Newport – Life and Work of a Risca Cuckoo: John Brewer

Our chairman John Brewer gave this talk at our meeting on 28th June. He started his talk by explaining the origin of the name ‘cuckoo’ given to inhabitants of Risca. Two men heard a bird singing beautifully and decided to trap it by building a fence around it. However when the fence was completed the bird simply flew away. On subsequent occasions the men repeatedly increased the height of the fence but without success. An old friend passing by saw their efforts and asked why they were trying to trap a cuckoo in their garden when there were already two ‘Cuckoos’ there! Continue reading

Newport – Tracing Irish Ancestry

A good attendance listened carefully to a thorough review of Irish records from Diane Brook on 26 April. Certainly we heard about the problems- records, particularly censuses, destroyed by fire, incredible inconsistencies of spellings and the difficulty of finding records unless one has a knowledge of the relevant parishes. Continue reading

Blackwood – When is a name not a name?

This evenings’ meeting could have been a bit of as disappointment. Because of a clash with other events, we had to change our usual meeting date from the second Tuesday of the month to the first. We were also moved from our usual room to another on the school complex. Our scheduled speaker had to cancel because of ill health. So, there was much activity behind the scenes. However, the evening turned out to be a memorable one, for all the best reasons. Continue reading