The morning was set aside to visit a friend (from my days as the non-residential administrator at St Michael's Theological College,Cardiff) in Newbridge-on-Wye but I managed to drop into a church on the way! This time it was St Gwrthwl's, Llanwrthwl - where 3x great grandfather, James Price was baptised on 10 Sept 1786.
I think this has to be my favourite church of the ones I've visited on this trip. The church gate is incredibly stiff and I couldn't open it from the outside. Fortunately, there are steps!
It's a little more precarious on the downward side! I loved the interior of this church; it's carpeted throughout and I was particularly taken with the natural stone of the west end wall.
Tucked away down there are tea and coffee making facilities for the many walkers that pass through the village. Judging by the comment in the visitors' book, it's much appreciated. I did manage to push open the gate from the church side which saved climbing back over the wall!
Onto Powys Archives which is now located on the Ddole Road Industrial Estate; purpose built facilities for the preservation of the archives. Could I find it? I knew it was Unit 29 but the road markings leave a lot to be desired. The sign that read 'Units 23 and upward' was badly worn and impossible to read from the road. Anyway, I found it eventually and was made welcome.
I confined myself mainly to the parish records that aren't available on findmypast; Llanbister and Llananno which are available as scanned copies (so no having to struggle with microfilm!) in the office. I've verified some baptisms for the Woodside, Llananno Joneses and some Reeses and realised I had driven past Great Meadows, the address given for Sarah Mantle and Richard Benbo (for the baptism of Richard, Sarah and John Benbo in 1867 although this is awkward because Richard Benbo married Adeliza Mantle and died in 1862!) on the mini-adventure!
I've also gleaned more information from the records for Llanbadarn Fynydd for the family of great uncle James Jones which brings me a bit more up-to-date with them.
I think the most interesting things on this visit were the Memorial Inscriptions and we have to be grateful to volunteers who record the position of, and details on, headstones in church yards.
Firstly, I decided to check the details for 3x great grandfather, Edward Thomas. Born in Welshpool in 1808, Edward lived to the ripe old age of 93, dying in 1903 in Newtown. I'd seen his burial record in the parish register some years before. It's really interesting as the minister had noted, in the margin: "used to tell everybody in his latter days that he had committed a 'great crime'. When asked what the event was, he would reply, 'too old to work' ".
I knew he had a headstone at St David's Church, Newtown but had never found it so I wanted to re-check the details. Here's what is noted: "337 - composite headstone with slate plaque and urn. Urn: In memory of M Morris from friends and neighbours. Headstone: In loving memory of Edward Thomas, aged 93 years. Buried 22 Jan 1903. Also of Margaret Morris, granddaughter of the above. Died 30 Oct 1946 aged 67. "Fell from a railway compartment at Forden Station on to the rails and received severe injuries which proved fatal. Rest in Peace".
I'd seen an entry for a Margaret Morris of about the right age in the 1939 Register at the Public Assistance Institution at Forden; a member of staff who was a seamstress and wondered whether it could be her. I would need to order a death certificate to confirm but it seemed very likely now.
I also found out something else but I'm going to leave that until tomorrow...