Finding More About Our Welsh Roots

Image 1Thanks to Family History Wales, we’re learning more about my great-grandfather, whose home we plan to visit in less than two weeks, as well as a bit about his parents. Interestingly enough, his mother’s name was Ellen. That name–or names like it–keep surfacing, through the generations in my family.

Owain Thomas Hughes was born June 21, 1848, at Ty’n y Myndd. His parents were Owain and Ellen Hughes. When we’re in Wales, we’ll pick up his birth certificate in Llangefni. The fact that he ended up in Wisconsin isn’t surprising, according to Joanna Masters, of Family History Wales, who is giving us enormous help in finding out more about the life Owain Thomas left. Welsh emigrants used to living off the land were driven by land hunger, she says. They went to midwestern states like Wisconsin, which had the land these immigrants sought.

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My mother has unearthed post cards and guidebooks about Wales that we think are my great grandfather’s. There are two Bacon’s Large Scale Map and Guides. One is for South Wales, the other for North Wales (that’s the one pictured on the “Welcome” page of this site). They’re wrapped in cloth cases and say they are “For Cyclists and Tourists–London: G.@. Bacon & Co., Ltd. 127, Strand. Owain Thomas made several trips back to Wales from his home in Watertown, Wis., the last being in 1936. It’s heartening to know that he made it back to see his parents.

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