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Discovering her ancestors in The National Library’s archives

A lady from Llandre, who is volunteering at The National Library of Wales, has come across a box containing documents of a ship that has connections to her family.

According to Gwenno Watkin, her great grandmother, Sarah Davies, had a model of a ship called ‘Sarah Davies’, a sailing ship registered to Aberystwyth port during the late 19th century when it was amongst the most active ports in Wales.  Gwenno has also been able to follow the footsteps of her great uncle, from the Aberporth area, who was a sailor during that time. 
Gwenno says, “handling these old documents gives me great pleasure, this was such a busy period in the history of Aberystwyth port – there’s a story linked to every ship”.

The ‘Aberystwyth Shipping Records’ project is part of the National Library’s volunteering scheme, which offers volunteers an opportunity to transcribe personal details from original crew lists.  The data collected will be a valuable resource for researchers and for those tracing their family history.

According to Gwyneth Davies, the scheme’s co-ordinator:
“More than 75 volunteers have taken part in the scheme to date, working on 14 varying projects.  The Library started to welcome volunteers to work on our collections in 2012, as a result of financial support from The Big Lottery; the scheme has gone from strength to strength and is now one of the most successful volunteering schemes amongst Wales’ public organisations”.

The Library’s first volunteers fair will take place on Thursday, June the 5th, organised in partnership with CAVO.  As well as having a go at the Library’s volunteer projects, there will be an opporunity to meet other organisations that offer volunteering opportunities.

The day’s activities include presentations of the Ceredigion Volunteer Award of Recognition 2014.

According to Hazel Lloyd Urban, Chief Executive of CAVO:
“The CAVO Volunteering Awards acknowledge the efforts of some outstanding individuals; they also give us an opportunity to thank some of the hundreds of volunteers who give of their time and energy to make a vital contribution to their communities and to make a difference to other people’s lives.”

John Jones, CAVO Trustee added:
“We very much hope that this special day will raise awareness of the value and importance of volunteering within the county.”

According to Aled Gruffydd Jones, Chief Executive and Librarian:
“Volunteers are now an integral part of the Library ‘family’ and we truly appreciate their efforts.  Volunteering is an effective way of developing skills for the workplace, while also meeting new friends – and having fun!  It’s a pleasure to share the company of the keen volunteers, of all ages and backgrounds, who come here on a weekly basis to support the Library’s services”.

Further Information

Elin-Hâf 01970 632471 or