Dulais Higher                    Family Histories

Dulais Higher

 Ann Jones (1846-1916) - Children

  Ann Jones (1846-1916) and David Howell Jeffreys (1845-1909)
Mary Ann Jeffreys (1869-1952) &

David Alexander

Gwnellian Jeffreys (1872-72) 

died in infancy

David Jeffreys (1877-1943) &

Margretta Jones

Elizabeth Jeffreys &

Rowland Williams

1.Mary Ann Jeffreys (1869-1952) & David Alexander (1865-1953)

Mary Ann Jeffreys was born in 1869 and lived at Camnant, near Coelbren, until marrying David Alexander (1865 to 1953) in 1890. They moved to Graigfach, Abercraf in 1892 with the aid of a £100 loan (a formal mortgage at 5% interest) from David’s uncle, Evan Alexander, with whom he had lodged in the Rhondda Valley (Penygraig).

In his “Boyhood Memories”, Rhys Alexander (1914-2005) described his mother as “a slim, very smart woman of medium height, dark brown hair in a bun. People would comment on her smart appearance. She had a remarkable and spontaneous sense of humour. When I was a boy, I remember her in long skirts to the calf, blouse and long overcoat with fur around the neck to go to Chapel – either a fur collar or separate fox fur”. She died in 1952 having lived to celebrate her diamond wedding anniversary for which she and David received many congratulatory telegrams suggesting that they were a very popular couple.

Mary Ann and Dafydd Alexander at Graigfach, Abercraf in later life. They appear to be standing amongst a very impressive crop of onions.

Children of Mary Ann Jeffreys & David Alexander

1. Maggie Alexander (1893-)

2. Winifred Alexander (1896-) married David W Thomas in early 1921 at Pontardawe.  The couple had a daughter, Hannah, born in the first quarter of 1921. They lived at Lamb Cottages, Abercrave.

3. Mary Elizabeth Alexander (1899-)

4. Caroline Alexander (1902-1929)

5. Thomas Alexander (1904-)

6. Jennet Doris Alexander (1907-1938)

7. David H J Alexander (1910-)

8. Rhys Hopkin Alexander (1914-2005) married Lillian Parsons (1924-1975)


2. Gwenllian Jeffreys (1872-1872) is believed to have died in infancy


3. David Jeffreys (1877-1943) married Margretta Jones (1878-1931), Camnant.

This was a well-established family in the area.  They lived in Camnant House, in between Banwen and Coelbren, in the first half of the twentieth century; parents David and Margretta are seen there, for example, in 1921 with six of their children., aged between 6 and 21 years of age.

By 1939, David is a widow and three children remain at home: Annie, aged 36, Howell, 29 and Brycchan, 24.  All the men are colliers at the Maesmarchog colliery close by at Banwen while Annie is recorded as Housekeeper.

Children of David Jeffreys & Margretta Jones

Thomas Elias Jeffreys (1900-1986) married Gwen Williams (1910-2006)

Annie Jeffreys (1903-)

David Glyn Jeffreys (1905-1989) married Esther Jones

Howell “Jeff Camnant” Jeffreys (1909-97)

Maggie Jeffreys (1913-)

Brycchan John Jeffreys (1915-1990)

Jennie Jeffreys (1918-1919)


Right: funeral card for David Jeffreys, 1943

The first part of the text and images on this page have been kindly provided by Jeff Alexander.

Mary Ann Jeffreys (1869-1952) 

David Alexander (1865-1953)

Above: Coelbren church

The local (established) Parish Church, of the Church in Wales is called Capel Coelbren, confusingly possibly, as it had no connection with any Chapel in the non-conformist sense.  Instead it was a “Chapel of Ease” for the mother church at Ystradgynlais.  It does not feature much in our family history as the Morgan branch were generally Baptists and the Jones family seemed originally to have been Independent.  However, loyalties and alliances to the various denominations changed in families and none of the families appear to have been especially doctrinaire about their calling.

This Jeffreys “Camnant" family were one of the families who worshipped at Capel Coelbren.


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Copyright © the text and authorial photographs Gareth Jones 2015-23