Elizabeth Poxon

(1871 - 1942)

18th May 1872 Birth

I have been unable to find a birth record for Elizabeth - but I have now found an indication of the date of her birth from the recording of a baptism in the church records of All Saints, Moxley. This gives me the 18th of May as her birthday and the year of 1872 as the birth year.

I did quite a bit of 'reasoning' and searching to establish her date of birth as 18/05/1872. People lie on official documents for all sorts of reasons, also those who inscribe documents (like censuses) make mistakes, and those who transfer documents to digital records make mistakes. It is quite a task to sort through the data and make sense of it.

Click here to read it, if you are interested.

5th February 1882


(Age 9)

She was baptised, at the age of nine, at All Saints Church, Moxley. The record confirms that her father was Job Poxon and her mother's name was Marianne. Her father's occupation is given as an ostler (a groom or stableman, who is employed in a stable to take care of horses, usually at an inn).

The baptism was quite a family affair! It was the baptism of daughters Betsey, Jane and Elizabeth and sons Joseph and Edward.



(Age 19)

Elizabeth has now left home and is working as a general domestic servant in the Millward family household. Mr. Millward is the manager of a steelworks company.

The address is Church Hill - Caldwell House, in the Civil Parish of Wednesbury and the Ecclesiastical parish of St Bartholomew. Many of the houses from the time have been demolished but the area still has a lovely open aspect as it is so near the Church.

It is not far from where Edwin Wood was working. He would have had to walk towards the place she lived on his way to work at the Tube Works.

People in the house:

  • George A Millward 36
  • Anna M Millward 35
  • Constance M Millward 7
  • Ethel Millward 5
  • George A Millward 2
  • Elizabeth Poxon 20
10th September 1892


(Age 20)

Now this was also a problem...

On Louisa's birth certificate her father is given as Edwin Wood and her mother Elizabeth Poxon, BUT there is no marriage between them recorded in the records... only a marriage between Edward Wood and Elizabeth Poxon at about the time I would have expected them to marry.

Name: Elizabeth Poxon
Date of Registration: Jul-Aug-Sep 1892
Registration district: West Bromwich
Inferred County: Staffordshire
Volume Number: 6b
Page Number: 1222
Records on Page:
Edward Abbott
Elizabeth Poxon
Ada Whatmore
Edward Wood

I double checked that Edward Abbott and Ada Whatmore were a 'couple' so the document I would be interested in was for Elizabeth Poxon and an Edward Wood. I therefore sent for that certificate and discovered the wedding date, names and ages of the bride and groom, their addresses at the time of the marriage and the names and professions of their fathers.

Elizabeth (saying she was aged 21 - so that parental consent was not needed) was living at an address in Walsall Road, Wednesbury and Ed (age 25 according to the certificate - but in reality he would be 28 or 29 - perhaps he too lied as the age difference was greater than usual?) was living in Windmill Street, Wednesbury.

Elizabeth's father was named as Job Poxon (a contractor) and Ed's father as Sidney Wood (a lamplighter).

Ed (mund/win/ward) perportedly signed himself as Edward on the marriage certificate....only the certificate handwriting is all in one hand, and I would say that neither Elizabeth nor 'Ed' actually signed the document. He is listed as a hostler - a groom or horseman. This fits in with his later profession as a 'carter'.

So, added to the fact that there is no birth record for an Edwin, but only one for an Edmund, it appears that Louisa's father was Ed Wood (plain and simple).

1st November 1897

Birth of a daughter

(Age 26)

Rebecca Louisa R Wood
Date of Birth Registration:
Oct-Nov-Dec 1897
Registration District:
West Bromwich
Inferred County:

On the birth certificate Elizabeth Poxon was named as the mother and the father was named as Edwin Wood. They were living in 16 Windmill Street, Urban District (Darlaston). Edwin's profession is 'carter'- one who carries or conveys goods in a cart - at the time of her birth. When he arrived in Wednesbury, her father worked as a furnaceman in the tube works, later he was a carter for the tube works - a less punishing job!

The history of the tube works in interesting - take a look.


Today Windmill Street looks very different of course, but the type of house can be clearly seen: terraced, two up, two down, with the front room opening onto the street. These terraces would have been built about 1880.

In 1887, Brunswick Park (just down the road) was opened to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. This made the Wood Green area a very desirable place to live.

The map from 1903 only shows houses on one side of the road, above Hollies Street. The A461, Wood Green Road, was called Walsall Street at the turn onf the nineteenth century. A tram line ran along it into Walsall.

I numbered from the end of the street to get to the house I have marked as 16 (in green). I have no idea whether this is the correct house. These plans only show houses on one side of the road. The 'old' ones that remain in the street today are the ones built on the opposite side, at a later date.

In the 1880s houses did not have running water, gas or electricity. Wash facilities were often shared by several families. In blue there are separate buildings which would probably have been a shared washhouse. Cisterns and wash taps are indicated on the plans. The area round the washhouses would probably have been cobbled.

Darlaston started life as a small hamlet, on top of a hill. The Anglo Saxon preferred the high ground, presumably because it was easily defendable, and had suitable land for their cattle and crops. Since those early times, bread has been an important part of the diet, and flour was a necessity. The earliest powered flour mills in the country were watermills.

Windmills started to be built in England in the later part of the 12th century. Darlaston was an ideal location for a windmill, particularly above the western slope of the hill, facing into the prevailing wind. There were two windmills in the area, the largest being Darlaston Mill, which stood on the brow of the hill near to where Dorsett Road is today.

Darlaston's second windmill stood near the junction of Mill Street and Birmingham Street and was known as King's Hill Windmill. Unlike Darlaston Windmill it was a post mill, made of wood, mounted on a central pole. The whole building would have been turned into the wind so that the sails could rotate. It is listed in Plot's 'History of Staffordshire' published in 1682, and seems to have remained in use until the end of the 18th century.



(Age 29)

This lists the family living at 10, Russell Street, Wednesbury.

Edwin Wood 39 is the householder

Elizabeth Wood 29 is his wife - born in 1872

Beatrix Wood is aged 7

Polly Wood is aged 4

Louisa Wood is aged 3

Edwin Wood is aged 1

Ethel Wood is aged 6 Weeks

Elizabeth Wood aged 62 is Edwin's widowed mother - born in Slaughter in 1839

George Wood aged 28 is Edwin's brother

John Wood aged 23 is Edwin's brother



(Age 39)

This census confirms that Edwin and Elizabeth have been married for 18 years. They have had ten children of which only six are still alive. Rebecca Louisa Rose is one of these, and four are still living at home. Beatrix also must have left home - she would be the logical choice for the missing 'living' child. The age gap between Edith and Ethel probably accounts for the children that had died.

Ed is 'Edwin' and is 49 making his year of birth 1862... and Elizabeth is now making herself a year younger stating her age as 38 on this census. He is working as a cowman on the farm called Old Hall Farm, Willenhall Road, Bilston. On Louisa's marriage certificate he is named as a 'farmer', so that ties in nicely.

Mary Ann - age 15 - is most probably the 'Polly' from the last census.

Edwin - age 11

Edith - age 9

Ethel - age 2


October 1939


(Age 67)

Elizabeth gives her birthdate as the 19th May 1874 - knocking two years off her age. She is still working as a milk retailer and Edmund's birthdate is given as 19th December 1863. He is a retired milk roundsman, and would now be 75 years old.

Their son, stated as 'Edward' on this census (but Edwin on others!), born on the 23rd January 1900 - so 39 years of age - is living with them. He is single and works as a heavy labourer at the Steel Tube factory. Due to his age and occupation it is unlikely he would have been 'called up' for military service.

They are living at 111, Green Lanes, Bilston. All of the houses from those days have been demolished and new houses have been built there. Assuming the house numbering is the same as back in the day I have copied a map to show the location of their home.

June 1942


(Age 70)

Name: Elizabeth Wood
Birth Date: abt 1873
Date of Registration: Jun 1942
Age at Death: 69
Registration district: Dudley
Inferred County: Staffordshire
Volume: 6c
Page: 18

This seems to be reasonable as Elizabeth's death - my mother had no recollection of ever meeting her maternal grandmother - but they did not tell her of her adoption until her early teens, so they may just not have wanted to mention her. That is a shame as my mother would have been 11 when her maternal grandmother died.

However my mother did remember my 'nan' speaking of 'the Poxons' in a derogatory tone - mom had some idea they were lawyers and business people - but I have found no evidence for the lawyer link - but perhaps when my mom was adopted by the Hewitts, the Poxons were unhappy with the arrangement and took my nan to court .... who can tell!

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