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Last Updated: Friday, 19 September, 2003, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
DNA traces famous ancestor
Clough Williams-Ellis who built Portmeirion could also be a relative
A group of Americans keen to establish a link between themselves and a wealthy Denbighshire merchant from the 16th Century have had DNA tests to prove they are related.

Sir Richard Clough, the son of a Denbigh glove maker, made his fortune in trade and money exchange in the Netherlands.

The 18 Americans managed to establish they are related to the businessman through a man named John Clough who emigrated from London to Massachusetts in 1635.

Members of the group discovered a direct link after their DNA samples were cross matched to that of Richard Clough from Kent - a direct descendent of the more famous, Sir Richard Clough.

They have travelled thousands of miles to north Wales to learn more about their ancestor.

"Those of us who descended from John Clough wondered if there could be a connection with the Sir Richard Clough family," said Sheila Anderson, Genealogist from the John Clough Genealogical society.

"We used Oxford Ancestors to do a DNA analysis for us of the Y chromosome. The genetic evidence is that we're connected - although we still don't know exactly how."

Other famous ancestors of Sir Richard Clough include Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect of Portmeirion village in Gwynedd.

We are delighted that the Americans are making this journey
Gwyneth Kensler Denbighshire councillor

The American tourists have visited the famous village and will head to Denbighshire at the end of September.

Whilst there they will visit an exhibition at the Denbighshire Record Office in Ruthin.

They will look at characters from the 16th Century, including Sir Richard Clough and the contribution he made to Welsh history.

"We are delighted that the Americans are making this journey and we believe they will find the exhibition truly interesting and a fitting tribute to their distant relative," said councillor Gwyneth Kensler.

"Denbighshire has a wealth of historic characters made famous through their lines of work," she added.

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