Wales of Old
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of Neath, Glamorgan
Photograph and details provided by Bob Barwick of Ohio, USA
Bob was born in Maidstone, Kent, England, but has lived in Ohio, USA since 1969. Bob's great grandfather was John NAISH, whose parents Joseph and Johanna came to Wales from Ireland circa 1848 during the potato famine.
John NAISH was born in 1851, lived in Neath, and became manager of the Neath Tram Company**. He married Sarah Jane (born 1852). After Sarah's premature death in 1882, John remarried, to Florence BARWICK, sister of Bob's grandfather. As you can imagine, this makes Bob's family tree a little complicated!
John and Florence emigrated to New York, USA in 1890.
** Bob is unsure of the name of the tram company, but says it was definitely in Neath.
Some employees of the Neath Tram Company photographed circa 1889. John Naish is in front, seated, with an army sergeant standing next to him and surrounded by several employees. Bob believes the man in uniform may John Naish's visiting elder brother Tom, but he has no proof of this at present. Note the (horse-drawn?) tram in the background.
In 1896, six years after the Naish's arrival in New York, Florence left her husband and John Austin Naish, her 17-year-old wayward step-son, in America, and returned with the children to Wales. John Austin disappeared and no more was heard of him until 1904 when he wrote one letter from Jersey City, USA. He then disappeared, never to be heard from again.
John died in 1897 in New York and is buried at Long Island.
Acknowledgement and Request for Help
Many thanks to Bob for allowing me to use his family photograph.
If you think you can help Bob find out more about the Neath tram company, help him identify the military uniform, or identify any of the other people in the photo, send him an e-mail.
We have also been unable to trace the NAISH family in the 1881 census. If you have better luck, and manage to find them, please let Bob know.