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A bit confusing?

Ellie

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#1
On my great grandfathers wedding certificate i'm interested in the occupation of his father and his spouses father. I'm also a little puzzled. One occupation is given as 'miner' and another occupation is given as 'collier'. I thought these were the same?
The certificate is 1901, any ideas why the occpations of my great grandparents fathers are written differently when they appear to be doing the same job? thanks:)
 

Edward

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#2
Hi,

They obviously meant different things within the mining community and it would have been obvious to them what the distinction was!

http://www.therhondda.co.uk/working/colliers.html

Gives a definition of Collier as follows

Colliers were then by no means the only type of miner, but they were the largest single group in the mine and carried out the basic job of mining the coal. The only training which a collier got was the training which he received as a young boy working as an assistant to an experienced collier-often his father or an elder brother.

from further down the same page:

Evidence on wages is incomplete and difficult to understand. In the case of miner' wages the difficulties are so great as to almost defy any understanding. Obviously, however, they were very important to the miner and his family. The collier was usually a pieceworker (that is he was paid for the amount of work he did). Other miners were paid for a day's work of so many hours. Below are the amounts paid each day to these workers as a result of the Minimum Wage Act of 1912. You can see again the great variety of mining jobs and the variation in paid for them.

So a collier was paid by piecework whereas a miner got a daily rate!

I hope that that helps

Ed
 
Last edited:

patrickw

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#4
Hello Ellie,
I may be stating the obvious, but my understanding is that while there are many types of miners, i.e, gold, silver tin, copper etc, and a man who dug for example for tin, would be a tin miner, a coalier refered to a miner who dug for coal, but as Ive said, after reading the previous detailed message by Edward, maybe im being over simplistic. Good luck with your research and best wishes
Pat
 

benny1982

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#6
Hi

I am researching miners ancestry in Durham and there were lots of different roles that a miner did in the mines like overman, hewer, miner itself.

Ben
 

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