|LAST week, the Gazette began a series of articles centred around the forthcoming tourist attraction at The General Offices, Ebbw Vale.
The south wing of the former Steelworks office on The Works site is currently undergoing an internal transformation which will see it become an interactive genealogy experience designed to bring the history of the Valleys alive.
Last week’s edition covered the chamber entitled Are You Belonging? looking at family trees and connections.
This week we will look at the room themed What’s Your Name?
Visitor centre manager Angharad Collins explained that the room is designed to get people thinking about why they are called what they are.
She said: “Our names often reflect where our ancestors lived in the past and also what they did for a living. Names are really important if you want to trace your family history.
“Very often, surnames are a deviant on a common name which, like in a game of Chinese whispers, has been corrupted, altered or added to over many years, often because of different ways of writing the name down. For example, Coal becomes Cole, and Pryce becomes Price.”
Angharad explained that when visitors enter this room they will already be thinking about the movement of people in and out of the Valleys because of the theme of the previous interlinking room.
One of the first things they will see will be a map showing the spread and geographical distribution of Welsh people around the world.
Angharad added: “There are people with Welsh surnames all around the world and this room will explore the impact of Welsh people worldwide.”
“It will also explore Welsh first names for children and how these names reinforce the country’s culture and heritage.”
The team at The General Offices are still appealing for any information relating to the pay window at the building, women in industry, the Ebbw Vale Lido or the Brickworks.
If anyone can help, or if anyone would like further information on the development, call 01495 355724 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.