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-Tracing the family tree
-is an obsession for Welsh people.
-We like to ask where do you come
-from and to whom are you related.
-In the National Library
-..the Perthyn team is investigating
-some of your stories.
-They've found some colourful
-characters. Welcome to Perthyn.
-A few months ago, we invited you
-to send us your family stories.
-They've been flooding in
-from all over Wales.
-The National Library of Wales
-is home to a team of experts...
-..who've been investigating
-One of the stories
-that caught their attention...
-..takes us to Borth-y-Gest
-to meet Haf Madoc Wilson...
-..who wants our help to find out
-more about her grandfather's family.
-Tracing your family tree
-is a recent obsession for you.
-What prompted you to start?
-I was giving a lift home
-..who'd been tracing
-her family tree...
-..and though I'm ashamed to say it,
-I thought, oh, no, not another one!
-She told me her great-grandfather
-lived in the Liverpool Arms...
-..in Menai Bridge, which is where
-my grandfather was raised.
-I said to her,
-"Don't tell me any more.
-"Let me go home
-and check my facts first."
-But I could find nothing about him.
-Was your search proving difficult?
-was my great-grandfather.
-There are a number of those
-in this area...
-..when you consider the hundreds
-of quarrymen who lived here.
-Williams is a popular surname
-and William Williams even more so.
-Are there specific questions
-you'd like to ask...
-..and facts you'd like to find out?
-I've heard that my family
-on my grandfather's side...
-..ran a quarry above Llanllechid
-called Bryn Hafod-y-Wern.
-They say that Lord Penrhyn
-made such a misery of their lives...
-..that they gave it up.
-I'd like to know if that's true.
-I'd also like to know
-a little about them...
-..their way of life
-and if they're still in the area.
-Haf returns to Church Island
-in the Menai Strait...
-..to visit a family grave.
-When I started tracing
-the family's history...
-..I was both shocked and ashamed
-to discover how little I knew.
-The only thing I knew
-about my grandfather...
-..was that he was raised
-in the Liverpool Arms...
-..and his parents were buried
-on Church Island near Menai Bridge.
-My grandfather always wore a sprig
-of southernwood in his buttonhole.
-As a little girl, I'd ask him,
-"Why are you wearing that?"
-He'd say, "All quarrymen wear them."
-He also had three spots
-like a tattoo on his hand.
-I asked him the same question again,
-He wasn't the type to have a tattoo.
-But he told me
-that all quarrymen had them.
-As a little girl,
-I didn't ask any more about it.
-Here on Church Island is where
-my great-grandparents are buried.
-..ran the Liverpool Arms
-just around the corner.
-As you can see...
-..it's a very peaceful place
-and I'm fond of coming here.
-Before running the Liverpool Arms,
-he had many jobs in Menai Bridge...
-..before dying of TB
-at the age of 34 years.
-He left three sons,
-one of whom was Haf's grandfather.
-I knew my grandfather,
-..was brought up in
-the Liverpool Arms in Menai Bridge.
-He was raised by his mother
-and his stepfather.
-After his mother died,
-his stepfather remarried.
-But my grandfather
-..that he'd had
-a happy upbringing.
-It was my grandfather's story that
-inspired me to begin this journey...
-..but there are complexities
-and gaps in the family tree.
-I've reached a point
-where I can't go any further.
-One of the mysteries
-is how William Williams...
-..came to be a publican
-in Menai Bridge.
-And what truth
-is in the family tale...
-..that Haf's family ran Bryn
-Hafod-y-Wern Quarry near Bethesda?
-She hopes to fill in the gaps
-at the National Library.
-Perthyn has found a link between her
-family and Bryn Hafod-y-Wern Farm...
-..a stone's throw from the quarry.
-What else has come to light?
-We know you've already started
-researching your family history...
-..but can't go back further
-than your great-grandfather.
-But by checking parish records...
-..we've found that the first
-of your relatives...
-..to live at Bryn Hafod-y-Wern
-was William Philip...
-..a miller from Llanbeblig.
-In 1761, he married
-Mary Pritchard from Llanllechid.
-They moved in to Bryn Hafod-y-Wern.
-That's going back many years.
-So you didn't know that.
-So you didn't know that.
-No, I knew nothing about that.
-Perthyn has managed to trace
-Haf's family tree back 300 years...
-..and six generations
-to Bryn Hafod-y-Wern Farm...
-..where William Philip
-and Mary Pritchard farmed.
-poor families such as yours...
-..wouldn't have left
-any documentation behind.
-But we've found one document...
-..from the Court of Great Sessions
-The high court dealt
-with the most serious crimes.
-The document records that two girls
-- Jane Owen and Catherine Jones...
-..were caught stealing clothes...
-..and selling them to Mary Pritchard
-of Bryn Hafod-y-Wern.
-This document records the testimony
-of Jane Owen...
-..which shows that they stole...
-..three shirts, four cravats...
-..three pairs of stockings...
-..one large handkerchief
-and one small one.
-It goes on to say
-that Mary Pritchard...
-..had encouraged them
-to steal the goods...
-..and had pledged
-to buy them from them.
-She supplied the bullets
-and the others fired them.
-That's what this evidence suggests.
-I'm sure I'll be ribbed about that.
-During the 18th century,
-thieves were severely punished.
-Theft was as serious a crime
-With prisons overflowing,
-from 1710 onwards...
-..the worst prisoners
-were exiled to America...
-..and later to Australia.
-What fate befell Mary Pritchard
-and the two girls back in 1773?
-the pair's testimony...
-..we know that one of them...
-..was exiled for seven years.
-What happened to Mary Pritchard?
-we have found another document...
-..which records Mary's verdict.
-She's referred to here as Mary,
-wife of William Philip.
-She was found not guilty.
-Thank goodness for that.
-After the death of William Philip...
-to Bryn Hafod-y-Wern Farm?
-We've found a lease which shows
-that following his death...
-..the farm was divided
-between two of the sons.
-didn't actually own the farm.
-..actually owned the farm
-and the family were tenant farmers.
-He does come into the story then.
-This is the first reference
-to link Bryn Hafod-y-Wern...
-..with Lord Penrhyn.
-Perthyn has proved that Haf's family
-farmed in the Llanllechid area...
-..more than two centuries ago...
-..and were tenants
-to Lord Penrhyn...
-..who, in time, would have a major
-influence on North Wales's quarries.
-to her ancestors' birthplace.
-It's hard to believe...
-..but I was a pupil at Llanllechid
-primary school many years ago.
-I always felt happy there.
-It's strange going back...
-..to the same area
-and having that same feeling.
-I felt as though I belonged here...
-..but couldn't prove the link
-until this research.
-This is the first mention
-of Lord Penrhyn in the story.
-He's closely associated
-with the Bethesda area.
-Up to now, farming is the only
-occupation that's been mentioned.
-But knowing the connection Lord
-Penrhyn had with the quarries...
-..I wonder if my family...
-..had a role
-to play in the quarrying industry.
-Perthyn has traced
-Haf Madoc Wilson's family tree...
-..back 250 years to
-Bryn Hafod-y-Wern Farm, Bethesda...
-..a stone's throw
-from Bryn Hafod-y-Wern quarry.
-She's been led to believe
-that her family ran it.
-They were tenants of Lord Penrhyn.
-Richard Pennant was the first
-in a long line of lords...
-North Wales forever.
-But as tenant farmers...
-..would Haf's family
-have run the quarry?
-Haf has come to Penrhyn Castle
-to meet historian, Dr Dafydd Gwyn.
-I understand that my family...
-..were tenants of Lord Penrhyn's
-estate in the 18th century.
-What sort of landlord was he?
-Well, he was a man of his times.
-the first Lord Penrhyn...
-..was certainly an industrious man.
-He constructed roads and railways
-and opened quarries.
-He built villages and homes
-for farmhands and quarrymen.
-He was a man of the new age.
-He was more of a capitalist
-than an old-fashioned landlord.
-tried to acquire leaseholds...
-..and extend estates
-across the valley...
-..to create one large estate.
-The estate was growing during your
-family's time at Bryn Hafod-y-Wern.
-..that a family such as yours
-would have run a quarry.
-Quarries were run by rich men.
-Bankers and lords
-such as Richard Pennant.
-were given the opportunity...
-..to become stewards or managers
-of a quarry and ordinary quarrymen.
-But they didn't run larger quarries.
-It's apparent that Haf's family
-didn't run the quarry.
-But is there any truth at all
-to the family story...
-..linking them to the quarries?
-The history of the North Wales slate
-quarries is very much a part of us.
-We're surrounded by them.
-They've scarred our landscape.
-Haf's family farmed this land
-during a period of change.
-The farming landscape changed
-into an industrial landscape.
-In the mid-18th century, a high
-proportion of slate was produced.
-A century later, the industry was
-at its peak, employing 15,000 men.
-The quarries of Penrhyn...
-were the largest in the world.
-Remnants of those days
-can still be seen.
-Hello, nice to meet you.
-Welcome to the museum.
-If Haf's family
-didn't run the quarry...
-..was there any evidence to suggest
-they were associated with it at all?
-At the slate museum in Llanberis,
-former quarryman, Peredur Hughes...
-..has found information
-about Haf's family.
-Could the mystery be solved?
-Evidence has come to light...
-..David Williams was a quarryman.
-It's more than likely that he worked
-at Bryn Hafod-y-Wern quarry.
-The evidence has come about...
-..through the censuses.
-..records that David is a quarryman.
-He's only 15 years old,
-at such a young age.
-There weren't many quarrymen
-working at Bryn Hafod-y-Wern.
-Probably, he came to work there...
-..because he lived so close
-to the quarry.
-That's where his career began.
-He would have learned how to split
-and chip the stone for roof tiles.
-What kind of life
-did the quarrymen lead?
-lived through hard times...
-..due to the working conditions
-They were out in all weathers.
-From what we know,
-they would have worn sacks...
-..around their shoulders
-to keep them dry.
-The sack would've been coated
-in goose fat or something similar...
-..to protect them from the rain,
-the wet conditions and the wind.
-The work of a quarryman
-such as David Williams...
-was dangerous and physical.
-They would hang for hours from ropes
-suspended over the rock face.
-Working conditions were severe.
-As well as being exposed
-to the slate dust...
-..using dangerous tools
-led to numerous accidents.
-Over time, there were many deaths.
-In 1821, Lord Penrhyn
-sent more than 20 men...
-..from his quarry in Bethesda...
-..to start work
-at Bryn Hafod-y-Wern quarry.
-But their time there
-The running of Bryn Hafod-y-Wern
-quarry was costly and problematic.
-Slate had to be extracted
-from deep within the seam.
-Lord Penrhyn gave up on it...
-..allowing the Bangor Slate Company
-to take it over in 1845.
-It's most likely
-that David Williams went there...
-..to work for this company.
-The Bryn Hafod-y-Wern quarry...
-..was in competition
-with Lord Penrhyn's quarries.
-The slate and all the waste
-had to be carried up the mountain...
-..because the land beneath
-the quarry belonged to Penrhyn.
-He did all he could
-to make it difficult for them.
-He cut off the water supply
-that was essential to the quarry.
-In the 1860s,
-Bryn Hafod-y-Wern quarry closed.
-Haf is visiting her ancestors' farm
-for the first time.
-From their home here
-above Penrhyn Castle...
-..they would have witnessed
-a period of great change...
-..as well as the dispute between the
-lords of Penrhyn and the quarrymen.
-Haf's family's connection
-with Bryn Hafod-y-Wern Farm...
-..goes back six generations to
-William Philip and Mary Pritchard.
-Their grandson, David Williams, was
-the first quarryman in the family.
-has more information about him.
-Here we have
-the birth certificate...
-..of David Williams's child,
-As you can see...
-..David is now a slate quarrier.
-three years later...
-..we have the death certificate...
-..of David Williams
-who died at the age of 37 years.
-Did he die in an accident?
-No, he died from an illness.
-Unfortunately, it was TB.
-Yes, very sad.
-Phthisis is the archaic term for TB.
-Working in the slate dust
-was damaging to the lungs.
-By the 1920s,
-more people died from TB...
-..in the quarrying villages
-of North Wales...
-..than anywhere else
-in southern Britain.
-It's interesting to think
-that the past was brought to life...
-..150 years ago.
-Our ancestors' way of life.
-It takes me back.
-What I want to know now is
-what happened to his wife, Grace...
-..and their children.
-Why did William Williams,
-..move to the Liverpool Arms
-in Menai Bridge?
-Will Perthyn have the answers
-for Haf back at the slate museum?
-What I have here
-is the census of 1861.
-It says Evan Hughes, Grace Williams.
-This is my great-great-grandmother.
-Therefore, it means
-that after losing her husband...
-..Grace, in an age
-where there was no welfare state...
-..had to go and live with her father
-and her brother and sister...
-..and her two young sons.
-Evan was three years old
-and David was a year old.
-But the other son, William,
-was only five years old...
-..yet there is no mention of him
-I wonder what happened to him.
-In this document,
-the census of 1861...
-..there's a record of William Hughes
-living in Castle Inn.
-Head, married, 30 years old.
-And Anne, wife, 29 years old.
-Then there's a William Williams,
-Five years old.
-It's obvious my great-grandfather...
-..went to live
-with his mother's brother.
-With no means
-of supporting her family...
-..Grace was dependent
-on her relatives.
-She sent her eldest son,
-William Williams, to her brother.
-Did William ever go back
-to his brothers and mother, Grace?
-This is the death certificate...
-..of Grace Williams.
-She was 28 years old.
-"Widow of David Williams,
-It's very sad.
-Following the death of both parents,
-the young boys were left orphaned.
-The boys were separated and the link
-with the quarries was severed.
-William was raised by his uncle...
-..before running his own tavern
-in Menai Bridge...
-..where Haf's grandfather
-was brought up.
-I could never understand how my
-great-grandfather came to run a pub.
-It was never mentioned...
-..because the family
-is rather narrow-minded...
-..particularly my grandfather.
-That explains the link with The
-Liverpool Arms and Menai Bridge...
-..because he'd been brought up
-in the business.
-I feel closer to them now.
-This research has helped me
-bring my ancestors to life.
-They're not just names to me
-I feel as if I know them...
-an important part of me.
-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.
Taith emosiynol Haf Madoc Wilson sy'n ceisio datrys y dirgelion am deulu ei thaid. Haf Madoc Wilson embarks on an emotional journey to discover more about her grandfather's family.