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Conwil Caio

"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 Drêv gôch 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;

  • Roman Deep Holdings Ltd Records 1906-1940       "Roman Deep Holdings Ltd was formed in 1935 to mine for gold at Dolaucothi, Pumsaint, Caio, with a capital of £500,000. The main focus of the workings was the Ogofau Mine ............."

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.


You can also perform a more selective search for churches in the Conwil Caio area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database. This will also help identify other churches in nearby townships and/or parishes. You also have the option to see the location of the churches marked on a map.

Church History

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

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

  • Cayo Parish Church                     Benj. Miasden, Minister, Pumpsaint
  • Crugybar  Ind           Erected before 1800, re-erected in 1837        Evan Jones, Minister, Nr Llandovery
  • Tynewydd alias Cayo Chapel    CM         Erected before  1800      Daniel Williams, Local Preacher, Cayo
  • Salem    Baptist                  Erected in 1828                Timothy Jones, Minister, Ffinnant, Pumpsaint
  • Bethel    Baptist                 Erected in 1834                 Timothy Jones, Minister
  • Saron   CM                       Erected in 1838                David Harry, Deacon, Gellynewydd, Pumpsaint
  • Cwrt    CM                      Erected before 1800              David Evans, Steward, Glanmeddyg, Pumpsaint


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

  • St Cynwyl
  • &
  • St Sawyl (Llansawel)
  • Incumbent and Curates; Daniel Thomas
  • Rural Deanery of  Llangadock
  • Acreage 26,187 & 10,250 ; Population 1,866

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:

  • Bethel (Baptist, 1730), Cwmpedol               Records with those of Bwlchyrhiw (Cilycwm) and Aberduar (Llanybydder)           On Dyfed FHS
  • Salem (Baptist, c1825), Brynmayog                  Records with those of Bwlchyrhiw (Cilycwm)                 On Dyfed FHS
  • Cwrt-y-Cadno (Calvinistic Methodist, c1800), Cwmcothi          Births and baptisms (1812-35) PRO RG4/4014, LDS 828111, IGI           See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg           On Dyfed FHS        Cwrt y Cadno Pumpsaint CM chapel - still open in 2006
  • Capel Pumsaint (Calvinistic Methodist, 1874), Pumsaint             On Dyfed FHS                          Pumpsaint CM chapel - still open in 2006
  • Saron (Calvinistic Methodist, 1835), Cwmtwrch, upper part of parish                           Records with those of Cwrt-y-Cadno and Tynewydd.                  SN66284812     Built 1838 and rebuilt/enlarged 1876      Coflein                       On Dyfed FHS  (under Llanycrwys)                 Saron Cwmtwrch CM chapel - still open in 2006
  • Tynewydd (Calvinistic Methodist, c1774?), Conwil Caio village         Births and baptisms (1817-37) PRO RG4/3818, LDS 828111, IGI        See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg       On Dyfed FHS         Tynewydd Caio CM chapel - still open in 2006 
  • Crugybar (Independent, c1650), Crugybar              Records with those of Llanwrtyd (Breconshire) and Tredrhiwdalar (Breconshire), and with Capel Isaac (Llandilo Fawr).         On Dyfed FHS Shown as still open on the Union of Welsh Independents site (Dec 2006)
    Rees, Thomas & John Thomas.   Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru (History of the Welsh Independent Churches) 4 volumes (published 1871+). Here is the entry from this book for this chapel (in Welsh ) - with translation by Gareth Hicks (Oct 2008)

Held at Carmarthen Archives;

  • Memorial Inscriptions for Cwrt-y-cadno and Pumsaint Methodist chapels, also Bethel [Caio ]Baptist, Saron [Cwmtwrch] Methodist, Salem [Caio] Baptist chapels.

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Conwil Caio which are provided by:

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;

  • Area 41785 acres; Population 1095 males, 1103 females, total 2198

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)

  • Conwil-Gaio (3); Aber Bowlan; Aber Branddu; Aber Mangoed; Afon Annell; Afon Cothi; Afon Dulais; Afon Fanafas; Afon Fanagoed; Afon Twrch; Albert Mount; Allt Dinbeth; Allt yr hebog; Banc Bron-ffin; Banc Cwm-gerwyn; Banc Maes-yr-haidd; Banc y Garth; Banc-y-Graig; Blaen-Cothi; Blaen-Marlais; Brunant; Bryn; Bryn Bedd; Bryn Bran; Bryn Cadwgan;  Bryn-ffynnon; Bryn Glas; Bryn-gwyn; Bryn Mawr; Bryn-teg;  Bwlch-cefn-sarth; Bwlch y gwynt; Cae caradog; Caio (village); Careg Pumpsaint; Carn Nant-yr-ast; Cefn Branddu; Cefn y Bryn; Coed-y-gof; Craig Branddu; Craig Twrch; Crug Siarls; Crugiau-ladies; Crug-y-bar; Cwmcoy-gen; Cwm Dawe; Cwm Einon-fawr; Cwm-gelynen; Cwmgogerddan; Cwrt-y-cilion; Cwrt-y-cadno; Dolaucothy; Drysallt;  Esgair Dawe; Esgair Gaio; Esgair Hendre; Esgair Tan-lan; Farmers; Foel Blaen-rhisglog;  Fron; Froodvale; Garth; Garth; Garth Fawr; Garth-lwyd; Garthynty; Glan-meddyg; Glan-yr-Annell; Gold Mines; Goleugoed; Gwar-y-gorof; Gwndwn-mawr; Hafod; Hafod-y-maidd; Halfway; Lan Ddu;  Llandre; Llathige; Llethr Gwinau; Lletty-Cadwgan; Llwyn-diried; Llwyn Owen; Maes-glas; Maes Llanwrthwl; Maes-troyddyn-fawr; Maes-wynog; Nant clawdd; Nant Dar; Nant Thames; Nant Troyddyn; Nant-y-llyn; Nant-yr-ast; Penarth; Pen Cerig-diddos; Pen Lan-dolau; Penrhiw-tywarch; Pen-twyn;  Pen-y-banc; Pen-y-rhaglan-wynt; Pigyn Shon Nicholas; Pumpsaint; Pysgotwr Fach; Rhos; Rhos-goch; Rhyd-lydan; Sarn Helen; Tan-lan-fawr; Troed-y-bryn; Troed-y-rhiw; Ty-cerig; Ynysau-ganol; Ynysau-isaf


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.]

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Conwil Caio has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.


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;

  • Cynwyl Gaeo Deeds 1832 -1883  
  • Dolaucothi estate, deeds 1610-1899     "The Johnes family acquired the Dolaucothi estate in Carmarthenshire following the marriage of Anne, the widow of James Lewis of Llanbadarn Fawr, Radnorshire, and daughter and heir of John Thomas of Cryngae and Dolaucothi, with James Johnes (alive 1586), the youngest son of Sir Thomas Johnes (alive 1541-1544) of Abermarlais, Carmarthenshire, and Haroldston, Pembrokeshire..................."  
  • Dolaucothi Estate Records [16 cent.]-1939

Documents at the National Library of Wales:

  • Deeds originally deposited by H. Johnes Lloyd of Croydon, Herts relating to the Dolaucothi estate, Carmarthenshire , 1610-1899.
  • Records relating to the family of Johnes and Hills-Johnes of Dolaucothi, Cynwyl Gaeo, Carmarthenshire , 1566-1940.
  • Dolaucothi. Estate and family records, C16-C20, of Johnes and Hills-Johnes of Dolaucothi, Carmarthenshire (over 15,000 letters), 1688-C20; include military papers of Sir James Hills-Johnes.
  • Papers of Herbert Lloyd-Johnes (1900-83), Senior British Liaison Officer to the Polish Forces, 1940-6, and antiquary.


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN675399 (Lat/Lon: 52.041582, -3.933354), Conwil Caio which are provided by:


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

[Gareth Hicks:  16 Dec 2012]