This website documents the Family History of one of the Jones families who were living in the parishes of Cilcennin and Llanfair Trefeglwys in Ceredigion/Cardiganshire, Cymru/Wales, in the late 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. It will go on to record the lives of some of the children and grandchildren of that family … many of whom moved away from Ceredigion to other parts of Wales, to England, and to North America. This website will primarily be of interest to descendants of these children and grandchildren.
Since there were a number of ‘Jones families’ in the two parishes during the time period we are considering, we need a strong point of reference to ensure that we are considering the right families and I have selected a particular family for this ‘anchor’. This is the family of David Jones and Jane Jones née Evans who lived at the property of Rhiwen (also spelt Rhiw wen or Rhiw-wen) near Cross Inn, near the village of Pennant and in the parish of Llanbadarn Trefeglwys. During the period 1810 to 1835 this couple met, married and produced 12 children … and it is a fair assumption of mine that if you have read this far, you are a descendant of one of these children … or are cousins to a greater of lesser degree. Why pick this family? Because of the number of children born to David and Jane (actually Dafydd and Siân) stretches out over the family tree like a giant coat-hanger. We, the descendants, are some of ‘garments’ that are hanging off of it. There were some earlier antecedants … and we’ll do a flash-back to those a little later. Using the Rhiwen family as our basis is convenient … if not exactly chronological. We’ll get a firm handle on dates as we go along. Meanwhile, let’s turn to geography:
Here is a map to help readers to locate Rhiwen, near Cross Inn.
Cross Inn is at the junction of the B4337 running from north to south and the B4577 running from west to east. Beware; there are other places called Cross Inn in Wales … even another one further south in the county of Ceredigion. To ensure we have the right one, we need to be sure that ‘our’ Cross Inn is in the middle of the diamond shape of roads connecting Aberystwyth to the north of Cross Inn with Aberaeron to the west, Lampeter to the south and Tregaron to the east. Rhiwen, from ‘rhiw wen’ meaning ‘white hill’ can be found on the above map (spelt Rhiw-wen) to the south of the road (B4577) leading east from Cross Inn to Pennant. Look above the LLAN of the parish title of LLANBADARN TREFEGLWYS to locate Rhiw-wen.
Caution – implications of the dearth of Welsh forenames
The limited supply of Christian names in this period in Wales, and the fact that practically all surnames are directly derived from those Christian names, means that care still has to be taken that we are considering the ‘right’ Jones and Evans families. The surnames come from two of the most common male Christian names in Wales during this period – John and Evan. So we need to double check dates of key events (births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials, obituaries, census returns, wills and property transfers) and we need to check property names and village names to ensure we have the right Joneses and Evanses. Please be assured that I have been meticulous in carrying out these essential checks. If a David Jones is associated with the tenancy of the property/farm of Rhiwen during the period 1843-46 (as it says on the tithe apportionment at The National Library of Wales), you can be sure that that is ‘our’ David Jones, and not some other Dafydd son of Siòn living in the parish of Llanbadarn Trefeglwys in the 19th century.
Tithe maps are one of the important sources we can use to provide information and corroborate facts discovered about the family. Of relevance, are the documents and maps below. These are the tithe documents relevant to our David Jones:
Tithe map 1843 can also be viewed on-line here http://hdl.handle.net/10107/4577014\
The Tithe Apportionment 1843-46 (record of landowners and tenants, acreages and tithe due) can also be viewed here http://hdl.handle.net/10107/4557186
Tithe apportionment showing that David Jones leased the farmhouse and 10 fields (numbers 565 – 575 inclusive at Rhiw-wen). The acreage for each field is given, as is the total amount tithe due on the land. The landowner was a member of the Gwynne family of the Monachty estate who had earlier leased the land to David’s father, Edward, via a deed dated 1797.
More about Welsh surnames
Sooner or later the topic of Welsh surnames needs to be considered, and specifically the patronymic system that prevailed in this part of Wales until the 18th century. Our David Jones would have been known as Dafydd Sión (Dafydd, son of Siôn). Our Jane Evans would have been called Siân Ifan until she married, and then Siân Dafydd, taking her husband’s Christian name after the wedding. However, official records, including censuses and parish registers, will have carried the English versions of the names and, for the sake of simplicity, we will stick with the English versions of the names. This runs counter to my preference and emotional inclination, being a strong supporter of the Welsh language who has learned, as an adult, to speak, read and converse in the language. But pragmatism overrules sentiment, in the interest of clear communication of family facts! However, please be sensitive to – and proud of – your Welsh roots! We will be learning a few (more) Welsh words as we go along!
So let’s list the names and dates of the ‘Rhiwen Twelve” and their parents:
David Jones born married died
Jane Evans born married diedJohn