Place:Aston, Warwickshire, England

Watchers
NameAston
Alt namesAston-juxta-Birminghamsource: Family History Library Catalog
Aston juxta Birminghamsource: alternate spelling
Aston-Juxta-Birminghamsource: alternate spelling
Aston Juxta Birminghamsource: alternate spelling
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates52.5°N 1.88°W
Located inWarwickshire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inWest Midlands, England     (1974 - )
See alsoHemlingford Hundred, Warwickshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Birmingham, Warwickshire, Englandmunicipal and county borough of which it was a part 1838-1912
Birmingham, Warwickshire, Englandcivil parish into which it was absorbed in 1912
Birmingham (metropolitan borough), West Midlands, Englandmetropolitan borough covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Aston is an area of central Birmingham, which has been since 1974 in the county of West Midlands of England. Commencing immediately to the northeast of the city centre, Aston constitutes a ward within the unitary authority.

Today, Aston is famous for Aston Villa Football Club (soccer) and Aston University.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Aston.

Image:Warwickshiremap 700.jpg

Aston in the Warwickshire era

The old name of the parish, especially for the ecclesiastical parish, of Aston was Aston-juxta-Birmingham and this was commonly used in documents up until the 19th century. The variations with and without hyphens and the upper case "juxta" (=beside) are given above and are all redirected here.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Aston from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"ASTON, a parish and a [registration] district in Warwick. The parish partly lies within Birmingham on the E, partly spreads adjacent. It is traversed by Ryknield-street, the river Tame, the Fazeley canal, and the Northwestern, the Tamworth, the Oxford, and the Bristol railways. It contains the sub-post offices of Aston-street, Ashted-row, Aston-Park, and Deritend, each about 1½ mile distant from Birmingham head office. It comprises the hamlets of Deritend, Bordesley, and Duddeston-cum-Nechells; the manor of Aston [Aston Manor], and the hamlets of Witton, Erdington, Little Bromwich, Saltley and Washwood, Castle-Bromwich, and Water-Orton. The hamlets of Deritend and Bordesley form one of the borough wards of Birmingham; the hamlet of Duddeston-cum-Nechells forms another ward; and the manor and the other hamlets are suburban or rural. Acres within the borough: 2,626; without the borough: 11,251. Real property of Aston manor: £53,188; of the suburban or rural hamlets: £43,452; of the entire parish: £276,514. Population in 1821: 19,189; in 1841: 45,718; in 1861: 94,995. Houses: 19,256.
"The manor belonged to the Saxon Earls of Mercia; was given, at the Conquest, to William Fitz-Ausculf; and passed to the Pagenels, the Erdingtons, and the Holts. The manor-house, Aston Hall, stands on a rising ground, at the end of a fine avenue, in the north-eastern outskirts of the town; is a noble edifice in the Tudor style, built in the time of James I. by Sir Thomas Holt; gave entertainment to Charles I. prior to the battle of Edge-Hill, and suffered a cannonade afterwards from the parliamentarian forces; and was, for some years, the residence of the late James Watt, son of the famous engineer. Most of a beautiful park which surrounded it has been aligned for streets, and let on building-leases; and a tract of about 43 acres immediately around the hall was sold, in 1857, to a public company, for £35,000, with the view of being made free to the inhabitants of Birmingham. The hall itself was included in the sale, and designed to be used for a permanent exhibition of manufactures and works of art; and was inangurated, in 1858, by Queen Victoria. The parish church stands 300 yards E of the hall; is an interesting edifice in varieties of English, from Edward II. to Henry VII., with fine tower and spire; suffered great change and mutilation in 1790; and contains four altar tombs, some fine antique stone seats, a carved church-yard cross of early English date, and beautiful windows of stained glass. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Worcester. Value: £1,600. Patrons: Trustees. The chapelries of Ward-end, Ashted, Castle-Bromwich, Bordesley, (two are here,) Aston-Brook, Deritend, Erdington, Duddeston, Nechells, Lozells, Saltley, Water-Orton, St. Lawrence, and Sparkbrooke are separate charges. There are chapels for Independents, Baptists, Wesleyans, and others: public schools, an alms-house with £88 a year, and other charities £334."

This is a longer excerpt from Wilson's Gazetteer than is usually provided here, but it names many of the settlements within Birmingham that are still known today.

The size of Aston was greatly reduced in 1894 when sections were transferred to the neighbouring parishes of Aston Manor, Castle Bromwich, Erdington, and Water Orton, but still over 5,000 acres were transferred to Birmingham when Aston was abolished in 1912.

Research Tips

  • The website British History Online provides seven volumes of the Victoria County History Series on Warwickshire. The first (Vol 2) covers the religious houses of the county; Volumes 3 through 6 provide articles the settlements in each of the hundreds in turn, and Volumes 7 and 8 deal with Birmingham and Coventry respectively.
  • GENUKI main page for Warwickshire provides information on various topics covering the whole of the county, and also a link to a list of parishes. Under each parish there is a list of the settlements within it and brief description of each. This is a list of pre-1834 ancient or ecclesiastical parishes but there are suggestions as to how to find parishes set up since then. GENUKI provides references to other organizations who hold genealogical information for the local area. There is no guarantee that the website has been kept up to date and therefore the reader should check additional sources if possible.
  • Warwickshire and West Midland family history societies are listed in GENUKI.
  • The FamilyTree Wiki has a series of pages similar to those provided by GENUKI which may have been prepared at a later date and from more recent data. The wiki has a link to English Jurisdictions 1851. There is a list of all the parishes in existence at that date with maps indicating their boundaries. The website is very useful for finding the ecclesiastical individual parishes within large cities and towns.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time, Warwickshire, section "Units and Statistics" leads to analyses of population and organization of the county from about 1800 through 1974. There are pages available for all civil parishes, municipal boroughs and other administrative divisions. Descriptions provided are usually based on a gazetteer of 1870-72 which often provides brief notes on the economic basis of the settlement and significant occurences through its history.
  • The two maps below indicate the boundaries between parishes, etc., but for a more detailed view of a specific area try a map from this selection. The oldest series are very clear at the third magnification offered. Comparing the map details with the GENUKI details for the same area is well worthwhile.