Place:Wem, Shropshire, England

TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish, Urban district
Coordinates52.85°N 2.733°W
Located inShropshire, England
See alsoNorth Bradford Hundred, Shropshire, Englandhundred in which it was part located
Pimhill Hundred, Shropshire, Englandhundred in which it was part located
Wem Urban, Shropshire, Englandparish 1900-1967 covering the central part of Wem
Wem Rural (parish), Shropshire, Englandparish 1900-1967 covering the rural part of Wem
North Shropshire Rural, Shropshire, Englandrural district 1967-1974
North Shropshire District, Shropshire, Englandadministrative district covering the area 1974-2009
Shropshire District, Shropshire, Englandunitary authority covering the area since 2009
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Wem is a small market town in the north of Shropshire, England. Wem lies nine miles to the north of Shropshire's county town of Shrewsbury and sits on the rail line between that town and Crewe in Cheshire. It has a 21st century population of over 5,000.

In 1900 the parish of Wem was divided into an urban parish named Wem Urban which was considered an urban district and a separate civil parish in the surrounding countryside named Wem Rural (parish (which was part of Wem Rural District). In 1967 both Wem Urban District and Wem Rural District were abolished and replaced by North Shropshire Rural District.

In 1974 rural districts throughout England were abolished and replaced with new metropolitan districts which combined the rural districts, urban districts, municipal boroughs and county boroughs that existed within their newly drawn geographical borders. The North Shropshire District, so created, existed until 2009 when it was replaced by a unitary authority called the Shropshire District which covered the whole of the county with the exception of The Wrekin District (to the southeast of North Shropshire District) which was formed in 1998.

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

"WEM, a small-town, a parish, a [registration] sub-district, a [registration] district, and a hundred, in Salop [or Shropshire]]. The town stands on the Crewe and Shrewsbury railway, and on the Ellesmere canal, 11 miles N by E of Shrewsbury; is supposed by Horsley, but without any good evidence, to occupy the site of the Roman station Rutunium; belonged, at Domesday, to W. Pandulph; passed to the Howards, the Wycherleys, and Judge Jeffreys; gave to Jeffreys, in 1685, the title of Baron; declared for the parliament at the outbreak of the civil wars of Charles I.; sustained and repelled, in 1643, an attack by a party of the royal troops; suffered devastation by fire in 1677, with the loss of not less than £23,000 worth of property; numbers among its natives Lord-Mayor Adams who died in 1667, and Wycherley the dramatist; appears, at some time, to have been incorporated; is now a polling place; carries on malting and leather manufacture; comprises one large street, and several cross-streets and lanes; and has a post-office under Shrewsbury, a [railway] station, a banking office, a town hall of 1848, a market house, a church rebuilt in 1679, three dissenting chapels, an endowed school with £337 a year, a workhouse, charities £45, a weekly market on Thursday, and six annual fairs.
"The parish contains eleven townships and a part; and comprises 13,841 acres. Real property: £24,834. Population: 3,802. Houses: 814. The property is much subdivided. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Lichfield. Value: £2,300. Patron, the Duke of Cleveland. The [perpetual] curacies of Edstaston and Newtown are separate benefices."

The townships of Wem are listed under Wem Rural (parish) and are redirected there.

Wikipedia lists a number of people who were either born in Wem or made their homes there. The list covers several centuries.

Research Tips

  • The historical short form for Shropshire was "Salop". This is quite often found in archive material.
  • Shropshire Archives, Castle Gates, Shrewsbury SY1 2AQ
  • Shropshire Family History Society.
  • The GENUKI main page for Shropshire provides information on various topics covering the whole of the county, and there is 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 also provides transcriptions of parish registers for numerous parishes throughout Shropshire. These will be noted at the bottom of this list as time permits for the parishes involved. Each register is preceded by historical notes from the editor-transciber and other details than simply births, marriages and deaths that have been found in the individual books from the parishes. These registers probably only go up to 1812 when the proscribed style for registers across the country was altered.
  • GENUKI lists under each parish further references to other organizations who hold genealogical information for the local area. (URLs for these other websites may not be up to date.)
  • 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 in 1851 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, Shropshire, section "Units and Statistics" leads to analyses of population and organization of the county from about 1800 through 1974. There are similar pages available for all civil parishes, municipal boroughs and other administrative divisions that existed pre-1974. 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.
  • Map of Shropshire illustrating urban and rural districts in 1900 produced by UK Ordnance Survey and provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time. Parish boundaries and settlements within parishes are shown. (Unfortunately the online copy of this map has pencil codings in each parish which make it difficult to see the orignal.)
  • Map of Shropshire urban and rural districts in 1944 produced by UK Ordnance Survey and provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time. Parish boundaries and settlements within parishes are shown. This is not a repeat of the first map. There were a number of changes to urban and rural district structure in the 1930s.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Wem. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.