The next family history that I planned to put on the blog was the Mills family. But I have hit an impasse.
The Mills family joined our tree when Sarah Emily Mills (my great grandmother and known to the family as Emmy) married Joseph Hamlinton, as he currently was on 2nd November 1873, at St Edmunds Dudley. She was 18
I have her marriage certificate, her death certificate and her birth certificate, and census records after 1881, but more than that I cannot find out.
She was born on 3rd May 1856 in Upper Gornal, Sedgley. Her father was William Mills, a master whitesmith, and her mother was Elizabeth Mills (nee Webb)
In 1881 they were living at 10 Groveland Road Tipton , with 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 (my grandfather) and Eva. At this time Sarah Emily’s mother Elizabeth Mills was living with them. In 1901 they are at no 41 and have one more child Lilian.
According to Dad Sarah Emily owned several properties in Roebuck Street including a shop, all of which she left to her daughter Lilian who eventually lived in Tenbury Wells. This seems feasible as we know that Arthur Hamilton bought his house in Roebuck Street from his aunt Lilian.
Sarah Emily died in 1926, aged 69.
The next stage would be to look for her parents, but here I’ve drawn a blank.
I can find no trace of a William Mills marrying an Elizabeth Webb. This didn’t worry me too much as we have other missing marriages.
As Sarah Emily was born in 1856 she should show on the 1861 and 1871 censuses under her maiden name. There is a Sarah Mills with an Elizabeth Mills as her mother –a widow - on the 1861 census, but I have discovered that this is the wrong family. There is a bother called Caleb, nice unusual name, but his father wasn’t William Mills, but John Mills. On the 1871 I found 10 Sarah Mills in the Black Country, but only two of them are possibilities, one visiting an elderly woman called Phoebe Law, and one a servant. It is possible that she is in service away from home, but she can’t have moved far as she married Joseph two years later. So I have no clue to her parents from her census returns.
Next I looked for whitesmiths called William Mills in Dudley on the censuses And I found two – father and son in 1851. William Mills the younger was born in 1825, and the elder in 1796. By 1861 they have both disappeared from the census, so assuming they were both dead I sent for death certificates for William Mills who died between 1856 (when Sarah was born) and 1861 when the next census was taken. William Mills, the elder died in 1857at the age of 62. But still no sign of William the younger in 1861 or any subsequent censuses.
There are a few more avenues to pursue but we have a little mystery here.