October 2009 Archives
Back in June 2008 Madeline Mahoney left a comment on the Blog but at that time I was preoccupied with medical problems and didn't do anything about it. She said that one of her great grandfathers, Owen Williams, was a brother to my great grandfather, William Pritchard Williams. This was true as our common great great grandfather, William Williams, had four sons; William Pritchard, David, Owen and Evan. Brothers William Pritchard and David married two sisters so the families were very close and I knew the descendents of David very well. I had only a vague idea about the descendents of Owen but knew nothing about Evan until recent years.
Imagine therefore my surprise and joy at receiving a letter from Madeleine at the end of October 2008 making direct contact and supplying information about Owen's descendents. More than this, she sent me a copy of the wedding certificate of great great grandparents, William Williams and Ellin Jones in 1850 - a wonderful surprise!
Madeline said that what she had read in the blogs had spurred into joining the Gwynedd Family History Society. She had visited the Library on one of the monthly Open Days and had purchased the Memorial Inscriptions for St. Tudclud Church, Penmachno, and from her letter I could see that she had made extensive use of this and other sources of information. Through the Gwynedd FHS, she had obtained my address and had been able to make direct contact. What is frustrating for me is that I am unable to make contact directly with anyone who makes a comment. I can only make general replies through the blog and I'm really grateful that Madeline was able to make direct contact.
The information received was extensive. We exchanged further information by email and I was able to start filling in Owen's part of the family tree for the first time. I checked the family photos and found that I had a photo of Owen and is wife Kate and the three children, Amy who remained unmarried, Ellen and David Jones Williams, Madeline's great grandfather. This photo is shown and I was pleased to have been able to scan the photo and email it to Madeline. Three other children had died young and are buried together in St. Tudclud cemetery.
We finally met up at the end of May when Madeline and her husband called to see us. It was wonderful and we had a very full discussion. By this time I found that I had a photo of her grandfather's sister Amy in her late teens or early twenties. It seemed more sensible for Madeline to have this photo so I took a scan and gave her the original. I've got the notes of our meeting but I still haven't found to time to put everything in order and identify further questions to ask. I'm not sure if I mentioned it but I was installed as Mayor of Caernarfon in May and this is taking up much of my time and family history research is unfortunately taking a back seat at the moment. Anyone interested can see my Mayor's Blog on the website www.caernarfonherald.co.uk.
You can learn much through researching records but it's only when you make personal contacts that you make the real breakthroughs and meeting Madeline through this Blog has been a huge bonus for me. A few weeks later a man called at the door and said that that his wife was related to me. When he came in for a chat I found that his wife was a descendent of Ellen, Madeline's father's sister. He'd received my address through Madeline and I now have another contact with this side of the family of which I knew hardly anything until last November!
The Gwynedd Family History Society meetings for the next four weeks are:
Bangor, 3 November (first Tuesday of each month) 7.00pm at the Quakers Meeting Hall, Dean Street: Gavin Gatehouse, "Growing up on a tea plantation in Ceylon"
Caernarfon, 29 October (last Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the The Library, Lôn Pafiliwn: Hywel Roberts, "Ewyllys William Williams"
Dolgellau, 12 November (second Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Royal Ship Hotel: Dorothy Pritchard, "Dyddiaduron Bryn Ifan"
Conwy, 9 November (second Monday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Ebenezer, Abergele Road, Old Colwyn (please note new meeting place):
Angela Brabin, "The murder of Elizabeth Twist".
Llangefni, 19 November (third Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Smyrna, Ffordd Glanhwfa: Gina Kent "Lt. Williams of Cefn Cwmwd"
Pwllheli, 20 November (third Friday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Seion, Lon Dywod:
Parch Emlyn Richards, "Bywyd Lloft Stabal"