My Scientific Interest in Genealogy

My interest in genealogy is scientific, in other words as objective and accurate as possible. It is in the nature of the subject that it is based on careful and laborious research for each generation. Proof must be found for each generation. As one goes further back in time this becomes more and more difficult. Sometimes one must use judgment and balance of probability. This is especially true of the ancient genealogies. As we have just seen, some records of St Cynog have been stolen and lost, but we are fortunate in having available the Ynys Cedwyn Estate records. Until recent times the Ynys Cedwyn genealogy was in a mess, but we have researched it as accurately as humanly possible. “We” are: Clement Bartrum, Leonid Morgan, Stuart Davies, Arthur Turner Thomas, Vivienne Swaby, Dewi Lewis, others and myself. Our work is now regarded as definitive but we continue to search for new information. Everything has been archived electronically via the site and blog. My direct line goes back with certainty to Edward Evans who married Elizabeth Gunter in 1737 at St. Mary’s Cusop in modern Hereford County, part of ancient Powys. The line older than that is speculative. The Hereford Registry is of the opinion that Edward Evans and Elizabeth Gunter would probably have both originated in the small villages around Hay on Wye (Y Gelli Gandryll), either side of the completely random border between Hereford and modern Powys. It ought to be possible to push back further but this would require a lot of work. Edward Evans is a name given to very many unrelated people, but Gunter is the name of an ancient Norman Family. Gunter was a knight of Bernard de Neufmarche. The name may mean “Gaunt d’Or”, or “golden glove or gaunt, as in gauntlet” or may have some other etymology, like “warrior” or “hunter” from the Old Norse “Gunr” and “Heri”, meaning “army of warriors”. The Normans originated in Norway and Gunnar and Gunther are given names on the continent today. Evans is a name derived from the Biblical John so many unrelated people are called Evans. It is like Johann on the continent: Johann Sebastian Bach, Johann Christian Bach and so on from the Greek Ioan from the Hebrew original, “Johanan”, meaning “Favoured by Jehovah”, “a prophet beloved by God”. Evans may also come from British Celtic, “Eofn” or “Fearless Warrior”. So I would have to go around all the churches and chapels near Hay on Wye. The Hereford Registry could not find the relevant records. Unfortunately, the parental names are not mentioned in the marriage record at St Cusop of December 1737. My direct line is made up of farmers and farm workers, so it is amazing that we have managed to reach 1737. The rural poor were really poor, which does not mean that they were uncultured, they were often far more cultured than the Peers and Gentry.


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