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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.
-Your family stories
-have poured in over recent months.
-The Perthyn team
-has gone through them all.
-Shirley Ellis got in touch,
-asking us for help.
-Originally from the valleys...
-..Shirley has lived in Lleyn
-for the past 50 years.
-Tracing her family tree
-has become an obsession for Shirley.
-She has regularly visited
-the National Library...
-..to try to fill in the blanks.
-You're a regular visitor
-to the National Library.
-But you also have another link
-A very strong one too.
-Mam was born here.
-Through my grandfather...
-..I'm related to the Pugh family
-They were farmers
-and also mined for lead and silver.
-But I'm not quite sure
-where I fit in.
-I'm some kind of mongrel...
-..raised in the south
-and living in the north.
-Aberystwyth is halfway.
-You're a mix of them all.
-You're a mix of them all.
-But you are fascinated
-by one bit of family history.
-Yes, those relatives
-who left Cwmsymlog for America...
-..during the Gold Rush
-from 1865 onwards.
-I know that many of the sons went.
-I wanted to know more about them.
-But I must admit that by now...
-..I know more about them
-than those who stayed behind.
-When you were growing up...
-..did you know
-you had family in America?
-I've heard about them
-for over 70 years...
-..through my grandfather's sister...
-She kept in touch with Mam
-by letter for over 50 years.
-We heard all the stories
-about their lives in America.
-mined for lead and silver...
-..in Cwmsymlog, near Aberystwyth,
-150 years ago.
-In the mid 19th century, mining
-was at its peak in Mid Wales...
-..with more than 100 works
-dotted around the landscape.
-Six of the Cwmsymlog Pughs
-emigrated to Gold Hill, Colorado...
-..during the 1860s Gold Rush.
-So far, Shirley has focused
-on those relatives who emigrated.
-Who emigrated first, Shirley?
-Charles E Pugh was the first...
-..followed by his brother,
-Charles opened a large shop...
-..that sold everything,
-like a Gold Hill version of Tesco.
-But it was
-the younger brother, John...
-..who made his fortune.
-In 1869, when he was 19 years old...
-..John Pugh followed the gold
-goddess from Cwmsymlog to Colorado.
-He started out
-as an ordinary gold miner...
-..but within 20 years,
-he had become a millionaire.
-As the English would say,
-he was a self-made man.
-From rags to riches.
-That's the clear picture I have
-of this man.
-Those who live in Gold Hill now
-call him Silver Tip...
-..the man who reached the top.
-Have you ever benefited
-from his wealth?
-I haven't seen a penny of it,
-but Tad-cu always said...
-..money would come from somewhere,
-but it hasn't come yet.
-As well as John Pugh
-and his brother, Charles E...
-..four others of that generation
-went to America.
-The cousins were the sons
-of Tudor and Charles.
-Charles was Shirley's
-He and his brother mined lead
-and silver in Cwmsymlog.
-Since before Roman times,
-people have taken advantage...
-..of Ceredigion's wealth
-of minerals and precious metals.
-mining had been a way of life...
-..for men like Charles and Tudor.
-Shirley has come
-to Llywernog museum...
-..to meet Dafydd Morris Jones,
-an expert on mining history.
-I have to admit...
-..there's a great similarity
-between these mines...
-..and the gold mines of America.
-Yes, it's very similar
-to the Wild West.
-But from 1800 to 1840, it was
-exactly like the Wild West here.
-People would have been running
-all over these hills...
-..with their flat caps and dynamite.
-There was a desire
-to make a fortune from these rocks.
-At its peak, around 10,000 people
-worked in these parts...
-Your family would have mined
-during the most exciting period.
-They were here when everybody
-was looking to make their fortune.
-What was life like for the men
-who worked underground?
-It was a hard life.
-The work was very physical.
-They had to be strong.
-Waterwheels would have operated
-drills and hammers and so on...
-..but it was heavy work
-in dark and dusty conditions.
-It required a lot of strength.
-While I was listening to you,
-one thing struck me.
-Six men from the Pugh family
-left for Colorado over the years.
-Each of them worked in mines here
-for years before leaving.
-They already had
-the relevant skills.
-They knew what to do.
-They knew what to do.
-They were going there as experts.
-There was a lot of demand
-for skilled miners.
-"There was a cry that went out
-in the north country."
-Miners came from Yorkshire
-to teach the Cardis how to mine.
-In the same way, a cry went out
-to the miners of Mid Wales...
-..to teach Americans how to mine.
-Their skills were transferable.
-were the beginning of the end...
-..for the golden age of mining
-in Mid Wales.
-Within a generation,
-almost every mine had closed.
-Welsh miners were given the chance
-to use their skills in America.
-Many Welsh people
-flocked to America...
-..during the Gold Rush,
-Shirley's relatives among them.
-To hear more about the allure
-of places like Gold Hill...
-..Shirley has come to meet
-Dr Bill Jones.
-In the beginning,
-people flocked to these places...
-..in the hope of finding gold easily
-in streams and so on.
-It was known as placer gold.
-There was gold to be found
-in the sand and gravel.
-As it ran out, they had
-to drill into the rock...
-..to extract the gold.
-They needed money
-to pay companies to mine the gold.
-It required mining skills.
-That's why someone like John Pugh
-would have gone out there.
-He would have developed
-his mining skills in Cwmsymlog.
-Those skills would have helped him
-make his fortune out in Colorado.
-As they used to say, they were
-following the gold goddess.
-It was an adventure.
-They were lured by the prospect
-of making a quick fortune...
-..and coming home as wealthy men.
-were also very colourful.
-The Gold Rush had created
-..with drinking, gambling,
-dancing and so on.
-But on the other hand, such places
-as Gold Hill and Russell Gulch...
-..would have had chapels
-In terms of the Welsh families...
-..the debauched and the respectable
-lived side by side...
-..in these brand-new towns
-that sprang up overnight...
-..as thousands of incomers
-flocked to join the Gold Rush.
-In the 1860s,
-the Pugh boys from Cwmsymlog...
-..were the first of Shirley's family
-to join the Gold Rush in Colorado.
-The last member
-to emigrate to America...
-..was Shirley's great aunt,
-Margaret, in the early 1900s.
-The correspondence between Maggie
-and Shirley's mother in Wales...
-..kept the Pugh family link alive.
-have been treasured by Shirley.
-"My dear Irene and all the folks.
-"It is hard to believe
-how the years roll by.
-"I was 74 last February...
-"..and only wish
-that we were nearer...
-"..so that we could talk
-with one another...
-"..once in a while.
-"May the Lord richly bless you...
-"..and your family.
-"With affectionate love,
-your Aunt Margaret."
-I feel as if I already know
-the Pughs who left for America.
-But many more of the family
-stayed in Cwmsymlog.
-What I want to do now is fill in
-the gaps in the family's story...
-..on this side of the Atlantic.
-Shirley Ellis's family
-hails from the Aberystwyth area.
-In the 1860s, the sons of her
-..and brother Tudor emigrated
-to Colorado to mine for gold.
-As well as John Pugh,
-who became a millionaire...
-..and his brother, Charles E,
-many other family members...
-..including Shirley's great-aunt,
-Maggie, emigrated to Gold Hill.
-But Shirley knows nothing
-about the Pughs who stayed in Wales.
-She hopes Beryl Evans
-will be able to fill in the blanks.
-from the 1891 census...
-..that Charles Pugh lived with
-his brother and sister in Cwmsymlog.
-Despite being 72, Tudor
-still worked as a labourer.
-It's obvious that the family
-was relatively poor at the time.
-I'm almost certain that Tudor...
-..was the father of John Pugh,
-who made his fortune there.
-It's obvious that none of the money
-made it over here.
-That really surprises me.
-Thinking about it now,
-he was there...
-..living like a millionaire...
-..while his father
-was so poor back home.
-The family hasn't always been poor.
-The tithe survey of 1840 shows us...
-..that Griffith Pugh
-owned a lot of land in Cwmsymlog.
-Griffith Pugh was the father
-of Tudor and Charles.
-There's a list here
-of the places he owned.
-Cae Warren, Cae Penbont...
-..Cwm Darren Wood, Cae Sgubor...
-..Cwmsymlog Isa House...
-..Cae Ar Y Waun, Caebach Penybont.
-If we turn to this page, we see...
-..that he also owned Cwmsebon mine.
-It comes to a total of 440 acres.
-It's obvious from this document...
-..that Griffith Pugh
-was a wealthy and respectable man.
-He wasn't as respectable
-as you might think.
-He and his wife, Jane,
-had five children...
-..before they married in 1822.
-They had five children
-after they married too.
-So there wasn't just one
-..there were five!
-Yes, there were five, I'm afraid.
-That's made me think now.
-Then I'm related to one
-of the skeletons in the cupboard?
-But I'm sure they are
-the most interesting ones.
-..was the illegitimate son
-Charles died a poor man and
-was buried at Salem Coed Gruffydd...
-But Griffith wasn't the first Pugh
-to father illegitimate children.
-Many members of Shirley's family
-were born out of wedlock.
-To hear more about the miners'
-unique way of life...
-to meet Dafydd Morris Jones.
-Though the mining community
-..it was also very transient,
-with miners moving between mines.
-In order to cope
-with all the comings and goings...
-a lot of almost unique practices.
-One of them was the small wedding.
-I don't know
-if you're familiar with that.
-It was almost a unique tradition.
-It allowed a man and a woman
-to marry within a certain area.
-But if the husband
-then moved to another mine...
-..the marriage wasn't binding.
-The woman would return
-to single status...
-..and the man was free
-to find another partner.
-It was tolerated morally,
-even if they'd had children.
-There were many illegitimate
-children within this community.
-By moving to different mines...
-..a man could father
-many children in different areas.
-In a small wedding,
-a couple would get married...
-..alongside several other couples.
-But it wasn't official.
-It was held
-in a secular meeting place.
-Everyone married at the same time
-and paid for only one service.
-Many local priests complained...
-..that they weren't getting paid
-for officiating at the weddings.
-But someone had to officiate
-at the small weddings...
-..so if a priest was short of money,
-he would officiate out of necessity.
-The small wedding was commonplace
-in the mining community.
-It explains the many illegitimate
-children in Shirley's tree.
-fathered five legitimate children.
-He also fathered
-five illegitimate children.
-Shirley is a descendant
-of one of them.
-Griffith Pugh owned hundreds
-of acres, as well as Cwmsebon mine.
-But how did he get all his land
-in the first place?
-Your family's mining links
-goes back beyond Griffith Pugh.
-At least two generations.
-His grandfather, Griffith Evans,
-was an influential landowner.
-Lead and silver
-was discovered on his land.
-But the Crown and the Pryses
-of Gogerddan owned the lion's share.
-Between the three of them,
-a large area was mined.
-In partnership with the Crown
-He wasn't quite a partner,
-but the mines bordered each other.
-It happened purely by coincidence.
-I'm finding out something new
-every day about this family.
-They weren't just people
-who moved to America to make money.
-They had money before they left.
-We've found an interesting document
-to show you.
-What is it?
-This is the will of Griffith Evans,
-the grandfather of Griffith Pugh.
-It was drawn up in 1747.
-is the name at the bottom.
-It was witnessed by Lewis Morris.
-He was the Crown's steward
-at this mine.
-He led the survey in 1744...
-..of the mines and land
-belonging to the Crown.
-Lewis Morris described
-this area in Cwmsymlog as...
-.."The principal silver mine
-we ever had in Great Britain."
-He thought this land
-It's obvious that Griffith's land
-was part of that.
-The relationship between
-Lewis Morris and Griffith Evans...
-..is interesting because Lewis
-had different personas.
-He was the Crown's steward, so he
-had to safeguard its interests...
-..and be accountable.
-But his friendship with Griffith
-goes against that...
-..because he'd have helped him
-to mine as much as possible.
-The Crown's agent...
-..was also acting independently
-with his friend.
-He was an important man and knew
-Griffith Evans well enough...
-..to witness the signing
-of his will.
-That's a contrast to Charles Pugh...
-..who died a relatively poor man...
-..and had to do a physical job
-to earn a living.
-Three generations earlier,
-Griffith owned land...
-..which men mined on his behalf.
-It's quite a contrast.
-Yes, very interesting.
-There's much more to the Pugh family
-in Wales than I first thought.
-I thought it was just the Pughs
-in Gold Hill who were wealthy.
-Within three generations,
-the Pugh family fortune had gone.
-Charles and his brother, Tudor...
-..died poor men.
-But their sons emigrated to America
-and regained their fortune.
-They built a prosperous life
-for the Pughs across the pond.
-Of all the family
-who went to America...
-..one relative in particular
-kept in touch with us.
-My grandfather's sister,
-She was the last of the family...
-..to leave Aberystwyth
-for Gold Hill.
-Maggie's descendants in Gold Hill
-still correspond with Shirley.
-she received an unexpected surprise.
-A few weeks following Mam's
-..the postman delivered a box.
-We looked at it...
-..and saw the American stamps
-on the front.
-Maggie's granddaughter saying...
-..she was going
-to send me something.
-Among Auntie Maggie's possessions...
-..was a book containing precious
-information about the family.
-This is some sort of diary.
-Yes, everything is in here.
-She kept a record
-of her father's death.
-In the back...
-..she has written everything
-about the family.
-Her sisters, brothers,
-her father, her mother.
-Everyone's date of birth.
-She kept us very close to her heart.
-She's made a note of my birthday,
-..and my mother's
-in this little book.
-Although you never met her,
-you have a great fondness for her.
-This is very important to me.
-I keep it safe.
-I hope whoever gets it after me
-will do the same.
-I know there are many people...
-..who have researched
-their family tree more thoroughly...
-..but often, they're just names
-on a screen or a sheet of paper.
-But for me, she's a person.
-I've always felt very close to her.
-Relatives who have gone overseas
-always capture the imagination.
-But we sometimes forget that there
-are also interesting stories...
-..about those who stayed behind.
-I knew nothing of the Pughs
-in Wales until now.
-The family's history
-has now been recorded...
-..not just for my sake...
-..but for Mama's sake...
-..and, of course,
-for the next generation's.
-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.
Shirley Ellis sydd ar drywydd ei theulu a ymfudodd i America yn y 1860au yn ystod y Rhuthr am Aur. Shirley Ellis wants to know about her family who emigrated to America during the Gold Rush.