Black Country Online
BEST WEBSITES TO AID YOUR RESEARCH
With all these disparate collections, by far the most useful site is blackcountryhistory.org, which can be considered a ‘one stop shop’ for Black Country research. It covers collections from Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton, with thousands of historic photographs and images from local museum and art gallery collections, plus catalogues of archive collections. The site also includes surname indexes from many of the local parish registers for Wolverhampton.
aclickintime.co.uk is home to about 3,000 Walsall borough photographs, while longpull.co.uk, looks at the ‘people, life and times of Black Country Pubs’.
Each borough archives' website (see page 84) has useful sections, plus Diane Matthews reports that Dudley’s site ( dudley.gov.uk/ archives) is in the process of a major overhaul.
Another useful site is staffsnameindexes. org.uk, home to an index of wills held at Lichfield Record Office (covering Staffordshire, Derbyshire, North Shropshire, North and Eastern Warwickshire). Other finding aids here include a Calendar of Prisoners at Staffordshire Quarter Sessions (1779-1880) and Stourbridge Poor Law Union admission and discharge registers. And, of course, there’s Findmypast’s Staffordshire Collection ( findmypast.co.uk/articles/ world- records/search-all- uk- records/ special-collections/the- staffordshirecollection), which includes parish registers from 1538 to 1900.
Some other useful Black Country sites include blackcountrygenealogyandfamilyhistory. co.uk which has links to seven other connected websites on its homepage including the useful blackcountryimages.com. The website midlandspubs.co.uk is a handy list of pubs in the area past and present which includes their histories and a genealogy forum. Welcome to Stourbridge ( stourbridge.com/about_ stourbridge.htmuk) features an interesting overview of the town as well as its history.
The useful Staffordshire Name Indexes website