50 Year Study of Anglesey - Still a Work in Progress!
Half a century of visits to the University's Archive has led to the publication of over 40 books by the Rev Doctor Dafydd Wyn William, and it's certain that there's not much that this gentleman does not know about Anglesey's history!
During the 50 years that the Rev Doctor Dafydd William has been visiting the Archive, he has carefully and thoroughly studied almost every item in the Archive catalogue relating to Anglesey and the island's literature.
The fruits of this research, and research carried out elsewhere are the publication of over 40 books and a host of articles on the history and life of the island's communities. His main interests are the history of Bodorgan, his native parish, and the history of 'Morrisiaid Mn' the Morrises of Anglesey; three literary and scholarly brothers who were influential figures of the 18 century. Dafydd William founded the Cymdeithas Morrisiaid Mn a society dedicated to the study of these influential individuals and their peers, which is now ten years old.
The latest project that the Rev Dr Dafydd William has set himself is a complete biography of Wiliam Bulkley of Bryn Ddu Estate, based on a study of his diaries which run between 1734-1760, which are kept at the Archive. In order to complete this work, the Rev William has transcribed the contents of the two surviving volumes, referencing the contents under 50 categories such as food, clothing, religion, agriculture and so forth. He had anticipated that this work would take two years of twice weekly visits to the Archive, but the work was completed within a year.
The Rev Dafydd Wyn William believes in the old method of thorough research, without the use of a computer.
A Minister to three chapels in the Holyhead area, Dafydd William has been visiting the Archive since he was 21- and he's now 72! Before beginning his visits to the archive, Dafydd William was a student at Bangor, studying Welsh & Theology. Since graduating in these subjects he has also won an MA for his study of the poetic traditions of Bodedern parish a M Th for his history of early Non-conformity in Anglesey and a doctorate for his study of the poetic traditions of 17 century Anglesey. He has recently been awarded a D Litt.
Over the years he has studies all the wills relating to Anglesey, every surviving parish register old land deeds and a number of volumes of poetry and diaries relating to Anglesey.
"Without a doubt, The Rev Dafydd Wyn Williams is one of the few researchers who are thoroughly familiar with the collections at the University's Archive, especially those relating to Anglesey," commented the University's Archivist, Einion Thomas.