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The Elusive Morgan Jones

I think I’ve found the Welsh equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle. It lies between the village of Ysbyty Cynfyn a property called Rhydypererinion in Trisant and Egwlys Newydd the church at Hafod. The reason is I can find no trace of my 4 x great-grandfather Morgan Jones and his wife Mary. I shall explain all as I go along. The earliest recordings of Morgan and Mary are from the parish registers of Eglwys Newydd which are held at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

Christening 1798
Morgan Jones son of Morgan and Mary Jones (No dwelling listed.)
Christening 1799
Ann Jones daughter of Morgan and Mary Jones of Rhydmorwynion.
Christening 1802
Daniel and Lewis twin sons of Morgan and Mary Jones of Rhydmorwynion.

Daniel Jones is our 3 x great-grandfather. It is possible there were more children as a 3-year gap between Ann and the twins seems a long time in those days. However, I have yet to find any records of any more births. The good news is the naming of an abode, Rhydmorwynion, when translated means Rhyd = Ford, Mor = So and Wynion = Silver or Grey.  It was explained to me by a very nice Welshman I met in the churchyard of Llanfihangel-Y-Creuddyn as meaning a ford that crosses water where there might be some turbulence, hence the silver or grey. However, if the word Morwynion is not separated it translates to maiden, so then we have a translation of a ford that was used by maidens! So perplexing.

Rhydypererinion – Rhydmorwynion

I’ve said elsewhere on this website that we’ve spent countless hours in the NLW looking for a property by the name of Rhydmorwynion, all in vain. The NLW said they thought it could be the property with the name of Rhydypererinion and although there has been a Morgan Jones that was living there at a similar time, he is not ours. It is possible that the property I’m looking for was a simple cottage with a beautiful name, (long since gone) housing a family that eeked out a living in the Cardiganshire lead mines.

Another residence that jumped out at me is a place called Esgair Wynion which is situated in Ysbyty Cynfyn just north of Devils Bridge. On the 1798 Land Tax Returns of Llanbadarn Fawr there is indeed a Morgan Jones listed as occupying the smalholding. It seems it was a small annexe to a farm by the name of Ty Mawr which was owned by the Powells of NanteosTy Mawr still continues as a working farm, but, alas Esgair Wynion has long gone. I have a copy of a map from 1837 which shows Esgair Wynion, but by the 1841 census, it seems to have gone. A problem with this location is it has its own chapel which comes under the parish of Llanbadarn Fawr, so why would Morgan and Mary use the church in Hafod?

Perhaps I should look at properties that were located by waterfalls, such as Devil’s Bridge or somewhere along The Rheidol Valley. It’s not the end of the road by any means, there are still a lot of records to go through, Wills etc. What adds to the problem is most people at this time did not receive the luxury of education allowing them to read and write. When it came to baptising their children, getting married or making a will the writing was left to the local Vicar who more often than not was English. With the Welsh accent describing a name to an Englishman the translation was often lost.

As an example, the property we looked at with the name Rhydypererinion is often written or printed on modern maps as Rhydy-prinion. Occasionally, names get mixed up too, especially with the old-fashioned Welsh Patrynomics system which would take the father’s name, so you’d have Rees ap William (Rees son of William) and eventually the family would settle on Williams or Rees as a surname. It’s all good fun.
If anyone does come across Morgan Jones in the Llanfihangel-Y-Creuddyn/Llanbadarn Fawr area and is married to Mary, please let me know.