Powys Family History Society
Extracts from Some 'Cronicl Powys' Issues
"ER COF AM . . . "
Reading weathered memorial inscriptions (MIs) can be difficult enough when written in one's mother tongue,
but for those whose Welsh is a little rusty, the problems are doubled when confronted by "yr iaith paradwys".
The following notes cover about 95 percent of the wording found on South Powys gravestones.
|Er cof am||In memory of||Er cof parchus am||In revered memory of
|Er serchus cof am||In beloved memory of||Er cof annwyl am||In loving memory of
|Er coffadwriaeth am||In remembrance of||Yma gorwedd||Here lies
|Er cofiant am||In a memorial to||Mewn gobaith o'r atgyfodiad||In hope of resurrection
|Mab/Fab||Son (of)|| ||Merch/Ferch||Daughter (of)
|Tad/Dad/Nhad/Thad||Father (of)|| ||Mam/Fam||Mother (of)
|Tadcu (Bre)||Grandfather|| ||Mamgu (Bre)||Grandmother
|Taid (Mgy)||Grandfather|| ||Nain (Mgy)||Grandmother
| o plwyf hwn || of this parish || || o'r dref hwn || of this town
| ym mhlwyf LlanX || in the parish of LlanX || || o'r pentref hon || of this village
| gynt o Cwmscwt || formerly of Cwmscwt || || ||
There are too many to list, but if given, usually follows the name - for example:
|John Jones dilledydd||J J clothier|| ||John Jones saer coed/maen/llech||J J carpenter/stonemason/slater
|Y Parchedig John Jones||The Rev.J J|| ||am X o flynyddoedd||for X years
| yr hwn (male) / hon (female) a fu farw ||who died|| ||bu farw||died
|yr hwn/hon a ymadawodd a fuchedd hon||who departed this life|| ||claddwyd||was buried
|yr hwnna/honna hunodd yn yr Arglwydd||who fell asleep in the Lord|| ||
The terminal abbreviations sometimes following ordinal numbers may assist in deciphering the figures preceeding them.
Unfortunately, two systems were used in Breconshire (and probably throughout Wales). The commoner is:
Less commonly, all the 20s and 30s end in "ain" - eg 25ain, also "fed" is sometimes contracted to "ed", or even "d".
|1: Ionawr||2: Chwefror||3: Mawrth||4: Ebrill||5: Mai||6: Mehefin
|7: Gorffennaf||8: Awst||9: Medi||10: Hydref||11: Tachwedd||12: Rhagfyr
|Yn y flwyddyn XX||in the year XX
|yn X mlwydd oed||X years old|| ||yn X mis/fis oed||X months old
|yn flwydd ac 8 mis oed||one year and 8 months old|| ||
|am y diweddar J J ||for the late J J||fel y ganlyn||as follows
|tyner||tender|| ||yr hwn/hon||he/she||
|rhagddywededig||aforementioned|| ||yr uchod||the above
article by David Leitch
A CURIOUS ACCOUNT OF BUILTH IN 1747
together with a reference to Howel Harris (from an old manuscript)
"March 9. 1747. Llanvair ym Muallt in ye county of Brecon, is a
village of about 40 houses, situate on ye side of ye river Gwy, over
which there is a handsome wooden bridge about 100 yards long. At this
neighbourhood at a place called Cwm Llewellyn, Prince Llewellyn the
last of British blood was betrayed into the hands of ye English by one
Madog Mir of Buellt near the river Irvon. Hence the inhabitants of
that lordship are called by their neighbours Bradwyr Buellt. There is
ye ruins of an ancient British fort, with deep trenches, where there
has been since a stone castle, but now all demolished and some houses
built out of it.
Here is a well of mineral water at ye sign of ye Black Lyon, noted
for curing cutaneous distempers by washing, and taken inwardly is good
for asthma and diseases of ye lungs, consumption, &c. It tastes
strong of sulphur, and smells much like gunpowder. About a mile out of
town there is a salt spring called Ffynon y Park, which produces common
salt but not white, about 3 pints of ye water will purge briskly. It
tastes a little brackish.
Here is one church, dedicated to St Mary, and a dissenter’s meeting
house, now in building by ye order and direction of Howel Harris a
Methodist, who told his congregation last night in my Hearing that God
had never been before in Llanfair. The people has made him a good
collection the day before. Most of the people are here drunk with
religion. Buellt is derived from Bu, a cow or ox, and Allt, a hill:
the hill, of cows, Buallt.
This river produces good salmon, trout, chub, graylings, pike and
jack, salmon pinks 4 or 5 inches long very good eating, lampreys,
daces, whilks 2 inches long. Coch Canghenod 3 or 4lbs. Wt. Full of
bones, and of no value, never eat but by ye poor.
The hundred of Buallt took its name from the Castle, called Buallt,
where there seems to have been anciently a Roman station, and in this
country St. Garmon, with all the clergy of Britain met with Gwrtheym
and excommunicated him, see Neurius."
A drawing of the wooden bridge is given, also a sketch of Buallt
old fort. At the back of the manuscript is the following note: "Thomas
Bowen y Crydd and Robin y fidler plays Hymns on ye fidle, preachers to
ye Society of Methodists, 1747." The manuscript is unsigned; it is in
the collection of Lewis Morris at the British Museum, page 94 of volume
With respect to the curious reference to Howel Harris in the above,
and the mention of the meeting house, It is difficult to say whether
this is the building or not which was resolved upon by the "Fathers of
Methodism" at an association held at Porthyrhyd, October 3rd, 1744,
where it was determined that a "House for religious purposes" should be
erected at Llansawel. This resolution was not carried into effect, and
no such building was erected until three years afterwards at Builth
(according to page 51 of Williams’ Calvinistic Methodism).
The reason why this peculiar term was applied was on account of the
connection which still existed between Howel Harris, his colleagues,
and the Establishment, making it difficult to call it a
"meeting-house". Judging from this, one might imagine that this
particular chapel, if standing now, is the first distinct move of
separation between the Methodists in Wales and the Established Church
Ivor Bowen. Gray’s Inn, September 22nd, 1888.
from Old Welsh Chips No 10 Nov 1888 published by Edwin Poole of Brecon, at Brecon.
Ruled Out in 1402!
Item: To eschew many Diseases and Mischiefs, which have happened
before this Time in the Land of Wales, by many Wasters, Rhymers,
Minstrels and other Vagabonds: It is ordained and stablished, that
Waster, Rhymer, Minstrel nor Vagabond, be in any wise sustained in the
Land of Wales, to make Comorthies or gathering upon the common people
[Commorth: An aid, a contribution or collection in aid] 4 Henry c. 22-28, XXVII.
Pigot’s North Wales Directory 1828
Is an ancient borough and market-town, in the hundred of its name,
and county of Montgomery, 206 miles from London, 70 from Chester, about
17 and a half from Aberystwith and Dolgelley, and 10 from Aberdovey;
pleasantly situated in a valley encompassed by mountains; the high and
majestic eminence Arran-y-gessel rises here upwards of 2,220 feet above
the level of the sea; the view from this mountain is not so extensive
nor so pleasing as it would be, were it not impeded by the more lofty
Cader I’dris which is upwards of 2,914 feet high.
This town has little to attract the attention of the antiquary,
with the exception of the remains of the house in which Owen Glendwr
exercised his first acts of sovereignty in 1402, having assembled a
parliament, and formally accepted the crown of Wales. The places of
worship here are one church under the establishment, dedicated to St.
Mary; the present incumbent is the Rev. Geo. Venables, the benefice is
a rectory in the gift of the Bishop of St. Asaph; the independents, the
Calvinistic, and Wesleyan methodists and baptists, have each a chapel.
There are slate quarries in the neighbourhood, which are very
extensive, particularly those belonging to Mr. J. P. Ellis, at
Aberlleffenney, and their produce are conveyed to Derwenlas, and
shipped in his own vessels to various parts of the globe. There are
also several lead mines in the vicinity, which are worked to a
considerable extent; but the staple of manufacture is that of flannel,
which gives employment to many hands.
The river Dovey passes within three quarters of a mile of the town,
and is navigable for vessels of about seventy tons burthen to
Derwenlas, about two miles distant. Many streams pass through the
neighbourhood, upon which are corn mills, others for carding wool,
fulling mills, &c.
The principal inn here is the "Eagles Hotel," a very excellently
conducted establishment; there are, besides, other very respectable
houses for the accommodation of the traveller. The market-day is
Wednesday, and there are eight fairs in the year, viz. the first
Wednesday in March, May 16th, June 26th, July 9th, August 7th, Sept.
18th, October 10th, and November 26th, for grain, cattle, horses,
sheep, cheese, &c. The population of the parish and town, in 1821,
POST OFFICE, Maengwyn-street, Jane Lewis, Post
Mistress. - Letters for LONDON, NEWTOWN, SHREWSBURY and the North are
despatched (by a horse post) to WELCHPOOL, every night at nine, and
arrive every morning at three, when the letters for ABERYWTWITH and
SOUTH WALES are despatched (by a horse post also) to ABERYSTWITH every
morning at three, and arrive every evening at eight. COACHES. FROM THE
EAGLES HOTEL. To ABERYSTWITH, the Duke of Wellington (from Shrewsbury) every Friday evening at six, and during the summer on Mondays also - and the Llanbrynmair,
every Wednesday afternoon at four. To SHREWSBURY, the Duke of
Wellington (from Aberystwith) every Friday morning at eight, and during
summer on Mondays also; goes thro’ Mallwyd and Welshpool - and the
Llanbrynmair, every Wednesday morning at nine; goes through Newtown and
Welshpool. CARRIERS. To ABERYSTWITH, Mary Edwards, from Pentre-rhedyn st, every week.
To SHREWSBURY & WELSHPOOL, Rowland Lewis, every Monday - and Edward Davies, from Pentre-‘r-allt st, every week.
To TOWYN, John Matthews, from the Raven, and Robert Roberts, from the White Horse, every Monday.
[The names, inn and public house titles and addresses in the
index below are followed by category headings as listed in the
Directory except for those under "Miscellaneous" which are followed by
their stated occupation. Categories given are: Gentry & Clergy;
Academics; Attorneys; Bakers & Flour Dealers; Bark Merchants - Oak;
Blacksmiths; Boot & Shoe Makers; Butchers; Coopers; Corn Millers;
Curriers; Dress & Straw Hat Makers; Flannel Manufacturers; Fullers;
Grocers & Dealers in Sundries; Inns; Joiners; Lead Merchants; Lime
Burners; Linen Drapers & Mercers; Painters, Plumbers &
Glaziers; Porter &c. Merchants; Saddlers; Skinners; Slate
Merchants; Surgeons; Tailors; Tallow Chandlers; Tanners; Taverns &
Public Houses; Wheelwrights; Woolcarders; Wool Merchants &
Miscellaneous. Carriers’ names have been added to the list before
sorting alphabetically into a convenient index. - MGH]
Search Machynlleth Inhabitants List:
QUESTIONS ASKED ON 20th CENTURY CENSUS RETURNS
(on behalf of FFHS)
Lord Teviot kindly raised questions on behalf of the Federation of
Family History Societies in the House of Lords recently and replies
were received from Lord Macintosh of Haringey on behalf of HM Treasury
who in turn referred the questions to the Director of the Office of
National Statistics (ONS).
The first question posed asked when researchers can consult
the 1911 and 1921, 1951-1991 Census Returns and whether the Government
plans to review the prescription of closure periods of the Census
The 1901 and 1911 Census Returns are held by the PRO. The
1921 and subsequent Census Returns are in the custody of the Registrar
General. The Returns are subject to the Public records Act 1958 and
are closed for public inspection for 100 years. The Economic Secretary
to the Treasury has recently considered a case for early release for
the purposes of genealogical research but is of the opinion that whilst
such release would be of historical interest and commercial value to
researchers, the maintenance of "public Confidence in the Census is
paramount". The Government also feels it would be unwise to amend
retrospectively the period of closure "as the creditability of
assurances about recent and future censuses would be affected" if the
Government was seen to depart from previous assurances.
The second question concerned the Government's intention with
regard to the possible destruction of original Census material held by
the Registrar General and if any decision had been taken to microfilm
original records and, if so, whether the originals would be retained
and preserved. The reply given is that no decision on microfilming
Census Returns which are presently held by the Registrar General has
been taken, nor has any decision been taken on the permanent retention
and preservation of original records.
The third question concerns the retention of the Returns as
public records and their preservation. The 1911 Returns are held by
and in the custody of the Public Record Office. The 1901 Returns are
presently being microfilmed and will be released for public gaze in the
year 2002. The 1921, 1951 and 1961 Returns are retained by the
Registrar General and have not been deposited with the PRO. There are
no plans to deposit them at present. The 1971-1991 Returns are equally
retained by the Registrar General but because they are not yet 30 years
old are not treated as public records.
The 1921-1961 Returns will be preserved permanently if they
are selected for preservation and if the Lord Chancellor agrees that
they should be preserved. At present the Registrar General seeks
permission every 10 years to retain the Returns. There are discussions
presently ongoing between the Registrar General and the PRO on how such
records could be preserved. The Federation intends to ask that it be
consulted before any final decisions are taken and will be raising the
issue at a forthcoming BGRUC meeting which will be attended by the PRO
FHN&D Newsflash Sept 97
PROSECUTION FOR WITCHCRAFT IN 1789 at the Breconshire Quarter Sessions
(from an old paper)
Thomas Daniel, of Ystradfellte, having noticed that the milk of his
father’s cows was in the course of last summer of a very extraordinary
appearance, he believed it to be affected by witchcraft. Accordingly
he went, by his father’s orders, to the defendant, Daniel Jones, at
Llanafan Fawr, who immediately said it was the effect of witchcraft,
and that he would prevent it.
Witness then went to him again, and he promised he would be sure to put
the milk right, and that he should see who did the mischief to it.
Then he again looked into his book, and described the person of a
woman, who, he said, was a witch. Defendant again directed the witness
to use the same charm as before, and with the addition of two
horse-shoes, having three nails in each of them. Witness then paid the
defendant 2s 6d. This having failed in success, defendant said he must
be on the spot before he could effect the cure; and fixed a time to be
at his father’s house, desiring witness to inform the neighbours of his
coming, and that he could tell fortunes and recover lost and stolen
Defendant afterwards came to his father’s house, and remained
there four days; during which he pretended, by various means - having
generally a book before him - to find out the witch. He said there was
a conjuring book of his at Glynllech, which he would give five guineas
to have restored to him.
The result of the trial is not given in the old paper, but the jurors presented a True Bill.
from "Historical Memoranda of Breconshire" Vol II, John Lloyd, London 1904
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Powys Family History Society, registered charity number 511875.
This page is maintained by Mike Hall and was last revised on 31 March 1998.