A few years ago I was talking to my father's first cousin Tom. We'd connected not through sharing a history together, having both lived in Niagara Falls, NY, where he still lives, but through the research I've been doing over the years. During this one particular phone conversation Tom had mentioned that he and his wife had gone to Luzerne Cty, PA from where my families hailed. He took a tour of a coal mine while he was there and was telling me how impressed he was with the history involved with coal mining. Several of our ancestors had died in mine accidents, and the tour he took gave him a good understanding of what our cousins and uncles had endured (not to mention their wives and children, who had their own burdens to share). Tom closed his conversation with me with one simple statement: "Colleen, we come from hardy stock".
For some odd reason I found myself rather humbled with the news of recent coal mine accidents in China and in West Virginia. I decided that it was high time some attention was paid to the job of coal miner, so I decided to embark on a little research. I am going to start some research into coal mining with a focus on Anthracite Coal from Northeastern Pennsylvania since that is where my family did their minng. I will include a little history, a little resources on the web, and hopefully a lot of pictures.
I invite my fellow geneabloggers and my relatives who may be reading this to submit to me any photos and/or stories about their families' experiences in the coal mines. If you submit a photo or story, please do so via my email (omchodoy-at-yahoo-dot-com) and include your name as you want it credited in the series, along with any known names in the photos or stories.
While we're waiting for this blog series to begin, I leave you with a musical hero of miners everywhere. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Tennessee Ernie Ford. Video available via www.youtube.com, user LordEgan.