Pigot's directories can be a valuable resource for those interested in learning about the towns and villages of their ancestors. The directories were essentially business listings of the merchants, businessmen, clergy and schools, and usually provided short descriptions and histories of the regions and towns covered. Below you will find the town of Brynmawr and surrounds (Llanelly parish), as it appeared in Pigot's 1844 directory of South Wales, extracted from a copy of the directory found at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.
The directory mentions the communities of Llanelly, Brynmawr, Nantyglo, Beaufort, Blaina, and Blaenavon, communities that had much in common and were close in proximity to one another, despite crossing parish and county boundaries. If you are researching your ancestors who lived in these communities, you should therefore be aware that a person listed as being born in Aberystruth parish in Monmouthshire (perhaps Nantyglo), may have been living little more than a mile from another person listed as living in Llanelly parish, Breconshire (perhaps Brynmawr). In other words, the common experiences of the people living in these communities crossed parish and county lines, in many instances making those lines irrelevant.
The families of John and Mary Thomas and David and Hannah Davies, spent much of their lives in and around the town of Brynmawr in Breconshire, south Wales. They were there during a time of great economic expansion fueled by the iron and coal industries, an expansion that quickly transformed the once sleepy Ebbw Vale into an industrial powerhouse.
Below: Nineteenth century coal miners from the Ebbw Vale
LLANELLY, BRYN MAWR and BEAUFORT,
County of Brecon
And NANT Y GLO, GARNVACH, BLAINA and BLAENAVON, County of Monmouth,
LLANELLY is a long straggling village in the parish of its name, hundred of Crickhowell, and county of Brecon, 4 miles from Abergavenny. The extensive iron works carried on here are the support of the place. There is a neat church at some distance from the principal part of the village; the living is the gift of the Duke of Beaufort; there are also several chapels for different religious denominations. In the neighbourhood are some very interesting waterfalls. The population of the parish, in 1841, was 7,366.
BRYN MAWR is a village, in the parish of Llanelly, four miles from the village of that name, and twelve from Merthyr Tydvil. Like Llanelly, it derives its support from the numerous iron works with which is it surrounded. The erection of a church here has been for some time contemplated, to meet the wants of the increasing population, and subscriptions, for that purpose, have been entered into. The Welsh and English Baptists, Independents, and Wesley and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel here. Population returned with the parish.
BEAUFORT is a village, in the parish of Llangattock, in the same hundred and county as the preceding places, about a mile from Bryn Mawr. The Duke of Beaufort is proprietor of the soil, and the place is named after that nobleman. Messrs. Bailey built a church here about two years ago, for the use of the numerous population employed in their works, and the dissenters have several chapels for their worship. The population returned with the parish.
NANT Y GLO, GARNVACH AND BLAINA are in the parish of Aberystruth, hundred of Abergavenny, and county of Monmouth; the first-named is about a mile from Bryn Mawr, and the two latter from a continuous line of houses running from it, and parallel with the extensive iron works. At Nant y Glo is an excellent national school; and there a market is held, on Saturday, for butcher's meat and vegetables, which is, in general, well attended. At Blaina is a neat church, dedicated to St. Peter; the living, a perpetual curacy, is the gift of Lord Abergavenny. There are besides several chapels for Baptists, Independents and Wesleyan Methodists. Population returned with the parish.
BLAENAVON is a village in the parish of Llanover, upper division of the hundred of Abergavenny, county of Monmouth; four miles from Brynmawr, six from Pontypool, and the like distance from Abergavenny. Here are very extensive iron works, the former proprietors of which, Messrs. Hill and Hopkins, built a neat church, which being environed by trees, presents a very pleasing appearance; the living, which is a perpetual curacy, is vested in the hands of the Blaenavon Iron Company. There are places of worship for Independents, and Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists. Mrs. Sarah Hopkins erected and endowed a school here, for the instruction of one hundred boys and the like number of girls, upon the church of England principles. A market is held here on Saturday, in a building erected for the purpose. Population returned with the parish.
POST OFFICE, Bryn Mawr, David Edwards, Post master. Letters from London, Gloucester, Abergavenny, &c. arrive every forenoon at eleven, and are despatched every afternoon at one. Letters from Swansea, Merthyr Tydvil, &c. arrive every afternoon at one, and are despatched every forenoon at eleven. Letters from Newport, Bristol, &c. arrive (by mail gig) every evening at half-past six, and are despatched every morning at half-past six.
GENTRY AND CLERGY
Andsel, John, Esq. Llanelly Bailey, Crawshey, Esq. Nant y Glo Brewer, Tom Llewellen, Esq. Blaina Griffiths, Mr. John, Codeavon Cottage Hughes, Rev. John, Llanelly Johnson, Richard, Esq. Blaenavon Jones, Rev. John, Beaufort Jones, Rev. John, Blaenavon Michael, Rev. Owen, Blaenavon Pierce, Mr. Thomas, Llanelly Powell, Launcelot, Esq. Llanelly Rees, Rev. Daniel, Blaina Williams, William, Esq. Aberbadon
ACADEMIES AND SCHOOLS
CLYDACH School, Llanelly - Benjamin Matthews, master; Ann Matthews, mistress FREE SCHOOL, Blaenavon - John Caldwell, master; Caroline Lees, mistress NATIONAL SCHOOL, Llanelly - Thomas Littlehales, master NATIONAL SCHOOL, Nant y Glo - Michael Wood, master; Susannah Page, mistress BLACKSMITHS Adams, John, Beaufort Burnfield, Robert, Bryn Mawr Howell, John, Bryn Mawr Jenkins, William, Nant y Glo Jones, Job, Llanelly Jones, John, Llanelly Lloyd, Thomas, Beaufort Rogers, Robert, Blaenavon Thomas, James, Blaenavon Watkins, William, Beaufort BOOT AND SHOE MAKERS Bevan, Thomas, Nant y Glo Bevan, William, Bryn Mawr Bromage, John, Bryn Mawr Evans, David, Blaenavon Evans, Edward, Nant y Glo Evans, Thomas, Bryn Mawr Evans, Thomas M. Bryn Mawr George, Peter, Nant y Glo Howells, Edward, Blaenavon James, Cecelia, Nant y Glo James, David, Beaufort James, William, Llanelly Jones, John, Bryn Mawr Jones, William, Blackrock Kerr, Matthew, Blaenavon Nott, John, Llanelly Price, John, Bryn Mawr Prodger, Thomas, Bryn Mawr Sargent, John, Beaufort Watkins, William, Bryn Mawr Williams, Thomas, Bryn Mawr Witchell, William, Blaenavon BREWERS Williams, Evan Griffith, Bryn Mawr Williams, John Griffith, Blaenavon BUTCHERS Bethell, William, Bryn Mawr Bush, George, Bryn Mawr Bush, John, Bryn Mawr Huish, John, Bryn Mawr Jones, Benjamin, Bryn Mawr Judd, Henry, Beaufort Lawrence, Samuel, Blaenavon Morgan, Herbert, Bryn Mawr Morgan, William, Bryn Mawr Price, Thomas, Llanelly Turner, Thomas, Bryn Mawr CABINET MAKERS Davies, Jonathan, Nant y Glo Jones, William, Bryn Mawr CHYMISTS AND DRUGGISTS Deakin, George, Blaenavon George, Thomas, Bryn Mawr Halme, Charles, Bryn Mawr CURRIER Thomas, John, Bryn Mawr
GROCERIES AND DEALERS IN SUNDRIES Marked thus * are also Drapers Andrew, Cecelia, Beaufort *Beddoe, Joseph, Blaenavon Cullen, John, Beaufort Davies, Charles, Blaina Davies, David, Blaenavon Davies, David, Beaufort Davies, David, Bryn Mawr *Davies, Evan & Timothy, Bryn Mawr Davies, John, Beaufort *Davies, Ryce, Nant y Glo Davies, Thomas, Bryn Mawr Edwards, David, Bryn Mawr Evans, Charles, Beaufort Evans, David, Bryn Mawr *George, William Henry, Blaenavon Greenland, Thomas, Beaufort Griffiths, Thomas, Bryn Mawr James, Joseph, Bryn Mawr James, Sarah, Bryn Mawr *James, Walter, Nant y Glo *Jayne, John, Llanelly Jeffreys, John, Beaufort Morgan, John, Bryn Mawr Morgan, Morgan David, Bryn Mawr Morris, George, Nant y Glo Parry, George, Beaufort hill Price, Thomas, Llanelly Price, Thomas, Blaina Price, William, Bryn Mawr Prosser, Rebecca, Llanelly Prosser, Rees, Blaenavon Ridge, John, Beaufort Short, William, Blaenavon *Smith, Charles, Blaenavon Thomas, Abraham, Llanelly *Thomas, Frances, Bryn Mawr *Thomas, George, Bryn Mawr Tiley, Samuel, Beaufort *Tregerthen, Anthony, Bryn Mawr Watkins, Hannah, Bryn Mawr Williams, Isaac, Blackrock *Williams, John, Blaenavon Williams, Philip, Beaufort
INNS AND PUBLIC HOUSES Beaufort Arms, Beaufort Beaufort Arms, Watkin Evans, Bryn Beaufort Arms, Thos. Hall, Llanelly Bee Hive, Richd. Yarnold, Bryn Mawr Black Rock, Wm. Watkins, Blackrock Blaina Inn, Charles Baskett, Blaina Britannia, Prosser Phillips, Llanelly Britannia, John Walters, Bryn Mawr Bush Inn, George Roberts, Nant y Glo Cambrian, John Huish, Bryn Mawr Cambrian, Henry Judd, Beaufort Castle, John Lloyd, Bryn Mawr Clydach Arms, Charles Moxley, Llanelly Colliers Arms, Phineas Phillips, Bryn Mawr Crown, Thomas Price, Blackrock Crown and Commercial Inn, Isaac Morgan, Blaenavon Duke, Thomas Thomas, Beaufort Eagle, David James, Beaufort hill Fireman's Arms, Thomas Bevan, Bryn Mawr Forge & Hammer, Thomas Watkins, Llanelly Globe, David Edmunds, Beaufort Greyhound, Geo. Davies, Nant y Glo Greyhound, Mgt. Thomas, Bryn Mawr Greyhound, Cath. Watkins, Blackrock Griffin Inn, John Lewis, Bryn Mawr Grouse & Snipe, Howell Davies, Blaina Heath Cock, Wm. Prosser, Bryn Mawr Hector, John Hughes, Nant y Glo Horse Shoe, Mary Watkin, Llanelly King's Arms, Jas. Phillips, Blaenavon King's Head, My. Evans, Bryn Mawr Lion, Benjamin Broad, Blaina Mount Pleasant, Edmund James, Bryn Mawr Prince of Wales, George White, Bryn Mawr Rhyd-a-blew, Thos., Bevan, Beaufort Rising Sun, Chs. Burgess, Bryn Mawr Rising Sun, Thos. Watkins, Beaufort Rock and Fountain, John Watkins, Llanelly Rolling Mill, William Edwards, Blaina Royal George, Jno. Sargent, Beaufort Royal Oak, William Hiley, Llanelly Royal Oak, Lewis Lewis, Garnvach Six Bells, William Evans, Llanelly Upper Lion, Eleanor Turner, Bryn Mawr Victoria, Joseph Beddoe, Blaenavon Victoria, Price Benbow, Beaufort hill White Lion, Miles Powell, Bryn Mawr Yew Tree, Griffith Lloyd, Blaina
Retailers of Beer Brereton, Elizabeth, Bryn Mawr Bromfield, Sarah, Blaenavon Brown, Alfred, Blaenavon Corfield, John, Bryn Mawr Cottle, Abraham, Beaufort Davies, Llewelyn, Llanelly Davies, Rees, Blaenavon Davies, William, Nant y Glo Deadmin, Benjamin, Bryn Mawr Duggan, john, Nant y Glo Edmund, Charles, Blaenavon Edwards, James, Blaenavon Evans, David, Bryn Mawr Evans, Kezia, Blaina Gronow, John, Llanelly Gwynn, Thomas, Llanelly Harris, David, Blaina Harris, William, Blaenavon Howell, Meredith, Bryn Mawr James, Daniel, Blaina James, Elias, Nant y Glo James, James, Blaina James, Joseph, Bryn Mawr James, Mary, Blaina James, William, Blaenavon Jenkin, William, Bryn Mawr Jenkins, Jenkin, Nant y Glo Jones, Daniel, Bryn Mawr Jones, Margaret, Blaenavon Jones, Mary, Llanelly Jones, Thomas, Llanelly Jones, Thomas, Llanelly Jones, William, Llanelly Jones, William, Llanelly Lewis, James, Beaufort Lloyd, Joseph, Bryn Mawr Loyd, David, Llanelly Loyd, James, Llanelly Mayberry, Edward, Llanelly Morgan, David, Llanelly Morgan, Herbert, Llanelly Morgan, John, Beaufort Morgan, Samuel, Llanelly Morgan, Thomas, Beaufort Morris, Thomas, Nant y Glo Oats, James, Bryn Mawr Parry, James, Llanelly Phillips, John, Blaenavon Powell, David, Bryn Mawr Powell, Jane, Blaenavon Powell, John, Blaina Price, David, Llanelly Price, Margaret, Bryn Mawr Price, Walter, Beaufort Prosser, Rees, Llanelly Rees, Charlotte, Blaenavon Rees, James, Beaufort Rees, William, Blaenavon Reynald, Mary, Llanelly Rogers, John, Llanelly Rosser, Thomas, Llanelly Samuel, Daniel, Nant y Glo Short, Charles, Blaenavon Thomas, James, Bryn Mawr Thomas, Thomas, Nant y Glo Thomas, William, Bryn Mawr Tipping, John, Beaufort Tompkins, George, Nant y Glo Walters, David, Llanelly Watkins, John, Beaufort Watkins, William, Bryn Mawr Williams, David, Beaufort Williams, Davis, Bryn Mawr Williams, James, Bryn Mawr Williams, John, Bryn Mawr Williams, John, Bryn Mawr Williams, Thomas, Bryn Mawr Williams, Thomas, Bryn Mawr IRON MASTERS Bailey, Jos. & Crawshey, Nant y Glo and Beaufort Blaenavon Iron and Coal Co., Blaenavon Clydach Iron Company, Llanelly Coalbrook Vale Iron Co., Coalbrook Vale Cwm Celyn and Blaina Iron Co., Blaina IRONMONGERS Morgan, John, Bryn Mawr Prodger, Thomas, Bryn Mawr Underwood, William, Blaenavon Underwood, William, Bryn Mawr JOINERS AND CARPENTERS Davies, David, Beaufort George, John, Beaufort Griffiths, Evan, Bryn Mawr Gronow, John, Llanelly Jones, Daniel, Llanelly Jones, David, Beaufort Jones, Evan, Bryn Mawr Morgan, Thomas, Llanelly NAIL MAKERS Griffiths, Elijah, Bryn Mawr Meal, Thomas, Bryn Mawr Rees, William, Blaenavon PAINTERS, PLUMBERS AND GLAZIERS Burfield, William, Blaenavon Jones, Thomas, Bryn Mawr Meal, Thomas, Bryn Mawr Powell, William, Bryn Mawr Watkins, William, Llanelly PORTER MERCHANT Prosser, Frederick Colson (and sail, rick & cart cover maker) Llanelly SADDLERS Probert, William, Llanelly Watkins, Thomas, Beaufort SURGEONS Brewer, Alexandr. Glanrhyd Cottage Faulkner, Robert, Blaina Pierce, Thomas, Llanelly Rowlands, Abraham (and surgeon to the Nant y Glo and Beaufort Iron Works, and to the Aberystwith district of the Abergavenny Union), Nant y Glo Steel, Richard, Blaenavon TAILORS Davies, Evan, Llanelly Davies, John, Blaenavon Dendy, Charles, Llanelly Jones, Thomas, Nant y Glo Jones, Zakiel, Bryn Mawr Longfellow, William, Beaufort Price, Thomas, Beaufort Rosser, Edward, Bryn Mawr Thomas, John, Llanelly Valentine, Rees, Llanelly Williams, David, Bryn Mawr TALLOW CHANDLERS Lloyd, Thomas, Bryn Mawr Thomas, John, Bryn Mawr Williams, John Griffith, Blaenavon WATCH MAKERS Mason, -------, Bryn Mawr Price, David Lloyd, Beaufort Williams, Evan Griffith, Bryn Mawr WHEELWRIGHTS Jones, John, Llanelly Price, William, Blaenavon Watkins, John, Bryn Mawr Miscellaneous Edwards, David, registrar of marriages, Bryn Mawr James, Daniel, registrar of birth and deaths, Blaina Jones, Margaret, furniture broker, Bryn Mawr Jones, William, hatter, Bryn Mawr Jones, Wm. dealer in hay, Bryn Mawr Lawrence, Samuel, earthenware dealer, Blaenavon Lloyd, John, iron founder, Bryn Mawr Lodge, James, leather cutter, Bryn Mawr McKinley, Bernard, hardware dealer, Bryn Mawr Phillips, Richard, accountant, Bryn cottage Pierce, James, agent to the Brecon and Abergavenny Canal, Llanelly Roderick, Thomas, bookseller, Bryn Mawr Stephenson, David, printer, Bryn Mawr Wallace, Thomas, travelling tea dealer, Bryn Mawr COACHES AND CARS To ABERGAVENNY, the Royal Mail (from Swansea) calls at the Griffin, Bryn Mawr, every afternoon at one - and Thomas Kershaw's & Watkin Evans' Cars, every Tuesday morning at ten. To MERTHYR TYDVIL, Watkin Evans' Car, every Monday and Thursday morning at eight. To NEWPORT, Jas. Samuel's Car, from the Mount Pleasant, Bryn Mawr, every morning (Sunday excepted) at half-past six; goes thro' Nant y Glo & Newbridge. To SWANSEA, the Royal Mail (from Abergavenny) calls at the Griffin, Bryn Mawr, every forenoon at eleven; goes through Merthyr Tydvil and Neath.
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