Tracing Your Coalmining Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians

1 review Write a Review
Usually Ships Within 7 Days

Media: BOOK - paperback, 288 pages
Author: B. Elliott
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9781848842397
Other: b&w photos, glossary, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

In the 1920s there were over a million coalminers working in over 3000 collieries across Great Britian, and the industry as one of the most important and powerful in British history. It dominated the lives of generations of individuals, their families and communities, and its legacy is still with us today - many of us have a coalmining ancestor.

Yet family historians often have problems in researching their mining forebears. Locating the relevant records, finding the sites of the pits, and understanding the work involved and its historical background can be perplexing. That is why Brian Elliott's concise, authoritative and practical handbook is so useful, for it guides researchers through these obstacles and opens up the broad range of sources they can go to in order to get a vivid insight into the lives and experiences of coalminers in the past.

Brian's overview of the coalmining history and the case studies and research tips he provides makes this book rewarding reading for anyone looking for a general introduction to this major aspect of Britain's industrial heritage. His directory of regional and national sources is an essential tool for family historians searching for an ancestor who was part of the mining community.

'A Day I Shall Never Forget'

PART 1: The Miner in Context
1. Discovering the Working Life of Your Miner-Ancestor
- Getting set on
- Homes and transport
- First days: Working at the pit top
- First days: Working underground
- Pony drivers
- Job variety and progression
- Colliers
- Bathing and women's work in the home
- Officials: Deputies and overmen
- Under-managers and managers
- Mining engineers
- Pit sinkers
- Engine winders
- Pay
- Further reading
2. Accidents, Disasters and Disease
- Everyday accidents and dreadful disasters
- Occupational diseases and ailments
- Research guide:
- Burial registers
- Civil registration
- HM Inspectors' reports
- Accessing annual mines inspector's and disaster reports
- Newspapers and periodicals
- Where to find newspapers
- Internet sources
- Other useful sources
- Was your mining relative or ancestor in the mines rescue service?
- Did your coalmining relative or ancestor receive and bravery or gallantry award?
- Further reading, video and film
3. Rights and Strikes: Associations and Unions
- Union development c.1780-present
- Strikes and lock-outs
- Notable strikes and lock-outs
- Demonstrations and galas
- Banners
- Miners' leaders
- Women
- Research guide
- Further reading
4. Women and Child Miners
- 'Invisible' female miners
- Women pit-top workers
- Women and children working underground
- The Children's Employment Commission (Mines) and its two Reports 1840-42
- Further Reading
5. Coalfields and Miners at War
- First World War, 1914-18
- Spanish Civil War, 1936-39
- Second World War: 'We'll do the fighting if you get the coal'
- Selective sources and further reading
6. Using the Census
- Incomers and Miner-Households: a case study of Treeton, near Rotherham in south Yorkshire (1891)
- Further Treeton sources
7. Making Use of Objects and Ephemera
- Pit checks
- Early union badges
- Later union, strike and commemorative badges
- Safety lamps
- Ceramics and glassware
- Small metalware
- Ephemera
- Awards
- Clothing and equipment
8. Collieries and Coalfields
- Coalfields post-1947
- List of coal mines
- Printed maps and plans
- Further reading
- Colliery names

PART 2: Where to Find Information
9. Regional Sources
- The Coalfields of Scotland
- Northumberland & Durham coalfield
- Cumberland Coalfield
- Yorkshire (& Nottinghamshire/Derbyshire) coalfields
- Lancashire and Cheshire coalfields
- Midlands coalfields
- Bristol and Somerset/Forest of Dean (Gloucestershire) coalfields
- Kent coalfields
- North Wales coalfield
- South Wales coalfield
10. National Sources
- National Mining Museum
- National Records of Scotland
- National Library of Scotland
- Scottish Screen Archive
- National Museums Scotland
- Scottish Genealogy Society
- Online Sources
- National Mining Museum
- British Library
- Coal Authority
- Institution of Mechanical Engineers
- Iron Mountain
- The National Archives
- Working Class Movement Library
- Online Sources
- National Museum Wales
- Big Pit National Coal Museum
- National Waterfront Museum
- National Museum Cardiff
- National Library of Wales
- National Screen & Sound Archive
- Online Sources

1 Review
  • Coamining in the UK

    Posted by Ailsa Corlett on 13th Oct 2022

    Great book, full of details, links etc covering both Scotland, England and Wales of all the coal mines. Great to read about conditions, accidents and whys etc. of the demise in coal mining and all the dangers.

Related Products

? Have Questions? Ask an Expert

Tracing Your Coalmining Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians

to top