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My Welsh roots

November 18, 2013

So, I knew that my Grandmother (Ivy Evans) was Welsh, and born just outside Maesteg in 1910.  When I had a quick scout for her family I found them on the 1911 and 1901 censuses in the Bridgend registration district, and saw that they were both English and I thought ‘that’s the extent of the Welsh then’ and resigned myself to it.  I met up with my only Uncle from this side of the family over the summer and it prompted me to do a bit more research.  My great grandmother Jane Williams was only English (born in Cheltenham in 1867) because she was illegitimate and probably sent away from home to have the baby.  Margaret Williams, who was Jane’s mother and was 22 at the time was from Aberystwyth and both of her parents Richard and Elizabeth were also Welsh, from Ceredigion and Conwy.

Some of the most interesting sources I have found have been in connection with Richard Williams who is described on the census as either Grocer or Confectioner.  Welsh newspapers have been put online (and more importantly, indexed) by the National Library of Wales at http://welshnewspapers.llgc.org.uk/en/home and there are plenty of references from descriptions of court proceedings through the 1860s and 1870s with Richard not paying his poor tax or water rates and leaving the shop that he rented with a confectionary machine that did not belong to him.  I have found a few other people who share this part of the family tree and it’s always nice to feel (however vaguely) connected to other people,  Anyhow, an eighth of the family tree is Welsh at least back to 1800.  I currently live in a cottage built in the 1790s and it’s quite comforting in some way to think that I have something in common with them.

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