Wednesday 25 June 2014

Growing the family tree

Living here in Chester, my husband is in his element.  He has got into researching his family tree. His mother's family were Irish and his father's family were Welsh. As you will know from my last post we live not far from the Welsh boarder and we have made several trips to Dolgellau to research his paternal family tree as well as last month's trip to Aberystwyth.We have just returned from a trip to Ireland, which for husband included a visit to the National Library of Ireland, in Dublin, for some family history research. So for those of you wondering were an earth Cheshire Wife is, I am sorry, but I have been away again. You can be forgiven for thinking that she is never here. The last twelve months have been rather like this and my blog which started out about relocation and renovation has almost morphed into a travel blog. So I was not surprised to find that my blog had had a mention on this travel blog website. Now we are home with no plans to go anywhere in the immediate future and I shall post about our trip to Ireland as there was a lot more to it than a visit to a dusty old library.

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Over the border

I know, a couple of  days away and I have not posted for four weeks. When I decided  to return to blogging I had time on my hands. Since I made that decision life has taken a few unexpected  twists and turns, which I shall write about later as some of the events are still up in the air. Husband is now back working and after four and a half months at home the study looks like a bomb has hit it. The cottage needs cleaning from top to bottom and the garden is full of weeds.

For our two days away we had decided to go over the border into Wales. We live 
about two miles from the England/Wales border. There are no immigration officers or border police. You simply drive along the road past a sign which says England on one side and Wales on the other. Once in Wales all  the road sign are in both English and Welsh. We left home at lunchtime on the Friday driving south down the A483, through April showers even though it was May, via Wrexham, Oswestry and Newtown before turning off west on to the A44 to Aberystwyth.  We had decided on this route which initially weaves it's way in and out of England and Wales, as we had not driven it before. I thought that it was more attractive than our usual route west through North Wales to Dolgellau, then south to Aberystwyth. Even on a good day the latter route can look grim, as it did on the Sunday when we returned  that way as it is a slightly quicker route. The rain was pouring from a very grey sky. The black tarmac roads were awash with water and despite everything looking very green the dark grey stone cottages with their black Welsh slate roofs completed a depressing scene.

It was late afternoon when we arrived at the inn in Aberaeron, where we were staying, which allowed us time for a quick cup of tea before a stroll down to the beach where we were nearly blown away by the strong and chilly wind.

Both Aberystwyth and Aberaeron had suffered in the winter storms earlier in the year, but you would not have known. We had spent a  long weekend in a very wet Aberystwyth a couple of years ago, when we had stayed in a very nice and newly renovated country house hotel outside Aberystwyth. Since then husband had been wanting to return to the hotel and to visit the National Library of Wales for some family history research. Unfortunately the hotel that we had previously stayed in was fully booked for the nights that we wanted. So we found an inn in Aberaeron,to the south of Aberystwyth, which seemed to be suitable. It was less expensive, but I have to say that the hotel outside Aberystwyth, despite being more expensive, was better value for money.

Our plan was to go to the National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth on the Saturday. The library itself is a very impressive building (pictured left) with dark wooden floors and an aroma of soap. The weather that day was cold,very wet and windy and not suitable for doing much else. At times like this I cannot help but think about all the rainy day jobs that I could be doing at home, but when I am at home it is never the right sort of rain. However, my time in the library was not wasted. Whilst husband ploughed through old records I drafted some blog posts. As well as all the myriad of records that are held there it also has a shop and a cafe where we had a sandwich for lunch. The visitors book in the reading room had comments from visitors from as far a field as USA, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. Husband found some useful information and as usual when he makes one of these family history research visits he comes home with a sheaf of photocopies.

Not a very exciting weekend I know. It was a change of scene. We drove through some scenery that was new to us. Visited some places that we had not been to before. We are now both members of the National Library of Wales and husband's family tree has another twig.