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

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

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