Section of a 1902 OS map of the Lee Bank area. Many of the streets recalled in this family history document such as Ellis Street, Cregoe Street and William Street were in very close proximity to each other. In those days working class people lived in the same closely knit communities for generations. Quite literally they lived, played, worked, fought and died together and when they moved home it was no further than a few streets away.
Alfred Adderley was the father of Terence Millington’s wife Phoebe. He was my grandfather’s grandfather – making him my great great grandfather. Alfred was born in a little street known as Old Inkleys in the centre of Birmingham on 20th December 1849. His mother was named Caroline Adderley (nee. Partridge) and his father was William Adderley, an engineer. Alfred was born at 50 Old Inkleys in the Market Hall ward of the city centre.
Old Inkleys ran between Tonks Street (an extension of Hill Street) and Dudley Street (no longer there). Much of the area of streets to the north of Old Inkleys was later cleared to make way for New Street station. Old Inkleys itself became Hinkley Street and New Inkleys became Station Street.
The Adderley family are recorded in the 1851 census living at house number 50 Old Inkleys. William Adderley was a 34 year old Day labourer, his wife was 31 year old Caroline Adderley a button leader and they had 2 children: Caroline was 4 and Alfred was 15 months. All 4 of them were born in Birmingham. On this basis the Adderley family could be the earliest of our Brummie born ancestors with William having been born in Birmingham in about 1817.
In the 1861 census, 50 Old Inkleys is still registered as some sort of big tenement building with dozens of residents. However, the Adderley family were no longer living there.
On Christmas Day 1869 Alfred Adderley married Emily Carpenter at St Thomas, Lee Bank. Emma was 19 when they married and Alfred was 20. Both were recorded as living in the parish, Alfred was a brass founder and his father William an engineer. Emily’s father was recorded as Henry Carpenter, a labourer.
We know from census records that Emily Carpenter originated from Wilmcote in Warwickshire. Wilmcote is a small village near Stratford, for many years it was believed that William Shakespeare’s mother Mary Arden lived at Wilmcote. Wilmcote was also the site of a large camp for canal labourers during the 1800s. The register office for the area was actually over the border in Worcestershire at Alcester. The birth of an Emily Carpenter was registered at Alcester in the December quarter of 1851, although I do not know for definite that this is our Emily without seeing the actual birth certificate.