born 1809, Birmingham, died 1888, Henley Beach, South Australia
Information from Gedcom provided by Marie Hamilton, whose husband is descended, through his mother, from Joseph.
Joseph's origins present difficulties. Examination of the IGI reveals only one Joseph bapt in 1809, in Brierley Hill, Staffs. Other entries for a few years either side of this date also refer to members of the 'Black Country' family. It is conceivable that one of these entries refers to Joseph - how many people have lived much of their lives in one locality and give this as their birthplace? However, Birmingham at this time was growing in size and eventually included a number of towns/ parishes formerly outside not only what was historically Birmingham, but also formerly in other counties i.e. Staffordshire and Worcestershire. This problem is exacerbated by the fact at this period Birmingham was attracting people not only from the rest of Warwickshire, but also the surrounding areas in Staffordshire and Worcestershire, and also further afield.
Obviously this includes checking the various Birmingham Parish Registers for Joseph's baptism. It may also be worthwhile following up the entries on the IGI and seeing whether members of these families can later be found in the Birmingham area - often siblings might be found in the same street.
What is known of Joseph?
Joseph married four times. By his wife wife he had only one child. His second wife had the same surname as the first and may be her sister. Joseph's third wife produced the rest of his children. Joseph moved, with his third wife, and the rest of his family, to Australia, where he married, in later life, for a fourth time. It could be that Joseph's descendants include a large number of the Shakespeares to be found in present day Australia, although there are confirmed migrations from a number of other families - including at least 5 transported as convicts.
Further details on Joseph's son, Thomas James Shakespeare, are available separately.