ἹΣΤΟΡΊΑ

“Get up, you old sow, you are drunk.” - The Manslaughter of Selina Jones.






On the night of 12th of August 1872, Selina Jones was found dead at her home at Newcastle Hill. It was suspected that her death was caused by series of falls she had earlier that evening but over the days that followed something very different was uncovered.

Unfortunately, not much is known about the early life of both Thomas and Selina Jones. What little we know has been drawn from census records, court records, and newspaper articles. 

The first record of the family living in Bridgend is the baptism record of their eldest daughter Esther Ann. Esther Ann was baptised at Nolton Church on the 1st of March 1861. At this time the Jones family were living at School Court.

By the time of the 1861 Census, the family were living at Phillips Court. Thomas lived there with his wife, Selina and their children: Henry and Esther Ann.

The Census record also shows that the Jones family shared their house with another family, the Davies'. These were: Esther Davies, Alfred Davies, and their two children. Both Thomas, Selina and Esther Davies are all listed as 'Hawkers.'

The 1871 Census tells us that the Jones family were now living at Newcastle Hill. Here Thomas and Selina lived with their children: Henry, Esther Ann, David, Shadrach, and Rosana. At this time, Thomas' mother, Ann, aged 79 was also living with the family.  Again, Thomas and Selina are listed as 'Hawkers.'

"People of the Poorest and Dirtiest Class." - Caepantywyll.

Girl in a graveyard, Bruce Davidson - 1965.
















Many of you will recognise this photograph taken by American photographer Bruce Davidson in 1965. Part of the 'Welsh Miners' series, it is one of many taken during his tour of the South Wales Coalfield with poet Horace Jones. Images from Davidson's 'Welsh Miner' series can be found here.

A few months ago, while on Twitter, I came across a thread of photographers keen to discover where the above photograph was taken. I suggested researching the names of the headstone that the young girl is stood next to. Those names were 'Sarah' and 'Roger Christopher.'

From the information on the headstone, I managed to trace the location of the burial ground to Capel Bethlehem, Caepantywyll.

Unfortunately, not much is known about Caepantywyll. What little we know has been drawn from census records, sanitary reports, and newspaper articles. I've decided to focus on the period when those named on the headstone were in their prime. 

Y Gwyliau - A Welsh Christmas.

Geese at Cowbridge via People's Collection Wales






















From The Plygain to the Mari Lwyd, I'll be exploring some of the weird and wonderful customs/traditions our ancestors took part in during Christmastide. Although a majority of these customs are now obsolete, it is always interesting to look back on how Christmas once was. 

"During the Victorian period, Christmas changed gradually from an intensely social occasion in which all the community took part to one of family celebration in the seclusion of private houses."
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