Wales Tour Maddox genealogyhis trip to St. Mary's Maryland, home of progenitor Samuel Maddox. (Note this page is graphics intensive...it's worth the wait!)
Wales is as green as the map here which shows our trip. In the inset map, you can see the entire British Isles, set off of the coast of France. London is in the eastern part of England and our road trip took us southwesterly to Wales. The larger map is Wales itself. This trip took us to south Wales, where the Samuel line of Maddox finds it roots. While signs of Madoc can be found elsewhere, including the northern tip, this line comes from the south, near the large Welsh city of Brecon. There were Maddox's and Madoc's found all around Brecon and our trip took us on the A40 highway (the southern-most roadway from England into Wales, through Brecon, and west of there.) Most of the scenes are found within the the left side of the red box in this map.)
We had decided that this trip would be a serious genealogy trip. I only wish
that thirty years ago when, as a young serviceman, I first visited Wales, I knew
what I knew now. My English wife and I were in search of our lines this time.
To her, this trip to see 800 year old churches and graveyards was not such a big
deal but her help was valuable anyway to this midwesterner. And another
valuable asset in my search was a rare book by Theophilus Jones, "A History of
the County of Brednock." I would use it to find Maddox heritage in quite a bit
of what we saw. It would help us know where to look and where to stop.
Here, shown at right, I can see the Bucklands... in a valley nestled in the
trees, is an ancient home of Maddock, Madoc, Maddox the Games, Jones, and
Watkins. It looms very large at the base of the hill. It's now a retreat
house. Rebuilt many times, but in 1626, Evan Madoc was in possession of a
house, barn and Bake house called Bucklands.
This was a serious find on our search for Maddox roots. On past the old
farms and homes where our ancestors lived, we find the Village of Scethrog.
Only a few buildings remain but we are able to tour the church and its grounds.
It was locked, as most of them were, but we borrowed the key from the house
The reason why we seem to find so much surviving lineage from Wales, more
than even some of the later Maddoxes of the United States, is that the Welsh
custom was to bury their dead and list their lineage on their very tombstones.
All these centuries, some of this lineage is preserved in stone both inside, in
the walls of the old churches, and outside. It would seem the stone lineage of
Wales endures more than the written paper documents found recorded in wooden
courthouses of the early United States! American courthouses burned to the
ground, taking records with them. But the stone monuments of Wales have endured
in tiny churches nestled away in the countryside.
Understand, our ancestors and the ancient townspeople aren't always where their stones mark them. The Victorians a century ago did indeed move many of the stones. Luckily, we have some documentation before these practices, such as the Jones history, so we know that within the communion rails of the Llanfrynach church, is the grave stone of Thomas ap John Maddox, who died 9 October 1616. Who knows where the old stones lie today, possibly up against the stone walls surrounding the church yard along with hundreds of others of stones, all overgrown with weeds.
It would be so nice if I could find for myself, firm connection Samuel Maddox of Maryland, himself. But he left Wales and I have not found his name in any wills...after all, who would leave mention of property in a will to a man who left Wales to live his life in the New World? As I travel to Wales time and again, I know I'm close. I have not found the definitive link yet, and perhaps I never will. I have early writings to tell me who these ancestors were but I have personally found no documents on the Wales side of the ocean to validate them. Only stone monuments in out-of-the-way churches of the generations just before Samuel's immigration. No, I have not found the house where Samuel Maddox of Maryland was born in Wales. I know I'm near where my ancestor lived as a youngster before he came to America. I was near where his father, and grandfather before him, lived their lives. It's worth the trips by this American in search of his roots to such a beautiful place. I hope this photo tour gives you some insight to what draws me here, and helps you visualize what it is like. These are our roots.