My name is Ruth Willmore and I live near Porthmadog, North Wales, with my husband Tony and our cats Domino, Scrabble and Ludo.
I first became interested in family history when my grandmother inherited what she described as The Ring. She told us that it was a widows ring and had been handed down the female line, from mother to oldest daughter. As Grandma herself was the youngest of three sisters there were clearly discrepencies in the story. Twenty years later I have not yet got to the bottom of the origins, but I hope to do so one day.
I moved to Wales in 1999 following a short teaching career and after trying various jobs was employed by Ffestiniog Travel where after a spell issuing UK and European railway tickets I moved to the tours department. I worked booking bespoke holidays for railway enthusiasts all over the world. In 2020 as the world came to a stop, and even trainspotters stopped travelling, I was placed on full time furlough. I was furloughed for eighteen months in all before returning to work part-time for a short time before leaving to pursue genealogy full time. It was during the time I was furloughed that I began a one place study of Pentrefelin, initially transcribing the gravestones for Find a Grave as a way of motivating my daily walks. This project grew into trying to connect the dots and find out a little more about the inhabitants of my village.
It was also during furlough that my sister mentioned that she would love to know more about the history of her house. An old Welsh cottage on the border of two counties, close to England, in a village with numerous spellings is not the easiest place to begin studying house history! I therefore began with other friends and relatives homes. I have promised that one day I will present her with a history of her house.
I am currently studying for The Family History Skills and Strategies (FHSS) Intermediate Certificate developed and taught jointly by Pharos and the Society of Genealogists. I was awarded distinctions in "Nonconformity - Its Records and History 1600 - 1950", "Employment Records" and "Wills and Administrations; the riches of probate records"courses, and have also passed "Recording the Poor - From Parish to Workhouse and beyond". I am also studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical, Palaeographic & Heraldic Studies with Strathclyde University. I have completed the first two modules in 2021, achieving an average grade of 92%, "Excellent". I aim to finish in May 2023, when I will begin a Diploma course, and eventually a Masters degree. I completed the Society of Genealogists Evening Skills courses in the winter of 2020/2021
I also volunteer for the Society of Genealogists, currently transcribing a book of burial registers to make it searchable. I also host some of the Zoom events offered by the Society. You can see some of the courses I have taken on my blog.
When I am not tracing the history of families or houses I enjoy reading. Jane Austen novels and fan fiction, and the the Magical World created by JK Rowling are my favourites. My niece began playing Pokemon Go and I joined in to assist, now although my nieces and nephew are still interested in Pokemon I seem to play more with my sisters! During lockdown I began taking a daily walk, a habit that I have kept up. Some days it is only as far as the local war memorial which is a Pokestop, and one or other of the graveyards where I continue to transcribe the gravestones. Other days I walk further from home, trying to find the addresses I see mentioned on the gravestones, or just to explore. I discovered geocaching during my period on furlough and have now found all the caches within walking distance. Geocaching has been described as using multimillon pound satellite technology to find tupperware in the woods. Basically using an app and coordinates to find plastic boxes of various sizes hidden in the community. When lockdowns allow I continue to explore further afield, and I particularly like the Church Micros and SideTracked series of caches. My other hobby is dolls houses, something that had been very much on the back burner until the Covid-19 crisis. My terrace of four houses finally all have roofs and front doors. The four houses in the terrace are decorated as a late victorian family home, a 1920s wannabe flappers home, a WW2 couple with an evacuee child, and a 1970s family home.
For many years I have been a fan of making a little cash on the side, from taking photos of my receipts, completing surveys, maximising interest on savings and a few other money making apps. I have a general aim of making £10 per day, though £5 is closer to the truth. I will mention some of these in my blog from time to time.
I hate waste. I try my best to keep the house reasonably clutter free, but I really try hard to reuse and donate unused things. For that reason I run the local Freegle group and have been on the board of directors since September 2020. I try to grow some of our own fruit and vegetables, and try to avoid using single use plastic. Our garden is home to our railway, which is Tony's work, so I aim to keep the garden productive, neat and tidy.
I really hate having my picture taken, but I'm here, with some of the things are are important to me.
This page was last updated on 28th December 2021