Select Page

April 2009

This month sees the third issue of our trilogy about the Industrial Revolution. The focus for the lead article by Velma Dinkley is coal, and its subsequent effect on the iron and steel industry. Vicky the Viking has written two articles for us; firstly about discovering her family’s mining heritage and secondly the death of her husband’s great aunt in an horrific mining accident. Barbara Dodds writes about the fatal accident of an underground worker and Meridian Line describes the inspiring story of her great great grandfather who was orphaned at the age of eight but rose to become a colliery manager and J.P. 

Away from the pits, Guinevere writes about her Allenders who were involved in the iron and steel industry and rkic talks about his connections with the Elswick lead works.
 
The long awaited publication of the 1911 census caused great excitement on the boards and Velma Dinkley records the findings of some of the members. Moulting Owl writes about how the census solved one of her long standing mysteries while Caroline found herself following the trail of a murderer who had a possible connection with her great great grandfather. 
 
In addition, we have an article from Rosie Knees about her great great grandfather and his military career.  This month the Spotlight is on the Community boards of the Family Tree Forum and in particular the areas where photography is important. Once again, we are indebted to Roger in Sussex for providing the black and white illustrations on the front page.

Iron, steel and coal

As we conclude our trilogy of issues looking at the Industrial Revolution, we focus this month on the fuel that powered the new industrialised nation, coal, and its subsequent effect on the iron and steel industry. The Coal Industry Up until the late 1700s the primary...

read more

The Wandering Allenders

The Allenders or, as I prefer to call them, "my" Allenders, have become a bit of a running joke with my genealogist friends. Whenever two or more of us are gathered I manage to mention them, to accompanying groans. They aren't actually mine but belong to my husband,...

read more

Pit Brow Lasses

Once we had really gotten into this family history stuff, the elderly aunts began telling us of some of the long-forgotten events in the family. Some turned out to be little more than just tales, made rather taller in the telling over the years. But usually behind the...

read more

Fatality at Scotswood

Like many of us, I only half listened when my grandma told me tales of her childhood, but I do remember her telling me that one of her siblings died at the age of 14. James Robson was born on 16th April 1891 in Newburn, Northumberland. According to the family bible,...

read more

A Dirty Secret?

I spent most of my childhood growing up in an East Lancashire mill town. The tall winding wheel at the area’s last coal mine, on the edge of town and several miles away from my home, was only seen from the top deck of a bus on a rare visit into Manchester. The pit...

read more

William Braidford 1842-1918

As many of my Braidford relatives have discovered, the delight of researching an ancestor with an unusual surname can soon turn to despair. Church officials, enumerators and registrars of the early 19th century struggled with spelling, making any traces of the...

read more

Elswick Lead Works

I suppose many of us have found odd coincidences between our lives and those of our distant relatives. As a young accountant I worked for a company that operated several factories processing lead and making lead based products, which I had to visit. One that I visited...

read more

The Rise of Barrow in Furness

The magazine's theme over the last three months has been about the Industrial Revolution, and three aspects in particular – textiles, transport and coal and the iron and steel industry. Whilst Barrow owes much to the iron industry, it would not have grown from a tiny...

read more

The 1911 Census

On the night of 2nd April 1911, all over the United Kingdom, the head of each household sat down to complete the schedule sheet, which would make up the 1911 census. In January 2009, this much anticipated resource was released online through The official 1911 Census...

read more

Skeleton by marriage?

When I registered for the 1911 census, I was really only expecting to confirm what I already knew, to see if some of my ancestors were still alive to narrow down dates for searching for their deaths and perhaps bring some of the distant twigs up to date. What I didn’t...

read more

Found in 1911

The 1911 census has solved one of my long outstanding mysteries. I clicked on the request for other members of the household of my great grandmother’s sister, Harriet, and there was an older Harriet there too – it HAD to be their mother, aged 70! That branch is...

read more

The Chelsea Out-Pensioner

My 2x great grandfather, Richard Ashton, was born in Pewsey, Wiltshire, in around 1822. Richard was a labourer, probably in agriculture, at the time he joined the army. When he retired he became a shepherd. In the absence of any photographs, it is interesting to note...

read more

My Diamond Ring

From an early age I can remember my mother’s engagement ring. It wasn’t a big stone or really flashy, but different. It was always clean and polished and sparkling. The ring is gold and has a single diamond in the middle. It is tear drop shaped with a small heart cut...

read more

Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2009

I was fortunate in being offered a free ticket from, and having the company of, Anne in North London for this show, which was held at London Olympia from the 26th to the 28th of February 2009. The show consisted of a main hall with large stalls for popular genealogy...

read more