Littledean Woodside - Joseph TINGLE of Flaxley (General)

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Sunday, February 25, 2024, 17:18 (138 days ago) @ Bradley Tingle

Joseph Tingle's application as a Freeminer gives his date of birth as 27 Nov 1769 at Little Dean Hill but his baptism shows him being baptised 16 Feb 1773 at Little Dean. He married Jane Cooper of Flaxley 19 Dec 1796. In 1838 (on his Free Miner application) he stated that he was a collier who worked at Middleridge which is interesting. So, with your help I think we've figured out how my Tingle family related to the foundry Tingle family and I'm grateful for your help.

I'm beginning to think that the dates of birth given on the Free Miner Applications are best guesses and not necessarily accurate even within years of birth.

Hi again Donna,
apologies for intruding into your question to Slowhands, hopefully neither of you mind too much.
I just wanted to say I agree with your view that the dates of birth on Free Miner Applications are likely to vary from reality. This was, of course, a time when literacy levels amongst the general public such as our ancestors wasn't high - they'd not been formally educated, they didn't keep overly accurate records about such things as birthdays, or perhaps care much about dates at all; their daily lives were dictated by their local situation regarding the seasons, the cycles of the sun and moon, the prevailing weather and the local Church clock (which was often wrong even compared to Greenwich Mean Time, which was only introduced across the UK with the spread of railway networks c1850, and as late as 1880 hadn't been fully achieved throughout the UK).
Also, don't be concerned that Joseph wasn't baptised until three years after his birth, this forum has seen many examples of much later baptisms, for various reasons, such as the family being non-Conformists as Slowhands mentioned was the case here. The birthdate obtained from the 1851 census confirms his birth was in 1769, and this is more accurate a reference than can be inferred from the less-precise 1841 census.
Also, and I'm not suggesting it's relevant here, to qualify to be a Freeminer he had to be at least 21 years old - I can easily imagine there being some men in those times who would "adjust" their birthdates to alllow them to qualify, in the same way that ages quoted at a marriage ceremony sometimes differed from reality.

For more info about the Freeminers I suggest you see this website, and perhaps contact Jonathan Wright for his view on any queries you might have. For many centuries the Freeminers organisation was an integral and important body regarding the governance of the Forest and it's mining rights, so it was right and proper that they strictly controlled applications to join their membership.

Finally, the Middleridge location you mention is a little way from the usual Cinderford(aka Bilson Woodside) / Littledean Hill / Edge Hills / Haywood location we've previously associated with the Tingles (all part of the East Dean township admin district). Centuries ago the Forest was divided into several Inclosures for admin purposes, one of them is still called Middleridge, it's only about a mile and a half southwest of East Dean.

In more recent times there doesn't appear to have been much mining in that area (of coal I mean, def not iron stone). I cannot find any evidence online of a pit there being operated by the Tingles, but that may just be because most of the available records relate to the latter half of the 1800s and afterwards, long after most of the small pits had been worked-out, abandoned, or swallowed-up underground by one of the bigger concerns (the underground roads to the seams could spread for miles from the pithead). Of the latter big concerns the nearest to Middleridge that I can think of was the New Fancy pit.
Apologies if I've already mentioned this website to you in the past, but detailed history of many of the Dean's coal mines (not iron) are in this excellent site created by Ian Pope, a Cinderford historian like his father Alec. To navigate the numerous pages of the site, click on the headgear emblem at base of each page.

From this website, this 1894 map of the Forest shows the principal coal pits (black blobs) and iron pits (brown blobs).
Clicking on each section will enlarge it, this is the one relevant to your family, you can see "Tingles" iron pit at top right hand corner on the ridge up above Cinderford, and if you follow the blue railway line southwest can find the New Fancy etc coal pits.

Hope this helps, I look forward with interest to Slowhands' reply regarding your admin document.


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