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Glamorgan Family History Society
Cymdeithas Hanes Teuluol Morgannwg
September Newsletter Cylchlythyr Mis Medi

Glamorgan Family History Society Newsletters are sent out monthly to all members who have registered their email.  If you do not wish to receive these Newsletters or are no longer a member you can 'Unsubscribe' by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.  
Neath Abbey & Tennant Canal                           
Dear Member
Welcome to our September Newsletter!  

A couple of our branches have now recommenced face to face meetings but with Covid-19 regulations still in place as regards social distancing etc the ability to hold meetings does depend on the size of the venue and whether it is possible to safely accommodate attendees.   

Both Aberdare and Merthyr Branch have resumed face to face meetings - contact the Branch for details
Aberdare Branch:,
Merthyr Branch:,uk.

Swansea Branch are one branch unable currently to return to their venue and so they have now commenced online meetings via Zoom.  The next meeting will be their AGM on Monday 11 October plus speaker - see further information below.

If you have not attended one of our online events before - we have provided instructions below on using Eventbrite and Zoom.  

We are aiming to continue using Zoom for meetings even after our Branches and the Resource Centre reopen as so many members have found this a great way of interacting with others with the same interests but to do so we need some additional volunteers to come forward to help organise the online events.  A meeting to discuss this will be held tomorrow - see link below.  

Our AGM will again be held online on Saturday 19 February 2022.


Sue Hamer
Vice Chairman 
on behalf of Executive Committee
Volunteers - Online Events Team
Register on Eventbrite

Thursday 23 September at 7 pm 
A Zoom meeting is being held for anyone wishing to join our online events team.  Once face to face meetings restart we would like to continue to offer online events for our members but this will need a new team of volunteers to be set up to organise these.  
Saturday 25 September 10-16.30

Glamorgan Family History Show volunteers will be online at the Family History Show 'Online' on Saturday ready to answer queries either via a 'Live' Chat or queries can be posted in writing before and during the event.  

Talks at the show are available to view for 72 hours both during and after the show.  There is also a panel of experts who will answer queries but you need to send in your query beforehand.

As Glamorgan Family History Society members you can purchase a ticket for this event at a 40% discount by using the code below:

There are usually other offers at the show such as free books and reduced subscriptions to The Genealogist website.  
Online Events: October - Dec
Book via Eventbrite - spaces limited 

Tuesday  5th October - Cardiff & Vale Branch AGM &  Talk: Diane Brook – Who would be King (or Queen)?

Monday 11 October - Swansea Branch AGM & Talk: Jeff Coleman - Thinking Outside the Box

Saturday 16th  October - Census Substitutes - Nick Davey  TBC

Thursday 21st October – Jeff Coleman – Coffee and chat: researching in Swansea
Tuesday 2nd - Rhian Diggins – Glamorgan’s Blood: Unearthing the records of the south Wales coalfield
Monday 8th November - Swansea Branch Meeting Online - Sue Hamer - Well I didn't know that - Unexpected stories from Newspapers

Thursday 18th – Coffee & chat: researching in Aberdare
Saturday 20th – Nick Davey – My ancestor was a WWII pilot 
Saturday 11th - Sue Mackay – Researching South African Genealogy

Register on Eventbrite to receive notification as soon as new events are added.  

Understanding the lives of your ancestors and where traces might be left behind in a wide range of documents.

Tracing elusive ancestors can be an interesting challenge. Just where do you go for information when the usually records provide no information or even any leads? Sometimes after years of searching there can be a ‘lucky find’ and a newly released record that answers your question. However, although developing a research strategy can prove invaluable as hone your search in searching for your missing person, don’t be afraid to follow hunches or ask for help.

This session will cover…

• Some alternative approaches if conventional searches don’t give results

• How to use FreeBMD and GRO sources together

• Using multiple sources together including old newspapers

• Email-based mutual help

Our speaker

Jeff Coleman was born and brought up in Cardiff and moved to Swansea 45 years ago. He has been researching his family history since the 1980s and helping with other people’s family history for over 15 years. Jeff has been a member of the Glamorgan Family History Society for nearly 30 years. He has worked on the ‘Cambrian Index’ at Swansea Central Library and with FreeBMD.

The Swansea Branch AGM will commence at 7 pm followed by Jeff's talk at approx 7.30 pm.

Register for the Event on Eventbrite - Swansea Branch AGM & Talk - Monday 11 October at 7  pm

Researching in Aberdare?
Online Event:  Register on Eventbrite
Thursday 18 November at 7 pm - Researching in Aberdare
  Our Thursday evening Coffee and Chat sessions are all about members sharing their research knowledge and experience.  As we did during the session on 'Writing Your Family History' if there are any members who can share their experiences or knowledge of researching the Aberdare and surrounding area by doing a short presentation please let us know.  Otherwise we look forward to seeing you to chat about 'Researching in Aberdare'.  Contact:  

The Family History Show (Online) - Saturday 25 September, 10.00-16.30   
We shall have an online stand at this event - come along and have a chat.   

Register of Qualified Genealogists - Saturday 25 September
Free Online Conference

Friday 12 & Saturday 13 November  - Really Useful Show - following their first successful online show in November the Family History Federation are now planning a second and third virtual event.   Talks are recorded and made available for a short period after the show.   

Links to other 2021 Events are available on the GENEVA section of the Genuki website.  GENEVA events listing.
Attending Online Meetings 
1.  Free Tickets for our Online Meetings are made available via the Eventbrite Website. 
2.  Links to each individual event are provided on our website - AND
3.  In our monthly Newsletters.
4.  Click on the link on the website/newsletter to go to the event on Eventbrite.  
5.  On the Event Page click on the green 'Register' button and follow the instructions to book a free ticket.  
6.  You will be emailed a registration confirmation.
7.  A few days before the event you will be emailed a 'reminder email' about the event.
8.  A day or so before the event you will be emailed a Zoom link. 

You cannot access the event without this Zoom link so keep a look out for an email from Eventbrite in your inbox and spam folder.   

It is a good idea to check you have received the Zoom link a few hours before the meeting as the meeting administrators are not usually able to check their emails once preparation for the event commences ie within 20-30 minutes before the event start time.    

Using Zoom to join the Online Meeting
 1.  Download the Zoom program/App:  It is a good idea to download the Zoom program beforehand from the Zoom website.
2.  Alternatively you will receive instructions when you click on the Zoom link in your email (however this takes time if you do this just as the meeting is about to start) 

3.  Click on the Zoom LInk in your Eventbrite email: If you have already downloaded the Zoom program - Click on the Zoom link in the Eventbrite email.
4.  Check your camera and microphone: You will be asked to check your microphone and camera are working.
5.  Waiting Room: You will be placed in a Waiting Room until the Administrators are ready to start the event.  Some events have a large number of attendees so it may take a while to let everyone in.  

6.  Turning off microphones/cameras:  We will ask you to mute your microphones once you have joined the meeting.  Also turning off your camera once the event starts can save bandwidth and help if you have an intermittent internet signal or are using Wifi.  

We hope to see you at our Online Meetings - Enjoy! 

If you have any useful tips and/or resources to share with other members - let us know and we will include in the next Newsletter and/or quarterly journal.
For those with London Ancestors
St Georges Hospital Archives - University of London is worth a look if anyone has ancestors who died in London - especially if the death was registered in St George Hanover Square RD … there’s a overview of the project and records from Clare O’Grady here: - scans of original documents are included on the website, some have quite detailed medical info, physical descriptions, etc.
Jenni  Phillips
Were they illiterate?  Make your mark x
Marriage Certificates

At our last online session on Researching in Merthyr Tydfil Carolyn Jacob mentioned how a local Registrar had noticed over the years that many marriage certificates appeared to have been filled in with a space for bride and groom and witnesses to add their mark and the comment was made that it looks as though they were asked to 'make their mark' even if they could in fact have signed the certificate (perhaps to save time as the details would have been filled in beforehand).

An example of this is the original Llantwit Fadre marriage registers (now available on Find My Past and Ancestry).   When the person officiating is Parish Curate, H James THOMAS for all but a very few marriages from 1838 onwards both bride and groom and witnesses have all 'made their mark' X.  There are very few signatures.  It would appear at first glance that the majority could not sign their names  (apart from a few such as a Surgeon etc) but a closer look reveals how the marriage certificates are all set out in the same way with a space for a 'mark' (cross) to be made.  

However for the occasional marriages where there is a different person 'Officiating' then the majority sign the marriage certificate.  

Now we have access to some of the original marriage registers it is is worth checking whether your ancestor was asked to 'make their mark' or whether they did have an option to sign the certificate by looking at a range of certificates and the practice of the officiating ministers/curates etc.
US Newspapers
Now that Find My Past no longer includes US newspapers, our members could try the free site, It is a little clumsy to use and entries are machine-read so not always accurate. On the other hand, there is always a link to a scanned image of the page with search terms highlighted. Each entry has ‘Direct Link’, ‘Highlighted’ and ‘Text’. The Direct Link and Text buttons do not work. Search options include text terms which can include names, selected state, and date ranges. You can list all the papers and search by specific newspaper. Coverage is best for New York State but there are plenty of others.
Diane Brook
More Publications are now available as downloads via Genfair:
Bridgend Area Cemeteries
Cardiff Catholics 
Dowlais, Ivor English Congregational
Ferndale Cemetery Burial Records
Glamorgan Baptisms Master Index (pre 1837)
Glamorgan Burials 1838+
Glamorgan Marriage Index (pre 1837)   

.................and as mentioned in our recent Online Event -
'Researching in Merthyr Tydfil' 

Merthyr Obituaries 1900-1909   CD Downloads
Watch a recent videocast on Facebook about the free newspapers available.  
Free Newspapers online
Reopening Dates - Booking Required

Check relevant organisations' websites for up to date information about opening hours, COVID-19 procedures in place, access to documents, how to book, readers tickets etc.  

National Library of Wales

National Archives (Kew) 

Glamorgan Archives 

West Glamorgan Archives
Register for tickets for up and coming events on Eventbrite

Our online events are open to ALL current members near and far
and are an opportunity for members not local to South Wales to take part Society events. 
If you have any thoughts on further events or are able to help
or provide a talk or research guidance etc please let us know.

Dont forget to check out the free members resources on our website:  
Master Indexes: 
Baptisms, Marriages, Burials and Memorial Inscriptions
Exchange Journals
Final Resting Places

The most convenient way for us to receive your membership subscription is via the Website.  You can pay via Pay Pal, debit or credit card but you do not need to have a Pay Pal Account to do so. 

We now offer membership to commence four times a year in 1 January, 1 April, 1 July and 1 October with the first paper journal being received the quarter after joining in March, June, September and December.  Past journals are available on the website in our Journal Archive.   

Membership and access to the website is automatic if you pay via the website.  If you pay or renew by any other method eg Genfair, Standing Order or cheque then administration may take up to a week for the transaction to be processed and the website updated especially at busy times of the year.  So where possible please pay via the website as it cuts down our admin considerably.

We still have a few members that have not updated their Standing Order to the current membership rates.  These members will only receive the number of paper journals for the amount that they have paid and their access to the website will also cease at that date.  . 

The date that membership expires is shown on the envelope of each quarterly journal and also when logging in to the website.   If you have let us know your email address you will also be sent an automatic reminder just before and after your membership expires. 
 For more information contact the Membership Team:
Gift Aid

UK members can now Gift Aid their subscription when paying online.  Please put a tick in the box on the form when completing your details to confirm that you are a UK tax payer and accept the conditions shown.

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