Now the book comes with a health warning that is particularly relevant to Radnorshire and which deserves to be featured more prominently than it is "there are various pitfalls for the unwary."
The chief pitfall is that many of the 19C census figures refer not to the historic counties but to registration counties, a very different kettle of fish. Radnorshire, more than any other county in Wales is affected by this statistical confusion.and it's surprising just how many authors fall into the trap.
Nineteen parishes containing around a quarter of Radnorshire's 19C population were actually consigned to Breconshire as parts of the districts of Builth and Hay. The Rhayader district is correctly listed as in Radnorshire although it did contain the Breconshire parish of Llanwrthwl. The Presteigne registration district, before it was abolished, was more in England than in Wales - some Radnorshire parishes subsequently ending up in the English district of Kington. A large part of the population of the Knighton registration district was also made up of parishes in Shropshire and Herefordshire.
How did this come about? Well a future Govenor General of Canada, Edmund Head - a man who translated Icelandic sagas but considered the Welsh to be a "miserable race of Celtic savages" - was the commissioner responsible for Central Wales and Herefordshire. One of his tasks being to set-up the six Poor Law Unions covering Radnorshire - Rhayader, Builth, Hay, Knighton, Kington and Presteigne.
Head deliberately sought to weaken Radnorian influence over these districts claiming that "the inhabitants of the central part of Radnorshire are exceedingly ill disposed towards the Board ... the only way of enforcing the Act is to unite as many (parishes) as possible with unions in England or on its borders."
By doing so Head wanted to "raise the character of the Radnorshire farmers." elected to serve as Guardians overseeing the work of the Unions with the hope, presumably, that they would learn from the superior - I would suggest he might consider the Germanic - character of their fellow Guardians from east of the Dyke.
A failure to understand that much of the census material relating to 19C Radnorshire actually refers to parishes in the neighbouring English counties and that a good deal of the county was included in the Breconshire figures is certainly a pitfall that needs to be, but frequently isn't, avoided.