Ancestral Wales

Our Stories, Our History


Time flies

It’s been a dreadful amount of time since I posted to the blog.  I have been working slowly but surely on the website, however going back to full-time employment has eaten into my time at the keyboard.

I had a couple of delightful suprises these past few weeks.  I discovered a reference to Lewis Davies, my 3 x great grandfather in the index to press cuttings on the Ceredigion County Council website.  I also found reference to a newspaper article about my Clayton family in another article.  I sent an email asking how to go about obtaining the two articles, and the Aberystwyth Library kindly scanned and sent them to me.  My thanks indeed for doing that.  It is just so very very cool, to find something like this in a newspaper and I will be taking the time to follow up on the clues in the first article, which describes Lewis’ lengthy military career, under both the Duke of York and the Duke of Wellington.  One thing led to another and I found an article about the home he built in Aberystwyth.  Again I’m so grateful for the opportunity to view these articles online.  I would never know these details and be able to add to the story of my family in this way.

The article in Ceredigion:  Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society was written by Caroline Palmer.  It is absolutely filled to the brim with information on the house from wallpaper, to descriptions of the fireplaces purchased, and although Lewis died shortly after it was finished, his eldest son’s family lived there a long time.  They worked extensively on the house and the details in the article were such that I could almost picture it all in my mind.  There is a brief mention of my 2x great grandfather who was Lewis’ youngest son, and also plenty of dates to provide clues for further research.  As a brief aside, I’m certainly very glad that I wasn’t one of the poor tradespeople working on redesigning the home under Lewis’ grandson and his wife.  It does sound like they were quite difficult to deal with in terms of paying for any work done on the home!!

As I opened the pdf of the second article about the Clayton family, I was thrilled to see photographs attached to it.  It was an article about a relative who has written a book on the Clayton and Thomas families of Aberystwyth.  I had been in touch with her a little while ago and she had very kindly sent me a copy of the book.

The wonderful part about genealogy is that everytime I think I’ve reached a dead end, finds like these spur me on again.  It’s like a good cup of tea when you’re thirsty!!

Here are the two links I talked about today.  Even if you don’t have relatives in the articles, they are interesting to read, because they give a flavour of life as it was…

Ceredigion County Council Local History Resources: Press Cuttings Collection

Welsh Journals Online

Finding Welsh Mariners

While  researching Welsh mariners, I ran across the following websites of note.  As always, these are just a few of many great sources.

Welsh Mariners Over 23,000 Welsh Merchant Mariners are listed on this site, covering the years 1800 to 1945.  There is also a Royal Navy database covering the years 1795 to 1815, with about 3,000 men listed.  The site is bilingual, free and the database is easy to use.

Swansea Mariners and the Cardiff Mariner’s Database.  Another free database, very clear and easy to use.  The site includes ship owners and ship registers, as well as information about mariners.

Milford Trawlers Fishing vessels, skippers, a chronology of Milford and Peacetime and Civilian Wartime losses for the period 1888 – 1988, are some of the highlights of this website.

Irish Shipwrecks A searchable database of ships that wrecked off the coast of Ireland.  Sometimes only the name of the vessel and where it sank, but in many cases the entries include the information about the ship, owners and a brief history.

Coastguards of Yesteryear Articles, records and information about Coastguards who lived and worked around the Irish coastline (1700-1800′s).  The forums include discussion groups for genealogy, medals and general maritime information.  Welsh born coastguards from the 1901 and 1911 Census of Ireland are included.

Newspaper sources

Old Mersey Times I’ve provided a link to the shipping section, but there is much more to this website than that.  Old Mersey Times has transcribed snippets from Liverpool and Merseyside newspapers.  The articles cover everything from Bankruptcies to Wills and Bequests.

Cambrian Index Online A search using “ships and shipping” returned 29,000 articles (1804-1927) such as the following: Ships and Shipping, Shipwrecks, South Wales – 28 January 1804 – The ‘THOMAS AND BETSEY’ Went To Pieces On Portcall Point (Jan 20th, One Dead).

These websites are all free to use and contain a wealth of information. I’m continually amazed by the hundreds and hundreds of hours that website owners such as these have spent transcribing records and making them available for us to view. Thank you all!!

If you know of any other sites that cover Welsh mariners, I’d love to hear about them. All of these sites can be found on the main link library at Ancestral Wales

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