Thursday, January 18, 2007

Blowing in to Pembroke

Uneventful drive along the M4 west of London towards and through Wales, stopping first in Swansea at the County office. There I visited the archives to research my ancestors from West Glamorgan. I was able to get some results quickly by cross-referencing indexed transcripts of parish registers from two parishes giving details of baptism, marriage and burial records.

I took photos of some of the material that I didn't have to time to assess on the spot (although it looks like I'll have to return on Monday to re-examing those pages that captured properly). I was a little surprised that the archives office was claiming that their facsimiles of 200 year old public domain material was copyrighted to them. I was reminded of this later in the day when I saw posters advertising "genuine reproduction Harry Potter wands".

I confirmed some dates of birth, baptism and marriage of some of my Glamorgan ancestors, and added the names of 5 possible siblings of the one who came to Australia.

Leaving Swansea, I stopped in at a retail park on its western boundary where a Borders/Starbucks offered some sale books and probably my last chance at palatable coffee for a week.

It was only another hour onto our guesthouse at Pembroke from there. After checking in we walked a short distance into town and around the perimeter of Pembroke Castle, birthplace of Henry VII.

Later that evening I called my cousin Alison to tee up a night for dinner. To my surprise, she and her husband James lived fairly close by - I had thought they lived in Haverfordwest, some 30 minutes or so the north. She invited us around, and so I got to meet my first non-Australian relative.

That evening a gale started rising from off the Atlantic.

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