Elizabeth Thomas is my name
And Wales is my nation.
Llanerchymedd is my dwelling place
And Christ is my salvation.
When I am dead and buried
And all my bones are rotten,
Here is a Book for you to look,
When I am quite forgotten.
The grass is green, the rose is red,
Remember me when I am dead.
Bessie Thomas, September 22, 69
Bessie Thomas was my 1st cousin 3-times removed. Her paternal grandparents were my 3rd great-grandparents:
- James Thomas (1777-1853), born in Llandrygarn and died in Llanerchymedd
- Elizabeth Lewis (1782-1873), born in Beaumaris and died in Llanerchymedd.
She moved to Liverpool, where she married Richard John Williams (1854-1937) in 1877. Richard was a plasterer and moved to New York in 1886 at a time when a lot of buildings were going up in the city – Bessie followed him 15 months later with their 4 children. Two children were born in New York, but by 1891 the whole family had returned to Liverpool and 4 more children were born there. Bessie's parents and siblings lived their whole lives in Anglesey.
The bible is in the possession of my 4th cousin, David Russell, who provided the image above (thank you, Dave). Family hearsay is that Bessie didn't have an easy life and hated being in New York. Richard and Bessie Williams outlived 6 of their 10 children, with 4 of them dying in early childhood; William "Billie" Williams (1884-1915) was killed in action in Gallipoli aged 31 years. Bessie was 78 years when she died and Richard was 83. They both died in Liverpool and are buried in West Derby Cemetery.
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