James THOMAS born "1850 Cinderford" (Parish Records)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Saturday, July 30, 2016, 17:11 (2915 days ago) @ Jefff

Hi again Debbie, sorry for being an idiot regarding my earlier post, in which I searched the Methodist PRs for Merriman surnames when I so clearly should have been searching for Thomas' !!.

Not surprisingly Thomas is a far more common surname than Merriman in the FoD, with almost 7500 PRs in the database. However I cannot see any Thomas' in the Cinderford Methodist (Wesley?) section but there is this one at Cinderford Bridge. Does he fit in your tree anywhere ?.

Record_ID: 167812
Entry_Number: 8
Year: 1870
Month: Apr
Day: 17
Parents_Surname: THOMAS
Child_Forenames: Charles Henry
Fathers_Forenames: William
Mothers_Forenames: Sarah
Residence: Respage
Officiating_Minister: J B Charles
Event: Baptism
Memoranda: Born March 19 1870
Register_Reference: D2598/27/2
Page_Number: 6
Parish_Chapel: Cinderford Bridge Methodist
Soundex: T520

NOTE: The residence noted as "Respage" is almost certainly Ruspidge, as per my post earlier. Don't forget in those days it was completely normal for people to walk miles to work, or Church, etc.

Here they are in 1881, now living in Cinderford;

1881 Census, Commerical Street, East Dean, Glos.
Household Role Gender Age Birthplace
William Thomas Head M 34 Coal Miner & Inn Keeper. Blakney, Gloucestershire, England
Sarah Thomas Wife F 33 Ruspidge, Gloucestershire, England
Charles H Thomas Son M 11 Scholar. Ruspidge, Gloucestershire, England
Hepzabah Thomas Daughter F 7 Ruspidge, Gloucestershire, England
Elizabeth Thomas Daughter F 5 Ruspidge, Gloucestershire, England
William Thomas Son M 1 Littledean Hill, Gloucestershire, England
Elizabeth Price F 18 Gen'l servant. Cinderford, Gloucestershire, England


By 1891 they've moved down and just out of the town, to Bilson Green, presumably to be nearer the many pits there, as both Charles and his father William are now listed as coal miners/contractors.
Thanks to Ian Pope's superb Lightmoor site, this looks like William at the Breadless pit, Upper Bilson. It's best to open these links in new tabs/windows, so the rest of each site can be accessed.

(Breadless was therefore near where A4151 Lower High Street exits Cinderford towards Steam Mills and Drybrook, look for the black spot labelled "Tormentor" on this map, below "Regulator" at the "top" end of town).

Despite this suggestion of bad-times in 1897 at the pit, the 1901 Census still describes William as an "Inn Keeper & Coal Contractor Under Ground", now apparently living back south towards Ruspidge, in "St John's Parish".


I see there are 18 Thomas PRs in the Littledean Independent section of the database.

However, after finding this old forum post wrt the location of Littledean's Independent Chapel, and revisiting the British History info, I now think the Independent is NOT the same as Methodist. (Again, I'm no expert in these things).

See http://www.forest-of-dean.net/fodmembers/index.php?mode=thread&id=39272

The British History site definitely suggests the "Littledean Independent" Chapel, which it describes in some detail, is not related to the Methodist which it describes thus,

"The congregation for which Isaac Denison, a Wesleyan Methodist minister living in Littledean, registered a house in 1824 presumably attended the Wesleyan chapel opened at Littledean Hill later that year."

ie the Chapel I discussed earlier, which in truth is just "in" Cinderford rather than Littledean village itself.


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