Copyright Gerard O’Keeffe 2012
“Come,” said Math, son of Mathonwy, “let us try, with our magic and enchantment to conjure up a wife for Lleu out of flowers.” Now at that time Lleu was a grown man, the most handsome who had ever been seen. However, he had vowed to marry no mortal woman. Thus, they took the flowers of the oak trees, broom flowers and the flowers of the meadow-sweet, and fashioned the fairest and most perfect girl that man had ever seen. And they baptized her by the binding sacred rite they used in those days, and called her “Blodeuwedd” (A Celtic Miscellany)
Not for the first time, student Emily Barton reflected on the mixed blessing of her family’s fixation with genealogy and their family forebears. For her, it was more of a hobby while for her father it was more like an obsession.
Since her mother had disappeared when Emily was young, his trusty computer had become his lifeline to the outside world: the source of great joy in his uneventful life. He took pride in just how far back his family studies had taken him to date. He had started with discoveries of “cobbler” and “labourer” back a few generations of Bartons. Later, he had delved deeper and discovered the likes of “sheep stealer” or “reever”, before running out of leads around 1666. That was when many records literally went up in smoke, in the numerous fires of that era. After being frustrated there, he had turned his attention to the branch of the family represented by his missing wife, to keep his pet project alive longer. And it was with the Duweis branch of the family that Emily found herself occupied today, to keep him happy.