"DINAS, a parish in the hundred of KEMMES, county of PEMBROKE, SOUTH WALES, 5 miles (N.E. by E.) from Fishguard, containing 741 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the coast of St. George's channel, and intersected by the turnpike road from Fishguard to Newport, is of small extent, and probably owes its name, which signifies "fortress," or "city," to the bold promontory of Dinas Head, which forms one side of Fishguard bay, and was fortified on the land side by an agger, now nearly demolished. The living is a discharged rectory, in the archdeaconry of Cardigan, and diocese of St.David's, rated in the king's books at £8, and in the patronage of Thomas Lloyd, Esq. The church, dedicated to St. Brynach, occupies a remarkable situation on the beach, and at spring tides the walls of the churchyard are washed by the sea: but it is probable that this was not the site of the original structure, from a place called Bryn Hênllan, " old church hill," in the vicinity. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, and Calvinistic Methodists. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £106. 2." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Wales (S. Lewis, 1833).]
The 1851 census for this parish has been indexed by Dyfed Family History Society.
Census Returns for this parish have the following LDS Call Numbers:
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
[*NB. The church was ultimately inundated by a bad storm, the roofless remains are still there in Cwm yr Eglwys. A new St Byrnach's was eventually built in the village (ie. up on the hill away from the beach)
Here is an extract from The History of Little England beyond Wales and the non-Kymric colony settled in Pembrokeshire, by E. Laws (1888);
"The ill-omened expedition of Welshmen who expatriated themselves to aid Magnus Maximus is supposed to have set sail in the year 383, and very soon afterwards an Irish chieftain known as Nial of the Seven Hostages, at the head of an army of Gwyddel Ffichti occupied the whole of North Wales and the Counties of Pembroke, Carmarthen and Cardigan. From this unlooked for source Welsh Christianity seems to have sprung. A rover, indifferently known as Anlach son of Coronac, or Anlach Mac Cormac Mac Cairbre, either a member of Nial's force or an independent pirate settled with a body of Gaels on the river Isgaer near Brecon, married Marchell a princess of the country, and started his son Brychan in life as a respectable regulus,. This eponymous chieftain from whom Brecon takes its name came to his throne about 410, according to Rees; he was a notable Christian and was blessed with a family of twenty four sons and twenty six daughters, most of them saints. The second of these sons Cledwyn was a warrior as well as a priest, and seems to have made an expedition either to assist his kinfolk in Pembrokeshire or to conquer them, which, it is impossible to say. He was accompanied by his brother Dogvan and his sisters Mechell, Clydai, Cymorth and her husband Brynach the Irishman.
This campaign or warrior priests and priestesses seem to have proved a success. Their leader Cledwyn founded the church of Llangledwin on the borders of Carmarthenshire. Dogvan was slain at some unknown place in Pembrokeshire where a lost church was dedicated to Merthyr Dogvan. Mechell married a chieftain Gyner of Caer Gawch near St Davids. Clydai founded the church of Clydai in Emlyn. Cymorth, Cledwyn's sister and Brynach's wife, seem to have been contented with naming the mountain in Emlyn after herself, but her husband made up for any deficiencies. He founded seven churches: Dinas, Nevern, Henrys Moat, Pontfaen, Kilymaenllwyd, Llanboidy and Llanfirnach."
Parish entry for Dinas and Llanllawer from The Welsh Church Year Book, 1929 (Cd by Archive CD Books).
Tabor, Dinas 1792-1992 . Tabor, Capel y Bedyddwyr, 1992. 24p .
Parish registers: Christenings (1676-1972), Marriages (1676-1804, 1813-1970), Burials (1676-1973) at NLW
Mf copies Christenings (1804-12), Marriages (1755-91), Burials (1804-12) at Pem.RO
Copy ms PR CMB (1676-1812) at NLW
Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1675-6, 1678, 1680, 1682-6, 1688-9, 1699, 1702-3, 1799-1809, 1811-37, 1839-45, 1848-58, 1865, 1867-81) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by the LDS - Call Number: 0105139.
See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg
Dyfed FHS have published a series of indexes of baptisms, marriages and burials from Pembrokeshire hundreds for various periods.
There is at the NLW [ Ref Titus and Eliz. Evans MSS 38] a transcription made by John Thomas Evans, Rector of Stow on the Wold, styled
The White Book of Dinas, being a true copy of the Church registers Nos 1,2 & 3 of the aforesaid parish from the year 1676-1812. Which is a period the parish registers and BTs are either incomplete or missing.
Places, villages, farms etc within Dinas parish as shown on the online parish map from the CD o 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 Tony Morris)
Dinas Island - on the Fookes gallery and Dinas Island 2
Dinas Cross - on Wikipedia
Miles, Dillwyn. The last of the traditional storytellers, 1851-1930 [ Daniel Thomas (Daniel y pant), Dinas] (NLW's site) Pemb Historian XIII
[Gareth Hicks: 27 Dec 2012]
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