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#AtoZChallenge W is for Wales

April 26, 2018

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual challenge put out to bloggers to publish a post from A-Z every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. The theme I have chosen for 2018 is The Story Of Me

Flag of Wales

W is for Wales. My  ancestry on my father’s maternal side is Welsh.   My great great grandparents John Taylor and Martha Lloyd were both born in the city of Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales.  The Welsh translation of Haverfordwest is hwlffordd

On 25 August 1839, John and Martha were married in the parish of St. Thomas, Haverfordwest. John was 23 at the time of his marriage and Martha was 24. At the time of marriage, John  was employed by Sealyhams Estate, in the nearby parish of St. Dogwells. Martha was employed as a servant at Hermon’s Hill, a very large house in the parish of St. Thomas. Almost two years after their marriage, in June 1841, the couple with their two small children emigrated to Australia, and went on to have 10 more children. My great grandfather is William, their third son, and first child born in Australia.

Haverfordwest is a very modern city today.  But it is still known as a market town, and has been for centuries.  About 15 years ago my daughter and I rode our bikes around Wales for a week. Being very hilly and with unseasonably heavy rain fall, it was a difficult ride at times. But it was very beautiful. I loved riding along the country lanes and past the farmers milking their cows in old dairies that were almost on the road. It was seemed to me to be very much like stepping back in time.

We rode into Haverfordwest in rain that was probably the heaviest I have ever seen. I remember being freezing cold and drenched to the skin. We stayed at a very old pub, and I remember us hanging our clothes in front of the heaters hoping they would dry for the next day. I have never forgotten dinner at the pub that night. I’m not sure if that is because it was so good or because I was so hungry. My meal was haddock, a fish that I’d never eaten. When I think of Wales, I think of that meal.

The Welsh male choir were rehearsing that night. I could have listened to them for hours. Also, I couldn’t help noticing that most of the members of the choir had a very similar look to my father which I thought was a nice reminder of his heritage.

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As I’ve been researching my family history over the years, I often see old newspaper articles featuring Haverfordwest. As a dog lover, the article below particularly took my attention.

from: The World’s News, Sydney, NSW, Saturday 22 September, 1906, page 17
A Population of Dogs

SIX THOUSAND LICENSES HELD IN HAVERFORDWEST
Probably the doggiest town in Great Britain is Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. It is an old world town and is absolutely dependent upon agriculture and the breeding of dogs for it’s income. There are many men in the town who live wholly, and make a good living, by breeding, buying and selling dogs.
Although the population is only 6000.  Yet 6000 dog licenses are issued annually, and there are also a large number of exemptions. Almost daily there are more dogs than people in the public streets, though valuable animals are never allowed to run loose.
Tramps and itinerant hawkers do not find Haverfordwest attractive, and unknown postmen often complain of torn clothes and bites, and occasionally letters are delivered in a very erratic fashion.
Rural postmen invariably carry stout cudgels, cyclists and motorists must slow down or risk broken necks, and compensation claims which would spell bankruptcy are continual.
Dustmen bind brushes always necessary, for overturned and scattered dustbins and dog fights in the public streets are common occurrences.
Haverfordwest dog breeders are known for their working terriers, show terriers, pointers, setters and spaniels, which are bred, reared, and traded daily for big sums through the fanciers’ journals, and go everywhere.

One fancier’s kennel sold recently by auction, realised £200 but £250 is not an extravagant price for a single doge, while £60, £70 and £80 are almost common. The quaint old town, with it’s mixed Welsh, English and Flemish population, is almost the hub of the dogs’ universe.

So it’s obvious that they love their dogs in Haverfordwest. As I have Welsh DNA, could this be where my love of dogs comes from? I would very much like to think so.

Please visit again to see my story unfold. 

Jennifer

 

Please visit again to see my story unfold. 

Jennifer

*https://en.wikipedia.org
*marriage certificate WMXZ085869 25 August 1839, Parish of St. Thomas, Haverfordwest

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