Author Topic: Davies family - Llandudno  (Read 288 times)

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Bronwen

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Davies family - Llandudno
« on: July 29, 2020, 05:28:26 PM »
I was stuck many years ago, trying to trace my family in North Wales, because they all have typical Welsh surnames, and I just got swamped with possibilities! Having another go recently, with a bit more experience, I think I have traced my granddad's family back through 4 generations of Davies's all in Llandudno :)

Idris Davies b.1909 - Ormonde Terrace - Radio Engineeer
(David) Edward Davies b.1874 - Hughes Cottages/Hughes Yard, Back Madoc Street - Plumber
David Davies b.1838 - Hughes Cottages/Hughes Yard, Back Madoc Street - Tailor
Henry Davies b.1801 - Lester Row, then 'Morfa', then 'Bryn y Pin', then 'Ormes Head' Cottage - Copper Miner

I would love to see, if anyone has any more information, or pictures about any of these places, or the places they worked. 
$thanx$

Hugo

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Re: Davies family - Llandudno
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2020, 07:22:30 AM »
Hi Bronwen, welcome to the forum and I hope that we can contribute to your family search

The Conwy Archives that has now moved to the town of Conwy has loads of information such as Baptism and burial records that may help but also some forum members may be able to assist too.

Llandudno before 1850 was a completely different town to the one we see today.     The houses were mainly built on the lower slopes of the Great Orme and had a population of just a few hundred people.    Below the old village of Llandudno was the flat common land where the modern town is today.
Part of that common land was called the Morfa and occupied the area between the modern day promenade and Mostyn Street.   Many  Squatters used to live there in buildings called Tai Unnos  (  One night houses )       A very old Welsh tradition was that if someone built a house in one day and at the end of the day they had smoke coming from the chimney then they would own that property and the surrounding land

It was your reference to Henry Davies and the Morfa that made me have a look in my book by Christopher Draper called " Llandudno before the hotels"        It is a fascinating book about Llandudno before 1850 and tells about the life and times of people living in the old village.   The paperback book at £9.95 is well worth getting for anyone interested in the history of Llandudno

In the book Chapter 13 is about Tai Unnos on the Morfa and at page 196 is a very interesting piece about Henry Davies.   According to the map I would guess that he lived somewhere near where the present Queen's Hotel is on the Promenade.     I've copied this extract from the book for you and the year is 1850
Name                        age                                    occupation                            Place of birth
Henry  Davies             49                                      miner                                   Llandudno
Mary       "                  48                                      wife                                      Llansanffraid     (  probably Glan Conwy)
Thomas    "                 21                                      miner                                    Llandudno
William     "                 20                                          "                                             "
Robert      "                 16                                          "                                              "
David        "                 13                                     tailor                                             "
John         "                  11                                    scholar                                           "

It goes on to say this about the family    " after living for a while at Lester Row,  Henry Davies moved down to the Morfa with his family in about 1842 but tragedy soon followed.   A baby boy, Hugh was born here, the following year , having been Baptisedat St George's Church on 1st December 1844, died just four days later.     The oldest boy Thomas began his working life as an agricultural labourer but soon decided to join his father and brothers in the copper mines"   

The main landowner in the area was Lord Mostyn and by an Encosure Act in Parliament he was legally allowed to steal the squatters houses and land and quickly did so, destroying the houses and selling the land off.
In the same book I read,   at page 273 Henry Davies had moved and was living at Bk Brynwythen and was still a miner

I hope that this info helps and is a start in your search at this forum

Hugo

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Re: Davies family - Llandudno
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2020, 10:25:31 AM »
Bronwen,   I've been looking on Roots Chat to see where Lester Row was and noticed that you are already have a copy of Christopher Draper's book and are aware of the info about Henry Davies
Some of the addresses are still there but Back Madoc Street which once was a hive of activity has changed beyond recognition but I think that there are some photos on the forum of how it once was.

Bronwen

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Re: Davies family - Llandudno
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2020, 02:56:43 PM »
 Thank you so much - it is amazing to see a genuine ancestor in print. I was so surprised that my g g g grandfather built a Ty Unnos. My granddad used to tell me about this Welsh custom when we would come across little cottage foundations and fireplaces on our walks. I had always assumed this was an ancient, or medieval custom, I did not realise it was going on in the 19th century. Sounds like the landowners of the time like Lord Mostyn were not keen on it continuing much longer. I was even more surprised to find that my granddadís own granddad, David Davies, would have helped to build one and lived in it. I wonder if my granddad knew, or whether it was never talked about?
I was then desperate to see what Henry Daviesí cottage would have looked like, which is how I came across this forum.
I am quite fascinated with Henry Davies, he seems to be a survivor, and I wonder if Ormes Head Cottage where he lived in his old age, was nice,
I notice that his 2 oldest sons donít seem to have married, but stayed with their parents. I wonder if this was the lot of a copper miner? Perhaps there were a lot of young men working in the mines but not so many young ladies?
So many questions, and it would also be exciting to trace the family back another generation, but I donít know how to do this without the useful census records
Thank you again for taking the time to help  :)

Hugo

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Re: Davies family - Llandudno
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2020, 03:40:49 PM »
Bronwen,   like I have mentioned before the Conwy Archives hold a lot of information including Church records so it may be easy to go back to
further generations as it seems that there is a strong Llandudno connection to your family
In those early days most families had their children Baptised so Henry's Baptism should appear in the Llandudno Parish Register soon after he was born.
Prior to this year I used to go quite often to the Archives so I know which records to look for.      One of the easiest is the Burial Register which lists the persons name alphabetically and gives the location of the graves providing that the grave had a headstone
I don't think that the Archives are open at present but when it does I'll be going there to see what the new building is like and it would be no trouble to have a look for you.

Bronwen

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Re: Davies family - Llandudno
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2020, 03:57:54 PM »
That is so kind, thank you

I sometimes see parish records come up in Find My Past, but I really donít know how to find the right one :-\

Have you ever come across Ormes Head Cottage?

Many thanks  :)

Cambrian

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Re: Davies family - Llandudno
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2020, 07:44:40 PM »
Just on the Archives issue.  I don't think they are fully open at present.

Three Towns Forum - Talk about Llandudno, Colwyn Bay & Conwy

Re: Davies family - Llandudno
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2020, 07:44:40 PM »


Hugo

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Re: Davies family - Llandudno
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2020, 09:47:10 AM »
Thanks for the update on the Archives Cambrian        $good$

Hugo

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Re: Davies family - Llandudno
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2020, 10:00:25 AM »
Just to point out something for you Bronwen.      If you look at Chris Draper's book at page 190 it gives you a map of where the Tai Unnos once stood.   Llandudno was divided into two Parishes,  Llandudno and Eglwysrhos and the Tai Unnos shown are in the Llandudno Parish
Henry Davies was No 11 on the map and was roughly where the Queen's Hotel is now.
I've taken photos from a book of two Tai Unnos, one looks like a painting C 1840 and I would imagine from local knowledge that it is on or near  the Ty Unnos of Henry Davies
The other is a pen sketch of a fisherman's cottage on what is now the Parade and is dated 1851

PS    In Chris Draper's book at pg 284 you can see that the population of Llandudno in 1801 was only 316, the year when Henry was born so it may be easy to trace the Davies family records in the Church Registers.   I've seen the records in the past and think that they go back to the late 1600's so I'll have a look as soon as I can

I don't know where Lester Row was, apart from it being somewhere on the Great Orme but someone else on here may know the answer

norman08

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Re: Davies family - Llandudno
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2020, 11:57:36 AM »
Hugo their was a big house on llwynon rd over the road from the school, it was always known as Lesters I can't remember why but maybe that could be it, it was in its own grounds.

Hugo

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Re: Davies family - Llandudno
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 01:03:14 PM »
I seem to remember that house Norman, it was across the road and a short distance from where you used to live so it might be in the right area.
There is a house in Cwlach Street called Bodnant and a Roger Lester lived there in the early 1800's and I was wondering if Lester Row referred to terraced cottages that may have been nearby but I should find the answer for definite in the Archives when it opens