Annie/Amy Taylor b1874 Coleford, & Charley VENN, Cheltenham (Parish Records)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Friday, November 29, 2019, 18:16 (52 days ago) @ cassandra

Hi Cass,
thanks for your detailed reply confirming that you've been doing all the right things thusfar, and have been open-minded and understanding regarding things such as quoted ages on census etc documents. As you're a new member of the forum it's hard for us to gauge your previous work, and we've found a great many new researchers don't appreciate that such things could and often did vary from census to census, indeed some researchers won't accept it at all. Ditto re name spelling variations, and even the occasional fibs regarding occupation or marital status. So it's great to know that you are aware of such things (especially Annie's age for which I thank you), and that we're all on the same level regarding your brickwall, which has been an enjoyable challenge. (I think, haha.. It wouldn't be so much fun or so rewarding if this hobby was easy !)

Regarding the surname spelling variations, I've just been revisiting the records on the FreeBMD site (as before under Monmouth and then Westbury-o-Severn Districts, but this time using TAYLER as a surname. I'm annoyed I didn't think to do that one before as my paternal Grandmother was a "Taylor" from the Lydbrook side of the Forest - it's a very common surname in those parts ! - and I know the FreeBMD site only searches for the exact same spelling as the data we enter. Unfortunately, and having said all that, yes I did find a fair few TaylEr records but none that seem relevant here.

Another thing we've seen quite often in this Forum is that people in Victorian times often claimed to be married "for convenience" when they were not, or adopted different names etc. (Hopefully you've realised this Forum can be searched going back some years, so one can often find answers to questions on all aspects of FH and local history).


Finally, regarding the possible mining links. I may well be wrong (I often am, ask the wife ahem !), but I'm guessing you may not be UK-based ?. If that's true, then fine of course, but I'm asking how well you know the Forest of Dean and it's history ?.
Asking as the towns in the area grew enormously and quickly in the 1800s largely due to an influx of workers for mining. In some parts of the UK the predominant occupation was agriculture, here it was mining, just like the valleys of South Wales etc.
And yes towards the end of the 1800s this was mainly coal mining, but please don't think that was all. For centuries before that, and especially in the western Forest around your Newland/Coleford search area, it was ochre and particularly iron that was mined. The iron ore came from iron stone, which may also explain why there was and still is stone quarrying in the western Forest. If your Edwin was working in the mines, it might well have been an iron mine.

The following link is best opened in a new window or tab, and will take you to a map of the Forest showing the mines as known in 1894.

You can see that the black spots are coal mines, the brown ones are iron, and most of these are on the western side. You can then click on individual map sections to enlarge them, this next is the Coleford area, you can see a few iron mines in the Whitecliff area twixt Coleford and Newland village.

In the decades and centuries before this map there would have been far more mines, albeit smaller ones prior to them being worked-out or combined into the bigger concerns shown on the map, but the general trend was the same.

Also in this area is the important Whitecliff iron works which relied on the local iron ore and charcoal.

I do hope this has been of interest to you, I apologise unreservedly if you already knew all this - especially as your comments suggest you're not here just to chase names and dates like so many family tree builders, but that like me you're interested in the wider scheme of how our ancestors lived their lives.

Thanks again for your interesting posts.

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