The Wagstaffs of Handsworth

The earliest record I have of the family association with Handsworth is with my Great Great Grandfather Henry settling in Birmingham in 1849, when according to his Marriage Certificate, he lived at the Back of 24 Upper Windsor Street, Ladywood, and worked in Soho Road, followed a few years later by his brother William, who lived in Sheepcote Lane, and worked in Spring Row.

Henry and William were Blacksmiths by trade, as was their father John, who was the village Blacksmith in the Nottinghamshire village of Budby, nr Edwinstowe, and worked for the Earl Manvers Estate. The third brother George decided to stay in Nottinghamshire, working as a Farmer.

About Henry Wagstaff Snr.

Henry married Sarah Clarricoats of Newark, Notts., lived in Ladywood and had three children, John in 1852 who died from pneumonia aged 2 years, Henry, my Great Grandfather in 1854, and Samuel in 1855, who eventually moved to West Ham, London.

Sarah died in 1859 from a complicated pregnancy, and Henry remarried a Mary (maiden name unknown). He changed his trade in about 1867 and became a China Glass Dealer, with a shop at 3 Lozells Lane, then in 1872 at 5 Lozells Road, and also opened a Fruiterers at 90 Great Hampton Street.

He then moved the businesses to 258 Lozells Road and also opened a Fishmongers at No 254, and a Fishmongers at 51 Hamstead Road, which his son, Henry ran from 1879.

Henry Snrs wife Mary died in 1901 aged 74 years. Henry died in 1908 (see below)

About Henry JnrFamily

Henry Jnr had married Clara (daughter of William Whitehouse, a farmer at Yewtree Farm, Bromsgrove) in 1877 at St Peter St Pauls Church.

In 1896 the China shop was at 71 Villa Road and a Fruiterers was at No 86, with the Fishmongers still at 51 Hamstead, moving to No 70 in 1898.

Henry Clara had eight children :-

Amelia born 1878, Sarah Elizabeth born 1879, Arthur Harry born 1881, Clara born 1883 (died 1891 from Diphtheria), John William born 1885, George Herbert born 1888, Charles Edward (my Grandfather) born 1891, and Frederick Charles born 1896.

They were all baptised at Saint Mary's Church, Hamstead Road

Amelia married Arthur Redfern and lived in Dodford, nr Bromsgrove. Arthur was a farmer at Holte Hall in Whately, Tamworth.

Sarah married George Arm (son of Edward "Charlie" Arm who ran Cherry Orchard Farm, Handsworth in the early 1900's), who farmed at Fields Farm, Grendon, nr Atherstone. (Their descendents still run the farm today).

Arthur married Gertie (maiden name unknown). It is believed that they had a son Norman another child. Their marriage broke up and Arthur moved to London and lived on the streets.

John married Florence (daughter of Ernest Henry and Mary Ann Farr who ran a Shoe Shop in Hunters Lane and lived at 39 Villa Road) and lived at 48 Villa Road.

John, wife Florence, and her parents are buried in a family grave in Handsworth New Cemetery.

George married Amy Catherine (Seville) and after WW1, moved to Town Green Farm in Egham, Surrey,and was also a Car dealer in London, working for Lord Shaftsbury and it is said that he was a friend of Bugatti.

Charles, my Grandfather married Maude (daughter of Robert Roscoe, who was an Engine Driver in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Caroline) They married at St Mary's Church, Handsworth in 1921 and ran the Fruit Shop at 86 Villa Road, and lived at 75 Anglesey Street for a short while.

They had two children :- Patricia born 1922, and my father Barry born 1926. They both attended St Silas School. Pat also attended Grove Lane Girls, and Barry, Gower St Boys.

Fred married Annie (Perrins) and ran the shop in Hamstead Road. They had three children :-

Anne Elizabeth who married a Mr. Suffness and later emigrated to the USA.

Henry Herbert "John" and Frederick G "Keith" who were twins and were also thought to have later emigrated to the States.

Henry (died 1919), Clara (died 1930) and daughter Clara are buried in the grounds of Saint Mary's Church.

All the brothers served in WW1 and returned, although my Grandfather was taken as a POW and consequently suffered from Tuberculosis until his death in 1959.

After Clara died, the estate was left to Frederick. He ran the last shop in Hamstead Road until the 60's when he retired to Rednal and died in 1976.

About William Wagstaff Family

Henry Snr's brother William, who worked as a Smith, and a Brassfounder, married Caroline (daughter of William Cutler, who was a silversmith, and Ann) at St Marks 1851, and had the following children :-

George William born 1852, Francis born 1854, Mary Anne born 1855, Thomas Henry born 1857 (died 1860 from measles), Alfred Cutler born 1859 (died from Phthisis), Caroline Sarah born 1862.

The children were christened at St Mary's Church, Hamstead Road.

William died in Spring Row in 1873 and was buried at St Mary's, and Caroline and the family moved to 4 Barker Street to run a Tobacconist Shop.

Daughter Caroline married John Lees Morris (son of John Botteley Morris, an Ale Porter Agent) from 11 Carpenters Road, in 1882, who was manager of a Public House (unknown)

George Francis became Silversmiths by trade, and the family had moved to Vittoria Street in the Jewelry Quarter by 1889 (Caroline died in 1889 and was buried at St Mary's)

Francis married Frances Ellen (maiden name unknown), and had the following children :-

Francis William born 1898, Beatrice born 1901, and Gertrude born 1903.

Mary Anne Wagstaff ran her Uncle Henrys China Shop when he retired (he died in 1908 at 71 Villa Road, aged 83 years). She eventually moved to 99 Foley Road in Washwood Heath with her nieces Sarah Caroline Elsie Morris, and died a spinster in 1934.

Mark Wagstaff

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