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Steelhouse Lane

SPGSOB

proper brummie kid
If I am in the wrong area, please forgive me and put me right. This is the first time I have been to this site. I have just started to try to trace my ancestors and the 1851 census shows my Great grandfather living at "Court, Steelhouse Lane" with his parents, several lodgers and a servant. From his marriage certificate in 1857 I can see that he and his bride were both living there then. His father is shown as a jeweller in 1851 and no occupation for his mother although in 1841 they are both shown as shopkeepers. I am trying to envisage what sort of a building it would have been and from what little I know of the family, I find it hard to believe that they would have been able to afford a dwelling large enough to house nine people, nor a servant. Apologies for the rambling question but if anyone can cast any light on this. I would be grateful.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The courts were enclosed groups of houses , almost always small. A typical court in Steelhouse lane is shown in the drawing below. They had names or numbers, though this was possibly left off in the census. If you could give us the name of your great grandfather so that i can find him on the census, i will try and palce the house on a map, which might give some more information


Steelhouse_Lane.jpg
 

SPGSOB

proper brummie kid
Thank you for this. I must look up the Artisans' Dwelling Act! The title "Insanitary Houses" is certainly borne out by the drawing. Would the whole group of houses be regarded as one household for the purposes of the census? It doesn't look the sort of place that would have a 19 year old servant. I feel guilty about taking up your time, but if you wouldn't mind educating me a bit more, I really would appreciate it. As I said previously, I have only recently started this quest and I am still fumbling around. I have a transcript of the 1851 census. It shows great grandfather as Joseph Walker, born in 1828 and his parents as Wiiliam and Charlotte (nee Adams, I think) Walker. The 1841 census transcript that I have shows them living, with others, in John Street. One more observation, if I may: In both censuses (censi?) there is mention of a John Wilson, described in the latter census as "son in law" although there is no mention of a daughter and the only females other than Charlotte are the aforementioned servant and a seemingly unrelated 10 year old. There isn't even another female in 1841?
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
mike i have looked at the 51 census for the walker family mostly all including the lodgers in the gun trade..think i am right in saying that a lock filer is also to do with guns...you maybe able to find a map looks like they lived in court 13 no house number...SPGSOB as you say biddy is down as you say a servant but that does not always mean for the head of house..she could have been a servant for anyone...hope this helps but mike is the expert on maps..oh biddy connor born ireland and back in those days birmingham had an influx of irish coming over to settle in brum especially in the area of steelhouse lane..
..
all the best

lyn
 
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John Young

master brummie
Hi & welcome SPGSOB,

Best to post your 1841/51 censii (just the initial letters & numbers ) then Mikejee & others will assist you to
throw more light on your quest,
Best regards John Y
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Court 13 between was between Whittall St and Russell St, and later became part of the site of the General hospital. The c 1889 map below shows where it was, though, from the appearance of the map, it is likely by 1889 it was no longer filled with houses but was just industrial

map_c1889_showing_wherecourt_13_would_have_been_in_1851.jpg
 

bewdley

master brummie
Joseph was baptised at St Philips, Birmingham on 31st October 1836. Joseph William son of William (Jeweller) and Charlotte Walker, Barr Street, Hockley, date of birth 7th October 1827.
 

SPGSOB

proper brummie kid
Many thanks to everyone who have taken the trouble to help. I now know what the Artisans' Dwelling Act was about! Bewdley, thank you for the additional information about Joseph. I have a copy of his marriage certificate dated 26/10/1857, when he was 30, so that fits in. He appears to have died sometime between the 1881 and 1891 censuses as his wife is shown as a widow in 1891. I am very new to this and I haven't yet been able to go back further than 1841 with any certainty but I shall persevere...
 

sylviasayers

master brummie
The son-in-law mentioned could have been a stepson as this term was often used in those days to describe a son or in the case of a girl daughter-in-law being a child of an earlier marriage.
 

SPGSOB

proper brummie kid
Thank you for this. In the 1841 census he was described as a juvenile but became a son in law according to the 1851 census. Perhaps he was adopted during the 1841-1851 period. He's not really all that relevant to my research but I was curious.
 

SPGSOB

proper brummie kid
Hi John
I really am a complete novice at this. I have transcripts of the censi and the 1841 census has an archive reference of HO107, piece number 1143, book 3, folio 6 page 5. Corresponding data for 1851: HO107, 2057, no book no,,folio 377, page 11. Are these the right numbers? I apologise if I am asking really dumb questions and if I am wasting everyone's time, just ignore me! Many thanks
 
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