Rhaglen 7 Perthyn


Rhaglen 7

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-Tracing the family tree

-is an obsession for Welsh people.

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-We like to ask where are you from

-and to whom are you related?

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-At the National Library

-in Aberystwyth...

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-..the Perthyn team is investigating

-some of your stories.

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-They've found some colourful

-characters. Welcome to Perthyn.

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-888

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-Your family stories

-have poured in over recent months.

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-The Perthyn team

-has gone through them all.

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-Shirley Ellis got in touch,

-asking us for help.

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-Originally from the valleys...

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-..Shirley has lived in Lleyn

-for the past 50 years.

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-Tracing her family tree

-has become an obsession for Shirley.

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-She has regularly visited

-the National Library...

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-..to try to fill in the blanks.

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-You're a regular visitor

-to the National Library.

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-But you also have another link

-with Aberystwyth.

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-A very strong one too.

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-Mam was born here.

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-Through my grandfather...

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-..I'm related to the Pugh family

-in Cwmsymlog.

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-They were farmers

-and also mined for lead and silver.

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-But I'm not quite sure

-where I fit in.

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-I'm some kind of mongrel...

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-..raised in the south

-and living in the north.

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-Aberystwyth is halfway.

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-You're a mix of them all.

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-You're a mix of them all.

-

-Yes.

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-But you are fascinated

-by one bit of family history.

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-Yes, those relatives

-who left Cwmsymlog for America...

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-..during the Gold Rush

-from 1865 onwards.

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-I know that many of the sons went.

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-I wanted to know more about them.

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-But I must admit that by now...

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-..I know more about them

-than those who stayed behind.

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-When you were growing up...

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-..did you know

-you had family in America?

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-I've heard about them

-for over 70 years...

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-..through my grandfather's sister...

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-..Margaret Lloyd.

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-She kept in touch with Mam

-by letter for over 50 years.

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-We heard all the stories

-about their lives in America.

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-Shirley's family

-mined for lead and silver...

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-..in Cwmsymlog, near Aberystwyth,

-150 years ago.

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-In the mid 19th century, mining

-was at its peak in Mid Wales...

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-..with more than 100 works

-dotted around the landscape.

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-Six of the Cwmsymlog Pughs

-emigrated to Gold Hill, Colorado...

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-..during the 1860s Gold Rush.

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-So far, Shirley has focused

-on those relatives who emigrated.

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-Who emigrated first, Shirley?

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-Charles E Pugh was the first...

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-..followed by his brother,

-John Pugh.

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-Charles opened a large shop...

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-..that sold everything,

-like a Gold Hill version of Tesco.

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-But it was

-the younger brother, John...

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-..who made his fortune.

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-In 1869, when he was 19 years old...

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-..John Pugh followed the gold

-goddess from Cwmsymlog to Colorado.

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-He started out

-as an ordinary gold miner...

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-..but within 20 years,

-he had become a millionaire.

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-As the English would say,

-he was a self-made man.

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-From rags to riches.

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-That's the clear picture I have

-of this man.

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-Those who live in Gold Hill now

-call him Silver Tip...

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-..the man who reached the top.

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-Have you ever benefited

-from his wealth?

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-I haven't seen a penny of it,

-but Tad-cu always said...

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-..money would come from somewhere,

-but it hasn't come yet.

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-As well as John Pugh

-and his brother, Charles E...

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-..four others of that generation

-went to America.

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-The cousins were the sons

-of Tudor and Charles.

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-Charles was Shirley's

-great-great-grandfather.

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-He and his brother mined lead

-and silver in Cwmsymlog.

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-Since before Roman times,

-people have taken advantage...

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-..of Ceredigion's wealth

-of minerals and precious metals.

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-For generations,

-mining had been a way of life...

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-..for men like Charles and Tudor.

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-Shirley has come

-to Llywernog museum...

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-..to meet Dafydd Morris Jones,

-an expert on mining history.

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-I have to admit...

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-..there's a great similarity

-between these mines...

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-..and the gold mines of America.

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-Yes, it's very similar

-to the Wild West.

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-But from 1800 to 1840, it was

-exactly like the Wild West here.

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-People would have been running

-all over these hills...

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-..with their flat caps and dynamite.

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-There was a desire

-to make a fortune from these rocks.

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-At its peak, around 10,000 people

-worked in these parts...

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-..of Cardiganshire

-and Montgomeryshire.

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-Your family would have mined

-during the most exciting period.

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-They were here when everybody

-was looking to make their fortune.

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-What was life like for the men

-who worked underground?

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-It was a hard life.

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-The work was very physical.

-They had to be strong.

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-Waterwheels would have operated

-drills and hammers and so on...

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-..but it was heavy work

-in dark and dusty conditions.

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-It required a lot of strength.

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-While I was listening to you,

-one thing struck me.

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-Six men from the Pugh family

-left for Colorado over the years.

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-Each of them worked in mines here

-for years before leaving.

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-They already had

-the relevant skills.

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-They knew what to do.

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-They knew what to do.

-

-They were going there as experts.

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-There was a lot of demand

-for skilled miners.

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-"There was a cry that went out

-in the north country."

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-Miners came from Yorkshire

-to teach the Cardis how to mine.

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-In the same way, a cry went out

-to the miners of Mid Wales...

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-..to teach Americans how to mine.

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-Their skills were transferable.

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-The 1870s

-were the beginning of the end...

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-..for the golden age of mining

-in Mid Wales.

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-Within a generation,

-almost every mine had closed.

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-Welsh miners were given the chance

-to use their skills in America.

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-Many Welsh people

-flocked to America...

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-..during the Gold Rush,

-Shirley's relatives among them.

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-To hear more about the allure

-of places like Gold Hill...

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-..Shirley has come to meet

-Dr Bill Jones.

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-In the beginning,

-people flocked to these places...

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-..in the hope of finding gold easily

-in streams and so on.

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-It was known as placer gold.

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-There was gold to be found

-in the sand and gravel.

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-As it ran out, they had

-to drill into the rock...

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-..to extract the gold.

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-They needed money

-to pay companies to mine the gold.

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-It required mining skills.

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-That's why someone like John Pugh

-would have gone out there.

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-He would have developed

-his mining skills in Cwmsymlog.

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-Those skills would have helped him

-make his fortune out in Colorado.

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-As they used to say, they were

-following the gold goddess.

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-It was an adventure.

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-They were lured by the prospect

-of making a quick fortune...

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-..and coming home as wealthy men.

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-These towns

-were also very colourful.

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-The Gold Rush had created

-hedonistic communities...

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-..with drinking, gambling,

-dancing and so on.

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-But on the other hand, such places

-as Gold Hill and Russell Gulch...

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-..would have had chapels

-and eisteddfodau.

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-In terms of the Welsh families...

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-..the debauched and the respectable

-lived side by side...

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-..in these brand-new towns

-that sprang up overnight...

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-..as thousands of incomers

-flocked to join the Gold Rush.

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-In the 1860s,

-the Pugh boys from Cwmsymlog...

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-..were the first of Shirley's family

-to join the Gold Rush in Colorado.

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-The last member

-to emigrate to America...

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-..was Shirley's great aunt,

-Margaret, in the early 1900s.

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-The correspondence between Maggie

-and Shirley's mother in Wales...

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-..kept the Pugh family link alive.

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-The letters

-have been treasured by Shirley.

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-"My dear Irene and all the folks.

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-"It is hard to believe

-how the years roll by.

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-"I was 74 last February...

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-"..and only wish

-that we were nearer...

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-"..so that we could talk

-with one another...

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-"..once in a while.

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-"May the Lord richly bless you...

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-"..and your family.

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-"With affectionate love,

-your Aunt Margaret."

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-I feel as if I already know

-the Pughs who left for America.

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-But many more of the family

-stayed in Cwmsymlog.

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-What I want to do now is fill in

-the gaps in the family's story...

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-..on this side of the Atlantic.

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-.

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-888

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-Shirley Ellis's family

-hails from the Aberystwyth area.

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-In the 1860s, the sons of her

-great-great-grandfather Charles...

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-..and brother Tudor emigrated

-to Colorado to mine for gold.

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-As well as John Pugh,

-who became a millionaire...

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-..and his brother, Charles E,

-many other family members...

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-..including Shirley's great-aunt,

-Maggie, emigrated to Gold Hill.

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-But Shirley knows nothing

-about the Pughs who stayed in Wales.

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-She hopes Beryl Evans

-will be able to fill in the blanks.

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-You'll notice

-from the 1891 census...

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-..that Charles Pugh lived with

-his brother and sister in Cwmsymlog.

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-Despite being 72, Tudor

-still worked as a labourer.

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-It's obvious that the family

-was relatively poor at the time.

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-I'm almost certain that Tudor...

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-..was the father of John Pugh,

-who made his fortune there.

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-It's obvious that none of the money

-made it over here.

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-That really surprises me.

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-Thinking about it now,

-he was there...

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-..living like a millionaire...

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-..while his father

-was so poor back home.

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-The family hasn't always been poor.

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-The tithe survey of 1840 shows us...

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-..that Griffith Pugh

-owned a lot of land in Cwmsymlog.

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-Griffith Pugh was the father

-of Tudor and Charles.

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-There's a list here

-of the places he owned.

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-Cae Warren, Cae Penbont...

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-..Cwm Darren Wood, Cae Sgubor...

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-..Cwmsymlog Isa House...

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-..Cae Ar Y Waun, Caebach Penybont.

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-If we turn to this page, we see...

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-..that he also owned Cwmsebon mine.

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-It comes to a total of 440 acres.

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-It's obvious from this document...

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-..that Griffith Pugh

-was a wealthy and respectable man.

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-He wasn't as respectable

-as you might think.

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-He and his wife, Jane,

-had five children...

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-..before they married in 1822.

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-They had five children

-after they married too.

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-So there wasn't just one

-black sheep...

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-..there were five!

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-Yes, there were five, I'm afraid.

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-That's made me think now.

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-Then I'm related to one

-of the skeletons in the cupboard?

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-Yes, unfortunately.

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-But I'm sure they are

-the most interesting ones.

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-Shirley's great-great-grandfather,

-Charles Pugh...

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-..was the illegitimate son

-of Griffith.

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-Charles died a poor man and

-was buried at Salem Coed Gruffydd...

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-..near Cwmsymlog.

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-But Griffith wasn't the first Pugh

-to father illegitimate children.

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-Many members of Shirley's family

-were born out of wedlock.

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-To hear more about the miners'

-unique way of life...

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-..Shirley returns

-to meet Dafydd Morris Jones.

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-Though the mining community

-was close-knit...

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-..it was also very transient,

-with miners moving between mines.

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-In order to cope

-with all the comings and goings...

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-..they created

-a lot of almost unique practices.

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-One of them was the small wedding.

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-I don't know

-if you're familiar with that.

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-It was almost a unique tradition.

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-It allowed a man and a woman

-to marry within a certain area.

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-But if the husband

-then moved to another mine...

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-..the marriage wasn't binding.

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-The woman would return

-to single status...

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-..and the man was free

-to find another partner.

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-It was tolerated morally,

-even if they'd had children.

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-There were many illegitimate

-children within this community.

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-By moving to different mines...

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-..a man could father

-many children in different areas.

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-In a small wedding,

-a couple would get married...

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-..alongside several other couples.

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-But it wasn't official.

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-It was held

-in a secular meeting place.

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-Everyone married at the same time

-and paid for only one service.

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-Many local priests complained...

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-..that they weren't getting paid

-for officiating at the weddings.

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-But someone had to officiate

-at the small weddings...

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-..so if a priest was short of money,

-he would officiate out of necessity.

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-The small wedding was commonplace

-in the mining community.

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-It explains the many illegitimate

-children in Shirley's tree.

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-Griffith Pugh

-fathered five legitimate children.

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-He also fathered

-five illegitimate children.

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-Shirley is a descendant

-of one of them.

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-Griffith Pugh owned hundreds

-of acres, as well as Cwmsebon mine.

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-But how did he get all his land

-in the first place?

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-Your family's mining links

-goes back beyond Griffith Pugh.

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-At least two generations.

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-His grandfather, Griffith Evans,

-was an influential landowner.

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-Lead and silver

-was discovered on his land.

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-But the Crown and the Pryses

-of Gogerddan owned the lion's share.

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-Between the three of them,

-a large area was mined.

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-In partnership with the Crown

-sounds impressive.

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-He wasn't quite a partner,

-but the mines bordered each other.

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-It happened purely by coincidence.

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-I'm finding out something new

-every day about this family.

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-They weren't just people

-who moved to America to make money.

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-They had money before they left.

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-We've found an interesting document

-to show you.

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-What is it?

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-This is the will of Griffith Evans,

-the grandfather of Griffith Pugh.

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-It was drawn up in 1747.

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-What's interesting

-is the name at the bottom.

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-It was witnessed by Lewis Morris.

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-He was the Crown's steward

-at this mine.

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-He led the survey in 1744...

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-..of the mines and land

-belonging to the Crown.

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-Lewis Morris described

-this area in Cwmsymlog as...

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-.."The principal silver mine

-we ever had in Great Britain."

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-He thought this land

-was exceptional.

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-It's obvious that Griffith's land

-was part of that.

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-The relationship between

-Lewis Morris and Griffith Evans...

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-..is interesting because Lewis

-had different personas.

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-He was the Crown's steward, so he

-had to safeguard its interests...

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-..and be accountable.

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-But his friendship with Griffith

-goes against that...

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-..because he'd have helped him

-to mine as much as possible.

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-The Crown's agent...

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-..was also acting independently

-with his friend.

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-He was an important man and knew

-Griffith Evans well enough...

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-..to witness the signing

-of his will.

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-That's a contrast to Charles Pugh...

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-..who died a relatively poor man...

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-..and had to do a physical job

-to earn a living.

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-Three generations earlier,

-Griffith owned land...

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-..which men mined on his behalf.

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-It's quite a contrast.

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-Yes, very interesting.

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-There's much more to the Pugh family

-in Wales than I first thought.

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-I thought it was just the Pughs

-in Gold Hill who were wealthy.

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-Within three generations,

-the Pugh family fortune had gone.

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-Shirley's great-great-grandfather,

-Charles and his brother, Tudor...

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-..died poor men.

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-But their sons emigrated to America

-and regained their fortune.

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-They built a prosperous life

-for the Pughs across the pond.

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-Of all the family

-who went to America...

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-..one relative in particular

-kept in touch with us.

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-My grandfather's sister,

-Auntie Maggie.

0:20:460:20:49

-She was the last of the family...

0:20:500:20:53

-..to leave Aberystwyth

-for Gold Hill.

0:20:530:20:56

-Maggie's descendants in Gold Hill

-still correspond with Shirley.

0:21:000:21:05

-Recently,

-she received an unexpected surprise.

0:21:060:21:09

-A few weeks following Mam's

-100th birthday...

0:21:090:21:13

-..the postman delivered a box.

0:21:140:21:17

-We looked at it...

0:21:180:21:20

-..and saw the American stamps

-on the front.

0:21:200:21:23

-I remembered

-Maggie's granddaughter saying...

0:21:230:21:27

-..she was going

-to send me something.

0:21:270:21:30

-Among Auntie Maggie's possessions...

0:21:300:21:33

-..was a book containing precious

-information about the family.

0:21:330:21:37

-This is some sort of diary.

0:21:380:21:40

-Yes, everything is in here.

0:21:400:21:42

-She kept a record

-of her father's death.

0:21:420:21:46

-In the back...

0:21:490:21:51

-..she has written everything

-about the family.

0:21:510:21:56

-Her sisters, brothers,

-her father, her mother.

0:21:560:22:00

-Everyone's date of birth.

0:22:000:22:03

-She kept us very close to her heart.

0:22:030:22:06

-Shirley Clarke.

0:22:090:22:11

-She's made a note of my birthday,

-my sister's...

0:22:120:22:15

-..and my mother's

-in this little book.

0:22:150:22:18

-Although you never met her,

-you have a great fondness for her.

0:22:180:22:23

-This is very important to me.

0:22:230:22:26

-I keep it safe.

0:22:260:22:28

-I hope whoever gets it after me

-will do the same.

0:22:280:22:31

-I know there are many people...

0:22:370:22:41

-..who have researched

-their family tree more thoroughly...

0:22:410:22:46

-..but often, they're just names

-on a screen or a sheet of paper.

0:22:460:22:51

-But for me, she's a person.

0:22:520:22:56

-I've always felt very close to her.

0:22:560:23:00

-Relatives who have gone overseas

-always capture the imagination.

0:23:030:23:08

-But we sometimes forget that there

-are also interesting stories...

0:23:090:23:13

-..about those who stayed behind.

0:23:140:23:16

-I knew nothing of the Pughs

-in Wales until now.

0:23:170:23:21

-The family's history

-has now been recorded...

0:23:240:23:27

-..not just for my sake...

0:23:270:23:29

-..but for Mama's sake...

0:23:300:23:32

-..and, of course,

-for the next generation's.

0:23:320:23:35

-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.

0:23:560:23:58

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0:23:580:23:58

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.


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