Background and scope of the history so far






1. The Hildick-Smiths: A brief family history.

1.1. Preface.

For the purposes of this document, research has been restricted to a male line from David John Hildick-Smith, the authors father, and a female line derived from Davids mother, Elsie Oldnall Page.

For the Hildick-Smiths the research has centred on the joining of the Hildick family and the Smith family, following the male line back. Where possible the female side is shown but only where information has been forthcoming. In the specific case of the marriage of Francis Hildick to a cousin Martha in 1792, Marthas family has been tracked back to the mid 1500’s in the hope of establishing what relationship the families had. Later work has focussed on other branches of the family, much has been gleaned from current research that has aided this. Some marriages have also been tracked to show spouse details where of interest. I have also included details of ancestors of the Smart family, Elsie Pages mothers family, where previous research has allowed a line from this family to be tracked back to mid 1400s. To indicate which line is being documented the main lines are shown by underlined and/or bold names. The main sources of information have been :

  • The Internet

Primary research has been done using the web site of the Church of the Latter-day Saints (LDS), some confirmed and proven, some by process of deduction and elimination. The site does have its limitations and has been used carefully.

Also used have been sites relating to family records.

These include:  a pay per view site used to track birth, marriage and death indexes in the UK from 1837. a more recent pay per view site which offers are more structured search for Births,deaths and Marriages particularly for the late 1800s to mid 1900’s.


Http://   used to search for others interested in particular named individuals. The site also now seems to be the “official” administrator for the official BMD site (Births, Deaths and marriages. used to search for others interested in particular named individuals for research and ordering of census records Public Record Office to obtain certificates and for links to military medal and war service records War graves commission site to research war time deaths to research trades and dwellings in the 1800’s television company site with links to other research tools and paper forms to assist research a website used to track back to the Plantagenet family.   a reference site for all things genealogical     a commercial site with many useful records and search facilities


Many, many other web sites and sources have been used and are shown with the relevant text. Several excellent local history books have also been dipped into and these have been shown where quoted from. As this document is only intended for family use a proper bibliography was deemed unnecessary, but may be added later. I am treating all the information researched and shown as ©Nick Hildick-Smith but am happy to share it all with anyone who is interested.

Most of the information researched refers to the 19th century as on line records from official sources are post 1837 when compulsory registration came into force for the UK. Most of the records relating to pre 1837 come either from transcriptions of parish records on the LDS web site with the limitation that these have to be accepted as unverified at present, or from other listed sources. Normally the LDS data details christenings. Where dates of birth have been shown in full, these have been verified either by obtaining copies of cetificates or by accepting information from the families concerned. Wedding dates are also shown. These come mainly from transcripts of church records from the LDS site and have only been verified where required. Other items of interest have been included together where possible with their source. Dates of death have not been actively researched as they have little value in the research process. No apology is made for the bias towards the members of my own family, after all it is them I am most interested in. Maybe it will spur others to have a look at their own lineages.  

However, where I have been contacted by relations from other branches of the family I have tried to include details of their part in the family where possible.

  •  Existing family sources

Much detail of the history of the family and photos has been added by contacting other members of the family. They have all without exception been only too willing to help, not only with hard facts and detail but also with stories and anecdotes which are vital in making the “story” of the family come alive.

In the case of Elsie Oldnall Page, a family bible containing records going back to the early 1800s has been used, supported by research done by the local family history group relating to the village where her family lived, Chaddesley Corbett in Worcestershire. Andrew Page and his sister Caroline Dracott have been most helpful in filling in much of the detail for the past three generations.

Also from the Page family , David John Page, a desendant of Joseph Page b1870, has contacted me with details of where he fits into the family.

I was also contacted by Darren Wiese in Australia. I found a query on Curious Fox (a site for ancestry queries) relating to the Smart family and sent an email to him. We are related via Frances Smart’s father Robert (b1815). He has promised more, including photos of the early Smart family.

As far as the Hildick-Smiths are concerned, my sister Jackie Morris and a newly discovered link with Andrew and Peter Hildick-Smith in the USA have filled in much of the details of this side of the family, as well as photos and distantly remembered snippets from my mother Shirley. We have visited with both Andrew and Peter in the USA and through them have also met and spoken to their Aunt Ida Wolstenholme and her daughter Janet Marsh. In all cases much information was both given and received and it was good to meet previously unknown relatives.

 I have also received generous help with the Hildicks from Brian Hildick who I contacted through the GenesRevisited website and obtained further information from Greta (Hildick) Morley who contacted me through my sister Debbie.

My thanks also go to Patricia Mangwana who contacted me through my website:

She freely gave me lots more information on her side of the Hildick family.

Much more has come from other contacts via the website relating to the Hildick family in America.

Firstly Patricia Hildick Maxson contacted me from Sturbridge, MA, She is the daughter of Walter E Hildick b 1906, whose father was Francis James Hildick, who along with his brothers Thomas and Walter emigrated to America in the late 1800’s and established the cider vinegar and applejack brandy business there. She has supplied a lot of data relating to the family and her father who has just (August 2007) celebrated his 101st birthday.

Secondly, Carol Button from Wiliston, VT found the website while doing research into the Applejack side of the family. Her father William Kenneth was Walter Heeley Hildick’s (1876) grandson. From her I learnt more about the cider side and she has sent links relating to the mill in Sterling, MA once owned by the family and interesting details about financial dealings in the company in the 20’s and 30’s.

Elwyn Bull, who also contacted me through the website has been very generous in supplying information relating to the Oldnall family of Worcester, forebears of the Oldnalls of Hill Pool and relations of the Page family in Chaddesley Corbett.

I have also used the Churchill Forge website : as the basis for research into connections between the Bache family and the Page/Hildick-Smith families. 

From the Smith family comes a recent contact with Lindsey Brown, who is descended from the family of Thomas Smith. Her descendants included Sir Edwin Thomas Smith, a famous political figure from Adelaide, Australia, and although I have not worked out the exact connection, her photo albums contain snapshots of many of our forefathers so the link must be there.

My thanks go also to other family members who have contacted me through the website and supplied small nuggets relating to our mutual predecessors.


ź         Visits to places relating to the family.


These have been restricted by time constraints but visits to and on-line records of churchyards in Chaddesley Corbett, Walsall and Lapworth have all supplied details of names and years of birth and death which have in turn opened up numerous other research avenues.

Lapworth  was visited in June 2006 and from there I obtained details of the church window dedicated by the Hildick family as well as the grave marker of my Great Grandparents on the Hildick side. My father and all of his side of the family are buried in St Cassians Church, Chaddesley Corbett and the family visit regularly. As yet I have spent little time in Walsall and intend to travel more in the future to tie down loose ends.


1.2. Earliest Ancestors (so far)

The Hildick family has been traced back to about 1560, to one Robert Hildycke or Hildike in Walsall, Staffordshire. The name Hildick seems to appear in the late 1600s. The tree is a little complicated due to cousins of the same name marrying in the late 1700’s. Whilst the name Hildick appears fairly regularly in the records from 1650, there are a number of variations (Hyledyke, Heeldeeck, Hyledick, Hildike and Hildyke) that appear prior to this and although the name seems to be of Flemish derivation,( according to the Society of Genealogists) no direct evidence of whether the original Hildicks came from the European continent or when, has been found so far. If they did so it was before 1581 as  English records relating to the family have been found from then. A letter, witten in the 1960s by a member of the Hildick-Smith family, quoted from later on, implies that the original Hildicks were “political refugees” and there were four brothers who arrived in England, specifically when is still uncertain but seems to have been in the mid 1500s. So far I have not managed to track them down definitively. Other information, in the form of a Walsall newspaper articles in 1898, relating to a Hildick forebear seems to bear some of the rumours out:


“They were a family supposed to have been driven from The Netherlands, in 1570, by religious persecution, and settled in Sheffield by the aid of George, the sixth Earl of Shrewsbury. From Sheffield they took the trade (edge tool makers) to Coal Pool, Walsall


As strong Protestants they could properly be called Huguenots but much more research needs to be done.

From on-line census records it has been relatively easy to pinpoint Hildicks and their whereabouts from 1841 to 1901 as numbers are fairly limited.

In contrast, the Smith family have been much harder to trace as this is by far the most common surname in England. A trawl for the name John Smith, for example, in any on-line census site reveals several thousand entries!

The earliest Smith tracked so far is William Smith b 1666 and there is a fairly firm line descending from him. However, details of succeeding generations have had to be restricted to immediate male descent only due to the difficulty of tracing so common a name. Incidentally, 19thC records suggest that the derivation of the name Smith (a worker in metals) has not persisted in this branch of the family, while there are several metalworking Hildicks. Indeed the Smiths specialised in leather working and until the 1900s were to be found close to Walsall in what is now the West Midlands. They probably still do.

The Page family, on my Grandmother Elsie Pages side, have been traced only as far as 1740 when Joseph Page was born at Stoke prior in Worcestershire. He married into land, and a Page/Smart family bible, which I now hold, provided dates and names which formed much of the basics of the families history. Since 1800 or so the Pages lived and farmed in Chaddesley Corbett in Worcestershire. They still do.Prior to this, the Oldnall family were prominent in the family and details have been found that takes the link back to the 1500’s.

 In the case of Elsie Oldnall Pages mother, from the Smart family, an exception has been made in tracking the male and female lines. Research done many years ago by a member of the Smart family has established a link, albeit using both male and female lines, back to the House of Plantagenet and the marriage of Elizabeth Woodville to King Edward IV of England in 1464. By default we can claim therefore to go back to the earliest rulers of England. In fact I have now proved the line back to William I and as a result the line from Elizabeth Plantagenet establishes that my generation are 16th Cousins to the present Prince Charles.

Most of the simple lines have had to be manually transcribed into this document but I do have many more lines entered into a tree which is shown on the website. I am happy to supply .GED file along with the document, which allows trees to be drawn up using a computer and the usual family tree software to illustrate the text. Recipients can then use this as the basis for tracking their own trees back if they so desire.