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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 June, 2004, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Mormons unveil family tributes
A plaque was unveiled in the Cross Hands Inn
American Mormons visiting the homes of their forefathers in Wales have left permanent tributes to their ancestors.

Direct descendants of immigrants from Carmarthenshire have unveiled plaques where they used to live.

Many thousands of Welsh converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints crossed the Atlantic in the 1840s and 1850s.

A party of 80 of the descendants have been in Wales this week on a mission to find out more about their family histories.

The feelings today are those of gratitude and sincere appreciation for the sacrifices made by our ancestors
Professor Ronald Dennis

Two plaques have been unveiled at historic properties in Llanybydder where prominent Mormons lived before leaving for a new life in the states.

One was at Glantren Fawr Farm, home to Thomas and Sarah Evans Jeremy, the first to be converted in the village by missionary Dan Jones.

They sailed from Liverpool in 1849 aboard the Buena Vista, arriving in America two months later before setting up home in Salt Lake City.

The other was at the Cross Hands Inn, used frequently as a Mormon meeting place in the 1850s.

Ronald Dennis
Professor Ronald Dennis organised the visit to Wales

The landlord's son Richard "Cross Hands" Jones and his wife Mary Hughes Evans also made new lives for themselves in America.

The party has been led by Ronald Dennis - a Welsh speaking professor at Brigham Young University and the great great grandson of Dan Jones.

"We feel a great kinship with Wales because of our Welsh roots," he said.

"These people joined the church in very difficult circumstances.

"They paid a great price auctioning off everything they had so that they could go to what they thought was a better life where they could practice their religion without any restraint.

"We number in the tens of thousands who have these Welsh connections.

"We look at our pedigree chart and see the Joneses, the Thomases, the Lewises and our hearts swell with pride with having that connection.

"The feelings today are those of gratitude and sincere appreciation for the sacrifices made by our ancestors."

Mormons trace Welsh ancestry
15 Jun 04  |  South West Wales
Mormon mass migration remembered
20 Aug 01  |  UK News
Statue marks epic journey
17 Aug 01  |  UK News


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