Saturday, 1 September 2007

Interesting characters in my family

Over the last year of researching, I have discovered a few interesting characters who I want write about.

A distant relation was Rebecca Stuart Clark, a cousin to my great grandmother Laura Morris. Born in Pwllheli in 1863, she became an entrepreneur in the fishing industry and is credited with the industry in Pwllheli lasting as long as it did. By the early 20th century, the fishing industry was in decline due to competion from other fishing fleets around the country. In a book by D. G. Lloyd Hughes on Pwllheli he comments:
'By the 1920's the town's fishing industry was a sorry sight with only a handful of boats, the popular nobbys, remaining. Most were owned by one fishmonger, the redoutable Rebecca Clark...But for her there would have been virtually no fishing of note from Pwllheli by the 1930's. Had someone of her calibre and financial backing taken an interest when catches were at their highest during the 1870's there might have been a chance that the industry could have been placed on a firmer footing'.
In the early 19th century Rebecca was living with Ellen Ann Morris, her cousin and sister to my great grandmother. Also living with them was a Eliza Ellen Roberts, daughter of Samuel Roberts and Cathrine Williams. It looks like both of Eliza's parents died in the 1890's, Samuel at St. Asaph Lunatic Asylum in 1897. Samuel was a brother to Rebecca's mother, Ann.
Rebecca lived to a good age and died a wealthy woman. My mother remembers meeting her at her fishmonger's shop when she was a little girl living with her aunt Elizabeth.

No comments: