Mothvey / Myddfai


"MOTHVEY (MYDDFAI), a parish, comprising the Upper and Lower divisions, in the union of LLANDOVERY, higher division of the hundred of PERVERTH, county of CARMARTHEN, SOUTH WALES, 3 miles (S.) from Llandovery; containing 1073 inhabitants, of which number 476 are in the Upper, and 597 in the Lower, division. . . The surface is boldly undulated, and in some parts hilly and even mountainous; the lands, with the exception of a considerable portion of rocky and sterile ground, are inclosed and in a high state of cultivation . . . The luxuriant richness of the vales is finely contrasted with the rugged barrenness of the mountains; and the numerous rivers that flow through the lower grounds add greatly to the beauty of the scenery. . . A small woollen manufacture is carried on; and there are two king's mills in the parish, Kilgwyn and Brân, each of which pays a chief-rent of £2 to the lord of the manor, to whom also is paid a fee of ten shillings on the marriage of every freeholder, in lieu of the feudal custom of a first night's lodging with the bride . . . The church, dedicated to St. Michael . . . is an ancient structure, situated in a vale at the foot of the mountainous district . . . adorned with many handsome monuments and tablets. . . There are two places of worship for Independents, and one for Calvinistic Methodists. . . During the thirteenth century this place was much frequented by physicians, among whom was Rhiwallon . . . tradition affirms that his descendants continued to follow the practice of medecine in the parish till within the memory of persons living at the beginning of this century." [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

  • Lower Myddfai Hamlet
  • Mothvey Parish Church "There are some church families in the parish who from convenience attend other churches which are nearer" Thomas Thomas, Curate
  • Sion Ind Erected in 1823, re-erected in 1844 John Williams, Minister
  • Upper Myddfai Hamlet
  • Mothvey Church Thomas Thomas, Curate [this looks like a duplicate return for the above parish church despite being listed in another Hamlet]
  • Sardis Ind Erected in 1792, rebuilt in 1827 John Williams, Minister
  • Salem CM Erected in 1822 David Davies, Elder, Deacon

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

  • St Michael
  • Incumbent and Curates; R L P Lewis
  • Rural Deanery of Llangadock
  • Acreage 11,870 ; Population 596

See John Ball's site Welsh Churches and Chapels Collection for a photograph/data re St Michael's Church

Church, Myddfai - on the People's Collection Wales site

    Anthony, T J. Capel Berllandywyll, Myddfai, Sir Caerfyrddin [ Berllandywyll Chapel, Myddfai, Carmarthenshire]. London, 1908


    Church Records

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

    Parish registers: Christenings (1653-1992), Marriages (1653-1971), Banns (1823-1925) and Burials (1653-1992) are at the National Library of Wales.

    Facsimile Christenings (1653-1854), Marriages (1653-1971) Banns (1823-1925), Burials (1653-1851) at Carm.RO

    Bishops' Transcripts, covering the period (1671-3, 1677-9, 1681-4, 1686, 1690, 1693-4, 1696-9, 1703, 1707, 1790, 1718-22, 1724-88, 1790-4, 1796-1800, 1802-6, 1808-68) are at the National Library of Wales, and have been microfilmed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Marriage index for this parish - see Dyfed Marriages, 1813-1837, Vol. 21 - Perfedd Hundred (Dyfed Family History Society, c1989)

    See Bap/Mar/Bur data on FreeReg

    Nonconformist Chapels:

    • Bethania/Salem (Calvinistic Methodist, c1810), Berllandywyll Births and baptisms (1822-37) PRO RG4/3831, LDS 828108, IGI SN77153019 Coflein On Dyfed FHS Bethania Myddfai CM chapel - still open in 2006 See John Ball's site Welsh Churches and Chapels Collection for a photograph/data
    • Bethesda Ind chapel, Halfway [Right on the county/parish line but looks like it's just in Llywel, BRE where Coflein has it) SN83063288 Built in 1880 Still open 1998 Coflein      On Dyfed FHS (under Llanfair-ar-y-bryn)
    • Sardis (Independent, c1785), Myddfai village No known extant records unless still with chapel SN74632892 Built 1792; rebuilt/modified 1827, 1859 & 1905 Coflein
      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 (Dec 2008)
    • Seion (Independent, 1823), Myddfai village SN77403023 Built 1823, rebuilt/modified 1841/4, rebuilt/modified again 1890 Coflein On Dyfed FHS Shown as still open on the Union of Welsh Independents site (Dec 2006) See John Ball's site Welsh Churches and Chapels Collection for a photograph/data
      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 (Dec 2008)

    St. Michael's Church photograph and basic information, Bethania Chapel photograph and basic information and Seion Chapel photograph from Dyfed FHS.


    Description & 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;

    • Area 11914 acres; Population 520 males, 549 females, total 1069

      Myddfai - on Wikipedia

      Various landscapes for Myddfai - on the People's Collection Wales site

      James, D.B. Parish Profiles - Myddfai. J. of the Dyfed FHS, vol. 2, no. 2, (1985) pp.49-51.

      You can see pictures of Mothvey / Myddfai which are provided by:



      Rhys, S.J. and Selwood, A. The legend of Llyn-y-Fan-Fach: a legend of the Lady of the Lake on Carmarthen Black Mountain, Felinfach, Llanerch (1993) 32 p., ill. [Text from Y Cymmrodor based on the account in: Meddygon Myddfai (Llandovery: D.J. Roderic, 1861). Originally published in: Y Cymmrodor, 1881]


      The transcription of the section for Mothvey from The National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.



      The Physicians of Myddfai, by Alan Dix.

      The Physicians of Myddfai - on the People's Collection Wales site

      Anthony, T.J. Capel Berllandywyll, Myddfai, Sir Caerfyrddin, London, (1908).

      James, David B. Parish profile - Myddfai, Carmarthenshire. Dyfed Family History Journal 2/2 (1985), p. 49-51

      James, David B. Myddfai: its land and peoples. Bow Street: David B. James, 1991. 278p: ill (some col), maps; 31cm. [ISBN 0951747002. Here is a name index and also extracts of data from the book

      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.

      Pughe, John, and Williams, John, Ab Ithel. The Physicians of Myddvai: or, The medical practice of the celebrated Rhiwallon and his sons, of Myddfai, in Caermarthenshire .... (Facsimile ed.) Felinfach: Llanerch, 1993. xxx, 470 [i.e.430]p: ill; 21cm. Original ed: Llandovery: D.J. Roderic; London, Longman & Co, 1861 [Published for The Welsh Mss Society]. Includes index. [ISBN 1897853157 (pbk)]

      Rowlands, J. Legend of Myddfai. In Historical Notes of the Counties of Glamorgan, Carmarthen, & Cardigan, and a list of the Members of Parliament for South Wales, from Henry VIII, to Charles II., Cardiff, Hugh Bird (1866), p40.

      Williams Ab Ithel, J. Meddygon Myddfai, Felinfach, Llanerch (1993) 298 p. [ISBN: 1897853122 (pbk)] [Facsim. reprint of ed published: Llandovery: D.J. Roderic, 1861]


      Land & Property

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

      • Land Tax assessments, Myddfai and Llansadwrn parishes 1914-1917

      Documents at the National Library of Wales:

      • Records of the Welsh estates of the earls of Ashburnham, 1392-1923. The chief estates were Porthamal, Breconshire, and in the parishes of Llanddeusant, Myddfai and Pembrey.


      Plan of the parish of Mothvey, Carmarthenshire - on the People's Collection Wales site

      Parish map(Kain/Oliver)

      You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SN772304 (Lat/Lon: 51.958563, -3.788867), Mothvey / Myddfai which are provided by:


      Names, Geographical

      Places, villages, farms etc within Mothvey/Myddfai 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 Gareth Hicks)

      • Upper and Lower Myddfai (19AB); Afon Sgio; Beili-glas; Blaen-y-(do?); Blwch-Bran; Cae-gwyn; Cewfn-cerig; Cefn-Gwrych; Cilgwyn; Cwm-Cowddu; Cwm-gwyn; Cwm-Rhuddan; Cwm-Ydw; Dol-y-gareg; Esgair-llaethdy; Fan-fach; Fedw Fawr; Fron-uchaf; Gelli-felen; Glan-Towy; Glasallt; Gorllwyn-fach; Gribin; Gwaun-gyd; Hafod-fawr; Halfway; Llanerch-goch; Lletty-Ifan-Ddu; Llwynywormwood Ho.; Myddfai village; Mynydd Myddfai; Myrtle Hill; Nant-Henwen; Pen-twyn; Pen-y-cae; Pen-y-rock; Pentir Bach; Pentre-bach; Rhyblid; Sarnau; Sardis; Scotland Wood; Tir-cyd; Tomen y Rhos; Trawslwyn-du; Wden Ddu.