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  1. #31
    Jan1954
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    Hello Cousin Aubrey!!!

    Your grandfather and my grandmother (Martha Jane) were brother and sister.

    Please email me direct (visit my profile page for the link) as I'm sure that we can provide each other with loads of information.

    Jan

    PS Just tried to email you but the link didn't work - have PM'd you as well.
    Last edited by Jan1954; 17-11-2007 at 2:47 PM. Reason: PS

  2. #32
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    Default New guide

    This isn't really a reply to any particular question or comment, but what I hope will be helpful information.

    I recently went to a SOG lecture held by Ian Waller about ag labs. The SOG has very recently published one of their guides, written by Ian Waller, called "My Ancestor was an Agricultural Labourer". It gives an outline of an ag lab's life, but also gives information about where to find records of our ag lab ancestors. I have many plans in connection with my genealogy, and one of them is to follow up possible leads based on Ian's guide.

    Happy hunting.

    Kathy

  3. #33
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    This might seem a bit off the wall, but...

    ...some of my ancestors were agricultural labourers and woodmen in Dorset in the first half of the 1800s, based around the town of Puddletown near Dorchester. I realised that Thomas Hardy's novel 'Far from the Madding Crowd' was loosely based on that area, so read it and found many passages that gave an excellent insight into certain aspects of the life and work of farm labourers of that era. It certainly helped me to obtain a glimpse of my past.

  4. #34
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    Default Ag lab

    Some years ago (1960's) when I was at school our English Lit. reading material included a book called Brother to the Ox by Fred Kitchen (Caliban books). This was the autobiography of the author which told the story of his life in the rural countryside of west and south yorkshire.

    Although the period is later than you require it is a good read and gives a very deep insight into the times.

    I believe the book may be out of print or very expensive, but may be available through the library service.

    Hope this helps
    Regards
    Graham

  5. #35
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    Default Agricultural labourers

    Hi Clare
    As a historian specialising in the economic and social history of this period the book I recommend is Rural Life in Victorian England by G E Mingay, it is informative as well as being easy to read and understand.
    The main reason for migration to the towns and the demise of the ag lab was the disastrous harvests of the 1870`s:
    1875 An exceptionally wet summer
    1876 Another exceptionally wet summer and in addition an outbreak of rinderpest an acute contagious disease in cattle
    1878 Another wet summer
    1879 The worst and wettest summer that most farmers could remember. This was accompanied by an outbreak of liver-rot in sheep
    1883 A widespread and violent outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

    With the increased growth of the railways in the US, the spread of farm machinery etc the price of English wheat plummeted and soon almost all was being imported. Almost 100,000 men left the land to find work in towns.
    Sorry to keep going on buty thi is one of my pet subjects. Please read the book if you can`t obtain it try abebooks.co.uk.

  6. #36
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    Smile

    What a brilliant thread this is.I have ag labs in my tree.Some of them and most of their children moved from Pembrokeshire,Brecon,Carmarthenshire and Llandaff to Merthyr Tydfil.Those are my husbands family.They became miners blacksmiths and tailors.Ihave often wondered how they felt leaving peaceful and quiet places to come to a large noisy busy industrial town.Many of them died young in their 40s from TB Typhoid and Kidney failure often leaving young families.My side moved from Silverdale,Colton,Claverley,Eccleshall,Penkridge to the Short Heath Willenhall area of Staffordshire.They were either miners or employed in the lock and key trade.Healthwise they seemed to have fared better.

  7. #37
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    Hi

    Many of my ancestors were the traditional "Ag Labs" in censuses but they did feed the country and worked in all weathers.

    Ben

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