Contents of Welsh history books
This is a selection of books with introductory/review comments made about them by Glamorgan and Dyfed Mailing List subscribers, the contributors' names come ahead of their first submission.
Some entries contain a list of the chapter headings and/or a verbatim copy of the book's own introduction, many books are available for lookups on the Wales Lookup Exchange, some also have an online index of names contained in them.
Alphabetical list of book titles which appear on either of two pages
|Mary Jane Stephenson
1. "History of Wales" by John Davies is #the # classic of course, and was written first in Welsh as "Hanes Cymru".
2.For those who find it a bit dry and academic try his later book "The Making of Wales", published by CADW in 1996, which is lavishly illustrated with colour photos, maps and sketches and it's a much easier read covering the history of Wales from the "Red Lady of Paviland" of Palaeolithic times right up to1995.
3. For those Welsh-speakers among you Gwynfor Evans' book "Land of My Fathers" [ISBN 0-86243-265-0]came out first as "Aros Mae"[It Endures] in1971 and is still in print. Gwynfor himself autographed my copy. He is a lovely gentleman, enjoying his well-deserved retirement in the depths of his much-loved rural West Wales.
See below for a full Contents listing.
4. When Was Wales? Those of you who remember HTV's series on Welsh history in the 1970s "The Dragon Has Two Tongues" will remember those lively and stimulating discussions and exchanges of views between Wynford Vaughan Thomas [see below] and Professor Gwyn Alf Williams. They really did see Welsh history from two opposing viewpoints! I really enjoyed Gwyn Alf's subsequent book "When was Wales", published by Penguin Books in 1985, reprinted as late as 1991. On the front cover the subtitle says "The history, people and culture of an ancient country." Highly recommended particularly if you like history from a more unconventional viewpoint. When Gwyn Alf was Professor Emeritus of History at the University in Cardiff students would actually queue up and pack the lecture theatre as his lectures were so fantastic and stimulating. No one would know what he would say next. With his untimely death three years ago Wales and its people lost a great champion of their cause.
Volume 3 Edited by Geraint H. Jenkins and Ieuan Gwynedd Jones, published by University Wales Press, Cardiff 1998. This is a "must-have" for anyone with Cardiganshire ancestors as this is a mine of information in 633 pages. It covers the period from the beginning of the eighteenth century up to 1998. There are 26 chapters on social, cultural, political, religious, educational aspects of life in Ceredigion as well as the Welsh Language,agriculture, industries, ships and shipbuilding, house design and architecture, poor law administration,and tourism etc. It is lavishly illustrated with colour and black and white photographs, drawings, maps, charts and tables. Rather an expensive buy at £60 but copies are available for consultation at libraries . I had mine somewhat cheaper by subscription and it was my bedside read for many weeks. Some chapters were so fascinating I burnt the midnight oil in order to finish reading them.
By Major Francis Jones, published by Brawdy Books in 1997 is another book I subscribed to as it has a lot of local interest for me. There are over 600 houses and 2000 families detailed alphabetically throughout the county. Ordnance Survey grid references are given for each property, a history and description of the house and any estate, genealogies of the families and useful references for further research.
7.There is also a similar book written and published by the same people for those with Pembrokeshire connections Historic Pembrokeshire Homes and their Families.
By Eifion Evans, first published 1969 and reprinted yet again in 1996 by The Evangelical Press of Wales. Until comparatively recently the majority of the population attended either chapel or church in Wales. Following the great Methodist Revivals of the latter part of the eighteenth century and subsequent revivals in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Wales became a land of chapels, large and small, in town and isolated rural uplands. I remember an elderly uncle of mine, who was a young boy at the time of Evan Roberts last great Welsh Revival of 1904, telling me of the overflowing chapels and prayer meetings uinderground at the pit.. This revival started in rural Ceredigion, in New Quay, in Blaenannerch, in Newcastle Emlyn before spreading like holy fire to the industrial valleys of South Wales. This book gives a clear, good, if rather studious background to those Bethels, Bethanias and Zions throughout the land, many of which were rebuilt or extended after 1904, only to start declining after World War1. Many people do not realise that this revival had a ripple effect in England, Scotland and further afield as in the mission fields of India and Madagascar.
By Prys Morgan and David Thomas, published by David and Charles in 1984. This is a general and cultural history of Wales. The authors show the distinctive characteristics which differentiate Wales from its big brother neighbour, England. As well as describing rural and industrial Wales they also talk about "The Dragon's two tongues", The land of song, and Rugby. In the appendix there is a short history of Welsh Surnames and a useful chronological table comparing the timetable of events in Wales compared with the rest of the UK and also the wider world :for instance in1801, the census showed the population of Wales was 587,000, in the same year there was the Union of Great Britain and Ireland, while abroad, Napoleon was in power in France and at war with England, culminating in the Battle of Trafalgar in1805.
An index and review by Mary Jane Stephenson is available
By Paul.R.Davis published by Christopher Davies in 1992. Another book about West Wales, covering Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. It is mainly a tour about 150 places such as prehistoric monuments, churches, castles,wells and old houses. They are all indexed, O.S.grid references given and also locations are shown on a sketch map. There are black and white photographs and sketches illustrating this useful book if you are interested in the background history of West Wales although much of it refers to older times than I have found on my family trees.
Welsh Life and Customs from Prehistoric Times to the Present Day.By A.H.Todd published by B.T.Batsford Ltd in 1979, reprinted several times, mine is 1987. This is a comprehensive general history beginning with the earliest inhabitants and relating the main historical happenings in Wales up to World War 1 with as an epilogue sketching subsequent events. This is a readable, quickly-read book which gives the background history Of Wales and her people, illustrated with black and white contemporary drawings. It is often a good idea to read a short history like this before tackling John Davies' "A History of Wales" so you get the general picture before filling in on the details.
By Susan Passmore, published by Dyfed County Council in 1992. An essential and informative book for anyone with ancestors in New Quay and surrounding areas in Cardiganshire in the 19th century. Full of names, places, ships and events with a comprehensive index, it is a very interesting source of information and there are plenty of references and a bibliography for further research. Of particular value is the list of ships that were built or sailed from New Quay but, in addition to all the information to do with the sea and associated trades, there are details of farming, education, religion and politics.
14. Gwalia in Khasia
By Nigel Jenkins, published by Gomer Press in 1995. Did you have an Welsh ancestor who was missionary in India? Until Nigel Jenkins wrote this book the story of the 200 Welsh Calvinist Methodist missionaries who toiled for many years in the mountainous area of the Khasi Hills in North East India had largely been forgotten or ignored. As a result of his research, programmes on Khasia were broadcast in Welsh and English on S4C television. Unfortunately there is no index of names of the preachers, ministers, missionaries, wives and children in this book but there is a bibliography for further research. There is quite a lot of history about the families while they were in India and details of their descendants and also where they died and were buried. The first of the missionaries was Thomas Jones from Montgomeryshire who arrived in 1841, and 150 years later a quarter of a million people gathered in Shillong, the capital, to celebrate and mark the anniversary. The missionaries went from all parts of Wales and many never returned: the death of one far from home is recorded on a gravestone in New Quay churchyard. The last ones left India in 1969 leaving many legacies of Christianity, Bibles and hymn singing.This is an interesting book written in Nigel Jenkins inimitable style.
By R. Iestyn Hughes and Paul O'Leary.
Published by Sutton Publishing, in conjunction with The National Library of Wales, 1999. A beautiful book, yes really. Fabulous photographs from the National Library of Wales' extensive collection with text taken from contemporary records I saw this book, which had just arrived in Fred Coopers Bookshop in Newcastle Emlyn last week and bought it straightaway as I found it so fascinating. Who was it who said that a picture is worth a thousand words? And anyway, you 've got the words as well here; from sources such as newspaper archives, council reports, books, Royal Commission extracts. It is rather expensive at £18.99 but is well-bound on high quality glossy paper which does justice to the photographs, which cover all areas of Wales, North, South, Mid and West Wales. There are nine chapters on subjects such as Industry and Commerce, Rural Society, Culture and Religion, Travel, Entertainment, Politics. This is not a criticism of the book as most of the people portrayed are ordinary folk so have not left their names for posterity but I would love to know who are they, these people who look out at you from the past.There's Llanilar Sunday Scool in 1913, trams in Swansea in 1893, the staff at Lipton's shop c1910, a slate splitter in the 1880s, Evan Roberts c1903 and many, many more, After reading this book you get an overall picture of the dramatic social changes that have occurred here in Wales over the last century.It's the kind of book one would like to receive as a gift for a birthday or Christmas.
16. Historic Rhondda
By Paul R. Davies, published by the author in 1989. I bought this local history book from Paul when it was first published as, at that time I lived in Tonyrefail, just outside that fascinating part of Wales, the Rhondda. The history in this book begins in prehistoric times, travels through the Roman period, Dark and Middle Ages, post-medieval and up to 1850. There are many maps, sketches, plans of buildings and black and white photographs. An interesting book for anyone who had ancestors living in the Rhondda to get a feel of how the area was in the days before King Coal came and desecrated what was a beautiful, off-the- beaten-track place. Unfortunately there is no index at the end but included is an inventory of sites and monuments.Many of the farm builings still standing and lived in today are hundreds of years old and some of these, such as Tyntyle, Ffynnon-dwym, Gellifaelog, are illustrated and their history described. Chapels and early industrial feature as also do boundary markers, castles, dykes and early settlements.
17. Crwydro Sir Gar
By Aneurin Talfan Davies, published by Llyfrau'r Dryw in 1955, reprinted 1970. This book is an account,in Welsh, of Aneurin Talfan Davies' travels around Carmarthenshire in 1952. Reading this, one is struck by how much the rural scene in this county, where I now live, has changed in less than half a century. There are local people living here that I chat to, who can remember a time before tractors, when to see a car was a rarity and the English language was seldom heard, and in this account one can imagine vividly how it used to be before so many incomers flooded into the county, especially in the 1970s and 1980s ...........
By T.I. Ellis, published by Llyrau'r Dryw in 1952, Like "Crwydro Sir Gar" this is the account, in Welsh, of travels around a county. Interestingly, the author has used the ancient name of Ceredigion when, at that time, the county was known as Cardiganshire or Sir Aberteifi. Of course, since the latest local government reorganisation, after having been part of Dyfed for a period of around 20 years,the county is again known as Ceredigion. The author starts off in 1947 by exploring Aberystwyth and relates the history of the National Library, then follows the rivers Rheidol and Ystwyth up into the mountains. He visits, amongst many other places,the atmospheric Ystrad Fflur (Strata Florida),Mynydd Bach, the Georgian streets of Aberaeron, the Teifi valley and across to Llanarth and Y Wern, where Henry VII stayed on his way to the Battle of Bosworth, Cei Newydd (New Quay), finishing the book in Aberteifi (Cardigan). Unlike "Crwydro Sir Gar" this author does not relate conversations with local people, but is more like a travelogue; he seems more interestesd in the places than with the people. However, the book gives a fairly detailed background as to the history and geography of this mainly rural county some fifty years ago.
19. The Drovers' Roads of Wales . II Pembrokeshire and the South.
By Shirley Toulson and Caroline Forbes published by Whittet Books Ltd in 1992 This is the second book, unfortunately I do not possess the first, and covers from the Englishry of Pembrokeshire around Angle and Castlemartin up through Carmarthenshire, across from Ceredigion through Gower into Glamorgan and over the Black Mountains into the Welsh Marches. It was written as a guide for walkers but covers much of historical interest. The Welsh drovers avoided the main toll roads in the valleys and travelled across the hills using routes that you can follow today. There is a useful bibliography for further reading and an Index of people and places. Stories of the Rebecca riots of the 1840s are told in several places, the legend of the physicians of Myddfai and did you know that William Edwards who built the bridge at Pontypridd also built the bridge at Cenarth? There are maps and lots of black and white photographs that make this a useful book for background information.
By H.V. Morton published by Methuen in 1932 .This well-known book has been reprinted many times over the last sixty years and was one of a series of travel books by the author. Many things have changed in Wales since it was written but it is worth reading to see Wales impressing a stranger wandering across the country. He did not just look at the scenic areas but also visited the coal-mining valleys of the South and even ventured to visit the National Eisteddfod at Bangor and devoted a whole chapter to an account of it. The author enjoyed meeting the Welsh people, was sympathetic to them and encouraged them to tell stories and relate happenings which provide variety of content to an otherwise rather old-fashioned style of writing.
By Francis Jones, published by Brawdy Books 1998. This is the third book in the series; the previous ones were about the historic houses of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. The next one due, which I am looking forward to with much anticipation, concerns Cardiganshire homes. However, this latest offering contains much of interest to those with Pembrokeshire ancestry even though, unfortunately, there is no index to people and places. Throughout his long life, Francis Jones met interesting people, went to historic places and collected facts,stories,details of events, and researched ancient records throughout record offices and repositories in Wales and London. He was an acknowledged expert in the field of Welsh genealogy, local history, heraldry and antiquarianism. After his death in 1993 his family spent much time and trouble extracting from his research items suitable to publish in book form. This book gives a picture of the history of Pembrokeshire from Norman times up to the 20th century, stories about ancient homes and families, castles, churches,dissent,farming, Pembrokeshire military men, litigation, sportsmen and even an account of the author's father in Patagonia around 1880. A good read.
By Iorwerth C. Peate, published 1942, 3rd reprint 1998, by Gwasg Gee. Iorwerth Peate was the Curator of St Ffagans Folk Museum, now renamed the Museum of Welsh Life, and this book is about "The Culture of the Welsh People." It is an academic book, written in literary Welsh, that gives a fascinating insight as to how our Welsh ancestors lived, loved and died. There are no illustrations in this book which was originally published in the austere years of World War II and five years before the opening of St Fagans. Iorwerth Peate discusses the concept of culture and examines the traditional house of the ordinary people, their sparse furniture, the hearth, centre of the home, and cooking. He looks at what the people wore, their religion, education, games, pastimes, their cultural life. Agriculture and crafts, folk-lore and customs concerning birth, courting, marriage and death in the family and community, as well as traditions and legends have all been researched and written down for posterity.For the family and local historian this book is a valuable resource of background information about the lives of ordinary Welsh people. It would be a good book to read before a visit to St Fagans, which is a very useful place to go and see the kind of buildings our ancestors would have used.
By E.T.Lewis,printed by E.L.Jones, Cardigan 1969. We found this little hard-back book in a car-boot sale recently. It must have been published by the author after much research into the locality of this small settlement at the foot of the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire. It would be a useful little book for anyone with roots in the parish for,as the subtitle suggests, it gives a survey of the area from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century. There are names of people and farms from 16th and 17th century records held in the PRO, extracts from diaries, parish, nonconformistsrecords, vestry books, censuses and electoral rolls. In the lists of headteachers of Mynachlogddu school there is the name of the father of one of Wales greatest poets, Waldo Williams, who spent many of his formative early years living here and who is commemorated with the simple stone on Rhosfach that looks up and across his "Mur fy mebyd" (wall of my childhood).In addition to a map and black and white photographs there is a chapter devoted to biographical details of 19th and 20th century people born in, or associated with, Mynachlogddu.There are interesting appendices listing chapels,wells, buildings, names of people and places, a map code and bibliography.
By Bethan Phillips, published by Cymdeithas Lyfrau Ceredigion 1997. This is the well-researched history of a real "baddy" and the accursed mansion of Peterwell, also called Ffynnonbedr, that is but a pile of stones today just outside Lampeter. Sir Herbert Lloyd (1720-1769) was the last, and the worst, of the Lloyd family; a man born to destruction, greedy, cruel and vindictive. It is a fascinating study and a really good read. Useful to the family historian with ancestors from the Lampeter area and even further afield, there is a comprehensive index of persons and places that are referred to in the book. I found that the appendices contained much of interest, including accounts relating to Sir Herbert Lloyd, medical records of John Lloyd, rental records of the estate, an inventory of effects put up for sale in 1781, extracts from Lampeter parish records and a detailed bibliography. There are many black and white illustrations of various well-known people such as Lewis Morris and Howell Harries and mansions like Gogerddan and Dolaucothi as well as contemporary pictures of cock-fighting, a hanging, the medieval church at Lampeter that was demolished in 1821. There is a map showing the location of the ruins of Peterwell and a photograph of the avenue of trees that still exists today so you can go and see the site and setting of this excellent book.
By David N. Thomas, published by Seren, the book imprint of Poetry Wales Press, Bridgend, 2000 ISBN: 1-85411-275-9.
Yet another book on Dylan, you sigh, cry, moan! But this has tied in with my family history and may do for many others who have roots in deepest West Wales. This is a fascinating, very well-researched book which deals with Dylan's many links with Cardiganshire and his relationship with local people and refers to people and places that previous biographers have missed. David Thomas, who lives in Ciliau Aeron, has spoken to people in West Wales who had met Dylan and there are numerous photos which have come to light and might include your family on them. A friend of mine, living at Newquay, looked through the book and found, to her astonishment, a hitherto unknown photo with her mother, born in 1900, on it. I looked in the index and found several references to various family members and also a drawing of Dylan done by a relative of mine, Myra Evans, who was born back in 1883. There are fourteen pages full of names of people and places in the very comprehensive index. In the appendices there are references to books and articles used in the research, names of people interviewed and sources of information and even some family tree information on certain West Wales people associated with Dylan. The area covered is around Talsarn, Talgarreg, Llanon, Aberaeron,Llanina, New Quay and Llangrannog.
By J. Geraint Jenkins, published by Gomer Press in 1982.
There is an index and review available
In the series "Britain in Old Photographs".
There is an index and review available
28 .The Welsh House
by Iorwerth C. Peate
First published in 1940, reprinted by Llanerch Publishers, Felinfach in 2000. ISBN 1 86143 112 0.
Here is a review and listing of the Contents, Illustrations, Figures and houses and sites mentioned in the 1940 book
Editor Caroline Charles Jones, Published by Brawdy Books 2000, ISBN 0 9528 344 48
What a mine of information for the family and local historian! A real treasure chest for anyone with Cardiganshire ancestry. We in West Wales owe a great debt to Francis Jones,1908-1993, late Wales Herald at Arms who was one of the most distinguished Welsh historians, for his many years of tireless research into Welsh history, genealogy and heraldry.
This hardback well-bound book, has 332 pages, illustrated with line drawings and photographs. The Cardiganshire houses are listed alphabetically with a history of each house and families who resided or had connections with it, with full references for further research. The extensive bibliography describes printed primary and secondary sources and also lists the primary sources of manuscripts, private collections,journals, periodicals and various other information consulted at various record offices and libraries. An index of names links people with the various houses mentioned in the text.There is a map of the Cardiganshire Tithe districts and, inside the front and back covers, a reproduction of Speed's 1630 map of Cardiganshire.
Congratulations to Hugh and Caroline Charles-Jones on publishing this invaluable book for us family and local historians.
Details of this and the other books published so far can be found on Brawdy Books websites:
www.brawdybooks.com or www.westwalesgenealogy.co.uk
e-mail addresses: PlasWregin@aol.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone/Fax: 01348 811450
Postal address: Brawdy Books, Plas yr Wregin, Dinas, Newport,Pembrokeshire, SA42 0YH
A review and index compiled by Mary Jane Stephenson is available
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Here is a brief description from the first page ;
"Of the 700 recorded burials since 1783 in the churchyard, about 250 are remembered on 126 gravestones. This study attempts to record each grave and the family relationship of the persons buried there; there is no attempt to provide detailed genealogical family information or to present material in chronological order. The family trees on pages 27 to 40 relate only to persons buried in the graveyard with some additional information where appropriate."
To quote a newspaper item [Western Telegraph Sept 2000] which gives an idea of some of the surnames involved;
"The vast majority of those commemorated are descended from six families who have been resident in the parish for at least a few hundred years; the Symmons and their descendants through the distaff; the Bennetts, Lloyds, Gwynnes, Morgans and James; the Vaughans and their descendants through the distaff; Thomas James and Davies; Reed; Bevan/Howells; Lewis; Jenkins/Evans."
I think, for anyone with family from the area of Little Newcastle - or who has interest in the area - this is a very interesting booklet indeed. Although it is not a list of MI's with birth ,death and ages etc that you get in a more formal listing - it has much more family relationships and other interesting snippets of information. It also contains the results of several botanical surveys of the churchyard presented as a list of plants found between 1986 and 2000 with Latin names, common names in English and Welsh names.
If anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of this 47 page booklet they can send a cheque for £4 to cover the price of £3.50 plus an extra 50p to cover packing and postage to;
Mr Richard Davies, Northgate, Little Newcastle, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, SA62 5TD
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By Robert Havard
The resume reads -
"Described by Wellington as 'a rough and foul-mouthed devil as ever lived', Thomas Picton was one of the most colourful characters of an age that abounded in them'.......
We follow his life from Port of Spain [Trinidad, where he was appointed Governor] via Westminster [he was an MP presumably] and Badajoz [Iberian Peninsular War], interweaving his fascinating story with quotations and Picton's own correspondence. 279pp with eight pages of plates, and maps."
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By Wynford Vaughan-Thomas (pub.1985 by Michael Joseph, ISBN 0 7181 2468 5)
This is a very readable book that I can recommend as a starting point for listers -or for anyone else interested in Wales.
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|David Jones (Tucson,AZ.)
I recently acquired "Growing up in Wales 1895 - 1939" by Jeffrey Grenfell-Hill, and would recommend it to Glam.listers. It gives a wonderful insight into the everyday lives of people during those years and is full of detail and anecdotes. Cost £7.95 pounds, Gomer Press, Llandysul, Ceredigion. ISBN: 1 85902 349 5
The book is a set of collected memories of childhood in Wales by the following;
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Also comes as a Pocket Guide by J Graham Jones published by University of Wales Press (1990). It has a list of useful dates.
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|Billie R. McNamara
By David Russell Barnes. Llandysul, Dyfed, Wales: Gomer Press, 1995. 186 + xii pgs.; maps and photos. Full index, bibliography, and appendix. Available from the author, 13 Cwrt Cefn, Lisvane, Cardiff CF4 5US, Wales. $12.00 postage-paid to North American addresses. At first glance, this book appears too small to provide a comprehensive treatment of its subject, which is the history of non-conformist (non-Church of England) religious movements in Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire from the 1730's (Methodist Revival) to the mid-19th Century. However, each page is packed with abundant and well-documented details that should engross any reader with an interest in either West Wales or religious history. Professor Barnes compiled data from Quarter Session and Consistory Court registrations for meeting houses and cross-referenced that data against entries in the 1851 Religious Census to track the "spectacular" growth of non-conformity during the subject period.
With essays that were published in 1907. It's a little archaic in places, but it's interesting.
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Edited by Angela V. John published by Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1991. This has been the most valuable book in my research and writing. I used the inter library loan program to access a copy.
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By W.L.Davies ISBN 0 905243 15 3
Published by the Glamorgan Record Office & M.T.Heritage Trust
A bridge is a convenient device for crossing an obstacle. Where there are many natural and manmade obstacles and a need to move people and materials, there will be many bridges. This was true of Merthyr in its precocious industrial development in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
All told there are more than 300 bridges in the Merthyr Tydfil area, and they have been identified, catalogued and researched by `Leo' Davies for the present volume. More than 300 photographs, works of art and maps are reproduced, many of them hitherto unknown to the public. Merthyr Tydfil was a testing ground for bridge-building techmques, as the iron companies vied with each other the improving transport and communications within their works and with the outside world. The iron industry has vanished from Merthyr Tydfil, with many of the bridges which served it. Now bridges for other purposes are needed, as on the Heads of the Valleys road and the Merthyr trunk road. The on-going story is told in this book, as well as that of the old pioneering days.
This book will interest many different kinds of reader, the local patriot, wanting to know about the achievements of the past, the industrial archaeologist, seeking technical descriptions for comparison in similar investigations elsewhere, and the social historian, trying to assess the effect of technical changes on the life of the people.
[22 August 2000 G]
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A collection of essays by Dr Tom Davies.
Published in 2000 by W Glamorgan Archives Service.The cost of the book is £17.50 plus £4 p&p[UK]. It is available from the Archive Service at County Hall, Swansea, Neath Library, and Port Talbot Library. Limited Edition of 800.
The original book index has been extracted with the publisher's permission
Includes chapter headings :
Civic Life in Neath
Chap 1 : Neath`s Wicked World- some episodes in legal history
Chap 2 : The state of Neath and district in 1880 according to the "Neath Times"
Chap 3 : Mr D. Rhys Phillips
Chap 4 : Whatever happened to :
Chap 5 : Dulais Uchaf and two of its nineteenth century diarists
Chap 6 : The Aberpergwm Idea : Maria Jane Williams`s brothers
Chap 7 : Ynysygerwn, Aberdulais
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The Customs and Traditions of Wales [ a Pocket Guide]
By Trefor M. Owen. University of Wales Press/Western Mail 1991 . ISBN 0-7083-1118-8
From the back cover;
Each chapter is complemented by several eye-witness accounts--vivid descriptions of a forgotten way of life. Customs are arranged into four main groups ; those centred on the hearth and home, agriculture, community life and the parish church.
Trefor M Owen, former Curator at the Welsh Folk Museum, is a recognised authority on Welsh folk traditions. In this book he explores their origins and examines the changes they underwent during the C19 and early C20 in response to industrialization and the growth of Nonconformity."
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I am the secretary of the Ogmore Valley Local History & Heritage Society and we have just published our first (hopefully of many) books. It is titled "Journal 2000" (ISBN 0 9539792 0 2) for obvious reasons as we intend to at the very least publish one annually, though with all the local interest and support we've had with this edition that time frame may be reduced!
It contains 10 articles on various aspects of the history of our small community, varying from the valleys only recipient of the Victoria Cross, Cpl James Llewellyn DAVIES VC, through the History of the Nantymoel Industrial Co-operative Society, also the story of "WILLIAMS Aberdare, a Valley Pioneer" , theres the "Letters home from Australia", the fascinating history of the Churches and Chapels and an emotional poem about a 12 year olds untimely death in the Coal Mines.
Whilst I appreciate it may only hold interest for ex-pats of the Ogmore Valley, or anyone with an interest in C19 way of life in Wales we are offering it for sale via myself or via GENFAIR (http://genfair.com)
You can reach Huw at: HuwDaniel@telinco.co.uk
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Norman L Thomas. Gomer Press. 1978. 245 Pages, ISBN 0 906199 026
A name index compiled by Eluned Lloyd is available
Illustrations: All B&W
From book jacket:
'From it's inception as the Oystermouth Manor of the Lordship of Gower onwards, the mumbles story here has been traced to modern times and embraces historical events , the rise and decline of former industies, the influence of religious denominations, religious changes and maritime affairs. The history of the Mumbles railway, Chapter Three, should prove of added interest. Research into many sources has helped to produce a fascinating account of a small fishing village which was once famous for the quality of its oysters in centuries past. Later, Mumbles became an Urban District Council of the late 19th C. and early part of the present century when it was absorbed afterwards by the Swansea County Borough's extension programme of 1918. Its status today is that of a bustling Ward and an immensely popular seaside resort of the 1970's within the Swansea City scene.'
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Stephen Griffith (on behalf of Friends from Milford Haven Preparative Meeting)
2nd impression 1995. Gomer Press, Llandysul. ISBN 0 86383 674 7
From the Introduction:
"The story of Quakers in Pembrokeshire is unique in the history of the Society of Friends. Although seven meeting houses existed in 1682 persistent persecution led many Quakers to emigrate to the New World. By 1792 only one Meeting House, at Haverfordwest, was officially listed. Then, in an unusual reversal of history, American Quakers came to Milford Haven, started a whaling industry, and eventually, in 1811, constructed a Meeting House, the only meeting house ever built in this country by Americans. When the Americans left the area the Society again declined. However, in 1990, there is a flourishing Meeting at Milford Haven and smaller groups meet elsewhere in Pembrokeshire. Quakerism is expanding again."
This little book (only 46 pages long) is an amazing insight into the history of the Quakers in Pembrokeshire. It illustrates (by use of original documents) some of the trials and tribulations that they had to endure at the turn of the 19th century. In addition, it is full of names (including tombstone details from the Milford Haven Meeting House graveyard) and even a family tree of American immigrants.
Thomas G Stickings, 1970. HG Walters (Publishers) Ltd, Tenby
From the Preface:
"This is the story of a village, its failures and achievements, its industries and personalities, and its gradual but inexorable growth into the small township of to-day. Saundersfoot had its beginning in a few medieval cottages in a forest clearing of Coedrath. Five hundred years later it had become a thriving coal port, but when all industry vanished from the area 150 years later, its very existence was threatened. But the village clung to life and evolved as the beautiful, unsophisticated seaside resort that we know to-day."
Roscoe Howells, 1977 (reprinted 1987). Gomer Press, Llandysul. SBN 85088 423 3
From the Introduction:
The purpose of this book is to tell as much as possible of the history of the area during the last hundred years or so from the pictures which are available and, in places, to show from present day pictures the transformation which has taken place, although, in many cases, years of vegetation or new buildings make this impossible....The true history of any place, of course, is largely the story of its people, for people are life itself.
PLUS 225 illustrations!
By Anthony Jones
Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd (Stroud, Gloucestershire) in association with the National Museums & Galleries of Wales Original published 1984 revised edition 1996 ISBV 0-7509-1162-X
If anyone has ancestors from Wales then at some time or other they will have been non-conformists - i.e.."Chapel"! This excellent little book (only 146 pages) is perhaps a little heavy going in the text but is nevertheless a fascinating insight into the development (and decline) of non-conformity in Wales. It is lavishly illustrated with examples of the architecture associated with Welsh chapels.
FROM THE INTRODUCTION
"The streets and byways of Wales are nowadays littered with the decomposing hulks of chapels, hundreds of abandoned Bethels and Bethesdas. These were the Nonconformists' temples, the "Palaces of the Oral Arts" that once trembled at the passionate preaching of an inspired minister, and shook to the resonance of massed congregational hymn-singing. The chapels of Wales were once the architectural celebrities of every street and country lane, but now they crumble quietly and await the ministrations of the bulldozers that will turn these landmarks into wastelands.
The word "chapel" means more than simply a building reserved for worship purposes on Sunday. For anyone familiar with Wales, and especially for those who were born or brought up there, the word triggers in the mind a flood of associations that range from the unforgettably terrifying sermons of those preacher "kings of the pulpit" to Sunday School Bible class, the huge tea-parties, the annual bus excursion to a temptation-less and inhospitable beach, the singing festivals, baptism ceremonies, the Band of Hope meetings, marches and processions ... associations that remind us that the chapel was at the heart of every community in Wales until the mid-twentieth century, it was the essence of so much of the culture, politics, sociology, education, religion, economics, and shaped the psychology of the nation."
PEMBROKESHIRE CHAPELS (mentioned in text; accompanying photograph except where indicated by #)
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by Jan Morris and Paul Wakefield. ISBN 0-948149-61-2.
I am not saying it is a complete picture or an unbiased one (what picture is ?) but it is a very good read.
The 'blurb' on the back cover reads :-
' Wales: The First Place is a personal celebration of a fiercely individual and ancient land, brilliantly described by Jan Morris, illustrated with Paul Wakefield's magnificent photographs, and enriched with a selection of Welsh poetry.
Geologically, Wales is one of the oldest parts of the world, and such is its nature and its history that it sometimes seems like the first place God created.
It's people have an unshakeable pride in their heritage. It was from the Celtic legends of Wales that the figure of King Arthur emerged as a symbol of a vanished golden age, and this instinctive yearning for something old and magical and irrevocably lost has inspired the Welsh people ever since. This same yearning is embodied in the very landscape of Wales, one of the most haunting in Europe, whose bare rocky highlands and brooding moors have inspired poets and storytellers since the beginning of history.
' Few books evoke the sentiment and the moods of a whole country, but this one does .....the ancient land of Wales springs forth from its pages. - In Britain
' How do you begin to describe Welshness to someone and make them appreciate the atmosphere that exists in a Principality as varied as Wales ? A difficult task indeed but one which well-known author Jan Morris and photographer Paul Wakefield have achieved superbly in Wales: The first Place.' - South Wales Evening Post
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By A. H. John, University of Wales Press Cardiff, 1950
Adapted from the dust jacket;
"....This book is an analysis of the first phase of the development of the metallurical industries and coal mining which ended soon after the middle of the 19th century...."
1 The Old Order : South Wales 1700-1750
2 The Financing of Industry
3 The Development of a Labour Force
4 Markets of the Coalfield
5 The Technique of Production
6 The Industrial Process - A Summary. Just that.
I would regard this as a reasonably definitive text. Many of the books I have read refer to this book.
It is complemented by the T.S. Ashton book Iron and Steel in the Industrial Revolution, which although of great value is of a more general nature re some of the Welsh districts. Its 1st publication date is 1924, my copy is the 1963 3rd Ed. and published by Manchester University Press. This is a really informative book.
By E. D. Lewis, Phoenix, 1959
If ever a book needed a re-issue it is this. It is an indispensable source book and a joy to read. For some material such as the Insole day books, along with Lewis' article in the Glamorgan Historian Vol 11[eleven] on Pioneers of the Cardiff Coal Trade, it is now a primary source of information, 'there being no modern holder of any form of Insole family archive' .
E. D. Lewis was the son of a Rhondda Miner and this book is an enlarged and revised version of the essay he wrote for his Masters Degree at the University of Wales. He discusses the swift industrial development of the Rhondda, its major social changes and the steps taken by the mining communities to improve conditions in work, education, and spiritual needs. He also covers the rise in Friendly Societies. It includes a chapter on Population, immigration and the Welsh Language, a socially significant aspect of the industrial growth of South Wales.
In an interesting chapter he discusses the development of Labour relations from the Employment Commission report of 1842 to 1914. This includes a section on the S. W. Miners Federation 1898-1914.
In his final chapter 1914 to the present day (1959) he has not attempted to look at the social or economic detail of this period since it not only deserves a separate study but would involve many further chapters.
The now industrially silent valleys are greener and the Rhondda Rivers run clear but it is sad that the Rhondda motto "Hwy Clod na Golud "(Fame Outlasts Wealth) could not in some degree be reversed so that the plundered wealth of the Rhondda could not be in some way returned.
I. The Physical Background
II. The Old Order: Rhondda at the Beginning of the Nineteenth Century
III. Bituminous Coal working in the Lower Rhondda, 1809-55.
IV. Steam Coal Working in the Rhondda Fawr, 1850-1914
V. Steam Coal Working in the Rhondda Fach, 1857-1914
VII. Markets for Rhondda Coal
VIII. Subsidiary Industries to 1914
IX. Labour Relations to 1914
X. The New Order: The Life of the People, to 1860
XI. The New Order: The Life of the People, 1860 to 1914.
XII. Population, Immigration, The Welsh Language
XIII. The Industrial Pattern of the Rhondda Valleys, 1914 to Present Day (1959)
Appendix A. The Meaning of the Place Name Rhondda
Appendix B The Toll of the Mines: List of Colliery Explosions in the Rhondda Valleys, to 1914.
Appendix C Rules and Regulations at the Cymmer Colliery Levels, 1849
Appendix D Civic Leaders and Chief Officials of the Rhondda Urban District Council and of the Borough of Rhondda.
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1. The Carmarthen Antiquary. VOLUME 2 , PARTS 1 & 2 , 1945 & 1946
The Transactions of the Carmarthenshire Antiquarian Society and Field Club
(Trafodion Cymdeithas Efrydu Hynafiaeth a Natur yn Sir Gaerfyrddin)
TWO BRONZE AGE IMPLEMENTS FROM THE TOWY VALLEY 5
A CARMARTHENSHIRE HUGUENOT FAMILY 10
Y METHODISTIAID A CHAPELI ANWES YN SIR GAERFYRDDIN 25
SOME LLANDEBIE DOCUMENTS 30
NOTES AND NEWS 40
BOOK REVIEWS 49
LIST OF MEMBERS 51
Edited by E. VERNON JONES
VOLUME XI , 1974. Cover price 30p.
Published by: Carmarthen Community Council (V. G. Lodwick & Sons Ltd., Carmarthen)
Being the Journal of its Local History Committee, Dark Gate Chambers, Red Street, Carmarthen
JOURNAL OF A YOUNG LADY OF FASHION 3
The Journal 1865 16 - 24
The Journal 1866 24 - 54
The London Season
Back in Wales
HOW GANYMEDE CAME TO CARMARTHEN 55
AN ERUDITE 'SQUARSON' 63
By D.L. Baker-Jones, J.P., M.A. 63 - 67
A POET UNEARTHED 68
AGITATOR AND CHAMPION 71
CARMARTHENSHIRE HISTORIANS 6 75
A HOUSE THAT BORROW ADMIRED 77
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 79
BEFORE IT'S FORGOTTEN 82 - 83
TRIBUTE TO AN HISTORIAN 84
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