Below is the script of John’s first video clip.
Welcome to the Family History page. We can all remember events from our younger days of happy family celebrations and anniversaries with our parents, grand parents, aunts and uncles and so on. Our close family often tell us stories about relations who have died and about how they lived. These reminiscences are second to none and will often unmask interesting facts and personal characteristics. In our Family History searches this knowledge can supply us with starting points and sometimes verify other information that is kept in your database. If your relatives will share their recollections with you try to record what they say or write down notes so vital facts are not lost. This record that is passed down to you can be a priceless piece of your family history and a tribute to your family members.
Religious Non-Conformity in Wales
In my video clip I mentioned that many of my ancestors were Welsh Non-Conformist Chapel worshippers. As the title suggests Non-Conformists distinguished themselves from other sects of Christianity. Alien or not, in 1851 the only religious census in this country showed that Anglican worshippers in Wales were in the minority - most Christians were by then Nonconformist. It demonstrated that 80% of worshippers in Wales were Nonconformists, mostly Calvanistic Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists and Independants. So there is a deliberate distinction between non-conformism and traditional Christianity such as the Church of England and the Church in Wales.
As well as the difference in religious practice, chapels in Wales have a distinctly Welsh tradition and flavour. So differences in worship and religion combined with Welsh culture and traditions to give a unique strain if Non-Conformism.
I suspect that many Welsh Chapel going relatives felt that their faith set them apart from the rest of the world in both religion and culture.
In being both Non-Conformist and Welsh they belonged to communities that prided themselves on their separateness. For example in the 1980s Welsh people stood against the new Sunday licensing laws for alcohol. The Welsh resisted this for many years.
Knowing someone’s faith and nationality can give you many clues to their identity.
Below is the script of John’s second video clip.
Hello! Thank you for visiting the Family History Page.
Knowing an ancestors religion can tell you a lot about what they were like. In our searches to find out more about our ancestors we discovered that many were Welsh non-conformist worshippers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. They attended chapels for prayer meetings, singing hymns and to listen to sermons. This was a social occasion as well as a religious event and their religious beliefs had a strong influence on them that permeated their perception, interpretation and representation of life.
A person's religious faith and beliefs can have a large influence on their choice of friends, their education, social status and so on. In brief, a person's religion can form a big part of their personality and their lifestyle.
To get started, when you know who your ancestors were, where they lived and so on, check on their BMD certificates and Parish Records to see where the event happened. Look for clues to guide you to find out their religion.
Note: A Nonconformist is a member of a religious group detached from the official Church of England (and in Wales, from the Church in Wales). Quakers, Baptists, Congregationalists, Unitarians and Methodists represent some of the different flavours of Nonconformity.