Ancestral Wales

Our Stories, Our History

Merchant Seamen

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

Ancestral Wales Website

Let me start by saying that there are many fantastic sources for Welsh genealogical links out there including, but not limited to, the fabulous GENUKI (my ‘bible’ for all things related to Welsh Genealogy) and Cyndi’s list.

I started this little project for my own amusement, when I just got completely bogged down with my web browser’s bookmarks. I’ve wanted to build my own website for a long time and this seemed to just be the right venue and time to do it. There is a ton of work still left to do and it will keep me going for a long, long time. You’ll find that there are many gaps, but now that the site is up, I can concentrate on checking out links and adding them.

As I check out links and add them, I find I’m learning more and more about parts of Wales that I am less familiar with, along with the genealogical resources available for those areas. I’ve been able to put many of these resources to good use and share with others, however it does slow down the process as I check each source out. When I recently found a resource for Cardiganshire photographs I completely lost track of time and spent the whole night looking at photos instead of what I should have been doing! Great fun though and I sure hope that this might be just one more useful resource for genealogists researching in Wales.

You can find Ancestral Wales at

I read today that has added Merchant Seamen’s Crew Lists for 1860-1913. Sure enough I quickly looked for my Claytons and was thrilled to find John, Thomas and William listed there. I’ll be looking at it again in the next couple of days to see the details. Read the article here at .

Happy Hunting!

Ancestral Wales © 2014 Frontier Theme