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Llanfihangel Aberbythych

"LLANVIHANGEL-ABERBYTHIC (LLAN-FIHANGEL-ABER-BYTHYCH), a parish, in the union of LLANDILO-VAWR, hundred of ISCENNEN, county of CARMARTHEN, SOUTH WALES, 3 1/2 miles (W.S.W.) from Llandilo; containing 948 inhabitants. . . The environs comprehend many fine views . . . The neighbourhood abounds with limestone, which rises from the sea near Kidwelly, and extends to this parish, and is burned in great abundance for manure, which is conveyed to many parts of the principality. For this purpose a rail-road has been constructed from the works at Castell-y-Garreg, in the parish, to the Burry river . . . The church, dedicated to St. Michael, a small neat edifice, was according to a tablet recording the event, erected in 1617 . . . There are places of worship for Independents and Calvinistic Methodists. A neat school-room was built at the expense of the late Lord Cawdor . . . There are also three other day schools . . . and three Sunday schools . . . Golden Grove, the ancient seat of the Vaughans, Earls of Carberry, and now the property of Earl Cawdor, is situated within the parish. . . " [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1844).]

Church History

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

  • Llanfihangel Aberbythick Parish Church        Rebuilt at the expence of the Earl of Cawdor          Geo. Griff Williams, Officiating Minister
  • Cefnbrach Chappel   CM         Erected in 1749       David Davies, Elder, Bryn Martyn, Nr Llandilo
  • Milo    Ind          Erected in 1830, re-erected in 1850      Thomas Jenkins, Officiating Minister, Penygroes, Llandybie
  • Charmel     Babtist   Llanvihangelaberthick             Erected in 1833      Benja,in Thomas, Officiating Minister
  • (illegible)rch, Cwmamman        Consecrated in 1843    William Jones   [this might be nothing to do with this parish]


Parish entry from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by (Archive CD Books)).

  • St Michael
  • Incumbent and Curates; E J Jones
  • Rural Deanery of  Llandilo
  • Acreage 6,149; Population 1,081

Thomas, G. Brynmor. Llwybrau llafur: hanes eglwys Annibynnol Milo, Llanfihangel Aberbythych, 1828-1976. [Paths of Labour: History of the Milo Independent Church, Llanfihangel Aberbythych]. (Abertawe, 1968), 111p.

Church Records

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

Parish registers: Christenings (1674-83, 1695-1922),  Marriages (1674-83, 1695-1970) Banns (1755-1959) and St Mary Marriages (1959-69),   Burials (1674-83, 1695-1904)  are at the Carmarthenshire Record Office.

Copy ts PR index C (1813-1922) M (1698-1875) B (1813-75) at NLW and Carm.RO

Transcript Parish registers: Christenings, Marriages and Burials (1675-1766) are at the Society of Genealogists.

Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1679, 1681-4, 1686, 1707-8, 1710-11, 1717, 1719-22, 1724-30, 1735, 1739-45, 1747-59, 1761, 1763-1800, 1802-37, 1839-66) 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. 18 - Iscennin Hundred (Dyfed Family History Society, c1989)

See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

Nonconformist Chapels:

  • Carmel (Baptist, 1819), Mynydd Mawr, near Felin newydd (Temple Bar)                   SN58421650    Built 1833 & rebuilt 1860; present chapel rebuilt 1913    Still open 1997      Coflein
  • Cefnberach (Calvinistic Methodist, bef 1745), Cefnberach              On Dyfed FHS              Cefnberach Llanarthne CM chapel - still open in 2006
  • Milo (Old) (Independent, 1828), near Temple Bar        SN59511780    Built 1831 & rebuilt 1850/1.   Still used as Sunday school 1997      Coflein                On Dyfed FHS             
    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 ) - translated by Eleri Rowlands (Oct 2008)
  • Milo (New) (Independent), near Temple Bar                  SN59461778  Built 1904/5     Coflein                        On Dyfed FHS             Shown as still open on the Union of Welsh Independents site (Dec 2006)

Description and Travel

You can see pictures of Llanfihangel Aberbythych 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 6036 acres; Population 397 males, 463 females, total 860

Places, villages, farms etc within Llanfihangel Aberbythych parish  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 Rina Callingham)

  • Llanfihangel Aberbythych [28] - Banc y Llyn, Berach, Bryn-du, Bryn-gwineu, Cae-llifer, Caeth-argoed, Carmel, Castell y rhingyll, Cwm Basset, Ford,  Glyn, Golden Grove, Golden Grove Farm, Inn, Llanfihangel Aberbythych, Llech Eurlon ?, Llyn Llech Owen, Pen-rhiw-goch, Rhyd goch, Rhyd-y-ffynnon, River Towy, Temple Bar, Ty-llwyd

Emigration and Immigration

Davies, David. LAKE of Llanfihangel Aberbythych. Dyfed FHS journal, Vol 7/101.A distant relative emigrated, with his brother, to the USA in time to get caught up in the Civil War


Williams, Alun. The Vaughans of Golden Grove. [Pontarddulais?]: Alun Williams (1996).

Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Llanfihangel Aberbythych 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, here they are for this parish;

  • Nonconformity and Methodism; Independents, 1650-87 --- "Very recent research among the archives at Abergwili (by the Rev Dyfnallt Owen) has discovered that William Williams, incumbent at Llanfihangel Aberbythych, was sequestered for his Nonconformity on November 6th, 1662, he being a cleric whose name had not hitherto appeared in any record of the time..."
  • History of the Church in the County; Puritan Domination:a Period of Depression --- "At Llanfihangel Aberbythych the vicar resided in the parish, and the church and the churchyard were decently kept. The lay impropriator was the Earl of Carbery. There were no Disssenters in the parish. The parish clerk was capable of his office in reading, singing and writing..."
  • Boundaries and Local Divisions --- "In early medieval terms Carmarthenshire was made up of  Ystrad Tywi [without Gower], Emlyn Uch Cuch and Y Cantref Gwarthaf[without Efelffre]. At some point pre the Norman conquest  Ystrad Tywi itself was divided into Y Cantref Mawr and Y Cantref Bychan.
    About the time of the Norman conquest, Cantref Bychan was divided into three commotes, Hirfryn, Perfedd and Is Cennen. The latter stretched along the south  bank of the Towy and was made up of the parishes of Llanddarog, Llanarthney, Llanfihangel Aberbythych, Llandybie and Betws, with the townships of Glyn Aman, Bryn y Beirdd, Pentre Cwn, Trecastell and Tregib, in the parish of Llandilo......"
  • The Later Middle Ages ; Iscennen---The Commote --- "Near the castle of Carregcennen were the demesne lands of the maerdref of its former arglwydd.........the commote west and south of the demesne and forest lands was divided into maenors. Maenors Vouwen and Gryngar, bordering on Kidwelly commote, corresponded roughly to the ancient ecclesiastical parishes of Llanarthney and Llanddarog;  Maenors Llys and Methennich to Llanfihangel Aberbythych and Llandybie; and, 'between Amman River and the lordship of Gower, bounded by Cathau brook and Lle'r Castell' was Maenor Bettws or Stryveland."
  • Castles, Boroughs and Religious Houses; Monastic Lands and Revenues ---"The churches that came into possession of the religious houses were as follows; - Talley .......... Llanfihangel Aberbythych ....."

Land and Property

Documents at the National Library of Wales:

  • Records of the estates, mainly in Carmarthenshire, of the families of Vaughan of Golden Grove and Llanelli, Bevan of Laugharne [including Madam Bridget Bevan, 1698-1779], Stepney of Llanelli and Stepney-Gulston of Derwydd, 1525-1904

Jones, Francis. Golden Grove. Ceredigion, Vol IV/3 1962.
 "There are few areas in Wales where Place and People have combined to produce a more coherent and vivid representation of continuous history than the setting of which Golden Grove is centre. Here in the parish of Llanfihangel Aberbythych we stand in the very heartland of the ancient kingdom of Deheubarth, the decisions of whose princes affected the lives of people as widely separated as the farmers of remote Genau'r Glyn, the herdsmen on the Precelly slopes, and the fishermen on the banks of Llwchwr......"


You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN589197 (Lat/Lon: 51.857959, -4.050365), Llanfihangel Aberbythych which are provided by:


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

  • D.Williams  1814 & 1849          "Agreement to Demise mines in Llanfihangel Aberbythych parish 1814 (endorsed 1849); memorandum of agreement to work veins of coal under Castellyrhingill Farm, Llanfihangel Aberbythych parish 1849 "

Public Records

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

  • Llanfihangel Aberbythych Parish Council records 1894-1971

[Gareth Hicks : 19 Dec 2012]