St Collen's Church
  *St Collen's Church, Llangollen 2005*

MORGAN - one of the oldest of Celtic names meaning 'sea dweller/sea bright'
It's origin is from "Mor" which means "Sea" and "Gan" derived from "Born".
The Welsh surname is derived from the Old Welsh personal name Morcant.

The surname Morgan traces its origin from the powerful Welsh family established c. 1330 by Morgan ap Llewelyn, (son of Llewelyn ap Ifor, Lord of St. Clere, and Angharad, daughter and heiress of Sir Morgan ap Maredudd (Meredith), Lord of Tredegar). It is a popular family name in Wales.
The term for water sprites in Welsh is morgans.

  Thomas Morgan married 18-year old Sarah Jones at St Collen's Church, Llangollen, on 7th April 1880. Thomas's occupation was Collier and Sarah's father John was a labourer.

At the time of the 1881 census, Thomas was a 25 year old General Labourer living with his wife Sarah at 3 Garth Ganol in the Llangollen Rural district. Sarah was 20 years old and born in this area, while Thomas was born in neighbouring Ruabon district. Next door at number 4 were Sarah's parents John and Ann Jones. John was a general labourer, and in 1871 he and Ann were living at Corwen district with son Charles age 11 and daughter Sarah age 9. John's birth place was given as Llantysilio in 1822 and Ann's as Ruabon in 1826, while their children were both born in Llangollen.

Thomas and Sarah had 6 children:

In 1901 Thomas and John were both described as "Coal Miner in Pits" and 14 year old David was a labourer in a brickworks.
(1901 Census Registration District Corwen/Llangollen ED 7 Household Schedule 131)
This may have been the brickworks at the nearby village of Trevor.

 The main street through Trevor.
Image courtesy of Llangollen Museum.

The chimneys of the brickworks can be seen behind the buildings on the left. The Australia Arms is in front of the left hand chimney and Elke's shop (later a car park for the pub) in front of the right hand one.

The post office is the end house on the right and the Birkenhead Co-op the building in the middle of the row with the triangular end gable facing the road.

John Thomas Morgan married Louisa Roberts in a civil ceremony in Wrexham in 1905. Their son Hugh was born in 1905, John Herbert was born in 1907, and Joseph Lloyd was born in 1909. In 1911 John was 29 years old and Louisa was 25. They were living with their 3 young sons in the same area as John's parents Thomas and Sarah. Thomas age 55 and Sarah age 50 were living with their 3 youngest sons Charles age 21, Lloyd age 18, and William age 10.

Margaret Ann married a General Labourer called Samuel Rowlands (born 1883) in a civil ceremony in Corwen in 1907. Their children were: Edith born 1911, Bertha born 1915, and Thomas born 1917.

David Owen Morgan married a young widow Lily Hyslop (nee Beesley) on 24th November 1909 at Wrexham Register Office. Their addresses were given as Well Street, Cefn Mawr. David's father Thomas, a Collier, and Lily's father Edward Beesley, Master Grocer, were named on the marriage certificate. The 2 witnesses were Thomas Eveson and Edith Burgess, who themselves married in Oswestry district in 1914.

Lily had 2 children from her first marriage, and Lily and David had a daughter Ada who was born in Auust 1912. For more information about Lily's Beesley family, click on the Beesley link below.

Lloyd married Margaret Ann Roberts on 26th January 1920 at St Tysilio Church, Llantysilio, which is near the beautiful Horseshoe Falls at Llangollen. Lloyd was a 26-year old collier living at Brynteg, and Margaret was 25 and living at Bryn Tysilio. Her father Charles's occupation was recorded as "Moulder". The marriage was witnessed by Emlyn jones and Mary Jones.

Sarah died in 1926 age 65 and Thomas died in 1937 at the age of 83. They are buried at Garth Cemetery. Here is a transcript of their gravestone:

Er serchus gof am       (In Loving Memory Of)
anwyl briod       (Dear Wife of)
Thomas Morgan
Brynteg Garth
yr hon a fu farw Tachwedd 7? 1926?       (died Nov 7th 1926)
yn 65 mlwydd oed       (65 years old)
Byw I mi yw Crist a marw sydd elw.       (To live is Christ and to die is gain)
hefyd Thomas Morgan       (Also Thomas Morgan)
yr hwn a hunodd Hydref 29 1937       (died October 29th 1937)
yn 83 mlwydd oed       (83 years old)
Hedd perffaith hedd       (Peace Perfect Peace)

St Collen 1880
  *St Collen's Church, Llangollen Ca 1880 - the year that Thomas and Sarah married here*
Image courtesy of Llangollen Museum.

The Garth area is on the south-eastern edge of Ruabon Mountain, dropping from the unenclosed land around 360 metres high, down to the Dee Valley. The local geology is sandstone under Coal Measures including marls to the east, and this led to the growth of industies such as quarrying, coal mining, and brickworks. To the east is the steep-sided valley of the Trefynant stream which includes broadleaf woodland, possibly the remnant of ancient woodland. Thomas and Sarah's Great Grandson lived in the Trefynant area in the 1960s and 70s.

The area in on the edge of the industrialised villages of Acrefair and Cefn Mawr, and there is some evidence of early industry and associated worker's housing, as well as the earlier agricultural landscape with scattered farmsteads, and 19th century conifer plantations at Black Wood and Trevor Wood. Industrial remains of the early 19th century include limekilns mostly around the upland in the west, several small limestone quarries, and a small isolated former coal mine.

 Garth Village Ca 1920.
Image courtesy of Llangollen Museum.

  From mid-19th century industry was focused on the former complex close to the railway at Trevor, known as the Garth Brickworks, where marls, silica deposits and stone were quarried from opencast workings and a drift mine at various periods, used for the manufacture of bricks, fire-bricks and other materials for the steel industry until the late 1970s. The workings were once linked by aerial ropeway to an additional clay pit further uphill. Many of the former buildings and structures have been demolished and the site redeveloped for housing development.

The settlement running downhill from Garth to Garth Trefor and Trefor-isaf originated as a settlement for quarrymen and industrial workers in the 19th and early 20th century. It is likely that Thomas and his sons worked in coal pits and brickworks in this locality, and lived in one of the workers cottages in Garth.

Three small reservoirs were built on the hillside above Trevor around the middle of the 19th century to supply the industrial centres at Cefn, Acrefair and Rhosymedre.

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