This page is dedicated to the Blackwell family of Stapleford, Nottinghamshire,
who for 3 generations were brickmakers in that town.
There are a small number of Blackwell families in Nottinghamshire,a neighbouring county to both Derbyshire and Leicestershire, where they are strongly represented. I believe the earliest one on my tree to be from Leicestershire (possibly Staunton, Bottesford or Breedon on the Hill). Has anyone any records for this area? Do you have a stray Joseph b.c.1770? The earliest Blackwell I have found in Notts is 1578, but he doesn't appear to be one of mine.
My Joseph and his wife moved a few miles into Nottinghamshire, settling at Radcliffe on Trent in the south of the county. His son (also called Joseph) made a more significant move with his family to Stapleford.
I like to think that the younger Joseph spotted an opportunity here, because I can see no other reason why he should uproot his family. At a time like this, when the population was growing rapidly, what Stapleford needed was houses, and to make houses, you need bricks. So Joseph became a brickmaker. Family legend has it that the family owned a brickyard, but I have found no evidence of this yet, although I know the supposed location of it. The tale continues that the brickyard and other family assets were sold in the mid 1890's (that's another story!).
They quickly settled in and assimilated themselves into the local community, marrying into the already well established Smedley and Attenborough families.
Joseph Blackwell was born circa1768 somewhere on the Leicestershire /Notts border - possibly Staunton or Breedon on the Hill. He Married Mary Vickers in Bottesford, Leicestershire on 1 April 1793. I do not know what he did for a living, but unfortunately, he died a pauper in Radcliffe on Trent, Notts on 29 November 1846, aged 78.
They had 2 children, the youngest of whom was also called Joseph, baptised 7 September 1807 in Radcliffe on Trent. He married Mary Clarke on 2 April 1831 in Radcliffe on Trent. Joseph and Mary moved with their children to the town of Stapleford to become the first brickmaker in the family. They had several children.
Their son William was my 2 x Great Grandfather. He was born in 1843 and died in the late 1920's. He married Elizabeth Attenborough on 27 July 1863. William followed his father in to the brickmaking business, and in his spare time, he was a keen racer of pigeons, winning many trophies and prizes. I have a pair of beautiful pink glass bells that he won on my mantelpiece, in pride of place.
William and Elizabeth's eldest son was William Joseph, born in 1868. He too became a brickmaker, although in later years, he took a variety of jobs. He married Caroline Smedley at St Peter's Church, Nottingham on 3 August 1896 and served in the army in World War 1.
Their eldest son was James William, born 13 December 1900, and he was my grandfather.
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