Black Country Local History

The area known as the "Black Country" is situated in an area of the West Midlands county to the north-west of the city of Birmingham that was formerly part of the counties of Staffordshire and Worcestershire. It became prosperous during the early 19th century and was famous for the production of iron and steel products. Its growth was mainly due to the abundance of local raw materials and happened in spite of the lack of a local water-based transport system. Transportation of goods was made possible initially by the development of the canal system and later by the railways.

My own ancesters were involved in both the iron and steel trades and the canals. Working on the canals took them across the whole of the country. This, at times, can present difficulties tracing one's ancestry since records can be spread across a wide geaographical area.