Some key historical and family dates.

1817        Victoria born
1834       Poor Law unions created
1836       First police force in Norwich
1837       Victoria becomes queen.
1840       Victoria married Prince Albert.

1840       Start of Cunard Line steamships to America
1841        Great Western Railway built
1844        Norwich has railway to Yarmouth, 1849 to London
1846-49  Repeal of Corn Laws

1852 – 58   Birth of great-grandparents, Howes side.
1859        Levy Watkins in Merthyr Tydfil by now.

1850-70   Somerset railways built.
1861        Prince Albert died.
1861-65   American Civil War
1862        USA’s Homestead Act, 160 acres for citizens tilling for 5 years.
1866        First transatlantic telegraph cable laid.
1870        Education Act – elementary education for all (England, Wales).

1872          Robert Jeary/Jane Watts arrive in Seward, Nebraska.
1873          Henry Neal emigrates to Ontario, Canada.
1869 – 1878   Birth of great grandparents, Watkins side.
1881          Osborne family arrived in Rhondda, and Watkins have moved here from Merthyr.
1888 – 1897   Birth of grandparents.
1890/93    Frederick Watts, Emma Watts emigrate to USA (separately).
1894  William Cullum and family arrive in south east London.
1897 approx    Robert and Mary Neal emigrate to Manitoba, Canada.

1899-1902    Boer War
22nd Jan 1901   Victoria dies

1904        Death of Laura Curtis (nee Neal).
1905         Clydach Vale mining disaster (33 killed).
1910-11     Cambrian Colliery dispute, Tonypandy riots.

1912         Launch and sinking of Titanic.
1914-18    World War One

1916/19  Marriage of grandparents.
1919     Howes family follows uncle William to south east London.
early 1940s Watkins family arrives in New Cross.

1952         Elizabeth II becomes queen.

1953/54 May family to New Zealand.

Also see

Ancestry has a useful timeline: Emigration to and Within the United States in the 1800s

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