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Tracing Your Black Country Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians

Publisher: Pen & Sword

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Product Description

Media: BOOK - paperback, 208 pages
Author: M. Pearson
Year: 2012
ISBN: 9781844159130
Other: b&w photos, appendix, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

The Black Country in the West Midlands is an important site for family historians. Many researchers, seeking to trace their ancestry back through the generations, will find their trail leads through it. And yet, despite the burgeoning interest in genealogy and the importance of the region in so many life stories, no previous book has provided a guide to the Black Country's history and to the documents and records that family historians can use in their research.

In this accessible and informative introduction to the subject, Michael Pearson looks at the history and heritage of the region and gives a graphic insight into the world in which our ancestors lived. He concentrates on the role the Black Country played during the industrial revolution when the development of mining, industry and transport transformed the economic and social life of the area. This was a period when living and working conditions were poor, families were large, children worked from an early age, often in the mines, and life expectancy was less than 20. And it was the era in which the Black Country took on the distinctive identity by which it is known today.

As well as retelling the fascinating story of the development of the Black Country, the author introduces the reader to the variety of records that are available for genealogical research, from legal and ecclesiastical archives, birth and death certificates to the records of local government, employers, institutions, clubs, societies and schools.


- The Black Country
- Boundaries of the Black Country
- The Black Country Name
- Beginnings of the Black Country
- Why is the Black Country Special?
- Documenting the Workshop of the World
1. Iron and Steel
- Introduction
- Early Years
- The Height of the Industrial Revolution - Round Oak
- Iron and Steel in Bilston
- The Decline and Demise of the Steel Industry
- Working condition
- Further Information
- Researching Your Ancestors
2. Mining
- Introduction
- The Butty and the Truck System
- Children in the Mines
- Mining Records
- Mining Risks
- Hamstead Colliery Disaster, 1908
- A Distressting Colliery Accident
- Striking Miners
- Mining Unions
- Mining Diseases
- Experiencing Mining Life
- Further Information
3. Industrial Diversity
- Introduction
- Other Forms of Mining
- Glass Making
- Chain and Nail Making
- Early Motor Industry
- Leather Making and Loriny
- Brick Making
- Lock Making
- Nuts, Bolts and Screws
- Other Trades
4. Transport
- Introduction
- Roads
- Canals
- Railways
- Trams and Trolleybuses
- Flight
5. Black Country Life
- Introduction
- Population Change
- Dialect
- Housing, Sanitation and Facilities
- The Workhouse and Poor Laws
- Asylums
- Education and Institutions
- Food and Drink
- Resources
6. The Black Country Off-duty
- Introduction
- Theatre, Cinema and Variety
- Wakes, Fetes and Celebrations
- Pubs, Inns, Taverns and Breweries
- Temperance
- Holidays and Excursions
- Traditional Black Country Sports
- Attractions
- Shopping
- The Co-operative Movement
- Newspapers
7. Religion
- Introduction
- The Early Situation
- The Established Church
- Anglicanism
- The Emergence of Nonconformity
- Sunday School
- Parish and Church Records
- Civil Registration
- Churches and Burial Grounds
8. Crime and Punishment
- Introduction
- Before the Police
- The 'New' Police
- Life in the Police
- Policing Records
- Punishment Through the Ages
9. Archives and Resources
- Main Archives
- Museums and Archives
- Libraries
- Family History Societies
- Local History Groups and Societies
- General Websites

Appendix 1: Military Records
Appendix 2: Local Government

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