Forest miners going to Wigan (Parish Records)

by JaneyH @, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Thursday, January 25, 2018, 20:06 (681 days ago) @ Megan

I, too, have a Forest of Dean miner in my family tree who moved to the Lancashire coalfields.

Henry Bowdler (1851-1929) was a 3x great uncle of mine and born in Sutton/Flaxley depending on which records you look at. The 1881 Census shows him as a coalminer living in Stockwell Green near Newnham with his young family. The 1891 Census shows Henry as a collier with his family living in Atherton, Lancashire - a few miles to the east of Wigan. Come 1901 he is back in the Forest of Dean - a coal hewer, along with his eldest son - and living in Soudley.

Move forward to the 1911 Census and he and his family have once again moved north, back to Atherton. Now aged 60, Henry is shown as a "chip and fish dealer" (yes, that way round). One unmarried son and one married son living with Henry and his wife are both working in the coal mines. Henry died in Leigh, Lancashire, in 1929, aged 78.

Intriguingly, I have a DNA match on Ancestry to a person who has ancestors in Atherton and Wigan. Initially I ignored this as none of the surnames rang any bells. However, I've recently got in touch with a cousin of mine who shares my Forest of Dean family line and his DNA also matches to this person. Guess what's top of my to-do list this weekend!


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