Carol Sanderson, Editor
Charles Hansen, Technical Advisor
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My wife has family from Wales that settled in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. They were from Caernarvonshire and Montgomeryshire, Wales.
On one of our trips to Wales and Scotland, we felt very fortunate to get a timeshare exchange to a very nice large unit in Penegoes, Montgomeryshire, Wales. One advantage to a timeshare exchange in the U.K. is that lodging is paid for and there is no VAT tax, however, you do pay for the electricity that you use.
Penegoes is right outside the somewhat larger town of Machynlleth, Montgomeryshire. It was in such a location where we could drive to the places where her family lived in Llanfair Caereinion, Montgomeryshire. In addition, it was close enough to the Vital Records Library in Caernarvon, Caernarvonshire, and to where her family was from at Llandwrog, Caernarvonshire. In addition, it was close enough to drive to the Wales National Library in Aberystwyth, Cardiganshire.
While this trip was to further our genealogy research in Wales, perhaps the most memorable experience was a trip we took going out of Machynlleth on the Post Bus. We had arranged to go on the 4:30 PM pickup of the rural red-post boxes around the countryside.
Our driver was very pleased to be working for the Postal Service and proud that he was a fifth generation postal employee. He worked a split schedule with work hours in the morning and the afternoon, however, he did not seem to mind that a bit. It gave him the opportunity of being home for lunch and for him to continue refinishing some furniture.
Our anticipated ride on the Post Bus turned out to be much more than we expected. The Post Bus was an economy-sized station wagon. We had another passenger who just came along for the ride as we were and we had a college student who was using the Post Bus as a taxi service to get home from Machynlleth. The mail driver was busy loading some things in the back of the wagon that we thought must be mail but it was just groceries and some bags of peat.
The post boxes we stopped at had been all freshly painted bright red and the trim was all brass that was brightly polished. I'm not sure who did that. With each box that we stopped at, we learned the history of that box. Some of them had been there since the 1700s. That was unexpected and interesting.
He next stopped at a croft to drop of the groceries and at another croft to drop off the bag of peat. The most interesting stop was with an elderly lady whose daughter had been traveling that day and was not at home. He stopped in the morning and afternoon to see how she was doing, if she néeded anything, and to add some peat to the fireplace.
Therefore, our Post Bus driver turned out to be a guide, historian, taxi driver, delivery service, and care giver -- all in the interest of picking up the mail. If you are in any of the small towns in the U.K. for a visit, look up the availability of this service. It was most interesting, and the driver was very proud in doing it which was most important,.
Family History Month takes place every October and is a time to bring your family together to remember and honor your ancestors. Two groups worked on making Family History Month, a nationally recognized project:
The California State Genealogical Alliance (by Jo Russell), and the Family History Society of Arizona (by Jeannie Rogers and Rusty Perry). Dick Eastman connected the groups and US Senator Orrin Hatch introduced and helped pass the legislation.
I typed Family History Month in an internet search engine and it came up with several sites people had posted, one with the history of Family History Month. One also listed ten ways to celebrate Family History Month. I will list them with my observations of each.
These are just some of the things one might do to help celebrate Family History Month. Some of you may want to try some of them.