A proud pit fireman A hundred year old certificate

The archive of old photos on the Howes side of the family has now passed in to my possession. This will allow more scans, filling in gaps from the 2011 exercise {1}. There are also a few snaps on the Watkins side that were in a separate bundle or mixed up in other papers.

Here’s a partial image of probably the largest item in the whole collection – 16½ by 20 inches {2}. » Continue reading A proud pit fireman A hundred year old certificate

External link to Remembering the price of coal

Remembering the price of coal

Sunday 17th May is the 50th anniversary of the last deep coal mining disaster in South Wales, at Cambrian Colliery, Clydach Vale.

Rob Osborne, a third cousin once removed, grew up close to where the mine had been. He reports for ITV News Wales in ‘Remembering the Cambrian Colliery disaster 50 years on‘ – old news footage as well as new.

Note Immediate family had long left the area by 1965.

Putting all the Levis in order Another tale of Welsh miners in America

The idea of one, or more, Watkins ancestors being born in America was tackled a while back, in ‘Cracking a family myth‘. Now another possible source of the tale has emerged, through a family tree on Ancestry.

The original story as recounted by cousin Islwyn was about the father of John Watkins, namely my 2x great grandfather Levy. Or Levi – I use the alternative spelling as a way to reduce confusion with my grandfather of the same name. » Continue reading Putting all the Levis in order Another tale of Welsh miners in America

Cycling in, and out of, the family story Changing transport, and work, options

As a cyclist, and sometime cycle campaigner and rides organiser,  I was delighted to be contacted out of the blue (via this site) about family bike shop connections. Second cousin (once removed) Ronnie Myhill used to have such a shop in Carlisle, before switching to grocery – I’d already spotted his dad Sidney was a cycle agent at one point.

Ronnie was definitely involved with bicycles in 1953, and the grocery store existed by 1969, per phone directories on Ancestry. » Continue reading Cycling in, and out of, the family story Changing transport, and work, options

Word-Smithing from Smyrna or Lyrical lines from Lydia {2}.

A year ago, ‘Hanging by a thread‘ traced the delicate strands which led to establishing the family of John Harper Smith junior, master mariner {1}. I speculated that the reasons he and his spouse couldn’t be found in 1871 and 1881 England census was that they could be on voyages out of British waters.

Now there is some indication of this, in the shape of a poem of his penned from port:

(Read by clicking on any image and navigating – increase browser size for larger view or use the ‘full image’ link.) » Continue reading Word-Smithing from Smyrna or Lyrical lines from Lydia {2}.

No flight of fancy Taking to the air in WW1

I had, until yesterday, concluded from researches so far that it was unlikely that any family connection had served in the fledgling air services of World War One. But an ‘absent voters list’ entry in 1920 for William George Taylor of 40 Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth, a first cousin of grannie Scott, shows that I was wrong – described as 248748 Pte., R.A.F.

As it happens, the ‘Best websites’ review section in the current (February) issue of Who Do You Think You Are magazine is on “Royal Air Force”, read a few days ago more for background than expectation of usefulness. » Continue reading No flight of fancy Taking to the air in WW1