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Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales #52ancestors

July 20, 2020

Professional genealogist and podcaster Amy Johnson Crow has put out the challenge to genealogists and family historians, to write stories about 52 of their ancestors in 52 weeks. I am happily taking up the challenge, and look forward to writing stories, that will collate many years of research results. In most cases, the research for my ancestors is not complete, and possibly never will be complete, but I’m hoping to build a story of the lives they lived with the information I have to hand. I’m hoping to publish these stories in a book at the end of 2020. Each week a prompt will be given as the theme for the week.

Week 30: Old Country

I’ve posted many times about John TAYLOR and Martha LLOYD and their  family, but I’ve only posted minimal information about where they originated from, in Wales. I know they arrived in Australia in about 1841/42, but I’ve never been able to find immigration records for their arrival.

My great great grandfather, John TAYLOR’s parents, John TAYLOR and Mary DAVIES, were married at Slebech on 24 June, 1804. Their first four children, James, Anne, Anne and William were born at Slebech between 1804 and 1811. My great great grandfather John TAYLOR, was their fifth child, and was born at Old Oven in 1814. He was baptised at Uzmastonon 5 February, 1814.

John TAYLOR was the fifth child of John TAYLOR and Mary DAVIES. At the time of his birth, the family were living at Old Oven, just outside, Haverfordwest Pembrokeshire, Wales. John’s wife Mary died on 27 October, 1941. At the time of her death, she was living at Barn Street, Haverfordwest.

John TAYLOR snr, died in 1819, at age 35, when my great great grandfather was five years old. He was buried in the Slebech churchyard on 17 October 1819.

On 25 August, 1939, John TAYLOR, age 23, married Martha LLOYD, age 24, at the parish of St. Thomas, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales. At the time of their marriage John was living at Sealyham House in the parish of St. Dogwell’s where he was employed as a servant. Martha was living at Hermon’s Hill in the parish of St. Thomas, where she was employed as a servant also.

Sealyam House, where John worked is today known as being the breeding place of the rare welsh working dog, the Sealyham Terrier.

Hermon’s Hill House

Sealyham Mansion - - 436107.jpg

Sealyham House today.

After their marriage John and Martha lived at City Road, Haverfordwest, where their two sons James and John were born. In the months after June 1841, the family left Wales for Australia.


Arthur Young, and Irishman arriving in Pembrokeshire in 1776, described the county as being made up of small villages, with barely any trees.

“One third of the county is mountain; and that the other two thirds let from 10s. to 20s. an acre; average 15s. That a part of it consisted of a very fine red loam at 20s. excellent for every sort of crop: the other parts clay, or clayey, with a tract to the south of lime stone land. The course of crops most common:

  1. Plough up grassland for fallow and lime,
  2. Wheat,
  3. Pease or barley,
  4. Barley or oats,
  5. Oats,
  6. Leave it to grass and weeds for 5 or 7 years, but few sowing clover”.

On his travels around Pembrokeshire, Arthur Young found the people of Pembrokeshire to be very poor and farms so small, as not to be viable. Their diet generally consisted of bread, cheese, broth made of salt meat, when they could get it, and a large amount of fish.


Haverfordwest, in the County of Pembrokeshire,  is a market town, situated on the coast in the South of Wales. Today haverfordwest is the major city of the County of Pembrokeshire. It is a bustling market town, as it has been for many centuries. Haverfordwest Castle sits on a hill, overlooking the city, as if protecting it still, as it did in medieval times.

In 1887, John Bartholomew’s Gazetteer of the British Isles described Haverfordwest:

“Haverfordwest, parl. and mun. bor., river port, co. town of Pembrokeshire, and co. of itself, on river West Cleddaw, 10 miles NE. of Milford by rail and 275 NW. of London, 1430 ac., pop. 6398; P.O., T.O., 3 Banks. Market-day, Saturday. The Welsh name of the town is Hwlffordd. It was formerly walled and fortified, and has ruins of a priory erected or endowed in the 12th century. …..The Flemings settled here in 1105. Paper-making is the principal industry. Coal and agricultural produce are exported. The Haverford-west Boroughs (Haverfordwest, Fishguard, and Narberth), since 1885, form part of the Pembroke Boroughs, which return 1 member to Parliament”.

I loved the following quote from Arthur Young, the Irishman, about Haverford, now known as Haverfordwest
“The town of Haverford is on so steep a hill, that necks must sometimes be broken in passing it”.
Having been there when cycling around Wales a few years ago, I would have to agree.


Old Oven was a small farm,  of about 100 acres, which is now derelict. The land is now part of Uzmaston Farm and is not marked on todays maps. I was in contact with a researcher from Wales many years ago who when asked about Old Oven said, ” it was approached from the Uzmaston or New Road, turning left for Rhos and approximately 100yds from that turning through a gateway on the right. You would have then, and still now have to, cross two fields to the cottage. It is now a derelict piece of land.


Slebech is a small parish, about four miles from the centre of Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire Wales. Description of Slebech given in  1870-72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales  –
“SLEBECH, a parish and a sub-district in Narberth district, Pembroke. The parish lies on the East Cleddau river, 5 miles E by S of Haverfordwest r. station. Post town, Haverfordwest. Acres, 4,586; of which 230 are water. Real property, £2,785. Pop., 280. Houses, 55. The manor belonged to a local commandery of Knights Hospitallers; passed to the Barlows, the Symmonses, and the Phillipses;”


Uzmaston is a small parish, situated about two miles from Central Haverfordwest.
In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Uzmaston:

“Uzmaston, or Ismiston, a parish in Haverfordwest district, Pembroke; 1½ mile SE of Haverfordwest r. station. Post town, Haverfordwest. Acres, 2,070. Real property, £2,576. Pop., 610. Houses, 130. The property is divided among a few. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of St. Davids. Value, £100. Patrons, the Dean and Chapter of St. D.”

Uzmaston - Wikipedia

Uzmaston today.

St. Ismaels Church at Uzmaston

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Slebech in Pembrokeshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time. URL:
Date accessed: 04th July 2020
Arthur Young,
Tours in England and Wales, selected from the Annals of Agriculture (London: London School of Economics, 1932)
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time. URL:
Date accessed: 04th July 2020
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Uzmaston in Pembrokeshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time. URL:

Date accessed: 04th July 2020
Wales, Pembrokeshire, Parish Registers, 1538-1912.” Database.
FamilySearch. : 14 June 2016. From “Parish Records Collection 1538-2005.” Database and images. findmypast. : 2012. Citing Welsh Archive Series.
1841 Census: PRO Ref. No. St. Martins Parish, Folio 015 Page 023

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  1. Linda Stufflebean permalink

    You are so lucky to know where in Wales your family came. I have several Welsh ancestors, but they came to the American colonies in the 1600s and, while the hometown is known for a couple of them, no further records taking the lines back in time have been found.

  2. Old Oven – what a wonderful name! I wonder why your family emigrated? Possibly a growing population and small farms in the area. I think it’s a very brave thing to do.

  3. Climbing My Family Tree permalink

    Old Oven and Slebech and Uzmaston are unusual and distinctive place names…I’d never heard them before. TY for the virtual tour!

  4. Isn’t wonderful to seeing exactly where your ancestors came from. Great post!

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