This month’s highlight has been kindly provided by Glamorgan FHS. The Swansea Town Surveys 1837 a nd 18 3 9, normally priced £8 from the glamfhs.org.ukk online shop, is a transcription of an unusual pair of volumes held by the West Glamorgan Archive Service. The surveys were carried out by a local scholarly body to create a census of the town, before the 1841 census, listing the owners and occupiers of properties in Swansea, plus the 1839 survey includes the stated religious affiliation of each householder. each measuring three feet by two. Being so unwieldy, the decision was made to digitise the source to create a new interactive CD.
“It is immensely detailed and shows every lamp post, down pipe, pump, privy and piggery. It shows Swansea at a time of change and in an unprecedented amount of detail. At the same time, many of the more modern amenities were just beginning to make an appearance. The railway station was brand new and the first of the custom-madec docks was just a few yearsy old.
“The to own it sh hows is oneo of greatg contrasts: tiny, one-up-onedownd slum houses crowd together withw tanneries, chapels, pubs and businesses.b Elegant townhouses canc be found within a stone’s th hrow of squalid courts.
“For the family historian and th he social historian alike, it is a ri ich resource full of information abouta what life was like in VictorianV Swansea.”
Along with the maps th hemselves, the CD comes with a street index, a transcript of a contemporaryc street-by-street sa anitary survey and a selection of oldo photographs of buildings sh hown on the map that are not th here anymore. The CD costs £14.95 and can be purchased from swansea.gov.uk/ westglamorganarchives.
For many years the archive has looked after oral history recordings and films in various formats, from cine film to magnetic tape. These have now been digitised and made available in the Family History Centre room.
There are oral history recordings in Welsh and English, including some interviewees who were born in Victorian times, giving a fascinating insight into The society’s Swansea branch rep Jeff Coleman reports that in October, at the society’s annual fair at Merthyr Tydfil, two recent projects were published on CD: Burial Registers for Oystermouth Cemetery, a large municipal cemetery in the Mumbles area of Swansea; and Admission Registers for Dunvant School, Swansea.
The Landore Siemens steelworks in Swansea, c1880