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-Tracing the family tree
-is an obsession for Welsh people.
-We like to ask where are you from
-and to whom are you related?
-At the National Library
-..the Perthyn team is investigating
-some of your stories.
-They've found some colourful
-characters. Welcome to Perthyn.
-All families have interesting
-stories from their past.
-Stories about interesting ancestors,
-the occasional scandal...
-..and many mysteries.
-Here at the National Library...
-..our team of experts are intrigued
-by one story in particular.
-It's linked to one of the most
-famous names in Welsh history.
-This week's family
-is in for quite a surprise.
-But it was a different story...
-..that prompted Olive Corner
-from Porthcawl to seek our help.
-She wants to find out more
-about her grandparents...
-..whose origins are in the old
-county of Cardiganshire.
-What inspired you...
-..to begin researching
-your family tree, Olive?
-As a child, I'd been told
-that Mam was born in London.
-I'd ask her
-why she was born there...
-..and found out my grandparents
-lived there too and had businesses.
-I found out snippets
-over the years.
-I did nothing about it.
-Now that I'm older,
-it's become more important.
-I really want to know
-about Mam-gu and Tad-cu's history.
-Why they went to London,
-why they came back.
-I wanted to do something about it
-while my relatives were alive.
-So your grandparents on both sides
-were in London?
-Yes, Tad-cu and his two brothers
-farmed Darren Fawr near Pontsian.
-All three of them left
-to work in London.
-was from the Aberystwyth area...
-..from a farm near Comins-coch.
-She went with her sisters to London.
-Mam-gu and Tad-cu met through
-the Welsh society in London.
-What would you like to know and are
-there questions you'd like to ask?
-Fifteen of us cousins would like
-to know more about London.
-Mam didn't take enough interest
-at the time...
-..to be able to tell us
-about their history.
-It's as if one generation
-has been lost.
-didn't pay enough attention...
-..to their parents' history.
-has a genuine interest.
-Olive's grandfather, Evan Daniel,
-or Ianto Darren, was born in 1907...
-..the second of nine children
-of Evan Thomas Evans...
-..from Darren Fawr farm, Pontsian.
-With two sisters and two brothers,
-he went to London in the 1920s.
-This is where he met
-I'd like to know why they decided
-to go to London in the first place.
-I'd also like to find out more
-about the life they led in London.
-I used to watch Y Palmant Aur.
-That's how I imagined
-their lives in London.
-I'd watch the programme...
-..and think that's how
-Mam-gu and Tad-cu were.
-Olive is on her way to meet
-Beryl Evans from the Perthyn team.
-She has uncovered more information
-about the family in London.
-This is the Post Office's
-It lists businesses and residences.
-We've discovered that your family
-lived in the East End in 1932...
-..at 13 Calvert Avenue.
-You can see Evan Daniel Evans
-listed as a dairyman.
-..they had moved to 7 Nugent Terrace
-in St John's Wood.
-How long did they live there?
-They lived there
-for about four years.
-Later, in 1939,
-we can locate the family...
-..at 104 Gibraltar Walk.
-They went back to the East End
-It's nice that I have evidence...
-..of them living at these three
-addresses and they're listed.
-When I go to London...
-..at least I know
-where I'm going...
-..or where I'm trying to find.
-ran three dairies in London...
-..between 1932 and 1941.
-Olive wants to know more
-about their time there.
-Her mother was born in London,
-but was too young to remember much.
-She has never mentioned
-her parents' history.
-But an interesting document
-Mam has given me
-a copy of a diary...
-..that belonged to Auntie Glen,
-She was also in service in London
-with my grandparents...
-..until she started
-her own business.
-From reading it, I've discovered
-that Tad-cu's mother...
-..died at a young age,
-giving birth to her ninth child.
-There were other reasons...
-..why the children wanted to move
-to London and start businesses.
-"I lived at Darren Fawr farm.
-"I don't remember Mam.
-She died when I was three.
-"But my father was a hard worker.
-"I was one of nine children
-and he did well to look after us.
-"I remember my older brothers
-leaving Darren Fawr...
-"..and going to work at a dairy
-in Elephant and Castle.
-"Many Welsh people went to London
-to work in the dairy business."
-The Great Depression of 1929...
-..had a destructive effect
-on agriculture in Wales.
-Hundreds of people flocked
-to London from rural Wales...
-..to set up businesses.
-But dairies were already being
-established a century earlier.
-According to the 1851 census,
-over 15,000 of London's residents...
-..were born in Wales, almost 2,000
-of them in the old Cardiganshire.
-The Cardis' dairies
-were dotted around the streets.
-was Olive's grandparents' business.
-We've arranged for Olive to go
-to London to meet Rhian Medi.
-She has an interest
-in London Welsh history.
-Hello, how are you?
-It's nice to meet you.
-Olive meets up with Rhian in one
-of the few original dairies...
-..that still exists in the East End.
-Isn't it lovely?
-Everything here is original,
-apart from the fridges.
-Is this shop similar to the one
-my grandparents would have owned?
-Yes, your family's dairy
-would have looked like this.
-Your family's dairy
-was down the street from this one.
-There is a record from the 1930s...
-..listing more than 1,700 dairies
-Over 1,000 of them
-were run by Welsh people...
-..with names like Evans,
-Lewis and Jones.
-I can imagine Mam-gu here.
-She'd have loved it.
-They would have sold eggs...
-..some from Holland,
-some from England.
-Home-made butter and margarine,
-In the shop window, they'd have
-a pyramid of tinned peas...
-..or something similar...
-..to catch the eye
-of customers walking past.
-We're in the East End here.
-What was it like
-when my grandparents lived here?
-This area of London
-was densely populated.
-It was also full of immigrants,
-At many of these dairies
-in the East End...
-..a rabbi would call by every day...
-..and bless the milk
-before it was sold.
-The milk was warm...
-..because it was fresh from the cow.
-The milk would be blessed
-because it was kosher.
-It goes to show
-how important Welsh people were...
-..in providing and serving...
-..a poor community
-during a very difficult time.
-Then the Second World War broke out.
-Much of this area was destroyed.
-"My brother persuaded me
-to move to London.
-"My sister often wrote to me,
-telling me of her enjoyment.
-"I went as a maid to help my brother
-in the shop and at home.
-"His dairy was in the East End.
-"I earned 15 shillings a week.
-"It was a very happy time."
-the location of the first dairy...
-..has completely changed.
-But Rhian has painted
-a vivid picture...
-..of what life would have been like
-for them here.
-From the research at the library,
-I know they left Calvert Avenue...
-..to run a dairy in Nugent Terrace
-in the affluent St John's Wood area.
-There were many relatives
-on both sides living in London.
-Everybody helped each other
-with their dairies.
-My grandparents left Nugent Terrace
-after four years...
-..and moved back to the area
-where they started out.
-We've come back to the East End...
-..to Gibraltar Walk...
-..where your grandparents
-ran their third dairy.
-This area was completely destroyed
-in the Second World War.
-Most of Gibraltar Walk
-was bombed to such an extent...
-..that only a few houses remain.
-I have a photograph...
-..of Gibraltar Walk
-before it was bombed.
-You can see the street
-as it was back then.
-It was more or less completely
-destroyed during the Blitz.
-The Blitz was the strategic bombing
-of London and other major cities...
-..by the Germans during WWII.
-"Saturday, 10 May, 1941.
-"The enemy has mercilessly bombed
-the entire area.
-"We couldn't believe what we saw.
-"Our home and shop were gone.
-"Some of our customers were in tears
-after losing loved ones.
-"Seeing their grief helped us
-come to terms with our loss."
-has been visiting the dairies...
-..owned by her grandparents
-The last dairy
-was destroyed in WWII...
-..and the family
-returned to Ceredigion.
-But Olive needs more answers.
-I'd like to know why my grandparents
-moved around so much in London...
-..and what kind of life
-they had there.
-I'm visiting Auntie Betty.
-She lived in London
-until the end of the 1950s.
-I've never asked her
-about her time there.
-It's nice to see you, Olive.
-How are you?
-How are you?
-Fine, thanks. Come in.
-Do you know how Mam-gu and Tad-cu
-met in London?
-They went to Hyde Park to sing
-after being in chapel or church.
-I think that's where they met.
-The London Welsh went to Hyde Park
-every Sunday evening.
-The people from the chapels
-and the churches...
-..organized plays and eisteddfodau.
-They used to hold large concerts
-at Westminster Hall.
-We had David Lloyd
-and Welsh singers.
-David Lloyd was in his army uniform
-at the time.
-What was Nugent Terrace like?
-It was a very nice place.
-St John's Wood
-was the place to live.
-Was it posh?
-So why did they move back
-to the East End?
-wanted to keep cattle.
-There were cattle in Gibraltar Walk.
-That was the last place
-to have cattle in London.
-That's where they were
-until they came down to Wales.
-Because of the bombing,
-they came back down.
-Going to Gibraltar Walk, he was
-on his way back to the animals!
-returned to Ceredigion in 1941.
-They farmed Darren Fawr, Pontsian,
-where her grandfather was raised.
-They raised five children and the
-farm was at the heart of the family.
-Olive's mother and Uncle Dick...
-..haven't been back
-since the farm was sold in 1964.
-It wasn't easy for Mam
-and Uncle Dick to accompany me...
-..because the farm
-holds so many memories for them.
-Mam's generation has taken
-all their history for granted.
-They were very young leaving London.
-After being there and hearing
-Auntie Betty's stories...
-..the whole thing has come alive.
-I'm looking forward to sharing
-the stories with my family.
-But back in Aberystwyth...
-..Perthyn has found
-..in Olive's family tree.
-Olive's grandfather's history...
-..Evan Daniel Evans, Darren Fawr...
-..we've come across some names...
-..that have caused quite a stir
-for the Perthyn team.
-These names mean we can trace
-the family's history...
-..further back than we thought.
-I have a record of Olive's great-
-He was among
-the wealthiest farmers in Llanina.
-He's referred to here
-as a gentleman.
-As we go back even further...
-..we come across Thomas Thomas's
-grandfather, Thomas Abraham.
-By consulting parish registers
-..we can confirm that his father
-was called Abraham Herbert.
-He was the illegitimate son
-of Llewelyn Herbert.
-Hearing the name Herbert
-rang a bell.
-We know there was
-an important family of Herberts...
-..living at Rhiwbren mansion
-They were related to the Earl of
-Pembroke, who was from a noble line.
-Perthyn has confirmed that Olive
-is related to the Herberts.
-During the Middle Ages, the Herberts
-were the first Welsh family...
-..to be accepted
-by the English aristocracy.
-As well as their standing,
-they could trace their lineage...
-..back to Wales's royal families.
-It's rather exciting
-for Olive and her family.
-Not many of us can say...
-..that we can trace our family tree
-as far back as that.
-During the Middle Ages, Wales
-was divided into minor kingdoms.
-Brycheiniog and Deheubarth.
-Every kingdom was independent
-and governed by its own ruler.
-Huge emphasis was placed
-on heirdom, lineage and blood...
-..in order to retain their legacies.
-Perthyn is trying to prove
-whether Olive is of royal descent.
-The team has called Olive
-back to the library.
-She has no idea why.
-We've come to the conclusion...
-..through Ianto Darren's grandmother
-and your grandparents...
-..that you're related
-to the Herbert family.
-They were an influential family
-That brings us to these documents.
-that are laid out on the table.
-Such items can only mean
-that you're related to nobility.
-Through the Herberts,
-you're related to Sir David Gam.
-That takes us back
-a little further...
-..to here, to Bleddyn ap Maenarch.
-Remember that name.
-Bleddyn ap Maenarch.
-He was the last lord of Brycheiniog.
-But that's not the end of the story.
-Bleddyn ap Maenarch...
-..married a woman called Elinor.
-Elinor was the daughter
-of Tewdwr Mawr.
-It's another interesting name...
-..that takes us
-to somewhere very special.
-..shows us that you...
-..through this family line
-and that line...
-..are related to an important man.
-One of the most influential men
-in the history of Wales.
-The king, Hywel Dda.
-I don't know
-if you're familiar with Hywel Dda.
-I feel quite excited now.
-And emotional too.
-I feel like I should be bowing
-My heart's pounding.
-We're going back
-over a thousand years to AD 950...
-..when Hywel Dda created laws that
-were different from English law.
-as a very fair and just king.
-The laws of Hywel Dda...
-..formed the backbone of Welsh law
-for 500 years after his death.
-His influence continued
-for half a millennium...
-..after his death.
-Not everyone can say
-they had a relative...
-..living more than 1,000 years ago
-and of whom they have a picture.
-If you come with me...
-..I will show you
-a very special manuscript.
-It's called Peniarth 28.
-This is the most famous copy
-of Hywel Dda's laws.
-Here's the king himself.
-This gentleman here...
-..is your great-grandfather
-many times removed.
-Hywel, this is Olive.
-Hywel Dda united all the kingdoms
-of Wales except Morgannwg.
-By his death, Wales had Welsh
-as its official language...
-..one religion in Christianity...
-..and one of the fairest
-system of laws in history.
-It's strange to think
-that I'm related to David Gam...
-..and go all the way back...
-..to the time of Hywel Dda.
-I should have paid more attention...
-..in my history lessons at school.
-I need to go back now and research
-a bit more of the history...
-..to investigate further.
-I'm afraid to touch them
-because they're so fragile.
-The shops were all bombed
-so they've been replaced by flats.
-I'm sure many relatives never
-discuss their family's history.
-Mam's generation certainly didn't.
-But time passes.
-I'm so glad
-that I've done something about it.
-This journey has brought
-all the family together...
-..to talk about our history.
-Finding out that we're descendants
-of King Hywel Dda...
-..was the icing on the cake.
-Tad-cu would have been thrilled.
-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.
Taith Olive Corner i ddarganfod mwy am hanes ei theulu a'u busnesau llaeth yn Llundain yn y 1930au. Olive Corner from Porthcawl learns more about her family who went to London in the 1930s.