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History Goup – Hanes Talyllychau

Talley Parish History Group
I am delighted to tell you that the Talley Archive can now be viewed on the People’s Collection Website using the following link:-
Peoples Collection
There are over 800 photographs comprising events that took place in the Parish from the late 1800’s to more recently. It has taken years to get to this point and a great many people have contributed their precious photographs, so that we can see how the parish has developed over the years and my special thanks go to them. Also, my heartfelt thanks go to Celia Parsons, now a resident at Blaenos’ nursing home, and Kate Arblaster, both who have donated many hours to adding photographs to the archive. In particular, Kate, who also spent time, checking and correcting every submission. My thanks also to my husband Wyn, Peter Knott and Andrew Hill, who were instrumental in getting the archive published and to the Peoples’ collection team, who were very helpful.
The History group was formed in 2003 by Joanne Penberthy, now the Bishop of St Davids and I have been involved since then as Secretary, Archivist and Treasurer. Unfortunately, over the years, we have lost all of the existing members and now I am the sole representative of the group. As no-one else has expressed an interest in the group over the last few years, I have now, regretfully, decided to disband it at the end of December and pass all of the material that has been collected to the new Carmarthen Archive, now being built behind the library. Any money, remaining in the Building Society’, will be split equally between Talley School and Cwmdeithas Cwmdu. After December, I will still be available to respond to internet queries but will no longer hold any exhibitions or hold my usual monthly sessions on the first Saturday of the month in Cwmdu pub. The last exhibition to be held will be based on World War 1 and 2 to commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day and will be available for viewing in Cwmdu Inn at the beginning of November.

Thank you to all of the people, who have supported the group over the years, they are too many to mention, but they and I know who they are.

Pat Edwards

Family Trees and the Griffiths Family

Researching one’s family history has become a popular pastime, especially as there have been many television programmes about celebrities tracing their ‘family trees’. Over the years, the History Group has had many requests for help, tracing family ancestors from the Parish. Few people realise how difficult this can be. Imagine a typical family in the 1800’s with 8+ children. Now assume that many of these survive to have 8+ children of their own. Now, you may have 60+ names to search for in the Baptismal, Marriage and Death, Parish records. Many of the earlier records reveal names only and it is only in the later ones that you find addresses and occupations to help the search. Factor in all of the common Welsh surnames and names which have been reversed and you can appreciate the difficulty.

Many of the requests for help have inevitably led to at least one member of the family belonging to the Griffiths ‘clan’. From Sharon Meek, a contributor to this magazine and a descendant of the Griffith family, we had already discovered William and Eleanor Griffiths living at Blaenig in the 1800’s, where William worked as the Talley Blacksmith. William’s grandfather was Tomos Lewis, the man who wrote the famous hymn, ‘ Wrth gofio’i riddfannau’n yr ardd’. They had 8 children and one of their daughters, Elizabeth Griffiths married another Griffiths called John. John’s father was a farmer called David Griffiths. David could have been a grandson of Thomas Griffiths, Trewern, from whom Annie Griffiths of Cwmdu Inn was descended but we have not yet confirmed this. John and Elizabeth lived in Alma Cottage before moving to The Edwinsford Arms, which their children took over, on the death of Elizabeth in 1898. You can find more information about this family in an article we wrote in Issue 39 of Y Llychau.

Our most recent enquiry was from a descendant of another of William and Eleanor’s daughters, Mary, who married into the Phillip’s family at Ffoslas. Her husband, David, was the son of Thomas Phillips who had 3 wives and 16 children, whose descendants spread throughout Wales, East Anglia and New Zealand. Like his father, David was the Relieving Officer of the parish, whose job was to keep the rates down and pursue those responsible for the upkeep of children and aged parents. They lived at Llangwm and had 3 daughters, one of whom was Susan Catherine, the grandmother of the enquirer. Further information about the Phillips family can be found in Kate Arblaster’s book ‘Walking through Time’ copies of which are available in Cwmdu shop. In this book, Kate wrote about another member of the Griffiths family, who had also married into the Phillips family. She was Anne Griffiths, Penrhiwgeingen (the sister of J.P. Griffiths of Cwmdu Inn) who married William, the fifteenth child of Thomas Phillips in 1891. Unfortunately Anne’s only child, also called Anne, died in childbirth and Anne herself died 3 years later in 1932. According to Kate, William made an arrangement with the Davies family from Bwchyrhyd, Talley that they should buy his farm at an advantageous price in return for looking after him for the rest of his life’. She wondered if this arrangement proved to be beneficial to both parties. Incidentally, the grandmother of Jack, Tom and Benji Thomas of Cwmdu was Elizabeth Davies, Bwchyrhyd, who married Benjamin Griffiths, another brother of J.P., Cwmdu Inn.

Daniel Griffiths, an Uncle of J.P., was the grandfather of Dr.T Gwynfor Griffiths, who wrote about him in an article for Y Lllychau (Issue 4). T Gwynfor wrote that Daniel was a Baptist Minister and Farmer living in Llety Einon, Cwmdu. He and his first wife, Elizabeth, had no children but after she had died, he married Mary, who bore him five children, the fourth of whom was the writer’s father, William Rees. Daniel lived in the period of temperance in Wales and T Gwynfor wrote that he found the following Welsh entry in an accounts book. Translated it said, “September 12.1873. The last drop unless medicinally required, the Lord my witness Daniel Griffith”.

There are many more Griffiths’ families recorded in the parish registers but it is not easy to clarify which ones are related. To make it easier, we have begun recording the extensive family trees on a sheet of wallpaper showing all of the links between the different families. As the Griffiths married into the Phillips, Morgan, Price, Jenkins, Jones and Thomas families amongst others, this ‘sheet’ will be very long when finished. The history group would be very grateful for any additional information about the Griffiths’ family, which would extend our knowledge of this family and others.

Pat Edwards (with much help from Kate Arblaster).

Pat can be contacted by E mail – history03@my postoffice.co.uk or by phone, 01558 685779.