Tuesday, July 14, 2009
THE FILER FAMILY REUNION, MAY 30, 2009
MAY 30, 2009
THE FILER REUNION
How it came about: Some months ago I was contacted on-line by a woman who said she thought we shared the same great grandfather.
She was doing family genealogy and was tracking down members of the Filer family whose roots are in Wales, mainly around the Caerphilly area. How amazing the internet is! Janet has tracked our family back to the late 1700's. She has found a number of relatives in Wales, some right in Caerphilly, and a large group who are part of the family who went to the States at the turn of the century, some to work the mines in
As I was planning to go to Europe, and had at first planned to go to Rome, then Greece, I decided that it would probably be a better idea to go to Caerphilly to meet these new family members. It had been a few years since I'd been there and was due for a visit. My sister and niece had already planned to come to Greece for my birthday, so the opportunity was perfect for a family reunion.
Janet, my new-found cousin, was the main organizer with some help from a few of the others including the cousins I already knew in Caerphilly (photo above). Everyone was contacted and a hall was rented. It was an old hall known as "Spooks Hall" because it's across the graveyard and the Spiritualist Church holds seances there. (What a perfect place to reunite with long-lost family!) I'm sure the spirits of our grandparents and great grandparents where hovering about that day.
About forty people, young and old, showed up for the gala occasions. There was enough food to feed an army -- an army of Filers! -- and there was even a D.J. On the wall was posted a genaeology list with photos of the old relatives who have passed on.
It was such a thrill to meet everyone. It seemed as though we'd known each other for a very long time! And I have to say the Welsh are a real fun bunch of people, so warm and friendly.
There was even a birthday cake for me, which was such a sweet gesture.
My sister, niece and I were overwhelmed by all the kindness and love that was generated by these long-lost, and the familiar cousins. I know my Dad's spirit was there and he would have been so thrilled to be a part of it. **and Janet, the little Welsh teddy is sitting on my desk right now!
We can't thank Janet enough for getting us all together like that and we only wished we'd had more time to spend there getting to know everyone a bit better. But I plan, on my next trip overseas, to make it a longer visit. And meanwhile, we're all on Facebook and we keep in touch with each other on-line. Isn't the internet fantastic?
So, with all that love surrounding us, we left the next day to return to London and continue on our holiday, leaving on June 1 for Athens, Greece.