05 August 2015

Workday Wednesday: Coal Miners of Pennsylvania

My Walsh/Welsh family were coal miners up Shenandoah, in Schuylkill County. I can only imagine what a tough life that must have been. One of the new databases on Ancestry.com is “Pennsylvania, Coal Employment Records, 1900-1954.” I was so excited when I saw this! 

How to find this database:

  1. Go to Ancestry.com
  2. Click on “Search”
  3. Using the drop down menu, select “Card Catalog.”
  4. Type “Pennsylvania coal” in the “Title” field and click “Search”.
  5. On the right side, click on the database.
While a few Walsh men are included, my Walsh/Welsh family members are not. It is still a great resource that I wanted to share. The database contains records for the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company (LCNC). Some cards include very little while some are a goldmine of information. 

Not everyone in the database worked down in the mines. William H. Walsh was a bankman living in Tamaqua.  

Joseph Walsh has two records. The first record, dated 8 February 1923, lists Joseph as a single man. He was born 19 March 1899 and lived in Coaldale. He was a laborer. The second record, also for a Joseph Walsh born 19 March 1899, lists him as a coal miner in the #9 mine. Now he is separated and living in Pottsville. His social security number is also listed now. I will concede the possibility that these may well be two different people both named Joseph and both being born the same day. As common the name Walsh seems to be, it is a definite possibility.  

John J. Walsh’s card offers a good deal of information. The record is dated 3 October 1919. At that time, he is single and lives in Lansford. He worked as a water-boy from June 1916 to September 1917 and as a laborer/shipper from August 1918 through November 1939. His pay rates are also noted. The record also shows he resigned on 16 November 1939. 

Some cards –like that of Judge Van Horn – offer information about his family. Judge lived in Summit Hill with his wife and three children. The children’s ages are provided on his car. Judge, who was born in 1885, had held several positions.  

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission also offers several databases concerning coal miners in Pennsylvania. You can access that page by clicking here. 

Workday Wednesday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers. 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.