GENUKI Home page up Carmarthenshire Contents Contents



"CAYO, otherwise CYNWYL-GAIO, a parish, in the union of LLANDOVERY, higher division of the hundred of CAYO, county of CARMARTHEN, SOUTH WALES, 8 miles (N.W. by N.) from Llandovery; containing 2108 inhabitants. . . From the discovery of numerous relics of Roman antiquity, it was undoubtedly known to the Romans, and was probably occupied by them. According to tradition it not only took its name from a Roman called Caius, but a large town was erected here by that people, the houses of which, being chiefly of brick, obtained for it the name of Y Drv gch yn Neheubarth, or the "Red Town in South Wales." . . . The rivers Cothy and Twrch unite in this parish, and the road from Llandovery to Lampeter passes through it. . . The church, dedicated to St. Cynwyl, is a spacious structure, in the early style of English architecture, with a square embattled tower . . . There were anciently chapels of ease at Court-y-Cadno, in the north-eastern part of the parish, at Henllan, at Landre, and at Pump Saint, of which there are no vestiges. There are two places of worship each for Baptists and Methodists, and one for Independents. . . " [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1844).]


Roberts, Gomer Morgan [Rev].  Dafydd Jones o Gaeo. Gwasg Aberystwyth, 1948 . Here is an index and contents listing by Gareth Hicks

Business and Commerce Records

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;


Monumental inscriptions for Bethel Caio Baptist Chapel, Cwrtycadno Methodist Chapel, Pumsaint Calvinistic Methodist Chapel, and Saron Cwmtwrch Chapel, are available on microfiche from Dyfed FHS.

Church History

See Welsh Chapels and Churches for a photograph of Conwil Caio St Cynwyl Parish Church

CONWIL CAIO, St. Conwili 1889-1891 - on the Church plans online site

Some church and chapel data from The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales. Ed. by   I.G Jones, & D. Williams. UWP,   Cardiff, 1976. The names are those of the informants


Parish entry for Conwil Caio with Llansawel from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by (Archive CD Books)).


Davies, B. Crugybar: hanes Eglwys Crugybar, Sir Gaerfyrddin, Eglwys Crugybar (A.) (1927) 80 p., 1 plate, ill., ports. [Eglwys Crugybar (Independent Chapel) History.]

Griffiths, G. Milwyn. A Visitation of the Archdeaconry of Carmarthen, 1710   National Library of Wales journal. 1974, Summer Vol XVIII/3. Includes the parish of Cynwyl Gaio

Jones, Evan. Byr gofnodiad o fywydau nifer o aelodau ymadawedig eglwysi Crugybar ac Abergorlech, yn ystod gweinidogaeth y Parch Evan Jones, Crugybar (Llanbedr Pont Steffan, 1856). Cyhoeddwyd gyntaf yn Y Diwygiwr, 1856.

Church Records

Dyfed FHS have photographs and data relating to various churches and chapels on their site

Parish registers: Christenings and Burials (1698-1979), Marriages (1698-1754, 1783-1970), and Banns (1783-1806, 1850-73) are at the National Library of Wales with copies at Carm.RO

Copy ts PR index CB 1813-75 and M 1698-1875 at NLW and Carm.RO

PR M 1754-83 recorded as being 'supposed lost' in 1831

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1672, 1677-9, 1681-3, 1693, 1695, 1702-3, 1705, 1707-9, 1713, 1718-27, 1729-45, 1747-90, 1792-4, 1796-18M, 1802, 1804-36, 1838-40, 1855-6) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS.

Marriage index for this parish - see Dyfed Marriages, 1813-1837, Vol. 20 - Cayo Hundred (Dyfed Family History Society, c1989)

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

Held at Carmarthen Archives;

Description and Travel

The Religious census of 1851 : A Calendar of the returns relating to Wales, Vol 1, South Wales., byJones, I.G. & Williams, D.   UWP,   Cardiff, 1976.  These statistics for this parish are extracted from this book which in turn got them from the 1851 census itself;

Places, villages, farms etc within Conwil Gaio  as shown on the online parish map from the CD of  Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file]. (Kain, R.J.P., Oliver, R.R.). (Extracted by Gareth Hicks)


Ferguson-Thomas, Henry. Caio Village and Environs: 1930s Reminiscences. Dyfed FHS journal Vol 8/6 August 2004

Emigration and Immigration

Morris, Eloise. From Llannon to Waukesha, Wisconsin, Via Cynwyl Caio- An Emigrant's Story [William Jones/Davies, Penlone c 1773 +  Llansanffraid, CGN and Pugh family of Hafod Oerddu, Conwil Caio c 1779+].  Dyfed Family History Society journal April 1994, Vol 4, number 9, pages 360-369


Carmarthenshire Families


Roberts, Gomer M. Dafydd Jones o Gaeo. Gwasg Aberystwyth, 1948. " 'Dafydd Jones from Caeo' was very likely born in the year 1711. It is said he was the son of one Daniel John, a native of Tregaron, and a drover by occupation..............................".
[Dafydd Jones of Cwm-gogerddan, Caeo is remembered as a gifted hymn-writer and translator of English hymns into Welsh.]


Lloyd, Sir John E., (Ed.). A History of Carmarthenshire (2 vols.), Cardiff, London Carmarthenshire Society (1935, 1939). Extracts from this book can be accessed on some parish pages, see here for this parish.

Price, F.S. History of Caio, Carmarthenshire, Swansea [Wales]: The Author: printed by B. Trerise, (1904) 79 p.

Williams, D. J. The Old Farmhouse/Hen Dy Ffarm. trans. from Welsh by Waldo Williams. 1961 (Harrap). 238pp. well-known account of farming life in the Carmarthenshire parishes of Llansawel, Caio, Pencarreg and Llanybydder at turn of 19th and 20th centuries. Also a  parallel-text Welsh/English version published by Gomer, Llandysul, 2001/2, (1 84323 032 1). "Since it was first published in 1953 Hen Dy Ffarm has become a classic of Welsh literature......."

Land and Property

Details of extant records on Archives Network Wales for the following;

Documents at the National Library of Wales:



Dolaucothi - Ogofau Gold Mine , near Pumsaint. Now in the care of the National Trust.
"Despite its importance surprisingly little is known about the operation of the mine in the Roman period........"

Dolaucothi Gold Mines - on Wikipedia

Dolaucothi on Dyfed Archaelogy Trust


Annels, Alwyn E. and Burnham, Barry C. The Dolaucothi Gold Mines, 3rd. edn., 1995

Burnham, Barry C. 'Roman Mining at Dolaucothi: the implications of the 1991-3 excavations near Carreg Pumsaint', Britannia, XXVIII, (1997), 323-336.

Colyer, Richard. Welsh Cattle Drovers in the Nineteenth Century - 1 National Library of Wales journal. 1972, Winter Volume XVII/4. Here is a short extract; - "...It was apparently normal practice for the foreman drover, or the dealer himself, to ride ahead of the drove in order to arrange accommodation for both men and animals. Accommodation was provided either at local farms or inns, many of which possessed adjoining paddocks where cattle could be held overnight. The frequent occurence of 'Drover's Arms' as a public house name, illustrates the likely presence of a nearby drove route, as do certain field and farm names. A good example of the latter is to be found in the village of Caio, where the Cardiganshire drovers passed their first night en route for Barnet Fair. The farm at which they stayed was known as Llundain fechan, while the stream running through the farmyard was christened 'River Thames'

Lewis, P R. and Jones, G D B. 'The Dolaucothi Gold Mines I: the surface evidence', The Antiquaries Journal, XLIX, 1969, 244-272

Return to top of page

[Gareth Hicks:  16 Dec 2012]

InfoFind help, report problems, and contribute information.

Copyright GENUKI and Contributors 1996 to date
GENUKI is a registered trade mark of the
charitable trust GENUKI

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional

Hosted by Mythic Beasts Ltd.