History of the Ancestry and Descendants of John James Jones of Trelech a'r Bettws, Carmarthenshire.

Maggie Knight nee Jones(Jill's Paternal Grandmother) 1884~1971

Gran was born at 46 Tynybedw St., Treorchy, Glamorgan, on the 15 September 1884. She was the first born child of John James JONES and his wife Mary Ann [nee] Jones.

She had jet black hair, which she retained up to her death at 87 years of age. Many of her grandchildren recall her as seemingly always wearing a cross-over pinafore of small springs of flowers on a black background. She always wore black lace up shoes with a slight heel, which were highly polished. Everything about her was spotlessly clean in every way. She knitted socks for her sons and son-in-laws which always seemed to be on the go, and she could turn a perfect knitted heel.

Within her capacious handbag she carried a miniature size bottle of TCP. Despite her excellent shoes, she suffered from bad feet and she used to bath them in TCP and therefore always in her latter years smelt mildly of this. She said it was also very good for sore throats etc., and so influenced, I bought some as I often had sore throats.

My Grandmother attended her Welsh Chapel at every opportunity on a Sunday. Her father had been a Lay Preacher in their chapel at Clydach Vale. This may have been Calfaria Welsh Baptist Chapel. If it was this chapel, it may have one factor why most of the family left Treorchy to live in Clydach Vale. In 1882 a larger chapel was constructed, and this may well have tempted them to leave Treorchy, particularly as John James Jones was a Lay Preacher. The most important factor though would have been work and the opportunity to work at one of the Clydach Vale Collieries.

In 1845 the attention of mineral prospectors were drawn to, 'the densely wooded valley of Clydach Vale' and the directors of the Taff Vale Railway requested their agent to prepare a report on, 'a survey of the ravine valley...of Cwm Clydach'.

 See Clydach Vale at Rhondda Cynon Taff Libraries

Although Gran was born in Treorchy, her twin sisters Rachel and Susannah, where born in June 1887 at Clydach Vale. Their younger sisters, Edith born in 1894 and Lizzie Jane born in 1896, when my grandmother was 8 and 12 years old respectively.

When my grandmother died, she had lived so long in Clydach Vale, that her family thought that she had been born there and so stated this on her Death Certificate.

By the seemingly tender age of 16 years my grandmother Maggie Jones married my grandfather Frank Knight who was then almost 18 years old. They married on the 12th August 1901, just six days before my grandfather's 18th birthday, at the Register Office, Pontypridd, Glamorgan. By 1902 they had their first child, a happy kindly soul, whom they called Ethel May. Ethel was cared for by her aunt Martha and uncle William Edwards. William was the brother of Frank Knight's mother Esther Edwards, and was therefore her great uncle. Auntie Martha and Uncle William had had no children and were very happy to care for Ethel, who lived with them for many years.  Uncle William owned a Dairy and was quite well heeled and so Ethel did not want for much except to be with her own family and brothers and sisters.

John James Jones (Jill's Paternal Great Grandfather)

John James Jones is shown on the census for Clydach, Rhondda (Ystradyfodwg) in 1901 living at 14 Clydach Road, Clydach Vale. He is 43 years old and is a Coal Hewer - below ground and is born at Trelech, Carmarthen. His wife Mary Ann is aged 39 and was born in Merthyr Tydfil. They have four daughters living with them. Their twins Rachel Ann, and Susy Anna aged 13, Edith aged 9 and Lizzie Jane aged 5 years old. The children were born in Clydach Vale. Their eldest daughter Maggie (my Gran) is living away from home and is a Servant for a Retired Colliery Manager, is aged 16 and is born in Treorchy.

In the 1891 census the family with Maggie aged 6 years, are living at 5 Clydach Road. The 1881 census show John James Jones living at 110 Dumfries Road, Treorchy as a lodger aged 22 years. He is actually living with his uncle Henry and his family.

In 1871 for High Street Treorchy we again find John James Jones living with his uncle Henry. John is now aged 13 years.

The 1861 census adds more data to our family tree as we find at Trelech, John James Jones aged 2 years, the grandson of John Jones aged 52, a Cooper born Mydrim*. His wife Esther is 57 and is born Trelech. They have two sons at home, William aged 22 born in Ty Newydd, Trelech, Carmarthen and Henry aged 13. We later have found that they have a sister Frances who was born in 1841.

There is a gap in which John and Esther must have had other children and I hope to discover this soon.

'Parish Churches & Nonconformist Chapels of Wales', Bert Rawlins tells: Independents: Capel y Graig: members from this chapel were going to the Pal Mawr, Cyffig Parish in the days of Stephen Hughes. The church was established by him at Trelech shortly before his death in 1688. The Chapel was enlarged in 1760 and about 1829. It is situated at Rhydwenog, Ty Newydd, Trelech.