Added: Sandrea Rowlett - Date: 01.01.2022 22:45 - Views: 21966 - Clicks: 4499
Most were married to coal miners in the Durham Coalfields, but I wanted to know more about their lives. However, as a result of their gender, status and generation these women were mostly illiterate for the whole of their lives and therefore unable to leave written documentation on which to build their story.
In I began studying for a Masters degree in History at the University of Teesside and was delighted when I found it had a focus on family and local history. This was my opportunity to write my female ancestors into local and national history. When I was considering a topic for my final dissertation, I decided to focus on the female relative whose history I knew best. The story of Hannah Porter, my paternal great, great grandmother had been kept alive by my grandmother. She would tell me of her own childhood, and spoke of her parents and grandmother, Hannah.
She also showed me belongings, handed down from Hannah. Born into a County Durham coal mining family, Hannah went on to marry a coal miner and had seven children. Such families often lived in poor conditions, with a husband who worked long hours and who would often come home to sleep when the rest of Hot Durham women household was still working. The logistics of organising this complex home-life fell to the woman. She was required to provide the men of the house with a hot meal before they left for the pit, and another hot meal and hot bath when they returned.
Due to the pattern of shifts this could be at any time of day or night, and often there was more than one miner to provide for.
This was all made more difficult by the lack of running water to their colliery cottages. Mining families are noted in the records for moving house regularly, and the women were frequently required to pack up their homes and leave behind a support network of friends, family and neighbours and start again in a new location.
Their new lives could be in a nearby town or village, or they could be forced to move miles away to another county. There are many instances of families with numerous children, each child being born in a different place. These changes were obvious in how Hannah lived the rest of her life. Her spirit and determination is something I believe is shared by a great of women of the 19th century mining communities. And by examining her life, and placing it in the historical context of Durham coal mining communities of the time, I believe I have been able to paint an accurate portrait of the everyday lives of these women.
Women of the Durham Coalfields. Back inwhen I began tracing my own family story, there was excitement in learning to use census records to discover where my ancestors were living. There was also satisfaction in locating them in baptisms, marriages and burials in parish records. Hetton Pit. Ludworth Pit. By Margaret Hedley. Hannah and her daughters in You might also be interested in: Emily Hobhouse: Pacifist and patriot 18 inspirational women who have changed history Birds of a feather: The female founders of the RSPB.
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