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Kezia & David Hughes (1) Overview
Llanlluan Chapel: The Family Grave, MI TranscriptionMI Translation; Chapel Front, Oblique View, Cemetery, & Front Elevation MIs
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David & Kezia Hughes
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Overview

Kezia Lewis's life, was stated by her to have started in Llangennech.

The year of her birth, calculated from census returns, her grave stone at the Llanlluan Methodist Chapel and the death certificate issued by the Carmarthen Registrar, appears to have been around 1797/98. For the writer, her great, great, great grandson, and until further information becomes available, the story really begins in February 1818.

On the 6th February that year, Kezia Lewis married David Hughes at St. David's, Llanarthney. She was of the Parish of Llanarthney, (although born in Llangennech, Carms), and David was from Llandyfaelog. David, an Agricultural Labourer made his X mark on the Parish Register marriage entry, Kezia signed the Register in her own hand. Whilst the signature appeared a little hesitant and laboured, it conjures up a smiling face full of happiness and an eager anticipation of a worthwhile and fruitful life. The effort also demonstrated a degree of literacy unusual for a 20 year old girl of her assumed background. She died on or about the 27th February 1886 aged around 88 years although, the date and age differ slightly between gravestone and her Death Certificate, issued in Carmarthen. David her husband died in 1859 at the age of 62 years with cause of death unkown as medical help was not available at the time of his death. On the 8th February 1818, two days after their marriage, their daughter, and likely eldest child Catherine, was baptised at St. Davids, Llanarthne.

Catherine was the writer's great great grandmother. There now arises two strands of interesting and hopefully explainable name variations. The first concerns the name of the home of Kezia & David Hughes. They lived in a dwelling called Danylan at the time of Catherine's baptism in February 1818. It was, apparently, a "Ty Un Nos". That is, a dwelling built or partially built over a single night and tolerated to remain as a dwelling. Over their lives, as recorded in Census Returns, Parish Registers and Certificates issued by the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths, the name of the cottage changed between Tanylan, Danlan and Tanlan. This may have been due to the phonetic interpretations of sounds by Census Enumerators, Parish Priests and Registrars.

In the 1861 Census Return the cottage appears to have been named Danybank. From an analysis of the dispositions of nearby dwellings and farms from the Census Returns of 1841 through and including that of 1901, it seems reasonable that again, due perhaps, to enumerator error, Tanylan was incorrectly named Danybank. There was/is a dwelling named Danybank on the approach road from the south as it nears Maesybont. When the writer uses the word Tanylan in general text, it is meant to be synonymous with the other names mentioned.

The second semantic issue is Kezia's name. The spelling also changed over her lifetime due probably, to phonetic interpretation. Many officials may not have been Welsh let alone having any command of the Welsh language. To this day her descendents living in the vicinity of Gorslas and Tumble, remain fluent in the Welsh language, including the writer's sister. Sadly, the writer's Welsh is very weak but that is a long story. Kezia (Lewis) was called Ketia, Cesia, Ceshia and Cetia amongst others, all phonetically similar, one might even say phonetically identical, throughout her life. On her gravestone, her name reverts back, almost, to the name she wrote in her own hand on the Llanarthne Parish Register in February 1818; Kezia with an "h" added to give Keziah on her final resting place. As with Tanylan, when the writer uses the name Kezia in general text, it is meant to include those other names of her's assigned to her by officialdom. A guide to pronouncing any of the variations of her name would be Keesha, a hard "K" and a soft "Z", and not KeZ-Zia as used for a fictional female detective in later episodes of "The Bill", a popular ITV series in the UK that ended in 2010.

Tanylan was just over the hill to the north of LlynllechOwain. Life must have been hard. There were some 10 children born to Kezia and David Hughes, with at least one, Rees Hugh, dying at only 8 days. Further, it is possible that their first son named William died to be replaced by a second son, also named William and baptised in 1829. This was apparently relatively common when a child died.

There was no staircase to reach the upper floor, only a ladder. As mentioned, when her husband died aged 62 in 1869, the remoteness of Tanylan, or the cost, prevented medical attention reaching David and cause of death went undiagnosed. Despite the problems due to the variation in the spelling of Kezia's name and one false lead, the writer now has her death certificate;

"Cesiah Hughes, died 28th February 1886 at Tanlan, a female aged 89 years".

Eventually, around the year 2003, with the help of the then occupiers of Tanylan, the family grave was found at the Llanlluan Calvinist Methodist Chapel within a mile or so of Tanylan. The splendid, quietly magnificent, red granite headstone, complementing the small stone markers from the poorer times of the earlier burials, records;

"Keziah ei wraig (wife of) David Hughes of Tanylan, died Chwef (February - Mis bach/Little Month) 27 1886 aged 88 years"

giving a birth year of about 1797/98. Similar to that of her husband David. Sadly the image of the grave stone is not as clear as hoped for, the lettering now blends in with the polished surface of the stone and another visit to Llanlluan seems necessary for a more legible image. Subject to further study, it is believed that the present headstone was not erected until well after Kezia's death, perhaps the 1930s. The last burial there was her daughter Mary, in 1931 and not the year 1951 erroneoulsy shown on some images already distributed to family members. 1931 is a fair match for the age of Kezia's daughter Mary, wife of David Davies, collier. The writer/webmaster apologises 


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