“I will lend you, for a little time, A child of mine, He said. For you to love the while he lives, And mourn for when he's dead.” Edgar Guest (1881-1959) It is always difficult to comprehend the deaths of the youngest among us. All of us have come across sad family stories. When they … Continue reading The Youngest Among Us
I have written before about my great-grandfather, John Bellas and his frequent journeys from County Durham, England to Kimberley, South Africa to work in the mines. His wife, my great-grandmother, Ann Wilson, married at age 20, becoming an instant mother to John’s small child from his first marriage. She was a woman who, for many … Continue reading Ann Wilson Bellas – a Strong Woman
Longevity (or in my coal mining ancestors, the lack thereof) Coal mining was not an occupation that promoted longevity in those who worked from before daybreak to after dark, six out of seven days a week, month after month and year after year. Most miners began work down the mines as young as age 8. … Continue reading Longevity (or the lack thereof) in County Durham Coal Miners.
I have always been fascinated by the life of my great-grandfather John Bellas. Born into a coal mining family originally from Flintshire, Wales, he spent his entire life working down the mines. John was born in 1859 in St Giles, County Durham, England. He was the third child and first son for David Bellis and … Continue reading The Life of a Miner: from County Durham, England to Kimberley, South Africa.