What I originally knew about the family history
|For many years I had felt that it would be interesting to look back
into the origins of our family. About l0 years ago, when I was talking
to my Father's second eldest brother, John Percy (known as Jack), during
one of many conversations about my great grandfather and his
associations in Wolverhampton, he told me that my great grandfather had
installed a peal of bells in the Royal Wolverhampton School.
||My grandfather, Henry Rollings, was a saddler by trade. He left
Wolverhampton in approximately 1899 to live with my grandmother, Lily
Cowdell. It would seem that they moved around to find work and lived at
many different addresses in Staffordshire.
My father, Harry, was born in Hednesford, at what was known as the Mud Cottages in Bradbury Lane.
Eventually they moved to Birmingham were they lived in Farm Street,
Hockley. At this time Grandfather managed a saddler's shop in Great
Hampton Street, W. H. Heaton & Co.
Unfortunately he died in 1912, when
my father was only 8 years old. As a result little was known of the
family before that date.
|This is one of the few photographs which have come
down through the family. It shows my grandfather, Henry Rollings
(left) outside the shop he managed, in about 1910.
original was scanned into a computer, enhanced and blown up, I
could read the sign on the door. It says: "W. H. Eaton & Co.
Saddlers etc. Removed from 21 Gt. Hampton St". This was a
surprise as I had always understood this was a photo of the
Great Hampton St. shop. I will have to think about this!
At the time of Henry's death, Benjamin, his father, wanted the two
younger sons Harry (my Father) and William, to be enrolled at the
After much deliberation Lily, their mother,
decided that she would work and keep all the family together. I
understood that little was heard from Benjamin after this but I have
since established that he died 9 months after his son, which obviously
was the reason.
My grandmother, Lily Cowdell. This is another of
the few family photos.
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