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Welcome to the Census data website provided by Baglan IT Centre. Using this website you can search Census data taken from the Swansea & Neath Port Talbot area for the years 1851, 1871 and 1881.
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Wales changed considerably when the coal and iron industries came to South Wales. She became the first country in the world in which more people lived in urban areas rather than rural areas. The societies of the urban areas were constantly changing and developing. However, in the rural areas, the communities changed very little during the nineteenth century. About 40% of people lived in the parishes in which they were born and 20-25% of marriages were between people of neighbouring parishes.

The conditions of the farmer and his servants remained much the same. The communities were still complex because until mass-production was established there was a variety of craftsmen working in the communities including bakers, skinners, thatchers, millers, bootmakers, carpenters, coach-builders, masons, paper-makers, hatters and weavers. These skills are now very rarely used outside museums such as the Museum of Welsh Life at St Fagan in Cardiff. These communities were almost self-sufficient and very close knit. Cooperation was very important, especially at harvest time.

There were problems. Poverty was common and, because of poor housing and poor conditions, disease killed many. Cholera, tuberculosis and typhus were particularly dangerous. Medical help was inadequate. In 1891 there was only one hospital for each 2,533 of population in the Cardiff area.

Sport was popular amongst the young males. Before the growth of the towns whole villages used to participate in games such as knappan, which used a football. With the growth of the towns, sport had to be more organised. The Football Association was founded in 1863, the Rugby Football Union in 1871. In 1881 the Welsh Rugby Union was born in the Castle Hotel, Neath.

As you look through the Census Data returns, bear the above information in mind as you discover where and when people were born and what they did for a living.

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