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. One quote “It is great just searching for the parish or town where your ancestor lived – lots of interesting articles, adverts etc.”. This can certainly give a sense of what was going on in town when your ancestors were around.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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