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Kezia Hughes Dame School
Llanlluan Chapel: The Family Grave, MI TranscriptionMI Translation; Chapel Front, Oblique View, Cemetery, & Front Elevation MIs
Llanarthne(y) Parish Church: General View
App(1) Tanylan Dwellings
Tanylan Dwellers
David & Kezia Hughes
Becky Rees's
Llanlluan Chapel
Front (1)   Front (2)
Llanlluan Chapel
Cemetery & Front MIs
Family Grave
Transcribed Translated
Llanarthney Parish
Lleian Church
Front,  Rear

In the following, the writer has used the name Kezia, the name that Kezia Lewis of Llangennech used to sign the Llanarthne Parish Register, in her own hand, in 1818.

Hopefully, the reader will be aware that those in authority, ministers of the Anglican Church in Wales, Census Enumerators and District Registrars, may well not have been fluent in the Welsh language. They no doubt relied on a phonetic interpretation of the name Kezia and changed the spelling of her name throughout the 19th Century accordingly. Her life really did span most of that century and a little of the previous 18th century. Despite living in remote and harsh conditions and bringing up maybe ten children with some dying in infancy or not far beyond, Kezia, David and their children were a God fearing, hard working family, doing their best to live tidy lives against great adversity with David being paid maybe 8 to 9 shillings [40p to 45p in 2010 currency] a week providing for his family or as little as 8d (old pennies) [4p in 2010 currency]a day with food provided.

Writing in Volume V (c1969) of "The Carmarthenshire Antiquary", W. Lloyd Harris of Gorslas, a village not far from LlynllechOwain, the hamlet of Llanlluan and and the cottage known variously during the 19th C as; Danylan, Tanlan, Danlan and Tanylan as it was known to the writer's family during the twentieth century. W. Lloyd Harris claimed that a Kesiah Davies ran a Dame School there, started in 1860. It is clear from the page Tanylan Dwellings that in 1861, whilst there was no place called Tanylan or any of its variations listed in the 1861 Census retun, it may have been temporarily re-named Danybank; the enumerator's disposition of dwellings around Tanylan appear to remain fairly consistent in the census returns before and after 1861. Further, in 1859, Kezia Hughes's husband David, a general labourer, died at Tanylan when it was known as Danlan. In the 1861 census return, Cesia Hughes, a Cream Maker and Widow was living, not in Tanylan but in Danybank.

Unfortunately, W. Lloyd Harris failed to provide any sources for his narrative regarding the Dame School which is most unfortunate as it is seems now not possible to ascertain the veracity of his writing; this writer believes his account to be purely anecdotal. The 1847 Blue Book held at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth, appeared rather too early to record 1860 educational activities in Llanlluan or Maesybont although it does record the earlier 1840s educational activities.

The error, perceived as such by the writer, has been kept alive by the Visitor Centre at the LlynllechOwain Water Park and also in the 2008 publication, "A History of Gorslas" - "Hanes Gorslas 1804 - 2007" , by the Gorslas History Society & Carmarthenshsire County Council, ISBN: 978-0-906821-76-3

Again, in both cases with no source given. However, on page 85 of the "A History of Gorslas", a contributor's narrative ackowledges the possibility of a Dame School at "Tanylan" but that too lacks source evidence to support that possibility.

As Kezia Lewis of Llangennech, who married David Hughes of Llandyfaelog in Llanarthne Parish Church, 6th February 1818, was the writer's great great great grandmother, and who signed the Parish Register in her own hand, he feels it incumbent upon himself, if at all possible, to clarify the situation.

A possible source of the error that introduced the name Kesiah Davies, is that in the 1881, 1891 and 1901 census-returns, the inhabitants of Tanylan were David Davies, Mary Davies (nee Hughes), his wife, and their children.

Mary Davies was the daughter of Kezia Hughes. Miriam Davies, a daugher of David and Mary, who married Stanley Saunders of Ipswich, at St. Lleian's, 30th December 1914, lived in Tanylan until she died, probably in the 1960s or 1970s. Stanley was killed on the Somme in July 1916, a sad loss and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in the company of a relative of the writer's wife; Capt Vivian Hastings Clay, who died at 5.30 am on the morning of his 24th birthday, 18th October 1916.

Llanarthne Parish Register
Carmarthen Record Office 1995
A transcription

Vol V p 80-82

Census Returns
1841 - 1891

Certificates of Births
Marriages & Deaths

On-line digitised
1847 Blue Book
NL of Wales

A History of Gorslas
Gorslas History Socy
& Carmarthenshire
County Council

database for
Stanley Saunders
& Vivian Clay

http:\\ www.

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