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Joseph Williscroft 1805-1857 of Birmingham, Warwickshire | Williscroft, Woolliscroft, Wolliscroft & Variant's Worldwide Onename Study | Jill Dixon
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Joseph Williscroft 1805-1857

of Birmingham, Warwickshire


Bull Ring, Birmingham

Bull Ring, Birmingham, Warwickshire from Market Street. Photo taken in the 1880's.

The newspaper article that reported the trial of Joseph, Henry and Frederick Williscroft in 1844 stated that the boys were brothers living in Dudley, Worcestershire. On documents in Australia Frederick states he was a native of Birmingham and the son of Joseph and Mary Ann Williscroft. Dale End, Birmingham is given as his place of birth which is in the city centre, as are the streets where Joseph and Mary Ann were living. If the newspaper article is correct then it follows that both Joseph and Henry were also the children of Joseph & Mary Ann Williscroft. However, I have not found a baptismal record for either Joseph or Henry. I think it is possible that Joseph may have been born prior to the marriage of his parents.

The boys father Joseph Williscroft was born about 1805 in Colton, Staffordshire, the son of John Williscroft and Elizabeth Yates. He was baptised at Colton on the 12 November 1809.  He married Mary Ann Jackson, the daughter of Henry Jackson and Mary Fullerton, on 1 Nov 1830 at St Peters and St Paul’s Church, Aston, Warwickshire. Joseph was the first son of John & Elizabeth Williscroft to make his way to Birmingham.

St Peter & St Paul's, Aston

St Peter & St Paul's, Aston, Birmingham, Warwickshire.

© Copyright Phillip Halling and licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence

In 1834 the family was living in Fisher Street, Birmingham when their son Frederick was christened and son William died. Joseph witnessed the marriage of his brothers Daniel in 1835 and Thomas in 1837. By 1837 the family had moved to Bromsgrove Street, Birmingham when their son Joseph was christened on the 28 February. To date I have been unable to locate the family on the 1841 census returns. 

Joseph and Mary Ann were living in Bartford Street, Birmingham on the 24 April 1850 when their daughter Mary Ann was christened and died a few weeks later. They had moved to Cheapside, Birmingham by the time of the 1851 census. Joseph was a plumber and glazier although the parish records when his children were christened he gave his occupation as a painter. The frequent house moves could be because of Joseph’s occupation and he lived where he was working. Joseph died in 1859 and Mary Ann had remarried by 1861 to William Overett. The couple were living in Hope Street with Mary Ann's children William, George and John. William Overett was a wire worker. Ten years William and Mary were still in Birmingham and living in Shedick Street. Mary Ann's son William was still at home. Some time after this Mary and William moved to Glasgow and were living in Gallowgate, Glasgow on the 1881 census returns. Mary Ann died in Glasgow in 1884. William returned to the Birmingham area where he died in 1900.

The different spelling of the surname in the tree is taken from how the individual’s surname was spelt at their baptism or birth registration. As you will see there is quite a variation. Their son George spelt his surname Woolingcroft when he married Sarah Chambers. His descendants continue to spell their surname this way today.

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