The recorders’ notebooks of the census of 1861 show that 54 percent of the residents of Troedyraur parish had been born in the parish, the birthplaces of a further 27 per cent were in adjoining parishes, and of a further 9 per cent in neighbouring (not adjoining) parishes, a total of 90 per cent. By 1861 the population was already declining. The population of the agricultural areas of South Cardiganshire generally reached its maximum during the 1840s excepting only where there were woollen mills. From that time on migration more than balanced the natural increase. On the other hand immigration into the rural areas of South Cardiganshire was on a very limited scale until the Second World War and the years following so that the proportion of the population which had been born in the area remained high, being virtually identical with those of forty years earlier.
Thus individuals grew up knowing other people as the fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters of their school friends and neighbours. In later life they would come to know youngsters as the children and grandchildren, cousins, nephews, and nieces of those with whom they grew up together. That is they grew up with a knowledge of ‘who people were’ in a locality rather than needed to acquire such knowledge in toto by deliberate effort as they would were they to emigrate to a strange community. And the knowledge of people in a community rather than a systematic genealogical knowledge of kin as such.
(D. Jenkins, The Agricultural Community of South-West Wales at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Cardiff, 1971, pp. 158–9 [Tip: daliwch Ctrl a chliciwch dolen i'w agor mewn tab newydd. (Cuddio tip)] )