Richard Morgan, Castell Ddu & Gellfain, 18th Century

This is the earliest Morgan gravestone so far found.  It lies in the churchyard of Llywel Parish Church and commemorates David Powell (1756-1805), who had married Elinor Morgan of Castell Ddu (1759-1823).    

Elinor Morgan was a daughter of Richard Morgan (1715-1800), of Castell Ddu farm, Traianglas, a few miles southwest of Trecastle in the Cwmwysg area.  He and his wife Urania (Jones) are recorded at various times here in the eighteenth century.  This is the northern side of the Black Mountain, very near the source of the river Usk and this scattering of hill farms near today’s Usk Reservoir appears to form the cradle for our Morgan families in this area, since earliest records.   Richard and Uraniah married at Llywel in 1744 and Castell-ddu is the earliest-recorded settlement we can so far find for our particular branch of the Morgans.   The farm still exists today and appears to be a successful sheep-rearing enterprise, at one time being lamb suppliers to Marks and Spencer.

Extract of Llywel Parish records: marriage of Richard Morgan and Uraniah Jones, 5 January 1744

At some point in the mid eighteenth century, the couple moved to Gellfain, in the Trayanmawr locality.  An entry in the Llywel parish Register states that, Urania the wife of Richard Morgan of Gellfain in Trayan Mawr was buried January 16th 1777”.

Richard and Urania Morgan had at least seven children, some of whom were equally prolific and thus we see a snapshot of a very large family indeed.   Various branches of Morgan and Morgans - the two variants seem to be interchangeable with little or no discernable logic - form a dense patchwork of families in the Llywel area.  It is beyond the scope of this work to consider them all so we will focus on the direct line of interest to our Coelbren family.   

Morgan Richard Morgan (1756-1838)

© (the written content and authorial photographs) Gareth Jones 2015-20