My name is John Fletcher and I am married with two daughters. I am a retired Headteacher. My interests include family history, Italian cooking, gardening, eating good food, drinking good wine and being with my family.
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For over two hundred years our Fletcher ancestors and many of their families have resided in Cardiff and the valley towns of South Wales. Their occupations have included canal worker, farmer and coal miner. Mark, my nephew, and I have worked together over many years to search for our common ancestors. We can trace our paternal ancestors back to 1795 when Phillip Fletcher was baptised in St. Fagan’s near Cardiff. His family descendants have spread far and wide across the world. We hope we can reach some of them through this website and form more links to our past.
The name has generally been accepted to mean a maker and seller of arrows. Initially, however, the name is from the old French word 'flecher' (or feathers). A flechier was one who shaped and fitted the flights to the shafts, which in turn had been made by the arrowsmith. Gradually the two separate trades merged and became one and the same.
Fletcher is an occupational surname (like Smith or Carpenter) referring to someone who made arrows. The name, like Smith or Carpenter, was undoubtedly adopted by any number of genealogically unrelated families of arrowmakers in different locations, so merely bearing the same name does not indicate common ancestry unless, in any given case, there is genealogical evidence to establish an actual connection. Similarly, there is no one " coat of arms” for the Fletchers since arms don't belong to a whole surname, only to individuals and their families (descendants).
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Every year for 7 years from 2010 to 2017 a Fletcher Gathering (reunion) was organised and many related Fletchers met in Cardiff over 3 days and shared activities, visits and dined together. At each Gathering the Farewell Dinner was held in an Italian restaurant. It seemed right and proper to share and enjoy Italian cuisine together. Do you feel the same?
Here’s a pasta recipe that Barbara and I enjoy and one that I cook at home for us. Try it for yourself! Buon appetito!
PASTA CON SALSA DI POMODORO
PASTA WITH TOMATO SAUCE
There are many variations of this traditional recipe from Italy and this one is adapted from a book by Anna Del Conte called “Italian Kitchen”.
“A simple and fresher tomato sauce can be made in the summer when good fresh tomatoes are in the market. This is the classic sauce for spaghetti.” Anna Del Conte
This photo shows Barbara in San Remo, Italy in June 2017. She is eating a meal of Pasta con Salsa di Pomodoro.
Ingredients: Serves 6 as a first course or 4 as a main course
1 medium-sized red onion, very finely chopped
1 medium-sized carrot, very finely chopped
1 celery stick, very finely chopped
10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed and very finely chopped
900g of fresh ripe cherry tomatoes (preferred), cut in half or 800 g Italian canned plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
100 g tomato passata
1 handful of flat leafed parsley, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried oregano
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g linguine, bucatini or spaghetti
freshly grated vegetarian Pecorino cheese, to serve
1. Pour the cooking olive oil into a large flat-bottomed frying pan and heat until the surface is shimmering. Add the carrot and sauté slowly until it is fork tender then add the celery and stir frequently. When the celery has softened add the onion, and stir frequently. Cook the soffritto mixture until well softened (at least 10 minutes). Add the garlic just a few minutes before you finish the soffritto (sautéed mixture).
2. Add the chopped tomatoes and the herbs. Season lightly with salt and pepper and stir until well mixed.
3. Cook briskly for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to a simmer, uncovered, for 20 – 25 minutes until the sauce has thickened. If the sauce becomes too dry add the passata and one ladle of hot pasta water. Stir occasionally to prevent the sauce sticking to the bottom. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
4. If using tinned tomatoes: Push the sauce through the coarsest disc of a mouli legume, or blitz it for a few seconds in a food processor-or leave it as it is, as I often do. Spoon the sauce back into the saucepan and keep it hot while you cook the pasta.
5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large stock pot. Add about 4 litres of water to the pot and bring to the boil. Add a tsp. of sea salt and the pasta and cook according to the packet instruction (about 12 minutes), stirring occasionally.
6. When cooked use a pair of tongs to transfer the pasta into the sauce. Before adding the pasta hold it above the sauce and allow the pasta water to drain off into the sauce. Combine and mix the pasta and the sauce well and serve at once onto warmed plates. Hand round a bowl of freshly grated Pecorino. Buon appetito!
My name is Mark Fletcher. I am aged 45, a retired insurance clerk. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 10 years ago. My interests include family history, photography and rugby.
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