Category Archives: Wales

More historic Welsh newspapers now online

More excellent news for those of us researching our Welsh ancestors. An additional 27 Welsh newspapers have been made available online thanks to the National Library of Wales (NLW):

“There is great excitement as we release 27 publications titles (200,000 pages) from the Library’s rich collection of Welsh Newspapers Online.

“Take a trip back in time from the comfort of your home or office and discover millions of freely available articles published before 1919.

“The resource now allows you to search and read over 630,000 pages from almost 100 newspaper publications from the National Library’s collection, and this will grow to over one million pages as more publications are added during 2014.

“Among the latest titles are Y Negesydd, Caernarvon and Denbigh Herald, Glamorgan Gazette, Carmarthen Journal, Welshman, and Rhondda Leader, not forgetting Y Drych, the weekly newspaper for the Welsh diaspora in America.

“The resource also includes some publications that were digitised for The Welsh Experience of World War One project.

“Browse the resource and discover unique information on a variety of subjects, including family history, local history and much more that was once difficult to find unless the researcher was able to browse through years of heavy volumes.”

You can find a list of all the newspapers, indicating those newly online, at the NLW website.

Local newspapers – The Cambrian

The Cambrian was the first English-language newspaper to be published in Wales, running from 1804 – 1930.  A couple of years ago I heard that it had been digitised and indexed which was great news for family historians with Welsh ancestors.

The following extracts relate to Admiral Thomas Mansel (1783-1869):
The Cambrian (Catalogue Index T30)
09 July 1814
With pleasure we state that … Thomas Mansel, Esq. son of the late Sir W. Mansel, Bart. of Iscoed, have been promoted to the rank of Master and Commander.

The Cambrian (Catalogue Index K62)
19 April 1834
Capt. Thos. MANSEL., R.N. – On Thursday, the 27th ult., the officers and crew of the Folkestone District, presented to our brave countryman, Capt. T. Mansel (son of the late Sir William Mansel, of Iscoed, Carmarthenshire), upon his retiring from the command of that district, with a salver, coffee-pot, sugar and milk ewer, of the most costly description, as a token of their high respect and sincere regard for his urbane, gentlemanly, and kind attention to his brother officers during the arduous service of the last three years in that district. On the coffee-pot was engraved the following inscription:- “To Captain Mansel,R.N., on promotion. Presented by the Officers of the Folkestone District, in testimony of their respect and esteem. 1834.” Inscription on the salver:- “To Captain Mansel, R.N., on retiring from the command of the Folkestone District. Presented by the respective Crews as a testimony of their grateful respect for his solicitude in promoting their interest and welfare. 1834.” – Capt. Mansel returned thanks in a feeling address, – The Devon Telegraph, from which the above notice is extracted, says – “We understand it is intended to give the gallant Captain a public dinner in the Town-hall at Folkstone, in which many of the neighbouring gentleman have expressed a wish to join.”

The Cambrian (Catalogue Index C20)
09 April 1869
Death of Admiral Mansel. – the death of Admiral Thomas Mansel took place on the 1st inst., at Fareham, in the 86th year of his age. The deceased admiral, who was the last surviving son of the late Sir William Mansel, of Iscoed, Bart., entered the navy in 1798, and as midshipman served in the Elephant, under Lord Nelson, at the battle of Copenhagen, in April, 1801. He afterwards proceeded to the West Indies, and took part in the operations against the French, at St Domingo, in 1803. As lieutenant of the Racoon he was wounded at the recapture of a merchant vessel off Cuba. He commanded the armed ship Trowbridge, and was present at the taking of the Isle of France in 1810. His last appointment was in April, 1831, to the coastguard, in which service he continued until he was promoted to captain in February 1834. His commissions bore date as follows: Lieutenant, 16th September, 1804; commander, 15th June, 1814; captain, 12th February,1834; retired rear-admiral, 21st October, 1856; vice-admiral,27th April, 1863; and admiral, 18th October, 1867.

The Cambrian (Catalogue Index C10)
09 April 1869
On the 1st inst., At Fareham, Admiral Thomas Mansel, the last surviving son of the late Sir William Mansel, Iscoed, Bart., in the 86th year of his age.

A trip to Bridgend

In 2009 we visited Wales and spent a day in Bridgend. I was hoping to discover more about my great-uncle Alfred Mansel Young who died in the First World War.

From my limited information I knew he was at 9 Graig, Newcastle Hill and his occupation was an Assistant at the Bottling Stores, Brewery at the time of the 1911 census. The Graig still exists so off we went. Unfortunately only one side of the street survives, and of course it was the wrong side!

The Graig, Newcastle Hill

The Graig, Newcastle Hill, Bridgend

However, the street was quite pretty and I presume the houses on the other side were of a similar size and age.

We then visited the local history centre to look at local newspapers. Despite reading issues from throughout the war we couldn’t find any record of my great-uncle’s death during the First World War, this was quite surprising as he has joined a local regiment and also very disappointing.

War memorial, Bridgend

War memorial, Bridgend

Our final trip of the day was to view the War Memorial in the centre of Bridgend to see his name inscribed on it. I noticed that there was also a J Underhill and R.A. Underhill listed on the  War Memorial. I wonder if these were relations of his as the family he was living with shared this surname?

A trip to Cardiff

A trip to Cardiff in 2009

Silver Street cardiff1891 Census 6 Silver Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff was the home of  Charles and Grace Homeyer. 6 Silver Street, Adamsdown, Cardiff photographed in 2009.

Treharris Street CardiffAround 1897 they moved to 23 Treharris Street, Roath, Cardiff where they were at the time of the 1901 and 1911 census with their children Blanche and Charles. 23 Treharris Street, Roath, Cardiff photographed in 2009.

Alfred Mansel Young revisited

One of my favourite and most enigmatic characters in my family history is Alfred Mansel Young. I’ve previously posted about him, but just the bare facts. He’s my brick wall.

Why was he an enigma?

Because he left his family in Portsmouth and went to live in South Wales with a branch of his family.

A couple of years ago we went to South Wales for a long weekend and managed to go and visit some of the addresses my relatives had lived. I’m not sure why but I really like doing this and I think it adds another dimension to your knowledge, getting a feel for the places they lived in and the streets they must have walked.

I wonder why he left his family and moved away? His life was so short yet he had moved from Portsmouth to Bridgend and then enlisted and been killed, all by the time he was 21.

He enlisted with the South Wales Borderers in Bridgend and his name is on the Bridgend War Memorial so he must have been living their permanently. Perhaps there were no jobs for him in Portsmouth, he’d fallen out with his family or was sent away after his mother died when he was young?

When we were in Bridgend I checked all the local papers at the local Record Office for mentions of his death but I couldn’t find any.

We visited the street mentioned in the 1911 census but only half of the street survived, the wrong half, of course!

After his death his medals must have been sent to his father as they were eventually passed down to me along with a couple of his army photographs, his cap badge and a name badge.

His First World War Army records were destroyed so this is the only information I have about him. I suppose a lot of people must have people like this in their family whose lives were cut short by war. I just find it so frustrating that I can’t find any information about him.


Young, Alfred Mansel (1895-1916)

1895 born Southsea

1901 Census living at 2 Woodland Cott, Woodland St, Portsmouth
age 5, born Southsea, Hants
1911 census, occupation: Assistant Bottling Stores, Brewery                                                   living 9 Graig, Newcastle Hill, Bridgend

Enlisted in Bridgend, Glamorganshire in late 1914
No. 14165
Served with the 5th Battalion of the South Wales Borderers (local regiment to the Bridgend area).
Killed in Action, France and Flanders (the official battlefield designation) 24 July 1916
Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, France

Not mentioned in the War Diary or the Regimental History

Name is in the Book of Honour at Llandaff Cathedral, Wales.

Name is on the Bridgend War Memorial

Soldiers Effects Records:
No Probate Record