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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 Franciss 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 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.

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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