New Information

Gwybodaeth newydd a ddaeth i law wedi cyhoeddi’r llyfr “Blaenau Tywi”.                            New Information, not included in the book.

On this page we will list new information submitted through this site; it will also be added to the relevant farm page.

There is new information on the following :-




Shows and Ploughing Matches Reports relating to Blaenau Tywi    1879 – 1914

Penillion a gyhoeddwyd a oedd yn berthnasol i’r ardal (gan feirdd o Flaenau Tywi  – Poems that have been published relating to the area (by local poets).

Nodiadau am deulu Ystradffin gan Howard Jones o Awstralia.      Ystradffin – information given by Howard Jones, Australia.


From Folk-lore of West and mid-Wales by Jonathan Ceredig Davies.  Aberystwyth. 1911.


Mr. Thomas Jones, Brunant Arms, Caio, gave me the following account of what took place about 55 years ago, when his father lived at Penlifau, in the parish of Cilcwm, on the mountain side, and near the road which leads over the mountain from Cilcwm to Cwmcothi. A young farmer who lived at a place called Ffoshwyaid, Cwm Du, near Talley, has taken some cattle to Caio fair, in the month of August. Somehow or other, one of his oxen went astray from the Fair, and could not be seen anywhere in the neighborhood. The young farmer and others went in every direction in search of the animal, but returned disappointed. At last, the man went to Cwrtycadno, to consult the ‘Dyn Hysbys.’ The wise man informed him that his ox had wandered away from the Fair, at first in a northerly, and afterwards in an easterly direction, and said he, “If you take the road leading from here over the mountain to Cilcwm, you will meet a man (the conjurer gave a description of the man) who is likely to know something, or at least give you some clue to your lost animal.”

The young farmer then went on his way, and after proceeding for some distance, he did meet a man as the conjurer had told him, and he told him all his troubles. Now this very man happened to be my informant’s father who lived close by. Mr. Jones sympathised very much with the young farmer, and though a stranger, invited him home with him to get something to eat, and he accordingly went, and at the house, they talked together for some time. At last, the young farmer had to proceed again on his journey, rather disappointed, as his new friend who had showed every kindness, could give him no information about his lost ox. Jones went with him for a short distance, just to show him a path (a short cut) leading from the house to the road; and after bidding each other farewell, they parted. But before the young farmer had gone far, Jones called him back, and informed him that he had just recollected hearing some men, when coming home from Cilcwm Church last Sunday, talking together about some new ox which they had not noticed before in the field or yard of Tim. Davies, Gweungreuddyn (a path from the Church went close by T. D.’s farm). When he heard this bit of news from Jones, off he went at once as fast as he could go to Mr. Timothy Davies; and to his great joy, when he arrived there, found his stray animal quite safe in the ” ffald.” The local authorities had discovered the ox wandering about the country; but before the young farmer was allowed to take his animal home with him, the sum of seven shillings was to be paid for faldage. The young man went back to Jones, obtained the loan of seven shillings which he repaid honestly after arriving home with his ox.

My informant also added that the conjurer had addressed the same young farmer as follows:— ‘My poor fellow, you are in great sorrow,” ” No ” said the farmer, ” Yes ” said the conjurer again, you have buried your mother a few weeks ago.” The man then confessed that this was quite true. The wise man added, ‘ A more melancholy event still awaits you at the end of twelve months.” And at the end of twelve months the young farmer himself died!

Penyfedw (list of occupiers)

1593 – David Thomas David Gwallter, parish of Kylyc[w]m.

1723 + 1730 – Mary and Rees Price of Penyfedw Killicomb

1733 – Thomas Meredith (Clerk)

1777 – Rev. Timothy Meredith

1799 – William Evan (from Will)

1840 – 1922 Evans Family (at least 82 years).

1922 – 1947 Williams Family (Bill Williams, Gloucester).

From 1947 –  Thomas (Tomos) Family

Mynydd Mallaen

From Aberystwyth Observer 9/1/1886

LAMPETER. THE CROWN MANORS.—Mr Thomas Lloyd, solici- tor, of this town, has been appointed Deputy-Steward of the Crown Manors of Cayo and Mallaine Carmarthenshire.

From the Cambrian 6/4/1906

MALLAINE MOUNTAIN ABLAZE. On Sunday evening, at about 10 o’clock, the residents of Cilycwm village and surrounding district, were somewhat startled to notice the mountain of Mallaine ablaze, which was probably caused through the carelessness of some passers throwing matches alight into the bushes. P. C. Reynolds, and  a number of inhabitants in the neighbourhood, were soon on the scene, and after considerable exertion, the fire was subdued about three a.m. on Monday. Adjacent to the mountain is a quantity of timber, but this was luckily undamaged. Great credit reflects upon Constable Reynolds for his promptitude in appearing on the scene of the conflagration, as well as for his strenuous work in checking the fire.

From 23/5/1919 Journal

WANTED immediately, a Respectable Man Shepherd for Mullain Common, Cilycwm, for 6 months.—Apply to Evans, Penlan, Cily- cwm.


From Carmarthenshire FHS 1999
West Wales Historical Records 1919-20
Richard James

Manorial Customs in Co. Carmarthen.

The following is a copy (so far as can be reproduced in type, having regard
to the exigencies of our pages) of a document formerly at Llwynwormwood,
consisting of three sheets of paper, and containing the presentments of the
juries at the courts of the
manors and commots of Mallaen, Manordeilo, Kethinog, and Cayo, and the
lordship of Talley in co. Carmarthen in April, 1554. The document is
particularly interesting, as it not only throws light on the customs of the
different manors, but also defines the
imits of the commons of Mallaen and Blaenhernin, and the condition of Talley
Abbey at that date.
With the exception of the sentences recording the holding of the courts and
a few of the headings which are in contracted Latin, the original document
is entirely in English, but in the copy given below the Latin passages have
been translated into English

Manor or Commot of Mallaen.
Court with view of frank pledge held at Llanwoda on the 9th day of April, in
the first year of the reign of (our) Lady, Queen Mary,(1553) before Thomas Johnes,
knt., the steward there.
Names of the Jurors there.
John David ap John.
Rees ap Rees Lloyd.
Howell ap John.
Rees ap Evan ap Rees.
Einon ap Rees ap Einon
Morgan Davy.
Rudderch Gwyllim Morgan.
Griffith ap Rees ap Griffith.
David Barkley.
David Llewelin ap Howell.
William Thomas Goch.
Evan Howell ap John.
David ap Evan Tew.
Gwyllim Morgan David.
David Gwalter
David ap Howell Morgan.
David Thomas ap Rees, the elder.
John David ap Evan Du.
Gwallter Morgan Thomas.
The presentment or verdict of the enquest aforesaid.
Fealtye. First, they say upon their oath that the Queen’s tennants,
freeholders of the Comott of Mallaen, doe hold, and that their ancestors and
all those whose estate they have in any lands or tenements there [were]
seized time out of mind of the said
nds in fee, and the same held of the Queen’s Majestie and of her Grace’s
ancestors as parcell of the principality of South Wales by fealty, certaine
rent and suite to the Courte of Mallaen from month to month as hereafter
Item. They say that the comons of Mallaen and Blaen Iliernin, called Mynidd
Mallaen and Blaen Hiernin, is a comon pertinent, and belonging to ye
inhabitants of ye Lordship extendeth from a place called Llydiad Rhyw
Mallaen, being southward to Bwlch y Rh
being north part, and to Llydiad y Caenewidd easte parte, and Llydiad y
Rhyw Ddu being the weste part, and Rhose Killicombe, to the neighbours
Item. They say that whosesoever any of the free-holders die that his next
heire did time out of mind come unto the said Courte, and there in open
court declare the death of his ancestors, by whom he claimeth, and there did
desire of the Queen’s Majesti
s steward or his deputy for the time being, to be admited as heire and to
relive(1) the same lands soe to him descended; whereupon the said steward
did use to call upon the officer or bidell(2) of the same courte for a white
rodd,(3) which he always was
ont to beare in his hand in ye courte for that
(1)To accept a composition and admit the heir to his inheritance.
(2)Beadle or crier of the court.
(3) Rod or wand.

purpose, and taking the same into his hand did hold it giveing ye other end
to him that claimeth ye inheritance, saying these words, ‘I doe give and
declare unto thee by this rodd such inheritance as thou dost claime from thy
ancestors, to have and to h
d the same to thee and thy heires after the custome of tbis courte by the
rents, customes, and services upon the same due and accustomed,’ and soe
deliver the whole rodd into the hands of the tenant, and thereupon the said
tenant should doe his fealty (
at is to say) bare headed, and kneeleing upon one of his knees, setting his
hand on the booke, did swe~re to become true tenant unto the King’s
Majestie, and to do all suites and services and to pay all rents and
customes due upon him by reason of his t
ure; all which things were entered by the clerk in the courte there, and to
the same clerke for the entry thereof a peny.
Rent. Item. They say that the said freeholders did pay unto the Queen’s
Majestie for their freeholds, a, certaine rent of assize(1) called in Welsh,
‘Gwestva,(2) which amounts in the whole to the sum of 15 3s 4d. And doe
say that ye same rent was ap
rtioned and rated upon ye freeholders equally upon every of . . . according
to the rates and quantity of their freehold.
Transmutation of Possession. Item. They say that when any of the said
freeholders did al[ienate] his lands, it was used and accustomed that the
alienor and alienee should come into the said Courte and there declare unto
the said steward that matter, an
thereupon ye alienor did take in his hands the rodd afforesaid and the same
did deliver into ye said steward in the name of a seizen(3) of such lands as
he did alienate, and the same surrendered
(1)Rents of assize were fixed rents in contradistinction to variable rents
which might rise or fall.
(2)Gwesdva’ comprised provisions or a money payment in lieu thereof due to
the lord from the freeholders.
(3)Seisin in law, as distinguished from seisin in fact, which meant actual
delivery of the property, signifies something done which the law accounted
as a seisin, such as an enrolment.
up unto the said steward to the use of ye alienee in fee simple without
condition or els(1) in mortgage as it was between them agreed ; and the
alienee immediately after the receipt of the said seizen should pay unto the
Queen’s Majestie 5s. in the name
f alienation, otherwise called in Welsh ‘Gwabar estin,'(2) to be leavied
there yearly by a certaine officer called ‘Relater,’ who hath the same
office by Patent or tearme of his life, and beareth yearly to the Queen’s
Majestie 20d.
Lands pleadable in the same Courte. Item. They say that all lands and
tenements within the said Courte were time out of mind pleadable and pleaded
before the said steward within the said Courte, likewise as it was in the
Courte of Widigade, Elvet, Mabel
w, and Mabedrid within ye said county or any other like courtes of ancient
demeane in England.
The Customs broken. Item. They say that all the said usages and customs were
used, accustomed and practised within the said Courte from time out of mind
untill about the 29th year of the reigne of the most noble prince of famous
memory, King Henry VIII.
sithence which time ye freeholders that were sith that time doe elienate(3)
and purchase the said lands by deed and release, not surrendring the same
rodd in Courte according to ye ancient use and custome afore declared, and
also do impleade and are imp
aded for ye said lands by writ att the Common Law before the Queen’s High
Justices of their Grace’s Great Sessions, therewith is the cause that the
profitt of the same courtes doe not arise as they were wont to doe before
the said 29th year of the most
ble father his reign as aforesaid.
Letherwitt. Item. They say that is accustomed there and every freeholder
shall pay to the Queen’s Majestie
(2)Gobr ystyn is mentioned in the Laws of Howel Dda, and means the fee paid
by a person when invested by the rod with landed property by a lord.

att the marriage of every of his daughters 10s of a Letherwitt.
Pannage. Item. They say that the custom is of the said manor of Mallaen that
every Resiant(1) otherwise called Undertenants, inhabiting within the said
commott if he be owner of three heads of swine, shall give one of the same
three to the Queen’s Bidde
there in the name of Pannag(2) for swine, for the which duttye the said
Biddell beareth to the Queen’s Majestie, 2s.
Raglawship.(3) Item. They say that every of the said under tenants ought to
pay yearly unto the Queen’s Majestie one bushell of oates in the name of a
custome called Ud Kilch, but they say further that whereas a certaine
officer called Relator hath the
id oates and the 5s. for alienation of lands before in this booke mentioned
by Patent for tearme of his life att the rent yearly of 20d., the said
tennants and resiants have paid a certaine sum of money to the said relator
for to spare them of the said
tes and alienation.


Shows and Ploughing Matches Reports relating to Blaenau Tywi

From the Newspapers Online Website (name of paper in brackets)

Hare Coursing – 1879 (Cambrian Newspaper)

Ploughing Matches – 1868 (Tyst Cymreig), 1872 (Welshman) a 1902 (Cambrian).

Sheepdog Trials – 1893 (South Wales Daily Post).

Cilycwm Show reports – 1908, 1909, 1910 (Cambrian), 1913, a 1914 (Carmarthen Journal).

Shooting Match – 1905 (Cambrian).

Pigeon Shooting Match – 1902, 1903 (both Cambrian).

Hedging match, Horse Show and Races – 1906 (Cambrian).

Rhandir-mwyn Sheepdog Trials and Quoits – 1909 (Cambrian).


Penillion a gyhoeddwyd a oedd yn berthnasol i’r ardal (gan feirdd o Flaenau Tywi  – Poems that have been published relating to the area (by local poets).

Allan o Y Drych, 21/6/1917

Wedi dathlu eu priodas arian gyda’i gwr John Edwards yn South Dakota, canodd Mrs. Edwards y penillion canlynol i’w phriod ar yr achlysur dedwydd hwnw. Mrs Ann Edwards yn ferch i Dafydd ac Ann Theophilus (llun yn Blaenau Tywi).  (Mrs Ann Edwards yn wyres i Siaci Siams sydd a pennill tua’r diwedd).


Sion Edwards, fy anwylyd,

Pan gyntaf gwelais di,

Dy wallt oedd liw yr aur, Sion,

A’th dalcen gwyn yn hy’;

Ond ‘nawr dy wallt sydd lwyd, Sion,

Dy farf fel sidan gwyn,

A gwywodd gwedd dy ruddiau glan,

Ond hardd yr wyt er hyn.


Sion Edwards, fy anwylyd,

Hen garwr iawn wyt ti:

A thrwy’r blynyddau maith, Sion,

Dau gariad gwir fu’m ni;

Cariadon cyn priodi,

Cariadon drwy ein hoes,

Cariadon ydym ni erioed

Heb unwaith roddi gloes.


Sion Edwards, fy anwylyd,

Dringasom lethrau serth,

Er hyny, dyddiau dedwydd

A gawsom drwy dy nerth;

Ond ‘nawr ‘ry’m yn disgynu,

Cael mynd i’r dyffryn draw,

Nes cyraedd lle i orphwys, Sion,

Cyd-deithiwn law yn llaw.


Sion Edwards, fy anwylyd,

‘Rol gorphen taith y byd,

Cawn huno gyda’n gilydd

Yn mreichiau’r Ceidwad clyd;

Ac yna adgyfodwn,

I’m cartref yn y nef,

I ganu yn dragwyddol, Sion,

Gogoniant iddo Ef.


Dewi Soar – D. H. Davies       Englynion a mwy o’r Cardiff Times 29/8/1908


Bob diwrnod, darbod erbyn – y gauaf

Gwywol wna yn ddillyn:

O’r blodau’n gêl, pur fêl fyn:

Gocheler rhag ei cholyn.      Cilycwm, Gorph., 1908. D. H. Davies.


Enwog was imi’n gyson – yw’r Llythyr,

Llwythog o gyfrinion;

Dwyn yn frwd wna ei wen fron,

Genadwri Gwen dirion.        D. H. Davies.


Du ei gwisg, a da ei gwedd, – chwim ei throed,

A cham ei thrwyn rhyfedd;

Un hoenus ei hewinedd,

Hynod yw, – mae’n byw’n ei bedd.              D. H. Davies.


Ar barlwr anian, pur berlyn – ar flaen

Tirf luniaidd laswelltyn;

Y gwir lwythog i’r Wlithyn

Yn bur geir bob borau gwyn.         D. H. Davies.


Mab eurlliw, – gem y berllan, – yw’r difai

Rad afal, gâr hongian

I yfed gwlith; o’i fyd glân

Hwn ddenodd Adda’i hunan.                  D. H. Davies.



Synu enaid wna swynion – y ganaid

Nos geinaf ei thlysion;

Yn lwys fry ar y las fron – dysgleiriant,

Yn orwych hwyliant drwy yr uchelion.


Ni wyrant hwy o’r hynt hon, – hyd eu rhawd

Y rhedant yn ffyddlon;

Yma’n llu eu hemyn llon

A ganant, yn ddigwynion.


A oes engyl yn sangu – yr hygar

Diriogaeth i’w synu;

Ai nwyfawl lef nefol lu

Yw acenion eu canu?


Gaf fi ran o’ch cyfrinach – sêr hudol?

O! siaradwch bellach;

O’ch awyr bur, rho’wch air bach

Wna i’m ganu’n amgenach’.               D. H. Davies.


Darian 9/10/1919  

FICER PRICHARD            (Cyd-fuddugol yn yr Ysgol Haf, LIan- wrtyd)

Ei gain awen gyneuodd,—a’r nos

Deyrnasai a losgodd;

Lleufer o’i “Gannwyll” lifodd,

Wele o’i drwg Gwalia drodd.                          Cilycwm. D. H. DAVIES.


John Penri            (Cyd-fuddugol yn yr Ysgol Haf, LIan- wrtyd)

Ei sel fawr dros Walia fu – a’i llewyrch

Yn lliwio’r nos bygddu;

Bu warthus ei aberthu,

Benri ddewr! – bu yn awr ddu.                      Cilycwm. D. H. DAVIES.


Marwnad Williams Pantycelyn gan Siaci Siams.

Nid oedd Williams ‘rwy’n cyfaddeu,
Mwy nag ereill heb ei feiau,
Ond gweled b’le ‘roedd e’n cyfeirio,

Hawdd oedd maddeu’r cwbl iddo.

[Williams was not without his faults but, considering his aims, it was easy to forgive him for everything.]

Part of an elegy to William Williams, Pantycelyn by John James (Ioan ab Iago) of Cil-y-cwm, published posthumously in Ehediadau  Barddonol in Llandovery in 1828. Little is known about John James. He was a carpenter, and a member at Soar MC Chapel, Cil-y-cwm for 46 years, 25 years as an elder. He was known locally as Jacki Siams.


21/6/1810 North Wales Gazette

British Poetry for the North Wales Gazette.

At Cil-y-cwm, Carmarthenshire.


O earth, O earth! Observe this well,

That earth in earth shall come to dwell;

And earth in earth shall close remain,

Till earth from earth shall rise again.



Ystradffin was the birthplace of my grandfather, Arthur Llewelyn Jones, in 1887. He was the only son of Margaret Jones, eldest daughter of William and Mary Jones, then tenants of Ystradffin, and was adopted by a family near Aberystwyth as an infant. Margaret did not marry but her child’s father was John Hughes, formerly of Nantyrast in Cwm Cothi, a farm servant at Ystradffin. He subsequently became a coal miner and married twice.

I have traced the Jones family back through several farms in the Upper Tywi: Dalarwen, Hafdre, Nantllwyd, Nantyrhwch and Rhiwhalog.

Ystrdffin was long part of the Earl of Cawdor’s estate and tenants usually met the earl or his son once a year at Golden Grove. The above-mentioned William Jones became a tenant of Ystradffin soon after he married in January 1868. His wife was a daughter of John Jordan Jones, auctioneer, of Llanfihangel Ystrad, near Lampeter. They had 10 children. I  have not established when the Jones family bought the freehold, but they also came to own Bwlchffin.

William’s father was Morgan Jones, of Dalarwen, a house that stands today on the shores of Llyn Brianne. In 1891, William bought the freehold 853 acres including Dalarwen and neighbouring sheeps runs and Dalarwen remained in the family until sold to the Forestry Commission in 1952.

Morgan occupied Dalarwen from about 1839 to his death in 1890. He died a wealthy man, having helped his sons to take on other farms such as Ystradffin and Troedrhiwcymmer. However, he was always a tenant farmer at Dalarwen, while owning freehold land and cottages  elsewhere. His wife Hannah died in 1845 after having six children in only 10 years of marriage, but he engaged servants to help him and one son remained until Morgan died.

Morgan was born at Hafdre to John and Pegi Jones in 1811, one of eight children. John was a fortunate man. He inherited Hafdre from his uncle in 1802 and then in 1814 Pegi’s bachelor brother died, allowing John to acquire Nantllwyd. Pegi had been raised on Nantyrhwch farm on the east bank of the Tywi. When she was 25, she inherited £50 her father had bequeathed her in 1800 when she was just a teenager. However, the rest of the Nantyrhwch estate was shared among her siblings.

It was John Jones Nantllwyd who in 1822 gave the land on which Soar y Mynydd was built, though he died in 1825 before it was finished.

Pegi Nantllwyd died in 1872, aged 89. Her mother, Gwen Nantyrhwch,  who died in 1819 is a person of some interest. She was born in 1754, reputedly a pale-skinned, red-headed girl, and the local gossip was that her father was an itinerant Irishman. Her children were red-headed, and became known as “Cochion y mynydd”.

Gwen’s mother was a daughter of John Jones Rhiwhalog, a farm in the Camddwr valley near Soar y Mynydd. The evangelist Howel Harris records visiting Rhiwhalog in 1740.

Farmers in the district formed a Methodist society in 1747. Until Soar was opened, they met in their farmhouses. The hymnwriter William Williams  would have known these Tywi farmers when curate at Abergwesyn until 1743.


New Information — 6 Comments

  1. I found your material on Ystradffin interesting. I can supply a lot more if you wish. My grandfather was born at Ystradffin and I have traced his forbears at Ystradffin and Dalarwen, also his father’s family at Nantyrast – they were involved in the Relgious revivals. Nantyrast is at the head of the Cothi valley and on a drover’s road.
    Howard Jones, Albury, Australia (formerly Aberystwyth).

  2. I was very interested in reading your family history as it is the same as mine! My great grandfather was Thomas Jones Troedycymmer and I have also researched the family extensively and have copies of wills etc. I have my family tree on Anceestry and can give you full access to it if you so wish. My husband and I spend 6 months a year in Wales and 6 months in Australia (Torquay, Victoria) so maybe we can meet up one day!

  3. Cefntrenfa was the home of my Powell relations from about 1850 onwards. They moved from Laugharne district with their family and it was their daughter Anne born 1850 in Laugharne who married in Llandovery district in December 1868,Edward Jones born January 24th c1841. His father David Jones who maybe the son of Evan Jones of Abercrymlin. Is it possible to give me reasons for the move the Powells made, please? Their daughter Lizzie married John Hinds MP and once Lord Lieutenant of Carmarthenshire also Mayor. Their Drapery business was in London but they also had a home in Wales.

  4. My uncle. DEREK THOMAS One of several brothers and sisters farmed dolfallt fawr after his dads death.and upon Derek’s death the farm was sold, My dad and all the brothers and sisters all went to the old school in the village.

    I’ve grown up knowing a lot about the farm and in my youth visited Derek and his wife Mair many times, along with visiting my cousins Ann and Dafydd. Sadly I believe Mair died a few years back but would love to know if you have any pictures of the family or farm.

  5. Gwalrhedyn
    I am directly descended from David Jones of Gwalrhedyn (he’s my 4 x
    great-grandfather). I have been reading your interesting page on the
    history of this property. I’ve a copy of David’s Cilycwm burial from
    the registers and if you look carefully it says 29 Mar 1821, not 1820
    as stated in your article (maybe the transcription was wrong). I don’t
    know if you want to change this. I tried looking for his/ his wife
    Margaret’s gravestone in the churchyard, but was unsuccessful.

    As regards access to the property, if you look at old maps you’ll see
    a track leading directly up to it from the main road, soon after
    you’ve crossed the north side of the bridge. There’s just a field gate
    there now. The track itself has disappeared, replaced by hedge field
    boundaries. I doubt it had ever been tarmacked !

    Questions… am I able to view David’s Will? Do you know if Gwalrhedyn
    is occupied today? If it is, do they or their visitors have problems
    accessing the property if it means they have to drive through fields?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *