March 2010 Archives
Last time I outlined my first family history talk and how this had led to a second talk on the life of my great grandmother, Margaret Ann Jones. She had a truly remarkable life. When she was nine her father, one of my great great grandfathers, killed his father-in-law, one of my great great great grandfathers. He was sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter.
The talk gives an account of the incident, the subsequent inquest and court hearings and his time in prison. Margaret Ann subsequently gave birth to my grandmother but with the father having being sent away to the USA and I then relate what happened to her after this. Her life story follows the plot of a typical Katherine Cookson novel. The talk is illustrated with some 50 photos etc including copies of prison documents. The tile is "Pechaduriaid Penmachno?" in Welsh or "Downstairs at Glasgwm Hall" in English.
For the third talk I turn to my Penmachno grandfather's side starting with the story of how he and his father, William Pritchard Williams, purchased a small farm 1904 with a single storey traditional house and transformed this into a two-storey house. I have the original contracts, invoices etc. Both were slate quarrymen and William Pritchard became a Director of a co-operative company, The Bugail Slate Quarry Company Limited, in 1893 working the Cwt y Bugail quarry in Cwm Pwnmachno. The talk covers the rise and fall of this company, associated court cases and what happened to William Pritchard Williams and is illustrated with some 60 photos, copies of invoices, legal papers etc. The title is "Anffawd fawr fy hen Daid" in Welsh or "My great grandfather's great misfortune" in English.
The fourth talk concentrates one of my grandfather's brothers, Thomas Williams, who was my mother's Uncle Tom. He was a tailor in Colwyn Bay when he joined the Liverpool Scottish Regiment at the end of 1915. He was taken prisoner at the Battle of Cambrai in 1917 and spent the rest of the war in a POW camp in Minden. This talk is illustrated by some 60 photos, and post cards sent from France and the POW camp etc. I have 24 photos taken inside the POW camp and these are very rare. The talk is tilted "Yncl Tom yn y Rhyfel Mawr" in Welsh or "Uncle Tom in WW1" in English. I have an article on this in Welsh in the current edition of "Y Casglwr" under the title "Cardiau Post y Rhyfel Mawr".
The fifth talk, which I gave for the first time in Caernarfon in October, concentrates on my great, great grandfather, William Williams, father of William Pritchard Williams. It covers his life from early childhood, where his mother was left a young widow with six children, through his life to his will of which I have quite splendid copy written on parchment. The activities of Building Societies in the second half of the nineteenth century feature in this talk. It was the research that I've done into these early Building Societies that has led to my utter contempt for the greedy incompetent charlatans who've been running our building societies in recent years (and also Gordon Brown, as Chancellor, who complacently sat back and did absolutely nothing to control them) which came out in Blog No. 25. It's entitled "Ewyllys William Williams" and I'll think of an English title if and when I'm requested to deliver it in English.
The greater part of the sixth talk is already prepared and it will be ready for the 2010/11 season and I've already sketched out the basis of a seventh talk and this will probably complete the saga on my mother's side. It will then be time to start on my father's side!
I enjoy giving these talks, and to date I've delivered 34 of these talks. Nowhere gives me more pleasure than with the History Society in Cwm Penmachno because that is where it all happened. Committing myself to give a new talk also gives me a deadline to complete the research otherwise it might never get done!
The Gwynedd Family History Society meetings for the next four weeks are:
Bangor, 6 April (first Tuesday of each month) 7.00pm at the Quakers Meeting Hall, Dean Street: David Price, "Famous Bangorians"
Caernarfon, 25 March (last Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the The Library, Lôn Pafiliwn: Ieuan Wyn Williams "Yma ac acw - ac yn ôl"
Dolgellau, 11 March (second Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Royal Ship Hotel:
Richard Jones, "Amgueddfa Werin Sain Fagan"
Conwy, 8 March (second Monday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Ebenezer, Abergele Road, Old Colwyn J Elwyn Hughes, "Caradog Pritchard"
Llangefni, 18 March (third Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Smyrna, Ffordd Glanhwfa:
Pwllheli, 19 March (third Friday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Seion, Lon Dywod:
Parch Harri Pari: "Y Tad Henry Dailey Maria Hughes"