md MARY ROBERT (chr 4 July 1773 Llangyfelach – bur 15 Jan 1852 Llandeilo-Talybont), dau of WILLIAM ROBERT, farmer, and MARY DAVID on 24 Jan 1796 at Llandeilo-Talybont.
DAVID LEIGH prospered as a farmer, and his son DAVID lived on the same farm. DAVID (the son) left no male offspring, so the LEIGH name died in this line. However, both men left a number of female descendants with strong memories of their relation to the curate EDMUND LEIGH. It was the oral testimony of one of these women that confirmed to Derek Williams his own descent from the Rev. LEIGH and led him to become our most fruitful family historian. The following genealogy was supplied by Derek Williams, who also wrote our BIOGRAPHY of DAVID LEIGH.
88. Mary LEIGH (chr 19 Jun 1796 – bur 29 Sept 1809 Llandeilo-Talybont) Father: 77 DAVID LEIGH
89. DAVID LEIGH (chr 20 May 1798 – bur 12 May 1862 Llandeilo-Talybont), farmer Father: 77 DAVID LEIGH
unmd Anne JONES, infant son Griffith (chr 25 Jun 1822 – bur 2 Jul 1822)
unmd MARY BASSET, dau MARGARET (chr 6 Apr 1829 – aft 1901)
According to the census returns, Mary Basset was born in Llanelli in 1804, and she was probably related to the three Basset/Bassett families who also lived there. She spent her life as a servant at farms and cottages to the east of Llanelli and near Pontarddulais, and so not far from her daughter MARGARET LEIGH. Though she never married, in 1844 she had another daughter, Hannah, whom she brought up herself, and who returned to live with her in her old age. Mary died in 1873.
MARGARET became the favorite of her grandfather DAVID LEIGH and received the largest single legacy in his will in 1840. For her family see the Descent Chart of MARGARET LEIGH in our site for modern LEIGHs.
md Elizabeth HOPKIN (abt 1811- bur 21 Nov 1842 Llandeilo-Talybont) on 5 Feb 1841 at Llandeilo-Talybont.
DAVID eventually married at the age of 42, presumably so as to have a son to whom he could leave the lease of the farm, but Elizabeth died less than 2 years after their marriage, and their only child Richard died a year later aged 18 months. DAVID and Elizabeth were first cousins, as her mother Mary Morgan was DAVID LEIGH’s stepsister. There were other connections between the families: Elizabeth’s sister Mary married John Roberts who was DAVID LEIGH’s nephew, and we see below that her cousin RICHARD HOPKIN had married DAVID’s sister SARAH LEIGH. Elizabeth was one of the 11 children of Richard HOPKIN and Mary MORGAN who lived at Llwyn Ifan Ddu in the north of the parish, having taken over the lease from Mary’s father John MORGAN, and Elizabeth HOPKIN died there. This was almost certainly where DAVID LEIGH had been born, as it had previously been farmed by his maternal grandfather JOHN WILLIAM
It is likely that DAVID took part in the famous Rebecca Riots in 1843. For our family’s part in this fascinating event in Welsh history, see the BIOGRAPHY of DAVID LEIGH.
90. SARAH LEIGH (chr 21 Nov 1800 Llandeilo-Talybont – died 11 Aug 1872 Gowerton, buried Three Crosses Independent chapel) Father: 77 DAVID LEIGH
md RICHARD HOPKIN (1801 Bettws – died 7 Aug 1865 Gowerton, buried Three Crosses Independent chapel) on 11 Oct 1823 at Llandeilo-Talybont.
RICHARD was the eldest son of DAVID HOPKIN (the brother of Elizabeth’s father Richard HOPKIN and ANN MORGAN (sister of Elizabeth’s mother Mary), so he was SARAH’s first cousin. They lived first in Bettws parish, Carmarthenshire, north of Llandeilo-Talybont, and they had 7 children. On the death of his father in 1840, RICHARD inherited the family farm in Bettws which had originally belonged to his grandfather RICHARD, but instead they moved to Windmill farm in the Gower peninsula. RICHARD was not there on census night 1851, and he wrote to the editor of The Cambrian newspaper in Swansea on 21 August:
‘Sir, I shall feel much obliged if you will allow me, through the medium of your widely-circulated paper, publicly to offer my heartfelt thanks to Drs Howell and Bird, Mr Hall the House-Surgeon, and the other medical gentlemen who attended me during the nearly six months of my painful affliction within Swansea Infirmary. The attention of those gentlemen to my case was most kind and unremitting; indeed from all connected with the invaluable institution I received every mark of kindness and attention. It is to the professional skill and most kind attention of the medical gentlemen alluded to, that, through God’s blessing, I cannot help thinking, I am indebted for my present existence, and my earnest prayer is that God will ever reward and bless them.’
RICHARD sold the Windmill farm two years later and moved to a larger farm, Cefngorwydd Fawr, at Gowerton south of Llandeilo-Talybont, where some of their descendants still lived in recent times, and other descendants moved back to Bettws.
91. ELIZABETH LEIGH “Betsy” (chr 3 Jan 1803 Llandeilo-Talybont – died 3 Dec 1888 Llangyfelach, buried Llandeilo-Talybont). Father: 77 DAVID LEIGH
md JOHN GRIFFITHS I (chr 2 Apr 1798 Llangyfelach – 20 Jan 1876 Llandeilo-Talybont) on 23 Feb 1821 at Llandeilo-Talybont.
For this family of nine children, go to the Ancestry Chart of ELIZABETH LEIGH in our site for modern LEIGHS. It was a great-granddaughter of this couple, KATIE JEFFREYS, who recorded her memories on tape circa 1978 and thus supplied us with valuable information about family lives and possessions. Another great-granddaughter Elsie BEVAN provided oral testimony about her LEIGH relations to Derek Williams in 1993-5. [see “Sources”]. Thus ELIZABETH is one of the few LEIGH ancestors for whom we have a physical description: she was said to be “tall and slim, kind but very strict” and she had “red hair and a quick temper.”
92. ANNE LEIGH “Nance” (June 1812 Llandeilo-Talybont – 15 Mar 1887 Llanrhidian, buried Llandeilo-Talybont) Father: 77 DAVID LEIGH
md WILLIAM DAVIES (1798 Bettws – 14 Jan 1865 Llanrhidian, buried Llandeilo-Talybont) on 21 Jan 1834 at Llandeilo-Talybont.
WILLIAM DAVIES’s parents were not studied. WILLIAM and ANNE’s eldest child Samuel DAVIES was born at Alltygraban, but their other children MARY, Gwenllian and Ann were born at Llanelen in the Gower peninsula. This was an old gentry house, and has been recommended for historic preservation. It dates from 1706 as recorded by an inscription on the porch. The hall, the main room of the house, has a gable fireplace with an externally projecting stack, while the parlor has a fireplace with an internal breast. To the rear of the hall is a kitchen of similar dimensions with a projecting chimney having three dove nesting holes on the north side, and the fireplace has a bake-oven inside the east jamb. All rooms have plastered ceilings with boxed-in ceiling beams. In the 19th century a lean-to wing containing a dairy and a pantry was added beside the hall and kitchen, and a stable block with granary over on the other side beyond the parlour.'
WILLIAM and ANNE are buried in Llandeilo-Talybont churchyard, and a broken stone lying on their grave commemorates their children Samuel and Gwenllian who both died at the age of 71, in 1905 and 1911, respectively. In the tape recording referred to above, the speaker KATIE JEFFREYS recalls a visit she paid to the three elderly DAVIES daughters with her grandfather SAMUEL GRIFFITHS, their first cousin, whom she calls ‘Gu’ (short for ‘tadcu’, meaning ‘grandfather’: the ‘u’ is pronounced ‘ee’ as in French :). It must therefore have taken place between the years 1905-11, when Katie was a young girl. MARY had returned as a widow, and was the only DAVIES child with offspring. The three sisters retired to a cottage in Landimore. It is interesting to note that their mother ANNE was known to the family as Nance, and she was referred to by her maiden name Leigh, not her married name Davies.
“Nance Leigh came to live in North Gower, and she had three daughters and a son. Gu and his brothers apparently visited them when a boy, and he caused much amusement when he talked of ‘killing the hay’, a literal translation from the Welsh lladdi’r gwair. His English was always his own kind, and he was very proud of being able to ‘speak with strange tongue’. Well now, the three Davies daughters, his cousins, in extreme old age came to live in Landimore where we used to meet them. They were very knowledgeable about family matters, and their tiny cottage was crammed with antique furniture, pewter platters, lustre jugs, and china tea sets handed down from an earlier age. Now this family gave us two things which we value very much: Vicar Leigh’s licence to preach, dated 1760, and a bullock’s horn used in the Rebecca riots in the 19th century. They had all sorts of treasures. One which they showed me was a crown of the reign of Charles II. The Leigh of that time had apparently given one of these coins to each of his children, and Mrs Smith said reprovingly “Where’s yours?” After a moment’s thought I was able to say “That’s it!”. What happened to it later I don’t know. All this richness was claimed after they had all died by a relative from Pontardawe and more or less sold off to dealers.”
Sources: Parish records of Llandeilo-Talybont, Llangyfelach and Bettws in NLW; Inscriptions on graves at Llandeilo-Talybont church and at Three Crosses Independent chapel near Gowerton; Census returns in 1841-1901 for Llandeilo-Talybont, Llangyfelach, Bettws, Llanrhidian and Gowerton; Probate documents for DAVID LEIGH (NLW SD1850/41) and DAVID HOPKIN (NLW SD1840/182); Tape recording made by KATIE JEFFREYS for her nephew circa 1978 and copied for Derek Williams in 1994; Oral testimony provided to Derek Williams by Elsie Bevan in 1993-5; Description of Llanelen farmhouse in National Monuments Records of Wales, Aberystwyth.
By Derek Williams September 2004
md DAVID MORGAN (? - aft 1813) on 20 Jun 1800 in Llanedi.
93. Rev William Leigh MORGAN (chr 25 Jun 809 Llanedi - bef 1899)
We know nothing of the economic status of this family, but they could afford to send their first son to study for the clergy. Rev. William Leigh MORGAN was apparently unmarried, and he occupied higher ecclesiastical positions than other LEIGH clergymen. By 1862 at age 53, he was ''Prebendary'' in the bishop's seat of Llandaff, Vicar of St Mary's in Cardiff and of Roath in Glam, & "Domestic Chaplain to the Marchioness of Bute." Rev. William appears as a social activist in his early pastoral career, and his sermons at various places in the Vale of Glamorgan and at the Carmarthen Poor House in 1832 have survived, clearly written on 92 sheets in two notebooks bound together as one (NLW MSS 1481B). They are available in microfilm, but are entirely in Welsh so I have not read them. Rev. MORGAN also visited the churches where his uncle Vicar WILLIAM and his cousin Rev. Edmund served, and where family members were being baptized, married, and buried. For example, in 1834 he was at Eglwsysilan for a wedding and in 1847 for the funeral of Vicar WILLIAM’s son Richard Nash LEIGH, and in 1848 for the funeral of CATHARINE LEIGH, first wife of JOHN LEIGH, surgeon, son of Vicar WILLIAM. He was also present several times in 1849, but then apparently had other duties as his name became scarcer at family events. He was referred to as being a "great crony" of the Archdeacon by Vicar WILLIAM in a letter dated 27 September 1849 to a friend seeking help in an ecclesiastical problem. For this letter see the Biography of Rev EDMUND LEIGH. I did not find when Rev William died, but by 1899 he was no longer listed in the Clergy List.
94a. John Leigh MORGAN (chr 12 Jul 1812 Llanedi – bur 4 Sep 1812 St Peter's)
94b. SAMUEL MORGAN (1813 Carmarthen – 1873 Swansea)
md (1) MARGARET NN (1811 – abt 1841 Swansea) in abt 1837 in ?Swansea
md (2) JANE JONES BEVAN (1820 Bristol – 1858 Swansea) in 1845 in Swansea
This third son SAMUEL was found by Derek Williams in the UK government census records which have been copied and indexed on the website www.ancestry.co.uk along with summaries of the BMD indexes for the years 1837-2004. Primarily because SAMUEL MORGAN used the name Leigh for several sons’ and grandsons’ middle name, Derek could follow his career as a wine and spirit merchant in Swansea with 2 marriages, 7 children, and 14 grandchildren, 3 of them bearing the middle name Leigh. Many descendants remained in the Swansea area, and several continued the wine and spirit trade. Census records show SAMUEL as wealthy enough to employ three servants, but his descendants seem less prosperous and entered various occupations, among them clerk, ironmonger, architect, and tea dealer.