Saturday, 3 October 2009

A white knuckle ride


Some of you may recognise the bridge in this photograph. For those that do not it is the bridge at Dolgellau, in Wales. A few weeks ago husband, when he was having a week off work, which became a month and is now two months, took me off to the archives in Dolgellau, to help with some more research into his family tree. This time it was the paternal, Welsh branch of the family that he was pursuing. Husband had previously been to the archives in Dolgellau, on his own back in April. He thought that I might enjoy he trip into Wales and that two pairs of eyes might be better than one when viewing the microfiches of the old parish records.

Our journey to Dolgellau was slow and we only managed about an hour in the archive before they shut for lunch. We ventured into the centre of Dolgellau for a pub lunch then it was back to the archives for more research into the ancestors. Security is tight at the archives. We had to sign in and sign for the microfiches that we looked at. Only pencils can be use for writing, not pens and eating and drinking is not permitted. We were looking at the parish records for births, marriages and deaths for the village of Mallwyd and the parish of Llanymaddwy for the 1770s. The quality of the microfiches varies and depends on the hand writing of the recorder, the condition of the paper and the binding of the pages. We were fortunate in that we managed to find the recording of the births that husband was looking for, amongst the pauper burials, illegitimate births and the issue born to concubines. Although he was surprised to find that the particular ancestor that he was interested in was born out of wedlock. Having spent a total of two and a half hours in the archive husband then wanted to visit the graveyard in the church at Llanymaddwy. There amongst the graves of the Thomases, Lloyds and Williams we were unable to find the graves that he was looking for.

The sat. nav. was given the honour of guiding us home and chose to take us via the scenic route of a single track road. If husband ever tries to take me via that route again I shall be walking home. Not only was the road single track but on one side the was a sheer drop down the mountain side which happened to be on the passenger side (i.e. my side) of the car. At times I was nearly in the driving seat with husband! My heart was in my mouth and I did not dare close my eyes. It was quite frightening and I thought that we might never make it home especially when we met two cars coming the other way. Luckily there was a passing bay.


The scenery is beautiful in a peculiar grey/green sort of way. On this particular day the sky was grey. The hills looked very green and the landscape was only relieved by the occasional traditional grey stone or white pebble dash houses with slate roofs. It is incredible to think that, hundreds of years ago, husband ancestors would have looked out on a countryside not too different from what we still see today.




For those of you who are wondering where this fits into a blog about renovation and relocation. This is relocation, which has allowed us to make day trips into Wales.

18 comments:

Helen P said...

Do you know, CW, I think I detect a little bit of affection creeping into your blog for this part of the world! But for keeping it real and telling it like it is I would like to pass on an award which is waiting over at my place...

cheshire wife said...

Helen - thank you. Now that the cottage is nearly finished we are able to get out a bit more and enjoy ourselves.

French Fancy said...

Glad you are getting out and about and hope it is nothing too alarming that is keeping your man from his normal occupation.

How's your mum? Would you say she is fully settled in by now?

cheshire wife said...

FF - husband is self-employed. 'Resting' as he calls it is part of the territory.

I think that Mum is as settled as she is going to be. Thank you for asking.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Ah...I've taken one of those narrow, dirt trails by car...in the Colorado Rockies..."Oh, look! A shortcut!" says hubby!!! LOL...I can fully appreciate your terror!!! Your photo opportunities, however, were phenomenal! These are simply stunning...I would like to travel those paths...but I think I'll do it on foot ;-) Love to you, Janine XO

Scriptor Senex said...

Glad you had a lovely trip - I love that part of the world.

Maggie May said...

It is quite exciting looking for ancestors and gravestones. We've done a lot of that in the past. Surprising what you dig up. (Information, I mean!!!!!) Bad choice of words!

Lovely countryside.

CG said...

Trust the satnav to make life "interesting". Glad you are getting to see more of the countryside up here x

JaniceMV said...

I went to boarding school in Dolgellau in the 60s and I was very surprised to open your blog and see a familiar sight. I thought I was imagining things at first. Its amazing what you can run across on other people's blogs. I too hope your mum is ok and that your brother isn't trying to stir things up too much. Keep writing, your experiences help keep my life in perspective, and hopefully are theraputic for you too.

Carol said...

We have also followed the Sat Nav down some very narrow single lane tracks...thankfully none of them had big drops!! (I wouldn't have liked that in the slightest!!)

Love the last picture...stunning!!

C x

cheshire wife said...

JaniceMV - thank you for visiting my blog. I look forward to reading your blog.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Your photos are wonderful!! I'm glad you enJOYed your journey. Thank you for sharing!!

Akelamalu said...

It is a stunning part of the world. MWM and I spent almost a full day at the National Archives in Kew a few years ago looking for one of his relatives for the family tree - absolutely fascinating!

Sandi McBride said...

My FIL spent hours and weeks and months years tracing his family tree...it was worth it to him and so to his children. I hope that you two have fun digging into your family history! Like you, I'd not be taking the single track road again, either...been there, done that as we used to say...no fun found in terror!
Sandi

Gill - That British Woman said...

lovely countryside.......I am going to a genealogy session tomorrow at the library, as I want to trace my dh's side and get more information on my side.

It's something I have never done, but it sounds so interesting. I will be writing about it in the future, and you should keep us updated on your findings.

Gill in Canada

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It is a beautiful part of the world. But I don't think I could stand being on a road with such a dramatic drop!

CJ xx

Rob-bear said...

Ah -- day trips to Wales. Something one cannot do from Canada. Sigh!.

And you managed to find the most interesting places!

Shopping Blog said...

Before finding out about links of london uk watches you should be familiar with some of the terminology. cheap links of london The word horology has two meanings; it is the study or science of measuring time links london jewellery or the art of making clocks, watches, and devices for telling links of london sale time.Since the first appearance of man on the earth an effort has links of london silver been made to determine time.The tracking of the sun's movement across discount links of london the sky, candles that were marked at intervals.Water clocks did links of london bracelet not depend on the observation of the sky or the sun. links london bracelet The earliest water clock was discovered in the tomb of Amenhotep links of london bracelet sale I who was buried around 1500 B.C. Greeks called them clepsydras ; they were cheap links of london bracelet stone boxes with sloped sides that allowed water to drip at an almost unceasing rate from a small hole in the bottom.