Drive north from the Welsh capital city of Cardiff, keep going north through the Rhymney Valley beyond Caerphilly until it seems that there is no more road left. Take a right turn and after a few miles you’ll find the village of Abertysswg nestled below the Rhychdir mountains. Today around 1,500 people live in this village. One hundred years ago there were less than 50. Where today there are houses, a small park, a church and a school, a century ago there were just farms and fields.
It’s a village born from coal. The rich deposits of this valuable material drew people to this remote part of South Wales, promising them the one thing they didn’t have in their own villages and towns — a job.
Coal created the village. Coal brought families from England and Ireland to settle here in the hope of a better life. Among them were my ancestors. They came from southern Ireland, from Worcester and from Gloucester and from the neighbouring valleys of Blaenau Gwent.
This is the journal of my attempts to follow their trail to Wales.
The purpose of this blog is to keep track of my research and to share information I discover about the various strands of my family tree. If you stumble upon this site and you share some of my interests, so much the better. Feel free to browse or to leave me a comment.