Showing posts from December, 2022

The Irish in South Wales - and me

Until I took an Ancestry DNA test, there was little in my family tree that linked me to Ireland. This post is based on the potential DNA matches that I have made, which hint that the 'missing father' on my grandfather's birth certificate could have been an Irish migrant to South Wales in the 1840s.  The parishes referred to in the 1851 census record for the Burke family (see below) My adopted grandfather's unknown heritage As I have explained in two other posts on this blog, my Welsh grandfather, Thomas, was adopted by the Davies family and brought up in Pontypridd. His birth certificate shows he was born elsewhere in Glamorgan - in Llantwit Major in April 1880. His mother's name is given as  Mary Powell, a dairymaid,  but the space for the name of the father has been left blank - and it has always remained unknown. Family lore has always suggested that the father was  one of the sons of the Nicholl Carnes, landowners of  the nearby St. Donats estate. There is, in

My Welsh Grandparents - Thomas and Isabella

From the land of my fathers - Thomas and Isabella For my final posts (at least for now!) from my trawl through my "Ancestry" family tree, I want to try and tie together the various family history threads together where they meet - with my grandparents. In this post, I look at my father's parents: Thomas Powell becomes Tom Davies, then Thomas Powell Davies: In an  earlier post  I showed how the historical records confirmed the family story of my father's father having been brought up by the Davies family as Tom Davies, then discovering that his real mother’s name was Mary Powell, so combining the two to make “Powell-Davies”.  My grandfather's birth certificate - no father's name given The 1881 Pontypridd census includes the 11 month old 'nursing child', listed then as "Thomas D Powell" born (on the St. Donat's estate) in Llantwit Major, but now being raised at 'Graigalfa' Road, Glyntaff, with Thomas Davies, 'general labourer an

From New Forest gardeners to London florists

I still have memories of the dull car rides we used to take across London in the 1970s to visit my Mum’s sister, Auntie Gwen Snelgrove, and their mother Eleanor, my grandma, in Ealing. I can remember we’d sometimes pass the spectacular old factories on the Great West Road and stop somewhere to buy some sweets and a packet of cigarettes for grandma – ‘Guards’ if I remember rightly.  I remember the house in Woodfield Road, W5, as being dark and old-fashioned. It had a garden that had a back gate out onto the road behind but not a lot to keep me and my sister entertained while the ‘grown-ups’ talked. One of the things we’d be given to play with would be a jar of old buttons – but that was apparently entertaining enough for a small child! Grandma would be in a wheelchair and her skin could look uncomfortable. I later found out she suffered badly from psoriasis. We sometimes bought her coal tar soap for Christmas. In turn, we’d be given a Xmas gift of a box of Harrods chocolates – includin