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Cockermouth Post Article December 2010

As I write this, group member Deborah has just completed the addition to our website of all the headstone inscriptions in the older half of Cockermouth Cemetery, so you can now search for ancestors. Work will get under way, with the onset of warmer weather, on recording the headstones in the remaining half of the cemetery. Also to be added are headstone inscriptions from All Saints’ Churchyard, Quaker inscriptions, and Bridekirk Church (courtesy of Cumbria Family History Society, the Society of Friends, and the Vicar of Bridekirk Church respectively). Headstones provide an amazing wealth of information for family historians, and we are indebted to a small group of people who have willingly given up their time, enduring all manner of weather, to produce these transcriptions. If anyone is interested in helping record the remaining headstones, they will be very welcome – please get in touch.

We recently had an interesting email passed on to us from a group in British Columbia, Canada, who have an interest in the Cariboo Goldfields. They have been digging in historic goldmine shafts there that date back to the 1860s. Recently they found a button; so what, you might say. But this particular button (a shirt or fly button) is embossed with the words: J C W DRUMMOND, COCKERMOUTH. Now it seems that J C W Drummond, a tailor and outfitter, had a shop on Station Street somewhere between 1881/91 right up to World War II. The Canadian group wanted to find out more about the shop and were even wondering about the possibility of identifying the button’s owner, since a fair number of people from this area went out to work in the mines there. The button came from an area in Grouse Creek in the Cariboo Goldfields. It was first mined in 1864 but the button was found in tunnels dating from the period 1902-5, sunk by the United Company. The company was owned by three Cariboo pioneers, Beech La Salle, Joseph Wendle and John Bowron, but there would have been a large crew working on the project.

This might sound rather like looking for a needle in a haystack, but we’re looking at a relatively small customer base for Drummond’s shop, so we would like to ask our readers whether they know of any ancestors who went out to mine in British Columbia during that period. The Canadian group have a database of names of miners but not many other details – please get in touch if you can help. For those interested in the goldmines, there is a website link:
and another link shows a portion of the shafts that the button was retrieved from:

Gloria Edwards

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