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Help solve the mystery of Lily Westwood and a Prayer Book

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: July 01, 2014

Lily Westwood's Prayer Book inscription

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OVER many years I have been researching my family tree.

There are in my family, as in most families, missing pieces of a jigsaw, unsolved mysteries and unsubstantiated stories. With this in mind I am hoping that your avid readers may be able to help me.

My great great grandmother on my late father's side of the family was Julia Faulkner.

Julia was born Julia Westwood in the Minories, Dudley, on August 21, 1839.

Her mother was Sarah Westwood but no father is named on the certificate, which leads me to believe Julia was illegitimate.

A story handed down in the family is that Sarah or indeed her mother was a benefactress to a brewery inheritance.

But because of her strong religious convictions Sarah and her mother refused to have anything to do with the brewery and lost what money there was.

After the 1841 Census Sarah appears to disappear from records, except for an entry I found admitting Sarah and her daughter Julia to Dudley Workhouse for a short period.

Sarah may have married, but with a name that is quite common in records I have been unable to verify this.

Julia appears next living in Belper Row, Darby End, Netherton, on the 1861 Census.

She is living as a boarder with her future husband's family.

Julia married Zachariah Faulkner on May 20, 1861.

My great grandmother Elizabeth was born in 1863. After this date I have traced and hold records for Julia right up till her death at Islington, Halesowen, in 1895.

Apart from the little information I hold I have not been able to make a connection with any of the Westwood families in the area, and at this stage of my research I believed I had reached a blank.

However, a strange thing happened. I was sorting through my late father's papers. Some of which belonged to his sister, my Aunt Rose.

I came across what is entitled a Common Prayer Book, stamped Trinity Sunday School, Old Hill, and presented to a Lily Westwood, First Grade in Christmas 1904.

Who is Lily Westwood and what connection is she to my family?

If any of your readers can relate to this name, I would be really pleased to hear from them.

I would also be interested to learn a little more on the book itself, who purchased these books for the church and who actually inscribed inside them to the pupils as the writing is extremely neat and legible.

Mrs Mal Ellis,

197 High Street, Quarry Bank.


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