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Origin of W. Avery & Son

Introduction

In early 2016 a family history written in 1947 by John James Hancox (1872-1953) was discovered in which the author discusses the origins of his mother’s family, the Averys from Headless Cross.  Although this document contains several minor errors, it was written by someone who knew members of the Avery family intimately and provides details not available from other sources.  This new information, along with the research completed in 2015, links William Avery (1758-1840), John Avery (1807-1865) and William Avery (1832-1899) as father, son and grandson who established, owned and operated the business known as W. Avery & Son from its origin to 1899.  To learn more about William Avery (1832-1899) and his father, John Avery (1807-1865), which was researched and written in 2011-2012, be sure to visit the William Avery and W. Avery & Son web page.  Additional historical information about the Avery family can be found in the History section of this website.

An in-depth investigation regarding the origins of the firm known as W. Avery & Son was undertaken in 2015.  This involved searching through records held by the website findmypast.co.uk including baptism/marriage/burial records (church parish registers), birth/marriage/death records (official government certificates beginning in 1838), census records beginning in 1841, newspapers, etc. for Worcestershire and Warwickshire, the two counties in which the Avery family lived.  Records for all Avery families in the area were reviewed in order to determine how many Avery families there were, which ones were involved in the needle trades and what their relationships were.  The Genealogical Proof Standard was used for this research which involves five key components: 1) reasonably exhaustive search, 2) complete and accurate citation of sources, 3) analysis and correlation of the collected information, 4) resolution of conflicting information, and 5) soundly reasoned, coherently written conclusion.  A special thank you goes to Barbara Stoker, Raymond McLaren and John Avery Hancox from the UK for sharing information in their possession regarding the Avery family.

Any history of W. Avery and Son would be incomplete without taking into consideration the book entitled “Old Redditch Being an Early History of the Town from 1800-1850” that William Avery (1832-1899) wrote in 1887.  In this section an explanation is offered regarding whether this narrative relates to the Avery family history.

William Avery (1758-1840)

William Avery was born around 1758 in the Redditch area, probably in the neighboring village of Studley, Warwickshire which is located about four miles southeast of Redditch.  He had at least one sibling, a sister named Charlotte who was born in the area about 1770.  William married Lucy Chatterley (1761-1830) on September 11, 1781 in the Redditch Parish known as St. Bartholomew, Tardebigg, Worcestershire.  William and Lucy had at least two children: Sarah (January 7, 1782) and John (July 5, 1807).  Their first child, Sarah, was born only four months after their marriage possibly causing William to settle down and become a needle maker that year, which could be the reason his grandson claimed the firm of W. Avery & Son was founded in 1782.  The words “Established 1782” appear on several pasteboard needle cases produced for W. Avery & Son in the late 1860’s, 1870’s and 1880’s.  According to the grandson’s 1899 obituary, the firm originated in 1785.  However, it is highly unlikely the business was established sometime in the 1780’s because William Avery did not have a son at that time and it seems doubtful he would name a company W. Avery & Son if he did not have a son.  Unless of course Avery renamed the company later after the birth of his son.  Another possible explanation is that Avery had a father with the same name who established the firm when Avery came of age in the 1780’s.

It is unclear why William and Lucy had no additional children recorded until 25 years later when John was born in 1807.  Perhaps the family lived outside the Redditch area for a period of time and additional births were recorded in another place.  On the other hand, that sounds improbable since Redditch was the center for needle making and if that was Avery’s chosen career, he certainly would have wanted to stay in the area.  Another possible reason for the length of time between the two children could be some type of illness that prevented offspring or caused miscarriage until it was resolved.  This seems likely since there is a record of a Sarah Avery who died in Worcester on February 6, 1782 which could be William’s daughter who was born a month earlier.  Although at the time it was highly unusual for a woman to have one child at age 21 and the second at age 45, it was not impossible.  According to church records there was only one Avery family in the area at the time with a father named William and a mother named Lucy and only two children were christened in the Redditch area with parents having those names.  The only other explanation would be that the son, John, was adopted, however no records have been found to support this.

Prior to the introduction of official governmental record keeping in 1838 regarding births, marriages and deaths and the UK census in 1841, records consisted mainly of church registers of baptisms, marriages and burials, city and town business directories and court records.  Other than church records the only documentation specifically mentioning William Avery prior to 1823 is a court document indicating a man named William Avery, a Redditch needle maker, went bankrupt on April 9, 1793.  This could be the William Avery who is the subject of this narrative or it could be another person with the same name since christening records indicate there were several individuals with this name born in the 1700’s who lived in the Redditch area.  Because early records are sketchy at best the focus of the remaining research shifted to the first half of the 19th century.  Although there were a number of Avery families in the Redditch area engaged in some aspect of needle making between 1800-1851, only three were listed at least once as needle or fish hook manufacturers: William Avery and his son John of W. Avery & Son; James Avery Sr. and his sons, James Jr. and Edwin, who were associated with the firm of James Avery & Co. (aka James Avery & Son); and Henry Avery.  All three families were recorded in a legal document listing the needle and fish hook manufacturers from Redditch in 1840.  Members of these same three families were recorded in the 1841 census with their occupation listed as “needle m”.

Records do not exist to show when the W. Avery & Son business originated, however it seems most likely that William Avery founded the firm either around the time his son John was born or when the son came of age in the 1810’s to be taught the art of needle making.  The first directory of companies in the Redditch area was published in 1823 and it lists W. Avery & Son as well as James Avery & Co as the only Avery “needle factors” in the area, although there was another William Avery who was a smith. Court records indicate the partnership of William Avery & Son involving “William Avery and John Avery, late of Studley, Warwick, but now of Redditch, Worcestershire, needle and fish-hook manufacturers”, was dissolved on March 11, 1831.  It appears that the partnership was dissolved because William retired after the death of his wife Lucy and his son took over the business keeping the company name of W. Avery & Son.  Lucy Avery died the year before at age 69 in the Redditch area and was buried on January 25, 1830 from St. Stephen’s church. In 1832 when John’s first child was born, John was listed as a needle manufacturer on the christening record.  The firm W. Avery & Son needle manufacturers was also listed in Pigot & Co.’s Commercial Directories in 1828-29, 1835 and in 1842 whereas James Avery & Co. and William Avery the smith were no longer listed, although there was a James Avery listed as a retailer of beer in 1835 and 1842.

William Avery died ten years after his wife at age 82 and was buried on December 25, 1840 from St. Stephen's in Redditch.  His death was listed in at least two newspapers. In the Worcestershire Chronical he was listed as a death “At Headless Cross, near Redditch, Mr. William Avery, aged 82 years” and in the Leeds Intelligencer “Monday last, at Redditch, Worcestershire, age 85, Mr. Wm. Avery, of the firm of Avery and Son, needle manufacturers, and uncle to Mr. Robert Blundell, of this town”.  Robert Blundell’s mother was William Avery’s sister Charlotte. Although there is a discrepancy in Avery’s age between the two newspaper accounts, the information from these two newspapers place William Avery in the Headless Cross/Redditch area in 1840 and also tie him to the only Avery & Son needle manufacturing firm in Headless Cross at the time.  Since there was only one Avery family in Headless Cross in the 1841 census, headed by John Avery who was born in 1808 according to the census, this is pretty convincing evidence that the William who died the year before was John’s father.  Additional proof comes from William’s death certificate which lists Mary Ann Chambers of Feckenham as the informant who was present at his death.  Feckenham is the name of the district in which Headless Cross was located during this period.  Mary Chambers is also listed in the 1841 and 1851 censuses as a niece and member of John Avery’s family.

From Family Notes Written by J. J. Hancox in 1947

(Painting of J. J. Hancox courtesy of John Avery Hancox)

The following is an exact transcription of the text from pages 14-20 of Mr. Hancox’s book except for the addition of corrections which are noted in italics.

FAMILY OF JOHN AVERY
From the Headless Cross Family Bible.

JOHN AVERY, born June 23rd, 1807, Redditch
..........Married on August 4th, 1829
Catherine Johnson, born May 13th, 1805, Redditch

.    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .    .     .     .     .     .

Children:
John: Born October 22, 1830 at a quarter before eleven a.m.
..........Died February 7, 1832
William: Born May 1, 1832 at half past 5 a.m.
Charles: Born July 25, 1834
Benjamin Martin: Born May 5, 1835
..........Died May 9, 1846
Joseph: Born January 21, 1839 at 1/2 past 7 a.m.
..........Died May 1915 [Correction: Joseph’s death date is June 29, 1915 according to his death certificate]
Catherine: Born April 22, 1842 at ¼ to 8 a.m.
..........Died August 11, 1875

.    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .    .     .     .     .     .

The above extracted by Harold Avery, son of William, (1832) above.

.    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .    .     .     .     .     .

Now we will go back to the Avery family.  They appear to have originated at Studley as blacksmiths, somewhere towards the end of the eighteenth century.  My Great Grandfather William Avery together with his son began making needles by hand, opening a factory at Headless Cross.  They (with Hemming) were among the earliest makers of needles, and in addition to a home trade, from London to Penzance they built up an export trade to France, Spain and eventually Russia.  I don’t know when William (the first) died but his son John built a house at the corner of Feckenham Road, Headless Cross and married Catherine Johnson of Johnson’s Farm, Headless Cross (still so named) and they had five sons (John died at 2 years old) and lastly one daughter.

They were John, William, Charles, Benjamin and Joseph, and the daughter’s name was again, Catherine.  John (senior) died a comparatively young man leaving his widow and young sons to carry on the business which they did with great and growing success, so much so that Avery’s needles are still asked for, by name, on the continent of Europe and supplied by the English Needle Combine.

Catherine (the elder) lived till the summer of 1888, and was probably one of the most beloved women of her time and neighborhood and adored by her family and Grandchildren.  She was a splendid business woman and a first-rate judge of a good needle and a good character, none of which narrowed her abounding charity or love for her fellows.  There is a little story which illustrates this.  She was giving food and drink to a not doubtful character in her kitchen, and when he departed, her youngest son Joseph said; “Mother don’t you know that is a bad man?” “Yes Joseph,” she replied “but he was just as hungry as the good ones”.  Note she had more than likely been telling him off!

The outstanding trait of the Avery family appears to have been musical. Benjamin died young so I know nothing of him except a framed “funeral card”.  But William, Charles and Joseph were all good organists.  Joseph was an exceptional amateur vocalist being one of the very few amateurs to sing at the Birmingham Town Hall professional Concerts.  Catherine, too, was a very capable pianist and singer.  Now we will take the family in order.

William at a youthful age took over the helm of the Needle business.  He worked hard, at one time he had a pin factory at Birmingham, which I visited with great delight at the marvellous almost human machines.  This was afterwards transferred to Headless Cross, to the New Factory, (now Heaths Springs) which I remember being built about 1880.

He was a great traveler for those days and told me he was the first British business man to enter Paris after the Commune Riots in 1871.  Anyway he brought home for his Mother a French Marquetry Clock, which I have.  Together with his youngest brother Joseph, he played the organ at the Wesleyan Church in Headless Cross for fifty years without pay, and without (between the two) ever missing a single Sunday service.  William became something of a public man, a County Justice of the Peace and a Lecturer chiefly on his travels, including Russia, an almost fabulous country in those days.  He married a Cornish lady named Maria Pethybridge by whom he had two sons, Ricardo and Harold and one daughter Helen who died young.  [Correction: William Avery’s wife was Maria Proctor Dingley from Sherborne, Dorset.  William’s son Harold’s mother-in-law was a Cornish lady named Mary Pethybridge.]

William lived to a ripe old age and died sometime in 1897 or 1898.  Ric inherited money from his Mother and became somewhat of a globe-trotter and dilettante, he lived till 1946.  [Correction: William Avery died in 1899 according to his death certificate and Ricardo Avery died in 1947 according to his death certificate.]

Harold wrote a number of books mostly Boys School Stories and was one of the original contributors to the Boys Own Paper.  He lived in Malvern, Stratford-on-Avon and lastly at Evesham where he died at the age of seventy-five, he left one son William (the third).  [Correction: Charles Harold Avery, who went by the name Harold Avery, died at age 76 according to his death certificate.]

Secondly, we have Charles, the Sportsman of the family, who rode to hounds regularly and was a good shot, but eventually he blew a finger off his right hand with a bursting gun.  He inherited the Spanish Export part of his Father’s business and I have helped pack the air-tight soldered cases, many times of thousands of needles for Barcelona and Bilbao.  He became attached to a Miss Baldwin in the hunting field, but her people being “County folk” did not favour the engagement, (she was Stanley Baldwin’s Aunt) and Charles betook himself to a disappointed reaction and eventually married the daughter of a small publican in Redditch, so a handsome fellow sank to a rather low estate and was often to be found late in life in the Tap-room of the “Unicorn”.  He was held up to us as an example of what not to do. But we loved him all the same and he was a most generous Uncle, rising even to the fantastic heights of a whole sixpence tip!  He had a succession of Spanish boys and girls as guests, Nephews and Neices of his importer (Senor Serra y Larranaga) who was a bachelor and sent all his nephews and neices to be educated in France, Italy, England and Germany.  He (Mr. Serra) was an extremely wealthy man, who owned his line of steamships from Liverpool to Barcelona.  Sixty seven years ago, he gave me two shillings, for taking off his boots and I have not yet recovered from my astonishment.

Now for Joseph (Benjamin we disposed of “died young”) he ran the Birmingham branch of the business including the pin-factory and a warehouse for wholesale distribution of the Firms goods in the Midlands, and came home to Headless Cross on Saturday evenings, always with something fresh to show to his Mother and any neices and nephews of which some were usually there.  When the pin-factory closed down he had ten years holiday and then went back to help his brother William till the latter’s death when Joseph went to a small cottage of his own, on the Webheath Road, here he lived till May 1915 in the best of health, till 75, when he just slept in the afternoon and did not wake, never having had a day’s illness in his life.  By a strange coincidence I was passing soon after his Housekeeper found him still “asleep” on the couch, she stopped my car and I went in and found from his papers he had left me sole executor of his will.  [Correction: Joseph Avery died at age 76 on June 29, 1915 according to his death certificate.]

We had always been friends rather than Uncle and Nephew, he took me to my first “tails dance” and I sang for him at my first Public Concert.  He was my “best man” at my wedding and helped me through some of life’s crises.

He was a Dickensian scholar and Lecturer and a Member of the Dickensian Society a really good “character” actor, and as mentioned before, a musician of more than local fame, he was a Member of the Birmingham Kyrle Society, (no mean honour for an Amateur) and of the Clef Club, he devoted fifty years to helping those and many other causes; nearest his heart always being the children and when at the end of this period the District presented him with an illuminated address and a purse of one hundred sovereigns, this included pennies from many hundreds of local kiddies.  Just one little anecdote of many I could quote.  Someone bet they could address, from anywhere in England, a letter to “Uncle Joe, Redditch’, he did so, and won his bet as it was delivered without a post’s delay.

When the late Colonel Milward (who died this year) unveiled his portrait, in the Public Hall, Redditch (he had already unveiled one of Dr. Page with a long and well deserved appraisal) and coming to the second portrait he said “I need no comment here Ladies and Gentleman - this is “Uncle Joe” - and all stood and applauded, (I was there, his only relative present).

Incidentally, if you should go to the Public Hall to see this portrait you may also see a Terra Cotta bust of William Avery (by John Rollins).

Joseph made several long visits to Spain, sailing as a guest of the Captain on Mr. Serra’s boats from Liverpool to Barcelona.  He had a lot of Bull-fighting gear and Lantern Slides and gave lectures on this.  (Once in Great Alne school).  Joseph was a bachelor, one heard of a far off youthful romance with a Romish-Papist Lady, but was not quite sure such a dreadful thing in a puritan family could have occurred so it was not referred to, except in whispers.  So he became the World’s Lover “Uncle Joe” to everyone to his face and behind his back.

My Mother Catherine, the youngest of the Avery family, was a “Johnson,” in looks, dark, and small featured, without the “Avery” nose, as I do not remember her I cannot say much of her; except that I believe she was a most charming and beloved woman, as stated before she died in 1875, leaving five children - including a small baby son, who soon followed his Mother.

What about the stories in “Old Redditch Being an Early History of the Town from 1800-1850”

Some of the dates referenced in the Avery family history above conflict with dates published in 1887 in William Avery’s (1832-1899) book entitled “Old Redditch Being an Early History of the Town from 1800-1850”.  One must read the original document as well as the 1999 edition edited by Anne Bradford to get a better understanding of this work since the original version has a totally different perspective.  Although previous authors and researchers have assumed this is Avery’s personal family story, at first glance this appears to be incorrect since his father was not born in 1800 and did not die in 1832 of cholera as the book suggests.  It only seems natural that one would then assume the story was perhaps originally told to William by his father, John Avery (1807-1865), about his grandfather William Avery (1758-1840), however as you can see from the evidence provided above, the grandfather did not die in 1832 either, in fact there was only one person with the surname Avery who died that year in the Redditch area, a one year old boy named John.

On the other hand, if we ignore the dates listed for Avery births and deaths in “Old Redditch” and focus on comparing the narrative to written records from the time period in which the events occurred and to Mr. Hancox’s memoir, we find some noteworthy similarities.  For example, according to the "Old Redditch" book, the grandfather was a needle maker who preferred inventing different things to make his life easier and more interesting but was unable to finish any of the projects he started causing hardship for the family.  This sounds very much like the needle maker named William Avery who went bankrupt in 1793.  Additionally, Mr. Hancox believes the Averys were originally blacksmiths from Studley which corresponds to the civil records from 1831 in which the partnership dissolution between William Avery and John Avery indicate they “were late of Studley, Warwick, but now of Redditch”.  Furthermore, it seems reasonable that a person with the skill set to be a blacksmith could easily transition to the occupation of a needle maker.

It also seems likely that the stories in “Old Redditch” were written by William’s son, Charles Harold Avery (1867-1943), who became an author and wrote at least 26 children’s books between 1894 and 1936 under the pseudonym Harold Avery.  Charles would have been twenty years old in 1887, a well-educated young man presumable bored with the needle business. He was the perfect age to help his father document these lectures and perhaps embellished them a bit to give the stories a more personal nature.  Fantastic adventure stories with pirates and wizards became one of his specialties in later books as well as his alleged personal biography written by his publisher in 1951 which is total fiction.  Before updating the Wikipedia page with Charles’s true life story the following biography was listed:

"His biography (1951, Introduction to No Surrender!, Thomas Nelson and Sons) states that in 1879, Avery's family left England for Australia.  During transit, his passenger ship was allegedly hijacked by Malay pirates while transversing the Strait of Malacca.  The ship was forced to run aground, and although Avery survived, his parents did not.  Avery spent three years living with the Lanuns, a native people from Malaysia.  In 1882 he was rescued by a Dutch naval ship and reunited with his paternal aunt, Hanna Avery, his only living relative.  Avery returned to his studies and attended Eton College in Berkshire.  He later moved with his aunt to Edinburgh, Scotland where he took a job in the city's water department.

"Avery wrote mainly school stories.  These books were popular among boys and girls in the later half of the 19th and earlier part of the 20th centuries, and described life in public and private schools in England.  For his books he drew mainly on his experiences at Eton.  Avery also wrote several adventure books and stories, often featuring pirates and again drawing on his childhood experiences in Malaysia.  He was extremely prolific, writing over 50 books within a 45 year period.

"Avery lived a very reclusive life, never marrying and living with his increasingly elderly aunt.  He rarely left Edinburgh and never traveled outside of Britain as an adult, although he always expressed a wish to travel.  In early 1941, in the midst of WWII, Avery retired and finally left Europe, supposedly to travel round the world.  The last Avery was heard from was in a postcard to his Aunt, written in 1943 from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.  In 1951, after his death, Avery's publisher (Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.) released a special re-issue of No Surrender! (originally published in 1933), featuring the only known biography of Avery in the introduction.".

Sources

Accounts and Papers: Nineteen Volumes – 14 – Trade: Corn: Post Office: Postage.  Session 26 January – 22 June 1841, Vol. XXVI, 1841.  Lists needle and fish-hook manufacturers from Redditch as of November 14, 1840 on pages 257-258 including John Avery, James Avery & Co and Henry Avery.


Analysis of 1841 UK census information from findmypast.co.uk


Analysis of UK birth, marriage, death/burial information from findmypast.co.uk


Avery, William.  Old Redditch Being an Early History of the Town from 1800-1850, 1887.  Reprinted and edited by Anne Bradford in 1999.  Copy of the original edition provided by Raymond McLaren.


Census records for Worcestershire and Warwickshire from findmypast.co.uk
1841 New End, Tardebigg, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England

1851 Evesham Street, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England

1841 Evesham Street, Tardebigg, Bromsgove, Worcestershire, England

1851 Evesham Street, Redditch, Bromsgove, Worcestershire, England

1841 Headless Cross, Feckenham, Alcester, Worcestershire, England

1851 Bromsgrove Road, Feckenham, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire

1851 11 High Street, All Saints, Southampton, Hampshire, England

1841 Unicorn Hill, Tardebigg, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England

1851 Fish Hill, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England

1841 Beoley Lane, Tardebigg, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England

1851 Beoley Lane, Redditch, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, England

1841 McDonalds Lane Paradise Court, Manchester, Lancashire, England

1851 Meadow Lane, Leeds, Yorkshire, England


County Advertisements clipping dated 1876.  Advertisement on page 138 lists James Avery & Son of Redditch, needles, fish hooks, etc.  Received from Raymond McLaren, exact source unknown.


Directory of Redditch dated 1823 published in the local newspaper in 1923 (probably the Redditch Indictor) titled “Redditch a Century Ago” copy provided by Raymond McLaren of Dartford, UK.   Lists W. Avery & Son and James Avery & Co as the only Avery “needle factors” in the area, although there was another William Avery who was a smith.


England, Births & Baptisms 1538-1975 Transcription from findmypast.co.uk


England Deaths and Burials 1538-1991 Transcription from findmypast.co.uk


England Marriage 1538-1973 Transcription from findmypast.co.uk


England & Wales Non-conformist burial Transcription from findmypast.co.uk


General Register Office, UK – Deaths - www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp


Hancox, J. J.  Family Notes, Great Alne, Wawickshire, 1947.  This Hancox family history was written by John James Hancock (1872-1953) and includes information about the Avery family (pages 14-20).  This family history was obtained through email correspondence in 2016 with Mr. Hancox's grandson, John Avery Hancox.


Information from other researchers


The Law Advertiser for the Year 1831 Vol. IX, No. 31 Thursday, August 4, 1831.  Page 279 dated March 11, 1831 lists a Partnership Dissolution for “William Avery and Son – viz William Avery and John Avery, late of Studley, Warwick, but now of Redditch, Worcestershire, needle and fish-hook manufacturers”.  This appears to be William Avery’s (1832-1899) father and grandfather.  Available at books.google.com.


The Leeds Intelligencer – Saturday 26 December 1840, page 8 lists the death of William Avery age 85 of the firm Avery & Son, needle manufactures at Redditch.  Available at findmypast.co.uk.


National Burial Index for England & Wales Transcription from findmypast.co.uk


Pigot & Co.’s Directory of Ches, Cumb… Part 2, 1828-1829.  Available as of February and March 2011 at www.historicaldirectories.org under Worcestershire.  Lists William Avery & Son as a fish hook and needle manufacturer in Redditch on page 872.  No other James or William Avery’s listed.


Pigot & Co.’s Directory of Derbys, Herefs…, 1835.  Available as of February and March 2011 at www.historicaldirectories.org under Worcestershire.  Lists William Avery & Son as a fish hook and needle manufacturer in Redditch on page 651.   Lists James Avery as a Retailer of Beer on Page 651.


Pigot & Co.’s Directory of Derbys, Dorset…, 1842.  Available as of February and March 2011 at www.historicaldirectories.org under Worcestershire.  Lists W. Avery & Son as a fish hook and needle manufacturer in Headless Cross on page 20 in the Feckenham neighborhood in Worcestershire section.  Lists James Avery as a retailor of beer in Redditch in Worcestershire.


The Poll of the Freeholders of Warwickshire at the Election at Warwick on the 31st October, and the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 6th, and 7th November 1820.  Page 15 lists a John Avery in Studley.  This may have been William Avery’s (1832-1899) father.  Available at books.google.com.


Robinson’s Birmingham & Sheffield Directory, 1839.  Available as of February and March 2011 at www.historicaldirectories.org under Worcestershire.  Lists W. Avery & Son as a fish hook and needle manufacturer in Redditch on pages 505 and 507.  Lists James Avery as needle and fish hook manufacture and beer retailer on pages 505-507.


St. Stephen’s Church of England in Redditch parish registers (researched by genealogist Vanessa Morgan of Redditch).


The Universal Magazine of Knowledge and Pleasure Containing … and Other Arts and Sciences Vol. XCII, 1793.  Page 317 lists the bankruptcy of William Avery of Redditch, needle-maker dated April 9, 1793.  This may have been William Avery’s (1832-1899) grandfather.  Available at books.google.com.


Wikipedia as of May 2015.  Harold Avery.


Worcestershire Chronical – January 6, 1841 lists death of William Avery aged 82 of Headless Cross.  Available at findmypast.co.uk.


Worcestershire Record Office – 705:414/8189/34/ii 1883-1913.  Documents related to sale of Sherborne Cottage to J. English & Son Ltd and – 705:414/8779/11/iv/5-11 1861-1914.  Deeds, covenants, copy correspondence and list of documents related to the purchase by J. English and Son Ltd. of Redditch of the business of needle, pin and fish hook manufacture and dealing in small wares of William Avery and Son of Headless Cross, Redditch (researched by genealogist Vanessa Morgan of Redditch).  Included a document dated 1 January 1863 was an 'Assignment of Goodwill of the Trade and Business of Needle and Fishhook Manufacturing' by Mrs. Elizabeth Avery, widow and admix of Edwin Avery Dec'd to William Avery. Edwin had died 19 September 1861 - "Deceased carried on in the trade under several styles or firms - E. Avery; E. Avery & Co; James Avery; James Avery & Son".

Master List

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Learn how the author turned a hobby cross stitching antique sampler reproductions into a passion for collecting Avery needle cases resulting in a published book, a Wikipedia article, a TCI Bulletin article and conference presentation and this website.