My Great Grandfather Hugh Williams of Tyn-y-Fonwent and later of Ty Uchaf, Edern, had five or six sons. One, Richard emigrated to Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.A. Another, John died on board the brig “Juanita” of Liverpool, on the 23rd. day of October 1861, aged 29. Another son, Hugh Williams, my grandfather was drowned at Porthmadoc on the 11th day of December, 1879 aged 42, he was Master of the schooner “Clara Felicia”. His wife Judith was from the Clynnog area of this county, she died at 38 years of age on the 2nd of April 1875. They had 3 children, John, Ellen, and Judith Ann, the latter was my mother, and she was only about 4 years old when my grandfather died, she was brought up by her Uncle William. John, my Uncle, was serving as a boy on the “Clara Felecia” when grandfather was drowned. As a young man, John served on the Grand Banks fishing vessels or 15 years, and later served as Bosun and acting Second Mate of large sailing vessels. He was acting in this capacity on the four masted barque “Province” when she was lost on the Naze, Norway. He then joined the ship “Wynstay” at Ostend, this vessel was also wrecked soon afterwards entering a West Coast of a South American port. He then joined the ship “Marion Frazer” at that port, but before she sailed she caught fire and was burned out. He then had a period of work as Rigger at Portmadoc, and worked as such on the last schooner built at the port which was the “Gestiana” and should have sailed on her as Mate, but an accident caused him to stay at home. This vessel was lost amongst icebergs off Newfoundland on her maiden voyage. Later he worked on the docks at the port of Liverpool until he died in 1930.
"Edern when Hugh was a boy"
In 1894, my mother married Henry Roberts a farm labourer
of Llanor, Llyn. They had three sons; Hugh born on the 31st of August
1895, John born on the 15th of July 1897 and William born 26th
of December 1900. William was lost at sea through enemy action when serving as a
seaman on the steam ship “Edernian” of the Golden Cross
Line, Cardiff, on
the 20th of August 1917 off Orfordness in the North Sea. We attended
Edern National School, and in 1908 I was fortunate to pass the scholarship exam
to Botwnnog Grammar School, where I stayed until June 1910. At that time my
father’s wages as Road-man was 18/- per week, and with three strong lads to
care for. I suppose that this fact, more than anything else, made me decide to
go to sea.
June 1910 ~ July 1911
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