Cornish miner in South Africa

Discussion in 'Empire & Commonwealth' started by Brentor boy, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Active Member

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    At some time during the mid to late 1880s a Cornish miner in his early 20s, from a large, probably poor, family, went to South Africa, presumably to work as a miner. He had returned to England by 1899, when he married. When he died in 1903, aged 39, he owned three properties in Cornwall and two in South Africa.

    Is there any way in which I can trace his mining activity in South Africa? I imagine he was working independently in his own right, although I suspect he ceased once he had made his pile. In 1901 and in South Afican documentation associated with his probate he is described as a farmer.
     
  2. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Have a look here it may help you as to where to start. If you go down to number 16 it mentions South Africa.

    Code:
    https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/mines-mining/
     
  3. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Active Member

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    Thanks Sis. I'll have a look. I am at the stage where I need a finger hold to get started.
    Germiston is a location mentioned in the probate papers. Apparently it lies in the centre of the Rand gold belt and gold was discovered there in 1886, which is a pleasing coincidence.
    I have now made contact with the Heritage Portal in Germiston and hope they may be able to assist me.
     
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  4. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    If you're on Facebook there's some South African genealogy pages that may be able to point you in the right direction. If your not on Facebook let me know and I'll see what I can find out.:)
     
  5. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Active Member

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    Thanks for your kind offer, Sis. I am not on Facebook.
    The individual I am interested in is William White, of Trevellas Downs/ St Agnes, Cornwall. Born 1864.
    Any further help you can give will be much appreciated.
     
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  6. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Leave it with me. If anyone else wants to join in the hunt please feel free to do so.:)
     
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  7. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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  8. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    I wonder if he returned to England because of silicosis and succumbed in 1903. I have been reading on the portal about some mining in Witwatersrand but it looks like he returned before the busy times there from 1890.
     
  9. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Active Member

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    He married Eliza Jane Carter in St Agnes in 1899. I do not have the M/C with his declared marital status. I have found nothing to suggest earlier marriage in England. I have no idea what may have happened in S A. Given his age, a previous marriage looks a possibility but perhaps he was too busy making money!
     
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  10. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Active Member

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    I do not have his D/C but I had thought he may have been in poor health. He made his will two weeks before his death.
     
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  11. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Reading on the net it seems that it was coal that brought the English to the area from 1888. It wasn’t until later, it was the gold.
     
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  12. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Thank you. I have requested to join a South African Facebook page. So I'll let you know how I go.
     
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  13. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    @Brentor boy I've found their marriage on FreeBMD and have browsed the parish registers for St Agnes, Illogan and Perranzabuloe, but William and Eliza's marriage isn't in any of them. Are there any other parishes near St Agnes that I can look at? I understand that Mount Hawke and Mithian are, but I couldn't find a parish register for them.
     
  14. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    Cornubian and Redruth Times 12th December 1903
    The death took place on Saturday last of William White of Trevellas, St Agnes, from miner’s phthisis. Deceased, who was only 39 years of age, leaves a widow and two children. The funeral takes place today (Thursday). Great sympathy is felt for the family in their sad bereavement.
     
  15. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    William White married Eliza Jane Carter in June 1899 Truro
     
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  16. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Active Member

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    Thanks, Ann. That's one question answered.
     
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  17. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Active Member

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    This a chunk of St Agnes records for around this time missing from the Cornwall OPC site so I have assumed they no longer exist.
     
  18. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    I found the parish register on Ancestry.
     
  19. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    @Brentor boy Just to let you know I haven't forgotten. But I still haven't had my request to join the Facebook page that I found approved. Unfortunately it seems to be the only one that is active. Will get back to you when I can.:)
     
  20. Brentor boy

    Brentor boy Active Member

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    Thanks for the update, Sis. In your own good time. I was confident you would do what you could when you could so was not concerned by absence of movement.
     
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