Squaring the circle Connecting from Cummins to Watkins

One of those “It really is a small world” moments – discovering a distant in-law cousin on my dad’s side is connected to a close cousin on mum’s.

Cutlock & Co has been researching the family tree for a second cousin’s spouse for quite a while. Roy’s line goes back to William Cummins, a ‘tide waiter’ (customs officer) and later ‘Chief Collector of Customs’, born 1835 in Portsmouth. William came from a humble background, his mother Jane the housekeeper (and perhaps more) to prosperous tobacco merchant William Cavander in Portsmouth. » Continue reading Squaring the circle Connecting from Cummins to Watkins

A tribute to Islwyn His contribution to Knighton and beyond

Your editor recently met Ken Harris at Malvern U3A’s family history group, after a presentation by me which mentioned in passing cousin Islwyn Watkins. Here is the resulting tribute from Ken to his old friend.

A fellow South Walesian

Islwyn and I were friends virtually from the time I arrived in Knighton in 1985. Both being from South Wales, we immediately struck a rapport and later, when his father arrived to live with Dwynwen, he and I struck up a similar rapport and friendship. » Continue reading A tribute to Islwyn His contribution to Knighton and beyond

Newspapers ablaze with minor family insights Passing educational references, and an indepth story

After some time without, getting access to the British Newspaper Archive – part of a (half price) FindMyPast Pro subscription – raises the dilemma of where to start researching. Perhaps firstly with those individuals in the tree most likely to appear in the news, and then close relatives to see if any notices, in the absence of news items, might add another angle.

The approach has already led to shining some contrasting light on youthful grandparents plus an interesting incident not of any great relevance to the family tree. » Continue reading Newspapers ablaze with minor family insights Passing educational references, and an indepth story

Picturing the moving home front A London to and fro in WW2

The second world war was a time of upheaval for many, and this was particularly true for Cutlock & Co’s family lines. It became obvious when going through a collection of old postcards and photographs that there was a story to be told visually. Mum and Dad’s notes help to stitch them together.

Out of London

Being born in 1926, Dad (Arthur) was well into his grammar school life when war broke out and disrupted things. » Continue reading Picturing the moving home front A London to and fro in WW2

Islwyn’s picture puzzles Rediscovering negatives from the fifties

In this article, more a side view on Islwyn Watkins’ art student days (late 1950s) {2} than deep family history. Fellow student Ed Beavis found some photographic negatives taken by Islwyn which had been tucked away, from a trip of theirs which included dropping in on relations. Most likely around/south of Bristol.

Which family?

These don’t seem to be Watkins faces, so are more likely to be his mother’s Hickman side. Do any of these faces look familiar to anyone? » Continue reading Islwyn’s picture puzzles Rediscovering negatives from the fifties

Islwyn Watkins, 1938 to 2018 Welsh artist and more

Tonypandy born, Knighton resident and keeper of various family archives Islwyn Watkins has sadly died, aged 80. Most widely known as an artist, he was also an educator, ceramics expert (country slip ware) and a Knighton community activist, amongst other things.

Various of the wider Watkins family photos on Cutlock & Co came from his archive of material – he’s a cousin to our mum. Your editor was privileged to stay overnight at his home in the centre of Knighton, which was crammed with stacks of found material which could be turned into future artwork. » Continue reading Islwyn Watkins, 1938 to 2018 Welsh artist and more