November 2009 Archives
I wrote about the Rootsweb Lists last time and I'm registered with the Caernarvonshire List, naturally, but also with the Denbighshire list because of the classification of Penmachno under Denbighshire on some occasions and also on the Merionethshire List because of the close connections between Penmachno and Ffestiniog.
I'd been registered on these lists for a number of years but hadn't seen any messages relating to my family. Imagine therefore my surprise and delight in mid June when I saw a message on the Merionethshire List from a Roberts Bills asking for information about his grandfather, David Jones Williams, who was also the grandfather of Madeline Mahoney who I had met for the first time only a couple of weeks earlier (see Blog No. 33). Before she made contact with me I had no idea about Madeline's existence but I had received information about the Bills family a few years ago from another source and therefore the name was familiar. However, until now I had no details and no idea of how to contact members of the Bills family.
Robert had responded to a query and subsequent messages about a family in Cwm Penmachno (not connected to my family). What is remarkable is that the last message in this link had been in January 2008 and the first during 2002 so this shows that it's never too late to try to respond to these messages. I immediately responded to the list to say that I was related and I also sent a more detailed response directly to Robert's email address. We subsequently exchanged email information and have spoken on the phone and I now have contact with another branch of the descendents of my great grandfather's brother Owen. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to do as much as I would like but I have been able to put Robert and Madeline in touch with each other as these families had also lost touch in recent years.
Back in 2002 I wrote my first article in "Gwreiddiau Gwynedd", the journal of the Gwynedd Family History Society, and I had a response from Helen Rogers-Jones, living near Chester, who was a descendent of Ellen, a sister of David Jones Williams. Helen is also related to me through my grandmother's side and it was this connection that she had spotted in the article. I subsequently met Helen in 2007 when she came to a talk I was giving to the Gwynedd FHS in Llandudno I've now been able to put Robert, Madeline and Helen in touch with each other.
What this illustrates is that it is worth your while joining these Rootsweb lists as you may find someone who is related to you or they may find you. It's also worthwhile to join the Family History Society in the area where your ancestors lived. The Gwynedd FHS Journal, "Gwreiddiau Gwynedd", has a section where members can give an outline of the family branches that they are researching in the hope that one or more of the readers can be of help.
If you want to fully research your ancestors you must try to explore all sources and make your enquiries known in as many ways as possible and you may be lucky as I've been.
The Gwynedd Family History Society meetings for the next four weeks are:
Bangor, 1 December (first Tuesday of each month) 7.00pm at the Quakers Meeting Hall, Dean Street: Oscar Mathieson, "The day that the Council saved Bangor"
Caernarfon, 28 January (last Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the The Library, Lôn Pafiliwn: Parch Harri Parri, "Meddygon Dafad Wyllt"
Dolgellau, 7 January (second Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Royal Ship Hotel: Dorothy Pritchard, "Dyddiaduron Bryn Ifan"
Conwy, 11 January (second Monday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Ebenezer, Abergele Road, Old Colwyn (please note new meeting place):
Peter Brindley, "The Vicar, the Prince and See"
Llangefni, 21 January (third Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Smyrna, Ffordd Glanhwfa: Workshop in Llangefni Archives
Pwllheli, 15 January (third Friday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Seion, Lon Dywod:
Hywel Roberts, "Anffawd fawr fy hen daid"