December 16, 2019

If you have this Welsh name, a Caribbean island [Cayman Islands] wants to speak to you

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By Will Hayward From Online

If it turns out you’re related to their first inhabitant, they’ll fly you over ther

A country searching for descendants of the first inhabitant to their island – who was Welsh!

Cayman Islands Government Office in the has launched a campaign in search of relatives of the first Welsh settler of the uninhabited islands back in 1658.

The two first settlers of the previously uninhabited tropical paradise were a Welshman with the last name Walter and a Cornishman called Bawden.

Both said to have been members members of an army sent by Oliver Cromwell which took Jamaica from the Spanish.

Their names subsequently morphed into Watler and Bodden, which to this day are prevalent family names on the islands.

The name Walter/Walters is commonly found around Glamorgan, Monmouthshire and Pembrokeshire – it can be traced back more than 500 years.

The Cayman Islands Government Office is asking anyone with surname to get in touch and they will try to trace if you are descended from the first Cayman Islanders. If you are found to be a long lost decadent they will fly you out to one of the three islands that make up the country.

Eric Bush is the Cayman Islands’ representative to the UK. He said: “Just like the Welsh, we are immensely proud of our national identity, culture and history. Cayman has a rich and diverse population today – but it all began with these original two settlers, including a Welshman called ‘Walter’.

“It would be great to find a family or persons from Wales that may have a connection with the Watler who settled in the islands 360 years ago.

“Our search for Walters is not just about reuniting long-lost relatives, it’s also a way of building closer links to Wales for the future.

“We have a great story to tell and we want to use this to educate more people about the Cayman Islands, our history, where we have come from and our national identity.”

Welsh Walter/Walters or Watlers are encouraged to get in touch with the Cayman Islands Government Office in the UK at www.cigouk.ky and #IamCayman.

IMAGES:

Pirates Week Festival (Image: Dave Martins. Pirates Week Festival)

East End Beach, Grand Cayman (Image: Dave Taylor)

For more on this story go to: https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/you-welsh-name-caribbean-island-14825639

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