You don’t have to look far for your ancestors to have been involved in industry. Those who lived in towns and cities in the 1800s and a large part of the 1900s would more than likely have been surrounded by factories, foundries, heavy industry and manufacturing.
This way of life would have been the norm for those in urban environments, and the noisy, intense and often dangerous workplaces would have touched most families’ lives.
So, it stands to reason that, in days before rigid health and safety procedures, these hazardous places often contributed to injuries, long-lasting medical conditions and – even – deaths of those who make up our family tree.
In this episode, I look at one aspect of this – mining accidents. Now, even if you don’t think you have any such occurrences in your tree, I hope this episode gives you some pointers to explore, a little more closely, those who worked in industry, and may have been affected by the places they worked.
I tell the story of a huge colliery explosion that claimed the life of my great-great grandfather – along with more than 60 others in 1889… as well as looking at the various record sets and resources that I used to uncover his fascinating story.
Links to resources discussed in this episode
National Archives Discovery catalogue
Hansard (link takes you to a page about this disasters, so you can see the navigation and structure)
Transcript of John Lumsdon’s excellent talk on the Mossfield disaster Page 1 Page 2
HealeyHero site, indexed on Find My Past
CMHRC site (seems unresponsive at time of writing) but indexed on Ancestry.
Northern mining research society
If you would like to join me for a chat on this, or any other aspect of family history, please do get in touch. It’ll be splendid to hear from you.
Recommended drinks to enjoy while listening to this episode: tea out of a dented flask and metal cup for that real miner’s experience
Recommended biscuits to enjoy while listening to this episode: charcoal biscuits (yes, they’re a thing – although seemingly more for dogs than people!)