Articles, photographs and fillers are sent in by members of the Society for inclusion in “Cronicl.” We are always looking for articles of genealogical interest . 

Editor: “Powys Cronicl”: Jenny Caines:                                            

Address: The Old Manse, Scarr, Lydeard-St-Lawrence, Taunton, Somerset TA4 3RH

Members will notice that recent Cronicls have a slightly different look, returning to an earlier format with the familiar dragon logo at the head of each page.

A lot of interesting articles have been submitted, so thank you to everyone who has sent in. There can never be too many, so please keep them coming in, especially if they relate to your own family history and research.

Cronicl number 102 (December 2017) includes an article written on DNA testing, the pitfalls and the benefits. Here is the author’s summary of the different types of testing available:

Mitochondrial DNA testing – from the X chromosome which both males and females get from their mother. Note that males do not pass on the mitochondrial DNA to their offspring. We inherit our mitochondrial DNA from our mothers. Change in this DNA happens VERY slowly. This means you can share mitochondrial DNA with a modern person but your shared ancestor may be many hundreds or even thousands of years back. It is useful for looking at your deep ancestral history and the paths your ancestors took out of Africa. Reputedly DNA can take twenty thousand years to show a mutation. For genealogical purposes it may not be the most useful test to take.

Y DNA is gender specific to males only. Should a woman wish to test her paternal line she would have to test her father, brother, or even father’s brother – in fact the closest paternal line male relative she can find. The Y chromosomes are passed from father to son. Over time there may be slight mutations that occur during replication of cell DNA. When a mutation does occur, all male descendants of the man carrying the mutated DNA will show that mutation. When a second mutation happens, all of that man’s sons will carry the second mutation as well as the first, and so on. There will be distinct sub-groups of the group with the first mutation.

Although Y DNA and mitochondrial DNA can be used to determine  the relation of individuals it cannot directly determine the degree of relationship. Genetic genealogy is an addition to traditional genealogical research not a replacement. The relationship predictions can get close, but the further back in time you go the less accurate it will be.

Autosomal DNA is the DNA we inherit from both parents and is not gender specific. This blended and combined DNA full of the genes of your ancestors is blended in you. Your siblings will have a blend of the same ancestors but not necessarily in the same mix. The further back in time you go the less useful this DNA is for genealogy as the proportions of ancestor DNA becomes more and more dilute. The most effective use of autosomal testing is to have several family members tested over a range of generations. This helps narrow down any matches as the range of genetic markers within the family has been more widely tested. It can indicate genetic cousins, and may have a relationship predictor as part of your matches in your test results. However you will still need to contact your matches to establish the possible origins of the relationship as DNA alone cannot do this. (As the author points out, not all those contacted will want to participate and may not have your enthusiasm for family history!)

As more and more people are tested, so the databases grow and the potentially better your results should be.

Also from Cronicl 102:

Extracts from “Edwin Jerman: A Passchendaele death.”

A Montgomershire man, Edwin Jerman, born at Llwyncoppa farm Adfa was killed by hostile fire on 23rd October 1917 in Passchendaele, Belgium. His was the only death in his unit on that day just prior to the Second Battle, Passchendaele. Edwin was driver 2918/701696 in the Royal Field Artillery, 330 Brigade B Battery, (an East Lancashire territorial force) in this campaign. From being a farm labourer at Melin Grug, Llanfair, he enlisted at Welshpool on 10th February 1916. Aged 28, he was called up on 3rd October of that year and sent to the Western Front.

In his will he left £100 to Miss Sarah Jane Morris of Henllan-fawr, Llangyniew, and the residue to his mother at Manafon.  Edwin’s mother, Margaret Ann, was the oldest daughter of a family of thirteen, one of her siblings died in infancy,  and another of TB when he was in his twenties. Sarah Jane Morris and Edwin had met whilst he was working for his Uncle Andrew (a hard task-master), at Henllan Ucha, which was a neighbouring farm to Henllan-fawr. Edwin was (as passed down by family members) a pleasant and hard working young man. His death was an undeniable family tragedy.

Here are just a few of the subjects lined up for Cronicl 103 due out in early April:

  • The second part of “The Lewis Letters” – letters written by the Rev Benjamin Morris of Brecon 1881-1893 to his niece in Zanesville, Ohio. Translated from Welsh.
  • A history of the Welsh settlement of Williamsburgh, Iowa (written about 1890.)
  • “A Visit to Old Radnor”. Written by the descendants of three young Meredith brothers – Thomas, William and James, who left Radnorshire for North America in 1867, leaving behind their parents and older siblings at Yonkin, Cascob. They were the sons of Thomas Meredith and Mary ( nee Pugh ).
  • Woman of the Waterways: a fascinating account of the life of Hannah Evans and her family on the Montgomeryshire canals. Written by her great grandson Raymond Humphreys.

Below, cover of the 100th edition of Cronicl, which came out in April 2017.

This was a landmark in the history of Powys FHS. There have been so many changes since that first issue in 1981. We no longer have to make long trips to Records Offices far and wide, almost everything is at our fingertips online. But there is no substitute for meeting, and being able to work with others who have shared interests, many friendships have been made this way. So if those around you get that faraway glazed look in their eyes when you talk about family history (yes, we’ve all been there!) try sharing your thoughts and ideas with Powys FH folk and see them light up!