The following news release is printed with no changes:
Oct 26, 2009 – MORE than 1,000 people each month are now visiting the Swansea-based West Glamorgan Archive service.
And the Civic Centre-based service is gearing up for an even busier time as autumn and winter weather and festive family gatherings inspire more family history hunters.
Lots of people who use the West Glamorgan Archives have had a great deal of success tracing their family tree.
And for one Swansea resident, the information she found has seen her conducting research around the country.
Jennifer McClarnan started researching her family tree in 2007 when she retired from work.
Mrs McClarnan already knew her great grandfather was Indian and was born in Burma in 1835.
So she went to West Glamorgan Archives at the Civic Centre and the staff there helped her search the records.
Mrs McClarnan said: “My great grandfather’s name was Henry Davies but we think he adopted this name when he joined the Royal Navy.
“I found out that he and my great grandmother lived in Pembroke and had three children, one of whom was my grandfather, Edwin Davies.
“When he left the Navy, according to the census which I saw in the Archives, he and his family moved to Swansea where he worked in Landore steel works.
“His profession was a hammerman and my great grandmother was a servant.”
Mrs McClarnan was then advised by the West Glamorgan Archives to write to The National Archives at Kew in London for information about her great grandfather’s naval career.
But unfortunately she didn’t have what’s known as his CS number so there was not much they could tell her.
“I used the Naval Archives online and found there were 121 different Henry Davies’ serving in the Navy at the same time as my great grandfather was serving in the Navy. But as he was the only one born in Burma, we managed to find out that that he was born in Moulman in Burma in June 1935, he was 5’8″ tall with hazel eyes and dark brown hair.”
The next step for Mrs McClarnan is to go back to the Archives in the Civic Centre and search for information about her other grandfather from her mother’s side.
“I think this will be a lot easier as he is from Swansea. I’m hoping to trace the line a lot further back.”
She said: “I found the Archives an excellent place to start your search as you don’t know where it will take you.”
Kim Collis, Swansea Council’s County Archivist, said: “We are delighted Jennifer has such luck with her search and she is not alone.
“Following programmes like Who Do You Think You Are we have also had a wave of people hunting out the skeletons in the closet of their family’s past delving into prison records of past relatives for example.”
For more information about West Glamorgan Archives and opening times telephone 01792 636589 or visit http://www.swansea.gov.uk/westglamorganarchives.