Tag Archives: mining

52 Ancestors #3 Ernest Broadbent – life and death at the mine

Ernest Broadbent, 1860 - 1821(?)

Ernest Broadbent, 1860 – 1821(?)

Ernest Broadbent was another of my Yorkshire miner ancestors – third (known) generation.  He married Hannah Holt/Hoult, herself sister, daughter, grand-daughter and great-grand-daughter of miners. So mining was in his blood, had strengthened then worn down his ancestors, had crept in through the air they breathed.

I get the impression that his family may have been slightly better off than his wife’s, but his side of the family is proving much more elusive than Hannah’s so I can’t be sure yet.

Born in Churwell, he met and married Leeds girl Hannah in St Albans the Martyr Church, Leeds, in 1884.  Together he and Hannah had 16 children, the youngest being my grandmother.  13 of these 16 survived infancy, but I’m still to find evidence of their names, maybe they did at birth before they had a chance of baptism? Not sure where I would find out, I think perhaps stillbirth records are registered separately, to prevent identify theft?

What I would like to find out about Ernest, my great-grandfather, is the date of his death.  There was an accident in or around the pit (he was a coal miner/ hewer) and he was brought home by horse-drawn ambulance; not long after that his grandson recalled seeing a horse-drawn hearse taking Ernest from his home for the last time.  He, and many years later Hannah, were buried in Burmantofts Cemetary in what were then called Guinea Graves.  15-20 people would be buried in a grave; that was all they could afford.  His grandson thought this would have been in about 1916, but I’ve found another entry for 1921 so I’m following that up too.

I would love to hear from anyone in the family, or any Yorkshire historian who knows about mining history, not many of the sites are easily searchable, I suspect being run by former miners rather than a genealogy corporation.  I’d also like to know to find out also which pit he (and all my other miner ancestors) worked in.

©2014 copyright owned and written by Lynne Black
Original post at https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/52-ancestors-3-ernest-broadbent

52 Ancestors #1 – Mary of Rothwell – life around the pit

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks logo

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Genealogy Challenge

So this morning I saw and signed up for the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks blog challenge.  Seems a great idea, a bit of challenge, a bit of focus and discipline.  Just as well the challenge can include problems and brick-walls – if it had been detailed stories with photos needed I’d be in deep trouble.

The only thing I’ve ever received 100% for is for precis-ing (OK, I’m sure there’s no such word!) and part of my job is to summarise and minute meetings. So this, coupled with a lack of data available on some of the poorer people in my tree, will make for some quite brief postings.

So here we go with the first: I’ll introduce you to my great-great-great-grandmother who I discovered only yesterday, Mary Bulmer.  Mary grew up in the mining community of Rothwell in West Yorkshire, where she was baptised in 1790.

In the Rothwell gospel according to Wiki:

“Rothwell has a long history of coal mining. It was a site of early mining, using a system known as Bell Pits. Coal mining has been carried out in the area for over 600 years, though coal production stopped on 9 December 1983. There were many local pits including the Fanny, the Rose, and Rothwell Water Haigh. In 1995, Leeds City Council and Leeds Groundwork formed a partnership which, together with local residents and community groups, transformed the former colliery into a 50 hectare country park.”

So there is an extra reason for me to feature Mary and Rothwell this week: it coincides with the release of 1980s Cabinet papers which include Thatcher’s concerns over the miners and her consideration of whether to send British troops up against them.

Mary married Paul, a miner, when she was 20. The first of their 9 children arrived the following year; the ninth arrived 21 years after that.  Mary’s entire life seems to have been spent in Ingram Place, Rothwell. There’s one reference to Rothwell Haigh in the census so perhaps Paul worked for a time in that pit.

After the death of her husband in 1860 she appears to have moved in with her oldest daughter Eliza.  However, it doesn’t look like there were many golden twilight moments in Mary’s final four years: the 1861 census notes her profession as being “kept by son-in-law”. Things must have been really bleak as her grandson Abraham, like his father and older brother, was also working in the mine.  A boy of 10, a miner. The biggest family shock I’ve come across for months, and sobering after the buzz of unlocking two generations that afternoon.

I promise that I do have many happier stories to tell about my ancestors! Yet this shocked me so I thought I would share it; a warning for those with rose-tinted glasses when viewing the magnificence of the Victorian British Empire.  Young Abraham and his contemporaries were that cost.