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Genealogy is full of coincidences

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Genealogy is full of coincidences

Postby chipmunk1953 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:20 am

I recently decided to revisit some brick walls in my research, and the first one I looked at was my 2 x gt.grandfather John Fenney. Born in the St. Helens area in about 1828 he later moved to North Staffordshire, but after the death of his first wife Hannah, John became rather elusive. Apart from a second marriage and the birth of a daughter, I could find no trace of him although I thought he might have moved back up to Lancashire.
However, Staffordshire parish registers now available on Findmypast enabled me to find his burial - although his name was spelt as FENAY. When I looked at the image of the register page, I was struck by just how many people were buried on the same day as him (17 Dec 1866) in the small mining village of Talke - and then I suddenly had a light-bulb moment! Being interested in local history, I was aware of a mining disaster at the Talke o' th' Hill Colliery, and now wondered if this was how John had died, and it seems I was correct.
Only a couple of days earlier the latest issue of WDYTYA had arrived in the post, and I had looked briefly at the article on the Oaks Colliery disaster in Barnsley, where the initial explosion had occurred on 12 December 1866. The Talke explosion occurred on 13 December 1866 - just one day later - what a coincidence. In that one there were reckoned to be 91 victims, although there was never a definitive list as proper records were not kept at the time.
There's an even more tragic aspect to John's story; his wife Sarah was pregnant at the time, and the baby (also John) was baptised on 10 Jan 1867 and buried on 15 Jan. I wonder if the shock of her husband's death sent her into premature labour?
And one last coincidence - of my 8 gt.gt.grandfathers, three were killed in mining accidents in the 1860's, two of them within a month of each other. Dangerous times.
chipmunk1953
 
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