Annie Hewer, A Lead Miner’s Daughter

Following up an earlier clue from the 1901/1911 census records that my great-grandmother Annie Jamison nee Hewer was born in England, together with information provided by Nevin at NALIL that Annie’s son Oswald Hewer Jamison was born in Cumbria I was able to locate a birth certificate for Annie from 1874 from the General Register’s office online. Annie would thus have been 21 when her son Oswald Hewer Jamison was born in 1895.

Name: Annie Hewer
Date of birth: 9th January 1874
Father: William Hewer
Father’s occupation: Lead miner
Mother: Sarah Anne Hewer, formerly Wilson
Place of birth: Ratten Row, Caldbeck, Wigton, Cumberland (now part of the county of Cumbria)

Annie’s place of birth has an evocative name, so I did a bit of Googling and came up with some interesting corroborating information about Annie’s father’s occupation.

The excerpt below is a description of Cumbria’s Ratten Row and Caldbeck region from  Mannix & Whellan’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847, as transcribed by Carol Bennett © 1999, found on the Gen UK Genealogy website entry for Caldbeck

BROWN RIGG and RATTEN ROW are two hamlets in Low Caldbeck township, at the latter of which the rector has a little manor. There were here for many years, a coal mine and slate quarry. CALDBECK FELLS About the year 1790 a Mr. Row opened a rich lead mine and also erected Little Smelting Works, near Carrock beck which are still remaining. Having remained idle for several years, the mine was leased and re-opened in 1810, by Messrs Richardson, Lowrey and others. T.R.G. Braddyll Esq., of Conishead Priory next purchased this mine

Annie’s father may well have worked at the lead mine and smelting works at Ratten Row. The next time we are en-route to Northern Ireland I plan to take a detour off the M6 and visit Caldbeck; evidence of the mining activities still leave their mark on this part of the dramatic landscape of the Lake District National Park

Date sources: copy of birth certificate, 1901, 1911 census of Northern Ireland, North Antrim Local Interest List (NALIL)

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