Before the start of the 19th century the population of Cardiff had been made up of a mixture of native Welsh and small numbers of incomers from various parts of Britain, but mainly from the West of England and the West Midlands, plus a few Irish and Scots who had, no doubt, arrived as sailors and stayed. A look at the Cardiff Parish Registers of the 17th & 18th centuries shows many non-Welsh names amongst the prominent citizens eg the families of Brewer, Yeoman, Hussey, Mashman, Stone, Bird and many more. These were, of course, outweighed by the many named John/Jones, David/Davies, William(s), Thomas, Evan(s), Morgan etc, but show that there had been migration into Cardiff in small numbers in previous centuries.

In the middle and latter part of the 19th century, though, came the great influx which completely changed the population. Many people moved into Cardiff from the surrounding villages, from Mid and West Wales, from the West of England, the Midlands and Ireland seeking work. In addition the expansion of the port and the increased shipping brought sailors from all over Europe, from the Colonies and from China. As an example a crew agreement from Cardiff in the 1860s shows that the Master was from Newport, the mate from Ireland, and the crew made up of sailors from the USA, the West Indies, St.Helena and Spain. Many of the sailors who arrived decided to stay in Cardiff, often after meeting the local girl they wanted to marry. In one branch of my own family one daughter married a Scandinavian seaman, another an Austrian Master Mariner (reputedly an aristocrat in his own country).

Shipowners, too, came from various parts of Britain to Cardiff. The Turnbull Brothers and Charles Stalleybrass were from Yorkshire families, the Marquands, Morels & Louis Hacquoil from the Channel Islands, Anning, Seager, Tatem & Reardon Smith from North Devon, Chellew, Hain, Nicholl & John Cory from Cornwall, and Evan Thomas and several others from Cardiganshire.

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