Who used to live in Cwmpalis woods?

What we know about who used to live in Cwmpalis Woods

A few years ago someone in America was doing research on her family who had originally emigrated from Wales. She got in touch with me to ask about what we knew about who had lived in Cwmpalis Woods. I was able to tell her the following.

  • Cwmpalis Farmhouse and the barns were built in 1906 and we believe some stone came from the woods.
  • In 1919 it was sold by Godfrey Evan Protheroe to a WM Davies. GE Protheroe Eynon died in Narberth after WW2.
  • When we moved here in 1988 the sites of two cottages were clearly visible one towards the west end and one in the middle of the woods.
  • The American lady believes that her ancestors, John and Hannah Richards,  lived in this location in 1841.
  • She found them on the census, living in Mydrim Parish in 1841.
  • On the day the census was taken (June 6, 1841) their daughter Hannah was just two days old and lived at Cwmpalis in a dwelling in the woods.
  • I went to Carmarthen Records library and was able to see this entry in that first ever census which shows three dwellings named in the woods.
  • One dwelling was called Isaf and one Uchaf (Lower and Upper). One is referred to as The Cottage
  • Looking at the census details we see that many people lived here with surnames including Richards, Jones, Griffiths, Howells, Davies, James, Rees and Thomas!
  • In 1871 there was a 39 year old widow Elizabeth Jones with her 7 children, William age 12, John 8, Anna 7, Annie 5, Mary 3, Henry 2 and baby James just a year old.  How difficult it must have been for her raising such a young family here.
  • However in 1871 there also lived another family the Griffiths. Thomas age 31 was a carpenter and he and his wife Hannah age 30 had Margaret age 11, David 9, Ben 7 and Isacc just 2. It is comforting to think they may have helped Elizabeth with her young family.
  • 10 years later in 1881 Elizabeth is still living here with 4 of her children but the Griffiths have moved and by 1891 she had moved on too.
  • In 2015 ancestors of Elizabeth from London got in touch with me to ask if I they could drop in to take photos and have a look at Cwmpalis Woods! And they filled me in with a little of what subsequently happened to her!
  • The Thomas family of Llwybrain lived here from 1943 until the 1980s. We moved here in August 1988.

Why not go to wikipedia to learn a bit more about the history of Carmarthen.

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