Robert Cordwele Smith

(1840 - 1907)

July 1840 Birth

Robert was born in Moxley. Today Moxley is classed as belonging to Walsall - but in the 1840s it was a district of Wednesbury or West Bromwich. Moxley is bordered by Wednesbury, Tipton, Willenhall and Bilston. Some registration would be done in Walsall, some in Wolverhampton or West Bromwich.

Today it is part of an urban sprawl - back then it was a large village. This map is of the area in the 1850s.

Name: Robert Smith
Date of Registration: Jul-Aug-Sep 1841
Registration district: Walsall
Inferred County: Staffordshire
Volume: 17
Page: 311
1841 Census

Robert was 11 months old and living in Moxley with his parents, William and Mary, who were both aged 25 years. His father is listed as a 'shoe m', as are several of the nearby residents. I assume this is a'shoe maker'.

1851 Census

Robert is living with his grandfather, Thomas, in Rushall.

Thomas Smith 61

Mary Smith 42 - wife of Thomas Smith - seems too young to be Robert's grandmother - may be the second wife of Thomas...

Robert Smith 12

Mary Ann Smith 4 - Robert's sister


19th September 1859
Name: Robert Cordwele Smith
Gender: Male
Age: 19
Birth Date: 1840
Marriage Date: 19 Sep 1859
Marriage Place: Ettingshall, Stafford, England
Father: William Smith 
Spouse: Jane Ann Rathbone 
FHL Film Number: 1470947
7 April 1861

Robert aged 20 is now a shoemaker in his own right. He is living with his wife, Jane age 19, his nine month old son Edward William and his wife's mother Rebecca aged 42 who was working as a housekeeper were living in Moxley, Bilston.

Birth of a daughter

The family are living at 86, Broad Lanes, Coseley.

Robert Smith age 30 is a cordwainer

His wife is Jane A Smith age 28

His children:

  • Edward W Smith age 10
  • Ada Smith age 6
  • Albert Smith age 3
  • Theresa Smith age 9 Months

The family are living at 'Coseley Street'. This does not exist any more, but as the continuation of Broad Lanes is called Coseley Road today, it is probably in this area. The address suggests a court of houses. These often had shared facilities such as a washroom and toilets in a central block. The area has now been redeveloped, so it is impossible to see what the housing was like.

Ada is called Rhoda on this census for some reason!

  • Robert Smith 40 - Fireman
  • Jane Ann Smith 39


  • Edward W. Smith age 20 - iron worker
  • Ada Smith age 16 - working as a 'pan?' dipper
  • Albert Smith age 13
  • Christiana Smith age 8
  • Henrietta Jane Smith age 5
  • Robert Smith age 2

The family are now living at 29 Broad Lanes, Bilston.

Robert Smith age 50 is a bootmaker.

Jane Ann Smith age 49 is his wife

Henrietta Jane Smith aged 16 is his daughter

James Percival age 56 is a lodger and so is

Samuel Forrester age 21 - but he becomes Robert's son-in-law in 1892

Robert Junior is not on the census but I cannot find a death for him either. At 12 he would have been in work of some kind and could well have been living with one of his brothers.

Marriage of daughter
Henrietta Jane Smith
Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1892
Registration district: Wolverhampton
Inferred County: Staffordshire
Volume Number: 6b
Page Number: 957
Records on Page:
Frank Bratton
Samuel Forrester
Amelia Jane Head
Henrietta Jane Smith

Robert Smith age 60 is now listed as a general labourer.

Jane A Smith age 58 is his wife

Samuel Forrester age 32 is his son-in-law. He is working as a miner. He was born in Honley or Hanley

Jane Forrester age 29 is the name that Henrietta prefers to go by.

Theresa Smith age 9 is his daughter and sadly she died the following year aged 10

Samuel H Forrester age 6 is his grandson

Name: Robert Smith
Estimated birth year: abt 1841
Date of Registration: Jan-Feb-Mar 1907
Age at Death: 66
Registration district: West Bromwich
Inferred County: Staffordshire
Volume: 6b
Page: 519
Name: Robert Cordwell Smith
Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1847
Registration district: Dudley
Inferred County: Staffordshire
Volume: 18
Page: 257
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