Griffith Hughes was born about 1794 and became a copper miner in Cilgwyn, Llandwrog. There is an IGI record of Griffith Hughes marrying Anne Griffith on 27 Aug 1831 at Saint Twrog, Llandwrog, Caernarvon, which is consistent with the family here. He was the father of Elizabeth Hughes. The Drws-y-Coed Copper mine was about 4 miles east of Cilgwyn, along what is now a road, but then a track. Information on the mine states that miners came here from Anglesey in the 1830's when the Parys Mountain mine there ran down, but there is no indication that Griffith Hughes came from Anglesey.
His place of birth is Carnarvonshire in the 1841 census, so we really have no idea exactly where he was born as there is just not enough information (IGI gives a Griffith Hugh born 10 Feb 1794 Bryncroes, Caernarvon, to Hugh William and Jane his wife. This couple had 4 other children baptised at Bryncroes, Janet 1786, Thomas 1789, Elizabeth 1792, Jane 1800). There may have been economical problems in Bryncoed at this time as coincidentally another of my ancestors John Evans was born at Bryncoed in 1798 and moved to Anglesey
Griffith Hughes is dead by the 1851 census so we cannot get any more information that way. When his daughter Elizabeth eventually marries in 1875 she records on her marriage certificate that her father was Griffith Hughes, copper miner, deceased.
Llandwrog, a parish in the county of Carnarvon. The parish lies on Carnarvon bay, 5 miles S by W of Carnarvon; has a village of its own name, with a post office under Carnarvon; is cut into two divisions, lower and upper; and contains the villages of Bethesda and Tylon. Acres, 9,516; of which 200 are water... Pop. of the whole, 2,825. Houses, 614. Part of the property is subdivided; but most belonged formerly to the Glynnes, and belongs now to Lord Newborough. Glynllifon is Lord Newborough's seat, and stands amid a splendidly wooded park. Slate quarries are at Peny-Bryn, Talysarn and Cilgwyn; and a copper mine is at Drws-y-Coed, under Snowdon....The church is dedicated to St. Twrog; was rebuilt in 1864, at a cost of £7,000, all defrayed by Lord Newborough; is in the decorated English style, cruciform, of Anglesey limestone, lined with Bath stone; and has a tower and spire 110 feet high. A considerable section of the parish, designated L. St. Thomas, was constituted a separate charge in 1856; and, at the census of 1861, had a pop. of 2,114. ...Mrs. Glynne's alms houses, for twelve decayed maiden gentlewomen, were founded in 1727...The sub-district contains also three other parishes. Acres, 40,556. Pop., 8,518. Houses, 1,866. (John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72))
Drws-y-Coed Mine, Nantlle Vale. A very old mine that was reputedly visited by King Edward 1st in 1284. There is a record of Cornish miners working at Drws-y-Coed in 1761 and many miners and "copper ladies" moved here from Parys Mountain in Anglesey during the 1830s as the lodes there became less productive. Probably at its peak during the period circa 1820-40, the Drws-y-Coed mine remained in production until towards the end of the 19th century. In 1879 200 tonnes of pure copper was recovered. By 1881 this had reduced to 140 tonnes. Attempts to work the mine in the early part of the 20th century were largely unsuccessful. Although a total output of 13000 tons of ore is recorded, this is thought to be a great underestimate, with the real output possibly about double this figure.
We know that his age is correct from the 1841 census and from his death certificate. We know his wifes age is correct from various censuses. The age differnce point to his having married before and to the the death of his first wife. If that is correct, then Griffith would have had a family to bring up, who would have left home by the 1841 census. There is in fact a 1817 marriage in IGI of a Griffith Hughes to a Jane Evans in the same parish (Saint Twrog, Llandwrog) as the 1831 marriage to Anne Griffith.
1832 Elizabeth Hughes born at Llandwrog, daughter of Griffith Hughes, copper miner
1833 son Griffith baptised 21 Jul 1833 at Llanllyfni, Caernarvon (in IGI)
1835 Mary baptised 21 Jul 1835 Nazareth Independent, Clynnog (in IGI). Clynnog is 2 miles SW of Llanllyfni.
1839 Robert Hughes born. This birth certificate would confirms his parents and mother's maiden name. However I cannot find the registration . Births Jun 1839 Hughes Robert Carnarvon 27 337 not him his father Thomas not Griffith. Births Mar 1839 Hughes Robert Carnarvon 27 324 not him his father Thomas not Griffith
1841 census Living at Cilgwyn, Llandwrog (Cilgwyn is 3 miles east of Llandwrog town).
Griffith Hughes, age 40 and a copper miner (remember rounding in 1840 census means he is between 40 and 45, with his wife Ann (who is mush younger) , and children Elizabeth 9, Griffith 7, Mary 5 and Robert 2. There is also the lodger Owen Humphrey, who eventually "marries " the widow Ann after Griffith Hughes death.
1841 Ann Hughes born
1842 Hugh Hughes born
1843 he dies 3 Feb. It would appear that Griffith Hughes died between 1842 and 1845, as the wife appears to have produced two more children by other fathers after that. 4 deaths are possible if this hypothesis is correct. The death certificate for Griffith Hughes died 3 Feb 1843 shows he was a miner aged 49 who died of TB and was living at Cilgwyn (as in 1841 census). His death was reported by Ann Hughes.
1851 census Griffith Hughes has died. His widow is a pauper still living at Cilgwyn, Llandwrog. Apart from Griffith Hughes children, there are two younger "sons" included who must have been born after Griffith Hughes death:- John William Williams age 5 (born Llandwrog) and Henry John Roberts age 3 (born Llanystymdwy, 2 miles from Criccieth). The lodger Owen Humphrey later moves into the matital bed, and by 1861 the widow Ann Hughes has become Ann Humphrey
Family fan chart