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Black Country Muse

Black Country Photographs, Postcards, Stories, Recollections, Memories, History, Folklore, Murder, Genealogy Tips, and Forums. Social History Events,Time Lines, and General Regional Mining History.

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Black Country General History.TopicsPostsLast updated

Blackcountry Factual History.

Some historical facts, events, places, names, and dates, all within the area known as The Black Country. Almost 300 years of struggle, strife, and the harsh and grim reality of life in the period. Our ancesters must have been a rough tough lot.
3 weeks ago
by Alaska.

Memorabilia From the past.

Many Tales and Storie's from the past, of the work and Social History of the region, Some of the Characters, Places, Events, in fact, anything that may help you with your family research and history, and some facts you may not already know.
1 months ago
by Alaska.

Halesowen and Hasbury History.

From the 12th century to more modern times, Halesowen, a Town unsure of it's identity within the region, has produced a history of nailmaking, mining, button making, some notable characters, and, like everywhere else, a bit of crime. Take a look.
6 months ago
by Alaska.

Dead and Buried.

Most died before their alloted time, from overwork, sickness, and malnutrition. Unscrupulous employers, poor wages, and unsanitary conditions, finished off the others. Only the Coffin makers and the grave diggers whistled on the way to work.
over a year ago
by EL Berto

Black Country Social History.TopicsPostsLast updated

Living and Working Conditions.

From birth to the grave, with many hardships and troubles in between. How our Ancesters put up with half of what they had to endure, I will never know. The phrase, " The good old days ", wouldn't have cut much ice if they could speak today.
2 weeks ago
by Alaska.

Beliefs and other Oddities.

Some strange behaviour and weird customs from the past, leading us to believe our ancesters may have been a bit on the funny side. What do you believe in, God, Ghosts, or Quack Doctors, our dear departed ancesters could do all three and not bat an eyelid.
8 months ago
by Alaska.

Ghostly Footsteps.

Just a few old tales from around the region that may keep you amused. If there's an old one from your area, that isn't posted, send me the details, and I will list it for you. Sorry folks, I don't do the modern stuff, far too many ways to fake it all.
10 months ago
by Pedro

Black Country Miscellaneous Subjects.TopicsPostsLast updated

Tale's from the region.

Some very sad, others quite funny, but most of them will enable you to understand how our ancesters lived: or died. These selected stories come from all parts of the Black Country. Members are invited to add to the subject matter. Click the blue Button.
4 months ago
by Andy Galaxy

Words from the Dead.

What does one do, to pass the time, before or after a a Wedding, Christening, or a Funeral. Have a good look around the old gravestones thats what. Well thats what I generally do, looking for any interesting words of wisdom. Add your own if you wish.
over a year ago
by Alaska.

Genealogy Researching.

Once you get the bug, its difficult to stop, so here are a few tips on the basics, and a few examples of just how difficult it can be at times. Enter the name of a relative in the search box, and see if anything comes up. There is help available.
9 months ago
by Raymond Hadley

Can you Help ?

A place to post a request for that bit of information you may lack. All in the best possible taste, via a private message, or through admin, if you are a bit shy about posting your request or picture. Copyrighted material though, should be avoided.
2 months ago
by Alaska.

Black Country Transport.TopicsPostsLast updated

Carriages of Convenience.

By Foot, Horse, Cart, Coach, Canal, and then Bicycle, our Ancesters made their way around the region. Then came Steam power, the Railways, Tramcars, and finally the Internal Combustion Engine. I wonder what comes next.
9 months ago
by Dufty

Black Country Murders.TopicsPostsLast updated

The Ultimate Crime.

This section contains a collection of vile and very nasty Murders, events that shocked the local population and sometimes the whole Country. Foul Murders page above, and biography of local Hangman George Smith, see " Executioners Page "
10 days ago
by Alaska.

Other Crimes and Punishments.

Drunkeness, dishonesty, general misbehaviour, our Ancesters were quite adapted to do any of them. Sometimes, all at the same time. Not only the men either. the woman, at times. were even worse. Over 190 tales of Murder and mayhem. See Prison Conditions.
7 months ago
by Alaska.

Transported Criminals.

The periods to be served when Transported, varied from 7 years to life. Even so, those serving a short term, very often, never came back. There were those whose luck ran out completely, and never got to see the delights of Australia or Tasmania
over a year ago
by jeanffrench

Murder Case Reviews

Extra information and background on some of the cases covered, a closer look at some of the motives, and a few questions that seem to have not been asked. 22 updated murder stories.
over a year ago
by Alaska.

Black Country Mining HistoryTopicsPostsLast updated

Mining History.

Not just Coal, but Ironstone, Limestone, and Fireclay were mined in the region. From the 16th Century onwards, untold Men, and some Women, gave their lives for profit. I recommend you read the Disaster and Death topic. The weekly wage, 15/-.
2 weeks ago
by Alaska.

Accidents from around the Country.

From other mining area's around the Country, here is a selection of a few accidents, involving children, supposed sabotage, stupidity, and a touching affection for a steam engine. Most of which may bring a few tears to your eyes.
8 months ago
by Alaska.

Mining Deaths before the 1837 records.

Many deaths prior to the records, remain unfound, unless you stumble on a Parish burial register. It won't tell you what caused the death, nor the occupation of the deceased. You may find this section useful.
over a year ago
by Alaska.

The Black Country at War. TopicsPostsLast updated

For King/Queen and Country.

Do you have a relative, who willingly put themselves in the line of fire, in the defence of our mighty Empire. Did they give their all, in some far flung foreign land, or some vast expanse of an unforgiving Ocean. This section has Colour Illustrations
over a year ago
by Paul

Black Country Heroes.

Some of the stories of the men of the region who gave long and faithful service in defence of the realm. If you wish to have something added to the subject, do please let me know.
over a year ago
by Alaska.

The Firing Squad.

For 361 men, the War produced not a proud and glorious end, but a Court Marshal, and a dawn march to a place of execution. Discipline was a priority, and maintaining it, a controversial and much discussed subject ever since. Even civilians were not immune
9 months ago
by Alaska.

No Heroes Here.

There were some men who genuinely were not fit enough to be Soldiers. There were however, those who used every excuse they could find, to avoid any Military Service at all. Eternal shame, or Admiration for refusing to fight, make your own mind up.
8 months ago
by Alaska.


17th June, 2016:   An illustrated update, on the 1922 Ammunition Explosion at Dudley Port, which killed 19 young girls. More details added to William Steventon, ( hanged in 1828 ) and Moses Shrimpton. in Worcestershire Hangings and Punishments. Some more old pictures of Wolverhampton and others added to the Gallery.


You will find over 1,300 different stories of numerous  Blackcountry Facts, Memorabilia, Murders, Crime and Punishment, Miscellanous Stories, Mining History, Military History, Heroes, and for the end, a few Epitaphs to send you on your way.  Hundreds of names, places events and dates to check, hopefully, an aid to your family history research. Contributions about the many subjects welcomed, just contact us and we will endeavour to respond as quickly as we can. Alternatively, you can post a comment on the website in the " Can you help " section.

Photo Gallery.

Only registered Members can add pictures or comment on all the contents of the Gallery.

All the Albums in the Gallery, 25 in total, containing over 2,400 pictures, sketches and maps, are connected to the many Topics to be found on the Forum pages. Places you may remember, places and buildings that have long gone, events, faces, and a whole load of information that may help you, and many others, with their research. Members can post pictures on the subject matter into the appropiate Album, but please ensure the area is indentified and dated. You can also send me, via e-mail, or facebook, any pictures you think would be suitable. Do have a good look around the website, you may be surprised what you find, and good luck with your research.

Recent Blog Entries

by Alaska. | 0 comments
by Alaska. | 2 comments
by Alaska. | 3 comments


Subjects include, Local and National Executioners, Mines and Owners, Ironworking, Steam Engines, older Census Returns, Folklore, Coal Masters, Nailmaking, Foul Murders, Locally sponsered Warships, and Prison Condtions. Names, dates and Events are included in all the many subjects. A Blog page is available, for comments about the site, and how to contact us is easy, a message via my profile page, will find it's way into my email inbox.There are more details about the site, on the Home Page.

New Pages and Additions.

Written some time ago, I have been encourged to review and update this bit of some old Staffordshire Park History. So, complete with a few more pictures and postcards, here is my latest version of the Victorian History of the making of Handsworth Park.

Mining Accidents.

New  additions from areas around the Country. Featured this month, Somerset and the daredevil miner.

Executioners. ( Page )

NEW DETAILS, Thomas Taylor, 1786 to 1850, the Stourbridge Hangman, ( The Razor Grinder ) who outdid the exploits of George Smith, and is the most prolific executioner from this region.


Another ramble around the Town, and a mysterious old house.

Foul Murders. ( Page )

14, very nasty and messy Murders. Sharp implements as well as some Blunt ones included. Even more in the Ghastly Murders Topic on the Forums.

Unsolved Blackcountry Murders. ( Forum Topic )

17 stories, a mixture of various dastardly deeds that remain unsolved, and the poor victims unavenged. Some from the distant past, and many from more recent times. Who, for instance, brutally slew Esther Baggott,  bludgened to death a Dudley money lender, and why did someone snuff out the life of a Pregnant Tennis player.

Words from the Dead. ( Forum Topic )

A bit of prose, fancy words, insults, and a few of the more unusual inscriptions, found on Headstones and Memorials. You wouldn't get away with some of these today, but they can be very funny, as well as bitingly cruel. If you have a favourite one I have not included, get in touch and I will put it in.

Time-Lines. ( Page )

A bit of a tongue in cheek look at History. In two parts, 1800-1816, then 1817 - 1901. A series of dates and events, that you may be able to fit into your family tree research.  Some of it may help to explain just why your relatives acted as they did.