Monday, July 19, 2010


I worked for JP Morgan Chase a couple of years ago and spent the better part of two years in Bournemouth, England and Hong Kong. While I was in the UK, I drove all over England and Wales (including the Isle of Anglesey) but did not make it north to Scotland. So beautiful. It's all so beautiful. Scotland is next on the agenda, but I'd like to find my ancestor family first and so more research.

Today's post will be short and I will leave with a funny story: in November 1997 I decided on a whim to visit northern Wales and so bought an airline ticket, rented a car and leased a self-catered cottage about .5 km from the ocean in Llyngwril (just south of Fairborn). The first thing I found upon arriving at the cottage (which was a renovated dairy barn on a beautiful farm) was that almost everyone in that part of Wales takes vacation in November: northern Wales was pretty much deserted. Which was okay with me anyway. Llyngwril is a very small town with no real market; just a sundry store combined with the post office. The propriator was a very nice woman who quickly took me under her wing and ensured that I had a "vocabulary" lesson each day (bore da, nos da, diolch, and dim diolch). Each morning, I'd pickup bread, cheese and some meat or vegetable for the day and bring my Ordnance Survey for Wales & the West Midlands and she'd send me packing to a new destination. One morning I announced that I'd like to hike across the foothills of Cadair Idris to "Doog-eh-loo" and then take the bus home. "Where?" she asked. "Doog-eh-loo" I replied and pointed to the spot on the map. "Oh child, that's Dol-geth-cley" and laughed. (I was looking for Dolgellau). Thereafter, I packed my Ordnance Survey in my rook sack and simply pointed when asking directions.

The reason, of course, for sharing this story is a reminder to use all available resources when researching; sometimes the most helpful are right in front of us.

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