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^ among their own ancestors.

In the iron industry, there was the Darby family of Coalbrookdale in Shropshire -Abrahams I, II and III. The first Adam came from Dudley and pioneered the use of coke as fuel. The others expanded the business. The Wilkinson family, (notably John and Isaac), had roots in the far north of England. 'Iron Mad' John adopted steam power in his Broseley works in Shropshire. Henry Cort, developer of puddling, was experimenting at Fontley near Portsmouth in 1784. John Roebuck, James Neilson and James Naysmith had Scottish links. Naysmith was of particular importance as he developed a steam hammer vital in producing iron plates and bars.

Steel manufacture also threw up a number of significant inventors. Lincolnshire-born clockmaker Benjamin Huntsman developed the crucible method. Henry Bessemer was responsible for the all-important Bessemer Converter in the 1850s. William Siemens introduced the open-hearth method in the following decade. In the 1870s, London magistrates' clerk, Sidney Gilchrist-Thomas found a way of lining a converter so that British iron ore could be used effectively. If figures such as these feature in your tree you'll find reference and anecdote a-plenty.

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