William Victor Whittaker, Miner: what do you know?

Back-breaking work in the pits of the area - in this case, Walsall Wood Colliery. Photo from Brownhills and Walsall Wood on Old Picture Postcards by Jan Farrow.

This is a brief enquiry on behalf of reader Iris Taylor, who contacted me some time ago for information about her father, William Victor Whittaker who worked the Aldridge pits. Iris asked the following:


Thank you for replying so quickly! Briefly, my father William Victor Whittaker worked as a miner, but when and where is unknown to us. I was hoping to find out these facts so it probably would be employment records, but apparently very few such records exist for this area at least. We know he had a brother, John Thomas who died in a pit accident age 15yrs (early 1900’s) at Aldridge pit. I imagine my father worked at a local pit, as he was born in Shelfield. The Pelsall History Society have been very helpful,but, I’m not sure which area Aldridge pits would be linked to? I remember as a child going with my mother to an office somewhere (I think Walsall Wood) to collect a allowance.

Thank you,


Now I’ve tried a few sources without much luck, and I think it’s probably time to throw it out to the readers. I’m hoping someone more connected with mining or genealogy can help, please. I’m not unaware of the possible connection to John Bernard Whittaker, lost in the Grove Pit Disaster in 1930. Whittaker doesn’t seem too common a name locally (and I’ve often wondered about Whittaker Lane in Stonnall) and the ones I’ve come across all seem to be miners.

Lets see if we can turn up the goods for Iris… you know the drill. BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com, or comment here. Cheers.

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6 Responses to William Victor Whittaker, Miner: what do you know?

  1. Roger Jones says:

    Ancestry.com finds …
    John Thomas death recorded July-Sept qtr 1903 ref Walsall 6b 362.
    No record of his death here http://bit.ly/u1U0lf
    1911 census finds …
    Thomas age 52
    Rose Hannah age 49
    Richard age 21
    Agnes age 21
    Frederick age 18
    Horace age 12
    Victor age 10
    Lily age 4.
    copy of 1901 census page sent email.

    Victor was born 5 June 1901, christened Pelsall 27 June 1901
    Married Wednesbury 1942 died Wednesbury 1966

  2. Pingback: The Whittaker family, 1901 « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

  3. Iris says:

    Thank you so much,and yes, my Dad was related to John Bernard Whittaker,they were cousins,Thank you Roger for the 1911 census info,much appreciated,it shows my Uncles were still at home at this point,(they went at some point to Yorkshire to become miners)
    ,Pelsall history centre found a record of John Thomas (my dads brother)death ,he was 15yr.in 1903,the accident was in Aldridge no.2 ??,the story passed on through the family,is that John Thomas had his legs crushed at the pit,and was being transfered to hospital on a cart,but could not be saved.The tragic thing was that John Thomas had been working at the brickyard ,before changing his job to go down the pit.
    thanks everyone

  4. Iris says:

    Hi ,just to update,have actually located report/inquest,of the accident(1903 Walsall Observer),thanks to Walsall History centre(and staff!),it refers to ambulance,but I wonder if at this time ,that would have been a horse drawn cart.
    The report is very detailed,it gives a insight into a time when,life was grim to say the least,for a large section of our community.

  5. Sarah Wood (nee Whittaker) says:

    My family are from Aldridge and were also miners. My grandfather was born in the early 1900 and lived not far from Stonnel in Mill Lane. I wonder if we are related?

  6. Chris Mowery says:

    Greetings all, I live “across the pond” in Ohio, USA but my grandmother is a member of this same Whittaker family. Her great grandfather Richard Whittaker came to the USA in 1866 but I’ve done a great deal of research over the years on our family. John B. who died in the 1930 disaster was Richard’s grandnephew, a grandson of his brother John b. 1830 in Tipton, Staffordshire. I’ll see what more I can learn on this line, but I know John’s grandson Terence and I have been communicating about all of this so he may know the connection to William as well.

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