Category: Welsh and Updates and Additions – 11 Sep 2014

Following are the and Updates and Additions for the week ending September 11, 2014. and Updates and Additions and Updates and Additions – 11 Sep 2014












South Africa


United Kingdom

United States


United States

photo credit: wundercapo via photopin cc and Updates and Additions – 4 Sep 2014

The following are the and Updates and Additions up to September 4, 2014. Updates and Updates and Additions







United Kingdom

United States


United States

photo credit: 917press via photopin cc

My ‘must have’ list of top 10 genealogy websites.

This list of top 10 genealogy websites is a bit different than others because I have evaluated them based on the sheer quantity of data and sources I have found for my own personal research, regardless whether they are paid or free.
will of Richard Chatterton found on the UK Archives site.

17th century will of Richard Chatterton found on the UK Archives site, #9 on my top 10 genealogy websites list.

I will only subscribe to a site if I’m sure it’s worth it as I can usually find most other information on free sites with some effort.

It just so happens though, that my favorite site to conduct research is a paid site, while all the rest except one are free.

Ancestry ($)

Although this site requires a paid subscription, it is the one and only site I do pay for as I find I truly do get my money’s worth. No matter what location, type of record, or time period, I can usually find something of value on this site. The search feature is rather confusing and cumbersome. Just keep in mind it’s better to be as specific as possible and use the filters appropriately and you will get fairly accurate results.

Family Search

Over the past few years, Family Search has been quickly catching up to Ancestry because of the sheer quantity of transcriptions, images, and collections they continue to make available online. They have a very accurate and intuitive search.

Library and Archives Canada

I am Canadian, with roots in both French Canada (Quebec) and Acadia (Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia). Anytime I am researching a Canadian line, this is the first site I go to – even before Ancestry and Family Search.

Nova Scotia Archives

My Acadian ancestors form a rather specialized area of research, and the Nova Scotia Archives genealogy research site is the first place I go. Original records are available for a per unit price, but I’m quite happy just printing the transcribed records for the most part.

Internet Archive

My husband’s Welsh Quaker, British, royal and new world ancestors are the largest part of my research and this is the one site I go to when I’m unable to find original records or even transcriptions of records elsewhere. I’ve found numerous genealogy studies, articles, and books; history books, etc. that have provided detailed information. It is important to remember, however, that errors were not uncommon in these publications, and I do continue to try to find more concrete sources.

Foundation for Medieval Genealogy

I am fascinated by my husband’s medieval and royal ancestry and this site is a well-researched site. Any suspect information is clearly identified and there is a clear explanation of why. Original medieval sources are cited in detail, supporting all facts and conclusions.

University of Hull Royal Database

This is also a very well researched site providing invaluable information about the royal lineages of Britain and Europe. I usually consult this site in tandem with the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy site above. This helps to confirm some information to a certain degree.

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

About 1750, my husband’s Welsh and British ancestors started arriving in the new world and the branches that took root there flourished to impact all areas of American life. Next to Ancestry, I find this site valuable for actual military files and numerous other archived documents. All requests, however, must be done by snail mail, in which case I try to avoid this site a lot. I’m definitely an instant gratification kind of person. Hopefully one day they’ll set up online access, even if it is paid. I’d certainly subscribe to this one.

UK Archives ($)

I have found some of the more interesting documents on this site, including numerous scans of original wills from the 16th to the 19th century. There is something about the old English script that I find very beautiful and it’s a suitable challenge for my puzzle oriented mind to transcribe them. There is a per unit price to download documents, but the price is very reasonable and I have no problem paying it, considering the high quality of the document scans.

World GenWeb

No one individual GenWeb site in this network is used all that much in my research, but if you consider all research found on any of the GenWeb sites, it definitely warrants a top ten position. I have listed the main World GenWeb site, which links through to the full network of other sites from other locations. By using the links, it is possible to drill down from the global and country levels to county and indeed township sites in some cases. and Additions and Updates – 28 Aug 2014.

The following are the and Additions and Updates since August 21, 2014. and Additions and Updates and Additions and Updates Additions and Updates






United States Additions and Updates


photo credit: ** Lucky Cavey ** via photopin cc

Sir William ap Thomas and Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam

Sir William ap Thomas Herbert, (21st great grandfather to my children) was born about 1390 to Sir Thomas ap Gwilyn (1360-1438) and Maud de Morley (1375-    ).

Sir William ap Thomas first married Elizabeth (or Isabel) Bluet (1380-1420), daughter of Sir John Bluet of Raglan Manor and Katherine Wogan, and widow of Sir James Berkeley. Elizabeth inherited Raglan Castle while married to to James Berkeley, who later died in about 1405. There were no children born to William and Elizabeth.

Sir William ap Thomas - Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

Sir William ap Thomas – Battle of Agincourt in 1415.

William fought in support of Henry V of England alongside Sir Roger Vaughan, first husband of his later wife Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam and her father Dafydd Gam ap Llewelyn in the battle of Agincourt. Both Sir Roger and Dafydd Gam died in battle and Dafydd Gam was knighted as he lay dying. Sir William was made a knight-banneret.

In 1426, William was knighted by King Henry VI, and was known as “Y marchog glas o Went” (the blue knight of Gwent), because of the colour of his armour.

When Sir John Bloet died, Raglan Manor was inherited by Elizabeth and her husband James Berkeley. Upon Elizabeth’s death in 1420, William lived at Raglan as a tenant of his step-son James, Lord Berkeley. In 1425, James Berkely granted William the right to live at Raglan Manor for the remainder of his life.

In the earliest of his many occupations, William was made Steward of the Lordship of Abergavenny by 1421. At about this time, he married secondly the daughter of Dafydd Gam and the widow of Sir Roger Vaughan, Gwladys ferch Dafydd Gam, who was known as ‘Seren y fenni’ (Star of Abergavenny). The exact date of Gwladus’ birth is unknown, but she was born in Breconshire, Wales. She was renowned for her beauty, discretion and influence.

Her father supported Henry IV of England and as a result, she, her father, grandfather and two brothers were driven from their last home in Wales, finding refuge at King Henry IV’s court, where Gwladus served as a Maid of Honor to both of Henry IV’s wives, Mary de Bohun (about 1368-1394) and Joan (about 1370-1437).

After her marriage to Sir Roger Vaughan, she returned to Wales with her family as Roger was a great friend of her father’s and would later fight and die with him at Agincourt. Roger and Gwlady’s children were:

  • Watkin (Walter) Vaughan, who died 1456, married Elinor, daughter of Sir Henry Wogan, on Easter 1456. Watkin was murdered at home at Bredwardine Castle. His half-brother William Herbert and Walter Devereux worked to ensure the execution of the culprits at Hereford.
  • Thomas Vaughan, born about 1400, married Ellen Gethin, daughter of Cadwgan ap Dafydd. In 1461, Thomas died at the battle of Edgecote and was entombed at Kington church, near Hergest.
  • Sir Roger Vaughan of Tretower Court married first to Cicely, daughter of Thomas ap Philip Vychan, of Talgarth and second to Lady Margaret, daughter of Lord James Audley, another of the heroes of Agincourt. He died in 1471.
  • Elizabeth Vaughan married gentleman Griffith ap Eineon.
  • Blanch Vaughan married John Milwater, a wealthy Englishman commissioned by Edward IV to accompany Blanch’s half-brother, William Herbert, to the siege of Harlech Castle.

William ap Thomas and Gwladus had the following children:

  • Thomas Herbert, born in 1422.
  • Sir William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1423–1469), who took the surname Herbert. William’s support for and loyalty to Richard, Duke of York, and Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, resulted in his being recognized as Edward IV’s Welsh “master-lock”. He was the first full-blooded Welshman to enter the English peerage and he was knighted in 1452. William married Anne Devereux in 1449. She was the daughter of Sir Walter Devereux.
  • Sir Richard Herbert, born about 1424, of Coldbrook House, near Abergavenny who died in the battle of Danesmoor.
  • Elizabeth, born about 1427, married Sir Henry Stradling (1423–1476), son of Sir Edward Stradling  and Gwenllian Berkerolles. In contrast to previous generation, Henry and his brothers-in-law were hostile to the Henry VI reign. In 1476, Henry went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land dying on August 31, 1476 on his journey back to England. He was buried at Famagusta, Cyprus.
  • Margaret, born about 1429, married Sir Henry Wogan, Steward and Treasurer of the Earldom of Pembroke. He was made responsible for securing war material for the defence of Pembroke Castle. Their son, Sir John Wogan, was killed in battle at Banbury in 1465, fighting along side his uncle, William Herbert.

Other children that have been attributed to Gwladus and William include: Maud, Olivia, Elizabeth (who married Welsh country gentlemen, John ab Gwilym).

Gwladus and William raised their own children as well as those from her marriage to Sir Roger Vaughan.

Abergavenny Priory, Abergavenny, Wales

Abergavenny Priory

By 1432 William was able to purchase Raglan Manor for about £667 and afterward, he expanded the manor to become Raglan Castle.

Sir William was appointed to the position of High Sheriff of Cardiganshire and Carmarthenshire in 1435, and in 1440, also to the position of High Sheriff of Glamorgan. About 1442 or 1443, William became Chief Steward of the estates of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York. He also served as a member of the Duke of York’s military council.

Tomb of Roger Vaughan and Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam.

Tomb with Effigies of Roger Vaughan and Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam.

William ap Thomas died in London in 1445 and his body was brought back to Wales. William’s wife, Gwladys, died in 1454. Gwladys and her husband William ap Thomas were patrons of Abergavenny Priory where they were both buried and their alabaster tomb and effigies can still be seen in the Priory.


  1. The Herbert Family Pedigree, Ancient Wales Studies online; [].
  2. Herbert and Einion Sais links to Blayneys, online; [].
  3. Thomas Allen Glenn, Merion in the Welsh Tract: With Sketches of the Townships of Haverford and Radnor (Norristown, PA: 1896), ; pdf, Digital Library; [].
  4. Gwladus ferch Dafydd Gam; Find A Grave; [].
  5. Early Leighs of Wales; [].
  6. The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdon, Extant, Extinct or Dormant (G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume I.).
  7. John Burke, History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland (1834-1838).
  8. Dr. Thomas Nicholas, Annals and Antiquities of the Counties and County Families of Wales (1875); [].
  9. John Edward Lloyd and R. T. Jenkins, Ed.; Dictionary of Welsh Biography down to 1940 (1957).
  10. Wikipedia; [].

There were costs and benefits to conducting family tree research before we had the internet.

Pursuing Genealogy was never free. The family tree research costs manifested in very different ways over time.
Old Melanson Tombstone

Tombstone of Rose Melanson tombstone – just one of the finds from my family tree research.

We’re so lucky today because global resources are so easy to access over the internet through sites such as, and many others, and most sites do charge either a subscription rate or a cost per item rate, or both.

Although we tend to think Genealogy was free in the past, that is not true. Before the implementation of the internet, it was much more difficult to pursue genealogy – and much more costly. One had to either physically visit the location of the records sought, or pay another to conduct the search (and pay to cover incidental costs such as printing, copying, etc.)

In my family’s case, our family tree research branches widely around the globe prior to 1900, but especially prior to 1850.

Around 1900 is when my husband’s mother’s family, the Gummesons, emigrated from Sweden to the United States and it’s when my father’s Turmaine ancestors were living in Ontario and Quebec, and my mother’s Melanson ancestors were living in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, all in Canada.

Ship's List showing Thomas, Charles and Robert Blythe - family tree research

Passenger list showing Thomas, Charles and Robert Blythe.

The ancestors of my husband’s father were particularly mobile prior to 1857, when his great grandfather Charles George Blythe emigrated from Lincolnshire, England to the United States wtih his father and one brother.

Much further into the past is the Welsh migration of my husband’s ancestors in the 18th century and the Acadian settlement of Atlantic Canada of my own ancestors in the 17th century.

Costs of research prior to the internet for me to research my mother’s Acadian ancestry in Atlantic Canada.

First, here is an outline of the costs of traveling there to do my own family tree research during our driving tour of the area about 7 years ago. This is an estimated breakdown of the expenses of our two week trip from Ontario. Although there were four of us on this trip, I will show the costs if it were only one person (approximately $1800 – $2,650) here:

  • Gasoline: $700 – $1000
  • Campsites: $450 – $700 (hotels would be much more)
  • Food, etc.: $200 – $300
  • Entry Fees (museums, tours, etc.): $150
  • Production costs (printing, photocopying, books, materials, etc.): $300 – $500

Costs of hiring a local researcher to conduct the family tree research on site and in person.

I will be basing this estimate on the time and expenses for each individual item researched while we were there (estimated total of $925).

  • Moncton University of Monctonof: 2 hours totaling $60
    • Books: 2 totaling $100
    • Photocopies: 100 totaling $10
  • Ste. Anne University: 2 hours totaling $60
    • Books: 1 totaling $30
    • Photocopies: 50 totaling $10
  • Ste. Anne Catholic Church: 4 hours totaling $120
  • Grand Pré Museum: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 30 totaling $30
    • Books: 1 totaling $20
    • Pictures: 4 totaling $25
  • Fort Edward: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 10 totaling $10
  • Fort Beausejour: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 60 totaling $60
  • Melanson Settlement: 1 hour totaling $30
    • Digital Photos: 20 totaling $20
  • New Brunswick Archives: 4 hours totaling $120
    • Photocopies: 200 totaling $20
  • Nova Scotia Archives: 4 hours totaling $120
    • Photocopies: 200 totaling $20

Costs today to obtain most of the information and items as above using the internet and online genealogy resources for family tree research.

I have not been able to find some of the information online to this date. The estimated total using the internet is $415.

  • Ste. Anne Catholic Church (not available online): 4 hours totaling $120
  • New Brunswick Archives: Free
  • Nova Scotia Archives: Free
  • Moncton University of Moncton: Free
  • annual subscription: $120
  • Acadian GenWeb Sites: Free
  • Books, etc. (same as above): $175

Irreplaceable benefits of traveling to do my own family tree research in person and on site.

Fort Beauséjour ruins.

Fort Beauséjour ruins: foundations in the foreground and the still-standing supply tunnel in the background.

I love the ease and low cost of the resources available online for family tree research. However, I must say that there was no experience like personally visiting the historical sites, museums, universities and libraries during our trip to the research location, despite the expense incurred. Had we not traveled to the sites, we would have missed a great deal that I found so enjoyable and valuable, including:

  • seeing Fort Edward and Fort Beausejour, the scenes of the imprisonment of my ancestors during the Acadian expulsion;
  • seeing the Melanson Settlement heritage site, the town of Melanson, and Melanson Mountain, heritage sites of my Melanson ancestors;
  • our wonderful bonus of finding the missing ‘aboiteau’ (dike used for draining the marshes for farmland during the Acadian settlement) at North Hill Museum and getting pictures; and
  • consulting with the staff at Moncton Museum, Ste. Anne Museum, North Hill Museum, Fort Beausejour, Fort Edward, Port Royal, Fort Anne, and the Grand Pré Museum.
An Aboiteau or valved dike in storage at North Hills Museum.

An Aboiteau in storage at North Hills Museum.

Most of all, a lot of the places we did end up visiting were not planned. Some of the sites we came upon accidentally after speaking with locals and site staff, some we learned about from the local newspapers, and some we came upon accidentally during our travels. The graveyard at Ste. Anne Catholic Church is one example of an accidental find, where we took numerous photos of gravestones; and the North Hill Museum where we found the aboiteau is another.

Port Royal

The interior courtyard of the fort at Port Royal.

Two sites in particular that proved to be particularly enjoyable were Fort Anne’s Graveyard Tour (you can see a photo of my kids listening to the presentation in the revolving images on this site) and Port Royal. The tour guide at Fort Anne was Alan Melanson and his brother was one of the guides at Port Royal. They turned out to be our Melanson kin, descending from two brothers who were sons of the original Huguenot immigrant Pierre ‘dit Laverdure’ Melanson.

We enjoyed the experience so much, we now discuss the possibility (more of a pipe dream) of traveling to Great Britain and Europe to conduct research into our British and Welsh ancestors, and the original French ancestors of the Huguenots who emigrated to Acadia.

The bottom line.

I find the convenience and lower cost of researching via the internet has a hidden cost, that of missing out on personally experiencing the sites, history and unexpected finds of conducting on-site family tree research.