George Nicholas was born in about 1848 in the Parish of Llansaint, Carmarthenshire. Llansaint was the home of his mother, Mary Charles. Mary married Georgeís father, David Nicholas on February 3rd 1835. They had at least four children before George was born. Mary was born on April 5th 1835, James was born on April 3rd 1836 and Anne was born on July 1st 1838. David was a shoemaker, one of several in the village at this time. The parish records show the burial of another child, Elizabeth on October 4th 1847. Mary died soon after the birth of George and was buried on September 11th 1849 at the young age of forty.
By 1851 David had moved his family to Cwmavon, all except for five year old George who was left with his late mother's brother and his family in Upper Wern, Llanelli. His uncle Thomas Charles was also a shoemaker. By 1861 George had rejoined his father and was living in Miners Row, Cwmavon. David, who initialy had worked as a blast furnace filler was once again working as a shoemaker. He had also remarried. George had a stepmother. In the 1816 census he is a fourteen year old assistant sawyer. By 1871 George had moved out of the family home in number 12 to live with the Hopkins family as a boarder at number 30 Miners Row. He was now a puddler.
The census of 1881 shows George being married to Sinah and now living in Cwmavon, Glamorganshire. Selina "Sinah" Lloyd was born in Yspitty, Carmarthenshire in about 1852. Yspitty was a village on the west bank of the river Llwchwr (Loughor). It straddled the road from Llanelli to Swansea near the village of Bynea. All that now remains of the village is a few houses, Yspitty Road. Her father, William Lloyd had been a copperman by trade. He and his wife Mary were from Llangyfelach near Morriston.
George and Sinah
lived at number two, Copper Row, a street of two-up two-down cottages on the
southern slopes of the Foel mountain. Their home overlooked the industrial
village of Cwmafon (Cwmafan, Cwmavon) in Glamorganshire. George still worked at the
local iron works as a puddler. A particularly unpleasant and dangerous job,
skimming the floating impurities from the surface of the molten iron with his
long handled puddlerís spoon. Puddlers were known by their scars and sometimes
by their blindness caused by the spitting metal in the white-hot cauldron.
In 1881 they had
five children, eight-year-old Mary, six year old William, five year old David,
one year old Rachel and Lewis who was three months old. Later, other children
were born - George, Thomas, Richard, Anne and Hayden. At this time, the widowed Mary Lloyd, Sinahís sixty-nine year old
mother was also living with the growing family in what must have been very
Daughter Mary was eventually to marry Thomas Griffiths of Oakwood, Pontrhydyfen and become the authorís grandparents.
NB: ** Note the correction made by the recorder!
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