Hay view from Castle

Hay view from Castle
Hay-on-Wye, Powys (formerly Breconshire), Wales. The "Town of Books" (and Vaughans!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Honing in on William Vaughan (1768) and Fir Tree Cottage (1798-1851)

Fir Tree Cottage, home of William Vaughan (1768) and likely John Vaughan (1789)
We were in the right neighborhood, just a bit down the road. I clinched it when I skimmed through the Glasbury tithing maps of 1847 that I've been "crowd-source" indexing and found lot no. 680 tithed by William Vaughan. When I looked at the overlay on the modern map, it fit right on, or close enough to, the existing houses. I'll put in the letter here I wrote to "Resident Family" that explains all the connections. The clincher, of course, is the fir tree.

William Vaughan tithed on Parcel No. 680, circled in yellow, Heol-y-gaer, ["road of the Roman camp"] Glasbury, Breconshire, 1847
Fir Tree Cottage with clincher Fir Tree

Dear Resident Family,
     I apologize for not knowing your names. I found your home on Google and the Ordnance Survey maps. My cousins and I have been engaged in family history research in your area as our origins are from Vaughans of Hay and Glasbury (possibly, Clifford as well). My wife and I are planning a visit to Wales the end of June through July. While most of the time in July will be with a student group with Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, we will have a few days on our own with a hired car to visit some family history sites on our own. We would like to ask permission to stop by and take a few photos, only of the exterior of your home and the surrounding area, as we believe it was the site of a home of an ancestor, William Vaughan (1768-1851).
     We have records of William Vaughan born 1768 in Glasbury to Roger Vaughan and Elizabeth Powel. William appears on an 1832 Poll Book living at Firtree Cottage, Heolygare, Glasbury. And in the 1841 Census at Firtree Cottage, profession: Butcher. And in the 1851 Census at Heolegare as a pauper, formerly Butcher. His 1851 burial record at St. Peter’s, Glasbury, names Heolygare as his abode. The 1847 tithing map, for which I am a volunteer indexer, plots William Vaughan’s parcel right at your present location.

     We believe that William was likely the master to our 4th Great-Grandfather, John Vaughan (1789-1851), his nephew as apprentice and later a butcher in Hay who relocated to Llanfoist, Monmouthshire in the 1830s. It is possible that as John Vaughan was illegitimate, he was raised by his Uncle William.
     That explains our connection. Please know that we wish no disturbance to you or your residence. We merely want to take pictures and talk if you are amenable to that. Thank you for your kind attention.

As William's father Roger Vaughan (1732), farmed on the Breconshire side of the Wye at Glasbury, trying to grow flax, it was likely in this area. This is also not far at all from Felindre where the Prices, including ol' Rees, had their public house and tailoring businesses.

Fir Tree Cottage, Heol-y-gaer to Felindre (Velindre)

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