There’s no news like old Welsh news

The National Library of Wales has released the beta (not quite finished) version of its Welsh Newspapers Online resource. It is already a brilliant addition to the bookmarks.

I found that it was ‘live’ last night, and quickly mentioned the site on the Glamorgan FHS Facebook page. I think a few of the others signed up to that have spent quite some time since enjoying both browsing by newspaper/place and searching for their own family names. » Continue reading “There’s no news like old Welsh news”

American as candy corn

As I may have said before, when starting out down the family history track, I didn’t think we had any relatives in the USA, just a few Canadians. A few years down the trail, getting on for ten per cent of individuals on the ever extending tree (which has a total  of just over 5000 right now) are American cousins and their connections.

And in neatly timed research, I discover that the firm which first commercially produced the sweets closely associated by many Americans with trick-or-treat, namely candy corn, has a strong family tie. » Continue reading “American as candy corn”

Staying together in Wilkes-Barre A Welsh community in America

The Welsh side of the family which emigrated to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA appears to have retained the practice of close-knit communities. There was generally a strong influx to the area from Wales, following the opportunities in coal mining and iron works. And the individual family groups stayed close to each other, at least to start with, as in the Welsh valleys.

The picture in 1910

From the 1910 US Census we can see that Grace Price, the child of Thomas Price and Mary Griffiths who has rather confusingly married William Griffiths (from a different family), is living with husband, 6 children and another William Griffiths aged 69  – almost certainly her uncle although shown as a boarder. » Continue reading Staying together in Wilkes-Barre A Welsh community in America

Merthyr, more than a temporary abode

The time has come to add Merthyr Tydfil to the list of significant places in the family’s history. So far I have tended to treat it as a place that great great grandfather Levy Watkins arrived at in the 1850s, married his wife Phoebe Griffiths, worked for a while and then moved on to the Rhondda, where the Welsh side of the family developed.

But the place is worth a bit more attention than that. » Continue reading “Merthyr, more than a temporary abode”

Cracking a family myth Wales to Wilkes-Barre USA

Great excitement at Cutlock Towers. Wednesday’s visit to cousin Islwyn in Knighton didn’t just fill in missing details on already known relations but, with just the briefest further research, has now revealed where the tales of Pennsylvania connections came from. These connections had become rather mythical to me, as the idea that a part of the Watkins family was born abroad just didn’t stack up.

I came back with old birth, marriage and death certificates, burial records from the 1860s to 1880s, scans of photos (unfortunately many old ones were unlabelled and unknown), memories from Islwyn and a very useful ‘bereavement list’. » Continue reading Cracking a family myth Wales to Wilkes-Barre USA