Personal Research

This website offers an opportunity for members of Dyfed FHS to publish the results of their personal research. All the material on this page has been produced by individual members. The summaries below are available to the public but only members of the Society can access the actual research articles (PDF files).

The articles can be searched for key words using the search function (press control and F)

Questions may be sent to the author if the summary shows E-mail the author.

© Individual authors have copyright of their material

Available research articles

A Bill of Complaint made by David Harries et al against David Vaughan et al, made on the 11th day of April in the 18th year of the reign of Queen Victoria.

Captain John Harries (1771 - 1841) of Fishguard and his wife Elizabeth had nine children. The third child was a son David (1805 - 1893) and the eighth child was a daughter Elizabeth (abt 1818 - 1870). Elizabeth married one David Vaughan on the 4th February 1843. John owned lands and hereditaments at Whitechurch, Llanryan and Mathry.
In 1834 John made a will which identified all of his then living children and other family members in addition to details of the estate to be administered.
The Bill of Complaint made by David and his family against his younger sister Elizabeth and her family concerns the administration of the will. The complaint reiterates the substance of the will in addition to detailing subsequent deaths and marriages.
The London Gazette of July 1, 1884 records a payment being made on the 14th June 1884 against this complaint.
This article contains the transcription and the original document which is bookmarked (See the ribbon symbol)

A Visitor from America and the Tale of John Ormond and Elizabeth Codd

This is a story of John Ormond and Elizabeth Codd. John had become a Mormon and abandoned his wife Elizabeth in Pembrokeshire to go to America with some of their children.
In 1959 an American lady from Utah by the name of Diantha Schaub, an American descendant of John Ormond, visited Wales to discover her cousins, the Welsh descendants of John Ormond. Diantha was a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). She had been tracing her family tree and had discovered that her ancestors had come from Pembrokeshire. In Seven Sisters, Glamorgan, she found a cousin Sarah Thomas (nee Davies).
This is the story that Diantha Schaub wrote for her relatives in America describing her visit to Sarah Thomas and the lives of John Ormond and Elizabeth Codd.

An Index to the Pembrokeshire Muster Books for 1613

A Listing Transcribed by Mr. Francis Jones from the Francis Green Manuscripts Volume 27, pp. 37-56, compiled by Mr A E A Hackett

Captain John Devereux

Surprising stories may unfold when we investigate a family legend. My first knowledge of a relative on my mother's side of the family was the strange tales that were told about him. He was my great-grandmother Elinor's brother. His name was John Devereux. He was younger son and the fourth child of Richard Devereux and Martha Morris and grandson of Francis Devereux and his wife, Mary, née Thomas all of Dale in Pembrokeshire. In fact the only one of those four children born after his parents were able to marry.
This is the story of John Devereux

Cardiganshire Homes.

In researching my Cardiganshire ancestors I found many connections between neighbouring families. This led to documenting the occupancy of each home and helped to avoid making erroneous assumptions in relationships by identifying their owners and occupiers over the 19th century and earlier. The following link will retrieve the information in chronological order derived from wills, obituaries,
deeds, parish registers, family archives, newspapers, census and electoral records. Select a_to_z.pdf in the Bookmarks panel (ribbon symbol) to list all the homes recorded and then the Bookmark for the place of interest. The parish and OS National Grid reference are given for each location as names can be repeated within a few miles
of each other.
I have more information on most of the families so please contact me if you identify a possible relative.

Ceredigion Farming Families.

This is a series of articles tracing examples of connections between farming families, with Ceredigion roots, and their descendants. Potential relationships between families were identified through the names and locations of the dwellings occupied at the time of the event, such as through a will, a parish register entry, a census return, or archived records. These were then confirmed using normal research methods. An index to the contents is given with direct links to the articles.

David Harries (1805-1893)

This is an extract from my family history. It is a profile of David Harries (1805-1893). This provides a starting point for the lineage described under the heading ‘The Pembrokeshire Connection'.
Ray Knowles (4272)

Dr David Lewis surgeon son of Rev David Lewis rector of Abernant

The biography of this young boy from Abernant to India to Worcester and finally practising in Ludlow Shropshire

Evans of Berthrees, Llanychaiarn.

A maternal ancestor proved typical of many families escaping their agricultural roots.
Researching their descendants illustrated how opportunities were taken in religion, industry, and commerce, especially in the London milk trade and South Wales coalfields. An
index to all the persons identified is included at the end of the document (blue ribbon icon).

Eynon Phillipps of Tregybi and Cardigan

A less well known branch of the Phillipps family of Cilsant and Picton, and their increasing influence in the 16th and 17th century

Griffiths Family Secrets - Family Disgrace

My husband and I are American. Dan's grandfather's name was Richard Griffiths and his father, Thomas Griffiths, was a coal miner; we did not know his mother's name. Richard Griffiths was born in Wales and died sometime in the 1960s at the age of ninety or more. Dan's grandmother, Esther, divorced Richard; she said to the boys, "because he was a drunk." She later married Tom Jones when she was in her fifties. My husband Dan and his brother David never laid eyes on their Griffiths grandfather and knew almost nothing about him
This is the story of my research into the life of Richard Griffiths, who turned out to be a huge puzzle with an equally huge secret.

How Rossant/Russan became Russell

Tracking down the Russell's

Humphrey Pugh of Penygraig, Llanbadarn Fawr

A descendant of the builder of the middle Devils Bridge and ancestor of Col. Lewis Pugh, whose wartime exploits were depicted in the film 'Sea Wolves', and of Lewis Pugh, saddler of Aberystwyth, who made a fortune by acquiring the lease of a copper mine. Use the ribbon symbol to display an index of names.


Crynodeb o'r adroddiad 'Hynafiaid Mam Canerw' {Martha Elizabeth Owen nee Griffin (1884-1955)} gan William Denley Owen.

Mae'r adroddiad hwn yn ymwneud yn bennaf a theuluoedd oedd yn byw ar y ffin rhwng siroedd Penfro a Chaerfyrddin yn y 19eg a'r 20fed ganrif. Mae fferm Canerw, lle arferwn ymweld a fy mamgu (Mam Canerw) ym y 1940au a 1950au'r 20fed, tua hanner ffordd rhwng pentrefi Llanboidy a Llanglydwen yn nyffryn Taf. Roedd fy nhadcu William Owen wedi marw yn 1937 a fy nhad fu'n ffermio Canerw o'r flwyddyn honno hyd 1948. O'r amser hynny hyd ddiwedd y ganrif daethum yn fwy fwy ymwybodol nad oeddwn wedi clywed fawr ddim o son am hynafiaid Mam Canerw. Yn Llundain y cafodd ei geni … heblaw mai Griffin oedd ei gyfenw nid oedd dim gwybodaeth am ei thad. Ar ol marw eu mam daeth Mam Canerw (7 oed) a'i chwaer (5 oed) ar y tren o Lundain gyda labeli o gylch eu gyddfai yn dangos enw gorsaf Narberth Road (Clunderwen heddiw) lle'u derbyniwyd gan eu tadcu a'u mamgu o Llan, Cilmaenllwyd. Dyna, mwy neu lai, swm a sylwedd fy ngwybodaeth i am linach Mam Canerw pan ddechreuais ymchwilio i hanes ei theulu yn 2000.

Island House, Laugharne

Island House, in Wogan Street, Laugharne, sits below the castle, on the island formed between the River Corran and the former Mill stream. It is the oldest known residence still standing in Laugharne. Mary Curtis reported (c 1880) that Roman remains had been excavated in the garden and that part of the house ‘was destroyed by accident by the cannon balls fired on the castle by Cromwell’s soldiers …one of the balls was preserved in the house up to 1823’. That would date it to well before 1644, and indeed its listing dates parts of it to Tudor times and it is said to have a priest’s hole somewhere inside it.
Its high status as a building is reflected in the house having been listed grade 2* and even its garden walls and garage building are each separately listed grade 2. I have traced ownership of the site back from c. 1900 to circa 1600, and possibly earlier, linking it to many family names – Skyrme, Thomas, Hughes, Prydderch, White – all within the Dyfed Counties. I would be glad to hear from anyone with more information about any of the family members or incidents quoted in the text.

John James and David Rossiter of Pembrokeshire

This research is an attempt to trace the maternal side of my Welsh ancestry to the earliest point for which documents exist. Margaret James married Titus Jones in Llanelly, Carmarthenshire. They were my 3GreatGrandparents. The parents of Margaret James were John and Anne James of Dinas Cross, Pembrokeshire, my 4GreatGrandparents. This is their story.

Lawrence of Jeffreyston, Pembrokeshire.

Tracing the descendants of Andrew Laurence, of Jeffreyston, illustrates the benefits derived by publishing research interests in the Society journal and on the Website. An explanatory article is given with details of all identified descendants including Phillip Lawrence who was murdered in 1995. Links in the text provide shortcuts between descendants across the generations. A bookmark (ribbon symbol) links to an index of names.

Lewis Lewis of Trefaes, Llanilar

A tenant farmer and Methodist Deacon proved to be the ancestor of several Anglican vicars, numerous Cardiganshire freeholders, the first mayor of Ballarat in Victoria, Australia, and one of my 4x great-grandfathers. Newspaper reports provide an insight into the lives of some of the descendants.
Use the ribbon symbol to display a name index.

Mary Howell of Danygraig 1830-1853

Background story of this portrait bequeathed to Carmarthenshire Museum by the Howell family of Penrheol.

Ministerial Connections in Llanycrwys

Rev. Dr. Dan(iel) Evans, the father of the Archdruid Wil Ifan, was born in 1850 in Llanycrwys, Carmarthenshire. He was a Congregational minister, educationalist, anti-tithe activist, newspaper editor and Liberal County Councillor. A 1907 magazine article about his career stressed the religious character of his family background, mentioning numerous ministers and chapel leaders to whom he was related. Now, in ‘Ministerial Connections at Llanycrwys', his great-grand-daughter Shirley Wynne Vinall has attempted to explore the exact nature of these relationships. The figures mentioned include the missionary Rev. Timothy Richard, Rev. Dr. William Davies who ran the dissenting academy at Ffrwd-y-fâl, Rev. John Rhydybont Williams of Hirwaun, Rev. David Thomas of Cheshunt, Rev. W. Thomas of Brynaman, Rev. W. Davies of St Clears and others such as members of the Welsh chapel in Oak Hill, Ohio. Not all the links have been completely explained and she would welcome any further information from relatives of these people or others researching the community based around the chapels of Ffaldybrenin and Parcyrhos.

Ministerial Connections in Llanycrwys: Addendum February 2024. Dr William Davies, Ffrwdfal

This is a continuation of my earlier research (published here) on the extended family of Rev. Daniel Evans (1850-1929) and his connections with various notable members of the dissenting community and other clergymen. It aims to solve one of the questions left outstanding previously, the exact relationship between his mother's family and Rev. Dr. William Davies of Ffrwdfal (1805-59). I hope it may be of interest to others exploring the community around the chapels of Ffaldybrenin, Esgairdawe and Parcyrhos, and would welcome comments about the families involved.

Morgan Harry of Llanychaiarn.

18th century patronymics had to be unraveled to trace all the descendants of a maternal ancestor. Probate of wills, administrations, and fellow researchers were instrumental in proving relationships, as summarised in the article entitled Evans of Berthrees, Llanychaiarn.
An index to all the persons identified is included at the end of the document (blue ribbon icon).

Morgan Rowland of Cefnmelgoed, Llanychaiarn

The name of a farm on the Internet brought distant cousins into contact across the Atlantic. Wills and the subsequent exchange of information generated an extensive family history across Wales and the USA. Use the ribbon symbol to display an index of names.

Pembrokeshire Muster Books Cover and Contents

Cover and Contents to an Index to the Pembrokeshire Muster Books for 1613

Quakers of Pembrokeshire Part 2

David Salmon Article on The Pembrokeshire Monthly Meeting from Vol 12 (1927) Historical Society of West Wales Magazine recently placed in the Public Domain

Samson Thomas 1739-1807 Early Calvinistic Methodist Minister

Extended biography of this family member: Tregawagan, Pembrokeshire

Scourfield of New Moat

This article was first published by Francis Green in the Historical Society of West Wales Transactions, Volume IX (1920-1923)
The Scourfields of New Moat, according to Lewis Dwnn's Visitation, came from Westmoreland to Pembrokeshire, and arrived in that county at a very early date. There are several pedigrees of the family in existence, and various discrepancies occur in them in the earlier generations.
This article traces the Scourfield family from the 16th century. Many Scourfields are mentioned in this research.

Scurlock of Carmarthen

This article was first published by Francis Green in the Historical Society of West Wales Transactions, Volume IX, (1920-23)
A history of the Scurlock family is interesting not only on account of it's connection with Sir Richard Steel the celebrated essayist and dramatic writer, but also on account of the family having held a prominent position in the town of Carmarthen.
In this article Francis Green provides the history of the Scurlock family. Many individual Scurlock names are mentioned.

Selby of West Wales.

We are all familiar with the use of the letter 's' to terminate a surname derived from a first name, but how can you explain a change of spelling that appeared to be randomly applied? My late brother-in-law considered himself a true 'Cardi', speaking Welsh as a first language, swarthy in appearance, and with the surname of Selby. The problem was that in the census and BMD records, the entries under the surname of Shelby were considered as separate families; we were wrong! Select book mark (ribbon symbol) for an index of the names mentioned.

Skeel Family Tree 18th C Pembrokeshire

Caroline Skeel Archive, Queen Mary University. London

The French at Fishguard: Fact, Fiction and Folklore.

Whilst he was researching and writing his book 'Pembroke People' Richard gathered notes concerning the French invasion of West Wales in 1797. His examination of the fact, fiction and folklore of the 1797 invasion of West Wales is probably the most accurate ever conducted on this subject and it is likely to change your perception of this famous event.

The Lewis family of Rhydychen Farm Llangynog

The story of George and Sarah Lewis of Rhydychen, Llangynog and their 8 children, from the 1820s to 1880s

The Pembrokeshire Connection.

This is an extract from my family history. It traces the lineage of David Harries, my 2G-Grandfather, back to Wyzo the Fleming in the early 1100s.
David Harries (1805-1893) was from one of the old Pembrokeshire families which had been researched by Francis Jones (WHO) and others, and whose research is on record at the Pembrokeshire Records Office and the National Library of Wales. On the death of David's daughter Mary in 1941, the County Echo published an article that traced her lineage back to Sir Thomas Browne (1326). Using these and other sources it has been possible to assemble the full lineage. The sources are cited in the document. A profile of David Harries has been provided in a separate document.
Users are advised that some intermediate sources have been taken on trust and to improve reliability they might want to examine the original sources.
Ray Knowles (4272)

The Quakers of Pembrokeshire

This article was first published in the Historical Society of West Wales Transactions, Volume IX (1920-23).
David Salmon provides a comprehensive description of the Quaker movement and the way of life of the members, before focusing of the movement's impact in Pembrokeshire. Many Pembrokeshire names are mentioned in this text. It covers emigration to America including many names of those who left West Wales for the New World.

Tom and Dan Davies - Two men on a motorbike

The history of the Davies tailoring and country clothes family of Bancyfelin in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Watkin Lloyd of Wern Newydd, Llannarth

The descendants of the high sheriff of Cardiganshire in 1663 illustrate inter-marriage, between
families of landed gentry, increasing the size of their estates through marriage settlements. This
includes that of Robert Lewis Lloyd, High Sheriff in 1872, whose land was flooded by the Elan Valley
reservoir. Use the ribbon symbol to display a name index.

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