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Thread: John Smout

  1. #1

    Default John Smout

    I cannot find a record of the birth or death of John Smout born about 1786 supposedly in Can Lane, Coseley, Staffs. I have a copy of the handwritten copy of his marriage to Mary Lankson on 2nd November, 1806 at Sedgley Parish Church, Staffs. All his children were born in Can Lane.

    His last child was born in 1834 and on the 1841 census Mary is a Widow. There is a death recorded for John Smout, Can Lane, in 1838 but it is his grandson.

    Three of his children were baptised at The Noah's Ark Church, Wolverhampton where their surname is given as Smote, parents John and Mary Smote, Can Lane, Coseley, occupation - collier.

    Their other children were baptised at All Saints Parish Church, Sedgley. I am trying to find his parents and where they came from but have 'hit a brick wall'.

  2. #2


    The registration of births, deaths and marriages was not started until 1837. You will need to get records from parish church There is also a listing of Burial records there. Staffordshire FHS may have online records.

  3. #3

    Default John Smout

    Thank you for taking the trouble to answer.

    I have been through the Parish Records and so have researchers at Coseley Archives. He does not appear in the Burial Index for Staffordshire or probate records. Can't find him on the IGI index for any County or on passenger lists. I have been through local cemetery records and visited gravestones of nearest kin of his for clues but all to no avail. I have asked Lichfield and Staffs Record Offices if there are any rate book, poll books, etc. which might show the residents of Can lane for 1786 but drawn a blank.

    As his parents could still have been alive when he died I have searched to see if either were living with other members of the family or nearby but again with no results. It seems unlikely that he just "did a bunk" and that Mary called herself a widow because of the nature of the family.

    As he was a collier, wondered if there had been an accident but presumably he would still have had a death certificate.

    I subscribe to Ancestry and any trees for the Smout family stop at John so, so far, it doesn't look as if anyone else can find him either!

    Thanks again,

  4. #4


    Does the local record office hold the Land tax Returns for this area?

    You can think of surviving records as basically being a census of households, which normally only mention one person (the head) of a household - but - especially with less common names, it is simple to pick up a distribution of surnames on a local map. So, you won't find your chap, but you may find his dad.

    Check to see if there is a cluster of SMOUTs in a particular parish or group of parishes which would make it worth checking the registers for that parish/parishes.

  5. #5

    Default John Smout

    Thanks you again for your assistance. I have enquired whether Lichfield or Stafford record offices have any rate books, poll books, etc and they said "No", but they didn't mention Land Tax Returns so I'll follow that up. I have 'collected' families of Smouts from all over Shropshire, Warley, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. I've marked each family on maps and connected them to each other where possible. Invariably they all can be traced back to Shropshire. There were very few Smout families in the Coseley area. Tipton Smouts had a John Smout born 1787 but the whole family eventually emigrated to Utah. A John Smout was baptised in Birmingham in 1787 but his parents came from Little Packington and his grave is in St. Bartholomew's churchyard with his parents and he died whilst our John was still having children. The one interesting Smout is an entry in St. Leonard's Church Bilston records for a burial for Mary Ann Smote in 1811, parents Thomas and Mabell Smote living Bilston. Mary Ann was baptised in Warwickshire in 1809 and her parents appear to have married in 1806 in Dover. Thomas was shown to have been born in Munslow, base child of Elizabeth BUT the entry on the Shropshire records is transcribed Thomas (John erased) !!!!! Thomas was born abt 1781 but the baptism was in 1786. Wondered if mother had waited to have two baptisms together but doesn't show separate one for John. Thomas and Mabell must have been living very near to John and Mary who lived in Ettingshall, close to Bilston, several of John's children were baptised Smote. John and Mary also married in 1806. I have found a marriage for Mabell Smote in Warwickshire in 1816 to Thomas Follows but Thomas Smote spent the last twenty or so years of his life in Greenwich Hospital where he died. I feel Thomas and John could have been brothers, which means John would have come to Can Lane as a young man and wasn't born there. It is fascinating but very frustrating. Thanks and a very happy New Year to you.

  6. #6


    Hello Smout family history friends. I am working on the Smout's of England/Wales connection to the Smoot's of America. I realize this is an old thread but there is great info here. If anyone is interesting in connecting regarding the Smout trees let me know!


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