View Full Version : Transport in the mid-nineteenth century
14-05-2010, 10:24 AM
How would my ancestors have moved from near Haverfordwest to Neath in 1848? (about 60 miles today, but presumably a much longer and more difficult journey then). They had at least 4 young children and all their belongings, though they wouldn't have amounted to much as father was an ag lab.
I think I'm right in saying that the railway hadn't come to H'west at the time.
14-05-2010, 11:21 AM
Can't speak for UK traffic, but in 1848 my Fathers Grandmother with her Family, having arrived in Australia in 1838 Parents & 5 children, proceeded to WALK to Adelaide a distance of (now)1374-1380 kms ( 853 miles) with a cart pulled by bullocks. Their 10th ( & final) child was born along the way.
These days about 2days drive, but if you could see the Hills they would have needed to cross,! truly awe-enspiring.
I've heard the English are good walkers?
ps. Family settled iin Goolwa & near surrounds, & multiplied.
14-05-2010, 12:12 PM
The railway (from Carmarthen) only reached Haverfordwest in 1854 so your ancestors didn't travel to Neath that way. I agree with Wendy that it was quite likely they just walked. 60 miles was not seen as a big distance to walk in those days. (I recently read a diary of an ancestor in Scotland who walked home 40 miles in a night, in the 1870s, to save money). There were "carriers" who would have carried heavier goods with a horse and cart, if you were able to pay. So any heavy goods your ancestors owned might have been moved that way. But I suspect that if they had little or real value they would probably have simply sold any heavy property in Haverfordwest and bought replacements in Neath.
14-05-2010, 12:15 PM
Wow! and after what was presumably a very hard voyage to Australia. In comparison my family had a mere hop, skip and jump to their new home. Their troubles started when they got to Neath as within a few months, mother and two children had died of cholera, which was rife then in the rapidly growing industrial towns.
14-05-2010, 12:24 PM
Thanks Elwyn, your explanation was what I had assumed.
My maternal great grandmother in Ireland used to walk from West Cork to Cork City every market day, to sell what farm produce she could carry - barefoot, as she couldn't risk wearing out her only pair of shoes. About 80 miles there and back.
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