On­line high­light

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - AROUND BRITAIN -

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

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