don’t have a lot of information or names of his parents. My wife and I are visiting England in Sep 11 and would love to go to Cheslyn Hay to see where he was born and brought up. He moved to Canada in the 1930s. If anyone has any info, please let me know. My email is

    Thank you,

    Tim Plant

    • Hi Ian,glad you have pointed (excuse the pun) this out.He was without doubt the best teacher,as well as a very nice person,that i had in all my school years,1945-1955.

  35. I am trying to find any information on the BATE FAMILY,ISAIAH & SOPHIA BATE , they had a son MATTHEW he married a ELIZA Whitehouse.
    Isaiah died in a Mining accident in 1864.
    Can anyone tell me were I can find where Isaiah is buried ? His daughter Eliza was my great grandmother.
    I would appreciate it if anyone had further information or who can help me.
    Thanks for your time.
    Kind Regards: Yvonne ( From OZ)

    • The Bate Family
      Isaiah and Sophia also had a daughter Sophia who married a Charles Harvey, they had a daughter Rose who was my grandmother,Sophia the younger would be my g,grandmother,making Sophia the elder my g.g.grandmother.
      Rose’s married name was Holland, my Mom Caroline’s mother.
      Hope you find this interesting
      Best wishes Geoff

      • Dear Geoff
        Many thanks for your response re the Bate family – I’ll include it in next week’s newsletter All the families you mention are well known Cheslyn Hay ones – and we have much information on them – as well as photographs. If you’re ever in the area and is convenient, please drop in at the Salem any Tuesday to see what we’ve got!
        Incidentally was your Mom known as Carrie Holland? If so we have a photograph of her in the Salem choir.
        Thanks again for your response
        Best wishes
        Trevor (McFarlane)

        • Trevor
          My mom was indeed Caroline May Stokes (nee Holland) she married dad Horace Stokes in 1938 and we lived in Cross St (town well ) since 1947,
          my dads family came from Littlewood as far back as 1750ish

      • Hi Dave,
        No I did find Isaiah Bate grave,and I have also been trying to find Sophia (Hodgkins / Stokes) burial place.
        Do you know where they are buried???
        Sophia would be buried under her 2nd married name of Hawkins.
        Dave have you come across the BRIGGS & BAYLISS Families of Cannock ???
        Agnes & Alfred Bayliss are my great grandparents.
        Abraham George Briggs married Alfred & Agnes oldest daughter Emma Elizabeth.
        So if you or anyone have info on the Bayliss or Briggs family
        Please get in touch.

    • Hi Yvonne, Sophia Stokes married Isaiah Bate and lived in Little Wood. I have been researching my Stokes family tree and have a few details you may be interested in. John and Rebecca Stokes were her parents who lived next door. John owned both cottages and in his will he mentioned that she should continue living there with her children. Eventually she remarried and moved on. I, too, live in Australia so I would like to compare notes if possible. I would be most grateful to get in touch, “cousin”.
      Regards, Ann Molloy

      • P.s. iIn early records Sophia was known as Docey Hodgkins, which is a diminutive game for Theodosia. It seems it was interchangeable with other names as I think she may have used Dorcas too. There seems to have been a lot of latitude when taking census information in those days. Also, sometimes there are transcription errors when transferring information to digital format. Cheers. Ann. Olloy

  36. Dear Trefor.
    I am looking through the “Guest Book” and found Lisa Elson is looking for the Whitehouse family. In our searches for the Pearson Family we have some Whitehouses and if Lisa would care to contact us I will send what we have on William Whitehouse Died 1892 age 74 Emma Whitehouse died 1876 and Eliza Shaw (1st Marriage 2nd Marriage Pearson) daughter of James Whitehouse died 1899 age 78.

  37. I am currently researching my family tree and Cheslyn Hay appears regularly on my father’s side of the family. The area that fascinates me is Dace’s Lot/The Lot where I have discovered both Beasleys and Daces in the mid to late 1800s. If anyone has any information on the area or links with Beasley or Dace I would be delighted to hear.
    Many thanks

  38. hello my dad was ted ridgway ( edwin austin ) i was born on the village my dad was the shunter on tony loco 301 . i remember lots that went on in our village i was wondering if enyone as the pictures of the carnation the float i was on with mary massey mary used to put a xmas party on at hawkins club . i also had my pic taken on the swing in cheslynhay park when i was 9 and vera pringle was pushing me i know the express and star took the pics . my aunty ivy beadsmoor lived in dundalk lane she grew buetiffull flowers to put on show. my sister joan was the blossem queen when she was 5 i would love to hear from enyone who remembers me from little wood rd lane and littlewood rd . regards sheila

    • Hello Sheila, I see the name RIDGEWAY and wonder if you’re connected to my RIDGEWAY-DUDLEY family of my great grandmother EMILY PACE nee CULWICK who married 2nd REUBEN DUDLEY abt. 1870s. REUBEN was a foreman at Rosemary Tilery. One of Reuben & 1st wife Elizabeth RAYBOLD’s children married a RIDGEWAY

      I wonder if occupation is indicative of a connection. You mention your dad was a locomotive man. William Whitehouse was also a locomotive man. He was husband of HARRIET CULWICK, sister of my great grandmother EMILY who later married REUBEN DUDLEY whose offspring connected to RIDGEWAY. Just thinking. – Gord Pace in Ontario

      • Hi!..its only a thought, but maybe your looking for Ridgway with/without the ‘E’ ? My dad worked on the railway as my sister already said, it was there that he was injured while shunting..his name was Ted ( Edwin Austin) Ridgway

  39. I was wondering if it is at all possible for me to use this “guest book” link to ask a question about the Whitehouse’s in cheslyn hay ? If this is at all possible then please email me. The enquiry is about James Whitehouse born in Cheslyn hay in 1835 who was father of Handel Whitehouse (my great great grandfather) born in 1866 cheslyn Hay.

    Kind regards


  40. I am a relative of the Griffiths family, related to the Daces and friend of the Ridgways. In Chelyn Hay. Where I myself grew up. would love a copy of the book, Were can I buy one. thank you Sue

    • hello susan i saw your message i am one of the ridgways all the ridgways were cousions on the village you can contact me on my email look forward to hearing from you

      regards sheila nee ridgway 0787 088 1062 . 01424 851108

  41. My Dad, who sadly passed away in November, 2007, was Raymond (Ray) Harvey.He was born and bred in Station Street and his Dad was Walter Harvey, coalmerchant. I would love any information anyone has regarding either the Harvey family or the Hickman family (my Grandma was Rachel Lydia (Lily) Harvey.

    Many thanks.

    • I remember Ray when I was a kid my Grandprents Rose and Enoch Holland lived next door at 166 Station Street, I wonder if it is the same Harvey family as Rose her maiden name was Harvey, her father was Charles Harvey who sadly died just before Rose was born.

          • Thankyou for your interest, can you please give more details of what you are after an how this person relates to you. You are welcome to come to any of our events which you will be able to get more information. Please view events page for details or contact us directly through the contacts page. Admin

      • Yes Geoff, – we have a picture of Ray Harvey’s the coal merchant and the house. Next time you’re at the base on a Tuesday, I’ll show it to you.
        All the best

  42. My grandfather was a miner at Hawkins Colliery for 40+ years and my father was a surface worker for a number of years. I have in my possession a silver trophy and medal presented to my dad, being a member of the winning soccer team competing for the T.A.Hawkins & Sons LTD. Challenge Cup, by Major O.C Hawkins sometime in the 1930s. I have other documents and photos relating to the 1930\40s era.

  43. Re: 10/10/1908
    Sudden Death at Great Wyrley Colliery

    The witness in this article is my Grandfather
    Thomas Pepper, horse fettler.
    On the 1911 census my father George Pepper lived in the colliery yard at Great Wyrley with his father Thomas and his mother Frances.
    My Grandparents are buried in Great Wyrley Cemetery. My Grandfather died as a result of a mining accident at the Silverwood Colliery Rotherham 1932.

    I would appreciate it if anyone had further information.

    Marlene Horan-Clancy

  44. Found you site searching for information on Staffordshire brickworks and found it intertesting.
    I would be pleased to hear about anything regarding the Hawkins Colliery and Brickworks project and anything else regarding brickmaking.

    Many thanks

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