Ogley Hay

In 1086 the Domesday record shows that the village of Hocintune was still in the possession of the Canons of Saint Mary's Church in Wolverhampton. The document of King William indicates a tax assessment of one 'hide', the standard rate for much of Staffordshire, but the vill was recorded as 'wasted', with no inhabitants and of no taxable worth. There is a Saxon name Ocga, which could provide the first element both of Ogley Hay and the Domesday name Hocintune. It is hard to explain the great difference between the name then and now; part of it may be a down to scribal errors in the Domesday Book, due to the fact that much of it was written by Norscribes recording Saxon names by how they sounded to them. The second and third elements of Hocintune seem to be inga, meaning 'belonging to the family/followers/people of (someone)', and tun, meaning 'farmstead', the name therefore translating as 'the farmstead belonging to the family of Ocga'. As for the modern name, Ogley Hay, the second and third elements seem to be derived from leah, meaning 'woodland clearing' or sometimes 'copse', and hæg, meaning 'enclaosure', the name therefore meaning 'the enclosure in the clearing of Ocga'. [Cannock Chase History]

Ogley Hay, being originally extra-parochial, that is outside any parish, was declared a parish in 1838 but there was no parish church until 1851 when St. James's Church was built. With the coming of the South Staffordshire Railway in 1850 the High Street, then called the Old Chester Turnpike Road, with a toll gate at Anchor Bridge, became an important trading area. With the railway came two men who shaped the future of the town. John Robinson McClean, railway engineer, opened up the pits around Chasewater, built the Anglesey Branch Canal and railway line and founded the South Staffordshire Water Works. William Roberts, a pit boy and ganger on the railway, became a local magistrate, Chairman of the Council, owner of public houses, farms and numerous properties in the area. He was also a great benefactor to the town until his death in 1906.

Ogley-Hay an extra-parochial district in the S. division of the hundred of Offlow, and of the county of Stafford; containing 500 inhabitants. This place , which was previously only a rural hamlet, was in 1836 purchased by C. F. Cotterill, Esq., and has since that period become a place of some trade. The grounds have been enclosed, and are now well cultivated. They comprise of about 1000 acres, nearly all belonging to Mr. Cotterill, who has let the lands on long leases; a village has been commenced, and some streets laid out, upon an eminence commanding an extensive prospect. From its vicinity to beds of coal, and having abundance of excellent clay for making bricks, the place is likely soon to become of considerable size. An engineering establishment is carried on, employing a great number of hands; and there is also a corn-mill, &c. The district is intersected by the Watling-Street; the Lichfield and Walsall road runs through it, and the old Chester road on the south side. [Samuel Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England 1859]

Ogley Hay, a village, an extra-parochial tract, and a chapelry, in the S of Staffordshire. The village stands on the Wyrley and Essington canal, near Watling-street, and near the boundary with Warwickshire, 4 miles S of Lichfield r. station; and is a prosperous place. The extra-parochial tract includes the village, and extends into the country. Acres, 705. Real property, £2, 394. Pop.in 1851, 518; in 1861, 1, 357. Houses, 258. The increase of pop. was caused mainly by the opening of three large collieries. [John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales 1870 - 1872]

Was your ancestor a coal miner living in Ogley Hay in 1881? You may find him on Hammerwich census 1881 as translated by Webster Genealogy

Have you ancestors in your family from Ogley Hay with the surname Gilbert? If so, you may find them on this website

The Parish website for Saint James Church

A website for the history of Saint James Church

Staffordshire Records Office holds Saint James Church Registers

Paupers in need of assistance from Ogley Hay would have been examined and assessed, and if they met the criteria, they would have been admitted to Lichfield Workhouse. Learn a little of the history of the Lichfield Workhouse.