Neal relations at Cuckoos Cup, The Wrekin

More of a muddle than a match Holley and Watkins wedding snaps

A ‘new’ Welsh second cousin getting in touch through this website was a welcome prompt to go back to the pile of photos scanned during last year’s visit to Knighton and cousin Islwyn {1}. Some have got directly attached to individuals on the family tree on Ancestry, via Family Tree Maker. Others continue to need cracking of puzzles such as the date of the picture and the people featured. This piece is a start on a puzzle or two.

The article ‘Wedding fashions through family photos‘ was published here over 2 years ago, showing the happy occasion from 1905 to 1940. So finding an opportunity to add to that collection is also overdue. This time we go backwards, from 1964 to the ’30s.

No doubt about who are the centre of attention there, but it is going to take a while to be sure of more than a few of the other faces. Ivor’s brother Willie John rear left. Three more possibles from the next photo. And who else? (Ivor is probably more commonly known by his middle name of Dennis, or Den.)

Attempt at names, March/Sept 2015:

Children at front: see Paul’s comment below.

Middle/front row, from left: Gwyneth Watkins nee Hickman, Dwynwen Watkins, #4 on Watkins women photo below?, a Holley, Sal (Louisa’s sister), Louisa Holley nee Cox, Ivor Dennis Holley, Ann Monks, Eurfron Watkins, wife of Willie John Holley (Ann White?), Ceinwen Rees nee Watkins, Miriam Walters nee Watkins?, Phoebe Bowden nee Watkins, bridesmaid Beverley (?) Thomas – see comment 14/3/15, Margaret Purcell (was Watkins, nee McDougall).

Back row, from left: Willie John Holley, Royston (?) Thomas – see comment 14/3/15, ?, Trevelyan and Iris Thomas – see comment 11/9/15, (gap), (tall young man) Tony Bowden, woman with wide brim hat, Bill Bowden.

Further updates Feb. 2021 thanks to Debbie Flitcroft.

Lewis Street could be in Pontyclun (covered by Bridgend registration district up to 1970).

While three of the women in the next photo are also in the one above, wearing the same dresses, one or two of their hats differ so its seems a stretch for it to be the same occasion. But surely around the same time. Islwyn identified some of this crew (from left) as 1. Gwyneth Watkins nee Hickman, 3. Brenda Watkins (nee Lloyd)? 5. Eurfron Holley nee Watkins, 6. Ceinwen Rees nee Watkins, 7. Dwynwen Watkins. Could number 4 be Arwyn? Number 2 probably Miriam Walters nee Watkins.

Now four definite names matched to faces for what must be an early fifties wedding group, from left: Morwenna (Wenna) Webb, ??, possibly Margaret Webb (nee Parry), Kay Webb, Mary Hannah Parry (nee Watkins), Bill Parry.

Kay and Wenna are Margaret’s children, and their likely age makes this 1951 at the earliest. So not Margaret’s marriage to Joseph Webb, although he could be the mystery man (no other snaps of him found so far). Whose great day, then?

Update, June 2016: see the second half of ‘Pitching for a job‘ for the answer.

And dating from fashions, a studio photo from perhaps the early ’30s:

Islwyn suggests that this could be the Holley family, but would it be as late as 1936, when Eurfron married Willie Ashford? See first comment below (also comments 14/3/15 to 11/9/15) – the answer appears to be yes. Further suggestions from your editor: the two other men could be David and Frank Watkins – if so could the woman on the right be Margretta Roberts (nee Watkins) perhaps?

Even more questions and fewer answers than usual for Cutlock and Co. Your suggestions most welcome.


1. Earlier article on Cutlock and Co with photo from the same scanning batch: The electrical connection.



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25 responses to “More of a muddle than a match Holley and Watkins wedding snaps

  1. anthony holley avatar
    anthony holley

    hi its tony holley islwyn is rite in thinking it is my grandparents eurfron and willie asfords wedding day

  2. Sue avatar

    Wooooo – who is Willie Ashford? My aunt has her gt nan Mary Janes Ashford dairy that notes every week 2/6d to Willie ( her son) must do some more searching!!!

  3. Cutlock And Co avatar
    Cutlock And Co

    Hi Sue. The full name for ‘Willie Ashford’ mentioned above is Willie Ashford Holley, son of James Courtenay Holley (aka Courtney Willie Holley) and Elizabeth Louisa Cox. So unlikely to be the Willie mentioned in the diary – or is he? The Ashford middle name could easily indicate an ancestor of that surname.

    1. Sue avatar

      I have been looking at 1939 census today have found my Ashford family at Bush houses :-)

  4. Paul Thomas avatar
    Paul Thomas

    The three children are, my older sister Meryl cousin Leslie (Dens brother) and my younger sister Shan,my oldest sister is 2nd from right (bridesmaid) my oldest brother is 2nd left back row, myself and two younger brothers weren’t there.

  5. Paul Thomas avatar
    Paul Thomas

    “Possible Holley Family” my mother is far left Iris Holley.

  6. Cutlock And Co avatar
    Cutlock And Co

    Thanks Paul. After seeing your photos etc on Facebook I did wonder whether that young woman might be your mother. Glad to have it confirmed.

  7. Helen avatar

    Re “possible Holley family” photo, the woman on the right of the photo is that Louisa Holley – Iris Holley’s mother?

    1. Paul Thomas avatar
      Paul Thomas

      Hi Helen, the answer to your question is no sorry,not sure who that is can only assume its one of Beryls sisters as they look very similar. If you look at the wedding picture Louisa Holley is next to Den (groom) at the front with her sister Sal next to her and my mother Iris Thomas (nee Holley) is behind both of them with the white hat and my dad is next to her.

      1. Cutlock & Co avatar
        Cutlock & Co

        I’ve updated the notes to the large wedding photo, Paul, as you’ve given me a few more clues! Still not sure on your older siblings’ names though. But did you mean ‘Eurfron’s sisters’, not Beryl – Beryl Watkins married Idris 1945, and as far as I know isn’t connected to my wider Watkins clan. There’s a photo of Eurfron and siblings at a later age on the Watkins and Griffiths page – perhaps it could be Ceinwen in 1936 photo above? But I have my doubts, as Islwyn would have recognised her.

      2. Helen avatar

        Hi Paul, thanks for your answer – Louisa Holley and her sister Sarah Westcott ( Sal) are sisters to my great grandfather.

        Would it be possible for you email a photo of Louisa or do you have a family tree that I could look at.

        Thank you.

        1. Paul thomas avatar
          Paul thomas

          Hi Helen, sorry to have taken so long to reply, most of my pictures are kept on my desktop so will have a look as soon as I can ( don’t be afraid to remind me ) and forward it/them to you.
          ps my siblings are
          Roy, Beverley, Meryl, myself, Shan, Geoffrey and Stephen.

          1. Helen avatar

            Hi Paul, Thank you for getting back to me. If you don’t mind would you mind contacting me via email and I have some questions to ask you regarding your family.

            Thank you.

          2. Paul Thomas avatar
            Paul Thomas

            Hi Helen I’ve tried emailing you have you received it?

  8. Helen avatar

    Hi Paul, I have received your email address and have sent you a reply back with a copy to my other email address.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


  9. Phillip Walters avatar
    Phillip Walters

    Looking at the wedding of dennis holley and ann monks me and mam have picked out my late grandmother miriam walters nee watkins.

    1. Cutlock & Co avatar

      Thanks for the comment, Phillip. Is Miriam the 5th person from the right in that photo, then? Who matches 2nd from left in the Watkins women photo lower down?

  10. Jan Anderton avatar
    Jan Anderton

    Wedding of (Ivor) Dennis Holley and Ann Monks 05.09.64

    Lady in the check coat is Margaret Purcell, formerly Watkins (widowed – married to William Watkins and mother to John and Mary), nee McDougal

    1. Cutlock & Co avatar

      Thank you Jan. I’ll add her on to the list of those identified above.

  11. peter holley avatar

    Hi all, the wedding picture of six people the first man on the left is my grandad fred holley dont know if that helps .as the commets are old now.

    1. Cutlock & Co avatar

      Thanks Peter. People are still interested in this article, so your comment is most welcome. I’ve updated the caption to the pic.

  12. Paul Thomas avatar
    Paul Thomas

    Hi Peter, my Uncle Fred ?
    Father to Freddie, Selwyn, Babs and Mike ?

  13. peter holley avatar

    Yes my father was freddie.selwyn is no longer with us died some years ago now and so did my father.babs and mike are still alive and kicking!

  14. Paul Thomas avatar
    Paul Thomas

    Last time I seen Mike was at Molly’s funeral and called into see Babs a good number of years ago now (5-7?).

    1. peter holley avatar

      Hi paul,we must have seen each other there (mollys funeral) I dont remember though.I havnt seen babs or mike for a long time,my wife sees mike now and again when his at the hospital as my wife works there.(not much wrong with him just age things!)Kevin babs son lets us know about his mum as he goes down to wales quit ofton he only lives 15 mins walk from us so we pop in.

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