August 2010 Archives
It's a long time since my last blog back in March. The responsibilities of my role as Mayor were getting heavy at that time with the preparations for the Homecoming Parade of the Welsh Guards and the visit of HM the Queen amongst other matters and I found I just couldn't keep up with everything. Unfortunately the Family History Blog was one of the things to suffer. Also I've hardly done any family history research since that time. I apologise for the long gap in the blog but I intend to start back on a regular basis again.
Since finishing as Mayor I seem to have done nothing but try to catch up with everything that I'd put to one side for the past two years. We've also been busy with some work in the house. We had a good holiday but the highlight of the past few months was the visit of one of Margaret's third cousins, Jack Williams, from Long Beach, Los Angeles. We'd had regular email contact since the mid 1990s but we had never met. The meeting in June was therefore a very special occasion.
Jack's grandfather went to the US in the late 1880s. Jack's father, Gomer, was born in 1900 and was brought up as a Welsh speaker. Jack served in the US Army towards the end of WW2 and was stationed in London in 1945. During one leave he travelled to Deiniolen to find his aunt. He arrived in Deiniolen on the bus from Bangor in his American Army uniform and asked some children for directions to his aunt's house. They stared in amazement at this man in a strange uniform and strange accent and one ran off to a nearby grocer's shop. The shopkeeper came out and looked very suspiciously at Jack and asked what his business was with Mrs Jones. When Jack explained that he'd come to visit his aunt whom he had never met the shopkeeper's attitude changed immediately and he was warmly welcomed!
Gomer, his father, was a fluent Welsh speaker even though he had never been to Wales. Jack decided to take his father to Wales in 1971 when the National Eistedfod was in Bangor. Jack's son Jeff, then in his teens, came with them so three generations visited Wales in 1971. Jack wrote of how the tears rolled down Gomer's cheeks as he sang the Welsh hymns he knew so well in the Welsh chapel in Deiniolen. They thoroughly enjoyed this visit, Gomer in particular. Gomer unfortunately died six months later but he had achieved his lifelong ambition of visiting the land of his fathers.
Three generations visited Wales again in June - Jack and his wife, Jeff and his wife and their two teenage sons. It was a wonderful meeting them in person after the email exchanges for so many years. This is what family history is all about - researching, finding, making contact, getting to know each other and meeting face-to-face.
The Gwynedd Family History Society Meetings are starting again in September and the details are given below. I'm now also going to start giving details of the Clwyd FHS meetings.
The Anglesey Archives will be closed for two weeks, 6 - 17 September and will be reopening on Monday 20 September.
The Gwynedd Family History Society meetings for the next four weeks are:
Bangor, 7 September (In English, first Tuesday of each month) 7.00pm at the Quakers Meeting Hall, Dean Street: Hywel Roberts: "My Great-grandfather's Misfortune"
Caernarfon, 30 September (In Welsh, last Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Library, Lôn Pafiliwn: William Lloyd Davies: "Bachgen Bach o Felin y Wig"
Dolgellau, 9 September (In Welsh, second Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at the Royal Ship Hotel: Buddug Medi: "Rhai o Enwogion Meirionnydd"
Conwy, 10 October (In English, second Monday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Ebenezer, Abergele Road, Old Colwyn Rev Eirlys Gruffydd: "John Davies, Nercwys"
Llangefni, 16 September (In English, third Thursday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Smyrna, Ffordd Glanhwfa: Bridget Geoghegan: "How I came to know about the Crimean War"
Pwllheli, 17 September (In Wales, third Friday of each month) 7.00pm at Capel Seion, Lon Dywod: Hywel Roberts "Anffawd fawr fy hen daid"
Clwyd Family History Society
The meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month (except August) at 2.00 pm at locations that rotate within the former county of Clwyd. The September meeting is as follows:
Saturday 11 September at The Community Centre, Ruabon.
Derrick Pratt: "More funny bits of Flintshire"