The Burgum family history society is a member of the Guild of one name studies and researches the names

Smethwick, Staffordshire

Burgums from the TT family tree lived here from the 1820's through to the early 1850's.

may mean “Settlement on smooth land” and dates back to Anglo- Saxon times. Before the 1700’s it was a sleepy hamlet of cottages and small-holdings, although there is evidence of metal-working in the form of nail-making and black-smithing for at least two centuries before that.

The canal built through Smethwick by James Brindley in 1768-69 transformed the area. The principle cargo was coal from the Black Country delivered right into the heart of Birmingham. The project was improved by John Meaton in 1790 and then transformed by Thomas Telford in 1829. This included a seventy foot deep cutting, the Galton Bridge (at the time, the longest single span in the world at 154 feet long) and the Engine Arm Aqueduct delivering coal to the Boulton and Watt steam engine.

The railway was constructed beside the canal in 1852, increasing the importance of Smethwick still more as a centre of manufacturing. One of the most important of these was Soho Foundry, built in 1796 by Boulton, Watt and Co. Other engineering companies followed producing pumps and engines, railway carriages and wagons, screws, nuts and bolts, glass-making and numerous casting and ironworks. In just one hundred years the population increased from approximately 1100 in 1801 to nearly 55,000 by 1901. In common with most other heavily industrialized areas, brewers and pubic houses sprung up everywhere to supply the men working in extreme heat and difficult, sometimes dangerous conditions. Mitchell’s and Butlers were among the most famous of these.

Smethwick is now part of the Metropolitan Borough of Sandwell (1974) and much of the manufacturing has gone, but evidence remains of its’ rich industrial heritage.

Henry Burgum and his wife Charlotte lived in Smethwick from the 1820’s. In 1851 they were living in Rabone Road, an area of Smethwick sandwiched between the canal and the new construction for the railway line. He worked as a beer seller. He had previously been an Iron Moulder. Another Henry Burgam lived in Rolfe Street, very close by.

More on the TT Family Tree here.
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