~ Families ~
Family & Genealogy
Features and discussions on notable Gornal families.
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The Rollason's of Ruiton.
The Rollasons were a prominent family dynasty in the Ruiton and Lower Gornal area, with interests mainly of quarrying the local stone, the family owned a quarry off Ruiton Street until quite recent times.
This contribution from the Great Grandson of Arthur Rollason, recounts the choice Arthur had to make between love and wealth in 1880s Gornal.

I am writing of an otherwise unknown tale of a scandal that threatened the Rollason name and standing in the community of mid to late 19th Century Gornal.

First, allow me to introduce myself. I am Steve Rollason from Halesowen and my lineage goes back to Ruiton, Gornal when in the 1880's we became the Black sheep of the family!

Up unto this point we Rollason's were going great guns, having our own Quarry and Ruiton Mill (at one time) and a well to do place in Society. Alas our downfall was on the Horizon thanks to my Great Granddad Arthur Joseph Rollason who happened to fall in love.

All very nice so far but (and as in all good stories it was a BIG but) because the woman who had won his heart, one Sara Jane (Surname not known to me) was a house maid and to add insult to injury, a Roman Catholic to boot.

Not withstanding this Arthur with the love of a good woman at his side, stated his intentions to his Father (Name not known to me) that he was going to marry Sara Jane. Now this was a huge problem to the Family. Clearly such a relationship and God forbid, Union did not fit in with the Family position in society and must be nipped in the bud forthwith.

There was no way that Rollason senior was going to allow his Son to marry someone "in Service' and to add insult to injury a Catholic as well. The gauntlet was laid down. Renounce his love for Sara Jane and end the relationship or be dis-owned and cast out.

Poor old Arthur now had to choose between the Woman he loved or remain a respected member of the well to do Quarry owning Rollason's. What to do???

Fortunately for me good old Arthur was made of stern stuff and stood up to his Father. Not only did he refuse to cast off the love of his life, he told Rollason senior what he could do with his money and position in Society and was subsequently shown the door, disowned and dis-inherited. Never to be spoken of again......

The problem resolved, the Ruiton Rollason's continued with their Quarrying and Place in Society (Sans one)
Arthur Joseph and Sara Jane duly married, with Arthur converting to the RC religion and together they left Gornal approx 1880-1885 and moved to Smethwick where they had 5 Sons and 3 Daughters.

When I told my 25 year old daughter the story that our ancestor had the choice between Wealth or Love and that he chose love her reply was "What a Tit". Says it all really doesn't it?

I hope this can weave itself into the Fabric of Ruiton and old Gornal and show that ultimately Love really does conquer all.

Steve Rollason, Halesowen 2019.
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