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Title: Cardiganshire's Rural Exodus: A Study of Nineteenth-Century Migration
Authors: Cooper, Kathryn J.
Supervisors: Snell, Keith
Award date: 27-Mar-2009
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: Cardiganshire was one of the few counties of England and Wales whose population in the 1911 census was less than in 1841. This was despite natural increase and indicates that considerable out-migration was taking place. Indeed, the movement out of central and west Wales has formed the most consistent de-population trend in Britain apart from that from the Highlands of Scotland. This thesis explores the chronology and geography of out-migration from Cardiganshire in the nineteenth century, with particular reference to the dramatic decline that gathered pace from the 1870s. Contemporary source material is used to examine socio-economic conditions in nineteenth-century Cardiganshire. Factors that prompted the outward movement are identified, and features of rural life that were crucial to the migration process are revealed. Central to the thesis is analysis of data from the Victorian census. The trend of rural outmigration in England and Wales is examined and the experience of Cardiganshire is set within this context. The major destinations for migrants from Cardiganshire were Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire in Wales, and London and the north-west in England, and computer-assisted analysis of data from the census manuscript returns focuses on key aspects of the Cardiganshire migration to these destinations in the later decades of the century. Who was leaving Cardiganshire? Were males more migratory than females? What can be deduced about the age structure and socio-economic status of the migrants? What types of employment were drawing them away? What factors influenced their choice of destination? How far and by what means did the migrants retain their cultural identity in their new communities? The thesis concludes with a brief examination of nineteenth-century emigration from Cardiganshire, drawing on contemporary newspaper reports, harbour records and private letters. Key sending areas and destinations are identified; motivations for emigration are considered; and the role of a common culture and a shared background of geographical and family origins within the emigration process is explored.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author, 2009
Description: The electronic copy of this thesis has been removed from this record on request of the author. The paper copy is available for consultation, on request, at the University of Leicester David Wilson Library.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Historical Studies
Leicester Theses

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