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Staffordshire Boundary Changes


The county of Staffordshire was created in the reign of Edward the Elder (899-925) as an administrative unit. Although its boundaries have remained fairly stable until recent times, there are some areas on the borders which have moved to and from neighbouring counties which can cause problems to researchers. Details are given here on some of the main areas which have experienced changes to their county status or ecclesiastical juristiction.

Bobbington

The majority of Bobbington parish is administratively in Staffordshire but a small part on the western side was in Shropshire.
Ecclesiastically the parish was originally a chapelry to Claverley, Shropshire until it became a separate parish in the Lichfield Diocese in 1726. In 1846 it was transferred to Hereford Diocese but was transferred back to Lichfield Diocese in 1905.
Parish records are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office and the parish is listed under Staffordshire in the IGI.
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Clent & Broome

Clent manor which included Broome, was originally in Worcestershire but was seized by the Sheriff of Staffordshire around 1016 and became administratively a detached part of Staffordshire surrounded by Worcestershire. It was removed back to Worcestershire in 1844.
Ecclesiastically, Clent and Broome parishes have always been a part of Worcester Diocese.
Parish records of Clent and Broome are deposited in Worcestershire Record Office and the parishes are listed under Worcestershire in the IGI.
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Dudley

The parish of Dudley was a detached part of Worcestershire completely surrounded by Staffordshire from the time of the Domesday Book. Within the parish Dudley Castle and Priory were declared to be in Staffordshire as a result of a papal decree in 1238.
Dudley county borough briefly became a part of Staffordshire as a result of local government reorganisation in 1966 until 1974 when it became a part of the new county of West Midlands.
Parish records are deposited at Dudley Archives and the parish is listed under Worcestershire in the IGI.
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Handsworth

Handsworth was a part of Staffordshire until 1911 when it was removed to the administrative control of Birmingham, Warwickshire. The parish was transferred ecclesiastically from Lichfield to Birmingham Diocese in 1905.
Parish records are deposited at Birmingham City Archives and the parish is listed under Staffordshire in the IGI.
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Harbourne

Harbourne was a part of Staffordshire until 1891 when it was removed to the administrative control of Birmingham, Warwickshire.
Parish records are deposited at Birmingham City Archives and the parish is listed under Staffordshire in the IGI.
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Sheriff Hales

The eastern part of Sheriff Hales parish including the village of Sheriff Hales and the hamlets of Weston Heath and Little Chatwell lay in Staffordshire and the western part in Shropshire. The Local Government Act of 1894 transferred the whole parish into Shropshire in 1895.
Parish records are deposited in Shropshire Record Office and the parish is listed under Shropshire in the IGI.
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Tamworth

From the time of the formation of the counties the western part of Tamworth including the parish church was in Staffordshire and the eastern part including the castle was in Warwickshire. The county boundary entered the town from the south along the River Tame, and followed a line along Holloway, Ladybridge Street, High Street, Butcher Street and Gungate, leaving the town to the north along the Ashby Road.
The Local Government Act of 1888 which created County Councils decreed that from 1st April 1899, any urban area which was situated in more than one county should be placed in the county which contained the greatest proportion of the population according to the 1881 census. In 1881 there were 2,587 inhabitants in the Staffordshire part of Tamworth and 2,032 in the Warwickshire part. Tamworth thus became a Staffordshire borough from 1st April 1889.
Parish records are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office and the parish is listed under Staffordshire in the IGI.
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Upper Arley (Over Arley)

The parish of Upper Arley or Over Arley was a part of Staffordshire in the South West corner of the county protruding into Worcestershire. It was removed to the administrative control of Worcestershire in 1895 and the parish was transferred from the Lichfield to Worcestershire Diocese in 1905.
Parish records are deposited at Worcestershire Record Office and the parish is listed under Worcestershire in the IGI.
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1974 Boundary Changes

On the 1st of April 1974, the Metropolitan County of West Midlands was created, taking in an area from Wolverhampton in the north west to Coventry in the south east and including Birmingham.
The county boroughs of Dudley, Smethwick, Walsall, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, the municipal boroughs of Bilston, Tipton and Wednesbury and the urban districts of Amblecote, Brierley Hill, Coseley, Darlaston, Sedgley, Tettenhall, Wednesfield and Willenhall were all removed from Staffordshire into the new county.
The Metropolitan County was abolished for local government purposes in 1986 and Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton district councils became Metropolitan Boroughs in West Midlands county.
The 1974 boundary changes have had little or no impact on genealogical research in Staffordshire and can generally be ignored, most deposited records remain in their pre-1974 locations and the affected places remain listed under their pre-1974 county locations in most records and references.
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