Seeking info on Welsh forebears
— 2, Bridgemans

Letter No. 218 | January 8, 2001

Greetings from Nantyglo, S.Wales.

Hi. I was down at our own Society offices last week and saw the presentation plaque from your Nanty Glo. How did your town name originate; was it started up by settlers from S. Wales and, if so, do you know of any by the names of Bridgeman? Any anformation about your interest and family history society would be most welcome.

Bye for now,

Colin Bridgeman

Post script: I... was born in the mining valleys of S. Wales, in 1950. At that time, the valley was a place of coal tips and pits, a great play- ground for a child, with high montains on both sides, and in the winter the snow was deep. It is good to remember the past. Fortunately, we only seem to remember the good times, but people in those days had a hard time. Working in the pits as my father did was extremely dangerous; he used to work in a coal seam only two feet in height and had to crawl in on his stomach with just a pick to claw away at the coal, but he worked hard for us, and it is these people that we owe a great deal to. Unfortunately he passed away two years ago at the age of 89, a good age for a miner. I am proud to be a miner's son.

Unfortunately, Nantyglo has changed. It no longer has the pits, no longer the coal tips, but we still have our green mountains and the Welsh spirit of the people of the valleys is everlasting.

It was just after my father's death that I got interested in family history as a way of remembering those who went before us and as a mark of respect to their memories. It was a pleasure to read some of your letters about your Nantyglo and mine. Thanks for the memories, so to say.

I now live in Basingstoke, which is some 120 miles from Nantyglo, and go home on a regular basis. After all, home is where the heart is.

If I can be of any assistance to you good people of Nanty Glo, just ask, and if there are any Bridgeman's or their decendants over there, then please get in touch. In fact, any one can get in touch. —CB

Webmaster's note: An article on Nanty Glo, Pa's origins can be found here. It seems that no one knows whether it was named for Nantyglo, South Wales, or whether the Welsh founders merely knew the meaning of the Welsh words nant-y-glo (streams of coal) and thought it appropriate. I don't even know whether the founders began in North or South Wales and it's possible that they didn't know, either (I, for example, have never been able to find what part of Ireland my own forebears came from). The county and its countyseat were founded a century earlier than Nanty Glo, also by Welsh immigrants. I am not acquainted with any Bridgemans in the Nanty Glo area, but other readers may have more information on that.


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