|Disclaimer: I wrote this family history many years ago as a student. I apologize for any factual errors or grammer/spelling mistakes and I WELCOME any additions or corrections - Elizabeth Barwick Garland|
In front of a small Anglican church high in the Welsh mountains is a small overgrown cemetery. The town is Pontrhydyfen a small mining village not far from Neath in southern Wales. Here Robert Barwick and his wife Ellen raised their family lived their lives and were buried. They didn't begin their lives here however for it was in Dunnham England that they met and married circa 1865. It is not known where they originated or how they met but in Dunnham Robert worked as a quarryman and served in the Norfolk regiment of the Royal Army. Robert's parents were Robert and Elizabeth Barwick. Anything further about them is not known.
They were married had their first child a daughter and moved to Neath in Wales. At some point Robert decided to go to America find work and later send for his wife daughter and soon to be born son. Their son William arrived on July 8 1870(1) and when he was 6 months old his father left for the United States. Sometime during the next two years while Robert was in America their daughter died from an unknown illness. Her name and age are not known.
Robert made his way to the United States where some interesting experiences lay ahead of him. Here, told in a story written by his grandson Idris, is the tale (2):
In 1872 Robert Barwick returned to Wales and settled with his wife and family in Pontrydyfen. He got a job working as a coal miner for the Forest Colliery and soon he and Ellen began their new Welsh born family. In 1878 Florence May was born and after her came Ella, Robert and Mary Jane. What little is known about their lives shows that they were very loving religious (Anglican) hard working working-class people. While there were some hard times the children never went without food or clothing.
Robert & ellen barwick.jpg
Although the exact dates of Robert's and Ellen's deaths are not known it is a fact that Robert lived as a widower until he was eighty-five. Some time before his death on February 23 1928 he signed his will(3). His address at the time was Tynywain Cottage Cymla Road Neath Wales. Photographs and living relatives testify to the fact that they both lived happily together past the age of seventy.
Among the items in his will was a silver medal once brought to him by a stranger. "The man said that he had promised a dying soldier that he would deliver it to Robert. The soldier had taken part in the Battle of Balaclaber when the British French and Turkish had assaulted the fortress of Sebastapool where the Russians were fortified. The dying soldier was uncle to Robert and wished him to have the medal. Robert treasured it and left it to his special grandson; Idris" who then left it to his son Robert.(4)
|<-Table of Contents|