Wednesday, March 30, 2011

England versus America

Garway Church
Doreen, Darla and Sue
Doreen and her daughter Sue gave us a grand tour of Orcop and Garway Hills and took us to dinner and lunch.  They were wonderful lovely people who live there.

Doreen showed us where "the Kitchen" was - during 1840 Wilfred Woodruff held Mormon conferences on this farm. Most residents spoke Welsh and English.

In England there are no plugins in the bathrooms except for electric shavers. No washcloths are used, just hand and bath towels. Their bathtubs are very long and narrow and the toilets are very deep, which uses gallons of water to flush them. Salt and pepper tastes different in England - the pepper is ground very fine and does not have much of a zip. An English breakfast consists of cereal, milk, eggs, toast, grilled tomato, rasher (bacon with very little fat - yum) and sausage, hash brown potatoes, orange juice or fruit, plus tea or coffee.  In American we might have cereal and milk and juice or coffee.  Our bacon is full of fat and very little dark meat. We never ever serve tomatoes with breakfast and in fact, many people skip breakfast.

A lot of towns did not have restaurants so the only place to eat was in an English or Irish pub especially for the evening meal because most shops in England closed at 5 pm. There was nudity in the newspapers and on TV - a bit shocking to me an American. There were B&Bs (bed and breakfasts) everywhere and they were quite reasonably priced (hotels were expensive) and hostels were dirt cheap but not as nice as a B&B.

We headed for London and found a room at the Travel Lodge near Heathrow airport.  I was ecstatic to get rid of the rental car - no more driving in England with a stick shift. Returned the car to Alamo.

On our trip to Missouri we stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites (we had two queen beds, a sofa bed, chairs, tables, fridge, microwave, bathroom with tub and shower, lots of towels and most had indoor swimming pools. Very different from England but we were also traveling in the states with three kids.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back to Garway Church

Garway Church
The Knights Templar was given land in Llangarewi by King Henry II in 1180. These warrior monks immediately rebuilt the Saxo-Celtic Church in the usual circular nave and square chancel style (imitation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem). The chancel survives but the circular have has only been revealed through excavation. The detached fortress like tower was later built as a place of safety during Welsh border raids. James de Molay visited this church in 1294.

Footings of nave

The reason I included a bit of history is that some of my ancestors are buried on the church grounds at this historic church. We were able to go inside this small church. These small churches are left open so that those who wish can go in and say prayers.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Back from Missouri

All I gotta say is that if I ever have to cross Kansas again in a car, just dig a hole, kick me in it and be done with me.  It is the most boring flat windy place that I have ever been across. 

Before I left for the unknown parts of the United States, I showed my latest earring creations to my friend and she bought one before I had a chance to even put it on my Etsy shop.  These earrings are Venetian Beads that are cone shaped with gold foil encased in shiny amethyst-periwinkle glass (approx. 12mm). They are the highest quality Venetian beads that are handmade from Murano glass. 
Murano glass with gold foil - already sold!

The second pair: I added a Crystal AB Rondelle silver, a 6 mm violet Swaroski crystal adorned by antique silver. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Going on a road trip to Missouri

I will not be able to blog until March 29, we are headed out on a vacation of sorts to Fort Leonard Wood for a graduation.

Garway Green Man

After going into the Orcop Parish church where we found a list of all the people buried there, none of them were my ancestors. We drove up another hill onto another one-lane road and ended up in Garway.  We were very confused trying to follow a map trying to find Garway Hill. Many of the roads were blocked  because of foot and mouth disease but one sign pointed to Garway Hill so we turned around and went back to that road. We ended up on a very steep gravel road going to White Rocks and both farms at the end were contaminated so we had to turn around on this mountain road with a stick shift car. This was not a hill, it was the side of a mountain! Turning around was not one of my fond moments is all that I can say but I did it. As we got back to the other road that intersected with White Rocks, a lady was coming in and told us which direction to find Dingle Cottage.  John Eames one of Samuel Eames' son lived in one of those farms at White Rocks but I have no idea which one.
Orcop Village

Dingle Cottage

Just our luck, no one was home at Dingle Cottage so we moved forward to the next house where Doreen Ruck lived at Yew Tree Corner.  I had written to her two years earlier and told her we were coming.  She was delightful.  Her and her daughter gave us the grand tour of Orcop and Garway showing us all the homes that my Samuel Eames built.  They even helped us get a room at the Pontralis B&B Railway Station.  The train does not stop there anymore.  It is amazing how many people in the UK want to stay at Railway stations where the old steam engines used to go stop.
Green Man at Garway Church

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Venetian Earrings with Cobalt Murano Glass

These gorgeous Venetian earrings are round handblown Murano glass beads, 21mm, which are hollow with 24kt gold foil on the cobalt glass. These beautifully designed high quality Venetian beads with two Swarovski Crystal Rondelles and a cobalt faceted round glass bead on top are for sale on my Etsy shop. They are the best of my collection of handmade earrings. 

Much Dewchurch

Inside Much Dewchurch
Much Dewchurch

This tiny parish church is where my Samuel Eames married Nancy Castree (3rd gg grandparents) in a small ceremony in 1817. Dewi is Welsh for David. The people of this community were a mixed group of English and Welsh. It has been a village church for 850 years. There is no longer a priest there full time but one moves about from one parish to another within five parishes.  That was also the case when Samuel lived on Garway Hill. No wonder so many people from this area joined the Mormon Church and left for America. Many people had to wait to get married or have their babies christened or had to travel great distances to another small parish church. Many of these churches have a list of who is buried on the grounds and lists of vicars with dates.

What I expected to see at Garway and Orcop were rolling green hills and tiny villages just like in the Golden Valley. What I found was Orcop village on a small hill and another very large hill called Orcop Hill. Across the valley from Orcop Hill was a very steep hill (foothills of the Black Mountains of Wales). Samuel built his home Suckling Dingle Cottage (now Dingle Cottage).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Abby is a Hobo

Abby went outside with Babe and then came back inside the house so we thought that she had learned where her home is, but no! She went outside in the morning with Babe a week ago and just disappeared.  Here kitty kitty, I yelled time and again but to no avail.  Six days later, Abby was peeking through the French door window at us.  She just likes to snoop around and beg for food from the neighbors.  Perhaps, no one fed her this time so she came home.

Orcop and Garway Hill

The Golden Valley in Herefordshire with its marvelous green valleys and small hills dotted with farm animals here and there was worth its weight in gold.  Such a beautiful place and to think, my ancestors lived there. They were not wealthy but stone masons who built many of the homes that are still filled with new families today. Next to Dorestone was Arthur's stone but of course, we couldn't visit it because of the foot and mouth disease.  They had just culled all of the animals from Orcop and Garway when we arrived there.  So sad, killing and burning all of those animals.

Orcop hill view the year before we were there

Does it not remind you of a patchwork quilt with various shades and colors? 

With some patches bright - and some patches dark,
And some that seem ever so dull -
But if we were given to set some apart,
We'd hardly know which to cull.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I love this quote

"Blessed are the cracked" for they shall bring in the light.

Dorstone Church

The small quaint historic village churches are usually open so that visitors may go in whenever they arrive.  There were a lot of Carvers in the churchyard and lots of Maddy epitaphs inside the church.  I am still so flippin jealous!  I didn't find any of my ancestors - okay I take that back.  Found one tombstone at Much DewChurch from my Castree line.
Zachariah Castree and his wife Ann.  As you can see, the elements of water, wind and snow are destroying these stones from 1821.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Daffodils In Wales

I was told that Daffodils grow wild in Wales and England.  I saw two areas that were just covered with them all blooming in their yellow glory: Yorkshire and Aberavon, Wales.

St. John the Baptist Church, Wales
 Contrast this to part of Utah that is close to its mining area in the Rocky Mountains.  Below are two moving car shots from our trip this last weekend:

South of Price, Utah

Barren and sharp - that describes these areas. The picture above with the train cars shows natural hills not sludge dumps from mining. 

We did see over 100 white butt deer grazing right next to the highway on the south side where the snow has melted. Traffic does not seem to bother them at all.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Golden Valley

Originally "The Rhydy", now "The Long Barn"

Have you ever heard of the Golden Valley?  It actually exists and the view from Dorstone is one of the most magnificent views that I have ever seen. As far as the eye could see, there were green valleys and small rolling hills.  I dreamed that England looked this way. As soon as we left Wales, the weather turned warm and sunny.  We stopped at Michaelchurch Eskley trying to locate the Rhydy which was the home that John Eames built (Samuel Eames my 3rd great grandfather was living with his son's family there). It's a lovely home and has changed hands numerous times.  They changed the name to "The Long Barn" and turned the house into a holiday rental property. It is situated in the heart of beautiful Herefordshire countryside with spectacular views overlooking the Black Mountains and Offa's Dyke (centrally heated, self-catering cottage that sleeps six). There was a very long barn on this property along side of the hand-built stone home that John and Samuel Eames built (stone masons).  They hosted traveling missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints many times because they had become members of this church and then the whole family immigrated to America.

John Eames family with a bearded Samuel Eames in the back 

CMW Farm - Dorstone (Once a Maddy home)

Peterchurch is where the Carvers lived.  Mary Ann Eames married John Carver on the ship "Josiah Bradlee". They sailed to New Orleans in February of 1850, took another boat up the Mississippi River to St. Louis and lived there until Mary Ann's younger brother Henry Eames came to America in 1851.  She was the only daughter of Samuel Eames. They crossed the plains to Utah in April of 1853 by ox-wagon and walking. They arrived in Salt Lake City on September 3, 1853.

The Carvers had also lived in Dorstone and we took photos there of the Carvers home and where the Maddy family lived (my Aunt Velma Maddy's roots are from Dorstone).  

Llan Farm, Dorstone (another Maddy home)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Roots in Wales

My great grandfather came to America with his parents when he was 12 years old from Aberdare. There are three long valleys in southern Wales and my roots go back to two of them. Before coming to America, my Edwards family lived in Methyr Tydfil (a mining town). We stopped in Aberdare at a McDonald's and I had a hot chocolate (it was the absolute worst hot chocolate that I have ever had - beware of McDonald's where ever you are - they are so over salted and greasy). I hear that in Japan that they serve strange fish like octopus. We toured Cyfartha Castle in Methyr Tydfil.  It was just an enormous brick house belonging to Cyfartha who was an Englishman that ran his mines like a sweat shop (even working small children in the mines working mules and piling rocks in buckets).  The best thing that ever happened to my Edwards family was that they joined a new church (the Mormons as they were called) and left Wales for a better life.  So many of the miners died early.
Cyfartha Castle

The old mining artifacts were quite interesting.  I bought a souvenir and the sales lady spoke to me in Welsh - they keep their language alive. She was just waiting on some school children and forgot to switch languages.

We stayed at a B&B at Abergavanny and found an Italian Restaurant called Lugui's (12.40 pounds for two vegetarian lasagnas and drinks). The next morning while having breakfast, we visited with a retired Vicar who was delighted to talk to Americans. He was doing a bit of traveling.  He was very easy to understand whereas in some parts of England, they are not.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My first chandelier earrings

My very first handmade chandelier earrings. Swarovski crystals of blue, lavender and purple.  Too dizzy to blog - migraines.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Peter Church Door

There was a toll bridge connecting Wales to England and to our astonishment, they collect the money in Wales. It just flippin rained the whole time that we were in Wales.  What can I say? Rain, no pictures.  Stopped at Port Talbot (a section of this town is called Aberavon (pronounced Aba avon with a soft a).  My 3rd great grandmother was Elizabeth Lewis who was from this town. We stopped at a pub to have lunch but the cook was off that day and they did not serve lunch. A young man from Canada, the bartender, told us where to find Aberavon and how to say it.  We ate lunch at a hotel next to the beach. It stopped pouring just long enough to snap one photo. Wales was stunningly beautiful even though it was still just pouring rain.

Peter Church in Herefordshire

Sunday, March 6, 2011


We arrived in Bristol right during the going home traffic - ugh! Couldn't find anything in all that traffic and ended up driving across the bridge to Bedminster (still part of Bristol).  We booked a night at the Imperial Guest House in Knowle for 45 pounds (twin room) with a bathroom down the hall or one downstairs.  It worked just fine.  We had takeout food from an Indian deli - Darla learned to like curry while being in the UK for almost two years.  I watched a bit of TV while she showered and was shocked at the nudity in commercials.  Perhaps, that is why they say Americans are prudish. 

These are actually silver not gold; one of my collections.

Bristol, England

My Eames family lived in Bristol originally in 1790 but I've been unable to trace my roots further back than that, along with dozens of other Eames' cousins who live in America.  Samuel Eames was sent to live in the country (Orcup, Hereford, England) with his Uncle Samuel Watkins. Orcup is a very interesting place which is located close to the Black Mountains of Wales.  It was originally Welsh so many of the surrounding villages have very hard to pronounce Welsh names.

Now the whole story is a mystery why Samuel was resourced out to his uncle at the tender age of 3 and never returned to either of his parents.  Did his father die? Was his father pressed into military service? Was he killed in the uprising in 1793 when garrison troops killed people on Bristol Bridge.  At the time the people were outraged when the bridge toll that was supposed to expire, did not because the city officials decided to keep it.  There were 11 civilians killed but William Eames is not on the list.  He was in the city directories and tax records from 1790 through 1794. He was a broker of goods and had a warehouse. In 1794 the tax record just stated "the late Wm. Eames and warehouse" so something happened. I found his marriage record, all three of his children were christened at the same church.  Where did his brother and sister go? We've never found trace of them either.

St Nicholas church was destroyed during WWII but it was rebuilt on the same spot as the previous church. Thank heavens we have written records or World War II would have wiped out this information as well.
River Avon
St. Nicholas Church

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring is almost here

I am ready for spring.  Bring on the flowers and more sunshine.  We had a lovely day today and I didn't even wear a jacket let along a coat.

My latest hand made flower earrings:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Windsor Castle - Very enjoyable Tour

The Queen in the middle of the road next to Windsor

Windsor Courtyard

Windsor with its fairy tale turrets and towers is the largest continually inhabited castle in the world. I’ve never seen anything like the castle, the old weapons, armory, paintings, guards in their bearskin hats and red suits.  We were able to see the changing of the guard at Windsor, which was pretty interesting. The main guard seem to ask a list of questions from a clipboard, before they changed the guard. It cost ₤11 each for admission but it was worth it. Three hours was not quite long enough for the tour so we had to hurry the last part of the tour because we had only paid for three hours of parking. 

It was 1992 when the castle caught fire; fortunately the rooms most affected by the fire were mostly empty of their treasurers as they were rewiring the rooms. 

All I have to say is that if we ever revert to hand to hand combat, England has saved all of its weapons and armor and they would be ready.  They even have armor for horses.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hemel Hempstead

Hemel Hempstead is a small town just outside of London proper. We met the Guest family; Darla and Laura were companions for the first 6 months in Ireland.  They served us Jaffa Cakes (yum).  A delightful treat from the UK with a hint of orange jelly on a wafer sponge round cookie that is topped with chocolate.

We stayed at a very posh expensive hotel - well, it was worthy every dollar.  The bed was the most comfortable bed that I have ever slept on in my whole life.  I want one - they are hard to find.  

The next day we headed for Bristol but made a stop at Windsor Castle.
We watched the Queen's guard come out of his phone-booth sized sentry box and do a routine that was very hilarious. He stomped his feet, moved his rifle about, walked about twelve feet out, walked back, did more stomping and backed into his box. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Devil Dog

Oh my word, a touch of heaven! I made the recipe Devil Dogs from the Pioneer Woman's Blog and everyone in my family ate it without leaving a crumb on their plates.  Even my 4-year-old granddaughter, who is the most fussy eater that I have ever been around, ate the small portion I gave her and then asked for seconds.

The whole cake and two frostings are all from scratch.  It definitely is the most moist cake that I have ever made (beats the boxed mixes with thumbs up).  It was better than a frosted brownie and I didn't put a red cherry on top because I couldn't find them in the store. 

Don't feel guilty, go ahead and make it one time just for a once-in-a-life-time treat.

Kingston Upon Hull was originally called Wyke Upon Hull

When King Edward 1 took over the port in 1293, it became King's town, thus Kingston. Wyke came from vik a Scandinavian word meaning creek.

At one time in the old town of Kingston Upon Hull, ships sailed around the town. Because of the tide fluctuations coming in from the River Humber where it meets the River Hull, the town of Hull was constantly being flooded. Some areas built up walls to keep the flooding at bay.  The River Hull was a dumping area for many years and thus the town had many bouts of cholera.  There were so many people buried around Holy Trinity at one time that the whole area stunk.  When epidemics hit, the grave diggers just could not keep up with burying people and they began to pile body upon body without much dirt cover.  The main hospital was across the street so being sanitary was unheard of and many more people died.  It finally became so bad that Holy Trinity started a new cemetery severals miles away, cleaned up the mess and today, it is cemented over.

In the market area of Hull about a block from Holy Trinity is a golden statue of King William I on a horse.

It is said that there was originally a thistle under the foot of the horse, but it was stolen by the Jacobites who were indignant on seeing the horse of the king who superseded James II trample on the national emblem of Scotland.

We stayed at Ferriby at a very post place called the Humber Crown, right next to the River Humber and not far from the large expansion bridge. 

It is a small world; the next day we met an Elder Howarth from Burley, Idaho and an Elder from California while attending an LDS church in Hessle. While in Dublin, I ran into a couple at the Mission Home who had lived at Elba, Idaho and who knew my mother and my grandparents.  After tramping through the Hessle Cemetery with no luck in finding any relatives, we took off for London.
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