Finding Owain Thomas

The search for who we were.

Looking Back

It’s been exactly a year since our little adventure, so what’s next? First, finding out who owns Ty’n y Mynyndd now and how that came to be. I’m starting that research now. And then, a family stay at Ty’n y...

The Beaches of Wales

I had thought we’d visit castles and manor homes, but for the most part, we stayed outside. Who knew the allure of Welsh beaches with their rocky cliffs and legendary lighthouses? Church Bay, Newborough Beach, Red Wharf, Moelfre, we hit them all. They’re big and broad...

The View From Ty’n y Mynyndd

Looking for your roots is not exactly high adventure for a ten-year-old and a 16-year-old and the whole endeavor had begun to pale for my two daughters, especially after we spent an hour in the Isle of Anglesey County Council offices in Llangefni Monday morning. At...

The Right Ty’ n Mynynnd

We almost didn’t find Ty’n y Mynyndd. But luck (or a druid) put three people in our path who were able to help us. There was one long, discouraging moment near the top of Mynyndd Bodafon (Bodafon Mountain) when we nearly got stuck in a giant rut that passed for a...

Which Ty’ n Mynynnd?

We drive down lanes so narrow that the car’s bumper sensors, designed to tell you when you’re getting close to hitting something, scream the entire time. And at the same time that we find one Ty’n y Mynyndd, we discover that there is another! We have a chance...

Cows, Castles and Cottages

Despite the fact that I had two pints of Speckled Hen at the Liverpool Arms last night (impressing some of our new friends we made in the process), I managed to get up for a run along the Menai Strait, past Beaumaris Castle and along cow pastures. Being from...

From Mayfair to Menai Straits

We start our day at the Athenaeum in Mayfair (I’m doing a story on it for work–I know, tough job, but someone has to do it!) and end it atCleifiog B&B in Beaumaris on the Strait of Menai. It’s a day of contrasts. On my morning run I make my obligatory sweep...

Logistics

Getting to Wales means knowing where to go to find out what you need to know. That’s especially true when you’re doing a multi-modal trip of plane, train, rental car and high-speed ferry. We’re flying from New York to London, dallying there for a day or so, taking the...

The Engineer

Who was Owain Thomas Hughes? Well, we know that he was an engineer, not the kind who drove trains, but who designed the bridges that carried trains. Was he, perhaps, inspired by the Menai Bridge that crosses the Straits of Menai, just a few miles south of Ty n y...

Late in the 1800s, my great-grandfather, Owain Thomas Hughes, left the family farm in Angelsey, Wales, to seek his fortune in America.

Some 130 years later, my mother, my daughters and I head to Wales to see if we can find it.

And we do.