- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia
West Bromwich has been since 1974 a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell, in the West Midlands county of England. Prior to 1974 it was in Staffordshire. It is situated 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Birmingham on the A41 London-to-Birkenhead road, and is part of the Black Country. West Bromwich is the largest town in Sandwell, with a population of 75,405 at the 2011 census; the wider West Bromwich Urban Sub-Area was recorded as having a population of 136,940 at the time of the 2001 census. In 2011, West Bromwich's Urban Sub Area had a population of 91,930 and includes the West Bromwich and West Bromwich East Urban Subdivisions.
Nineteenth and twentieth century development
In the 19th century, coal deposits were discovered, ensuring that the town grew rapidly as an industrial centre, with industries such as spring, gun and nail making developing. Well before the end of the 19th century, West Bromwich had established itself as a prominent area to match older neighbouring towns including Dudley and Walsall.
In 1888, West Bromwich became a county borough, incorporating the village of Great Barr. Sections of Smethwick, Perry Barr, more of Great Barr, and Wednesbury were absorbed between 1897 and 1931. It was again expanded in 1966, acquiring most of the borough of Tipton and the remainder of Wednesbury urban district as well as a small section of Coseley urban district, before joining with the neighbouring county borough of Warley (which contained the towns of Rowley Regis, Oldbury and Smethwick) in 1974 to form the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell.
Staffordshire Research Tips
Reminder: Staffordshire today covers a much smaller area than formerly. The West Midlands now governs the southeastern corner of pre-1974 Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, although ceremonially still part of Staffordshire, is a unitary authority covering a large well-populated part of the north of the county.
- Staffordshire Record Office, Eastgate Street, Stafford ST16 2LZ (phone and email contact details, opening hours, etc.)
- Stoke on Trent City Archives, City Central Library, Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stoke on Trent ST1 3RS (phone and email contact details, opening hours, etc.)
- Lichfield Record Office, The Friary, Lichfield WS13 6QG (phone and email contact details, opening hours, etc.)
- The William Salt Library is the reference library in Stafford and is adjacent to the county archive offices. They have an online catalogue of their holdings.
- GENUKI lists other large libraries in Staffordshire for Wolverhampton, Burton-upon-Trent, Dudley, Walsall, and Sandwell. The last three of these places are now in the West Midlands and may hold items of local interest which are no longer housed in Staffordshire libraries and archives. For example, The Walsall Archives Centre keeps local census records and local church records.
- The Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry includes Staffordshire in its remit. It has branches in Stoke-on-Trent, Burton-on-Trent and Wolverhampton. Publications are available through the BMSGH shop. Payments accepted by debit and credit card and by Paypal. Other family history and local history societies situated around Staffordshire are listed by GENUKI.
- The Midlands Historical Data project produces searchable facsimile copies of old local history books and directories of interest to genealogists. It specialises in the three counties of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire, working closely with libraries, archives and family history societies in the area. Digital images are made freely available to participating organisations to improve public access. Free search index on its web-site to all its books. In many cases payment will be required to see the extract.
- GENUKI makes a great many suggestions as to other websites with worthwhile information about Staffordshire as well as leading to a collection of 19th century descriptions of each of the ecclesiastical parishes.
- The FamilySearch Wiki provides a similar information service to GENUKI which may be more up-to-date. An index of parishes leads to notes and references for each parish. The auxiliary website English Jurisdictions can also be helpful.
- A Vision of Britain through Time has
- organization charts of the hierarchies of parishes within hundreds, registration districts (1837 onwards) and the rural and urban districts of the 20th century. They have just announced (August 2015) a future expansion to their data including 2011 census population data and links to post-1974 county organization.
- excerpts from a gazetteer of circa 1870 outlining individual towns and parishes
- reviews of population through the time period 1800-1960
- Brett Langston's list of Staffordshire Registration Districts and parishes within each registration district from 1837 to the present can indicate where to find details of civil registration entries since the process began in England.
- More local sources can often be found by referring to "What Links Here" in the column on the left.