Friday, February 10, 2012

Sleeping with the Ancestors

Arthur's Stone, above Dorstone, Herefordshire, August 15, 2010
Merbach Hill and the Black Mountains (Wales) in the far distance
Last night I went to bed late and I got up this morning way too early so this evening I'm still in an other-worldly daze. I went to sleep last night ruminating on the Roger Vaughan problem in my family history work. My researcher consultant thought that the Roger Vaughan who showed up as "the grandfather" in the Hay Vestry records in our critical year of 1789 would be a fairly unique name. Maybe in most parts of Wales, but not in the valleys along the Wye and over to the Usk. This is probably due to the famous forebearer, Roger Vaughan, defender of the King at Agincourt, whose effigy lies just down the hill from this 5,000 year old burial site. If one ancestor lies in close proximity, is it possible more ancient ones were buried in this tomb?

We had a challenging time on our second day of left-side driving which didn't matter much once we were climbing the steep, narrow lanes up to the hilltop. We found the remnants of the burial tomb which originally was covered with earth but has been exposed long enough that the real stone was linked the the legendary dark-ages King of the Round Table.

The less legendary Roger problem is that there are some generations of Roger Vaughans in Glasbury just east of Hay-on-Wye, also in Talgarth, the next parish up the valley, and also over the hill at Llangors where if you command the waterfowl on the lake to sing, and they do, then you are the natural born King of Wales. And there we go right back to legend.

But there is the reality of Rogers. They existed. I have their records of deaths and parenthood and some family groups set out in wills, but none of them seem to connect up to the Roger Vaughan buried 1797 in Glasbury and our apparent 5th-Great Grandfather. Apparently, a lot of people in these valleys went around naming their sons Roger. They all at least thought they were connected to the original.

I have a lot more work to do.

I need some rest.

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