Top three websites for tracing Welsh coalminer, quarrying and mariner ancestors
Discover more about the working lives of your Welsh ancestors with our guide to three invaluable family history websites.
Coal mining was a major industry, especially in the south, and the ‘Welsh Coal Mines’ website has area-by-area links to individual coal mines under the ‘Collieries’ tab with details of each one from when it was originally sunk to its closure. Also within the left-hand strip is the link to the ‘List of Disasters’. Under this you’ll find a list of mining accidents with, in most cases, details of the fatalities by name.
In north and mid Wales the slate industry was important and ‘The Slate Industry of North and Mid Wales’ at Penmorfa has a wide range of articles and many pages of photos which give an insight into the working lives of the men who laboured in the quarries. Many who lived in slate-mining villages during the first half of the 20th century can remember the clatter of the men in their clogs as they made their way to work each morning.
Before the coming of the railways journeys were often made by sea and with many Welsh counties having a coastal border this was often a source of employment. A great resource for Welsh family historians is the ‘Welsh Mariners’ website. There are currently more than 23,500 entries of Welsh Merchant Mariners searchable in the database of masters, mates and engineers. There is also a Royal Navy database of 3,000 men active in the Royal Navy from 1795 to 1815, including Welshmen at the battle of Trafalgar.
Read more about tracing your Welsh ancestors in the March issue of Family Tree magazine, available from our website.