Working Abroad - Welsh Emigration: Coal

Miners Cottages - New Zealand

Miners cottages, Denniston,New Zealand

Comments(5)

Leon Bowen
15 August 2021, 14:36
I’m trying to trace my relatives who emigrated from deri South Wales uk to Scranton town pennsylvani. They were two brothers of the Bowen family. They were in the USA to work down the mines. If anyone knows any Bowens in pennsylvania with roots from deri South Wales could you please contact me thanks Leon
Jennifer Protheroe-Jones, Principal Curator – Industry Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales Staff
17 September 2019, 15:59

Dear Sandra Jones,

Thank you for your enquiry. Regrettably Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales does not hold any resources that would assist you in researching your ancestor’s emigration.

Recruitment to work abroad likely occurred through newspaper advertisements in regional south Wales newspapers with agents undertaking interviews of promising candidates. Newsplan Wales lists all the newspapers that were published in Wales; Welsh Newspapers Online provides free access to page scans of a useful range of titles and might possibly contain adverts of this sort seeking to recruit miners to work abroad. Sometimes the departure of a local person abroad was reported in very local (not regional) newspapers particularly if there had been a farewell function with workmates or in a church or chapel that they attended. To track down possible reports of this type, you will need to check Newsplan Wales to establish which newspapers circulated in the place that your ancestor lived, and then either view and search them on Welsh Newspapers Online, or in the archives listed in Newsplan Wales as holding runs of the original newspapers, or microfilms of them.

Your ancestor’s emigration will probably be recorded in UK outgoing passenger lists in The National Archives. His arrival in Canada will probably be recorded in Canadian incoming passenger lists (https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/immigration/immigration-records/passenger-lists/passenger-lists-1865-1922/Pages/introduction.aspx). His death in Canada will probably have been recorded in Canadian death and burial records (https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/vital-statistics-births-marriages-deaths/Pages/births-marriages-deaths.aspx). His death may have been reported in very local (not regional) Welsh newspapers: to track down possible reports of this type, you will need to check Newsplan Wales to establish which newspapers circulated in the place that your ancestor lived, and then either view and search them on Welsh Newspapers Online, or in the archives listed in Newsplan Wales as holding runs of the original newspapers, or microfilms of them.

I hope that these research suggestions are useful and wish you luck with your search!

Yours sincerely,

Jennifer Protheroe-Jones
Principal Curator – Industry

Sandra Jones
16 September 2019, 16:41

I am at a loss and wonder if you could help? My great grandfather John Edward Jenkins, a miner in South Wales, according to family stories, was recruited to work in Canada. He possibly emmigrated between 1903 and 1910. His son, my grandad Sydney, was born in 1903 and remembered being told he had died over there when he was about eight years old. Where do I start to solve this mystery? How can I find out firstly which mine he was recruited from, who/what company recruited him and the ship he would have sailed to Canada on? Is there a comprehensive resource on Welsh Mining with the relevent information. If we can find out his starting point then maybe we can find out his ending. Are all the resources I need in the National Museum of Wales?
I thank you in advance for your time and consideration of this matter.

Sandra Jones

Sara Huws Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales Staff
1 March 2017, 10:59

Hi there Don,

Thank you for your comment and for sharing your family history.

I will pass on your comment to one of our curators, to see if they can point to some resources that can help you. I'll ask them to answer you here, or get back to you by email.

Best wishes,

Sara
Digital Team

Don Thomas
21 February 2017, 16:15
My Great Grandfather Samuel Thomas came to the USA in about 1862. He left a wife and two small children in Wales, one of whom was my grandfather, came here and then the rest of the family must have arrived in ~1864 since the first child born here was born in 1865 in Ohio. I have never found ships records of any of them arriving here. According to family and a newspaper item written at his death Samuel was a "mine boss" who was injured in a rock fall at a mine in Clay county Indiana. It appears he lived about a year in ill health after the accident.

One of his descendants was told by her mother said that she thought he stowed away on a ship to get here. I find it hard to believe that a married man would leave his family and stow away on a ship to get here. It seems that he had a plan, and I have been wondering if he had been recruited by a mine owner who also provided support for the family in his absence. I am wondering if anyone knows if this sort of arrangement was common in those days. I also wonder if the reason I am unable to find records of them on a ship coming here is that the coal mines provided the transportation on ships they owned or hired.

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