Anyone who has had any success in researching their Welsh ancestry will know that a grasp of specialized Welsh genealogical methods and sources is only one of several factors that contributed to that success. They will know, for example, how important it is in Welsh research to have some understanding of the social, cultural, religious, and economic background of the communities in which those ancestors lived.
This book attempts to broaden that understanding, especially for the period prior to 1800 when most researchers begin to experience difficulties. In addition, it aims to make readers more aware of some little-known sources and the special uses that may be applied to the information found in these sources.
The book follows the format of the Rowlands’ highly successful Welsh Family History and is a compendium of contributions by experts in different fields. Both books have their origins in the residential courses in family history offered at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, since 1986, and, although there is some overlap in the time periods considered within the two books, there is virtually no duplication of content.
Apart from chapters dealing with aspects of community life, there are chapters relating to different occupations, surnames, old documents, maps, estate records, and family histories (the Vaughans of Trawsgoed, the Pugh family of Llanfair and Llanbedr, the Lloyds of Ty Newydd, Moris Reignald, Titus Jones, and “Baron” Lewis Owen). The book contains several case studies and is rounded off with examples of work done as part of the accreditation process on some more recent university courses. Other chapters cover Catholics in Wales, Urban Growth and Development, People in Mining and Metals, Bartrum’s Welsh Genealogies, Homes of Surnames, English Settlement in Montgomeryshire, and Religion and Society in 19th-century Wales.