|De Kaap Gold Mining Company: diggers at work.|
|Barberton, Crown Street with the Royal Albert Hall in right foreground 1887|
It wasn’t necessary to be a prospector in South Africa ‘pegging a claim’ to be part of the boom. British investors clamoured for shares; hundreds of mining companies – many of them entirely bogus - came into being offering share certificates and there was some heavy plunging on stock markets; fortunes were made and lost.
There was nothing in the way of health and safety regulations in the mining industry at this period, whether gold or coal. If a miner died in an accident while working there was no compensation. Hence records are scarce. If you know the name of the mine your ancestor worked on check NAAIRS for any reference. It is likely he would have had a deceased estate lodged in the area in which the death occurred so search for a relevant estate file.
|A gold mining ancestor photographed|
at De Kaap Gold Fields, Barberton.