This blog is designed to record the findings of our family history, mainly for the benefit of the family, and to document the dead ends, the breakthroughs and the journey.
I’ll post the family stories as I’ve written them to now, and I’ll be grateful to anyone who can add further information or pictures, or point out errors.
Particular thanks to my sister Julia and my cousin Mandy who between them have done much more of the work than I have.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Hamilton Story part 1

The Hamilton Story

Let’s start with the Hamiltons as Julia and I were born with the surname Hamilton, although that turns out not to be quite right

Dad has written elsewhere about his childhood in Roebuck Street, growing up in the 1920s and 30s.

Walter Hamilton

Dad’s father was Walter Hamilton, born on 30th September 1887 and registered as Walter Hambilton, although he always said the family name was Hamilton and spelt it Hamilton himself. Walter married Lily Gertrude Timmins on 2nd January 1911, and they lived the rest of their married lives at 17 Roebuck Street, with eventually nine children

Arthur               1911-1991
Dorothy            1914-2001
Alfred               1916-1980
Frederick          1918-1979
Stanley             1923-1997
Norman             1926-1995
Betty                1929-2003
The Youngest

I haven’t included any personal details on this blog about anyone who is still alive

Walter died in 1966 and Gert in 1969.

Joseph Hamilton

Walter’s father was Joseph Hamilton. He was colliery engine driver at Sandwell Park Colliery. Joseph was born on 11th February 1850 at Tividale in Tipton. He married Sarah Emily Mills on 2nd November 1873 in Dudley Parish Church.

In 1871 Joseph was living with his mother and his sister Mercy in Sedgley Road East in Tipton, his father having died.

In 1881 Joseph was married and living at 10 Groveland Road Tipton , with his wife and the first three children, Emma, Thomas and Alfred.

By 1891 the family had moved to West Bromwich, to 74 Roebuck Street with their children Thomas, Alfred, Ernest, Emma, Sarah, Joseph, Walter and Eva. Joseph’s wife, Sarah Emily was, according to Dad, always known as Emily. At this time her mother Elizabeth Mills was living with them.

In 1901 they are at no 41 and have one more child Lilian, she who allegedly ran off to Tenbury Wells with the money.

Joseph died on 25th January 1933 aged 83.

It is Joseph who was probably responsible for the variations in our name, together with some fairly slapdash census enumerators.

1845 Samuel’s marriage certificate         Hamblet
1850 Joseph’s birth certificate                Hamlet
1851 Census                                         Hamlett
1861 Census                                         Amphlett
1862 Samuel’s death certificate              Hamlet
1862 Birmingham Daily Post                  Amblett
1871 Census                                         Hamlet
1873 Joseph’s marriage certificate         Hamlinton
1881 Census                                         Hamilton
1887 Walter’s birth certificate                 Hambilton
1891 Census                                         Hamblington
1901 Census                                         Hamlinton
1911 Walter’s marriage certificate           Hamilton
1911 Census                                         Hamilton
1933 Joseph’s death certificate             Hamilton

Roebuck Street

In 1911 the Hamiltons were living at a number of properties in Roebuck Street and probably owned a few more. The 1911 census wasn’t available when Mandy started doing this and it gives us some useful information. Joseph, Emily (Sarah) are living at no 66. Some of the children have married and left home, and of these two are living in Roebuck Street, Walter at no 17 and Ernest at no 102. Later Walter’s son Arthur lived at no ? and we lived at no 85.

Samuel Hamlet

Joseph’s father was Samuel Hamlet. He was also a pit engineer at Tipton Green Colliery.

Samuel was born around 1827. This was of course before the registration of births, and we think that he was born at Charlton in Shropshire (according to the 1851 census). The 1861 census however gives a completely different birthplace. The transcribers have it down as illegible, but it’s possible that it says Wrockwardine in Shropshire. St Peter’s church in Wrockwardine was (is) the parish for Charlton. A Samuel Hamblett was christened there is 1818, according to the IGI. There was also a Samuel Amphlett christened at St Thomas in Dudley (where Samuel got married), on 26th December 1830. This baby had a father called John, and we know from Samuel’s marriage certificate that his father was called John.

Samuel married Sarah Whitehouse on 10th August 1845 in Dudley Parish Church. Samuel and Sarah were both living in New Hall Street Dudley at the time of their marriage.

I can’t find anyone on the 1841 census that I can definitely say is Samuel.

The 1851 census shows Samuel and Sarah living in Tividale with two children Samuel Jnr aged 4 and Joseph aged 1. Samuel’s place of birth is given as Charlton in Shropshire, and Sarah was born in Tipton. By 1861 they have moved to Park Lane Tipton and have another child Mercey.

Samuel died tragically, on 18th January 1862 as a result of a accident at work. The Birmingham Daily Post of 23rd January 1862 wrote it up as follows. The paper, as well as giving him yet another spelling, says he had six children, but I have only been able to identify three.

FATAL COLLIERY ACCIDENT – On Saturday evening last, there occurred an accident at the Tipton Green Colliery, which cost the life of a married man, with six children, named Samuel Amblett. Deceased was employed at Mr. Edward Williams’s colliery, at the above-named place, and was highly respected. He was engaged on Saturday morning at about eleven o’clock, in his usual duties as engineer of the colliery, when, by some means or other, he became entangled in the revolving arms of the cylinder upon which the pit rope is wound, and, before he was extricated, he was so severely injured that all possible chance of the resuscitation of life was gone.

John Hamlet

Samuel’s marriage certificate (1845) gives his father’s name as John. He is deceased by then, and he was also an engine man.  I haven’t yet been able to find John. As Samuel was born around 1818, I would guess that John was born around 1790.

Part 2 will take the Hamiltons further back, probably into Shropshire.


  1. Hi Diana, it's lovely to see what you've written, I think with Samuel there will always be some confusion mainly because of the name changes, I'm not sure that the Samuel referred to in the daily mail is the same Samuel as ours, according to Joseph's marriage certificate he is still alive in 1873, it normally states that the father is deceased on the marriage lines and as it didn't then I'm assuming he was still alive when Joseph got married. Unless you know different? It's very maddening that they didn't or couldn't read the writing when they transcribed most of the census and baptism forms, it makes our research very difficult doesn't it.......

    1. After several months I've just had a chance to look again at this. Although you are right that it usually says if a father is deceased, the 1871 census shows Sarah as a widow living with Joseph and Mercy, so he was certainly dead before 1873. In which case I think I'm right

  2. I've just done a quick parent search for Samuel and Sarah and these are the children that have popped up, all born in Rowley-Regis....Joseph 1850, John 1852, and Isaac 1855, so there are 2 possible children that we haven't found before....there were so many child deaths in those days that they may not have survived, so will be on none of the census forms, the only other one is Mercy which you already know about. I've just been going through a few things and I'm not sure if I've told you this before and of course you may have already seen it but on Walters marriage certificate Joseph has once again changed his name to Thomas Joseph, no wonder we've had a job putting the pieces together ha ha