Did you know that Abraham Lincoln, John Quincy Adams, Bette Davies,Tom Cruise,Harriet Beecher-Stowe, Bob Hope and Susan Sarandon all have documented and verified Welsh roots?
Well neither did I until this morning,
I had just dispatched poor Beatrice ( her previous stroke had noticeably extended overnight so it was best that I put her out of her misery) ( see previous blog entry) and I was carrying her body out of the field when a middle aged man with a stunning pair of sky blue slacks called down a hello from on top of the Churchyard wall.
In an American Accent he introduced himself as Howard Jones from Jackson County in Ohio and he was searching the Churchyard for the grave of his great great great great grandmother who lived in Trelawnyd in the early 19th Century.
Apparantly Her son had emigrated to the US, and had settled in Jackson, which interestingly had become known as ""Little Cardiganshire"" because such a large number of Welsh that settled there.
I found it all rather interesting as I already knew that a significant number of Mormon emigrants led by
John Parry left the village in 1949 to set up new lives in the state of Utah, and when I visited the Spinal Injury Units In Pittsburgh I remember that many streets and landmarks possessed Welsh Names, underlining their Welsh roots but I had no idea that such a historically famous Welsh area was situated in the American Mid West.
Howard apparently was a member of his local "Welsh History group" and had been researching his family tree for a while. The stop in Trelawnyd and another in the nearby village of Ysceifiog were the final places for his investigations.
I wished him well, for I knew that in the 1980s many of the "unwanted" gravestones had been removed from the graveyard, but he seemed to know more than I did about where to find the information that he needed to know.
"I want to get a sense of the village" he said and I suggested he took himself up the Gop so he could view the village as a whole so to speak. He said that he and his wife, who I noted was scanning the gravestones nearby, would give it a go.
It was then he told me of the numerous famous Americans that were descended from Welsh stock.....He asked me where Flint was , as Tom Cruise's grandfather apparently hailed from there.....
I told him that it was around ten miles or so away and was a bit of a "bog hole"
The term "Bog Hole" intrigued him somewhat......"what a quaint phrase" he said....
I did invite him over for a cup of tea, but he declined saying that he had promised his wife a nice tea in Bodysgallen Hall where they were staying.....
I think he might have thought that the Trelawnyd locals were just that little bit strangeAfter all I was still holding the dead hen by its feet, and had been doing so throughout our long conversation