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Where are your roots, Show President?

The National Library of Wales at the Royal Welsh Show

The President of this year’s Show is John R. Davies of Merthyr Cynog and he’s also the ‘star’ of the National Library’s unit at this year’s show!

For the first time ever the National Library’s unit will be devoted almost entirely to family history. As part of this theme, the Library’s staff have delved into the family and farm history of the President!

The Library staff discovered that John’s family has a close connection with a farm in Pentwyn, Merthyr Cynog, and that his family history dates back to the mid 19th century.

Thomas Williams (the Presidents great, great, great grandfather) was born circa 1792 in Merthyr Cynog. The marital records of Thomas Williams could not be found in Merthyr Cynog marital records, but there were records in the marriage banns that he was to marry Ann Williams from Trallong. Thomas could not write his name; therefore he signed the document with a cross.

By the 1851 census, Thomas was a widow living in Yskirfechan with 8 of his children, farming 304 acres of land and employing 4 labourers. He died on the 13 May 1859, aged 67.

The Library’s main aim at this year’s Show will to give a step-by-step introduction to the process of tracing your family tree, by explaining some of the main sources which are constantly used by family historians.

Our exhibition will also concentrate on P. B. Abery’s black and white photographs. We will be asking visitors for further information about the photos to enrich our collection.

We will also have a children’s corner, where they will be able to complete a family tree. Something for the whole family!

Beryl Evans, Research Services Manager at The National Library of Wales said:

‘I wish I’d started earlier’ is a familiar sentiment among family historians when they first start the journey of tracing their ancestors. Once the process of creating your family tree has begun, it’s like a drug, which gets into your blood!’

‘The Library is the main repository for family history research in Wales, holding a vast number of records from all over the country. We want to show The Royal Welsh Show visitors how to get the best out of the Library’s collections and services’

The National Library of Wales offer’s weekly information sessions. These sessions offer an opportunity to learn about the Library’s collections and how to make the best use of the facilities and your time at the Library. These are short sessions of around 30 minutes based on your needs. They are suitable for individuals or a small group of people (up to 3 people).


Family History at NLW
Royal Welsh Show

Further Information

Elin Hâf, NLW Press Office 01970 632534 or