|Alt names||WOR||source: Curious Fox: UK Counties and Shires [online] (2002).|
|Worcester||source: Family History Library Catalog|
|Worcester||source: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 1351|
|Type||Historic county, Administrative county, Modern county|
- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Worcestershire (abbreviated Worcs or, in some older sources, Wigorn) is a non-metropolitan county in central England. Worcestershire pre-dates the Norman Conquest of 1066. For a brief period of 24 years in the late 20th century (1974–1998) it was merged with neighbouring Herefordshire into the county of Hereford and Worcester.
Worcestershire borders Herefordshire to the west, Shropshire to the north west, a small part of Staffordshire to the north, the West Midlands to the northeast, Warwickshire to the east and Gloucestershire to the south. The Malvern Hills lie on the southern part of the border with Herefordshire.
The cathedral city of Worcester is the largest settlement and administrative seat of the county. Excluding this city the largest town in the county is Redditch; other principal settlements are Bromsgrove, Stourport-on-Severn, Droitwich, Evesham, Kidderminster and Malvern, while smaller towns include Bewdley, Pershore, Tenbury Wells and Upton upon Severn. The north-east of Worcestershire includes part of the industrial West Midlands conurbation, while the rest of the county is largely rural. Administratively the county is divided into six districts: Worcester, Redditch, Wychavon, Malvern Hills, Wyre Forest and Bromsgrove. These districts were all created in 1974 when the county of Hereford and Worcester was initiated.
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Absorbed by the Kingdom of Mercia during the 7th century and then by the unified Kingdom of England from 927 to 1707, it was a separate ealdormanship briefly in the 10th century before forming part of the Earldom of Mercia in the 11th century. In the years leading up to the Norman conquest, the Church, including the cathedral, Evesham Abbey, Pershore Abbey, Malvern Priory and other religious houses, increasingly dominated county. The last known Anglo-Saxon sheriff of the county was Cyneweard of Laughern, and the first Norman sheriff was Urse d'Abetot who built the castle of Worcester and seized much church land. Worcestershire was the site of the Battle of Evesham in which Simon de Montfort was killed on 4 August 1265. In 1642, the site of the Battle of Powick Bridge the first major skirmish of the English Civil War, and the Battle of Worcester in 1651 that effectively ended it.
During the Middle Ages, much of the county's economy was based on the wool trade, and many areas of its dense forests, such as Malvern Chase, were royal hunting grounds. In the nineteenth century, Worcester was a centre for the manufacture of gloves; the town of Kidderminster became a centre for carpet manufacture, and Redditch specialised in the manufacture of needles, springs and hooks. Droitwich Spa, being situated on large deposits of salt, was a centre of salt production from Roman times, with one of the principal Roman roads running through the town. These old industries have since declined, to be replaced by other, more varied light industry. The county is also home to the world's oldest continually published newspaper, the Berrow's Journal, established in 1690. Malvern was one of the centres of the 19th century rise in English spa towns due to Malvern water being believed to be very pure, containing "nothing at all".
- Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Worcestershire illustrates the parish boundaries of Worcestershire when rural districts were still in existence and before the West Midlands came into being. The map publication year is 1931. The map blows up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
- British History Online has a large collection of local maps from the Ordnance Survey 1883-1893. These blow up to a size that permits viewing of individual hamlets, farms, collieries, but there is no overlapping of one map to the next, and no overall map to tie the individual ones together.
- British History Online also has three volumes of the Victoria County History of Worcestershire online. Volume 3 (published in 1913) deals with the Halfshire Hundred; Volume 4 (published in 1924) deals with the City of Worcester, as well as parishes in the hundreds of Pershore and Doddingtree. Volume 2 covers religious houses in the county. The remainder of the county is not represented in the British History Online series.
- GENUKI makes a great many suggestions as to other websites with worthwhile information about Worcestershire 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.
- Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service, The Hive, Sawmill Walk, The Butts, Worcester WR1 3PD (Telephone: 01905 822866, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) The Archives Collections Catalog Summary outlines the contents of the Archives Collection and also notes on what has been transferred to the national online service Access to Archives
- The Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry has a branch in Bromsgrove which deals in Worcestershire family history. There are also branches at Stourbridge and Worcester.
- 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.
- A Vision of Britain through Time has
- organization charts of the hierarchies of parishes within hundreds, registration districts and rural and urban districts of the 20th century
- 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 Worcestershire 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.