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.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Perry Family Story

Much of the research for this story is gleaned from Nigel Perry who has been an enormous help to us.

The Perry Name

According to Nigel Perry’s family history manuscript, the origins of the name are varied. The place name Perry was derived from the cultivation of pear trees (very appropriate in Worcestershire). The family in the Black Country descend from Sir Pagan de Parles, a 12th century knight. His son became known S Henry de Pirie after the manor of the same name. They probably held land in Perry Barr, very close to Great Barr where Julia and I lived as children. There was also a manor called Perry on the eastern side of Worcester in Martin Hussingtree, very close to where I live now..

However, the riff raff side of the family, from whom we are of course descended lived mainly around the Lye and Oldswinford.

The GB Names map shows three concentrations in 1881, the West Midlands, Cornwall Devon and Somerset, and Essex and Hertfordshire. The name is not registered with the Guild of One Name studies.

Ann Elizabeth Perry 1869- 1927

Our great grandmother Ann Elizabeth Perry was born on 4th August 1869 and died in 6th April 1927 of a brain tumour. She was married to James Morris the jeweller. For a long time we could find no record of the marriage either in the registration sites or in the parish records for St Marys Oldswinford where she lived and where all her siblings were married. However, the mystery has now been solved by Gill Hibberd. She has found the marriage certificate, but it throws up more questions than it answers.

James and Ann were married on March 2nd 1889, at the parish church in Harborne. The witnesses were her father William Perry and her sister Matilda Perry. But Ann Elizabeth Perry is listed as Lizzie Ann Perry (Geoffrey Morris always refers to her as Lizzie, so we must assume that is how she was known). And they were married in Harborne , then part of Kings Norton and in Staffordshire. Now of course it is a suburb of Birmingham. Both give their address as High Street Harborne, though no numbers are given, and we need not assume they were at the same address. So what were they doing there?

They were presumably not there very long. The census of 1891 shows them married and living at Brettel Lane Kingswinford, while in the previous 1881 census they were both teenagers living at home with their parents, James at Engine Lane the Lye and Lizzie at Hagley Road Upper Swinford.

And so in an effort to find why they were in Harborne,  I scrolled through all the addresses in High Street Harborne in the 1891 census (the nearest to when they were there). There are 275 households so it was quite a trawl.

There are two possibilities as to why Lizzie, as we shall now call her was there.

At number 39 lived Mishack Perry, a horsenail maker who was born on Oldswinford. I checked his parentage on IGI and he not a brother of our William Henry.
At no 255 was Charles Perry, a nailer, also born in Oldswinford. He was born in 1835 and I haven’t been able to find his parentage in the IGI which has suddenly become even less useful than before.

We’ll never know the truth of course but the possibilities are interesting.

We also have no record of what, if anything she did for a living before she was married, as the marriage certificate doesn’t tell us.

At the time of her birth Lizzie’s family were living in Field Lane Oldswinford and her father is William Henry Perry, a nailmaker. The first census in which Lizzie appears is the 1871, by which time the family has moved to Hagley Road Oldswinford, and that and the 1881 show her living with her parents William Henry and Ann.

The 1891 census shows Ann now married to James Morris living at Brettell lane Kingswinford with baby Annie. For the rest of her story see the Morrises.

William Henry Perry (1843-1932) and Ann Elizabeth Partridge (1844-1909)

William Henry Perry was born on 19th May 1843. His parents are given as Samuel Perry, a nailer and Elizabeth Perry (formerly Hill). He first appears in the census in 1851, living with his parents,

The 1861 census shows the family name as Pary rather than Perry and the Findmypast transcript shows William Henry as William Mary. At this stage and in 1851 the family’s address is simply Upper Swinford.

William married Ann Partridge in 1862. Both are 19. His occupation is given as a nailer and she doesn’t have one. William’s father Samuel is a nailmaker and Ann’s father William Partridge is a moulder. By 1871 they are living in Hagley Road Oldswinford. Willam is working as horse nail maker. They already have 4 children

Samuel             1863
William H          1865
Albert               1867
Ann Elizabeth    1869.
Living with them is Harriot Hill, William’s grandmother.

Little has changed by 1881 They are at the same address. Harriot Hill is no longer with them and there are several more children

Matilda             1872
John Ernest      1874
Charles Arthur   1878
Minnie Rose      1881.

But by 1891 they have moved to Furlong Road. William is now a town letter carrier, and Ann is also working, as a laundress. Of the children, Samuel, William Junior, Albert, Lizzie and Matilda have all left home; John is working as a spinner and two more children have been born.

Edward             1884
Sidney              1886.

On the night of the census there is a visitor George Davies, a glass cutter. George came originally from Brettell Lane. In the 1901 and 1911 censuses he lives at 11 Lawrence Street with his wife Alice, a brick moulder from Stambermill. I can find no obvious link between him and the Perrys.

In 1901 they have moved again to Field Lane Upper Swinford. No more children have been born. Minnie, Edward and Sidney are all single and living at home. A daughter in law Ellen is there that night with her son John E. So we might assume she is married to John Ernest. (who is not there).

Ann Perry (nee Partridge) died in 1909, and at some time after that but before the census of 1911 William and his son Sydney moved again to 41 Market Street Stourbridge, together  with his granddaughter Annie Morris (our grandmother). He is described as a retired postman and Sidney is a brewer’s clerk.

William died in 1932, aged 89. He was living at 5 The Furlongs Oldswinford and the death was registered by his daughter Matilda, now Savage. Interestingly my mother never mentioned him, although she was 11 when he died.

Samuel Perry (1815-1894) and Elizabeth Hill (1821-1901)

Samuel and Elizabeth were, of course born before the registration of births. I have, however found their christenings on IGI. Samuel was christened on 22nd October 1815 at St Mary’s Oldswinford. His parents were James and Jane Perry. Elizabeth was christened at the Wesleyan Chapel in Stourbridge on 27th May 1821. Her parents are Jacob and Harriet Hill.

Samuel and Elizabeth were married at St Mary’s Oldswinford in 1838. His father is a nailer and hers (Jacob Hill) is a miner. Samuel and Elizabeth were both illiterate and both of them are nailers. At the time of their marriage Samuel was living at Upper Swinford and Elizabeth at Chawnhill.

 In the 1841 census Samuel and Elizabeth are married and have two of their eventual three children

Harriet   1839
Hannah 1840.
Samuel is a nailer and they are living in Heath Lane Oldswinford.

 By the 1851 census William has been born. Samuel, Elizabeth and their two daughters aged 12 and 10 are all working as nailers. They have moved to Upper Swinford.

In the 1861 census the family name is spelled Pary. Everyone, including William, is working as a nailer, and there is also a granddaughter Mina Moore Perry, born in 1860 who is 10 months old. According to her birth certificate Mina is the daughter of Hannah who is unmarried and no father is named.

In 1871, Samuel and Elizabeth, both now in their 50s are living with their granddaughter Mina at Beauty Bank Stourbridge. Samuel is still a horse nail maker but no occupation is given for Elizabeth.

1881 sees them in dear old Enville Street at no 63. Samuel has become a greengrocer and Mina is his assistant. A number of other people are at the same address.

A single lady called Fanny Wise, aged 25 who is described at the Perry’s boarder. She is retired and living on money consols' William Wise, who is presumably related to her, also aged 25, as described as the head of a household (as is Samuel). He has a wife and 2 children, and he is also living on money consols

1891 is the last census for Samuel and Elizabeth. In this census the family name is spelled Parry. They have moved again to King William St Amblecote. Samuel is described as a retired greengrocer. Their granddaughter Matilda is there and a great granddaughter Henrietta. Mina is no longer there. She married Alfred Bishop in 1881.

On Samuel’s death certificate in 1894 their address is given as Ford View South Street . Ann Elizabeth Perry, daughter in law registered the death and her address is given as the Furlongs Oldswinford. Elizabeth died in 1901. She was still at Ford View living with her grand daughter A.E (Ann Elizabeth?) Fletcher.

James Perry (1775-1835) and Jane Sparry (?-1847)

Most of this information is from the St Mary’s parish records, although I do have death certificate for Jane who died a widow in 1847. We have not found a birth record either in the parish register or the IGI for either of them. There is some discrepancy over Jane’s birth year. Julia has 1772, the 1841 census has 1781, and her death certificate in 1847 says she is 70 which would give us 1777 as her birth year.

James Perry and Jane Sperry were married on 16th December 1799 at St Mary’s Oldswinford, the witnesses being John Gadd and Elizabeth Round.

James and Jane had 10 children, all of whom were baptised at St Mary’s

Sebra               1801
John                 1803
William              1805
James              1810
Jane                 1811
Hannah             1813
Samuel             1815
Isaac                1818
George             1820
Benjamin           1823

James was a nailer in Upper Swinford. In 1818 he is mentioned as a parish pauper (some 40% of the local population were paupers that year) and in 1823 he was living in Oldswinford village.

There is a record of James’ burial on 17th August 1835 at St Mary’s

The census of 1841 shows Jane living with her two youngest sons George and Benjamin in Field Lane.

Jane died on 16th September 1847, at Field Lane and the death was registered by her eldest daughter Sebra

Earlier Perrys
As we cannot find James' birth in the parish records we must assume he was born somewhere else. We cannot therefore currently find his father’s name and we must leave it there for now.

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