My Grandmothers Family (and including the Oldnall family and derivatives Oldnall-Russell).

5. The Page family of Chaddesley Corbett


Elsie Oldnall Page (who married Joseph Donald Torrance Hildick-Smith) came from a well established farming family in the village of Chaddesley Corbett.

The Page family originally came to live at Hill Pool House, Hill Pool, Chaddesley Corbett through the marriage of Joseph Page to Sarah Blakeway, whose family owned Hill Pool House and substantial land in the village and its surrounds.

Their eldest son John inherited the farm in 1807 although he had lived there since 1802. John’s grandmother and great-aunt were sisters, daughters of Thomas Oldnall.

The Oldnall family were another well know local family, perhaps the most noted of whom, Sir William Oldnall Russell was a famous lawmaker and judge in the 1800s. He changed his name from Oldnall to Russell for some obscure reason. He at one time lived at Sion House, a beautiful Georgian house close to the family farms at Hill Pool.

A recent contact with Elwyn Bull who is related to the Oldnalls supplied much information on the earlier generations of the family and how they came into possession of Hill Pool House.

In the 1642 “Visitation of Worcester” (a sort of census of prominent families of the time and their ancestors) the family tree of the Oldnalls is shown in some detail.

John of Stone (the adjoining parish to Chaddesley) was born in 1596 and according to Burkes landed Gentry he was the founder of the Oldnall dynasty. I have been unable to trace his parents but the Oldnall family has records going back into the 1400’s. He married Marjory Taylor, the daughter of John Taylor of Chaddesley Corbett and they had 8 children.

 One of them, John was born in 1622 and is described in the 1682 “Visitation” as John Oldnall of Hill Pool. He purchased Hill Pool House and substantial land from Francis Smith (no relation) in 1656.

(In a book called “Village Records” by John West, a copy of Francis Smiths’ will is published together with a plan of Hill Pool House which seems to have had origins in the 1400’s. The book itself deals with the use of old village records to track the development of villages and its population and used Chaddesley Corbett as an example of what could be achieved. When I was at school in Chaddesley I remember John West coming to speak to us about the early days of the village.)


John Oldnall of Hill Pool  married Margery Parkes of Sedgeley, Birmingham and they had 5 children, all born in Chaddesley Corbett, presumably at Hill Pool House.

Their eldest son was christened John in 1663 and he married Mary Skeeler in 1688 in Kidderminster. They had 6 children, the link to our family was Thomas . John (1663) died in about 1717 and  Worcester Records office holds a file (Ref MS 3802/Acc1944-028/580774 of 5 Oct 1727) relating to his will. He left most of his property to his wife Mary (nee Skeeler), his sons Thomas and William, and grandsons of John Skeeler (Marys father)


Thomas Oldnall was born on 24/3/1697 at Hill Pool and in 1721 married Elizabeth Hay.

Thomas died at the early age of 30 in 1727, leaving a son, John b1722 d 1781, and two surviving daughters, Elizabeth b1725 d 1802 and Sarah b1727. The third daughter, Mary b1724 died in infancy. John inherited although only 2 years old, the farms being left in the keeping of his mother until he reached 21.


I will digress here and follow the Oldnall line from John* b 1722 as there are some interesting family connections to describe:


John married a Mary (surname as yet unknown and had a son, Samuel b1754 Claines, Worcester. I assume they had moved away from Chaddesley.


Samuel became a vicar and married Mary Russell in 1779. Marys family were from a very well known Worcestershire family, her father the “famous” Dr. Russell who was instrumental in setting up the first Worcester Infirmary. She was a very strong willed personality and their son William changed his name to Russell in deference to his mothers wishes.

They had one son William b 1785.


The following details have been gleaned from “Chaddesley Corbett” by The Stroller dated 1932 which my sister Jackie kindly found for me.


“ An Indian Judge”


A church memorial of exceptional interest is of Sir William Oldnall Russell of Sion House, Chaddesley, a very distinguished lawyer, who became an Indian judge, and who died in 1833. He had assumed the name of Russell by the desire of his maternal grandfather, the Dr. Russell whose portrait hangs in Worcester Infirmary, which in its early days was greatly indebted to his fostering care. 

Sir William , who has a place in the Dictionary of National Boigraphy, was called to the bar in 1809, and became Serjeant-at-Law in 1827. In 1817 he published “A Treatise on Criminal law”, which went through five editions in England (the last in 1877) and two more in America whwer it became a standard authority. Other works included one on “Crown Cases Reserved”, which went through two editions.

Serjeant Russell took a leading part on the Whig side at the Reform Bill election for the country, in which his cousin, the future Lord Hampton (John Somerset Russell) was the principal speaker on the Tory side: and a piquant situation was developed by the conflict between the two orators at the Hustings on the Talbot meadow, in the Tything, where throughout the protracted contest, the crowd was addressed every evening.In 1832 the Serjeant was appointed Chief Justice of Bengal and knighted, but died the following year.


I now think that after his marriage to Louise Marie (unknown) he had at least 3 children. Augusta Pratt Russell b1826, Henry Steward Oldnall Russell b1832 and Louise Sofia b 1822(?).


Augusta Pratt Oldnall Russell married (1) Lt Col Archibald Erskine who died soon after marriage, and then Charles Compton Domville with whom she had 10 children, not yet researched. I know little of Louisa her sister.

Henry Steward Oldnall Russell was born in 1832 and married Frances Mary Domville in 1866. Whether she was from the same family as Charles Compton Domville is not known as there are various Domvile/Dumville/Domville variations.


They had 4 children, Helena Frances b1869, John Edwin Oldnall Russell b 1867, Henry Cairns Oldnall b 1869, and Roger William Oldnall b (?).


There is also some evidence that Frances Mary remarried after Henrys death in 1872 as she is noted in the 1901 Census as Mary Creage living at Sion House with a daughter Dorothy b1859 from a previous marriage and her daughter in law Catherine T Oldnall. ( I am not sure whose wife Catherine was). Of Frances’ family with Henry Steward Oldnall Russell, John Edwin was apparently killed in South America after signing on to serve in the navy (1881 census on HMS Dapper in Dartmouth as a naval cadet), Henry Cairns Oldnall was killed during the Boer War at Tabaksburg on 29/1/1901 and I have yet to discover anything about Roger William except he was a Captain and “had issue”and lived at Comberton, Kidderminster.


As can be seen, some of the family readopted their original Oldnall name so the lineage is by no means certain. In the census of 1871 three of the children (excluding Roger) were living with their grandmother, calling herself Frances Domville, at Lower Sherwood House, Wick, Worcester although I have her husband as dying in 1872.

With various forms of the name being used, i.e. Oldnall, Russell-Oldnall, Oldnall-Russell and Russell, I have yet to unscramble marriages and families!


Some are more certain.


Helena Frances married a clergyman, The Rt Rev. Arthur Perowne who became Bishop of Bradford and later of Worcester. They had a son, Stuart Henry Perowne, a noted historian and orientalist who was briefly married to Freya Stark (later Dame Freya) a very famous explorere and writer of the 20thC.


 Back to my main line, derived from Elizabeth Oldnall b1725 .


Subsequently Elizabeth married John Tibbatts of Birmingham and Sarah married Edward Blakeway.  (The Blakeways were another well known local family, indeed they have re-married into the Page family in the 20thC.) They lived at The Woodside, a farm owned by the Blakeway family who also had property in Hill Pool, Dorhall and Drayton.


Sarah and Edward Blakeway had 2 children, William Oldnall Blakeway and Sarah Blakeway. It was she who married Joseph Page in 1776.


Joseph Page was born at Stoke Prior, Worcester in about 1740 but as yet earlier descendants have not been traced. He married Sarah Blakeway at St Cassians Church, Chaddesley Corbett on 21/11/1776.


 Joseph and Sarah had two sons:


 John                             b1784   d 1823

William Oldnall*


(Elizabeth Tibbetts (nee Oldnall) became the owner of Hill Pool House and land on the death of her brother John Oldnall b1722 , a bachelor, in1781. In her will dated 1807 she left all her land and property to her great-nephew John Page  b1784 and so began the Page family occupation of Hill Pool.)


* William Oldnall Blakeway inherited much land from his father and left all of it to his nephew John Oldnall Page as described later.


Much of the following detail was obtained from a booklet published by the Chaddesley Corbett Local History Group entitled: “ The Families and Village of Chaddesley Corbett in the 19th Century” by Elizabeth Tangye. Much of the detail of the Page family came to the author from Sarah Page b1869. Sarah was still alive in the 1950’s and I remember visiting her with my Grandmother Elsie Page. At that time Sarah lived in the one of the small row of cottages just below Hill Pool House,(see photo under 1.2. Geographical Locations)  owned by the Page family and still owned by them. My mother tells me I also knew Elizabeth Tangye who was friends with Granny Elsie, but although her face looks familiar from the illustration in the booklet, I do not remember her well.


 John Page married Anne Nancy Watkins, the daughter of Thomas Watkins of The Wharf House, Upton Warren, Worcestershire on 14/6/1804 at St Cassians Church in Chaddesley Corbett. Either Anne was resident in the village or there was no church at Upton Warren, it would have been normal for the bride to have wed at her “home” parish church.In the early 1800s he rented a mill at Hill Pool to the Brinton family who powered a small carpet factory there. This was the beginning of the carpet industry that was to make Kidderminster famous.

They had 6 children, all dated christenings took place at St Cassians Church, Chaddesley Corbett.


 Ann                  b 13/3/1805     c No record     d18/5/1805

Mary Ann         b1806              c 30/3/1806                             (married James Winnall)

John Oldnall     b26/11/1807    c 26/11/1807   d1879

Sarah               b1810              c 13/1/1811                             (married William Mence)

Elizabeth           b1814              c 15/6/1814                             (married William Bate)

Thomas            b1820              c 3/5/1820                               (unmarried in Census of 1881)


 John Page 1784 died when only 39, leaving Ann (Nancy) with six young children, the eldest son, John Oldnall Page being only 15 years old. I have a copy of his will which shows he left all his possessions in trust to his son John Oldnall Page, dependant on his reaching the age of 21.

 In the meantime, his wife (described as Nancey in the document) was to be in full control of this property.


 Family history descibes his mother as being very strict with him, even after he took control of the inheritance, and may explain the why he was not married until he was 42 years old.When he was old enough to marry, his mother flatly refused all requests for him to wed and many prospective brides were loathe to wait.

One year after his mother Ann (Nancey) died (in 1854), John did indeed marry Elizabeth Johns (b 1828 d 1899) who had been a housemaid at Hill Pool House. She was 21 years younger than him, and we can only surmise about their clandestine meetings away from the over protective influence of his mother, but by all accounts they had a very happy marriage.  

They married at Claines, Nr Worcester on 13/11/1855.


John and Elizabeth had seven children. All were christened at St Cassians Church, Chaddesley Corbett.


John Oldnall                 b1857              c 24/6/1857     d1944

Elizabeth                       b1859              c 21/1/1859

Thomas*                        b1863              c 13/7/1863

Annie                           b1866              c 1/7/1866

Mary                            b1867              c 4/10/1867

Sarah                           b1869              c 24/2/1869

Joseph**                      b1870              c 1/9/1870

Details of descendants of these children is shown below.

Thomas* 1863  was in the 1881 apprenticed as a chemist with a Mr Morris, 136, High Street, Stourbridge. He qualified and moved to York to set up in his own right and married Kate Wright there in 1888. In the 1891 Census he has a shop in York and 2 children, John Oldnall Page b 1890 and Thomas Page b1891. As yet I have been unable to find the family in the 1901 Census records. 

Joseph** 1870 brought a farm called Hoarstones, Nr Bewdley, Worcestershire. He married Emily J Morris b1874 in Bromsgrove in 1897 and they had 3 sons. John Oldnall Page b 1898, Elliot Oldnall Page b 1899 and Roger Oldnall Page b1900. Elliot and Roger remained at Hoarstones, neither married and they both died in the late 1980’s. As a family we visited them at Hoarstones in the 1960s, I remember the farm as being very dark and chilly but with lovely surroundings. The other son John Oldnall married and moved away from the farm. He had two children Roger 1934-2000 and David John who married and has 3 sons, 1 daughter and 3 grandchildren. He lives in Cambridge, is an architect and recently cotacted me through the website kindly supplying the above details.


As yet I have not found out any more about the remaining girls from John and Elizabeths family. However, at the time of the 1881 Census of the children only John Oldnall, Elizabeth and Joseph were living at Hill Pool with mother Elizabeth, by then a widow. Thomas was away in Stourbridge and it is therefore highly likely that the remaining girls died young.


 John Oldnalls father John had died in 1879 and his widow Elizabeth moved to Woodrow House in 1886 where she died in 1899.

At the time of the 1881 Census of the children only John Oldnall, Elizabeth and Joseph were living at Hill Pool with mother Elizabeth, by then a widow. As yet the remainder of the familys fate is unknow but it is likely they died young.

 John Oldnall Page inherited Hill Pool and land around Chaddesley on his fathers death. He also inherited more land at Dorhall from his uncle William Oldnall Blakeway. John was responsible for building the barn at Dorhall which was to become Elsie Oldnall Pages home in 1932.

He was very active in the church and public life. He was a churchwarden, a member of the Parish Council and of Worcestershire County Council. He served as a Justice of the Peace and was awarded an M.B.E for public service. 

He married Frances Smart b1858  in Halesowen on 13/2/1883. Frances was the daughter of Robert Smart, a cattle dealer from Halesowen and Mary Hodgetts. The Smart family had connections back to The House of  Plantagenet and this tree, although not fully checked, is described later.


John Oldnall Page and Frances Smart lived initially at Yieldingtree Farm, another family farm just to the north of Hill Pool but moved to Hill Pool House in 1886. Frances thought Hill Pool House was old fashioned with many interconnecting bedrooms and she was responsible for the fairly extensive remodelling carried out on the house.

The first two of their 6 children were born at Yieldingtree, the remainder at Hill Pool House.


John and Frances had 6 children: 


John Edward                b 31/1/1884

Ethel Mary                   b1886

Robert                          b1887

Dorothy Frances           b1890

Elsie Oldnall                 b 6/5/1895

Nancy Hilda                 b1896


Details of these 6 children follows from information supplied by Andrew Page, John Edwards grandson:


1. John Edward Page b31/1/1884 d 1950 inherited Hill Pool. He married (1) Caroline Susannah Jones. They had 3 children.


2. Ethel Mary Page b1886. She married, on 5/6/1907, Arthur Rupert Bache, a farmer, and they lived at Stakenbridge, Churchill. (The Bache family were friendly with both the Pages and the Hildick-Smiths. Gertrude Bache had taught some of the Hildick-Smith girls, her brother Eric married Dorothy H-S and her other brother married Ethel.Their family home was in Churchill and as well as farming they were manafacturers of very good spades.) They had a son and a daughter.


3. Robert Page b1887 d 1949  Robert trained as an engineer. He was educated first at the little school in Hill Pool (now closed) and then at Hartlebury Grammar School where he was a weekly boarder. He married, (1) Hilda Blakeway, daughter of John Blakeway, a vetinary surgeon, and they had two sons. 

Later Robert Page married (2) Helen Taylor, a widow from Stourbridge. He died in 1949.


4. Dorothy Frances Page b1890, married Alfred Trafford “Traff” Pheysey, a farmer on 5/6/1907 at St Cassians, Chaddesley Corbett. For many years they lived at Bellington, Nr Chaddesley until they retired in 1947. From Bellington they went to live at Hanley Swan and then moved to “Little Gains” Ashford Carbonnell, Nr Ludlow. (I visited her in Ashford many times, it was a beautiful house, with a fine garden. She attended my wedding in Ludlow.) They had no children. Dorothy died some time after 1985, Traff died sometime in the 1970s.


5. Elsie Oldnall Page b 6/5/1895 d 1962  My Grandmother. See Joseph Donald Torrance Hildick-Smith on the Hildick-Smith pages.


6. Nancy Hilda Page b1896  married (1)Claude Crossland-Taylor of Chester. He started a small bus company which developed and grew into the large company now known as Crossland Motors. His firm was one of the first to offer bus tours on the Continent. Claude died when in his forties after an operation. They had 3 daughters 

Nancy married (2) Cyril Griffiths-Williams who was the son of a former rector of Chaddesley Corbett. He was a Puisne Judge in Cyprus when under British juridiction. After the invasion by Turkey they continued to live in the “occupied” north of the island. They had one daughter.  


No details of the current family have been included in this document for obvious reasons.