Thank you for your reply.
I'm grateful for the information available ....particularly the free
material, as I purchased material from The Library for years.
I suppose the level of expertise needed for the older material is not so
easily found these days.....not everyone is a Brain Swann or your Mr.
unfortunately. Census translation or rather mistranslation has mad us all
very critical, but an estate and occupants as important as Orielton
should have some priority, I agree.
From: Brian Swann
Sent: Saturday, December 12, 2015 8:20 AM
To: 'Lance Kirkwood' ; achwr(a)fsmail.net ; 'jennifer cairns'
Cc: 'DYFED-admin' ; 'dyfdd list' ; 'dyfed'
Subject: RE: Welsh Surname Books + NLW Catalogues
Essentially Beryl Evans book is a 2015 update of the classical two books by
John and Sheila Rowlands published in the 1990s on Tracing Your Welsh
I suspect with your background it will not tell you much you do not already
know. There is a Chapter on the Records of the Court of the Great Sessions
in it though.
One of my personal frustrations is that when I talked with Beryl at
Aberystwyth in August 2015 she made it clear that they do very little
classical cataloguing as we would understand it. Most staff are employed in
cataloguing recent accessions, and little effort is devoted to
re-cataloguing items that were only broadly catalogued in the first place.
My personal bugbear are the Owen of Orielton estate papers at the NLW. The
current catalogue says they have 24 boxes of material, but apart from parish
names and dates covered, and a broad description of contents, there is no
fine detail of the deeds, rentals, etc., in this large estate collection.
This makes a vivid contrast with the Bronwydd MSS and Picton Castle MSS
collections, where such content is spelt out in sufficient detail that often
you do not need to refer to the original documents.
I think a lot of these collections for Pembrokeshire were catalogued by
Bertie G. Charles in his time, and if he had not been around then I wonder
how many of the Latin deeds in these collections would ever have been
So I had the impression that the chance of the Owen of Orielton estate
papers being relooked at in the next few years was virtually zero. We seem
to spend more and more on indexing material from 1800 onwards and decreasing
amounts of time touching anything before that date.
Contrast that with the large effort by the Pembrokeshire Archives to produce
a pretty good electronic catalogue of their material.
From: Lance Kirkwood [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 09 December 2015 04:35
To: Brian Swann; achwr(a)fsmail.net; 'jennifer cairns'
Cc: 'DYFED-admin'; 'dyfdd list'; 'dyfed'
Subject: Re: Welsh Surname books
Obviously you have had access to both books, so could you tell me how they
I purchased the Rowlands book, but did not know Beryl had written one so
don't know if I would be doubling up on information if I purchased hers.
Over 20 years she has been of great personal help to me with my own
Bettye Kirkwood, Australia.