Hicks Homepage

One Hicks family

This site is dedicated to the history of one Hicks family who, for 250 or so years from c 1750, lived mainly in the parishes
of Bettws, Carmarthenshire and also Cadoxton and Llangiwg in Glamorgan, Wales, UK








Picture Gallery

Hicks 1


Mystery 1

Hicks 2


Mystery 2

Hicks 3



Cwmgors & Gwauncaegurwen homepage


Gareth Hicks

Please contact me via the Find Help link at the bottom of the genuki page for Llangiwg













John Hicks 1747  (Anne ? )


John Hicks 1788  (Anne ?)


John Hicks 1809  (Anne Jones)

William Jones 1762/6  (Gwenllian ?)

Richard Hicks 1837  (Dinah Michael)

The children of Richard and Dinah Hicks

Morgan Michael 1783  (Anne Lewis)

William Morgan Michael 1806 (Hannah Thomas)

Benjamin Hicks 1877 (Mary Rees)

David Rees Pencaedu 1832 (Jennet Evans/Ann Jones)

The ancestors of David Rees Pencaedu including
Rees Rees 1809 and
David Rees, 1759, Gellimarch

The children of David Rees Pencaedu

Thomas Jones (1817) (Catherine Walters)

Morgan Jones 1778 (Sarah Jones)

John Walters 1780 (Margaret James)











Richard Hicks is the researcher's paternal great grand father.

This narrative will try to tell the story of his life and the lives of his family who came before and after him.

Our starting point will be in the middle of the eighteenth century in the parish of Bettws in the county of Carmarthenshire, but let me tell you a little of Richard Hicks first.

Richard Hicks was born on the 19th of December 1837 at Blaenant Ucha Farm, Cilybebyll in the county of Glamorgan , this was the home of his maternal grand father, William Jones.

He started out his working life as a farmer's boy, at the age of 14 he was working on his father's farm, Gartheithin in Rhydyfro. We do not know whether he went to any school, he was literate and possibly was influenced by the "bardic tradition" in his mother's family.

By the time of his first marriage in 1860 at the age of 24 he was a coalweigher, perhaps at the nearby Coder mine, his first wife died a year later from consumption.

He remarried in 1862, his second wife Dinah bore him 7 children, she died in 1883 aged 40.

He was still a working coalminer in 1891 when he was aged 55 ; he died , probably at Pantydderwen,  on the 6th of July 1908 at the age of 71, and is buried in Hen Garmel.

There can be no doubt that life was hard for Richard, and many like him, death and sickness were frequent visitors to their homes. Neither can there be much doubt that, like others, he found comfort in his faith, music, and the local chapel .

There is the following reference in " Annibynwyr Gwaencaegurwen " by L.Hughes [1942 ].

Under the heading " Arweinyddion y Gan " [a literal translation is " leader of the song "], in the context of the Hen Garmel Chapel, the author refers to Hopcyn Hopcyn as the first arweinydd, then he says ;

" Dilynwyd Hopcyn Hopcyn gan Richard Hicks , gwr cerddgar arall. Y mae cerddoriaeth yn aros yn nodwedd amlwg yn ei deulu o hyd "

[Hopcyn Hopcyn was followed by Richard Hicks, another musical man. Music is still evident in the character of his family.]

Researcher's note

Any  errors of fact or opinion in this narrative are my responsibility alone, I have been greatly helped in my research by  my principal collaborator, my second cousin Richard Humphries; also by Peter and Keith Lewin who have researched their own Hicks ancestors and willingly shared data with me, my sincere thanks to all three.

John Gareth Hicks , Devon 1997

John Hicks 1747



This is the first of three recorded John Hickses but we have no real idea where he came from, or specifically, where he was baptised.

There is a " family tradition " that the Hickses came originally from Cornwall, indeed this could well be so, there were about a dozen John Hickses baptised in Cornwall circa 1750 and the name is indigenous throughout the West Country of England.

Clearly, the name Hicks is not of Welsh origin in itself , in England it is considered to be a diminutive of the surname Richards. Richard as a given name was popular in Wales in the C15.

However, it is far more likely that this particular John Hicks was born in Carmarthenshire.

In the period 1750/1800 there were groups of Hicks marriages in the parishes of Llandefeilog, St Peters Carmarthen , Llanboidy and Llandeilofawr, with several other Hicks entries in other parishes within a 20 mile radius of Bettws itself.

Indeed, there is a marriage in Llanegwad parish in 1749, a John Hicks to Catherine Rowland, could they be his parents ?

A thorough trawl through the Bettws registers suggests that there were NO Hickses around in that parish between 1742 and 1785.

We have not found his baptism in the Bettws parish registers but from his burial entry we know he died in Bettws at a house or farm called Tir Collins in May 1813 at the age of 66.

In the Bettws register there are two other burial entries which may be connected;

The first is that of an Anne Hicks in 1822 aged 77, said to be of a place called Villa.

Was she our John's widow ? It does seem likely, she was of the similar age, there were no other linked male deaths in the period.

The people living at Villa in 1819 were Thomas and Ann Jones, no clue there, can't find an Anne Hicks marrying a Thomas Jones in Carmarthenshire anyway.

The second interesting burial was in 1823, of a Thomas Hicks,  a pauper, aged 45.

As born in 1778 this Thomas is unlikely to be our John's brother but could he be another son?

After all, John Hicks might have been married as early as 1767 despite the fact that the next John in our line was born c 1788.

Or an alternative scenario centres on the parish of Llandefeilog where in 1778 a Thomas Hicks married, could he be the above Thomas's father and is it possible that this 1778 Thomas was our John's brother, which would suggest that Llandefeilog is a parish to continue our search.

Yet another Thomas Hicks married in 1703 in St Peters Carmarthen.

It is also noted that there is separate known Hicks branch, who intriguingly also ended up in Cwmgors [Llwyn Rd] .

I refer to them as the " Lewin Hickses " because the Cwmgors Lewin family are descended from that Hicks female line.
See the Hicks name database which outlines these families in detail

Those Hickses, coincidentally, commenced with a Richard Hicks who married in the Trecastle area of Llandeilofawr in 1741.
Try as we might we have been unable to find any direct connection between the two Hicks branches but it does seem more than probable that if we could go back far enough, even in Carmarthenshire, then such a link would be found.


John Hicks 1788



This John Hicks was baptised on May 25 1788 in Bettws, the son of John Hix. (John Hicks 1747)

The register is very difficult to read but there does seem to be a previous baptism in 1785 for a John , son of John Hixs, presumably a previous son John who died.
The mother's name was not usually recorded at that time.

However, the mis-spelling of the name is not an unusual occurrence for the times, the majority of people were illiterate and probably spoke Welsh only, whereas the Anglican clergy responsible for recording the baptisms etc, even if bilingual, were required to record in English.

From the census entries we know that John Hicks was a stonemason by trade.

We can find no record of his marriage to Anne, either in Bettws or Llannon parishes [or any other in Dyfed ], the latter parish being where she was said on the census to be born.

We are thus unable to find her baptism in Llannon since we do not know her maiden name.

Their son John was born in 1809 in Bettws, the house name Tir Collins is written next to the entry which is how we make the link between this John and his father who died there in 1813.

Two other sons, David in 1814 and Edward in 1817, were born at a place called Tynywain in Bettws, about 1/4 ml from a ford over the River Cathan.

Ty yn y waun is shown on the maps, have been to look at it , a house still stands, man down the road says now called Caecrwn[?][ Round field?] .

On the Tithe map c 1840, tenant then was David Williams, landlord John Jones, area 15+acres but only c 3 acres is with the house, rest a way off and may not have been part of the property in say 1814/7. On the Tithe maps there were two fields called "Cae Hicks".

The family were living at Cwmnantyfin, Bettws in 1841 and 1851 , we have not been able to find Cwmnantyfin [or Tir Collins ] on any map although the stream Nantyfin is of course still there.

John Hicks died at Blaenantyffun on 3 June 1854, of asthma, age 68, a mason, the informant was his daughter Ann Evans of Full Moon, Bettws.

Ann Hicks, widow of John Hicks, mason decd, died on 16 November 1854, age 76, of diarrhoea, at Pantymeredudd, Bettws, the home of her son, the informant, Edward Hicks

1841 Census , Cwmnantyfin, Bettws

1851 Census, Cwmnantyfin, Bettws,


Their other children;



Baptism in Bettws 1812 .

Bettws register entries; 1838 burial Richard Hicks age 7 of Pencaeryreithin, baptism 1844 William and burial for William age 14 wks in 1844.  

It seems that Mary his first wife has died and William has remarried

1861  in St Pauls Llanelly, New Dock ?

1871 St Pauls Llanelly,  2 Chapel Street

1881   6 Havelock street ( St Paul Llanelly);

1891, Llanelly, No.4 Havelock;


A death record was found  Ann Hicks June quarter 1894 aged 70, Llanelly registry


Son of William Hicks on census in 1891 at No.12 New St Llanelly;



Baptism in Bettws 1814, David son of John/Anne Hicks of Ty yn ywain .

1851 census, at Penfilia Cottage, Llangyfelach

A David Hicks married a Jane Rees in 1835 in Llangyfelach, Jane was a widow .

His son John married in Weig Swansea in 1868, a David Hicks  witness .

1881 Census at Pillar, Treboeth



Burial entry, Edward Hicks 1 Dec 1818 age 2 of Argod
Assumed that this Edward below was born c 1820 which is the age he shows through most census entries .
It perhaps follows a tradition that the next son was named after the first one who had died.

1851 census at Pant Meredith, Btws

The Bettws register also shows burial in 1846 of Elizabeth age 2 wks at Pant meredith.

1861 census at Carregaman Ucha

1871 census at Tanrallt, Btws

1881 census at Danyrallt

1891 census at Llwynfasen,Btws

Marriage entry on Llandybie Indexes Edward Hicks of Bettws /Jane Williams in 1844

Buried at Capel Newydd, Betws with wife and 2 children, died 10.10.1894, age 88 shown on headstone although he was only 74.


Marriage date 22nd Apr 1867,  at Bettws Church, Richard Hicks (age 22 bachelor, collier Llandybie, father Edward, mason) to Ann Evans (age 22, spinster, Nantmelin, Bettws, daughter of David Evans, mason). 1871 census shows David Evans boarding at Castell Aman with Richard and Anne.  See Anne Hicks below.

1871 census at Castell Aman

1881 census at Bryncelyn,

1891 census at Tanyrallt

From " History of Capel Newydd, Betws 1899/1949"......a Richard Higgs of Tanyrallt, Bettws, coalminer was a supporter of Siloam sunday school [branch of Capel Newydd].
Also the late Mrs Richard Higgs of Danyrallt in 1905 made a gift of a memorial stone to Siloam.

Below is an obituary being a contribution by Amanwy (D. Rees Griffiths) in a local valley newspaper in 1942.
I assume this is the David mentioned above in the 1891 census at Tanyrallt, although shown as a nephew in the 1881 census, from his middle name and birth year of c1875 I would speculate that he was actually the son of the John Hicks below who married an Anne (in 1873)as well but where I have no other details.

"Dafydd Hicks, Tan-yr-allt, Y Betws
Claddwyd Dafydd Hicks, Tan-yr-allt, y Betws, brynhawn dydd Sadwrn diwethaf, ac i lawer ohonom claddwyd darn o hen fywyd y fro ar yr un diwrnod. Ni bu llawer o lewyrch ar fywyd Dafydd ers blynyddoedd lawer. Collodd ei iechyd a’i nerth, a daeth rhyw anfodlonrwydd i’w boeni nes iddo fethu gweld yr haul gan faint düwch y cwmwl. Hawdd i ni sy’n cofio dyddiau gwell yn ei hanes yw tynnu’r llen dros act olaf ei fywyd.
Cofio heulwen y dyddiau gynt yn ei hanes a wnaeth y mwyafrif ohonom yn ei angladd. Ei gofio’n grwt direidus yn ysgol y pentref a’i ddyddiau cyntaf fel gweithiwr yng Ngwaith Alcan Tir-y-dail. Yna, y blynyddoedd llawen yng Ngwaith Ucha’r Betws, a phawb yn garedig wrtho, yn enwedig y swyddogion, chware teg iddynt. Cofio’i fam, Ann Hicks, Tan-yr-allt, un o wragedd gorau’r fro, a’i gofal cyson a diarbed amdano.
Y mae mwy o hanesion diredius am Ddafydd Hicks, na nemor un o fechgyn yr ardal. Cofio’r tripiau hynny i weld gêm o bêl-droed ar faes Sant Helen, Abertawe, a Dafydd Hicks yn cadw’r cwmni yn eu dyblau gan chwerthin, bob milltir o’r daith. Ei gofio yn cefnogi bechgyn y Betws ar y Cae Mawr, ac yn llamu fel ewig pan oedd graen ar ein chwarae, ac yn ochneidio’n athrist pan gollem y frwydr. Ei gofio’n ddiweddarach yn tramwy’r fro adeg y Diwygiad, a’i galon ar dân.
Diolch o galon gynnes i’r Parch. Nantlais Williams am ei eiriau caredig a’i ddoethineb wrth wasanaethu yn ei angladd, ac i’r Parch. H. R. Davies am ei gynorthwyo hefyd. Cydymdeimlwn â’r teulu yn ei alar am un o gymeriadau hynotaf y Betws.
Wrth gwrs, y clasur ymhlith y storïau yw honno am y ‘mwg’ yn un o gyrddau gweddi Hopkinstown, slawer dydd. Cynhelid cyrddau gweddi o amgylch tai annedd y Betws yn y cyfnod hwnnw, a’r tro hwn mewn ty arbennig yn Hopkinstown. Er mwyn rhoi’r lle gorau i’r cwrdd, cynheuodd y wreigdda dân yn yr ystafell ffrynt, heb gofio ei bod newydd osod black varnish o gylch y pentan ychydig ddyddiau cyn hynny. Pan ddechreuwyd y cwrdd, roedd y mwg yn greulon o dew, a’r peswch yn ddiderfyn. Cododd Dafydd Hicks, a rhoi emyn allan, a mynd i weddi. Ni bu’n hir cyn i’r peswch ei drechu, ac wedi brwydro’n galed am dipyn, gwaeddodd nerth ei lais, ‘Arglwydd mawr, cliria’r mwg ’ma, inni ga’l mynd ymla’n a’th waith’. Mae amryw o’r hen ffrindiau yn cofio’r noson honno o hyd. 23 Ebrill 1942 "


Bettws register 1873, marriage entry John Hicks 21, [ father Edward Hicks, mason] to Anne Morgan of Bettws, 20 [father Daniel Morgan, lab].



Not seen on any census entry,  neither has a baptism entry been found.

However there is the following marriage entry which certainly looks like a daughter of OUR John; 1861 at Tabernacl, Carmarthen [Baptist] Sarah Hicks, age 40, spinster, of Priory St, Carmarthen, dau of John Hicks, dec'd, mason...... married to Daniel Davies age 39, bachelor, mason, of Lammas St, Carmarthen, son of Daniel Davies.



Aged 15/19 [1822/26] on 1841 Census at Cilybebyll .

At her 1845 marriage to Morgan Evans one of the witnesses was her brother, Daniel HIGGS.

She was apparently widowed twice and remarried once, to another Evans!

Baptism in 1848 for John, son of Morgan/Anne Evans, labourer, Glannantyffin

Also, burials; 1849 Mary Evans age 4, and 1849 John Evans age 2 [assumed the one above], both at Blaennantyffin.

In 1854 Ann Evans of Full Moon, Bttws was present at death of her father, John Hicks, at Blaennantyffin

1881 Census, Llwynfasen, Bettws

1891 census.

Anne Hicks's second marriage; - Marriage certificate shows marriage date 12th Nov 1872 at Registry office, Llandeilo fawr. - Anne Evans (age 48, widow, Penybanwen, Bettws, dau of John Hicks deceased, mason) to David Evans (age 54, widower, mason, Cross Inn Village Llandybie, father William Evans deceased, shoemaker).

Anne died at Llwynyfesen 1st Sept 1905 (age 80) and David died there on 25th Aug 1883 (age 71).
This David Evans's daughter Ann born Llangathen (from his first marriage to Letticia Puntan 1841) actually married Richard Hicks, son of Edward Hicks, sister of Anne Hicks.  



Aged 15/19 on 1841 Census, at Cilybebyll but no trace of his baptism in Bettws.

He was a witness in Nov 1845 at his sister Anne's wedding in Bettws, then called himself Daniel HIGGS.
Evidence that  Higgs variant was still used by some family members as late as 1875 [family bible]

No entry on 1851 census index fits under Llangiwg or Cilybebyll........
The only Daniel HIGGS [no Hicks] entry there was in Onllwyn, he was shown as born in Tref Egwlys[?] MON aged 30, possibly a widower[?], a lodger with a Wigley family


1871 census at Gwainmarchog, Neath Higher

1881 census shows Daniel HIGGS and family at Onllwyn, Dylais Higher

1891 at what looks like 5 Katie Street, Llangeinor 

His first marriage at Neath Register Office in 1847, bachelor of Drim, collier, father John HIGGS mason. to Mary Lewis of Llansamlet,  a witness was Rees Higgs [brother]

His second marriage was in Neath also, in 1852, father's name JOHN HIGGS, mason.
Daniel then living in Gutterfawr, Llanguicke, age 30, a widower, he married Elizabeth Jones age 28 of Drim, Cadoxton.

He was twice widowed since wife shown in 1881 census was Jane but so far unable to find a marriage for her in the period 1857 when Elizabeth died and the 1861 census

Daniel certainly seems to have kept to the Higgs surname, for whatever reason.

Death entry for Daniel Higgs at Neath RD in 1884 aged 62



His birth year varies between 1824 and 1831, a family tradition!  
No baptism found.

Marriage in Bettws 1852 Rees Hicks 21 of Blaenantyffin, father John Hicks mason, to Catherine Jones 21, of Glynyreithinfach.

1861 census

1871 census at Garnantuchaf, Cwmcerdinen, Llangyfelach

1881 Census at Garnantganol

1891 Census at Garnantuchaf

Listed as a deacon of Old Sion Chapel, Betws in " Hanes ac Atgof, Hanner can-mlwyddiant, Capel Newydd Betws 1899/1949".

Rees Higgs buried at Capel Newydd, Betws, died 1910 age 86, lived at Garnant Ganol.


Marriage in Bettws 1872, Margaret HIGGS 19 of Glynyreithinfach, father Rees HIGGS, mason, to William Bevan 25 of Cardinen Issa, Llangyfelach .

Buried with husband in Capel Newydd .


Jonathan Higgs buried at Capel Newydd cmty, Betws with wife and 2 chldrn, died 1922 aged 66, then living at Bryncam.
The 2 children buried there are; Sgt William Higgs died 1917 age 22 who died in Gaza-Palestine and Rachel Higgs, died 22.10.1943 age 50 .

Listed as deacon Old Sion Chapel, Betws .

Mentioned as an early teacher at the Penllech Sunday school

Also mentioned was a Tom Higgs [son of Jonathan?] of Bryncam who was a teacher at the sunday school too.

With his sister in law Susan, he formed a Band of Hope for the children between 1915/1925.

The following note is all about a possible connection between the Hicks and Davies families and starts with JOHN, this Jonathan's son;

Headstone at Capel Newydd for Susannah Higgs, wife of John Higgs, of Cadwgan, Bettws, died July 9 1928, age 50.
Also John Higgs, died Aug 7 1955 age 75

The above Susannah looks like the same one in the following story related vaguely by my mother and a Nan Owen who lived [1997] at the same Cadwgan in Bettws.
They simply thought there was an obscure connection between their two families, somewhere in the past.

Nan's mother, Florrie, was the daughter of Dafydd and Ann Jones but was brought up by John and Susannah Higgs, Ann and Susannah were sisters and Davieses before marriage.

I ascertained that John Higgs, coalminer, age 24, of Bryncam, son of Jonathan Higgs, mason, married Susannah Davies, age 26, of Penyrallt [?] Manordilo, father John Davies, on 2 Apr 1904 at Cwmifor Chapel,Cwmifor. Witnesses were Mary Higgs and John Davies.

At this point, yes, this John Davies could be the brother of Margaret Davies [my mother's grandmother], he was age 2 on the 1851 census in Llansadwrn, their mother was a Susannah .

John Davies's shown birth parish of Llansadwrn clinches it, he is almost certainly Margaret Davies's brother, yes there is a family connection


Shown with parents on 1861 census age 2, and 1871 census age 12

In 1882 married Thomas Bowen - Llandilofawr Jun Quarter 11a 1074

Family on 1891 census - at Garnant Isaf, Llangyfelach, Mawr

In 1901 they lived in Betws village.
Additional children; - Jane (1893), Thomas John (1896), William (1898), Jonathan (1900).
Catherine not with them, she  possibly died in 1892


Married in 1898, John Higgs age 33 draper,of Ammanford House, Ammanford, father Rees Higgs, mason /farmer to Elizabeth Watkins, 19, Ammanford.

After John died in 1911 (Freebmd aged 48 in LlandilofawrRD) (buried in Ammanford) Elizabeth married Zephaniah Higgs(Freebmd 1914 in Swansea RD)  and emigrated to Fort Plain, New York with son Vivian Gwynn Higgs and other family members. Elizabeth buried in Fort Plain.  Vivian married Lucile Louise Lotee and was a Baptist minster in the Fort Plain area.  


On the 23rd June 1891 she married John Davies (32) father Daniel Davies farmer, at Salem Chapel, Llandilo Town.

In 1901 shown at Melin y Garn just over the river Cathan from Betws.


John Hicks 1809



This John Hicks was baptised on 12th March 1809 in Bettws, the son of John Hicks (1788) and Anne  of Tir Collins, he was 11 days old.
He appears to have over stated his age by 3 years on all the censuses.

He would have had little schooling, if any, and was illiterate.

He was at various times an ag lab, a farmer and a county road labourer.

He married Anne Jones on the 18th of November 1835 in Cadoxton juxta Neath parish.

His own parents remained in Bettws, it is likely that John got to Cilybebyll having walked over the mountains to a "hiring " fair in Neath, and then married the gaffer's daughter.

They certainly started out their married life living with Anne's family at Blaenant ucha farm, Cillybebyll [just outside Pontardawe on the Neath road], all but the last child, Mary, were born there.

John worked as a labourer for his father in law, William Jones, probably the latter's death prompted the move to Gartheithin by 1851,  with Blaenant farm going over to the Jones sons.

The odd thing is that his mother in law and sister in law went with him !

The Gartheithin house still stands on the main road on the Cwmgors side of Rhydyfro, near Garth farm, it had 40 acres of land with it in 1851 and according to OCG [ see separate notes re Old Characters of Gellinudd ] John then moved just along the road to another place called Ty Twt.

Perhaps this is the point to comment on the change in name to HIGGS as shown on the 1851 census. One supposes that it came about for the same reasons of illiteracy etc that brought HIX into being at an earlier time. However, its use was not confined to censuses, it actually appears on the " family bible " of Richard Hicks. As far as I know most of the family reverted to Hicks apart from John's brother Daniel who kept to Higgs from then on , and brother Rees and family who largely kept to it.

Glen Davies, my cousin and present owner of Cwmnanthopkin, confirms that there is a field off the track up to Cwmnanthopkin farm which was known as 'John Hicks's field' even in his own father's time. .

On the 1841 Tithe map [and the Ist Ed OS map] Tynydderwen is not named but an 'unnamed' house and garden is shown on the field schedule of Cwmnanthopkin rents, roughly where the present lower cottage is now.

John was now (1861) a county road labourer, perhaps he still kept a few cattle but acreage of land not known. Richard and Anne had already left home, Mary was still with them , son John had died in 1860. His mother in law had also died by now, sister in law Margaret still there.

John was himself widowed in 1867.

He remarried the following year, in Neath RO to Margaret Hawkins who was a widow aged 44, the daughter of a William Jones, coalminer.
See also OCG.

John died on the 23rd May 1869, of peritonitis, at Gellinudd, the informant was John Hawkins, his step son.
He was buried at Hen Garmel with his wife and son, John, the headstone now leans against the cemetery wall with many others, his entry has been obliterated. See also OCG.

Census entries

1841 census at Blaenant Ucha Farm near Cilybebyll

Daniel and Anne aged 15 were undoubtedly John Hicks's brother and sister.
The entry for Anne Hicks aged 60 must be his mother who was also entered on the census at home in Bettws.
An explanation would be that mother and daughter were visiting, perhaps overnight, hence the confusion.

1851 at Gartheithin Farm, nr Rhydyfro

1861 census at Tynydderwen ,Cwmgors [next to Cwmanthopkin on census]


Anne Jones

Wife of John Hicks (1809)

Anne 's baptism has not been found, she was born c 1801 in the parish of Cadoxton juxta Neath, the daughter of William and Gwenllian Jones who lived at Blaenant Ucha farm.

In the OCG there is a poem by her brother Llewellyn which implies that Anne is Gwenllian's daughter whereas her siblings are by William's first wife , Margaret.

See separate notes re William Jones's family.

Anne died on 26th July 1867 at Tynydderwen, Cwmgors, buried in Hen Garmel.


Their  children;



Born in 1837 - see his notes



Born in Cadoxton, presumably at Blaenant Ucha farm, around 1838.

The 1861 census found her working at Nantricket Farm, Cwmgors.

Married in 1868 in Cwmamman, brother Richard Hicks was a witness, she could only make a mark,

Assumed to have emigrated to Pensylvania after 1868 as note on family bible says " address at David Wilkins, Mr David Wilkins, Coal diger, Johnston, State of Pensylvania, North America."

1881 census at Rhos, Cilybebyll [ living next door to her sister Gwenllian]

1891 Census, no sign of her next door to sister, she was now widowed and perhaps had to move out of the miners' houses.

Looks like they came back from America between 1873 and 1880.

Their daughter Margaret Ann was buried in Hen Carmel,  she died 20.3.1890 aged 17.

Husband David killed in a mining accident in 1881 at Cwmnantllwyd mine near Cilybebyll, also buried in Hen Garmel.

She was buried at Hen Garmel, died Nov 30 1907 age 70



Born in Cadoxton, presumably at Blaenant Ucha farm, in around 1840.

Married in 1867 at Neath to Evan Morgan, a widower.

1881 census at Rhos, Cilybebyll.

1891 Census at Rhos, Cilybebyll

Evan was a widower when marrying Gwellian Hicks in 1867, first wife Gwenllian (Phillip) and their children were William (1858), Thomas (1860), Phillip (1865)

His children with Gwenllian (Hicks) were Ann (1868), John (1869-1945), David (1872), Evan (1873-1925), Richard (1876-1919), Alice (1878-1954), Mary (1880-1955)

Gwenllian (Hicks) died at Rhos on 1 April 1918

Gwenllian's son John E. Morgan

He lived at Hirfryn, Edward St, Alltwen, and in 1908 wrote ' Old Characters of Gellinudd' as an entry for the local eisteddfod.
In this he has several articles about various Hicks and Jones family members.
He also wrote ' The History of Pontardawe ' in 1911. In this he refers to his mother 'Mrs Gwenllian Morgan of Rhos, in the context of the giving some of her garden in Edward St for building a Sunday school, the eventual site of Danygraig Chapel. However, in ' Around Pontardawe' by the Pontardawe Historians, it says that the chapel was built on land given by John Davies, ironmonger of Pontardawe, so perhaps Gwenllian's land was never used ?
Elsewhere he lists bright pupils who were taught at the Gellinudd school [opened 1874], this include the name ' D Hicks Morgan BA', is this the 1891 David, his brother?
More data regarding John Morgan can be found on the George family pages on ancestry



Born in Cadoxton, presumably at Blaenant Ucha farm, in around 1845.

Died aged 16 on July 5 1860 at Tynydderwen, cause was  "consumption 6 months " buried with parents in Hen Garmel.



Born around 1852, probably at Gartheithin farm, Rhydyfro.

Not on 1881 Wales census index, as Hicks anyway.

No marriage or death found for her, she remains something of a mystery to me.


William Jones c 1766



The father of  Anne Jones who married John Hicks (1809) in 1835.

There is a lot of information about this family in the book ' Old Characters of Gellinudd' (OCG) including a poem by his son Llewellyn, bardic name Llewelyn ap Gwilym, and this is incorporated below.

He was not born in Glamorgan according to the 1841 census, probably in Breconshire in which county Ystradgynlais was then.
His name is too commonplace to stand any chance of identifying his baptism.

He was farming at Blaenant Ucha Farm near Cilybebyll on the 1841 census ,

According to OCG his first wife Margaret was the mother of Llewellyn, Whatkin and Margaret.
She was also said to be his cousin.

We have not found the record of his marriage to Margaret

His second wife was Gwenllian, she was said in OCG to be the daughter of his first wife's sister

There is a possible marriage for him in 1789 to Gwenllian Hopkin, see details below  - in Cadoxton showing him as being from Ystradgynlais. But this marriage date doesn't fit in with the data as gleaned from OCG.

William Jones died between 1841 and 1851; his son Llewellyn had the farm at Blaenant by 1851 after swopping with Whatkin who had inherited it - again, according to OCG.
I have been unable to find a will for William Jones in this time frame

Here are the 1851 & 1861 census entries for the two brothers Llewellyn and Whatkin;

1851 census at Blaenant

1861 at BLAENANT               

1851 census at Llwynmeudwy Isaf [Graig]

1861 census: LLWYNMEUDWY ISAF  


 Gwenllian (Hopkin)

The second wife of William Jones

We have a copy of the will of Richard Hopkin dated 1803 and proved in 1806. This contains the following sentence which firmly ties together William Jones/John, Gwenllian Hopkin and Blaenant farm.

"I give and bequeath that flock of sheep upon Blaenant in the parish of Cadoxton, between Gwenllian my daughter by my first wife, and William and Margaret, my son and daughter by Gwenllian my present wife, to be occupied and enjoy'd by them in three equal shares during the remainder of the term upon the said premises of Blaenant aforesaid - and if at any time William John husband to the above mentioned Gwenllian, should behave improper towards the management of the said flock of sheep, then the said flock to be divided into three even and equal shares - I also give and bequeath to the above named Gwenllian my daughter the lease of Blaenant by paying the landlor's rent and duties  ............................"

There is a problematic marriage in 1789 as follows;

The somewhat insurmountable problem with this marriage, and we can't see any other, is the date as it precedes the birth of Llewellyn Jones who in OCG is said to be the son of William Jones and Margaret.  We asked W Gla Archives to confirm that the date is correct, and they have.

We also know that there was another daughter of William Jones, that is Margaret, who lived at Blaenant in 1841 and was born c 1796.

In the OCG poem by Llewellyn an interpretation of what is said is that Anne is Gwenllian's daughter whereas her siblings are by William's first wife , Margaret.


Richard Hopkin

Gwenllian's father was Richard Hopkin born c 1731 and died in 1805, a farmer

He was buried on 17 Dec 1805 in Cilybebyll

Richard was married twice - on 1 Feb 1756 at Cilybebyll to Margaret Watkin and on 11 Jun 1797 at Cilybebyll to Gwenllian Harry

His will, see above,  mentions his second wife Gwenllian and the children by that marriage (i.e Margaret and William).


Children of Richard and Margaret

Children of Richard and Gwenllian

There are the following references in documents held in Swansea Archives;

Richard Hopkin senior is the Richard Hopkin born in 1763 (son of Richard and Margaret) as he was living in Cwmnantllwyd in 1841 and Richard junior is Richard 1798 as he was living in Dderwen fawr in 1841 and by 1851 is living in Tyle Coch which is the house he built opposite Wern Ddu (both still exist).  They were father and son hence the need to distinguish between them.  Also in 1838 there is a leasehold document referring to another Richard Hopkin who lived in Alltwen Uchaf all his life and who is not distinguished by senior or junior.

Richard Hicks 1837



Richard Hicks was born on the 19th of December 1837 at Blaenant Ucha Farm, Cilybebyll in the county of Glamorgan , this was the home of his maternal grand father, William Jones.

He was the son of John Hicks (1809) and his wife Anne.

He started out his working life as a farmer's boy, at the age of 14 he was working on his father's farm, Gartheithin in Rhydyfro.
We do not know whether he went to any school but it is unlikely.

His first marriage was to Hannah Lewis on 7 Apr 1860, her father George Lewis, shoemaker and the witnesses were Daniel Lewis and Henry Harries,.

Hannah died of  'consumption 6 mnths ' on 4 May 1861 [one month after census entry below], she was aged 22.
Her headstone seen at Hen Garmel. On her death cert the informant was John Hicks.

They lived with her grandparents [Lewis] and brother at Pantyreithin [on Cawder mountain not far from Gellifawr Farm, map ref. GR 693109].
There were old cottages and other houses around there which the NCB knocked down when they started the open cast mining at Cwmgors Park and only bits of boundary wall left nowadays.
Richard may have worked at the Coder mine, being nearest.

His second marriage was on 27 Dec 1862 at Christchurch, Cwmamman, he was a widower, collier, of Tynydderwen, [the house of his father, John Hicks ].
She was Dinah Michael, of Pantydderwen, father William Michael, collier, the witnesses Benjamin James and David Walters.
Richard signed his name, Dinah made a mark, he was age 25, she was 20.

They moved in to the home of Dinah's father, William Michael, at Pantydderwen [on lower slopes of the mountain above Llwyncelyn Rd, Tairgwaith, where all their children were born].
This was a leasehold property.

Following reference to  Richard Hicks in " Annibynwyr Gwaencaegurwen " by L.Hughes in 1942.
Under heading " Arweinyddion y Gan " in the context of Carmel Chapel, refers to Hopcyn Hopcyn as the first arweinydd, then  says;

"Dilynwyd Hopcyn Hopcyn gan Richard Hicks, gwr cerddgar arall. Y mae cerddoriaeth yn aros yn nodwedd amlwg yn ei deulu o hyd "
["Hopcyn Hopcyn was followed by Richard Hicks, another musical man. And music remains an obvious characteristic in his family still."]
Tarian y Gweithiwr 5 Jan 1877;  EISTEDDFOD GWAENCAEGURWEN. Y mae eisteddfod flynyddol Wauncaegurwen eleni eto yn mhlith y pethau a fu. Cynaliwyd hi yn ysgoldy y lle, dydd Nadolig. Yn absenoldeb Dr. Rees, Tirbach (yr hwn, am nad oedd yn gallu bod yn bresenol, a anfonodd 10s. at wasanaeth y pwyllgor, a diolch yn fawr iddo), cymerwyd y gadair gan Mr Thos. Jones, manager, Rhosaman. Wedi cael araeth fer, bwrpasol ganddo, a chael anerchiadau gan y beirdd, awd yn mlaen fel y canlyn a gwaith y oyfarfod - Ton ar yr harmonium gan J. D. Evans. Canu "Can mewn gofid," gan fechgyn dan 15 oed, goreu T. Bevan, Craigcefn Park. Adrodd "Newyrth Dafydd," goreu T. Bevan. Deuawd," Y Teiliwr a'r Crydd," goreu, John Rowland a'i gyfaill, Cwmtwrch. Beirniadaeth y gan "Y V(?) sydd ben yma," rhanwyd y wobr rhwng Gwydderig a Gwilym Curwen. Canu "Wyres Fach Ned Puw," goreu Magie, Rhydyfro. Beirniadaeth y Ffyn, goreu, John Thomas, Waunleison. Canu "Yn mreichiau fy Ngwaredwr," ac " Y mae bywyd trwy edrych," gan gor o blant, goreu cor Blodeu yn Curwen, dan arweiniad Richard Hicks.  

See separate section for their children

Census entries

1871 census at Pantydderwen

1881 census at Pantydderwen

1891 census at Pantydderwen

He died,  probably at Pantydderwen, on the 6 th of July 1908 at the age of 71, and is buried in Hen Garmel.

Dates of birth and death also shown on the family bible and a copy of that page is held.
On it is written ;

"Richard Hicks Gwaun Cae Gurwen Brynamman RIP "

The word Brynamman is not clear,  neither is the P of RIP

Also, at the back of the bible, is written


Looks like someone's favourite hymn ?
The bible was published by Eyre and Spottiswood in 1857.

We have seen the record of Richard's intestacy, admin London, 26 Aug 1908, granted to his son Daniel Hicks, effects £30.

Richie (RH) tells me that he remembers seeing photographs on the walls of 20 Graig Rd, G.C.G. of Richard and Dinah ........

"He had a full head of hair, rather thin features and a pointed beard.
Had a typical late Victorian cravat and winged shirt collar. Had an impressive "presence", a handsome man
She had a round plumpish face with hair combed back in a bun, had a lace collar and an oval shaped cameo brooch on the front of her neck held by a ribbon tied round her neck".

He thinks the photographs were destroyed, at least their location is unknown to him now.


Dinah Michael

Second wife of Richard Hicks (1837)

She was born c 1844, probably at Wernbwll, next door to Pantydderwen, the daughter of William and Hannah Michael.

We have been unable to find her baptism or her birth registration.

She was left £30 and his leasehold house [Pantydderwen] in her father William Michael's will in 1882.

According to Richie (RH), his grand mother Margaret Ann, who was only a year old at the time, related the story that Dinah died suddenly whilst pegging clothes out on the line.

Dinah died in 1883, aged 38, and is buried with her husband in Hen Garmel

OBITUARY;   Tarian y Gweithiwr  26 July 1883. GWAUNCAEGURWEN. Marwolaeth Disymwth. Prydnawn dydd Iau, Gorphenaf y 12fed, ar ol pump awr o gystudd, yn 38 oed, Mrs Dinah Hicks, priod Richard Hicks, glowr. Gadawodd ar ei hol saith o blant yn amddifaid, a'r ieuangaf ond 13 mis oed. Yr oedd yn fam dyner a charedig iawn. Cafodd ei phriod golled nid bychan ar ei hol. Prydnawn dydd Sadwrn hebryngwyd ei gweddillion i hen fynwent Carmel pryd y gwasanaethwyd yn y capel trwy darllen a gweddio gan Mr Rees. Cwmllynfell, a phregethodd y Parch John Jones, Carmel gynt. Heddwch i'w llwch.

See separate page for the Michael family.



William Morgan Michael 1806



William Michael was Dinah Hicks's father.

His baptism is recorded in 1806 in the Llangadog parish register
William, son of Morgan and Anne Michael, the letter G is shown against the entry which may refer to the hamlet of Gwynfe.

Finding a marriage entry proved a problem for 10 years or so but as of 2006 we know that the following marriage entry in Llangiwg parish is the one, right date, right bride's maiden name (see Hannah Michael details below);

12 Dec 1835 - William MORGAN of Llangiwg and Hannah THOMAS of Llangiwg  by banns, witnesses were Wm Williams and Wm Thomas.

I have inspected the original PRs entry and it does indeed say William Morgan, no Michael in sight.

William Michael called himself William Morgan Michael in his will in 1882, Morgan was his father's name

There was a Thomas family at Wernbwll in 1861/71, and several others in the area.

This could answer the question " how did William get onto Wernbwll land in the first place ?"

William Michael was shown in tithe records c 1840s as farming on Wernbwll.

Pantydderwen was a smallholding on the eastern edge of Wernbwll land.

One of the main tracks of the time led from Cwmllynfell past Wernbwll, and Pencaedu, and on to Llangyfelach.

Wernbwll was mentioned in the dealings of the Baron Court in 1610.
In 1781 it was occupied by one William Gibbs who kept 7 cows and 6 calves.

Census entries

1841 census Wernbwll

Still at Wernbwll in 1847 as daughter Hannah died there.

Possibly William moved into Pantydderwen, on Wernbwll land, after his wife and daughter died in 1847/48.

1851 census at Pantydderwen

At 1861 census at Pantydderwen

At 1871 census at Pantydderwen

At 1881 still at Pantydderwen

William is shown on his mother, Anne's, death cert as living in 1866 at CILFRENAN, Llangiwg, but no such place on 1851 census index.
Have been in to Swansea RO, they agree it could be CILPENTAN and there is a Cilpentan adjacent to Pantydderwen .
On 1861 census it is Morgan/Magdalin Morgan and family there, and in 1871 David/Mary Morgan and family.
No obvious link to the Michaels with either one.

William died in 1882, buried with Hannah, his wife, and daughter Hannah, in the Old Cemetery, Cwmllynfell.

Have a copy of William Morgan Michael's will dated 1 Dec 1882 [died next day], left estate of £106.50.
Left £30 to daughter Dinah, also to daughter Anne. Also the house to Dinah on condition she gave Anne £12; various articles of furniture specified too.
Interesting reference to leaving " Peter William's bible [see below] to grandson William Hicks".
Exors were Benjamin James and Richard Hicks. Witnessed by John Rees, minister, and John Harries, both of Cwmllynfell. Proved at Carmarthen.

[Read in A Carmarthenshire Anthology about history of chapels in Llandyfan, quote...
"in 1748 Peter Williams the [bible]commentator came there and was given permission by the local people to preach in the chapel of ease. Money was collected to buy a bible and to raise a pulpit in the chapel and Peter Williams visited the area for the rest of his life "]



Wife of William Michael

Having at last found her daughter Hannah's birth entry we now know for sure that her maiden name was Thomas.

Which means we've also found her marriage entry in 1835, see husband's notes

There is no baptism for her on the Llangiwg PRs index.

She died on  28.5.1848 at Pantydderwen, of consumption, age 44, informant Morgan Michael
Buried at Cwmllynfell Old Cemetery with husband and dau Hannah

The 1841 census  shows Glamorgan as her place of birth

There were Thomases at Wernbwll in 1861 and 1871, and other Thomases around the immediate vicinity.

A William Thomas was a witness at the William/Hannah Morgan/Michael marriage in 1835, as was a William Williams

The 1861 family at Wernbwll  are William Thomas, 26, wife Anne, son Owen, all born Llangiwg.

In 1841, there is a 6 year William Thomas living with parents John (35) & Elizabeth (35) at ? Penywaun y Goff (sic) in Caegurwen.  
This family is living in Blanant (sic) Caegurwen in 1851.

Also in 1841 there is a 5 year old William Thomas living with parents William Thomas (40) & Mary (35) at Craig Bryn Morgan, Caegurwen.  
The father of the 5 year old William is perhaps another candidate for the marriage witness.   
Can't find this family in 1851

On the 1841 census there is a William Thomas, 70, (yes) - living alone at Cwmgors Toll Gate Cottage  - another candidate for the marriage witness and possibly Hannah's father ?

In the book Old Characters Cwmgors/Waun there is mention of William Tomos [His father was Tomos Christmas] who was born at Wernbwll Farmhouse in 1795 and when 10 years old moved with his parents to Blaennanthir where he spent his life of 88 years. His wife was Pegi [Margaret] and they are buried in Cwmllynfell .

I wonder if Hannah and the above William were brother and sister ?

I show the relevant Blaen nant Hir census entries below in case someone can make or disprove a connection.
Cannot find above William Thomas on the 1841, he wasn't at Blaennanthir or Wernbwll. 1841 census

1851 census

1861 census

1871 census

Above looks like same Thomas  family with a change of name, reversed below 1881 census

1891 census


Children of William and Hannah Michael;



See own notes under Richard Hicks (1837)



Unable to find a baptism or birth entry for her, probably born in 1837.

Married on 21 Jun 1857, at Neath RO, to Benjamin James, 26, carpenter, of Llwyn Celyn, father Abel James, carpenter, she was 23, of Pantydderwen, father William Michael, coalminer.
Witnesses, Abel James and Jane Powell.

Ann's age should have read 26 if censuses correct e.g 4 in 1841 and 14 in 1851.

Richie (RH) provides details of Old Carmel gravestones relating to five of this couple's children who died as children ; Dinah 1862 aged 10 mnths, Sarah Ann 1875 aged 5, Elizabeth 1875 aged 9 mnths,William1877 aged 9 mnths and Margaret 1885 aged 19.

1861 census at ' Llwyncelyn Cottage', Caegurwen, Llangiwg

1871 census at Heol Llwyncelyn

1881 census at 'pt of Llwyncelyn'

No sign of husband Benjamin there or on the census index at all. She shows herself as married not a widow either.



Now have her birth certificate to prove her mother's maiden name
Hannah Michael, born 27 Aug 1839 at Wernbwll, father William Michael, collier, mother Hannah Michael formerly THOMAS.
Informant William Michael made his mark.

Died in 1847 aged 9, buried with parents in Cwmllynfell.



Morgan Michael 1783



Morgan Michael was William's father.

He died on 6.12.1864 at Quarter Coch, aged 82, died of  " old age "
Informant William Michael of Pantydderwen.

Anne Michael died on 4 Dec 1866 at Pantyrewen, Llanguicke, from 'natural decay', aged 84.
Informant William Michael of CILFRENAN, Llanguicke.

Their marriage in Llandebie parish on 25 May 1804, Morgan Michael and Anne Lewis.

Possible baptism entry for Anne in 1781 in Llandebie, daughter of William Lewis.

They lived at Quarter Coch, Glanamman..
Richie (RH) says it was in Grennig Rd [the house had a thatched roof until recently].

Both buried at Gellimanwydd (Christian Temple, High St, Ammanford) Churchyard.
Details in "Christian Temple Congregational Church Cemetery Reference Book" as follows:
Row O , Grave No 36
Morgan Michael, Cwmgrenig 1864 aged 82
Ann Michael 24-12-1869, aged 84 [although death cert says she died in 1866]


WHERE WERE THEY 1804 to 1841 ?

Morgan married in 1804 in Llandybie, we know of 3 sons; William born in 1805 in Llangadog, John in 1808 Llangadog and Thomas in 1815 Bettws, [Groeslwyd, farmer - there is a Groeslwyd near Heol Argoed and a Gorslwyd near Pontaman] then the likelyhood of there being other children to this couple must be  high.

Census entries

1841 census, Quarter Coch

1851 census, Quarter Coch

1861 census,Quarter Coch


The other children of Morgan and Anne


Baptism in Bettws parish register on 4 June 1815 for a Thomas Michael, son of Morgan and Ann Michael, Groeslwyd, farmer [There is a Gorslwyd near Pontaman, another family there in 1821

No sign of another Thomas baptism in Llangadock in 1812/19.

There is a possible marriage for him in 1839, Thomas Michael/Eliz Jones, both of this parish, but this is for the other Thomas[son of Evan].

Also on the IGI a Thomas Michael married Elizabeth Thomas in Llanddeusant in 1831 - could just be him apart from very young [bapt 1815]

No other likely Thomas marriage on the Marriage Index for Carms.



Baptism on Llangadog register in 1808, John son of Morgan and Anne Michael.

Possible marriage for him; Llanguick register in 1829, marriage John Michael to Margaret Rees. Witnesses W'm Williams and W'm Michael .
This witness could well be John's  bro William who  married in Llangiwg himself  in 1835.


And a daughter?

In fact there is an entry for a possible daughter for Morgan in the Bettws marriage register;

1835, Thomas Williams [Llfwr, Bryn] married Anne Michael, Quarter Coch.

Another pointer may be that on the 1841 census there was a David Williams 30, with wife Anne 30, and 3 children, living at the same house as Morgan Michael in Quarter Coch, perhaps his name was David Thomas Williams, and wife Anne was Anne Michael, Morgan's daughter?



Unable to find Morgan's baptism in Llangadog although some years missing in register.

He was born c 1783.

From various marriage indexes seen there are Michaels in Llangadog parish from c 1761, also in Llanarthny and Llangedeirne from c 1767, and one in 1687 in St Peters, Carmarthen.

A possible and even likely marriage by name and date for Morgan's parents is;

Other marriages for possible parents for Morgan;

Also a baptism entry in Llangadog in 1790 for a Rachel dau to David/Rachel Michael.
And in 1794 John son of David /Rachel Michael.

A David Michael was a witness at the Llangadog marriage in 1779 of a Thomas Michael and Martha Alexander.

Baptisms to Thomas;

Could it be that the 1769 Morgan, the 1783 David and the 1779 Thomas were brothers?

And perhaps also the Lewis Michael in following census entry, [Lewis after mother's surname and birth year fits with marriage in 1769 ?]



On the 1866 map is shown a place called Tyle [see William/Evan below] which is quite near to Capelgwynfe itself.

Its Grid reference on the modern [Pathfinder 1083 sheet] map is SN 703218 although not named.

[Tyle Ddu is in fact part of the mountain just off eastwards below Tro-gwcw on the Brynamman/Llangadog road].

Morgan's son William's Llangadog baptism entry in 1806 has a G written next to it which probably indicates Gwynfe.

The following were all born in Llangadog c 1781/86/87, could they be brothers of our Morgan born 1783?

On Llangadog baptisms register in 1804 is a Morgan Michael son of William of Tyle .

Could this W'm be our Morgan's brother? Birth date fits.

Marriage in 1804 William MICHAEL to Mary Davies in Llangadock

And it looks like the same William on the following census entry ;

1841 Llangadog, Aberdignant ? William Michael 60 [1781], ag lab, Mary 55, Ann 25, Mary 3 [ all same cty].

Another possible entry for same William, baptism of son Griffith 1814 to William Michael of Cwmgwynbach [can't see it on either map]

Marriage in 1806 Evan MICHAEL to Elizabeth THOMAS in Llangadock.

Baptism in 1806 in Llangadog, Mary dau of Evan/Elizabeth of Tyleglas. Can't see Tyleglas on either map but possibly near above Tyle ?

Baptisms of Margaret 1814 and Elizabeth 1824 to Evan/Elizabeth Michael of Mount, Gwynfe, and Duffryn Ceidrych .

There is a marriage banns entry in Llangadog in 1839 for a Thomas Michael and Elizabeth Jones, obtained a cert to confirm parentage and this Thomas's father is EVAN Michael , marriage at Gwynfe Chapel.

This is them below;

1841 Census, Llangadock, at Rhydrain?, Thomas Michael 25, weaver, Elizabeth 25 , Ann 7m and Elizabeth Michael 55, [his mother] weaver, all same cty.

1851 Census Cadoxton, at Rhydding [nr Neath], Thomas Michael, 39 [1812] weaver [Carms,Llangadog], Elizabeth 38, Ann 10 [both Llangadog], Elizabeth 9, [ Cilybebyll], Evan 7 [Llanguicke] Mary 5 [Llangadog] Margaret 2 [Cadoxton].

1851 census Llfwr, Bringwinne , Hendrey Michael 64 [1787] [Llangadog] f 55a, Mary 32, [Llangadog] Hendry 16 [Llangadog], David 14, Mary 11, John 9 [all rest Llfwr].


The children of Richard and Dinah Hicks




Born 17 March 1863 at Pantydderwen.
Shown on family bible as Higgs against DOB

He was a coal miner.

Married 19 Dec 1885 at Pontardawe RO, to Jennet Watkins of GCG, daughter of David Watkins, coalminer, witnesses Gwen Watkins and John Hicks.
A David Watkins and family living at Ty Cornel, GCG on 1881 census.

Had son, David Watkyn was born Jan 1887 and died in April 1888, aged 15 months
Buried with father at Hen Garmel

William died on 6.3.1887 at GCG, age 23, from TB, informant Richard Hicks.

Buried at Hen Garmel.

Left a clock and ' Peter William's bible' by grandfather William Michael in 1882 .



Born 30 April 1867 at Pantydderwen.
Shown as Higgs on family bible against DOB.

Married a Rachel Ann ? in 1893 .

Their children;

Edith Maud

She married Evan Trotman, some Trotmans lived in Llwyn Road, Cwmgors


She married John Islwyn Morgan, went to Detroit USA in 1946


She married Sid Griffiths, Bessie also went to Detroit


He married Beatrice Butt


She married Tom Griffiths


..............End of children of John/Rachel Hicks ................



Born 12 Nov 1869 at Pantydderwen.
Shown as Higgs on family bible against DOB.

Hannah married Henry Thomas in 1892, a man with nickname ' Harry Aberdare'.

They lived in Gron Rd, GCG, had no children but adopted Muriel who married a Lewis and had daughter Kitty [worked in hairdressers on Waun] who married the Rev.Frank Price and they live near Llanelly. Muriel had a brother Thomas Thomas who was known locally as Twm Gwybodus.

She also had two sons, one a policeman who now lives near Warren Thomas in Penygroes.

Hannah was left a chest of drawers in grandfather William Michael's will in 1882 .



Born 18 Feb 1872 at Pantydderwen.
Shown as Higgs on family bible against DOB.

Married Lizzie Evans in 1900 .

He was a colliery clerk, then shopkeeper in GCG.

Buried at Hen Carmel, Daniel died 1934 age 62, also Elizabeth died 1940 age 65.

Their children;


Newspaper cutting on file relating to Haydn's getting his LL.B Honours degree, was to be called to the bar on 3 Jul that year [?], he was age 27. Already had a BA.
Went to GCG primary school, then Ystalyfera County. Photograph on this site


Born 1900, she married a W D Richards, she died in 1991 in GCG.


..............End of children of  Daniel/Lizzie Hicks ................



Born 23 May 1875
Shown as Higgs on family bible against DOB.

Married Dinah Jones in 1896.

1901 census

Possible grave for him in Hen Garmel, died 1941 but wife shown as Anne, maybe she was known by both names?

He was a deacon at Carmel Chapel, described on his funeral report as " one of the District's best known and esteemed natives".

Their children;

Samuel Morgan

Previously assumed to be a child of Morgan's because of wife Mary Alice's funeral card details in 1987 but now seen on the 1901 census above.


Seen on 1901 census above. Married William Thomas,  probably in 1922 .

Richard Myrddin

Married Elizabeth ?


No information.


Married Phyllis ?

Hannah Lilian

Married Melville Sutton


............ End of children of  Morgan/Dinah Hicks .................



See separate notes.


Margaret Ann

Born 11 June 1882 at Pantydderwen.

Married on 25 Jul 1903 at Pontardawe RO, to William Jeremiah, coalminer, of Cwmnanthir Farm, Caegurwen, he was aged 27, father William Jeremiah, retired coalminer .
She was aged 21, Witnesses Thomas Thomas and Tom Jeremiah.

This latter Tom Jeremiah was a brother to the above William and he married one of the 'Rees Pencaedu' girls [so confirms Tom's grandson who owns an Antique shop in Cwmllynfell].
Probably, and confusingly,  she was Marged Ann Rees, a sister to Mary Rees, wife of Benjamin Hicks [this Margaret Ann's brother].

Richie (RH) says William and Margaret Ann, his grandparents, lived at Pantydderwen but had to leave there c WWI as the landlord would not renew the lease.

They had fruit trees there, they sold the produce in Tairgwaith, the story goes that William Jeremiah destroyed them when there was the trouble over renewing the lease.

Eventually they lived at 28 King Edwards Rd, Tairgwaith, then at 20 Graig Rd. GCG by the early 1930's?

RH says his grandmother had 'golden red' hair, we have her photograph as a young girl.

He also remembers his mother telling him that his grandmother frequently competed in Eisteddfodau as a singer.

Margaret Ann died in 1948.

Their children;


Born 3 Sept 1904 at Pantydderwen.

She married Leonard Humphries in 1924.


Born 29 Oct 1906 at Pantydderwen, a coalminer, died c 1927.


Born 6 Dec 1907 at Pantydderwen.


Born 28 May 1910 at Pantydderwen.


Born 19 May 1912 at Pantydderwen.

Married Eddie Jones[Mechanic]


Born 14 June 1914, married Mandie


Born 27 Sept 1919.

Married Oscar Bowen


Born 28 Sept 1920.

Married Jean Fraser


Born ?, died aged 6 from flu epedemic.

............................ End of children of Margharet Ann/William Jeremiah ....................



Benjamin Hicks 1877



Benjamin was the son of Richard and Dinah Hicks, he was born on 6th October 1877 at Pantydderwen.

He married Mary Rees [Pencaedu ] on 12 Nov 1898 at Pontardawe Register Office, witnesses were De[?] Hicks and Llewellyn Rees [her half bro ?].
He still lived at Pantydderwen, a coalminer, age 22.

See father Richard's entry for 1881/91 census details.

1901 census at Pwllrach, Caegurwen

1911 census at Gron Rd, GCG

He latterly worked in the lamp room at East/Maerdy pits, Tairgwaith, said to be a coalminer on son Handel's birth cert in 1908.

They originally lived at 16 [or 18 ?] Gron Rd and then at nearby 23 Cefn Rd. GCG.

My father told me that his father, Benjamin, played the organ by ear, seems he inherited  his own father, Richard's, musical genes  
May also be the explanation for my father's name of Handel ?

Died Oct 30 1949, aged 72, I remember him only as a bedridden old man but have lots of photographs of him, including an original portrait showing him in his 20/30 s, I think.

My grandfather is buried in Hen Garmel, the headstone inscription;

"Yr hyn a allodd hwn, Efe ai gwnaeth "

Mary Rees

Born on 4 March 1875 at Pencaedu, the daughter of David and Ann Rees.

Neath RO unable to find her birth entry.

Aged 23, a spinster, when she married in 1898.
Lived at Pencaedu,Caegurwen.

She died on 20 Jan 1928 in GCG, aged 52 , buried in Hen Garmel, headstone inscription;

"'Rhaid marw i fyw".

See separate page for the Rees Pencaedu family

Their children;


David Rees Pencaedu 1832



David Rees was the father of Mary Rees who married Benjamin Hicks.

He was baptised on 24 July 1832 in Cadoxton parish, a son of Rees Rees, a farmer of Torcefn, and his wife Ann.
So it looks as though he was born at Torcefn which is co-incidently only 8 entries away on the 1841 census from Blaennant Uchaf where my John Hicks gg grandfather was living in 1841.

His age variations on censuses/marriages/death suggest he was born between 1828 and 1834

From the census entries it can be seen that he was living on his uncle Llewellyn's farm on Gwryd mountain in 1841 at the age of 9.

Still there in 1859 when he was first married, probably regarded as Llewellyn and Dinah's surrogate son as they had no children themselves.

He farmed the 40 acres at Pencaedu from c 1861 onwards, presumably until his death.

As he got onto Pencaedu immediately after his first marriage I wonder if he was helped by a dowry from his wife's side ?
Unless his uncle Llewellyn helped out, seems unlikely to have been his own father, Rees Rees.

There is still a house at Pencaedu, it is found at the end of the road higher up the mountain above Hen Garmel cemetery.

His first marriage was on 12 March 1859, in Llanddeusant Church, to Jennet EVANS [not Janet ] " of this parish ", she was full age, lived at Gorsddu, father Evan Evans, farmer.
David was of full age, bachelor, farmer, lived at Gwrhyduchaf, father Rees Rees a labourer.
Witnesses were David Griffiths/Abraham Evans.

There is a great deal of detail on Jennet Evans's ancestors contained in the book Roots and branches: a geneaology [sic.] of some of the older families of the parishes of Llanddeusant and Llywel[Bre] by T O Evans (1988) which is available on CD from Archive CD Books.
Here is an example ;

"The Evans family of Llanddeusant can be traced back to Rees Evans who died in 1722. We have no record of his birth, nor of his marriage, the first entry in the church registers being the baptism of his son Evan on the 15th January, 1716......................... "

Here also is Richard Evans's family history site - Richard descends from the same Evans family of Llanddeusant

Jennet Rees died in 1869, aged 32, is buried at Hen Garmel.

David Rees's second marriage was on 15 Oct 1870 at Neath RO, age 40 [1830], widower, farmer of Pencaedu, father Rees Rees decd, accountant ? [can't be right, probably annuitant] was to
Ann JONES 22 [=1848 ?], of Coylu Mawr (?), Llanguicke.
Witnesses Morgan Jones and William Evans.

Census entries

1841 census Llangiwg

1851 census at Gwhryd uchaf Farm

Llewellyn was in fact David's uncle.

David was still living at Gwrhyd uchaf in 1859 according to his 1st marriage cert.

1861 census at Pencaedu

Looks like the Lloyds of Plas Cillybebyll were the landowners, this fits in with Leach being the landowner on the 1840s Tithe schedule, these Leaches changing their name to Lloyd of course

1871 census at Pencaedu Farm

As second wife Ann only 19 all these must have been Janet's children .

1881 census at Pencaedu farm

1891 census at Pencaedu

1901  census at Pencaedu;

Have a copy of his will dated 9 Sept 1889, executors Anne his wife and Thomas Griffiths of Gwrhyd Ucha.
Witnesses were Thomas Griffiths, and David Lewis of Pencayr ynys.
Probate granted to Ann Rees on 13 April 1901, value of estate £127.10.6d
He left everything to his wife Anne during her lifetime and then to be shared between the 8 named children of his second marriage.
Why were the children of the first marriage excluded ?
Interesting that the other executor lived at the very same farm that David lived at with his uncle Llewellyn.

David is buried at Capel Gwryd. He had apparently been suffering from rheumatism for many years.

Headstone seen at Capel Gwrhyd, he died 13 Jan 1901 age 73.
Underneath his entry, and above Anne's,  it says " hefyd baban bychan "
The actual inscription is;

Er/ cof am/ DAVID REES/ Pencaedu, o'r plwyf hwn,/ bu farw Ionawr 13,1901,/ yn 73 mlwydd oed./
/Hefyd baban bychan./
Hefyd am ANN ei briod, a fu farw/ Chwefror 19, 1920, yn 68 mlwydd oed./

The following reference to David Rees has been extracted from" Annibynwyr Gwaencaegurwen " by L.Hughes in 1942, [p38]

In the context of Carmel Chapel and Capel Gwryd,

"Yr oedd tyrru neilltuol i Bencaedu, lle'r oedd gwr y ty, Dafydd Rees, wedi bod yn orweiddiog am flynyddoedd lawer tan y gwynegon. Ar noson y cwrdd gweddi yr oedd pob ystafell yn y ty yn llawn, a thyrfa y tu allan wedyn. Y pryd hwnnw yr oedd Gwallter Ddu yn weinidog yn Rhydyfro a'r Gwrhyd , a chan fod Pencaedu ar y mynydd , yn y canol rhwng Carmel a chapel y Gwrhyd, dyheai'r hen frawd am gael clywed y ddau weinidog. Un noson daeth y ddau arwr i'r cyfarfod gweddi ym Mhencaedu, a phregethodd y ddau gydahwyl ac arddeliad anghyffredin , a'r hen Ddafydd Rees yn gorfoleddu ar ei wely. "
[There was a special crowd at Pencaedu, where the man of the house, Dafydd Rees , had been bedridden for many years with arthritis. On the night of the prayer meeting, every room in the house was full, and a crowd outside the house too. At that time Gwallter Ddu was the minister at Rhydyfro and the Gwrhyd, and as Pencaedu was on the mountain, in the middle between Carmel and Gwrhyd chapel, the old brother longed to hear the two ministers. One night the two heroes came to the prayer meeting at Pencaedu, and the two preached with rare mood and conviction, with old Dafydd Rees in his glory on his bed.]

See separate section for the children of David Rees

See separate section for the ancestors of David Rees


Ann Jones

Here is a photograph of Ann Rees and some of her children c 1901

The second wife of David Rees.

She was born in 1852 in Cwmdu, Llanddeusant, Carms, mother Catherine (Walters) - from birth certificate.

According to her marriage cert her father was Thomas Jones, sawyer  - see his separate notes

Ann died in 1920 and is buried with David at the Gwrhyd chapel, see above


Thomas Jones (1817-1878)


Thomas Jones was the father of Ann Jones, second wife of David Rees

Baptised 20 July 1817 - abode Myddfai Village

From his daughter Ann's marriage cert in 1870 she was living at 'Coylu Mawr', Llanguicke prior to her marriage - no trace of such a place  on the 1881 census index.

BUT, on the MI's for the Gwhryd there is this grave -  right next to David Rees's;

Catherine/ wife of Thomas Jones/ Coedcae-Mawr, Allt y Crug who died Sept 30th 1873 aged 49; also Thomas Jones who died July 29 1878 aged 61.

NB. Coedcae-Mawr is quite similar to the Coylu Mawr on David & Ann Rees's marriage certificate.  

Marriage cert, dated 25 Oct 1843, by banns at Mothvey Parish church.
Thomas Jones, bachelor, of the Village, carpenter, to Catherine Walters, spinster, of the Village, both of full age.
Both signed their names.
His father; Morgan Jones, schoolmaster.
Her father; John Walters, coachman.
Witnesses; Rees Jones, David Walters, Morgan Jones


Catherine Jones

From the census and burial records she was born in 1823 in Myddfai parish
From her marriage cert her father was John Walters, coachman - see his separate notes, and mother Margaret

Her baptism entry ; - Catherine Walters, Myddfai on 18 April 1823 daughter of John (Coachman) and Margaret, abode Mount Pleasant.
Her mother was Margaret James

She died in 1873 and is buried with her husband Thomas at the Gwrhyd chapel, see above


Children of Thomas/Catherine


Born c 1848 at Llandingat according to 1851 census

Possible sighting on 1881 census in GCG



Born c 1852 in Llanddeusant according to the 1861 census



Born c 1855 in Llangadock according to the 1861 census



Born c 1859 in Llangadock according to the 1861 census

Possible sighting on 1881 census in Ystalyfera



Born c 1862 in Llangiwg according to 1871 census

Married a John Price and their daughter Maria was the mother of Professor Caerwyn Williams who was born at Pencaedu according to what he said himself, see the Local People of Note feature on the Cwmgors/Waun site.


Morgan Jones (1778)



Schoolmaster, father of Thomas Jones, and grandfather of Ann Rees (Jones) (Pencaedu).

From the Myddfai PRs:
Morgan Jones of Llanddeusant married Sara Jones of Myddfai on the 6 April 1806.
The witnesses were: W Williams and Thomas Davies

1841 census for Myddfai;

1851 census; Myddfai: House in the Village

From the Myddfai parish baptism registers the following children of Morgan and Sarah Jones:
3 March 1807 John - abode Col (see book extract below);
17 May 1814 Margaret - abode Col;
20 July 1817 Thomas - abode Village;
13 April 1821 William [this entry is crossed out];
13 April 1821 Anne - abode Village;
9 June 1822 Anne - abode Village;
10 May 1825 Dan (thought to be possibly Dau but says son of - see IGI entry below)  - abode Village;
9 June 1828 Eliza - abode Village

Additional baptism entries from the IGI;
WILLIAM JONES - Male Christening: 13 APR 1821 Myddfai By Llandovery
DAN JONES - Male Christening: 10 MAY 1825 Myddfai By Llandovery

See below for additional data re these  children

In an attempt to trace Morgan Jones's parents etc, we ask the NLW who said;
"There are no surviving Llanddeusant parish records prior to 1816.
The Library does hold the Bishop's Transcripts  for 1773-83.
The Bishop's Transcripts for 1773 to 1783  has one possible match:
# Morgan, son of Rees John, baptised November 9, 1778.
There are no other near matches for the period."

The above baptism could be our Morgan (if he was indeed born in Llanddeusant and not just resident there on his marriage in 1806 ) in which case  Rees John has several possible baptisms on the IGI.

The  following additional data was received from another researcher;
One of the  daughters of William Price (? - 1799), Tynllwyn - named Jane,  married a Rees John of Lladdeusant ( Rees John Morgan Rees to give him his full patronymic),  they had a number of children baptised at Llanddeusant between 1771 and 1796, one of who was a Morgan in 1778.

However, there is another baptism on the BTs -  Morgan son of Rees John in 1785, so did the first one die ?
On  the BTs we can only find burials of a Morgan John on 30 Jan 1777 and then one in 1788.
From the available BT records we can't eliminate the possibility that the 1788 burial relates to the same Morgan of the 1778 baptism, which would of course  mean he isn't 'our man' after all.
Unless it was the second Morgan  that died, and his father was a different Rees John, or two were baptised with the same name in the same family ?
No firm conclusion possible here then.

We are aware that patronymics survived quite late in Llanddeusant parish, into the 1820s certainly.
If strict patronymic rules applied here then the father of Morgan (ap John) would have been called John (ap) something - as it happens there is a baptism for a Morgan (son of) John Morgan in 1782, so if our Morgan's age was wrong at  both census and burial .... then perhaps

Death cert for Morgan Jones, died 21 Nov 1856 of asthma at Myddfai.
He was said to be aged 79, which would make his birth year 1777 against the 1779 indicated by the 1851 census age.
Informant Margaret Jones, made her mark, not his dau Margaret who we now see died in 1835

Here is the family grave headstone inscription at St Michael's Church, Myddfai

"Sacred to the memory of Sarah, wife of Morgan Jones, schoolmaster of this village, who died June 19th 1828 aged 40 years.  
Also Margaret, daughter of the above named, who died May 10th 1835, aged 21 years.
Also Dan, their son who died May 31st, 1839 aged 14 years.
Also the said Morgan Jones, died November 21st 1856 aged 79 years.
Also Morgan, son of the above named who died April 6th 1870 aged 58 years."


Sarah Jones

Wife of Morgan Jones, born c 1788 according to headstone, in Myddfai ?

Couldn't find a christening entry for a Sarah Jones in the Myddfai records, searched 1780 onwards, but the earlier records difficult tp read

Not seen on any census - marriage cert to Morgan refers to her as Sara JONES  of Myddfai

She died June 19th 1828 aged 40 years.
This was 2 weeks after dau Eliza was baptised, the latter, described as being 2 weeks old,  was also buried 2 days after her mother,


Children of Morgan and Sarah


Baptised 3 March 1807 John - abode Col

From the children's names, despite indicated age discrepancy, this is probably him next door to his father Morgan

1841 census

1851 census: House in village.

1861 census, Village, Myddfai

1871 census;

Their children;


Married a British subject who was born in Germany and gone off to be a master tailor in Llandovery


Haven't found her again, born c 1830 from 1851 census


...............End of children of John/Mary Jones .......................



Baptism not yet seen, detailed on family headstone, i.e born c 1812

Couldn't find him in 1871 - which ties in with the M.I death date of 1870 aged 58



Baptised on 17 May 1814 - abode Col  
According to the headstone inscription she died May 10th 1835, aged 21 years



Father of Ann (Rees/Pencaedu) - see his separate notes



Baptised 13 April 1821 - abode Village

Another baptism on 9 June 1822 Anne - abode Village - did first one die? -  not on family headstone

She remained in Penbuallt for the 1881 and 1891 censuses - described as a sewing school teacher.

Not found in 1901.



The Baptism entry for William on 13 April 1821 in the PRs is crossed out, the date is/was the same as Anne's baptism
There is still an  IGI entry : Male Christening: 13 APR 1821 Myddfai By Llandovery

Not yet found on census returns 



Baptism on 10 May 1825 - abode Village
IGI entry: Male Christening:10 MAY 1825 Myddfai By Llandovery

According to the headstone inscription he died on May 31st, 1839, aged 14 years



Baptism on 9 June 1828 Eliza - abode Village.

Burial on 25th June 1828, 2 days after her mother, but not noted on the family headstone


Extracts from a book 'Myddfai: Its Land and People' by David B James 1991

Is the churchwarden also OUR Morgan Jones ?

John Walters



Described as the father of Catherine who married Thomas Jones in 1843.
He was a coachman.

No entries seen in  Myddfai or Llandingad parishes on the 1841 and 1851 censuses for John Walters and family.

First married to Gwen Jones - she was buried on 2 Dec 1815.

Children's baptisms with wife Gwen


26 Nov 1817 marriage of John Walter to Margaret James both of Myddfai. Witnesses: D Walters of Tynygoatter (?) - and Rees James of Llandsadwrn (?)

Children's baptisms with second wife Margaret

Burial for a John Walters of Mount Pleasant, Mothvey on 02.03.1831 aged 51

Margaret James

Margaret James was described as one of twins .
She and her sister, Mary, were christened 27th Dec.1797 at Myddfai, parents  James and Elizabeth James of Myddfai.

I have now (4/2011) been provided with the following information from the tree of John James (Cwmene);


James John James and Elizabeth Morgan (born 1771) were married in Myddfai on 5 Nov 1792, apart from Margaret bapt 1797, their other children were Elizabeth 1790, John (1792-1876 Cwmenau), Morgan 1794, Mary 1798, Harry 1804.    (The Mary who was Margaret's twin sister died in 1797)

James John James was the son of John James (Myddfai) and Margaret Rees (died 1802) (Llanddeusant), married 13 July 1759 (probably), their children were; Ann 1760, Margaret 1762 (died 1765 ?), Rees 1763,  James John James 1766, William 1768 (m. Ann)

John James (Myddfai) was the son of James Rhydderch (1710) and Margaret ? (died 11.12.1775), their children were; Rhydderch James c 1732 (died 1790) (m.1755 to Gwenllian Richard who died 1801), John James 1734 (died 1790), Rees James 1737 (m.Ann Davies of Myddfai), Evan 1739, James 1743


A Margaret Walters died in March 1847 Q in Llandovery RD


She may have married again - to a farmer, Thomas Morgan(s) from Llanddeusant.  
From Myddfai parish records:Thomas Morgan, widower, Llanddeusant & Margaret Walters, widow, Mothvey; Married 3rd May 1833

1841 census at Llanddeusant: At Court y Place (sic);  
Thomas Morgans, 70, farmer, yes; Margaret Morgans, 50 [1791-5], yes; Richard Michael, 12, Ag Lab, yes

Not found on 1851census but  a burial record at Myddfai for:
Margaret Morgans, of Cwrt Llanddeusant, age 63 [1785]  on 24th April 1848 -  although age 12 years out to baptism date of 1797


The children of David Rees Pencaedu



Children of David and first wife - Jennet (Evans)


Born in 1859, on 1871 census aged 10.

She married William Trotman of Ystalyfera - March quarter 1881 at Pontardawe 

1881 census at 3 Cindre St., Llanguicke (Ystalyfera ?)

1891 census Red Gate Terrace, Cwmgors

1901 census; Cwmgors -

Dinah Trotman died in 1935 aged 75



Born c 1864, unseen after 1871 census aged 7.



Born c 1865, unseen after 1871 census aged 6.



Born c 1866, was with his father and step mother at Pencaedu in 1881, then aged 15, a coalminer.

He had two wives, see below

1901 census; Cwmgorse

Where was Tom in 1891?

The children on the above censuses must be his first wife Eleanor's  -  she died in 1889.

I now understand that Llewellyn and Eleanor had two daughters, Sarah and Janet. [and a son Tom presumably ?]

A Llewelyn Rees was witness at Mary Rees's wedding in 1898 to Benjamin Hicks.

A headstone seen at Hen Garmel for Janet, Llewellyn's mother and buried in the same grave is  ' Ann annwyl briod Llewelyn Rees Pencaedu' -  she died in 1919 aged 67.

Also another headstone at Hen Garmel for Llewellyn Rees, Pencaedu and his 1st wife, Eleanor.
It was very worn and was one of the headstones stacked against the wall . 

Annwyl briod Llewellyn Rees/
Pencaedu o'r lle hwn/
Bu fawr Mawrth 2 1889/
Yn 22 mlwydd oed/
Hefyd Llewellyn Rees yr uchod/
Bu fawr Mehefin 17 1921/
Yn 55 mlwydd oed/


Children of David and second wife - Ann (Jones)


Born c 1875, on 1881 census aged 6.

I'm told the family bible shows her born in 1871 [?] and died in 1937.

Catherine  married a John Lewis c 1899 in Cwmgors, he died  in 1931

Their children;

Catherine's daughter Mary was brought up as the daughter of David and Ann Rees at Pencaedu, she is shown as such on the 1901 census, she was born 20.11.1892 at Pencaedu.
Mary married a miner, John Morgan from GCG about the end of World War 1.
They had 2 sons, Ceiriog and Alun .


Marged Ann

Born in 1878, on 1881 census aged 4.

Dates from family bible, she died in 1957.

She married Tom Jeremiah, [brother of the William who married Margaret Ann Hicks].

Their children;

Will Jacob Davies said that Marged Ann had other children as follows;



Born 4 August 1880

On 1881 census at Pencaedu farm, age 1.

Married Jacob Davies in 1897

She died in 1958, dates from family bible .

But Willie Jacob Davies,  Lizzie's son, has own bible showing Lizzie's birth date as 2 Aug 1879 [?]



Born c 1882, on 1891 census aged 9.

Verona Rees said Gwen is the only one who is not named on the family bible.

Will Haydn said she died at a young age.

She is mentioned in her father's 1889 will, he died in 1901, perhaps the will wasn't changed even if she had already died given she is the only one of the 8 second marriage children not in the Pencaedu photograph which I am assuming was taken on the occasion of the father's funeral,. I may be wrong of course - especially as the two boys seem older in it than their actual ages in 1901.

Possible death entry for her;  Gwenllian Rees, aged 10, Dec. Quar., 1891, Pontardawe 11a 631


Sarah Jane

Born 25 June 1884, date from family bible.

On 1891 census at Pencaedu , age 7.
On 1901 census at Pencaedu, age 16

Married David John Powell.

They are both buried at Hen Garmel, she died 14th June 1949, aged 64, and husband  David John Powell died 10th January 1970, aged 85



Born 28 Nov 1886, died 21 Dec 1946, dates from family bible.

On 1891 census at Pencaedu aged 4.
On 1901 census at Pencaedu, aged 14.

Married a Margaret Ann Jones, they had 11 children.

It seems that at one time, the property known as Pencaedu consisted of two separate farms/smallholdings, Pencaedu and Rhos y Mynydd and that David Rees (snr) farmed both.
On his death, Rhos y Mynydd was passed to David whilst Pencaedu was passed to Tom.

See his photograph on the Cwmgors/Waun site (Tairgwaith Working Men's Club)

Born 27 May 1889, died 4 Dec 1961, dates from family bible.

On 1891 census at Pencaedu aged 2.
On 1901 census at Pencaedu, aged 11

It seems that at one time, the property known as Pencaedu consisted of two separate farms/smallholdings, Pencaedu and Rhos y Mynydd and that David Rees (snr) farmed both.
On his death, Rhos y Mynydd was passed to David whilst Pencaedu was passed to Tom.

Tom married Ruth and had 3 daughters.
Tom and his family eventually settled in Llangennech.



See under Benjamin Hicks




The ancestors of David Rees Pencaedu



There follows a series of baptisms and marriages which are based on actual register entries but unfortunately, although I found no other options as such and the chain may well be exactly as laid out, it is also perfectly possible that I have been led astray by missing/unseen records.

However, I am quite certain that the David Rees at Gelli March in 1841 is our Rees Rees's father.

Philip Rees 1723

In 1723 in the parish register of St Catwg is the baptism of a Philip Rees, son of Philip Rees of Abbey.
St Catwg is of course another name for Cadoxton parish.

The reference to Abbey must be Neath Abbey which is about 2 miles from Gelli March, Blaenhonddan.

We have not find a marriage/baptism for this latter Philip prior to 1723, so here we are stuck.

A Philip Rees married Jane Evan in 1752 in Cadoxton juxta Neath parish.

No baptism found for Jane, she may be the one who died in Cadoxton in 1828 aged 96.

Their children;


David Rees 1759



Probable baptism on 14 July 1759 in Cadoxton, father Philip Rees.
This is the only baptism seen that fits, despite census/death age variance.

On 16 Dec 1801 a David Rees, bachelor of Cadoxton married, by licence, Margaret Jenkin, widow, in the parish of Llantwit juxta Neath, she was of that parish.

Copy licence obtained, issued
" in sum of £200, co-party with David Rees was a Llewelyn John of Llandaff parish.
Dated 4 Dec 1801 it refers to his marriage to Margaret Jenkin, original reference to her as a spinster deleted and WO superimposed".

In fact there are 3 other 'David Rees to a Margaret 'marriages in the Neath area 1795/1801.

David Rees farmed at Gelli March, Blaenhonddan in Cadoxton parish.

Census entries

1841 census Blaenhonddan, at Gelli March,

1851 census at Gelli March

He died in 1851.
His death cert. says 22 Sept 1851 at Gelli March, Blaenhonddan, age 89, farmer, from " natural decay,12 months, no medical attendant ", informant his son David Rees, Gelli March.

Have not found Margaret's baptism [or burial - she died pre 1841 as not on census].

Their children;


Baptism in St Catwg on 20 Oct 1806, son of David/Margaret Rees .

Llewellyn was married Dinah David on 5 June 1839 at Cadoxton parish church,

Llewellyn's  residence at Gelly March is the link that 'proves' that the David Rees on the 1841/51 censuses is the son of the Rees who is Llewellyn's brother.

1841 census at Gwhryd uchaf farm

1851 census at Gwhryd uchaf farm

1861 census at Gwryd

1871 census at Gwryd uchaf



No sign of any children to this Llewellyn.
The David Rees shown in 1841/51 is his nephew - see his notes.

Now know he was buried at Capel Gwrhyd, died May 3 1875 aged 68.
Buried with Dinah.



Baptisms in St Catwg on 14.8.1807 to David/Margaret Rees .

AND on 13.12.1813 to David/Margaret, farmer, Cadoxton., did the first one die ?

Burial entry in  Cadoxton in 1839 aged 26 , she was of Gelli March .



Baptised in St Catwg on 25 Sept 1805, son of David/Margaret Rees .

Farmed 150 acres at Gelli March which he inherited as the eldest son presumably.

Married Jennet Williams in Feb 1840.

1851 census Cadoxton juxta Neath, Blaenhonddan hamlet at Gelli March

1861 census at Gellimarch

Burial 26 Sept 1867 age 65, died at Gelli March, his wife Jennet died in 1869, also at Gelli March.

Their children  

This David took over Gellimarch, here is the 1901 census entry
Gelli March
David Rees (54), Sarah (43), Thomas (21), William (19), Edward (17), 3 servants.

According to sources, the last Rees to farm  Gellimarch was a David (no issue), the son of the 1901 Thomas


..........End of children of David/Jennet ....................



See Rees Rees 1809 below


Rees family of Gellimarch references

For references to the Rees family at Gelli March see the book Monks to Millennium, the Story of the Village of Cilffriw. By the Cilffriw Millennium Book Group, December 2000. ( An online index.)

Also, below is an extract from ' Chronicle of Cadoxton (A Treatise on the Local History and layout of the village of Cadoxton-juxta-Neath with information also relating to Cilffriw, Aberdulais and Ynysygerwn.)  By Keith Tucker, published by Historial Projects of Plas Newydd, Penscynor Lane, Cilffriw, SA10 8L8

" Gelli March - (grove of the stallion)
This farm was originally 200 acres, but this is now reduced to 187 acres. The house has been extended three times. The earliest part dates from 1650, the middle section is 1700 and the newest is dated 1840. The oldest homestead on March Hywel was that of Blaenhonddan Ishaf, but this burnt down in recent years so the title of the oldest house standing can now be claimed by Gelli March.
Originally part of the Llewelyn (Penllergaer) Estate, the farm was tenanted by many generations of the Rees family, and then by the present owner who purchased the property in 1979. An interest to purchase had been shown by the National Trust who wished to preserve this most intact example of a Welsh hillside sheep farm. There are over four miles of maintained and original dry-stone walls, complete with sheepwalks. A sheepwalk is a hole let through at the bottom of the wall to allow sheep to pass through from pasture to pasture unhindered, since they have the right to grazing over that of cattle.The scheme never came to fruition, although the farm is still kept in this original state. Farming continues in a more intense form today with 520 ewes and 20 cattle. The house, placed in a hollow for protection from the elements, has no outlook. However, the views from various fields are breathtaking. Although no mining took place here, the workings of Cilffriw colliery traverses below the land."

Rees Rees 1809



Baptised 19 August 1809 in St Catwg parish, son of David and Margaret Rees and father of David Rees Pencaedu
An alternative baptism has since been noted, 12 Dec 1809, father Rees Rees, mother Elizabeth, appears in Bethany Baptist chapel Neath records.
But his brother Llewellyn's 1839 marriage cert residence at Gelly March, father David Rees, is the link that 'proves' that the David Rees on the 1841/51 censuses with Llewellyn is the son of the Gellimarch Rees.

Rees was the youngest son of the three brothers, I wonder if his brother Llewllyn was helped by the father to get onto Gwrhyd ucha farm ?

Obviously brother David, as the eldest, got Gelli March.

Rees appears as a railway labourer in 1851 about 6/7 miles away up at Blaengwrach which is next to Glyn Neath station.
The railway from Swansea up the Vale of Neath on its way to Merthyr passes near Blaenhonddan [Gelli March] and perhaps Rees was involved in building it ?

Marriage of Rees Rees in St Catwg on 19 Feb 1831 to Ann Morgan, both of Cadoxton, witnesses were Llewellyn Morgan and David Rees [his father or brother ?, Llewellyn Morgan her brother] he was a bachelor, she a spinster, he signed, she made mark.

On son David's 2nd marriage cert dated 1870, father shown as Rees Rees deceased accountant which caused some confusion [I guess it should read annuitant]

Census entries

1841 census Cadoxton, at Cwmbach [only 2 properties away from Gelli march on census but right down near Rhydding on the map - south of Gelliau and Cenfaes]

1851 census Neath , hamlet of Blaengwrach, Glyncorrwg parish, Canal Head

Buried in St Catwg on 22 Feb 1860 , age 51, of Ynysgundrig.

Death cert. says ;

Their children


Baptism in St Catwg on 30 Dec 1830 to Rees Rees and Ann Morgan, shown as illigitimate

Very likely the Jennet shown on 1851 census age 21 serv, at Gelli March with uncle David.

David [ Pencaedu]

See his own notes

Baptised on 24 July 1832 in Cadoxton parish, a son of Rees Rees, a farmer of Torcefn, and his wife Ann.



Baptism in St Catwg on 16 Dec 1832 and 1835, first one died presumably, to Rees and Ann Rees of Torcefn.

Her sister Elizabeth is on the 1861 census -  the 19 year old general servant in the household of William and Gwenllian Rees at Allen's Town, Glyncynon.
She is described as sister of the head of the household, but probably Gwenllian's sister, because Gwenllian's age (26) fits with that of the 15 year old Gwenllian in 1851 at Blaengwrach.



Baptism in St Catwg on 11 Jan 1835 to Rees/ Ann Rees, sawyer, of Torcefn
Burial entry 1835 age 6 weeks, of Torcefn.

But a second Thomas was on the 1851 census, aged 12, born Cadoxton .

Other researchers/descendants have copies of his 2nd & 3rd marriage certificates - which name a Rees Rees as his father

Thomas died on 2nd July 1903 at Aberdare.  In all the censuses & certificates he described himself variously as an engine driver, colliery engine driver & colliery mechanic.  His place of birth is recorded as either Llangattock, Glam. or Glynneath.


No baptism seen in St Catwg .

A Mary and Margaret Rees aged 14 and 20 together on the 1861 census in the employ of a farmer David/Sarah Gwillim at Cefn Saeson Fawr, Llantwit Lower.
They are described as house servants, born Cadoxton.



Baptism in St Catwg on 24 Aug 1843, to Rees/Anne Rees, labourer, of Cwmbach.

An Elizabeth Rees is on the 1861 census as  the 19 year old general servant in the household of William and Gwenllian Rees at Allen's Town, Glyncynon.
She is described as sister of the head of the household, but probably Gwenllian's sister, because Gwenllian's age (26) fits with that of the 15 year old Gwenllian in 1851 at Blaengwrach.



Baptism in St Catwg on 13 Aug 1840 to Rees/Anne Rees, of Cwmbach

The above Mary obviously died as a child.

Another Mary shown on 1851 census age 4, [1847] Glyncorrwg .
This baptism not seen.

A Mary and Margaret Rees aged 14 and 20 together on the 1861 census in the employ of a farmer David/Sarah Gwillim at Cefn Saeson Fawr, Llantwit Lower.
They are described as house servants, born Cadoxton.



No Baptism seen.

On 1861 census Ann  is with her widowed mother, Ann at Duck Street, Neath together with a younger sister, Catherine, aged 8.  

In 1871, only Catherine (now aged 18) is shown with her mother at Duck Street.



No baptism seen.

On 1861 census - the youngest child, Ann  is enumerated with her widowed mother, Ann at Duck Street, Neath together with a younger sister, Catherine, aged 8.  

In 1871, only Catherine (now aged 18) is shown with her mother at Duck Street



Other possible baptisms in St Catwg parish register;

Morgan , on 16 May 1828, to father Rees Rees labourer, no mother's name, illegitimate, any connection?
Certainly no Morgan seen on any census with this family.


Ann Morgan

The wife of Rees Rees.

Baptism in St Catwg on 20 Dec 1807 to Thomas and Gwenllian Morgan .

Parents names repeated in her children.

Her brother Llewellyn was a witness at her wedding in 1831.

On the 1861 census  the youngest child Ann is shown with her widowed mother, Ann , at Duck Street, Neath together with a younger sister, Catherine, aged 8.  

In 1871, only Catherine (now aged 18) is shown with her mother at Duck Street.

She died on 21 April 1873 at Duck St, Neath, age 68, the widow of Rees Rees, lab, of natural causes, informant was the Deputy Coroner.


Her parents married on 8 Feb 1794,  Thomas Morgan to Gwenllian William, both of Cadoxton juxta Neath, both made mark. Witnesses William Lewis and Thomas Evan.

Likely baptism for Thomas himself in St Catwg on 26 Jan 1772 to Evan Morgan of Blaenhonddan, no mother shown.

Marriage 6 Feb 1772 Evan Morgan to Margaret Thomas, both of Cadoxton

Two other possible marriages for Evan Morgan;


On St Catwg's register are the following other children's baptisms for Thomas and Gwenllian;


Old Characters of Gellinudd


Extracts from OLD CHARACTERS OF GELLINUDD written by John Morgan in 1908 and won first prize in the Eisteddfod of Bryn Seion that year.[translated by Ivor Griffiths, Gorseinon].

The rights of both author and translator are acknowledged.
The author was in fact a grandson of this John Hicks, the son of Gwenllian.


The son of John and Ann Hicks of Argoed, Bettws, Ammanford, where he was born. He was one of 8 children. He crossed the county border about 80 years ago to be a servant at Blaenant, above Cilybebyll Mansion, to old William Jones, the grandfather of Richard Jones, who is there at present. After serving there for a season, he fell in love with Ann, one of old William's daughters, and they were married.
He had 4 children by her, Richard Hicks, Gwaun cae Gurwen,; Gwenny Morgan, Rhos,Cilybebyll, and the late Anne Wilkins who was buried at the end if 1907.
The children were born in Blaenant, John was like Jacob in the house of Laban; having to work for his beloved, and he worked there for years after having her.
John's usual task was hauling house coal from the old Ben Hawkins Level [Ben Hawkins the father of the Hawkins of Gellinudd and district], where there is a little spring below the house of Henry Rees. He was at it for years and in this way managed to gain an occasional shilling pocket money without the knowledge of Old Laban[ William].

John moved from Blaenant with his family and animals to Gartheithin, Rhydyfro. From there they moved to "Ty Twt" above, then from there again to a house called Tynydderwen at the bottom of Cwmnant Hopkin land, and behind the Old Star, Cwmgorse. The ruins of this old cottage can be seen today where it stands, a nesting place for snakes and similar creatures.
It was from this cottage that John buried his wife Anne, and one son named John, who had worked as a tailor to old Philip the tailor, or ' Philip the Poet ', Rhydyfro, and father of William Davies,Victoria Buildings, Pontardawe.

After long years moving from place to place, John returned, an old man, to the Gellinudd district in 1868 and went to work for Lewis Morgan at Bryncarnau, and at this time he married ' Aunt Peggy', the widow of Ben Hawkins, and he went to live with her in the little house where Joseph Hawkins lives today.

At that time there was no temple for worship in the place apart from the old mother--the Anglican Church. The Independents held services among the houses, and as he was an Independent, John joined them, and so became a member of the small congregation to be found in the old cottages of Gellinudd. He was not educated; he had to go out into the world to seek a living at the age when he should have been receiving a little education. I do not believe that he read a sentence in his life but in spite of his lack of education he had an eye to see, and a heart to feel. He was a sweet old prayer, and a noted singer. Singing with the spirit that was within him and many of the old natives.

Only a few were able to understand the religious regulations at that time ,and those few took care of the ecclesiastical rules and laws, and enabling John and his like to stay united in singing with the spirit. Knowledge was necessary to organise the movement ; the spirit gave praise and glory. Although John was just a spirited singer, he had learned the old measures completely and could strike a tune when required , and knew when a brother would make a mistake in the measure.
There was a tale on this about him ; in one of the old meetings on the Graig, after a particular person had given out the hymn,  old " Nwncl " attempted to strike the tune, but mistook the measure.
" Diawch eriod." cried John, " it will not come, I am telling you, it will not come.". And it did not come too !
They had to change the tune, and then proceeded with gusto. Once you had the tune, the praise was certain.

There was good singing in Gellinudd at that time. and long before then, and it has kept its good name in this direction through the years, and I believe will hold its stature in comparison with any district in music musicians to this day, the descendants being worthy of their ancestors.

One day, while John was working on the land at Bryncarnau, Cilybebyll, he became ill with 'colic' . He was carried to Bryncarnau House, and was there for a few days, and then was taken home to Aunt Peggy's house in a cart.

He died there on May 23rd 1869 at the age of 63 years.
His remains were conveyed to the graveyard of Carmel, Gwaun cae Gurwen, to sleep his final slumber in the company of his first wife until the day.....

Pan fydd  " dorau beddau y byd ar un gair yn agored."

Also below is an extract from ' The History of Pontardawe' by the same author in 1911.


Here again is a stanza attributed to 'Shon Hicks';

"Pe cawn y wain i gyd mewn crys---o gamric
I'r Cymro Digofus,
Er mwyn y wain, mi losgwn y crys
Yn llawen gorph a llewys."

Also 'Shon Hicks is mentioned as one of those Independents holding meetings in their houses c 70 years ago [from 1911].
The early origins of the chapel, Bryn Seion,Gellinudd.


There is a separate article in OCG about "Auntie Peggy Ben Hawkins" as the author calls her, when widowed she married his grandfather John Hicks .

I summarise;

She had a hard life, helped Ben cut and carry coal from their small mine, also carried stones to build their cottage. After Ben died she had a very hard time bringing up her several children on her own, without the assistance of the local Board of Guardians who had told her to sell her cottage. Not much luck with John Hicks either, he died less than a year after their marriage in 1868. My assumption is that they must have known each other before JH left Cillybebyll originally. She died in 1895 aged 84.