Saturday, 3 July 2010

6 x great grandad (continued)

A few weeks ago I blogged how I had firmed up what I have on my oldest known ancestor, Jenkin William(s). Born 1650 in the beautiful Glamorgan village of Llangynwyd, just south of Maesteg, he died and was buried there 78 years later in 1728. This was one year after the death of the legendary Ann Maddox (nee Thomas) the "Maid of Cefn Ydfa".
So today I made a pilgrimage to go and see Jenkin's gravestone at Llangynwyd, and the farmhouse where he lived. After a coffee at the well-known local hostelry, the "Old House", we crossed over to the church where, as arranged with the vicar, Mandy the church warden was waiting for us with her Mam. I quickly found the gravestone of Jenkin and his wife Elizabeth nee Powell. It was, as the guide to the graves there said, bolted to the wall under the tower. It seems that the chancel, or altar area, was extended in the nineteenth century, disturbing some graves, and it looks like Jenkin and Elizabeth's was one of them. So their bodies probably lie somewhere under the floor near to the altar. Another surprise - Ann Maddox's original stone is bolted to the wall right next to theirs! In the picture, left, Jenkin and Elizabeth's is the arched stone to the right, and Ann's is the lower half of the left one. As a celeb, Ann has a new stone set into the floor of the chancel, as I showed in my 17th June posting. Mandy 'n' Mam were great, and after a wander round we returned to the Old House to digest what we'd seen - and partake in some very nice ham with parsley sauce. Fr M approves.
After lunch we drove the mile or two out of the village along a narrow lane to a point where we could look down from a hill over Gilfach Farm, where Jenkin's stone says he lived (right). We were just taking photos when the owner of the neighbouring farm stopped his car and proceeded to give us permission to drive down to his property, from where we could get a better view of Gilfach. It's a Grade II listed building dating, it's believed, to the 15th century. Perhaps another time I'll manage to pay a visit... and also I'd like to see the relevant entries in the registers at the Church.
1650 - a long time. I'm astonished that I have got back 360 years in my family tree research. It just shows that it is possible, with a little luck and lots of hard work! As the Bible puts it, Jenkin begat Morgan, Morgan begat Thomas, Thomas begat Evan, Evan begat another Morgan, Morgan begat another Evan, Evan begat Edith, Edith begat John Lynn - and John Lynn begat Matthew.