Here are a few selected items from other parts of Anglesey which will undoubtedly be of interest........


Anglesey Miscellany
Menai Bridge WW1 Exhibition
'I'r Fyddin Fechgyn Gwalia!' - Llyfr Clive Hughes
Bryn Du
Llynon Mill
Parys Mountain
The Bishop's Palace

The Boswell Family
Eglwys Llanbadrig
Menai Bridge
The Royal Charter
Llanddona Witches
Shani Bwt
The Witches Cafe
Beach near Llanddona
Llanddona Family - Park
Abermenai Ferry Christmas Tragedy 1785
David Taylor, Llangefni Elementary School
Anglesey Pirates
Anglesey Smugglers
Belgian Refugees
Body Found in Menai Straits - 1877
The Belgian Promenade
Oyster Keepers
Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Llantysilio
Joel Cook - 1882
Penrhyn Estate Puzzle
Rhosneigr Romanticist
Farmer, Soldier and Politician (Sir Owen Thomas MP)
John Williams, born 1778 Ty'n Llan
Ellen Williams, born Conwy 1852
Owen John Williams, born 1868 - Owen Cybi
Police Sergeant James Williams
Menai Bridge, 1906
Amazing Buckle Find - W L Williams
Owen Ellis Williams, Pentraeth
Anglesey War Memorials
Welsh Ladies, Spinners and Weavers

Menai Bridge WW I Event
11th April 2014

Llyfr Newydd
New Book

'I'r Fyddin Fechgyn Gwalia!'
Clive Hughes

ISBN: 9781845274801
Clive Hughes
Cyhoeddwyd Gorffennaf 2014
Fformat: Clawr Meddal, 215x138 mm
Gwasg Carreg Gwalch

Ardal draddodiadol a Chymreig ei diwylliant oedd gogledd-orllewin Cymru yn Awst 1914. Er bod yno ddiwydiannau fel morwriaeth a chwareli, tymhorau'r flwyddyn amaethyddol oedd yn dylanwadu fwyaf ar fywydau pobl. Roedd yn cynnig clamp o her i beiriant propaganda Prydeinig y Swyddfa Ryfel.

English language version should be available
early in 2015

The book is about recruiting in North West Wales
ng 1914-16



Porth Amlwch Port 1905

Chapel Street
Mona Street

The Amlwch Line

Initial Stations



Bryn Du

Llynon Mill

Llynon Mill,
with the name of owner Robert Rowlands on the cart.

                                     Parys Mountain
                       and Mona Mines
           formerly known as Trysclwyn

Parys Mountain is about 2 miles south of Amlwch, on the North East side of Anglesey. It rises to about 500 feet above sea level.

It has huge crater-like excavations descending into the lower bowels of the mountain.

These craters are the handiwork of man in his successful assault on the hidden wealth of copper that made Parys Mountain famous in the 18th century.

The early Britons and Romans had doubtless scratched the surface, and throughout the Middle Ages the existence of Trysclwyn, as the mount was called, was probably not forgotten.

North Wales Gazette
27th December 1810 

A Mr Medley opened a "greate myneral worke in Anglesey" from which he obtained a "myneral water that made alome and copperas, and transmuted iron into copper.

Mention of a mine here, known as the Prince's Mine. The vast riches that lay below were undreamed of in those days. It was looked at as something of a white elephant. The cost involved and the trouble to extract the ore was not considered worth it.

A partnership formed by Charles Roe of Macclesfield, agreed to lease the workings together with a mine at Penrhyn Du, Lleyn, little knowing that in a few years time, that a Jonathan Roose, foreman at the latter mine, would make the discovery of the century.

Roose was sent for in a last effort to find ore in paying quantities. Attracted by a cuperous spring, he decided to sink a shaft, and a rich vein of ore was struck on the 2nd March.
To encourage the men, he had promised a bottle of brandy to whoever first struck ore. A Roland Pugh won the prize and was also granted a cottage rent free for life.

Ore was struck on a further point westward and a second mine was opened, A partnership was formed which was to be known as the Parys Mine Company. A lot of the ore was quarried in the open. Piled up beside the workings were to be seen enormous quantities of copper ore weighing many thousands of tons.

The lease of the mine to the Macclesfield company having lapsed, the Earl of Uxbridge, successor to the original owner of the land, formed the Mona Mine Company. This company, together with the Parys Mine Company now came under the management of the agent for both mines, Mr Thomas Williams. He was a Beaumaris solicitor, who guided the industry through its peak years.

By this year, the mines were supplying the navies of Britain, France, Holland and Spain with copper bolts, nails and sheathing; and shipbuilding concerns like the East India Company were placing large orders. Coal had to imported, as coal supplied along the Malldraeth Marsh was not sufficient. Parys Mountain was consuming one thousand tons of coal a day.

The peak of output of four thousand tons of pure copper was reached. A fleet of forty vessels was engaged in the copper trade, and the port of Amlwch was at its busiest. 

1787 - 1793

In response to a national shortage of small currency, the Parys Mine Company produced its own coinage between. The Parys Penny, also known as the Anglesey Penny, was used by the mine to pay workers, and also by the populace at large. It is thought that around ten million pennies and half pennies were minted.

Copper Ladies

Amlwch Port was so busy that it's narrow harbour had to be enlarged.

The copper mines of Anglesey and Cornwall were in keen competition, and between them dominated the world market for copper. The former mines could be worked cheaper and were, therefore, able to undersell the latter, with the result that a 'copper war' broke out. This went on until it was swamped in the greater war with France.

James Treweek, born in Gwennap, Cornwall, comes toAmlwch and manages the Mona Mine Company

North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality

21st March 1837 
Anglesey Assizes

 1851 Census
Household of James Treweek Esquire, aged 71 living in Metheusalem Street, Amlwch. His occupation was Agent in Copper Mine, Mona Lodge, born in Gwennap, Cornwall. His wife Jane was 70, also from Cornwall as was their daughter Ann, unmarried, aged 48. Son William, 28. Amlwch born was an Alsayer in Copper. 27 born in Llanerchymedd, Kitty Hughes, 31 and Edward Jones, 28 who was a husbandman at Mona Lodge. Both were Amlwch born. 


 Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald
7th June 1851
Mining Strike


 Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald
13th December 1851
Funeral of James Treweek

North Wales Chronicle
23rd June 1877
T. MITCHELL. "A Mining Engineer" writes concerning the Parys Mountain mine: 
"If this rich mountain should hold good in depth, as the claret-coloured coppery water most certainly indicates, Parys Mountain must again rule the copper standard, and I see no reason to doubt the existence of £5,000,000 worth more of copper ore being raised and sold."
To add to the encouraging reports of Captain Mitchell would be impossible; and it seems to be a question of a very short time, possibly days, ere Parys Mountain Mine becomes again as wealthy as in olden days.

This Parys Mountain Windmill is the highest point on the Mountain.
Built in 1878 it was used to pump water out of the copper mine.

 North Wales Express
6th February 1880
Mona Mines


The windmill was built by Captain Hughes. It had 5 sails, a rare sight on Anglesey.

Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald
20th June 1890
On Tuesday, demonstrations took place at this town to mark the majority of the eldest son of Mr. Fanning Evans, Mona Lodge, formerly High Sheriff of Anglesey, and who has a large interest in the Parys Mountain Mine. The people of the town presented the young gentleman with a silver salver and a dressing bag.

Llanelley National Eisteddfod
Llew was born near Parys Mountain on the 31st March, 1831, worked there as lead miner, before winning the Crown at The National Eisteddfod, held in Llanelley.

Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald
23rd July 1897

Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald
11th November 1898
It is stated that the Parys Mountain Copper Works, in Anglesey, is to be extended and developed on an extensive scale by a new company.

 North Wales Chronicle
11th February 1899
Mines reopening

The 'Carreg Doll' shaft at Parys Mountain.

North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser
12th February 1915
The copper mines at Parys Mountain, Amlwch, famous at one time for their output, ere a century ago under the management of Mr Thomas Williams, who practised in Anglesey for many years as an attorney, and was eventually admitted a partner with Lord Uxbridge and the Rev. Mr Hughes in the ownership of the mines. 
To Lord Uxbridge's portion was given the name of the Mona Mine, that of Mr Hughes retaining the parent term Parys Mine.
On these two companies were engrafted a number of subordinate companies for manufacturing and smelting copper in Anglesey, at Swansea, Holywell, Ravenhead, Birmingham, Marlow, and Wraysbury; whilst at Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham and London warehouses were opened for the reception and sale of the produce.
Mr Williams and his eldest son represented Marlow in Parliament. He died at Bath at the age of 66 years, and was interred at Llanidan.

The Parys Mountain Windmill was by now just a capless shell of a building

Anglesey Mining PLC, which owns the western part of the mountain  has discovered resources of 6,500,000 tonnes containing 10% combined zinc, lead, copper with some silver and gold and has permits and a plan to restart mining operations at 350,000 tonnes per year.


Sub-surface debris nearly 4,000 years old were revealed during excavations. Since then access has been regained to the sealed underground workings of the Parys mine revealing further evidence for this ancient mining. 

 Information sources:
"Anglesey and North Wales Coast"
by F.H. Glazebrook
Photographs courtesy of Rhian Davies


Unloading herring from the ship to the cart


The Bishop's Palace, Llandegfan

1901 census details record that Watkin H. Williams aged 53, Bishop of Bangor, born Worwith, Staffordshire was resident at The Bishop's Palace, Llangdegfan. His wife Alice 53, was also born at Worwith.
They had no children living at home.
William Williams, 41, was their Chaplain, born Blaen Pennal, and Elizabeth M. Schick, 51, of Hombray, Germany, their housekeeper.  Other domestic staff consisted of Bertha Saving 27, cook, of Woodnep, Gloucestershire, Emily Butler 32, housemaid, of Wantage, Berkshire,  Mary I. Soudcock 22, kitchenmaid from Shropshire. Kate Galesman 23, was a housemaid, born Blueberry, Berkshire, Rose I. Woodash 17 a scullerymaid, born Edymond, Shropshire, Sarah Bailey 17, housemaid, born Haughton, Shropshire, Thomas A. Taylor 33, a valet, born South Kelyoy, Lincolnshire, Ernest Watts Ellock (?) 15, a footman, born Gloucester, John Bratt 28, coachman born Denbighshire and local lad Richard Williams 13, a stableboy, born Llandegfan.
Other than Watkin H. Williams, William Williams and Richard Williams, who were bilingual, the remainder of the household spoke only English. 

The Boswell Family

A Boswell family lived at Brynteg Cottage, Llandegfan in 1901. However, the enumerator notes on the census sheet; 'Four persons refusing information'.
All that is recorded reads; Head (of household), female aged 55, son 35, daughter 30, granddaughter 6. They only spoke English.
They are recorded as Gipsies

But wait..........................another census sheet - another entry, also for Brynteg Cottage.......
Delia Boswell, married, 64, Pedlar by trade, Dora Cordery 24, daughter, Gipsy, married, both born Newport, Shropshire, Feenirman L. Boswell, 26, son, who was deaf and dumb, born Bridgnorth, Gipsy, Rosie Boswell 6, granddaughter, born Wellington, Shropshire.

The question is - did they refuse initially because they had already given this information?

I am very grateful to Keith C for supplying me with the following information about this family. KD
The Boswell family you found in 1901 at Llandegfan are really Locks (the 'L' in the names), who used the alias Boswell after moving into Wales permanently. This is the wife and two children (and a grandchild - Dora didn't actually marry William Cordery until more than a year later) of Noah, who was nearby at Llansadrwn on the census night, with another son Henry, christened Zachariah Lock. The great Gypsyologist Dora Yates wrote in 1953, "Zachariah 'for convenience' sake' preferred to be called Harry Boswell".
The Locks were a family of fiddle players, extensively supplying music for dancing, a topic which forms my main area of study.

The census return Keith refers to is for a caravan at Penhisryn Road, Llansadwrn. Head of household was Henry Boswell, 45, a horse and cattle dealer, born Beddgelert, wife Maria 42, born Llanfairfech(ain) daughter Merinda 22 born Llanerchymedd and his father, Noah 78 born in Shropshire. Noah being Delia's husband.

Interestingly, another caravan there belonged to Charles Lock, 30, a horse dealer, born in St Asaph, wife Mary 28, born in Chester, and children Ida, 7, born Menai Bridge, Merinda 5, born Beaumaris, Meyrick 3 and Gwendoline 1, both born in Menai Bridge

A Noah Boswell and his family were living at Dyfryn Lane, Newborough.  Noah 49, born in Shropshire, had 'Not Known' recorded against his occupation. His wife Elizabeth was 32, born in Llannerchymedd, and their children were, son Wasla 8, born Llandegfan, and daughters Maria 5, born in Rhydymwyn, and Ohmy, 3, born in Llanrug.

Keith advises us that; 
This is another son of the elder Noah Lock (alias Boswell). All these men were fiddle players and would have provided music for dancing and entertainment, at fairs, in pubs, and anywhere else an honest penny was to be earned. Two other of the brothers were interviewed by the great folklorist Cecil Sharp, in 1910 and 1912, and some of their tunes taken down in notation. In addition, one cylinder recording survives, showing the stylistic musical nuances the brothers would have shared.

The Royal Charter

The Royal Charter was one of the Liverpool and Australian Navigation Company's fleet. Under the command of Captain Taylor, the ship sailed from Melbourne on the 20th of August, 1859 with 388 passengers and 112 officers and crew. She had a cargo of wool and sheepskins. Most of her passengers were gold diggers returning home after many years in the gold fields. It was estimated that almost half a million pounds worth of gold was with them.

Click here to read about the Royal Charter,
which came to grief off Anglesey

Eglwys Llanbadrig

 Eglwys Llanbadrig, (Llanbadrig Church) possibly
one of the oldest Christian Sites in Wales.
Steamer just off Ynys  Badrig
(Middle Mouse).

Menai Bridge

 St Tysilio Church and Island from about 1920.



Llanddona Witches

The area around Llanddona was famous for it's alleged witches. They were believed to be descendants of survivors from a shipwreck of a Spanish ship in Red Wharf Bay, who were allowed to settle in the vicinity.
Legend has it that some of them were able to perform magical tricks and those who were superstitious locally, felt that they were in league with the devil. Many were red headed.
One famous witch  was a woman called Siani Bwt, or Little Jane. She was only 3 feet 8 inches tall, when aged 40 and had two thumbs on her left hand.

Goronwy Tudur and the
Witches of Llanddona 

Very few men in Anglesey in the olden days dared to cross any of the Witches of Llanddona, and those who were bold enough to do so suffered grievously for their rashness. But Goronwy Tudor, who lived not far from Llanddona, was reckless enough to defy even Bella Fawr, Big Bella, the most famous and most dreaded of all the witches of that uncanny village, and he was not a ha'porth the worse.

Perhaps you do not know the history of the Llanddona witches. Long ago a boat came ashore in Red Wharf Bay without rudder or oars, full of men and women half dead with hunger and thirst. In early days it was the custom to put evil-doers in a boat to drift oarless and rudderless on the sea, and when this boat was swept by wind and waves on the beautiful sands of Llanddona, the good people who then lived there prepared to drive it back into the sea, thinking it was manned by criminals. But the strangers caused a spring of pure water to burst forth on the sands (the well still remains), and this decided their fate. They were allowed to stay and to build cottages. But they did not change their evil natures. The men lived by smuggling, and the women begged and practised witchcraft.

It was impossible to overcome the smugglers in a fray, for each of them carried about with him a black fly tied in a knot of his neckerchief. When their strength failed them in the fight they undid the knots of their cravats, and the flies flew at the eyes of their opponents and blinded them. The women used to visit the farmhouses, and when they asked for a pound of butter, a loaf of bread, some potatoes, eggs, a fowl, part of a pig, or what not, they were not denied, because they cursed those who refused them. If they attended a fair or market, no one ventured to bid against them for anything.

But Goronwy Tudor was not afraid of them. He had a birthmark above his breast, which is a great protection against witchcraft, and he knew how to break nearly every spell. He had the plant which is called Mary's turnip growing in front of his house: he also nailed horseshoes above every door, and put rings made of the mountain ash under the doorposts, thus making his house and all his farm buildings safe. To make them doubly sure he sprinkled earth from the churchyard in all his rooms, and in his byre, stable and pigstye. When the animals were in the fields, however, he had some difficulty in securing them from harm. One day when he went to fetch his cows from the meadow to be milked he found them sitting like cats before a fire, with their hind legs beneath them. Goronwy took the skin of an adder, burnt it and scattered the ashes over the horns of the cows. They got up at once, and walked off with their usual dignity to the byre.

Another day the milk would not turn into butter, and a very unpleasant smell arose from the churn. Goronwy took a crowbar, heated it red hot, and put it in the milk. Out jumped a large hare, and ran away through the open door of the dairy. After this the milk was churned into beautiful butter.

Some time after the supply of milk began to decline, and the butter made from it was so bad and evil-smelling that the very dogs would not touch it. The milk became scantier and scantier, until at last it ceased altogether, and the cows gave nothing but blood. Goronwy watched in the fields at night and saw a hare going up to a cow and sucking it. She squirted from her mouth and nostrils the milk she had sucked, and then went on to another cow. She did the same with her and with all the other cows. Goronwy knew that it was old Bella in the form of a hare, and he prepared to stop her evildoing and to punish her. The next night he took his gun, putting into it a silver coin instead of shot (shot cannot penetrate a witch's body), and placed a bit of vervain under the stock. When he saw the hare milking the cows he fired at her. The hare immediately ran off in the direction of Bella's cottage, with Goronwy after her. He was not so fleet of foot as puss, but he managed to keep her in sight, and saw her jumping over the lower half of the door of the house. Going up to the cottage he heard the sound of dreadful groans. When he reached the door he went in. There was no hare to be seen, but old Bella was sitting by the fire with blood streaming from her legs. He was never again troubled by old Bella in the shape of a hare, and by drawing blood from the bewitched kine he broke the spell.

Bella made one more attempt to injure him. She went to the Cold Well and launched at him the great curse of the Witches of Llanddona:

May he wander for ages many,
And at every step, a stile,
At every stile, a fall;
At every fall, a broken bone,
Not the largest nor the least bone,
But the chief neckbone, every time.

Goronwy felt in his bones that he had been cursed. He got some witch's butter that grows on decayed trees and stuck pins in it. When the pain inflicted by the pins penetrated her body, Bella had willy-nilly to appear before him. She was screaming with pain, and Goronwy refused to take the pins which were causing the anguish out of the butter until she said: "Rhad Duw ac ar bopeth ar a feddi" - God's blessing on thee and on everything that thou possessess." After this neither Bella nor any of her tribe had any power over Goronwy or his wife, or his manservant or his maidservant, or his ox or his ass, or anything that was his.

The Welsh Fairy Book by W. Jenkyn Thomas
Illustrations by Willy Pogány, New York, F. A. Stokes [1908]
Scanned and redacted by Phillip Brown. Additional formatting and proofing at by John B. Hare.
This text is in the public domain.
This file may be used for any non-commercial purpose, provided this notice of attribution is left intact


Jane Williams
(Shani Bwt)

Shani was only three feet eight inches tall, and her left hand bore two thumbs. She is pictured here aged about 40. She lived in Llanddona and was often seen walking the countryside.

Llanddona Mill, which can be seen in the background.

The Witches Cafe
Received this lovely message from John Hughes.
If anyone can help John, he can be contacted via

Going back to about 1965 I was 18 and holidaying with my parents in Red Wharf Bay, on one of our daily drives on Anglesea we happened upon The Witches Cafe in Llanddona, it was run by the Williams family and I was instantly attracted to the beautiful daughter Jenny, with whom I was to spend most of the remaining holiday.

Her father also had the only petrol pump in the village, it stood across the road, virtually on a fork in the road, it resembled a post with a measuring container on the top, fuel was pumped up into this, I believe when full it held 1 gallon, then it was released to flow into the fuel tank.

Almost 50 years on I once again found the village but didn't recognise any part of it, memories are much kinder than reality. Wonder what the future brought for the family and what became of the Witches Cafe.
John Holmes
March 2015


Red Wharf Bay, near Llanddona

Llanddona Family - Park

Correspondence received from D.A. Pritchard;
I have just found your website, also I am researching my family tree. I have had some information passed on to me regarding a house-farm called "CREMLYN" - Beaumaris. The name I'm researching is 'Park'. I was wondering if you have any information with regards to either. The era is 1900.

I have been unable to find a Cremlyn in Beaumaris, but a Park family lived at Cremlyn, Llanddona in 1891. Their details are as follows; KD

Cremlyn, Llanddona; Thomas Park, 58, a retired famer was head of the household. He was born in Tilverston.
His wife Elizabeth was 60 and was born in Bootle as were their sons John Henry 29 and Richard 28, both farmers. Daughters Sarah Elizabeth 26, and Ellenor Frances 21 were born in Birmingham.
Their cook was Mary Spencer 31, born England, Grace Pritchard 18, born Llanddona, was a general servant, Fanny Smith 18, born Bootle, was a housemaid and Henry Parry 16, born Llansadwrn, a farm servant 



Abermenai Ferry Christmas Tragedy

Twenty days before Christmas 1785, the Abemenai ferrymaster waited patiently for his passengers to return aboard his ferry. The time was approaching 4pm. Departure from Caernarvon was already late and concern was mounting. Strong winds were up and, in an hour, it would be low tide.

It had been fair day and the imposing Edwarding castle was gradually disappearing into the increasing darkness of the cold winter evening.

At last, full of pre-Christmas cheers, all the passengers were on board the Abermenai ferryboat, as it set forth on its fateful return journey to Anglesey. Entering the Menai Strait from the River Seiont, aware that he must, at all costs, avoid two sandbanks known as the Shifting Sands, the ferrymaster endeavoured to keep pretty close to the Caernarvonshire side of the Strait.

Suddenly, out of the passengers' merry chatter came a cry! The ferry was too near the bank. It hadn't kept sufficiently in the channel. Every possible effort was made with oars, there being no sails on board, to save the ferry, but to no avail. The Abermenai ferryboat grounded, the fresh wind blowing spray on the passengers and crew alike.

Men jumped into the water in an effort to thrust the ferry from its lethal bed of quicksand. But their efforts were in vain. Each time the ferry was moved, it was thrown violently back.

It was half filled with water as the tide, which could rise up to 20 feet due to the narrowness of the Strait, made its way in. The call went out to abandon ship.

Crew and passengers remained on the bank, in the hope that their cries would be heard, and rescuers would soon arrive. An alarm bell was rung as the stricken ferry became swamped with water and broken up, never to be seen in one piece again.

Several boats made their way to the scene in a vain attempt  to rescue the 55 men, women and children stranded on the treacherous quicksands, but they dare not approach the stricken people for fear of suffering a similar fate on that tempestuous night.

Only one person survived the disaster, a Mr Hugh Williams, who risked his life at the mercy of the sea. He tied a piece of mast and oar together and plunged into the dark, cold torrent, where he struggled for survival for an hour or so before noticing the welcoming light of the Tan y Foel ferryhouse.

But the current was too strong. He couldn't reach the shore and was carried along for a couple of hours before he eventually reached safety.

He tried to crawl back towards where he had seen the light, but fatigued took over and he passed out under a hedge, before the wind and rain revived him. Continuing his struggle, he eventually reached the ferryhouse.

The following morning his boots and greatcoat were discovered under the Shifting Sands, with several of the bodies which were buried there during that night of tragedy, over two centuries ago.

It wasn't until a total of some 180 people had been drowned crossing by ferry to Anglesey that a stir was made to build a bridge which would connect the island to the mainland.

Telford's Menai Suspension Bridge was the result. It opened in 1826.


Church Lane, Llangefni from 1910 by St Cungar Church
Llangefni May Queen 1913, outside the old Ship Hotel

David Taylor
Headmaster, Elementary School, Llangefni

Sheila Clifford has been in touch: KD Oct 2014
I wonder if you can add to this?
My great uncle David Taylor was headmaster at Llangefni Elementary school in 1911 census.
His wife was called Blodwen.
Is there a photo of the school?  Is it still there?  I would love to see a photo if anyone has one, please. Does anyone know any more please?
Sheila can be contacted via

Llangefni County School.
Does it still stand?

1911 Census, 1 Nant Terrace, Llangefni.
David Taylor, 35, Head Teacher, Elementary School, born Llanryddlad Blodwen Taylor, 28, wife, born Llangefni, William Hartley Roberts, 25, wif'es brother, Certified Assistant teacher, Winifred Roberts, wife's sister, 26, confectioner  

Llangefni. Tachwedd 1914.
Cwnstabliaid Arbennig. - Yr ydym ninnau yn Llangefni'n ddiogel o'r diwedd, gan fod gennym gwnstabliaid arbennig wedi eu tyngu i mewn i edrych ar ein hola.
Dyma eu enwau: - Mri Stephen Ellis, Shop y Bont; J. Evan Jones, Bradford House; Richard Jones Bryn Teg; David Taylor, Ysgol y Cyngor; Hugh Pritchard, Llys Ednyfed: O. J. Williams, Llys Arthur; W.O. Griffiths, Glanhwfa Road; Owen Thomas, Gross Stree; H. O. Rowlands, Mona Cafe; Richard Parry, Mill Street; Hefin Jones, Banc London City and Midland; Daniel Morgan, Shop y Bont; T. Jones, Bridge Street; O. J. Williams, Shop y Bont.
Article giving names of Special Constables appointed in Llangefni, to make the town a safer place.

1914 Anglesey Teachers Association.
The annual meeting of the above association was held at the Council School, Llangefni.
At the end, Mr Taylor and other teachers from the school were thanked for their welcome.


Tony Woodruff asks:
Does anyone have any information about pirates around Anglesey or Wales circa 1550 -1650 please? I am particularly interested in Edward Bulkeley (brother of Sir Richard Bulkeley), or Hugh Griffith of Cefn, Amlwch.
Any information at all would be helpful or if you could point me in the right direction for more help.

Tony can be contacted via . He has also supplied fascinating information on his family who lived at Penmon Lighthouse.
See the Lighthouse and Pilot Families page

Anglesey Smugglers
I'm very grateful to Dave Mills for contacting me.
He writes

Some years ago I copied an old newspaper article on
"The Days when Smuggling was Big Business in Anglesey"
by G.E. Madoc Jones that was
publish around 1960.
Unfortunately I don't have the name of the newspaper.
The article appears here, courtesy of Dave.

The days when smuggling was big business in Anglesey.
By G. E. Madoc Jones.

If you are Anglesey born you are likely to have a gleam in your eye on reading of the old smuggling days in the island, way back in the eighteenth century. I was fascinated when I recently came across a book of old Welsh tales by P. H. Emerson, written in Beaumaris and published in 1894; and one on Anglesey Folklore by W. Pritchard of Pentraeth - each containing references to smuggling.

In those far-off days - when heavily taxed tobacco and spirits used to enter the Isle of Man duty free - one learns that many fishermen used to indulge in running contraband cargoes to quiet beaches on Anglesey's north-west coast on dark winter nights.

In particular the area extended from White Beach near Penmon to Llanfwrog; and among the much-used beaches were those at Llanddona and Cemaes Bay. Contraband became a thriving business despite the efforts of the Customs sloops based at Beaumaris and Red Wharf Bay.

White Beach, near Penmon 

One of Emerson's tales in particular, grips the imagination. It had to do with Penmon House and an old inn - the Pontydon - "nestling on the edge of the cliff"; both of which have "disappeared", apparently leaving no hint as to their exact locality.

Views from the house.

It was merely recorded that from Penmon House could be seen "Black Point, Puffin Island and the frowning Great Orme across the Menai Straits - and the Dutchman Banks at low tide"; which details could indicate Penmon's Black Point area as a possibility rather, perhaps, than that near Bwrdd Arthur (Arthur's Table), where your Ordnance map shows Penmaen and history records finds of clay pipe and other fragments associated with contraband activities near to this house above the old Tan Dinas Quarry.

Penmon House - "ramshackle stone roofed building in a deserted garden" when the story started - was a mystery habitation. It had been occupied by three mysterious strangers who "kept to themselves"; and then suddenly vanished. It had been "empty" for three years. Close to the house lived Daddy Granby - "a curious old man with long beard and flowing white hair" - who farmed a few acres and kept to himself. He was a constant source of discussion among the quarrymen supplying their ale of an evening at the little Pontydon inn close by.

Known to the landlord.

But Daddy Granby was no mystery to Owen Williams - landlord of the inn! Owen and his two fishermen sons were part of a smuggling gang which included Daddy Granby and two Beaumaris men - a hotel landlord and ostler brother; and Owen had a fishing smack used by his sons as a cover to their smuggling.

The link with the Beaumaris landlord was a cleverly designed milk cart, having a cunningly built-in tank for spirits, and driven by the ostler, And this cart used to make regular trips to Daddy Granby's farm - ostensibly for milk.

Meanwhile entered another queer character. This was George Harris, a pleasant Cornishman, who put up at the Pontydon and became very popular with its quarrymen frequenters because of his generosity. Harris owned a yacht and was a keen artist - painting scenes from his yacht up and down the Straits, and then he, too, joined Owen Williams in the contraband trade - to their mutual benefit.

This situation continued for some time until - unexpectedly - Harris sold his yacht to Owen and left the Pontydon. And, about this coincident period, an "old hermit" as locally described, came to live at Penmon House. Shortly afterwards, in the following October, a man called Robert Roberts rushed - white faced - into the Pontydon where the quarrymen were having their pints and said he had just seen ghostly things outside. These were a hearse with horses and two postillions headed by tall ghost with glassy face burning like fire.

The secret of the hearse.

They had come out of the sea and had gone towards Penmon House. This story soon spread and there was consternation and dread among the local villagers who were very superstitious. The cortege were seen frequently - until there entered the district two sons of George Harris who had been in the navy and found they had inherited the Penmon House property. They soon learned of the queer events and decided, one dark night, to lie in wait for the "ghosts". In the distance they heard the three blasts of the horn which had always heralded the approach of the hearse and when it neared them they clubbed the postillions who, however, escaped with the tall ghost. The hearse was opened and inside it were kegs full of spirits with which a happy and relieved crowd of villagers made merry for many a night.

One of the Harris brothers then approached Owen Williams who decided to take him into his confidence. They went to Penmon House where Owen opened up a secret cellar in which had been stored the contraband goods and ghostly trappings; and also a panelled room with bookcase, writing table and diary.

This room had been used by the "old hermit" - none other than George Harris - and the diary had been kept to the day of his death; and from entries in it there emerged a strange record regarding past happenings.

Owen Williams then pressed on a square in the floor of his room and opened a door into another cellar in which lay three skeletons and an old clothes press. The skeletons were those of a family named Quintero - Spaniards - man, wife and daughter, the "three mysterious strangers" who had suddenly "vanished" some years previously.

Re-minting coins.

And it turned out, from the diary, that they - in conjunction with others of a criminal band in Spain - had been adulterating Spanish gold coins and re-minting them at considerable profit. It was then discovered by their confederates in Spain that the three Quinteros had been defrauding them; and they were killed.

Later George Harris searched the house and found some £30,000 worth of gold coins hidden in a false bottom of the clothes press.

There are several loose ends to this incredible legend - as collected by Emerson from various people. But the story of Penmon House - if only a fairy tale - certainly lights up a forgotten area. I cannot - smuggling wise - conclude these records without telling the queer experience which befell two friends at an ancient cottage - two rooms down and one up - near White Beach always associated with the island's smuggling days; and the cottage being said to have been the smugglers' headquarters.

Skeleton figure.

Some thirty years ago - before it had been modernised - these friends, aunt and niece, were staying there; with the aunt's little dog. One night they went to their beds in one of the downstairs rooms, leaving the dog in the adjoining living room, with the connecting door open.

Some hours later in the early hours of the morning the dog woke them with its howls; and it jumped into its mistress's bed.

And both aunt and niece saw clearly - standing in the doorway - the skeleton figure of a tall man dressed in the "pirate" tradition with leather garments, belt and brass buckles; and broad head-gear.

The niece - her aunt has died - vouches, today as strongly as ever for the truth of this experience. But - why doesn't it happen to me?!


ISBN 9780956296207
75,000 words, 184 pages, printed full colour, 114 illustrations.
SRP £16.99
Reduced to £14.99 for Christmas

 First ever published detailed biography of this respected Welsh author (1874-1925). 

• First ever English translation (abridged) of his classic 'Madam Wen' novel about the legendary Anglesey Highway-Woman & Smuggler.

• Contemporary (1925) and Modern (1983 & 2009) critiques of the story and of the controversial 1982 S4C film - most never before published in English.

• First ever English translation (abridged) of his earlier romantic novel 'Elin Cadwaladr' principally set in Anglesey, London and Oxford.

 Exploration of Owen's family connections, including links to Florence Nightingale. (Owen's sister worked as her Housekeeper and Cook for six years, and through the letters Florence wrote to her, and about her, the domestic workload and religious aspect of working for such a particular lady, and her relatives - the Verneys, can clearly be seen.  This is detailed in an 11-page section of the book).

• Includes sections on Owen's time spent in Derbyshire (Clay Cross & Pilsley), Gloucestershire (Joy's Green), and London (Muswell Hill), as well as Anglesey & Bangor.

Available through normal retail channels, including Local bookshops, W.H.Smith & Waterstones.
Online sales from or order from our website.
In case of difficulty contact the publishers.  Normal trade terms available

Rhosneigr Publishing, 2 Roman Ridge Road, Sheffield S9 1XG

New Publication

Cover reproduced here
by kind permission of
Bridge Books, Wrexham

The Life of
Sir Owen Thomas, MP
Father of the
"Welsh Army Corps"

David A. Pretty

Published by


ISBN 978-1-84494-075-2

The book features two photographs of my great uncle
Sgt Joseph Thomas Goodman Roberts 26732
Prince of Wales Light Horse Infantry
which  was honoured to supply,
originally received from Sgt Roberts's late grandson,
Joseph Roberts.
September 2011.  KD




This simple stone cross can be found at Llangoed Church. It bears the following inscription.

I am grateful to Clive Hughes and Anne Pedley (Regimental Archivist, Royal Welch Fusiliers) for assisting me with trying to find out something of Mertens' history.

Anne writes; I believe that the stone cross in Llangoed Churchyard may belong to a Belgian refugee.  Although not to hand, I vaguely remember reading in the letters of Geraint Wyn Madoc Jones that arrangments were being made for Belgian refugees to stay around Beaumaris and surrounding areas.  He is unlikely to be a POW as Belgium was an ally.  I think you will find some more burials on the island that can be seen in the Menai Straits when driving over the bridge.

Clive writes; As a Belgian, Mertens would have been on our side, as it were!  There's no mention in the original 1931 CWGC Register for Anglesey of an Allied or enemy soldier being buried at Llangoed: something they did normally include. 

My best guess is that the person concerned was a Belgian refugee, and a civilian.  There were many such refugees housed all over the country, including Anglesey, and logically some of them must have died over here.

Would Mertens have been involved with building The Beligian Promenade one wonders?

Rhodfa'r Belgiaid.
The Belgian Promenade

Photo and text copyright of Eric Jones
and licensed for
reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

This promenade beside Afon Menai was built by Belgian refugees during The Great War. Following severe storm damage in the early 1960s, it was repaired in 1965 in time for the Anglesey National Eisteddfod and was officially reopened by Mons. Eduard Willems, the sole survivor of the original workforce.

Photo and text copyright of Eric Jones
and licensed for
reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

A section of the Anglesey Coastal Path. Here the path from the east beneath the arches of Pont y Borth leaves the road and continues westwards along the Belgian Promenade.

Photo and text copyright of Eric Jones
and licensed for
reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Coed Cyrnol and the Belgian Promenade from Church Island

Trearddur Bay

Sky view of Treaddur Bay


Montgomeryshire Express & Radnorshire Times, February 1877

On Tuesday evening, January 30th, there was considerable excitement caused here by the finding of a dead body in the Menai Straits, by the Shipping Wharf, Port Dinorwic. It was first seen by Captain Morgan, of the smack Martha Jane, Aberaeron, who gave an alarm, and the body was at once removed to one of the sheds on the quay. 

On Wednesday Mr J.H. Roberts held an inquest. As there was a rumour that there were marks of violence on the body, the Coroner ordered Dr. Jones to examine it, and the doctor gave his evidence at the inquest that there was not the slightest reason to assume that the deceased met with any foul play.

The jury returned a verdict of "Found dead". In the doctor's opinion, the deceased was about fifteen years old, and had the appearance of a tramp. He was dressed in a dark cloth coat and double-breasted vest of same material, and had a white shirt and two pairs of trousers, the upper one of corduroy, about half worn,  and the other one of black cloth, a mixed pattern, black and white, with two straps instead of braces, and a piece of cord around his waist. He had a pair of spring-side boots a little worn.

There was no money at all on his person, but a small memorandum was found in his coat pocket, with "Owen Jones" written several times on it, and Mrs Hedy (or Hely), 128 Westbourne Terrace, pencilled in, but nothing was found to give any clue whatever as to who he was and where he came from.

The doctor thinks that he had been in the water about four days, as an extraordinary tide was here on Tuesday, it is not impossible that the body came some distance with the current.  

Jones family Brynsiencyn
Alan Williams asks:
Does anybody haves any information on the family mentioned below?
They lived at Barras Cottage, Brynsiencyn, and on the 1911 census, the family consisted of  

Head - William Jones (born Dwyran) age 40
His wife Mary Elizabeth (born Liverpool) age 37 
Amelia Jones age 13 - born Liverpool
Edward Jones age 10 - born Caernarvonshire
William O Jones age 8 - born Caernarvonshire
Thomas John Jones age 5 - born Caernarvonshire
Frank Jones age 3 - born Llanidan
Harry Jones age 1 week - born Llanidan

William was an Oyster Keeper and was living at Barras Cottage, Brynsiencyn.
Ten years earlier in 1901  William (a sailor) age 30 and the family were at Llanbeblig, Caernarfon.

Are there any records relating to the Oyster business in Anglesey as this is the second family member I have come across whose occupation was Oyster Keeper and I would like to know more.
The other was possibly William's father - Edward Jones and his wife Margaret who in 1901 (aged 61 and 60 respectively) was an Oyster Keeper at Ty Bach y Foel on the banks of the Menai Straits.

Any help that can be offered would be much appreciated.

Alan can be contacted via


Wesleyan Methodist Chapel,
Chapel Street, Llantysilio

Trevor Dunkerely enquires:
I have been attempting to obtain details of the above chapel, which I believe is now a shop, but have drawn a complete blank on search engines.
What I am trying to ascertain is where the burials for this chapel took place in the 1850's - can you or any of your readers assist?

Hi Trevor - thank you for your enquiry. Please see the following link   (Gwynedd Family History Society)

Click on Publications and you will come across books which include  Memorial Inscriptions M077 - Llandysilio, which can be purchased from them. If you ask a general question relating to your enquiry, should you choose to purchase the book, you may well get a successful reply! You may also wish to consider leaving a message on the site's guestbook.


By JOEL COOK, 1882
(click title to see the whole book)


Still journeying westward, we come to Caernarvonshire, and reach the remarkable estuary dividing the mainland from the island of Anglesea, and known as the Menai Strait. This narrow stream, with its steeply-sloping banks and winding shores, looks more like a river than a strait, and it everywhere discloses evidence of the residence of an almost pre-historic people in relics of nations that inhabited its banks before the invasion of the Romans.
There are hill-forts, sepulchral mounds, pillars of stone, rude pottery, weapons of stone and bronze; and in that early day Mona itself, as Anglesea was called, was a sacred island.
Here were fierce struggles between Roman and Briton, and Tacitus tells of the invasion of Mona by the Romans and the desperate conflicts that ensued as early as A.D. 60.
The history of the strait is a story of almost unending war for centuries, and renowned castles bearing the scars of these conflicts keep watch and ward to this day. Beaumaris, Bangor, Caernarvon, and Conway castles still remain in partial ruin to remind us of the Welsh wars of centuries ago.

Beaumaris Castle

On the Anglesea shore, at the northern entrance to the strait, is the picturesque ruin of Beaumaris Castle, built by Edward I. at a point where vessels could conveniently land. It stands on the lowlands, and a canal connects its ditch with the sea. It consists of a hexagonal line of outer defences surrounding an inner square. Round towers flanked the outer walls, and the chapel within is quite well preserved. It has not had much place in history, and the neighboring town is now a peaceful watering-place. 


I was fascinated by this enquiry received from Clive Williams. KD
I was very interested in the history of Penmon families and in particular Pwll Crwn and Tan y Fron.  My grandmother Eliza was either the daughter of Jane and  or granddaughter of John Williams, the Penmon pilot. 

I am doing some family history and discovered that John Williams and his family pursued a case at the Chancery Law courts making claim to part if not all the Penrhyn estates.  .  

I should point out that most of the information I have had been handed down over many generations but through differing branches of the family which in a way supports its authenticity.
My quest started after meeting Rhys Williams, born and bred in Holyhead, and who had been the Principal Archeologist for Cheshire County Council. He is well into his eighties.
His mother was also a direct descendant of John Williams, the original Penmon Pilot and who we believe lived at Pwll Crwn Fach.
The story that she told him was that either in the late 1700s or early 1800s John Williams and his family raised enough money to initiate a claim for part or whole of the Penrhyn estates, a crucial part of their evidence being the parish registers at Llanfaes church which was destroyed at the time of the case and with it, critical evidence (this must therefore relate to either a wedding or birth).  This fits in with the building and completion of the present church, St. Catherine, Llanfaes which started in around 1811 and completed in the 1840s.
Am trying to establish the date on which the old church was destroyed so that we can get a fix as to the time the case was heard in Chancery.
Also tied into the story is the Cochwillan manor house and estate which was the forerunner of the Penrhyn estate and one time was owned by Bishop John Williams (Archbishop of York in the 16th Century). 

Cochwillan Manor House
(click here to access website)

Copyright Eric Jones and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
The medieval hall of Cochwillan near Tal y Bont, Bangor in Gwyneddis a place whose name may well reflect the history of the land on which it was built.

Nothing has come up by googling the name of John Williams with an action but then I do not know whether his claim was against the owners of Cochwillan and/or Pennants.  Cochwillan and Penrhyn were also historically entwined through the marriage of Anne Warburton to the first of the Pennants.

I am trying to find out what was the basis of John Williams' claim as it may throw some new light on some other possible relationship ties I might have.  As mentioned earlier my great grandmother Eliza was a daughter of John Williams, Penmon Pilot and brought up in Pwll Crwn fach before marrying my great grandfather Henry Williams (what's in a name) and living in Bangor where I too was born and raised.
All contributions gratefully received.
Clive can be contacted via

Response from Tan y Fron historian, John Williams;
Now to the fascinating story of the court case in Chancery.  I have to say that this is completely new to me.  However I know very little about John Williams, and his family, before 1841.  His father was William, and his mother was Mary. William was the Baron Hill gamekeeper on the Penmon deer park, and that is about all I have found out.  Unfortunately the Penmon parish records were not very detailed in the 1700s, and the vicar was quite lazy when it came to recording the register.
What is interesting is the similarity with the story in the Tan y Fron Williams family about their ancestor who had a legal dispute in the 1700s about property in the Gorddinog/Abergwyngregyn area, which is of course very close to Penrhyn.  Could there be a connection?  The only evidence of the Tan y Fron family dispute is in the history of John Williams written by his grandson Robert Williams in 1918. 
Now, of course this is not the pilot John Williams, but the ex-mariner who took over Tan y Fron, and whose family stayed there until the 1970s.  Both these John Williams were my great great grandfathers as the pilot's son Robert married the farmer's daughter Martha, and I am descended from their son William, my grandfather.  I have often wondered if the pilot and the farmer (both John Williams) were related in some way.  If so, the family story of the legal dispute could come from the same origins.  Just a thought.

Edward Gordon Douglas-Pennant, 1st Baron Penrhyn (20 June 1800 - 31 March 1886) was a Welsh landowner and politician. He played a major part in the development of the Welsh slate industry.
Born Edward Gordon Douglas, he was the younger son of the Hon. John Douglas and his wife Lady Frances (née Lascelles). James Douglas, 14th Earl of Morton, was his paternal grandfather and George Sholto Douglas, 17th Earl of Morton, his elder brother.
He inherited the Penrhyn estate near Bangor in north-west Wales through his wife's relative, Richard Pennant, and changed his name to Douglas-Pennant by Royal license in 1841. Penrhyn was the owner of the Penrhyn Quarry near Bethesda, Wales, which under his ownership developed into one of the two largest slate quarries in the world. He was also involved in politics and sat as Member of Parliament for Caernarvonshire between 1841 and 1866. He also held the honorary post of Lord Lieutenant of Caernarvonshire. In 1866 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Penrhyn, of Llandegai in the County of Carnarvon.

Lord Penrhyn meets workers

Lord Penrhyn married, firstly, Juliana Isabella Mary, daughter of George Hay Dawkins Pennant, in 1833. They had two sons and three daughters. After her death in 1842 he married, secondly, Maria Louisa, daughter of Henry FitzRoy, 5th Duke of Grafton, in 1846. They had eight daughters. He died in 1886, aged 85, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son, George.

Source Wikipedia, reproduced by license.

John Williams
born 1778
Tyn Llan
Llanfihangel Ysgeifion



a short novel of c37,000 words,
by John Idris Jones
Paperback, £6.95.  ISBN 978-0-907117-97-1
Based on the life and work of William Alexander Madocks.
Published by Alun Books, Port Talbot.  
3 Crown St, Port Talbot SA13 1BG

Working with William Madocks was a certain John Williams, born 1778 of Ty'n Llan, Llanfihangel Ysgeifion, in the South of Anglesey.
(extracts from 'Madocks, by kind permission of the author, John Idris Jones.)
There was something in his appearance, clothing, application to his work: methodical, painstaking, time-saving appealed to William. He needed someone who could act out his ambition, who understood his imagination. Someone who was quick to understand and wasted no time in carrying ideas into action, project to result.
Together they could be as left hand and the right hand of a body. Together they could achieve what no man could achieve alone.
This youth was the man for the job.
Between them, in thirty years, by the creation of two vast embankments, they reclaimed many thousands of acres from the sea and they transformed a barren landscape into two towns. Madocks and Williams established Porthmadog on the world map as a centre for ship-building, railway enineering and slate-exporting.

Review by Ken Davies.
A wonderful book, which I found very difficult to put down.
I was 'sold' from the first chapter and the author's visit to his Aunty May.

It has put Porthmadog and Tremadog in a different light for me - will not by-pass either place when I go up north Wales again.
John has mastered a blend of historical fact and appropriate fiction, which ensures you are there with them as the tremendous development of the area progresses.
A labour of love! Excellent read - ardderchog.
What an ideal way to learn local history.
August 2013



Ellen Williams
born 1852 Conwy

Received this enquiry from Rachel Williams.
KD August 2014

I have attached an image of a photograph taken in or around the 1880's. I have done a lot of family research over the past 7/8 years and my family don't move very far, if at all from the North Wales area.

This particular image is a photograph that has been handed down by my ancestors that once lived on Anglesey (Llanfair PG, Llanedwen area) from at least 1861 to the 1920's, if not still there now. We do think that one of my ancestors is in this image and it may help identify where she worked. However we are not really sure which one she is, although we have had a good guess.

I was wondering if you may be able to help in any way? It is similar to the style of John Thomas an accomplished photographer of this time. I feel it is such a shame if I do not share this image as it is a brilliant capture of social history.

In an attempt to cut a long story short we think my ancestor Ellen Williams (b.1852 Conwy) might be in the photograph.

Ellen and her family; Thomas Williams (b.1827 Salford), Jane (b.1829 Conwy), Isabella (b.1854 Conwy) and William (b. 1857 Llanedwen), are living in Llanfair PG by the 1861 Census, however by the 1871 census things had changed.

I discovered that Jane had died of chronic TB in 1865 and by the 1871 census all the children have moved out of their family home, to work I expect.

Thomas is now married to an Ellen (b. 1839 in Rotherhithe, Surrey). There is no trace of Thomas' daughter Ellen, I am finding it difficult to trace her. She would have been pregnant at the time with her illegitimate daughter and my great grandmother Elizabeth Ellen Williams (b.1871 Llanfair PG), who is born and brought up by her grandfather Thomas and his second wife, this other Ellen.

It would be so handy if I knew where Ellen, Elizabeth Ellen's mother had been during 1871. But what makes it more difficult is that Isabella's birth place, her sister is often incorrect on later census returns as Llanfair PG as opposed to Conway, and I have struggled to find and Ellen Williams either born in Llanfair PG or Conwy that fits the bill.

We also have a photograph of Elizabeth Ellen Williams sitting on some ladys knee taken in 1873ish by W.M Hughes of Llangefni.  They are wearing fine clothes and shoes, which seems strange as Thomas is only a painter. There are rumours they where paid off to keep quiet about Elizabeth Ellen's birth.

The final part of the story is that upon Thomas' death in 1894, Ellen his second wife, changes her name back to Ellen Thomas? She leaves a very generous sum of money in her will too.

Questions I would like to be answered in the future are. Where did the younger Ellen Williams work live in 1871 and what happened to her after? Who and where did this Ellen Thomas come from (was she brought in to look after Elizabeth?)? And who was Elizabeth Ellen's Father (tough one I know!).

Hopefully this photograph might be a clue?

Many thanks

If you can help Rachel, she can be contacted via 

Owen John Williams
born 1868
"Owen Cybi"
Y Crudd Coch - The Red Cobbler

I received the following enquiry from Bronwen Rees-Hughes;
I wonder if anyone has any information or knowledge of the following.
I am trying to find out about Owen John Williams born 1868 in Holyhead, but who was established in business as a Boot Dealer/Boot Shop Keeper in Glan Hwfa Road Llangefni in 1901 and 1911 and I have located him and his family on the Census. It may have been a place of residence rather than a place of business.

1901 Census 
Address   Llys Arthur , Glan Hwfa , Llangefni
Owen John Williams Head, age 32 married,
Boot Shop Keeper 
b. Holyhead
Grace Williams Wife, age 33, b Rhostryfan Cae
John Williams Son age 7, b Rhostryfan
Ann Willaims Dau age 6, b Llangefni
Olwen Williams Dau age 5 b Llangefni
Helena Williams Dau, age 3 Llangefni
Jane Lewis Williams   Dau  age 2 b Llangefni
Arthur Owen Williams  Son  age 4 months, b Llangefni
Catherine Owen, 15 , single was a general domestic,
b Llanerchymedd

photo courtesy of Gemma McManus

Owen John Williams, seated bottom right, with his family, around 1911;
Back row; Ann, William, John (Johnnie) and Olwen
Middle row; Jane (Jenny), Mother Grace, Helena (Lella) and Arthur
Front row; Dewi, Goronwy and Owen John himself.
Daughter Grace had not been born

1911 Census 
Address   Llys Arthur , Glan Hwfa , Llangefni
Owen John Williams Head, age 43 married, Boot Dealer, 
Employer, b. Holyhead
Grace Williams Wife, age 44, (1867) b Rhostryfan Cae
Helena Williams Dau, age 13 Llangefni
Jane Lewis Williams   Dau  age 12 b Llangefni
Arthur Owen Williams  Son  age 10, b Llangefni
William Richard Williams   Son  age 7 b Llangefni
Dewi Williams age 6  Son  b Llangefni
Goronwy Wyn Williams  Son  age 3 b Llangefni

There is a possibility he was the person known by the Bardic name "Owen Cybi", Y Crydd Coch (The Red Cobbler), however I cannot find a single further piece of information, regarding this.
If anyone can help with any shred of information, I would be most grateful.
Lovely website, most enthralling

Confirmation kindly received from Gemma McManus;
The 1901 and 1911 census family and the older children you have are the family of Owen John Williams that I have been researching- Family stories tell us that Owen John was a bard- Owen Cybi- known as the Red cobbler - I have a lot of information on the family - I would be happy to help in anyway I can. 
Bronwen and Gemma have been put in touch with each other. KD

Bronwen can be contacted via

James Williams

Received this message from Menai Dillon. KD.
I must congratulate you on your brilliant website.

I love Anglesey history as my Mother was born in Anglesey in 1915 at Llanfair y Cwmwd and lived in Dwyran, Gwalchmai and Llanffinan until she left, finding work in the Wirral Peninsula.
I belong to Gwynedd Family History Society and Anglesey Antiquarian Society (AAS) and have done a lot of research of my family history at Llangefni Archives  with Amanda and Gaynor (recently retired).
I attended Ysgol David Hughes Centre in February of this year for the day school of AAS where I met some lovely people.

My great grandfather James Williams was born in 1820 in Penmynydd and although he was an agricultural labourer to start with, he progressed to being a rail policeman on the 1851 census. When the Anglesey police force was founded in 1857 he was employed as the 3rd Police Sergeant of the force.

He also served in Llangefni, Malltraeth (Hermon), Amlwch, pictured right and also from February to November 1877, at Beaumaris.

Perhaps someone may be able to find a photo of James Williams, Police Sergeant. He would I imagine have to assist at the Courtroom (now a mu
seum) with some police cases maybe? Perhaps he may have been in the newspaper
at some stage.

Perhaps he oversaw the closing of the Gaol ?
It was very frustrating going around the Gaol in Beaumaris seeing photos of the police force who were stationed there from 1878 onwards - just missing the chance of seeing a photo of James. He was back in Amlwch for the remainder of his police career. 

I know he worked for the National School as I think it was on the 1891 census that he is described as being some sort of an officer for the school - the person who watched out for the school truants.

The reason I am so interested in James is this. His son, my grandfather Richard, was illegitimate and brought up in his mother's family in Newborough. Richard did not marry until after his father James's death.
Richard was 53 when he married my grandmother who was 23 and they had 8 children - my mother being the youngest.

James married a good few years after Richard's birth in Holyhead where he was employed by the rail company as a gateman - he married at St Cybi's church.

He and his wife Margaret had just one daughter who herself didn't ever marry.
So when James died in 1894 he would have thought that with h
is son still a bachelor and his daughter a spinster, they wouldn't ever have had any children and that James would have thought he had no grandchildren.
I have found out lots about him and really I would love to tell him that he has loads of grandchildren and great grandchildren etc and that he isn't forgotten.

We do not have any photos of our Taid Richard Williams who died in 1917 either but he wasn't in your area - he lived in Newborough and was a stone mason at the Prichard Jones Institute, pictured here.
On my mother's mother's side Mum, Angharad Williams, remembers staying in her school holidays maybe around 1923 to 27 at a cottage in Penmon where her Uncle - possibly Owen Jones (originally of Llangaffo) and his wife lived as he worked as a lighthouse keeper ?

Menai continues: I would appreciate confirmation of my Mum's Uncle as having lived at Penmon perhaps. I would be delighted to hear from you or other researchers.
Thanks for publishing all the facts on Beaumaris, Penmon and
Menai Bridge.
I feel so connected since doing my family history and if ever I found a photo of James or of his son Richard I would be so happy.

If you can assist Menai, she can be contacted via

Menai Bridge - 1906


M J Williams
size approx 70mm x 50mm

Received this remarkable request from Sean Hersey. KD
Dear Mr Davies 

I have been metal detecting in Penmon recently and have uncovered what looks to be some sort of buckle. It is inscribed M J Williams. 
I am contacting you, wondering if you would like to have, or perhaps know someone related to M J Williams, who would like to have this buckle.
If not it will only stay in my finds box and eventually get buried with other items and most likely be forgotten.
Please let me know.
Regards Sean
Sept 2011
If you know who this buckle belonged to,
Sean can be contacted via

Owen Ellis Williams
Pentraeth, Ynys Mon
Llanddoged, Llanrwst

Received this request for assistance to trace her family from Dawn Williams. KD;
Hello! I've been looking through your wonderful website and was wondering if anybody would know of an Owen Ellis Williams who farmed in Llanddoged. He was I think married to Ellen, my Nain. Any help would be so very gratefully received,
thank you/diolch!

Dawn continues;
The information I have is a bit vague I'm afraid.
Owen Ellis Williams was born around 1905 and died around the year 1985.
My Mam, Gwenfron Ellis, was his daughter. She sadly passed away on the 13th of November this year, 2012.

My Nain's name on her birth certificate is Ellen Thomas born 4th June 1913 district Bangor/sub district LlanfairPG on Anglesey.

Owen Ellis Williams is on my Mam's marriage certificate under her father's name/occupation-farmer.
Sadly, I have no idea if or where any surviving relatives may be.

There is a bit of a family mystery surrounding my Mum's birth father.
Gwenfron Ellis was adopted when younger by a family on a farm in Pentraeth, Anglesey. I remember going there when I was small. There was a long hill, then the farm at the top right and there was a funny little shop at the bottom of the hill.

I also remember an Aunty Freda, Aunty Carol, Aunty Mona and Uncle Isaac.
Unfortunately my sister and I were also taken into care from around the age of three, so we have lived here, there and everywhere in North Wales in children's homes and with foster parents. I also remember going to my Nain Ellen's Llanrwst/Llanddoget's farm when I was young.

I suppose now that I have sadly lost my Mam, I'd like to know more about where I have come from.

Any help would be most gratefully received.
                           = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
We'll start with the 1911 census which shows a 5 year old  Owen Ellis Williams living with his siblings, parents and widowed grandmother, Miriam in Pentraeth.

1911 census, School House, Pentraeth.
Miriam Jones, widow, head of household, aged 76, born Pentraeth.
Maggie Jones, 34, daughter, single, occupation, Laundry, born Pentraeth, 
Elizabeth E Jones, daughter (of Maggie?) 7, born Pentraeth.
Isaac Williams, 33, married, 31, farm and mill carrier, born Llanfair PG (no relation to Miriam given -unusual in a census document)
Mrs Isaac Williams (unusual census entry as her christian name should be given here) 31, born Pentraeth (she may have been Miriam's daughter), 
Owen Ellis Williams, 5 born Pentraeth (Dawn's grandfather), 
Isaac Roberts Williams, 1 born Pentraeth

1901 census, Bodlondeb House, Pentraeth.
Ellis Jones, 61, stableman (groom), born Llanbedrgoch,
Miriam Jones, 65, wife, born Pentraeth.
Maggie Jones, 25, daughter, single, born Pentraeth, 
Lizzie Jones, 22, daughter, born Pentraeth
James L. Jones, 9 grandson, born Pentraeth

1891 census, Old National School, Pentraeth.
Ellis Jones, 51, stableman (groom), born Llanbedrgoch,
Miriam Jones, 55, wife, born Pentraeth.
Ann Jones, 23, daughter, born Pentraeth
Maggie Jones, 15, daughter, single, born Pentraeth, 
Lizzie Jones, 12, daughter, born Pentraeth

1881 census, Bodlondeb School House, Pentraeth.
Ellis Jones, 41, stableman (groom), born Llanllechid,
Miriam Jones, 47, wife, born Pentraeth.
Ann Jones, 13, dughter, born Pentraeth
William Jones, 11, son, born Pentaeth
Martha Jones, 10, daughter, born Pentraeth
Ellen Jones, 8, daughter, born Pentaeth
Margaret Jones, 6, daughter, single, born Pentraeth, 
Lizzie Jones, 2, daughter, born Pentraeth

1871 census, Tan y Graig Lodge, Pentraeth.
Ellis Jones, 40, general servant, born Llanbedrgoch
Miriam Jones, 35, wife, born Pentraeth.
Hugh Jones, 8, son, born Llandegai
Ann Jones, 3, daughter, born Pentraeth
William Jones, 1, son, born Pentraeth

1861 census, Caban Gwyn, Pentraeth.
Hugh Jones, 64, widower, agricultural labourer, born Anglesey
Samuel Williams, 27, grandson, ag. labourer, born Anglesey
Miriam Jones, 24, daughter, born Anglesey
Hannah Jones, 8, granddaughter
, born Anglesey

Dawn concludes;
I'm still digging around for information. I just would like to know where I came from. 

It would seem that my Mam had connections with Tan-Y-Graig farm in Pentraeth, the family who adopted her. The 1861 census entry above, shows the family living at Tan y Graig Lodge - the next property to it, is Tan y Graig itself.

I think there is some mystery surrounding that concerning situations within the family at the time but I'm not 100% percent sure.

If you can assist Dawn with her search for her blood family, she can be contacted via

(click here)

War Memorials on Anglesey in North Wales
The lasting tributes to our brave men and women that gave up their lives for Freedom.
This outstanding site by Phil Evans 
must have the most complete records of
War Memorials on Anglesey.

Other excellent sites by Phil are:



 Welsh Ladies.
Traditional Costumes,
Spinners and Weavers
(Not necessarily Anglesey related)

Capel Garmon ladies at work,
outside the church gates.

A Welsh tea party in the 1800s

A Welsh lady circa 1860

A Welsh spinner in Talybont, Cardiganshire.

Bala lady spinning

Edward Llwyd knitting socks in Bala 1875

Probably the most famous Welsh lady in costume.
Jane Owen in 'Salem' , Cefncymerau

Cleanliness is next to Godliness
(Courtesy Bo Peep Quilts)

Jane Jones in Welsh costume
(Courtesy Bo Peep Quilts)

Welsh girl in costume, wearing wrist warmers
(Courtesy Bo Peep Quilts)


This is my grandmother taken on her 21st birthday, in Conwy in 1896.
Her name was Elizabeth Ann Jones.
She appears to be holding some crochet work and
as a child I remember watching her busy with her crochet.

My thanks to Sheila Clifford for sharing this
wonderful photo. KD.

  Bo Peep Quilts

Click here to access  Bo Peep Quilts on Facebook

I am have a small business based around Pure Welsh Flannel and Traditional Welsh Quilting.
I am passionate about the preservation of Welsh Heritage, in particular in support of the declining wool trade.
As well as selling handmade, pure Welsh Flannel products (sourced from Melin Teifi, the commercial mill next to the National Wool Museum) and Quilted items based on Traditional Welsh Quilting, a major part of my business is to promote and educate people about the declining wool trade, and the tragic loss of the 100's of wool mills across Wales.

I am delighted to support Bo Peep Quilts
through images from this website. Ken Davies