I wrote quite recently on Sicilians who worked the sulphur mines in Sicily.
In terms of the United Kingdom, over the centuries we have mined, with some success (and failings), coal, tin, copper, slate and even gold. Further afield Opal is mined in Australia as are other commodities.
We can research those individual venues or those in a geographical area, We might research a mixture of venues in order to look at the understanding of the commodity mined, rather than the people themselves, or we might look to the people themselves, whether they worked in mining or in an associated job, or they owned the mine(s) themselves.
There are many options for researchers and below I am providing a list of sites to assist that research, though the list is not exhaustive.
- Mining in the UK (Wikipedia general and informative)
- History of Quarrying: The slate industry of Ffestiniog
- British Geological Survey
- Directory of Mines and Quarries, published by British Geological Survey (free PDF)
- Geevor Tin Mine (Cornwall)
- Cornish Mining & Heritage Centre (Poldark Mine)
- History of Mining in Northumberland and Durham (Newcastle University)
- Coal Mining & Durham Collieries (Durham Records Office)
- Durham Mining Museum (Genealogical rich resource) – Master Index
- Northern Mine Research Society
- North East England Mining Archive and Research Centre (NEEMARC) (University of Sunderland)
- Scottish Mining
- National Mining Museum Scotland (PDF Download Family History)
- Copper Coast GeoPark (Ireland) (Genealogical rich resource) Many from this area left to work the mines in Michigan and Montana, USA
- Mapping Mineral Resources in Finland (PDF Article)
- Mining History Association (Links to other sites, globally – recommended viewing!)
- International Gem Society
- International Gem Society – Gemstone Encyclopedia
- Opal Mining in Coober Pedy – Australia is the primary source for Opals
- A History of Aboriginal Engagement …..Australian Opal Industry 1940-1980 (Thesis, Mike Harding, BA (Hons) University of Adelaide)
There are many places, countries and types of mining missed from this list. Whilst not all are lists of names and dates, they represent an opportunity to explore the occupation and people, adding context to our own family research or those in a specific study. The context provides opportunity to under the hard work and the lives deeply embedded with the occupation of mining, irrespective of what was mined and where it was mined.
Taking part in the A-Z Challenge for 2020