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Llangelynin & Gyffin Holland's by Brian HollandBrian Holland

Llangelynin and Gyffin parishes are within the Comote of Isaf in the Hundred of Arllechwedd in the county of Caernarfon. They lie to the south of the town of Conwy being bordered to the east by the river Conwy and to the west by the parish of Dwygyfalchi. The neighbouring parishes of Caerhun and Llanbedr Y Cennin lie to the south, further up the Conwy valley. Llangelynin parish is bisected by Gyffin parish such that there is an eastern and western division. The eastern area of Llangelynnin is low lying and runs down to the river Conwy whilst the western area is mountainous rising up to the rocky outcrop of Carreg Y Dinas. The Gyffin parish runs from the walls of Conwy castle along the river Conwy and then across and around the north side of Llangelynnin with an area extending through the middle of Llangelynin in a southerly direction until it meets the parish of Caerhun.


Gyffin was the site of a battle in 880 AD between Anarawd, Prince of Wales and Eadred, Earl of Mercia, the latter being defeated in a bloody conflict. The parish church, St Benedicts, is within walking distance of Conwy and dates back to the 12th century at which time it was probably part of Conwy. Gyffin was also the home of a Cistercian Abbey founded by Llewelyn ap Iorweth which was originally called Caer Gyfin and later Conwy Abbey. When Edward the 1st built Conwy Castle in 1284 he had the Abbey moved up the Conwy valley to Maenen where it became known as Maenen Abbey. As a result of his construction of the castle Gyffin became a parish outside the castle walls.


The original church of Llangelynnin lies in a remote place towards the summit of the hill in the western area. It is believed that there was a religious settlement at this spot as far back as the 6th century AD and that this was founded by St Celynnin. The knave of the current church dates back to the 12th century. The church is surrounded by a well constructed and preserved stone wall and is approached by a steep climb up the hillside by those parishioners from the eastern area, the pathway being bounded by stone walls which run right the way down the hillside to level ground.  There is a well within the churchyard whose water is reputed to have had healing powers for young children.

There is also evidence of the remains of an old inn close by. The church lies on the route from Conwy across the mountain to Llanfairfechan, Penmaenmawr, Bangor and Anglesey. The only two crossing points of the Conwy river were the ferries across the Conwy estuary and at Tal Y Cafn, Carhun, i.e. to the north and south of Llangelynnin respectively. Those coming via Conwy would come through Gyffin and up to the Church at Llangelynnin where they could stop to seek refuge before making their way across the mountain. This mountain path eventually meets up with the route from Tal Y Cafn, through Rowen and up to the Roman road across the mountain. The original Llangelynnin church fell in to disrepair in the mid 19th century and a new church was built in the eastern area in 1839/40, reputedly due to depopulation of the western area. It is probable that this coincided with the opening of the Telford suspension bridge across the Conwy estuary in 1826 resulting in a reduction in those travelers seeking to walk across the mountain. Due to its remoteness and altitude there must have been times in winter when it was impossible to hold services in the church so it is not surprising that parishioners would have used the Gyffin church on occasions.

  St Celynnin's Church, Llangelynin


There has been very little new building in this unspoilt parish of Caernarvonshire and in many respects it remains as it must have been three hundred or more years ago. There are a number of disused lead mines the main one being in the township of Trecastell at the North West corner of the parish.

Hollands within the Parishes of Llangelynnin and Gyffin.

The existence of the Holland family within the parishes of Llangelynnin and Gyffin can be traced back until the early 16th century through references in several old documents and deeds relating to various land transactions. Unlike the Anglesey, Eglwys Bach, Conwy and Abergele branches there appears to have been no prior research of the Holland family tree in this area of Caernarvonshire. As descendents of the early Holland settlers had occupied significant areas of the North Wales countryside it is not surprising that they should have had an interest in this attractive area of the Conwy Valley.

At the time of writing we have found no direct connection between the Anglesey, Abergele or Conwy Hollands within their respective family trees. There is however a connection between the Eglwys Bach Hollands via John the second son of Morgan Holland who had land interests as early as 1511. Due to the lack of church records in this period it is impossible to be 100% certain that he was the ancestor of the Llangelynin and Gyffin lines but it seems to be the most probable scenario considering the existence of various documents referring to members of different generations of the Holland family active in the Trecastell Township. Starting with John the first six generations appear to be John ap Morgan, Humphrey, John, Owen, Humphrey, John, Humphrey, Owen.

It was common practice in this era to name a son and heir after the father or grandfather so it seems highly likely that this defines the main line of descent from John ap Morgan. We know from an early 17th century list of householders and the 1662 hearth tax returns that Owen and Humphrey were the only householders in Llangelynnin named Holland, which reinforces the view that they were directly descended from one another. In the Research into the Hollands of Conwy shows no links with the Llangelynnin  line and no births or deaths that coincide with any of the above names. The names Owen, John and Humphrey were much more frequently used in the Eglwys Bach families. The only Owen in the Conway line was that of Owen Holland who was actually a great grandson of William Williams whose mail descendants for some reason adopted the name of Holland from William’s wife Margaret. Owen’s mother was Elizabeth vch Owen Anwyl so it would appear that he took the name from his maternal grandfather, otherwise there are no Owens in the Conway line at all. Similarly there is no evidence that any of these members of the Holland family originated from the Anglesey, Abergele or Kimnel lines.

There is however little doubt that the Hollands of Llangelynnin and Gyffin were descendants of one of these main Holland lines. Owen Holland in 1597 was referred to as Gent, and Humphrey Holland in 1694 sealed his Indenture with his seal which had on it the Holland coat of arms quartered with that of the arms of a descendant of Trahaern Goch. In his 1535 pardon John ap Morgan was referred to as Gent at the time of his conviction but not in any of the documents after 1513. Presumably he could no longer be considered a Gentleman after his conviction but may have resumed this status after his pardon, in which case his son and heir Owen would have been entitled to the same status.
All these facts seem to point to a high probability that the Llangelynin and Gyffin Hollands were descended from the Eglwys Bach Hollands via John ap Morgan.

Searchable Database & Family Tree for the Llangelynin & Gyffin Holland family

A fully searchable database of this extended pedigree which includes images of some of the source material used can be accessed by clicking here . Click on "Search" or "Surname Index" as appropriate. This version will be more convenient for those looking to find a specific name.

An alternative HTML version of the Family Tree can be seen here Click Here and will open a new page in your browser.To start navigating backwards through the descendants of Morgan Holland, just click on his name. This Family Tree should always be considered a work in progress with changes being made as information is gathered and understood.

Properties of Interest

The interactive map below shows the location of the key properties of interest relating to the Holland family within the parishes of Llangelynin and Gyffin. Click on the property number for more information.



1-Carreg y Dinas.

Carreg Y Dinas is situated on the hillside in the western area of the parish in the township of Castell and commands a view across the Conwy valley to the east. It is possible to see right the way across to Eglwys Bach on the other side of the river. There has been a property there since at least as far back as the 16th century as we have an Indenture whereby the title to Ty Thyn Carreg Y Dinas was awarded to Humphrey Holland in 1558. There is a further Indenture dated 1609 in which Ty Thyn Carreg Y Dinas was farm let to from William Lewis ap Robert to Richard ap Di for seven years for the sum of twenty six shillings and eight pence.  This is followed by a further indenture dated 1622 in which Ty Thyn Carreg Y Dinas is farm let by Simon ap William Lewis to William ap Richard John of Castell for one full year also for the rent of twenty six shillings and eight pence.

It would seem from these indentures that the property was in the freehold ownership of the Lewis family. From the Indenture Coed Coch 528, 1694, it appears that it was by then the freehold property of Humphrey Holland who for some reason had a verbal agreement with Gaynor vch Robert, the wife of Edward Williams and mother of his granddaughter Jane Holland, that the title to the property should be transferred to his granddaughter Jane on the death of her father Owen who had a life interest in it until his death in 1729. It seems likely that this was the subject of a marriage settlement and as Gaynor vch Robert died in 1679 we can assume that Humphrey was in possession of Carreg Y Dinas before that date. He is the only Holland mentioned in the 1662 hearth tax returns and as his property had three hearths we can assume that it was Carreg Y Dinas. We know that Jane ultimately inherited the property and that she married Robert Roger who was listed as house holder in (1730).

Jane Holland was listed as being responsible for the land tax payments in 1746, 7 & 8, and her daughter Alice Roberts in 1751 & 61.  Alice married Edward Edwards and he was the land tax payer in 1775 & 76. By 1796 the tax was being paid by David Jones as tenant of Sir Edward Lloyd. In a 1792 Indenture Sir Edward Price Lloyd leased the property to John Hughes, and in a 1799 Indenture he bargained and sold the property to Mary Vaughan Davies. The old house still exists however the current owners have added some modern extensions to take advantage of the panoramic views. The outbuildings appear to have been converted into a residential property.   


  Carreg Y Dinas


2-Pen Yr Allt.

Pen Yr Allt is the adjoining holding to Ty Thyn Carreg Y Dinas and lies to the south of it, being the nearest property to the old Llangelynnin church. In the Baron Hill 4692 list of rentals for 1595 the property was being rented by Owen Holland Esquire from Sir Richard Bulkeley of Anglesey. Interestingly Sir Richard Bulkeley was the father of Elizabeth, wife of Owen Holland of Plas Berw, Anglesey.  On the 1850 tithe map it was listed as a holding of 21 acres and was in tenure to Thomas Roberts, the owners were still the Bulkeley family.


Cwllgwynion is a small holding in the district of Llechan in Gyffin parish and lies to the North of and in walking distance of Cerrig Y Dinas. This was the home of Hugh ap John Holland being referenced in his will of 1760 and was later occupied by his daughter Jane.


This was a holding of 90 acres being on the western boundary of Gyffin parish due East of Carreg Y Dinas. The holding belonged to Edward Williams and Gaynor vch Robert, parents of Catherine the first wife of Owen ap Humphrey. The house was quite large having three hearths in the 1662 hearth tax.

5-Ty Newydd

This was a small holding being on the northern boundary of Merchlyn. We know from an indenture dated 1656 that Ty Thyn Ty Newydd belonged to Edward Williams and Gaynor his wife and that the property was leased to George ap Hugh of Castell and Harrie Thomas of Llangelynnin for the term of the life of Edward and Gaynor and after their decease to their second son Robert Edwards. This property was later occupied by William Holland until his death in 1762 and by Alice Edwards in 1789.

6-Tan Yr Allt.

The neighbouring property to Carreg Y Dinas which was occupied by Thomas Jones, and named in the Indenture of Humphrey Holland in 1694.

7-Bwlch Mawr.

Bwlch Mawr is the adjacent property to Cae Alen lying due south of it. This property was also part of the Bulkeley estate and was in the tenure of Roger Holland until his death in 1727.

8-Cae Alen 

Cae Alen lies in Gyffin parish in the area between East Llangelynnin and Conwy. The property was part of the Bulkeley estate and was occupied by John ap Humphrey Holland from at least 1680 until his death in 1694, and most probably remained in his family via his wife Mary who died in 1720 until it was eventually taken over by the descendants of Roger Holland who died in 1727. The property remained in the tenure of this family until the death of the last descendant John Holland in 1890.

The area of Llangelynin has changed very little over the last three hundred years with minimal new development taking place.

Principle Holland Family Members

The following notes draw on many sources including Parish Records, Hearth Tax Records, Pennant Estate Records and more. Many of the original estate records have been professionally transcribed from the original Latin or Old English script. Where the condition of the records was too poor to read the transcriber has indicated this, usually by inserting a question mark or series of question marks. Original Archive references are quoted wherever possible.

John ap Morgan Holland of Eglwys Bach. (Circa 1490 to 1565)

John was the first son of Morgan Holland of Eglwys Bach, Hugh being the second son. Since Morgan married Elizabeth vch Jane Conwy in 1488 it is reasonable to assume that John was born in 1489-90. John was outlawed in 1513-14 for murdering Rhys ap Ieuan the father of his future brother in law John ap Rhys who married John’s sister Gwenllian in 1516. John failed to appear at the court and was convicted and outlawed in his absence. This was a serious situation as one of the consequences of being outlawed was that he would have his land and possessions in Denbighshire confiscated and would lose his entitlement to inherit the family estate in Eglwys Bach. He appears to have had some interest in the Trecastell area in Caernarfonshire as early as 1511 as shown by the following transcribed bond (Lleweni 212):

“ To all faithful men of Christ to whom these present writing may come, David ap Rhys ap Gwillym, bailiff of the commote of Issaph in the county of Caernarvon, sends eternal greeting in the Lord. May you know that I, the aforementioned David, on Monday next after the Feast of All Saints, in the third year of the reign of the eighth King Henry after the conquest of England (3rd November 1511), by virtue of the office of bailiff aforesaid, Have received and distrained the draught animals of John Holland upon the lands which lately belonged to Thomas Salesbury, Knight, in the vill of Trecastell, for ten shillings and four pence of relief of the aforesaid Thomas who died without heirs, And concerning which 10s 4d of relief of the aforesaid Thomas, indeed I acknowledge myself the aforementioned David, bailiff of the commote aforesaid, to have been fully paid by the hand of the said John Holland.

And by these presents I acknowledge the said John Holland, his heirs and executors, to have been acquitted and towards the said King and all others whomsoever, In witness whereof I have attached my seal to these presents. Given on the day and year above written.” 

The fact that it was his draught animals that strayed would suggest that he must have had some property in this area before he was outlawed. Trecastell township is across the Conway valley from Eglwys Bach and would have been easily accessible via the Tal Y Cafn Ferry which at the time was leased from the Crown by John’s father Morgan, it seems highly likely therefore that he would have set up residence in Caernarfonshire to avoid arrest by the Denbighshire Sheriff.

In 1516 there is a Bond and Indenture referring to the lease by John Holland son and heir of Morgan Holland of all the messuages lands and tenements previously belonging to Henry Balfront in Conway as well as outside, within the liberties of the said town, to Thomas Salesbury, son of Thomas Salesbury, Knight for 8 years at an annual rent of 66s 8.5d. In 1516, inspite of being outlawed, John Holland was sworn to serve the King in the King’s Chamber as a Yeoman Usher Ordinary (Letters Foreign and Domestic). Presumably Morgan used his influence at court to secure this position. John continued to serve in the King’s court for two decades; in 1526 he is mentioned with David Holland as Yeoman Ushers of the King’s Household (L&P, F&D, vol6). In 1533 John Holland, Yeoman Usher was in attendance at the Coronation of Anne Boleyn (L&P, F&D vol 6, p249). In 1534 There was a grant of escheated lands in the Lordship of Brynbagyll in the commote of Keynmergh, lordship of Denbigh late in the tenure of John Holland,Yeoman of the Crown (L&P,F&D vol 7, grants).

It would appear as a consequence of his loyal service to the King he was granted a pardon for the murder of Rhys ap Ieuan :

Pardon, John ap Morgan ap John Holland, 1535

At Denbigh, before Robert Salesbury, locum tenens of John
Salesbury, esquire, Steward of the Lordship of Denbigh,
on the 19th day of the month of Augusti in the 27th year
of the reign of King Henrici VIII

Whereas lately John ap Morgan ap John Hollant senior, late of Erethlyn in the Lordship of Denbigh, gentleman, was indicted of felony by 12 magnates [ie a grand jury] of the commote of Uch Dulas, just as appears in the 3rd court of the aforesaid commote in the fifth year of the reign of King Henry VIII,
Who presented their verdict in these words:
That the same John ap Morgan ap John Holant, late of Erethlyn in the Lordship of Denbigh, gentleman, and David ap Howell ap William, late of the same in the aforesaid Lordship, yeoman, on Sunday, the Feast of Saint Michael in the Tomb in the fifth year of the reign of King Henry VIII [16 October 1513], at Erethlyn in the aforesaid Lordship, made an assault upon Rees ap Ieuan ap Gruff Vayn [ie Vaughn?],
And the said David then and there feloniously beat the same Rees upon his head, as far as the brain, with a guisarme of the price of 16d which the same David then and there held in his right hand,
And the said John feloniously shot the said Rees with an arrow as far as his heart,
And thus the said David and John gave him mortal wounds whereof the same Rees soon died,
And thus the said John and David feloniously killed and murdered the said Rees against the peace of our Lord the King.
And the aforesaid John and David were charged to answer to our Lord the King for the aforesaid felony at the said peace [sessions] in the fifth [year],
And they did not appear, nor did either of them,
Therefore they were outlawed etc.

Hugh ap Morgan alias Hugh Hollant, attorney of the said John ap Morgan ap John, authorised for him and in his name, came before the aforesaid locum tenens and claimed and sought our Lord the King’s pardon and remission for all and singular his laws [broken].
Granted and pardoned, in his parliament held at Westminster on the 3rd day of November in the 27th year of his reign, for the felony and outlawry aforesaid, To whom it was allocated according to the form and effect of the pardon or remission aforesaid etc.

It is interesting that the timing of this pardon coincided with the introduction of the Statute of Uses, which in 1535 changed the way in which land was inherited to get rid of the loopholes that enabled landowners to avoid paying their dues to the Crown. In 1535 John Holland,Yeoman Usher of the Chamber leased a pasture called The Meadow in Trefriw along with the water mill of the said vill, with the weir etc formerly belonging to Elizabeth Holland along with other lands in Denbigh. (L&P F&D vol 6). Presumably Elizabeth Holland was his mother.  Also a parcel of land known as Gavell Comeige in the town of Castell in the hamlet of Isaf.

This latter document is somewhat confusing in that it appears to have been written in the first year of Elizabeth (1558) but refers to Gavell Comeige being the Kings Bond Land. The document was sealed with the great seal a fragment of which still exists on the original in Bangor University Archive. The outcome was that the land was awarded by the justices of the great sessions to John Holland the Kings usher in the 26th year of Henry 8th (1534-5) for a term of 40 years. The document refers to John Holland’s attorney as Hugh Holland, presumably Hugh ap Morgan his brother, and David Holland the King’s Escheater. A further document dated 1569 refers to three Gavells in the township of Castell called Gafael Comeige, Gafael Teg and Gafael Peririd. Gavael Comeige is again referred to as bond land, lying in decay in the Lord’s hands. The following paper refers to John Holland and his tenure of Gavell Comeige and the Mill at Penvro in Tre Castell:

Lease of Land, Penvro and Gavell Commeige, 5 March 1566

Elizabeth, by the grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, Queen, defender of the faith etc, sends greeting
To all to whom the present letters may come.
Whereas our dearest father Henry the Eighth, late King of England, by his letters patent made under the seal of his Exchequer at Caernarvon, bearing date at Caernarvon the twenty fifth day of May in the twenty sixth year of his reign, of his special grace and from certain knowledge, of his own accord, by the mainprise of David ap Robert ap David ap Ieuanan Vychan and Hugh Holland, committed and let to farm, to his then beloved servant John Holland, one of the esquires in the office of his chamber,
Both a certain parcel of his land, at one time belonging to the Escheator, a certain Kener’ ap Carwett, and the place of a mill called the Mill of Penvoro, with the water course, as it previously was, lying at the town of Saint Peter within the commote of Issaph in his county of Caernarvon within his principality of North Wales,
And another parcel of his land in the town of Castell within the said commote of Isa’ in the county aforesaid, called Gavell Commeige,
To have, hold and occupy the said parcels of land and the rest of the premises, and each of them, with their appurtenances, to the aforenamed John Holland and his assigns, from the feast of Easter then last past, for the term of forty years then next following and fully to be completed,
Yielding in respect thereof to our said late father and his heirs, annually, that is to say, for the said parcel of our land, at one time belonging to the said Kener’ ap Carwett, and the place of the mill called Penvoro, with the beforesaid water course, twenty two pence at the feast of Easter,
And for the said parcel of land lying in the town of Castell aforesaid yielding annually to our said late father and his heirs sixteen pence sterling at the feast of Easter during the aforesaid term,
Which letters patent indeed, and all the right, title, estate, interest and term of years of the aforesaid John Holland of and in the premises and still to come, our beloved Maurice Davies (who now has and possesses the same lands, and all his right, title, estate and interest of and in the same) has surrendered and returned to us to be cancelled,
To this intention however, that we should deign to make and allow these our letters patent, and another demise of the premises, to the same Maurice Davies, in the manner following,
Which surrender, indeed, we accept by these presents.

Lease of Land, Penvro and Gavell Commeige, 5 March 1566

May you know therefore that we, with the advice of our Treasurer of the Chancery of England, and of the Undertreasurer of our Exchequer, for a fine of twelve shillings and eight pence of lawful money of England, paid at the receipt of our Exchequer, for our use, by the aforesaid Maurice Davies, we have conveyed, granted and let to farm, and by these presents do convey, grant and let to farm, to the aforenamed Maurice Davies,
All that our parcel of land at one time in the tenure of the said Escheator, Kener’ ap Carwett, and indeed the place of the mill called the Mill of Penvoro, and the water course, lying at the town of Saint Peter, of the annual rent of twenty two pence,
And one parcel of our land in the town of Castell called Gavell Commeige, of the annual rent of sixteen pence,
Which premises before-demised are situated, lie and are within the commote of Issaph in our county of Caernarvon, and now are or lately were in the tenure or occupation of the aforesaid John Holland or his assigns, and are parcel of our principality of North Wales,
And all and singular profits, commodities and emoluments whatsoever belonging or appertaining to the aforesaid premises, or to any of them, in any way whatsoever, for the rent within-reserved,
(Always excepting however, and wholly reserving to us, our heirs and successors, all great trees, woods, underwoods, minerals & quarries on the premises),
To have and to hold the abovesaid premises, with all and singular their appurtenances (excepting the before-excepted) to the aforenamed Maurice Davies, his executors and assigns, from the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel last past until the end of the term, and for the term, of twenty one years from then next following and fully to be completed,
Yielding annually in respect thereof to us, our heirs and successors, three shilings and two pence of lawful money of England at the feasts of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Michael the Archangel, at the receipt of our Exchequer or at the hand of the bailiffs or receivers of the premises for the time being, to be paid by equal portions during the aforesaid term,
And the aforesaid Maurice Davies, his executors and assigns, will, during the aforesaid term, well and sufficiently repair, scour, purge and maintain all hedges, ditches, enclosures, shores, banks and sea walls, and all other necessary repairs of the premises, in and concerning all things, from time to time, as often and so often as need and opportunity may arise, at his own proper costs and expenses, will deliver the premises sufficiently repaired and maintained at the end of this term.

Inspite of the disgrace to his family there is no evidence that John was ostracized by them. The following examples show that he was forgiven for his misdemeanors.

In his will dated 1529 Owen Holland of Plas Berw, Anglesey, Morgan Holland’s brother left a bequest to his cousin John Holland:

“Item I give and bequeath unto my cousin John Holland, yeoman as is the kings grace, my (chamblyff) gown with libardes”.

John was actually his nephew but it was not uncommon to use cousin to describe this family connection. In 1543 John Holland, one of the Ushers of the King, Nicholas Holland, Yeoman of the Guard, Geoffrey Holland, Gent., were arbitrators regarding the right of Alice Holland, widow of Hugh Holland of Pennant, Eglwys Bach, to have the use of certain properties in Erethlyn. (Pennant Papers).

This latter document is the latest one we have been able to find referring to this John Holland. As he no longer had the tenure of Gavel Comeyge in 1565 it would appear that he died sometime between 1543 and 1565. There is a burial for a John Holland in the Conway Parish Records in 1543; it is possible that this could have been him, but there is no way of verifying this.

The above references indicate that John had significant interests in the district. In 1504 his father Morgan obtained a 20 year lease on the Tal Y Cafn ferry which was the only crossing point along the Conwy River other than the Conwy estuary. This would have given John privileged access to the Caernarvonshire side of the river and may explain how he came to have interests in that area, as there is no evidence that he settled in Eglwys Bach it is perhaps reasonable to assume he settled on the other side of the river. We have no idea who John may have married as none of the documents referring to him mention a spouse.

Humphrey ap John - Circa (1530 – 1600)

The following indenture dated 1558 relates to an arbitration concerning title to Ty Thyn Carreg Y Dinas  lying in the town of Castell in the Comote of Isaph. The arbiters awarded that Owain ap Richard and Hugh ap William to surrender and deliver to Humphrey Holland the title to the said tenement for the fee of forty shillings:

This Indenture of Award made the fourth day of May in the year of the reign of our sovereign lady Elizabeth by the grace of God queen of England France and Ireland defender of the faith in the first year Witnesseth that whereas Owain ap Richard ap Hue and Richard ap William ap Thomas on the one part and Humphrey Holland the other part be found condemned either to others by others herefore several obligations in the some of forty pounds of lawful money of England to stand fulfil perform and obey the (erdytine doine) and award of (???) William ap William ap Thomas gentleman and Hugh Byrbedall Arbiters elected for the parties foresaid for and containing the right title claim and interest of a tenement with the appurtenances called Tu Thyn Carreg Y Dinas lying in the town of Castell in the comote of Isaph in the county of Caernarfon, whereupon we the said arbiters do conclude and make as allowed in manner and form as ensues, first we award that the said parties and party takers be fully agreed from henceforth and that they take also those oaths lovingly by the hand to be loving friends all rancour and malice laid apart. We award that the said Owain ap Richard and Hue ap William and either of them shall surrender and deliver unto the said Humphrey Holland all such title right claim and account that they or any of them both doth pretend to give, in and upon the said tenement and appurtenances lying within the said comote and county aforesaid called Tu Thyn Carreg Y Dinas with all its houses (latides) woods pastures commons thereto in any way belonging. Also we award that the said Humphrey Holland shall pay to the said Owain ap Hue and Hue ap William forty shillings and as the (delinie) of the aforesaid award in full recompense for right title claim action and interest of the aforesaid tenements with appurtenances herein we award that Humphrey Holland shall suffer the said Hue ap William to have all his winter corn with no (sows) from the said rent the ( graze ) freely (account ) (anything) the said Humphrey any (threw thyff  baf) and we award that the said Humphrey shall suffer the said Hue ap William to plough and to sow his barley (???????????) and the said Hue ap William and his assigns to pay to the said Humphrey and his assigns the true fee of the barley appertaining and we award that the said Owain ap Hue ap William their heirs and assigns shall not make no further claim title or account to the aforesaid tenements there appertaining nor any other nor others inhere named nor their appurtenances, further we award that the said Humphrey shall give and divide to the said Owain his heirs and assigns a meadow and two parcels of land for ever lying in the town of Castell in the comote of Isaph in the County of Caernarfon, also the said Humphrey holds in the farm of Roger Stodart and the said Owain his heirs and assigns to pay herefore yearly at the Feast of All Saints six pounds rent to the said Humphrey his heirs and assigns for ever if it be lawfully commanded that we award that the said Owain ap Hugh shall give and deliver to the said Humphrey his heirs and assigns a parcel of land forever for thereafter the delivery of the award which parcel was sometime (????) owed ap Hooll ap Ieuan now being in the tenure of (Hurn) ap Glyn paying the fees yearly to the said Owain his heirs and assigns four pence rent at the Feast of All Saints. If it is lawfully commanded and if the said parcel be taken away from the said Humphrey or his heirs by recovery or otherwise that year the said Owain shall give and deliver to the said Humphrey and his heirs as (innefs) lands of his thereto adjoining to it which is called the Errowe which was sometime Jenkyn ap Henry ap Owain lands, also we award that the said Owain shall sell and let unto the said Humphrey and his assigns a parcel of land called Berchynnisullan lying in the Bathero Rhos the date hereof during (????????) and time 19th year the next after (ensyne) fully (apleted) and ended paying for yearly the said Owain his heirs and assigns six pounds rent at the Feast of All Saints during the said term it be lawfully demanded. In Witness thereof we the said Arbiters to those ones awards sine put our seals the day and year above said.

In an early 17th century list of householders and ale house keepers within the comote of Isaph (Wigfair MSS 699) lists the names of Thomas Holland and Owen Holland but not Humphrey so it seems he must have been deceased by then. This assumption is supported by the fact that Carreg Y Dinas was farm let to William Lewis in 1609. Assuming that Humphrey was at least 21 by the time he was awarded Carreg Y Dinas he was young enough to have been a son of John who is unlikely to have married before 1510, it seems likely therefore that he was a descendant of John.

Owen ap Humphrey (Circa 1560 – 1630)

The first reference to Owen Holland is in a document dated 1595 (Baron Hill 2515) in which he quit claimed to Sir Richard Bulkeley of Anglesey a meadow with the appurtenances lying in Merchlyn in the township of Castell. In 1597 there was a Grant (Baron Hill 2068) between Hugh ap John, of Trelleck in the county of Monmouth, a Taylor, and Owen Holland relating to Tuthyn in Kyngyrrayder within the town of Kyngyrayder in the County of Caernarvon. Also dated 1597 (Baron Hill 2069 &70) the same Hugh ap John of Trellek, Monmouthshire, quitclaimed to Owen Holland of Llangelynnin, Gent, the same tenement called Ty Thyn in Kyngyrrayder, and land in Gogarth late in the occupation of John Owen, father of Hugh ap John, both in Caernarvonshire.  The following indenture (Baron Hill 2430) dated 1598 gives details of the sale of these properties by Owen Holland of Llangelynnin to Sir Richard Bulkeley of Anglesey for the sum of £70, the same amount as he paid to Hugh Jones. It would appear that Owen was acting in some way as an intermediary between the two parties as he only held the land for one full year.

Indenture Between Owen Holland and Sir Richard Bulkeley – 1598

This Indenture made   the twelfth day of October in the fortieth year of the reign of our sovereign Elizabeth by the grace of God of England France and Ireland Queen defender of the faith er between Owen Holland of Llangelynnin in the county of Caernarfon, gent, of the one party, and Sir Richard Bulkeley of Beaumaris in the county of Anglesey,knight,of the other party, witnesseth  that the said Owen Holland for and in consideration of the sum of three score and ten pounds of good and lawful money of England unto him the said Owen Holland by the said Sir Richard Bulkeley, knight, at or before then sealing and delivering of the presents well and fully paid whereof and where unto the said Owen Holland as aknowledgeth himself fully satisfied and contented and paid and thereof and (assured) part and parcel thereof doth freely and clearly acquaint, exonerate and discharge the said Sir Richard Bulkeley, knight, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns and every of them by those presents hath given granted bargained and sold and by those presents doth for him and his heirs fully, clearly and absolutely give,grant,bargain and sell unto the said Sir Richard Bulkeley ,knight, forever all that messuage and tenement with the appurtenances called and known by the name of Y Ty Yn Y (Kyngyrcayder) and also two yards lands lying near the church there and all right members and appurtenances to the said tenement belonging or manywise appertaining and all and singular messuages houses buildings lands tenements meadows fordings pastures commons fishing waters heaths moats marshes rents (peppercorns) forwoods pine woods waters and other hereditaments(????) situate lying and being in the township of (Kryngyrcayder) in the said county of Caernarfon and Gogarth and also one yard of arable land with the appurtenances and all common pastures thereunto belonging situate and lying and being in the township of Gogarth in the county of Caernarfon aforesaid late in the tenure and occupation of John Owen and Gwemhwyfor his wife and their assigns and all the right title interest and estate of the said Owen Holland of and to the premises and to every part and parcel thereof in as large and ample manner as the same Owen Holland hath or had the premises of the (grist grant) or feoffment of one Hugh ap John Owen  To Have and to Hold  the said tenement or messuage called and known by the name of Kyngcryader with all and singular the aforesaid certified premises bargained and sold before by these presents And also the said two yards lands lying near the church there and the said yards of lands with the appurtenances in Gogarth aforesaid and other premises with all commodities and profits to the same belonging what (such) unto the said Sir Richard Bulkeley, knight, his heirs and assigns forever for the only use and behoof of the said Sir Richard Bulkeley, knight, his heirs and assigns forever. And the said Owen Holland for his heirs executors and administrators doth covenant and grant to and with the said Sir Richard Bulkeley, knight, his heirs executors and administrators that the said Owen Holland of the day of the date of those presents ye very true and lawful owner of the premises and(owner) part and parcel and ye(???) lawfully stated in his name (someone) as of and sell the premises in manner and form aforesaid and that the said Owen Holland or his heirs or assigns of the said Owen Holland hath full power and authority to bargain and from time to time acquaint discharge exonerate and save (hanmeles) all the aforesaid lands etonements and every part and parcel thereof bargained and sold by the so presented note grants heaths ( forctures) (vomcts?) estates tayles legacies conditions rents (serk)rents charges recognisances (starnts)(anerchant) and of staple forfeitures intrusions and of and from all other titles and encumbrances what (second) had made (come) or suffered to be had made or done by the said Owen or by any other person or persons the rents and services to be and to the choose lord or lords of the fee of the premises only excepted and for forexpressed. And that the said Owen Holland his heirs and assigns and every of them shall do and suffer to be present at all times hereafter at the reasonable (aregnester) and request and at the (rostes) and charges in the law of the administrators and assigns all and every such act and acts thing and things verify and verifies in the law of the said Sir Richard Bukeley,knight, his heirs executors administrators and assigns or by his or their learned council in the law for the further assurance surer and sure making of all and singular the parcells and of every part and parcel thereof  be it by syne feoffement or recovery or otherwise(?????) we warrant against all persons . In witness whereof the parties to the so presents (last line partly obliterated but appears to refer to the application of hands and seals in the year above written)

From the Bulkeley estate rental books of 1595 we know that Owen Holland Esquire was renting Pen Y Allt from Sir Richard Bulkeley (BH 4692). The fact that Pen Y Allt is the neighbouring property to Carreg Y Dinas gives some credibility to the view that Owen was the son of Humphrey, and they were most probably living alongside each other for some years. Owen appears in the list of householders for Llangelynnin (Wigfair MSS 699) in the early 17th century. Owen ap Humphrey ap John was closely connected to the Bulkeley family of Anglesey by virtue of the fact that Sir Richard Bulkeley’s daughter Elizabeth was married to Owen ap Edward ap Owen of Plas Berw, who was therefore his second cousin once removed. This would have put him in a favoured position when it came to renting property on the Bulkeley estate in Trecastell. This close family connection may also explain his above mentioned land transaction involving Sir Richrd Bulkeley and further enhances the probability that he was descended from the Eglwys Bach line by his father John.

Thomas ap Humphrey

The only reference we have for Thomas Holland is that he is listed as a householder of Llangelynnin in the Wigfair MSS 699. As there are no other Hollands listed other than Owen it seems likely that he was another son of Humphrey. There is an entry in the Conway P R for the baptism of Em Holland daughter of Thomas Holland of Gyffin.

John ap Owen.

There is a reference to John Holland of Castell being overseer of the woods in Llangelynnin for Edward Bulkeley in a quarter session’s examination (XQS/1655/20) relating to theft of boughs of some trees there. There is a reference in the Conwy PR for the marriage of John ap Owen and Gaynor vch Robert Gruffith in 1627; this is about the right timescale for a son of Owen to be married. From the information available there was no John Holland in Conwy who this entry could be attributed to; the only feasible John Holland would appear to be of Llangelynnin.

As he was the son of an Esquire it would be feasible that he married in Conwy in preference to Llangelynnin although it could just have been that Conway was the home parish of his wife Gaynor. In the Conwy PR there is a baptism entry on 26th Oct 1605 for Gainor filia Robert Griffith and it is likely that this is the Gainor who married John. There is also a baptism in 1629 for Elizabeth filia Jhohanis Holland et Gainor mater eius (suus) (her mother). There are no other entries in the Conwy PR attributed to them. There is no evidence in the Conway P R of the origin of Gaynor’s father Robert Griffith, or that she had any siblings born in Conwy; however there are no baptism entries between 1598 and 1605. There is a possibility that he was a descendant of the Griffith family of Cefn Amwlch, Lleyn whose coat of arms were “azure a chevron inter three dolphins naiant embowed argent” for Trahaiarn Goch.   



The seal of Humphrey Holland, the probable descendant of John ap Owen, is quartered with the coat of arms of the Holland family and those of the three dolphins of Trahairn Goch (see right). It is possible that this seal was in fact that of his father John.  Robert Griffith must have been born circa 1580. On the Griffith of Cefn Amwlch pedigree (Gfs p169) there is a Robert Griffith son of John Griffith by his second wife Dorothy vch Thomas ap Richard Mostyn. There is no indication of what happened to him but as there were 13 children by this second marriage it is possible that he moved away. His father John Griffith died in 1585 so Robert’s birth date would be in the right timeframe to have been the father of Gaynor.

No further data has come to hand to substantiate this hypothesis. A review of the Cefn Amlwch Estate Papers in the NLW archives may provide more information and would be worth reviewing.





Humphrey Holland. (b Circa 1630, d 1694)

At the present time we have no absolute proof that Humphrey was the son of John Holland; however we know from the 1662 hearth tax returns that Humphrey was the only householder named Holland in Llangelynnin so it seems reasonable to assume this to be the case. In the following Indenture dated 4th April 1694 (Coed Coch 527) in which Humphrey agrees in return for the sum of £60 to give a life interest in several properties and lands in Llangelynnin and Gyffin to his son and heir Owen Holland and Thomas Jones, the Llangelynnin properties were predominately in the Carreg Y Dinas area and almost certainly contained Ty Thyn Carreg Y Dinas which appears to have been the main residence of the family at this time.We know from the indenture that Humphrey’s wife was named Ellin but no other references to her have so far come to light.

Indenture Between Humphrey Holland of Llangelynnin, Owen Holland and Thomas Jones (Coed Coch 528)

This Indenture made the fourth day of April in the sixth year of the reign of the reign of the sovereign Lord and Lady William and Mary by the grace of God of England Scotland and Ireland King and Queen defenders of the faith amen, Between Humphrey Holland of Llangelynin in the county of Caernarfon gent of the one part and Owen Holland of Llangelynin aforesaid son and heir apparent of the aforesaid Humphrey Holland and Thomas Jones of Llangelynin aforesaid gent of the other part witnesseth that the said Humphrey Holland for and in consideration of the sum of sixty pounds of good and lawful money of England freely paid and satisfied by Gaynor daughter of Robert widow, deceased, as a marriage portion with her daughter Catherine daughter of Edward now also the deceased late wife of the aforesaid Owen Holland and also in pursuance and information of the said agreements made between the said Humphrey Holland and the said Gaynor, daughter of Robert, for and conforming of the settling of the estates of the said Humphrey Holland upon the said Owen Holland and the issue of his body of and upon the body of the said Catherine and for and in consideration of the love and affection that the said Humphrey Holland has and beareth to the said Owen Holland and Jane his daughter and for diverse other  good causes and charitable considerations him the said Humphrey Holland thereunto especially moving hath given bargained sold aliened released and confirmed and by these presents, doth give, grant, sell alien, release and confirm unto the said Owen Holland and Thomas Jones their heirs and assigns all and singular that messuage with the appurtenances called Y Tu Mwya yn Gharreg y Dinas and the garden thereunto belonging called Gardd y Pistell and those several quillets and parcel of lands, meadows, and pastures formally called and known by the several names of Cau Tan y Tu ,Y Cau Issa ,Y Cau Erw y Allt , Drullys y Gallog ,Y Craig Fawr and Yr Erw in the tenure or occupation of the said Humphrey Holland his undertenants or assigns situate and living in the parish of Llangelynin in the said county. And also all that messuage with the appurtenances called Y Tu Lloid yn Gharreg y Dinas and the garden thereonto belonging called Yr Ardd Tu Isa i’r Tu. And all those several quillets and parcels of lands meadows and pastures with the appurtenances called by the several names of Cau Y Drws ,Gwerglodd y Fynnon ,Y Craig Bach and the house and fields thereon belonging called Y Tu yn Lleti Ithel situate and lying in Llangelynin aforesaid in the said county now or late in the tenure or occupation of the said Humphrey Holland his underlings, tennants or assigns. And also all and singular those other several fields closes, parcels of lands, meadows and pasture with the appurtenances called and known by the names of Y Werglodd Ucha, Y Werglodd Isa, also Ffrith Bach, Y Ffrith, Y Buarth  Rhug, y Fridd Nefai’r mynydd ,Y Cau Tu Ucha i’r Gwruch, Y Cau yn Isa Gwruch, Y Cau Bach, Fridd yr Havotty, and Cau yn y Erw, situate, lying and being in the parish of Gyffin in the county of Caernarvon and all other of those messuages, lands, tenements and hereditaments of the said Humphrey Holland in Llangelynin and Gyffin aforesaid or elsewhere in the county of Caernarfon and every of their rights, members and appurtenances To have and to hold   all and singular the said premises and every part and parcel thereof with the appurtenances unto the said Owen Holland and Thomas Jones their heirs and assigns forever for the several uses, intents and purposes herein hereafter mentioned and expressed, that is to say for touching and concerning the aforesaid premises called Y Tu Mawr yn Gharreg y Dinas with the appurtenances Gardd y Pistell, Y Cau don y Tu, Y Cau Isa, also Y Cau Nefa ir Allt, Drill Y Gallog, Y Gray n Fawr and Y Erw in Llangelynin aforesaid, Y Ffrith y Buarth Rhug, Y Ffrith Nefa i’r mynydd , or one half part in two parts to be divided of the said meadows, closes, and quillets of lands called Y Worglodd Ucha, Y Worglodd Isa also Ffrith Bach in Gyffin aforesaid being part and parcel of the said premises to the use and benefit of the said Humphrey Holland and Ellin his wife for and during the terms of their natural lives and the life of the longer liver of them without impeachment of waste during the life of the said Humphrey Holland and from and after the decease and the decease of the longer liver of them for the use and benefit of the executors, descendants and assigns of the said Humphrey Holland during all such time as some or one of them shall and may out of the rents and profits thereof and raise and pay the some of sixteen pounds of lawful money of England and from  such term ended and as soon as the said sixteen pounds and raise them for the use and benefit of the aforesaid Owen Holland for and during the time of his natural life without impeachment of waste. And as for and concerning the rest and  without impeachment of waste, and as for touching and concerning the reversion, remainder of inheritance of all and singular the premises hereby conveyed or intended to be conveyed from and after the expiration of the said several and respective estate thereon hereby before limited and as the same shall respectively end and determine to the use and benefit of Jane Holland daughter of the said Owen Holland and the heirs of her body lawfully issuing and for default of such issue to the use and benefit of the said Humphrey Holland and his right heirs for ever. And the said Humphrey Holland doth for himself and his heirs covenant and grant to and with the said Owen Holland and Thomas Jones and their heirs that the said Humphrey Holland and his heirs all and singular the said premises with the appurtenances unto the said Owen Holland and Thomas Jones their heirs  and assigns against him the aforesaid Humphrey Holland and his heirs shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents, in witness wherefore the said Humphrey Holland has herewith put his hand and seal this day and year (AD1694) first above written.

As mentioned above this document and an accompanying document (Coed Coch 528) are sealed with Humphrey Holland’s seal. A mirror image impression of this seal is shown right. Double click the image right to see the seal in colour on the original document.

From this we can either assume that Humphrey’s wife Ellen was descended from Traihaern Goch or he took possession of this seal from one of his ancestors.

According to the mid 19th century tithe maps Carreg Y Dinas was a holding of 49 acres. In addition he was renting property from the Baron Hill Estate including Melin (Mill) Bulkeley (BH4727). It would appear that this was a verbal agreement between Gaynor vch Robert, wife of Edward Williams of Merchlyn and Humphrey as a marriage agreement between Owen and Catherine Edward daughter of Edward Williams and Gaynor his wife. After the decease of Owen the property was to pass into the hands of his daughter Jane. We know that Jane ultimately inherited the estate as there is evidence that her eventual husband Robert Roger was the householder in 1731(XQS/1731/247) two years after Owens death. We know from the will of Gaynor vch Robert that she died 1679; also that Humphrey’s burial is recorded as February 1694 in the Gyffin Bishops Transcript return. It would appear that the Indenture was drawn up to legalise the prior verbal arrangement just prior to Humphrey’s demise.

Humphrey had a second son John, this we know from Owen’s will which states that his daughter Ellin married his son in law Hugh. All the available evidence points to John as being resident in Gyffin Parish in a property known as Cae Alen, where he also died in February 1694 (Gyffin BT).  Unfortunately there is no evidence that either Humphrey or John made a will, the fact that Humphrey was interred in Gyffin rather than Llangelynnin and the proximity of the burial dates may imply that they died of a common complaint. It is surprising that there is no tombstone for Humphrey in either Llangelynnin or Gyffin churchyards, especially as his signature on the Gyffin church tithes and some of the BTs indicate that he held some form of official capacity in the church, possibly church warden.

There is also a possibility that Humphrey had a third son Roger who at the time of his death in 1727 was recorded as being of Bwlch in Gyffin. The possible association with the other sons of Humphrey is that Roger’s son Thomas resided at Cae Alen the abode of the deceased John. This property remained in the occupancy of the descendants of Roger for almost two hundred years until the death of Elizabeth Holland in 1896. It would appear from the following records that the descendants of Roger eventually took over Cae Alen.

Owen ap Humphrey of Carreg Y Dinas (circa 1650 to 1729)

Owen married first Catherine vch Edward Williams by his wife Gaynor vch Robert of Merchlyn. Although in the parish of Gyffin, Merchlyn was directly down the hillside to the east of Ty Thyn Carreg Y Dinas and it seems likely that their boundaries adjoined one another. We know from an indenture of feoffement between Edward and Gaynor on the one part, and Harrie Thomas and George ap Hugh of the other part, concerning a property and the appurtenances called Ty Ddyn Y Tu Newydd, dated 1656, that they had a large family by this time. The indenture named Catherine as the third daughter; other children named were Robert, Hugh, Thomas, Hugh, Marie. There were also a first son and first daughter unnamed. An associated document has on it the witness signatures which includes that of Humphrey Holland. We know from Gaynor’s will (B/1679/23w) that she died in 1679 by which time she was widowed. In her will she also refers to her daughters Jane and Margaret and several grandchildren.

From his marriage to Catherine, Owen produced one known child, Jane, who by the above indentured agreement between Humphrey and Gaynor was destined to inherit Carreg Y Dinas and all the named appurtenances on the death of Owen. This indentured agreement effectively disinherited any children issuing from any subsequent marriage. We know that Jane went on to marry Robert Rogers by virtue of an indenture dated 1799 between Edward Price Lloyd and Mary Vaughan Davies, within which he bargained and sold Ty Mwyga, Carreg Y Dinas and other property previously mentioned in the Coed Coch 527 indenture.

Within this indenture it refers to the previous ownership as follows, “which were previously in the tenure of Robert Rogers and others and subsequent hereto of Jane Holland, otherwise Rogers”. It appears these lands were purchased by Edward Lloyd, Baronet, and the great uncle of Edward Price Lloyd. We also know that Robert Rogers was in possession of Carreg Y Dinas in 1730 from a list of freeholders of that date (XQS/1731/247). We know from Owen’s will that Jane and Robert had two daughters Alice and Catherine who took their fathers first name as their surname. According to the land tax records of 1751 and 1761 Alice Roberts was the occupant of Carreg Y Dinas, and in 1775 Edward Edwards was the named taxpayer. Alice Married Thomas Edwards and Edward Edwards was her son. In her will B/1789/23 she was living at Ty Newydd and she made bequests to her son Edward Edwards  and daughters Mary Edwards and Catherine Edwards, some of these bequests related to items at Carreg Y Dinas.

It would seem that she had moved out of Carreg Y Dinas to Ty Newydd and Edward had taken over Carreg Y Dinas.  In 1796 David Jones was tenant of Sir Edward Price Lloyd. There is also a will of Edward Williams of Caerhun (B/1702/17) within which he bequeaths a sum of money due by bonds from Owen Holland and Jane Holland of Carreg Y Dinas. There is a burial for Catherine Holland in the Caerhun PR dated 1669. It seems highly likely that this was Owens first wife.

Owen’s second marriage was to Mary Wynne of unknown origin. This is confirmed by the entry of her death in the Llangelynnin Bishops Transcript (BT). A search of all the known Wynne pedigrees has failed to identify a Mary born and single in the appropriate period. We know from the 1662 hearth tax that there was a Wynne family in the neighbouring parish of Gyffin but we have found no information to make a connection. Another, perhaps more plausible possibility is that she came from the Wynne family of Coed Coch near Abergele which might explain how the Coed Coch 527 Indenture came to be amongst the papers of that family. Assuming the Caerhun burial of Catherine Holland was Owen’s first wife then it is feasible that Owen and Mary were married and had possibly started their family before the death of Gaynor vch Robert hence her intention to protect the interests of her granddaughter. It may be that Gaynor died before the formal paperwork could be drawn up.

From a combination of Owen’s will, Pr’s and BT’s we can identify eleven children issuing from his marriage to Mary between 1687 and 1703. As all the births are not accounted for it is likely some may have occurred before the beginning of the PR entries. If we assume that Owen and Mary married sometime between 1669 and 1679 there was ample time for them to have had a large family. Owen’s will B/1729/138 was probated in 1729 which is confirmed by the entry in the Llangelynnin BT as buried July, 1729. His wife Mary died in June of the same year (BT).

The descendants of Owen and Mary are listed as follows:

Humphrey ap Owen (Circa 1675 to????)

From the BT’s we can deduce that there were two Humphrey Hollands in existence in the parishes of Llang’n and Gyffin in the early 17th century. There is an entry in the LL BT for the marriage of Humphrey Holland and Anne Cadwalader of Llang’n in June 1698, and a baptism of Humphrey Holland in 1694(GYBT). Humphrey and Anne had a son Hugh in 1703 (LLBT), and this is the only birth registered to them. The only recorded death of Humphrey Holland, other than that of Humphrey Holland senior, is in April 1730. As there is no Humphrey Holland mentioned in the will of Roger Holland or any of his descendants it seems likely that both Owen and John had a son Humphrey. There was also a Humphrey Holland born in 1729 (GYBT); however there is no clue as to the source of his parents. It is possible that Humphrey was the eldest son of Owen; it would not have been unusual for the eldest to take the first name of his grandfather. For similar reasons to Owen ap Owen he could have moved out of the area, possibly to Llanrwst where in 1709 there is a baptism of twins, John and Grace, son and daughter of Humphrey Holland of Blen Y Gwch.

There is no trace of what happened to them or their father. There are possibly two marriages in the LLBT between Hugh and Ellen in 1727. First Hayes records the marriage of Hugh Holland and Ellen Thomas, which we assume to be Hugh ap Owen; second there is an entry Hugh Holland and Ellena with no mention of her being Ellena vch Thomas, therefore either this second entry is the marriage of Hugh ap Humphrey or the BT entry is incomplete. There are no further entries relating to Hugh ap Humphrey within the LL or GY BT’s, however in the Llanrwst PR’s there are several entries relating to baptisms of children of Hugh and Helen, the first one commencing in 1727. In view of the consistent date, the entry for Humphrey in Llanrwst, the cessation of entries for Hugh in the LL 7GY BT’s and the lack of any other Hugh Holland of appropriate age in neighbouring parishes, it is reasonable to assume that Hugh also settled in Llanrwst to raise his family. His death is recorded as 30th Sept 1781; there is no record of the death of Helen.

The issue of his marriage to Helen are recorded as follows (Llanrwst PR):
1- Margaret, b 1731, June 18th “Margaret Holland daughter of Hugh and Helen, Berth Ddu”. Margaret Holland, spinster married Morris Foulkes a bachelor of the parish, 19th Feb, 1759(PR)
2-Thomas, b1733, Feb 23d, “Thomas Holland son of Hugh and Helen, Berth Ddu”, he died an infant 26th May, 1734.
3- John, b1737, Oct 16th, “John Holland son of Hugh and Helen, he died an infant 20th April 1738.  
4- William, b 1742, June 6th, “William Holland son of Hugh and Helen”.  There is an entry for William Holland, widower and bachelor of the parish, marrying, Margaret Evans, 15th Jan 1782. There is no clue as to his previous wife or what happened to him after this marriage. They had a daughter Ellen, May31, 1784 (PR). 

Gaynor vch Owen (d1703)

Gaynor married John Williams in 1695 (GYBT). Her death is recorded in the LLBT as 19th Nov 1703. As her death and the births of her two children are recorded in the LLBT it is reasonable to assume that she was from that parish and therefore a daughter of Owen ap Humphrey.  She had two children recorded in the LLBT; in 1698, April 10th, a son Hugh, and in 1700 a son Humphrey. There is no further trace of either Hugh or Humphrey in either the LL or GY BT’s or PR’s.

Elizabeth vch Owen

Elizabeth of Llangelynnin married Audonus (Owen) Edward of Gyffin on May 2nd 1697.  They must have resided in Llang’n for some time after their marriage because there is a birth record for Elizabeth Edwards by this marriage on Feb 20th, 1697. There is no further trace of them within the GY or LLBT’s or PR’s after this entry; it is feasible that they moved away.

Hugh ap Owen (b 1687, d1743)

The birth of Hugh is recorded in the LL BT as 1687; from Owen’s will we know that Hugh was living in Bangor in 1729. According to Hayes there was a marriage between Hugh Holland and Ellen Thomas in Llangelynnin in 1727 and there is a BT entry that coincides with this “Hugh Holland & Ellena”. However the baptism entries in the Bangor (BA) PR identify her as being Jane, the wife of Hugh Holland. Either Hugh’s wife changed her name or the Llangelynnin BT entry is either wrong; or the Ellen and Hugh married in 1727 refer to different Hugh Holland. As there are several entries in the BAPR referring to his wife as Jane it is safe to assume this to be correct. Unfortunately there is no entry for her death in the name of Holland, however she may have been entered under her maiden name or moved elsewhere. Hugh was buried in Bangor in 1743 (BAPR). The PR refers to his trade as Cooper; we also know that he was constable of Bangor in 1730 as his mark appears on a list of names being freeholders of Bangor, ref XQS/1730/111.

There are no baptisms in either the LL or GY BT’s that can be attributed to this marriage, however we know from the Bangor (BA) PR’s that they had five children. The first of these was John, b Nov 1728, followed by William, b 1731, Owen b1733, d1737, Thomas b 1735, d 1737 and Mary b1739, d1788. There is no trace of what happened to John and William so it is possible that they moved away, there is therefore a possibility that there are male descendants of them in existence.

William ap Owen (b 1689, d????)

Llang’n(LL) BT entry b,1689 – William son of Owen and his wife Mary. We assume the marriage entry, Llang’n 1716 between William Holland and Margaret Richards refers to William ap Owen as there are no other William Hollands identified in any of the adjacent parishes. According to the Gyffin (GYBT) he had a daughter Ellen who died in 1734. There is a marriage entry in the GYBT in 1749 for William Holland and Margaret Hughes. There is no PR or BT entry for the birth of this William Holland so we cannot be 100% certain that he was the son of William ap Owen, however it seems the most likely option as he would have been an appropriate age and as an only known son would probably have been given his father’s first name. He died intestate and his administration bond (B/1762/105) gives his address as Ty Newydd, Gyffin which is confirmed by the land tax record of 1761; it also names Margaret Hughes, his widow, and John Williams of Ty Canol, Gyffin, as joint administrators. The value of his goods and chattels was £17-17s.

His death is recorded in the GYBT, where he is referred to as being a farmer. It is possible that this John Williams was his uncle the husband of his aunt Gaynor Holland, deceased. There is no mention of William in Owen's Will. There is only one entry in the PR or BT for a descendant of William and Margaret Hughes, that being for the birth of Hugh Holland in 1750 (GYPR).  According to Hayes he married Anne Evans in 1778 however we found no entry in the PR to confirm this. They had to our knowledge six children, three born in Llangelynin and three born in Gyffin.  John, born & died in 1781(LLPR), the entry appears to say “John son of Hugh Holland of Cae Alen (otp Gyffin) and his wife Ellin Evans”. Mary, b1778, daughter of Hugh Holland and his wife Anne Evans (LLPR), Margaret, daughter of Hugh Holland and Anne Evans his wife, b 1781 (LLPR), of Cae Alen. In Mary’s baptism entry it refers to Hugh being a joiner of Garlow, Castell. In the Gyffin PR there are entries for Hugh s/o Hugh Holland of Coed Lon, Cooper, b1783, d1784; William b1788, d1810 and John b 1791. There is no trace of what became of John.

Thomas ap Owen (d 1701)

There is no PR entry for the birth of Thomas ap Owen. We have an entry for his death in 1701(LLBT) “Thomas Holland was buried”  We also have an entry for the death of Elleena  ux Thomas Holland also in 1701.We have assumed that he was a son of Owen due to the entry of his death being in the LLBT. There are a number of entries relating to Thomas and his wife Ellin, or Ellen, in both the Gyffin and Llang’n PR’s and BT’s. We know from the will of Roger Holland of Gyffin and his son Thomas that said Thomas had a wife named Ellin. It would appear that there were two Thomas Hollands with wives named Ellin living at about the same time. Thomas ap Roger names Ellina and Elizabeth as being daughters in his will so we can discount these as being of Thomas and Ellina in the Llang’n register. By deduction we can attribute the burial of Ellinor 1706 (GYBT) to Thomas and Ellinor of Llang’n. She may have been buried in Gyffin as a matter of convenience. As all the other entries relating to Thomas and Ellin are in the Gyffin PR it is reasonable to assume these relate to Thomas ap Roger.

John ap Owen (d 1703)

There is no PR entry for the birth of John ap Owen. The only entry we have is for his death “John Holland was buried” We have assumed that he was a son of Owen due to the entry of his death being in the LLBT.

Owen ap Owen (b1691-d1779)

Owen was born in 1691(LLBT), there is no record of him further in the PR or BT for either Llangelynnin or Gyffin, neither is he mentioned as a beneficiary in his father’s will. As there are gaps in the BT between 1691 and 1729, the date of his father’s death, it cannot be discounted that he died during this period. We know that an Owen Holland married, in 1717, Catherine Davies of Newmarket (Trelawnyd) in that parish. An extensive search of PR’s in Denbighshire, Flintshire and Caernarvonshire has failed to find a birth of another Owen Holland who would have been of the age to have married at this date.

Owen ap Humphrey’s children would have been brought up in the knowledge that they were not going to inherit Carreg Y Dinas and its associated living, hence they would have had to seek their livelihood elsewhere, it is therefore likely that Owen junior moved out of the neighbourhood, possibly to take up an apprenticeship. If so this would have been financed by his father and would be justification for not mentioning him in his will. The descendants of Owen Holland and Catherine Davies will be discussed further in the Hollands of Flintshire. There are a number of connections between Owen Holland of Newmarket and descendants of the Llangelynnin and Gyffin Hollands that increase the probability that he was Owen ap Owen of Llangelynnin.

Ellin vch Owen (b 1694)

Ellin was born in 1694(LLBT). From Owen’s will we know that she married Hugh Holland and that he was Owen’s son in law. The marriage took place at Llang’n in 1718 (Hayes), although we have not seen this in the original BT; she died in 1729 LLBT. We know from Owen’s will that they had three children living at the time of his death, the details of these are covered under the entry for Hugh ap John below.

Henry ap Owen (b 1698, d1705)

There is an entry in the LLBT for the birth in 1698, June, of Henry son of Owen Holland and Mary. He died as an infant in 1705, May 1st (LLBT).

Catherine vch Owen

There are no BT or PR entries for Catherine, however we know of her existence from Owens will within which he bequeaths to her “the bedstead and blankets and white sheet that is in the lower chamber”. If we include Catherine, Owen and Mary had eleven children up to and including the birth of Henry in 1698. We know that Jane his daughter from his first wife was born before her grandmothers’ death in 1679. It is probable that Owen had already remarried by then hence the agreement with Humphrey outlined in the 1694 indenture. It would appear that Owen and Mary must have had a child approximately every eighteen months which gives some credibility to the above assumptions.

John ap Humphrey of Cae Alen (b circa 1650, d 1694)

We know that Owen had at least one brother by virtue of his mention of his son in law Hugh Holland in his will. As there is no mention of Hugh in the will of Roger Holland we are able to deduce that Hugh was the son of John and that John was Hugh’s brother. John married Mary Evans of Lanbedr Y Cennin, a neighbouring parish, in 1669 (Hayes), this is confirmed by the PR entry 4th March 1679 “Johannes Holland and Mary vch Evans”. His death is entered in the Gyffin BT as 19th Feb, 1694, four days after his father, as John was only middle aged at the time it seems likely that they succumbed to a common complaint.

John’s wife Mary survived him and her burial is recorded as 20th Feb, 1720 (GYBT). There is a book in the Conwy library by John Fairclough, a local parishioner and historian, written in 1950, which states that there is a grave stone in the Gyffin church yard a few yards north of the west yew tree that records John’s death. Regrettably this grave stone has deteriorated with time and is now unreadable, however the inscription reads “John Holland, Cae Alen, 1695, Also inscribed is John Holland Tach 22 1748, ei oed 30. In this same book it states that John Holland was the occupier of Cae Alen in 1680. This second John could not have been a son of John ap Humphrey because he was born in 1718. This inscription is also recorded in NLW MSS 120 C, memorial inscriptions.

The reference to Cae Alen is interesting because this became the family home of the descendants of Roger Holland which remained in their possession until the mid 19th century; this provides a  link between the families of Roger and John. In addition to Cae Alen, John was paying rent to the Baron Hill estate for Erw Fared in 1691(BH 4727). John held some official capacity in Gyffin church as his name appears on several of the BTs and on the church tithe return for 1690 along with his father Humphrey. Interestingly his signature also appears as a witness on the will of Gaynor vch Robert, 1679. A comparison of the two signatures shows them to be the same.

There is no surviving will of John ap Humphrey or any of his descendants; therefore identifying his descendants is based solely on interpretation of the BT’s and Parish records of Gyffin and to a lesser extent Llang’n. All the evidence suggests that he was resident in Gyffin, probably at Cae Alen as were his descendants. We are helped by the fact that Roger Holland and several of his descendants did leave wills so that constructing his pedigree is more straightforward. By elimination and deduction, and by assuming that his descendants are more likely to be entered in the Gyffin records in preference to the Llangelynnin records, it is possible to construct a family tree of the descendants of John.

Hugh ap John (1684-1760)

There is a baptism entry for Hugh Holland in the GY BT, April 1684, it is reasonable to assume this is Hugh ap John. As previously mentioned Hugh married his first cousin Ellin vch Owen and then in 1733 he married Catherine Roberts LLBT. It is possible that this Catherine was his second cousin, granddaughter of Owen by his daughter Jane. We know from Owen’s will that Owen and Ellin had four children living at the time of his death. From the PR entries we can identify these as follows:

1-Anne, b 1718, LLBT “Anna daughter of Hugonis and Elinor, baptised” There are no identified records referring to her marriage or death.
2-----erna, b1720, LLBT, “----erna daughter of Hugh Holland and Eleanor, baptised” (This record needs looking at under the UV light at NLW).
3-Owen, b1727, 7th April, GYBT, “Audoenus (Owen) son of Hugh Holland and Ellen, baptised”. He married Elizabeth Jones of Conwy, in 1753, 1st Dec, The PR entry reads “Owen Holland, Gyffin, Taylor and Elizabeth Jones otp”. There are no records of any children from this marriage. He died in 1780 (Conwy PR).
4- Maria, b 1729, 6th April, GYBT, “Maria, daughter of Hugonis and Ellena, d 26th May (LLBT) “Maria Holland”

Hugh’s wife Ellin died on May 10th, 1729 (LLBT). Her death was followed within the next few weeks by her mother Mary and her father Owen; this probably indicates a common cause.

The issue of Hugh and Catherine are identified from the GYBT as follows:

1- Ellen b1733, 24th Feb “Ellin daughter of Hugh Holland and his wife Catherine Roberts.” The marriage entry in 1754 for Ellin Holland of Gyffin and Richard Edmund, also of Gyffin, is attributable her being the only eligible Ellin identified. They had seven children, Jane, Robert, William, Richard, Thomas, Anne and John. Richard Edmund died in 1788 intestate; his wife Ellen was named as administrator along with her son Richard Edmund. Ellen Holland is named as taxpayer for Maescadwygan in the tax returns of 1797.

2-Jane, b1736, 10th October, “Jane daughter of Hugh Holland and Catherine Roberts”.  Jane married Richard Cadwalader of Caerhun in 1761 (GYBT). They had a son John in 1777 (GYBT) of whom there is no trace. Whether there were any children in the intervening years is not known. Jane Holland and John Pritchard were joint taxpayers for Cwllgwynion in1787. What the relationship was to John Pritchard is unknown.  

3-Richard, b 1740, Aug 12th, “Son of Hugh Holland by his wife Catherine Roberts”. He married Ellen Roberts of Conwy in 1767(Hayes).  The births of his seven children are recorded within the Conwy PR. His first child Catherine was born in Sept 1767 with subsequent births being Hugh, 1770, Owen 1773, Anne 1776, John 1779, Margaret 1783 and Blanch 1784. Anne died in 1796, Margaret in 1783 and Blanche in 1784. There are no deaths or marriages recorded for any of the other children and what happened to them remains a mystery. We know from the PR’s that Richard was a weaver by trade until 1783, however in the 1784 entry for Blanch he is referred to as a pauper. We can deduce from Hugh’s Admin Bond (B/1760/62) that Owen Holland of Conwy and Jane Holland of Gyffin were step brother and sister; this means that Richard was stepbrother to Owen. Richards’s livelihood as a weaver may to some degree have been dependant on Owen being a tailor and Owen’s death in 1780 may have been the cause of Richards’s demise. We have a receipt of the Corporation of Conwy (COB2/663/24) dated 1781, whereby Richard Holland received ten shillings a peace for lighting the lamps and for keeping the hogs off the street. This would seem to support this assumption. Richard died in 1809 (CWPR) and his wife Ellen in 1800 (CWPR). There is a possibility that Richard’s three sons, Hugh, Owen and John moved away due to the lack of employment prospects in the area, in which case we cannot discount the possibility that there may be direct descendants surviving to this day.

4- Catherine, b 1723, d 1783 (Llanefydd PR). She married Robert Williams of Henllan where according to marriage licence SA/29/50 she was living at the time of the marriage. We deduce she was a daughter of Hugh and Catherine by virtue of the fact that Robert Williams was a named administrator on Hugh’s administration bond. A comparison of the signatures on the marriage licence and bond confirm them to be the same. According to Yvonne she has seen a Williams’s pedigree at NLW which refers to him marrying Catherine Holland of Llangelynnin. There is apparently a gravestone in the churchyard of Llanefydd referring to Robert Williams, his wife Catherine and one of his sons. According to the Llanefydd PR they had four children, Ellin b 1755, Catherine b 1759, Jane b1761 and Robert b 1764. Robert Williams died in 1764 and Catherine Holland in 1783, age 60. It is assumed this death was for Robert senior as there were no more births registered thereafter. NLW MSS 1010E, Henllan and Llanefydd pedigrees may be the repository for the pedigree data.  

Owen’s will mentions Hugh as being of Llechan which is a district in Gyffin Parish in the area of Trecastell and being close to Carreg Y Dinas in Llangelynnin. Owen died intestate and in his administration Bond (B/1760/72) he is said to be of Cwllgwynion which lies in the district of Llechan between the holdings of Llechan Isa and Llechan Ucha, the value of his goods and chattels was £35-5s-6d. From the land tax records of 1750 and 1751 he had an interest in several other properties in the area. Hugh’s wife Catherine predeceased him having died in 1753 (GYBT).

As mentioned above his daughter Jane appears to have taken over the occupation of Cwllgwynion after his death. From his administration Bond we can make a connection between the descendants of both marriages in that the named administrators were his son Owen, then of Conwy, by his wife Ellin, and his daughter Jane, spinster, of Gyffin by his wife Catherine. Also on the administration bond is the signature of Robert Williams of Llanefydd, husband of Catherine, sister of Jane. Interestingly Hugh’s signature appears on the will of Thomas ap Roger Holland, 1727 which may further imply a family connection. The same signature appears on the will of Mary Jones, widow, of Llangelynnin (B/1729/139), however we have not been able to identify a family connection with her or any of her descendants

Dorothy ap John

According to Hayes Dorothy Holland of Gyffin Married William Edward in 1701. We have so far not found an entry of this in the records. Dorothy was buried in 1713(GYBT), there is no evidence of any issue from the marriage. From the evidence available it is impossible to say conclusively whether she was the daughter of Roger or John, hence for the time being she has not been included in the tree. 

John ap John (b1692, d????)

There is an entry in the GYBT, 1692, June 10th, for the birth of “Johannes (John) son of John Holland and Mary was baptised”. There is no trace of what became of him.

Humphrey ap John (b 1694, d????)

The GYBT records the birth of Humphrey Holland in 1694, July 20th.  As there is no reference to a Humphrey Holland in the will of Roger Holland or his descendants, and Owen already had a son Humphrey we conclude that this Humphrey was a son of John. There is also a birth of Humphrey Holland in 1729(GYBT) but not in the PR, and a death in 1730. There is no way of knowing which of these Humphreys the burial record refers to as there are no more entries referring to Humphrey Holland in either GY OR LLBT’s or PR’s. (The 1729 BT entry needs to be rechecked recognising the absence of a record in the PR)

Ellen vch John (????)

The only reference we have to Ellen is her marriage to Robert Williams (GYBT) in 1723, June 4th.  Roger makes no reference to a daughter Ellen in his will but mentions his granddaughter who married Edward Lloyd. From this we deduce she was a daughter of John. There is no evidence of any children from this marriage.

Robert ap John

We have no recorded baptism for Robert Holland. We know he married Margaret Roberts of Caerhun in 1723(HAYES) and that he had two children baptised in Gyffin parish. He is not mentioned in the wills of Roger or Owen so we conclude he was a son of John. His two children by Margaret were:

1-Joseph, b1730, Feb 17th, “Joseph Holland son of Robert Holland and his wife Margaret” He married Sydney Roberts of Llandrillo in 1765(PR), July 22nd and they had two children, 1st Robert born 1766, June 13th and 2nd Jane born 1769, July23rd. Jane married Thomas Williams in 1802, Jan 1st (PR). She died in 1818, June 8th. It is not known whether there are any children from this marriage. Robert died an infant in 1766 (LLPR).

2- John, b1733, 24th Feb (GYPR), “Johannes filius Roberti et Uxor Margaret” There are no further entries in the GY or LL BT’s or PR’s relating to this John Holland.

It would appear that Robert and his two sons both moved out of the parish.

Margaret vch John

From the BT’s and PR’s of both parishes we can conclude that there were at least two Margaret Hollands in existence in Gyffin Parish in the early 18th century. In 1699 there is a marriage between Margaret Holland and Nicholas Owen of Dwygyfalchi (GYBT), and in 1739 a marriage between Margaret Holland and John Ellis of Llandrillo Yn Rhos (GYBT). We know from the will of Roger Holland that he had a daughter Margaret still living at the time of his death in 1727 but there are no children mentioned. We have a burial for Margaret Holland of Gyffin 1704 (LLBT) and Margaret Holland in 1728(GYBT), regrettably there no baptism entries.

The most likely scenario is that the Margaret who married Nicholas Owen was the daughter of Roger and that it was her death recorded in 1728, and Margaret who married John Ellis of Llandrillo in 1739(GYBT) was the daughter of John Holland, especially as other members of John’s descendants were by this time living in Llandrillo (see above). A study of the Llandrillo PR’s indicates that John Ellis ap Robert of Glanwern was born in 1704. He appears to have been married to a Dorothy prior to his marriage to Margaret as there are entries for the birth of John ap John Ellis in 1726 and Thomas ap John Ellis and Dorothy in 1736. Margaret died in 1749 (Llandrillo PR).

It would appear then that he married Anne Jarvis, daughter of Richard Jarvis and his wife Mary as there are births for Robert Ellis son of John and Anne Jarvis of Glanwern in 1753, and John Ellis s/o John and Anne of Glanwern (date not recorded). Anne Jarvis was born in Llandrillo in 1726 and we know from her mother’s will in 1766(SA/1766/70) that she left a sum of money in trust for her grandson John Ellis until he reached the age of twenty one, and to her daughter Anne Ellis, his mother, in the event he should predecease her. Intriguingly in the event that they should both die before John came of age then she made a contingency whereby the legacy was to be divided into six parts and distributed equally between named beneficiaries.

One of these was Catherine Davies wife of Owen Holland, Tobacconist of Newmarket, i.e. the first cousin of Margaret Holland, John Ellis’s second wife and second Cousin of Joseph Holland. This implies a lengthy friendship between Mary Jarvis and Owen and Catherine because Owens son Thomas was baptised in Llandrillo in 1726. We are unable to allocate the Margaret Holland who died in 1704.

Elizabeth ap Humphrey. (d 1747).

There is no evidence of Elizabeth in the parish records; according to her will SA/1747/164 she died a spinster in Wrexham in 1747. The connection with Gyffin comes from reference in her will to her niece Margaret  Ellis, wife of John Ellis of Glanwern (Llandrillo) who we know married Margaret Holland vch John ap Humphrey in 1739. Why she should have moved to Wrexham is a mystery, however we know from the 17th century Wrexham PR’s that there were other Hollands living in Wrexham and we can’t discount the possibility that they were related.

Roger ap Humphrey of Bwlch, Gent. (Circa 1650-1727).

Identifying the descendants of Roger is helped by the fact that he and several of his descendants left wills, and in addition there are two gravestones in the Gyffin church that supply supplementary information. So far we have not found any conclusive evidence that ties him to either Owen or John. We can’t preclude the possibility that he was descended from either Robert or William, who themselves may have been related to Humphrey. In his will (B/1727/60) his place of abode is given as Bwlch, and his occupation as yeoman. He was paying rent for Ty Thyn Y Bwlch as early as 1692 (Baron Hill 4727).

The will is signed by Hugh Holland as a witness which can only have been Hugh ap John. The value of his goods and chattels is summarised in the inventory as £69-3s-6d. From the tithe maps of Gyffin we can see that Bwlch was the neighbouring farm to Cae Alen, the previous abode of John ap Humphrey. According to the Gyffin tithe maps Bwlch was a holding of 47 acres and Cae Alen was 35 acres.  As the main line of descendants of Roger were referred to as being of Cae Alen it would appear that they took over that property when John’s relatives moved away. We know that the tenure of Bwlch went out of the family by virtue of the will of Richard Roberts of Bwlch dated 1770, however in the Land Tax records for 1749 and 1748 Thomas Holland and Richard Roberts were sharing the tax payments on Bwlch Mawr; in 1750 the tax was payable by Mary vch Richard, widow. The connection with Cae Alen and the signature of Hugh ap John Holland on Roger’s will gives credibility to the belief that Owen, John and Roger were brothers.

Roger’s birth predates the BT’s and PR’s; he died in 1727, April 29th, (GYBT). We know from his will that his wife was Ellinor Jones and she also left a will B/1727/61, written in October of that year, and from their legacies we can identify some of their surviving children and grand children. The inventory of her will states that she was “ late of Bwlch” , and the value of her goods and chattels was £43 11s 6d. There is an indented deed in the Coed Coch papers, MLW Ref 2153 summarised as follows: “Roger Holland of Bwlch, co Caernarfon, Gent and his wife Ellinor surrender for 5s to Richard Williams of LLaethvaen, great grandson and heir of the said Ellinor, a messuage and tenement and lands formerly belonging to Evan Lewis, former husband of the said Ellinor, in Llaethvaen in Llaneilian called Kefn Llaethfaen subject to payment of £50 at an appointed date”, dated 1726/27.

There is also an abstract ref no 2159 from the plea rolls at Wrexham relating to this property which was formerly belonging to the Wynne family of Coed Coch. How Richard Williams was heir of Ellinor Jones is not clear. Evan Lewis died intestate in 1665; his widow Ellinor Jones is named as administrator in his Admin Bond (SA/1665/44B.) She must have been a good age when she died in 1727 as she must have had issue from this first marriage for her to have had the great grandson mentioned in the Coed Coch paper. This possibly explains why John had relatively few descendants.

The issue of this marriage were:

1- Richard. There is a baptism and burial for Richard Holland, 1677 GYBT. As John was not married until 1679 we can deduce him to be a son of Roger.

1- Thomas who as only surviving son took over Cae Alen, for a brief period until he died later that year in September. (See Thomas ap Roger below).

2- Elizabeth. There are no birth or death entries for her in the records. We know that she was alive in 1727 from entries in the wills of both Roger and Elinor. She married Piers Jones in 1705, July 3rd (GYBT). They had children Elias, Roger and Hannah referred to as grandchildren in Roger’s will, Elen refers to Elias in her will but not the others. It is possible that they did not live in Gyffin Parish.

3-Unnamed Daughter 1. In his will Roger refers to several grandchildren with the surname Thomas but does not mention the name of his daughter who must have been the mother, possibly because she predeceased him. The grandchildren named were Dorothy, Thomas, Richard, Lancelot, Roger and Ellinor. None of these grandchildren were named in Ellinor’s Will.

4- Margaret. There is a mention of a daughter Margaret Holland in Roger’s will, but no mention of any children. As mentioned above (Margaret vch Owen) there is no baptism record for this Margaret, probably because she was born before the commencement of BT records, it is however probable that the 1728 burial record refers to her. She married Nicholas Owen of Dwygyfalch in 1699(GYBT) and it is possible they moved there after the marriage. (A check of Dwygyfalchi records is required to see whether there is a death recorded for Nicholas Owen).

5- Unnamed Daughter 2. In his will Roger refers to grandchildren Richard and Catherine Williams implying that he had a daughter who married someone of that name. There is no evidence of this marriage in the records.

Thomas ap Roger of Cae Alen (Circa 1680 to 1727)

We have no record of Thomas’s birth date, however from his will (B/1728/87) and the GYBT we know he died in 1727, his occupation is given as farmer and the value of his goods and chattels was £68-3s. The fact that he, his father and his mother died in 1727 may imply a common cause. He married Ellin Edmund (will), she died in 1734 (Llanbedr Y Cennin PR), and from his will and entries in the GYBT we can identify four children from this marriage:

1- Elleanora (Ellin), b1695, Nov 13, (GYBT). She married Edward Lloyd in 1728, Feb, 8th (GYBT). In her will her mother Ellinor refers to her grandson Edward Lloyd whom she makes sole executor. It is possible that she means Edward Lloyd, husband of her granddaughter Ellin otherwise it would have to be her great, great grandson which seems unlikely. They had a daughter Ellin who died in 1753, May 20yh (GYBT)

2- Roger- , b1695, June 31, (GYBT), d 1713, July 16th (GYBT) “Rogerus s/o Thomas Holland and Ellen buried”.

3-Elizabeth, b1701 (GYBT) “Elizabeth d/o Thomas Holland & his wife Ellen, baptised. She married Richard Williams in 1722 (GYBT). It is likely that the grandchildren named Williams in the will of Roger Holland were in fact great grandchildren and the issue of this marriage. This appears to be confirmed as Thomas ap Roger also refers to his granddaughter Catherine Williams in his will.

4-Thomas, b1710, Sept 27(GYBT), “Thomas s/o Thomas Holland 7 Ellina his wife”, d1785 (will). No entry in the GYBT or PR for his burial. See below.

Thomas ap Thomas of Cae Alen. (b1710, d1785).

In his will (B/1785/61) he refers to his wife Jane Salisbury whom he married in 1730 in Bangor (PR), “Thomas Holland and Jane Salisbury of Gyffin, married”. From GYPR entries Thomas is referred to as being a farmer. The value of his goods and chattels was £47-11s; his occupation is given as yeoman. From his will and the GYPR we can deduce he had eight children from this marriage as follows:

1-Ellin, b1731, Jan 19th (GYBT). She married William Williams in 1764(GYPR).  She presumably moved to Conwy as we can identify three children of this marriage in the Conwy PR (CWPR). They were Robert b 1765, Thomas b1766 and Anne b1769. Ellin died in 1780 (CWPR).

2-Anne, b1733, Aug 17th (GYBT). She married Owen Jones of Llandrillo, a widower, in 1770 (GYBT), marriage licence B/9/159 refers to Owen’s occupation as yeoman. This document contains the signature of Roger Holland, Anne’s brother.  In his will Thomas refers to him as a tailor. What became of them is unknown; there is no mention of any issue from this marriage in either the Gyffin or Llandrillo records. or in Thomas’s will.

3-John, b1741, March 14th, d1745, July 7th (GYPR).

4- Robert, b1736, Dec 28th, (GYBT), d1793 (Llandrillo Gravestone). In his will Thomas refers to him as being “my son Robert Holland of Tan Yr Allt, Llandrillo”. Although he was the eldest son he did not take on the tenancy of Cae Alen. There were many descendants from this marriage extending to the USA, Liverpool, Llandudno and Bettws Yn Rhos. These are covered under a separate section for Llandrillo yn Rhos and Bettws Yn Rhos.

5- Elizabeth, b1739, July, d1745, July 4th (GYBT)

6- Roger, b 1744, Sept 4th, d 1812, March 7th (GYBT). His will (B/1812/47) confirms he was of Cae Alen where he lived for the duration of his life. There is no evidence that he married. According to NLW MSS 120C his tomb is in the Gyffin churchyard and confirms his death as 1812 and puts his age as 68 confirming the PR entries. To date we have been unable to locate this tomb. In his will he leaves his farm to his brother John and his sister Elizabeth providing that they don’t marry. He also mentions his nephew Thomas Holland. For some reason all the remainder of his goods and chattels he leaves to Hugh Roberts, or in case of his death to John Roberts by his wife Jane, the value of which was £142-12s-6d.

7- Elizabeth, b1747, Aug 30th, d1823, March 20th, (GYBT) “Elizabeth Holland age 77”. Presumably she never married. 

8 -John, b 1749, d 1842, March 4th, (GYBT), “John Holland of Cae Alen, died age 93”.Heir to Cae Alen, see below. The birth date is derived from the burial entry; there is no entry for the birth in the GYBT or PR. See below for further discussion.

John ap Thomas of Cae Alen (b1749, d1842)

Although the youngest son he inherited a life interest to Cae Alen by virtue of his brother Roger’s will. He married Anne Pritchard of Llanfairfechan in 1777 (Hayes). They had two children before his wife Anne died in 1786, Oct 7th (GYBT). In his will (B/1844/95) he leaves the remainder of his estate to his son Thomas Holland, this was valued in his inventory as £19-5s.

1- Jane, b1778, (BYGT), “Jane Holland d/o John Holland and Anne Pritchard”. It seems logical to attribute the death of Jane Holland in 1812, Feb 25th (GYPR) to her. In John’s will (B/1844/95) he leaves a bequest to Anne and Elizabeth children of his daughter Jane Jones. The origin of Jane’s husband is unknown; there is no marriage in Hayes in a compatible timescale.

2- Thomas, b1780 (GYBT), d 1855(BYPR), “Thomas Holland s/o John Holland & Anne Pritchard his wife”. (See below). He is the main beneficiary in John’s will.

Thomas ap John of Cae Alen (b1780, d1855).

Thomas married Mary Jones of Gyffin in 1827 (GYPR), marriage licence B/56/47 refers. Their deaths are recorded in the GYPR as Thomas Holland of Cae Alen, d 1855, April 12th, age 76 and Mary Holland of Cae Alen, d 1873, Oct 15th, age 78. There is a gravestone near the door of Gyffin church which records their deaths as 1856 and 1875 respectively. For consistency we have used the PR entries. Thomas is listed as the occupier of Cae Alen in the 1850 tithe map; the owners were Sir Richard Bulkeley and William Bulkeley. According to the local historian, Fairclough, Thomas was church warden in 1846. According to the GYPR they had four children as follows:

1-John, b1828, Feb 20th, d???? “John s/o Thomas Holland and Mary of Cae Alen”. There is no entry in the records for his burial, however according to Yvonne, records his death as 1890. 

2- Anne, b1830, March 20th (GYPR), “Anne d/o Thomas Holland and his wife Mary of Cae Alen. There is no record of a burial or marriage so what happened to her is a mystery.

3- Elizabeth, b1830, March 20th, (BYPR), “Elizabeth d/o Thomas Holland and his wife Mary”. We conclude from this that Anne and Elizabeth were twins. Elizabeth “vch Thomas of Cae Alen”, died 1896, (GYPR), presumably a spinster. She was interred in the same grave as her mother and father.

4- Grace, b1838, d1841 (GYPR),

The 1851 census confirms the residents of Cae Alen as Thomas, John, Elizabeth and Mary, there is no mention of Anne.

Unallocated Names

From the GY & LLBT’s and PR’s we have been unable to allocate the following entries:


1704- LLBT-“Margaret Holland of Gyffin buried” No associated baptism and no identified Margarets.

1704- LLBT- “Elizabeth Holland baptised.” – No clues as to where to allocate her

1727- LLBT- “Elizabeth Holland de Dryll y Jonets was buried. Could be the above Elizabeth. No other Elizabeth identified.
1734-LLPR- “Elizabeth Holland Llwynnon buried”. No Elizabeth identified.
1775-LLPR- Hugh s/o Owen Jones & his wife Sydney Holland, miner, Ffordd Tyn Y Groes”.
The marriage of Owen Jones & Sydney Holland is listed in Hayes as taking place in Llanbedr Y Cennin, a neighbouring parish, in 1774. The origin of Sydney Holland is unknown.
1778-LLPR- “Hugh s/o Owen Jones & Sydney Holland baptised.
1781-LLPR- “Samuel s/o Owen Jones & Sydney Holland baptised.


1699 - GYBT-“Jane Holland” Unreadable fiche at NLW, original needs viewing under UV light.
1713 - GYBT -“Dorothy Holland wife of William Edward was buried” No way of knowing whether she was d/o Roger or John.
1724 – B/1724/45, Will of John Cadwalader of Hendre, Gyffin, names his servant Joseph Holland whose origin is a mystery, there being no baptism or burial in the records. 
1724 - GYBT – “Rendolphus Holland was buried.” No way of knowing whether he was a s/o Roger or John.
1729 - GYBT - “Humphredus Holland was baptised”. No clue as to parents.
1730 - GYBT – “Humphrey Holland was buried”. Probably Humphrey born in 1729.
1730 – GYPR – “Elizabeth Holland was baptised”, No clue to parents.
1740 - GYPR – “Elizabeth Holland baptised”. No clue as to parents.
1748 – GYBT – “John Holland, Joiner, was buried”. This was the John Holland who was referenced on the gravestone of John ap Humphrey, age 30. There is no clue as to his relationship with John ap Humphrey and no appropriate baptism in 1718.
1752 – GYBT – “Margaret vch Richard wife of William Holland of Conwy”. Not of this parish (See below).
1754 – GYBT – “William Holland, widower & farmer of Conwy parish”. Not of this parish. Not thought to be related but a review of Conwy records required.
1833 – GYPR – “Ellen d/o Hugh Holland and Mary”. No Hugh Holland identified. There are no marriages in Hayes for a Hugh Holland & Mary in the appropriate timescale.

Early 17th Century Wigfair MSS 699- Richard Holland.

This is the only known reference to Richard Holland in Gyffin during this period, he does not appear on the 1662 hearth tax. The Conwy PR has a baptism of Richard Holland in 1563 who does not appear on the Gfs family tree, it is conceivable that this is the same Richard. The 1662 hearth tax has entries for David Holland, Robert Holland and William Holland. We know from XQS/ 1645/57, a letter from William Hookes to his cousin Eliss Hughes concerning Robert Holland and his brother William Holland. We know from XQS/1644/77 Quarter Sessions return that William Holland of Gyffin to keep the peace with Maria David, wife of Robert Holland. There is also a further letter from William Hookes to Ellis Hughes (XQS/1645/26) referring to Robert Holland and the constables accounts.

The origins of these three Hollands is unknown. There is a burial in the Gyffin PR for Robert Holland in 1679 and it seems likely that this was the Robert mentioned above. As he was married by 1644 it seems likely that he was born in the first quarter of the century and there is a possibility that he was a brother to Humphrey Holland who was born at a similar time. There is no entry for Robert Holland in the Conwy PR during this period and the entry for William Holland is accounted for on the Gfs pedigree. There are no other references to David Holland other than the hearth tax entry.


Considering the descendants of Roger Hoesgyn Holland settled in the prime areas of Denbighshire and Anglesey it is not surprising that a branch of the family would choose to settle in the attractive area of Caernarvonshire offered by Llangelynnin and Gyffin parishes in the Comote of Isaph. We know that John ap Morgan Holland of Eglwys Bach had interests in Castell, Llangelynnin parish, as early as 1511 when he would have been in his early twenties.  As his brother Hugh was destined to inherit the Pennant Estate he would have been looking for an alternative place to live.

He would have had easy access to this area via the Tal Y Cafn Ferry which at this time was in the tenure of his father Morgan Holland. Considering the prominence of the family it is likely he would have married someone of similar social standing, however at the time of writing we have been unable to identify any references to a marriage. As far as we can establish he lived until about 1565 by which time we know that Humphrey Holland was the occupier of Ty Thyn Carreg Y Dinas in 1558, the eventual freehold property of his great grandson Humphrey Holland.
Humphrey ap John had a son Owen who rented the neighbouring property, Pen Y Allt, from Sir Richard Bulkeley of Anglesey in 1595 and he is referred to in several documents of the period as Owen Holland of Llangelynnin.

There was a family connection with the Bulkeley’s of Anglesey via the marriage of Elizabeth Bulkeley to Owen ap Edward ap Owen ap John ap Morgan Holland of Eglwys Bach. Owen must have been a prominent figure in the area as he was referred to as Owen Holland Esquire in the Bulkeley estate rentals. Owen Holland and Thomas Holland are the only Hollands listed as householders in the early 17th century.  We deduce that Owen had a son John from the marriage entry in the Conwy PR in 1727 of John ap Owen Holland and Gaynor vch Gruffith. We have found no other John Holland that this marriage can be attributed to in any of the other Holland family trees. This John Holland of Llangelynnin was overseer of the woods for the Bulkeley estate which was quite extensive in Llangelynnin and Gyffin.

In the 1662 Hearth tax Humphrey Holland of Carreg Y Dinas was the only Holland listed, so from this we conclude that John must have been deceased by then and that Humphrey was his only surviving son in this parish. It is possible that David, Robert and William Holland of Gyffin Parish who were listed as householders in the same hearth tax return were also descendants of John; however an alternative possibility is that they may have been descended from Richard Holland of Gyffin who appears as a householder of that parish in the early 17th century list of householders. The origin of this Richard is unknown but it is possible that he was a son of Humphrey ap John ap Morgan, i.e. brother of Owen and Thomas who appeared in the same listing for Llangelynnin. The burial of Robert Holland in 1679(GYBT)is assumed to be that of the above mentioned Robert.

Due to a lack of any church records, wills or estate papers for this period it is difficult to prove conclusively that this is the true line of descent; however it seems the most plausible from the facts available. The fact that the main line reads Owen & John ap Humphrey ap John ap Owen ap Humphrey ap John appears to give it some credibility. Unless any further supporting documentation becomes available the only other way of authentication is to identify a male descendant from one of the other families of Roger Hoesgyn Holland and obtain a DNA comparison with one of the male descendants of Humphrey Holland of Llangelynnin.

After the death of Owen ap Humphrey in 1727 the Holland line ceased to exist in Llangelynnin, the family property having passed to Jane his daughter by his first marriage, and then out of the family via her marriage to Robert Roger, and eventually to Edward Edwards via the marriage of Jane’s daughter Alice. It would appear that with the exception of William, Owens descendants moved out of the area as we can trace Humphrey to Llanrwst, Owen to Newmarket and Hugh to Bangor. Only his grandson William ap William appears to have stayed in the area as we know from his will he was living at Ty Newydd, Gyffin, at the time of his death.

It is a similar story with the male descendants of John ap Humphrey. Although his son Hugh resided at Cwllgynion in Llechan, Hugh’s son Richard moved to Conwy as did his son Owen. His other son Robert may have moved to Llandrillo Yn Rhos as we know that this is where his son Joseph settled and there are no further records of Robert in Gyffin. It would appear that the only descendants of John living in Gyffin after Hugh’s death in 1760 were from the female lines.

Roger’s male descendants in Gyffin survived at Cae Alen until  the  death of his fifth generation heir John Holland in 1890, as he was unmarried the male line stopped with him. The only other male heir was his great grandson Robert ap Thomas who moved to Llandrillo Yn Rhos where he lived at Tan Yr Allt. He had a son Thomas of whom there is no trace. From the above male lines there are several male descendants for whom we have no burial records; we therefore can’t discount the possibility that there are male descendants living today in addition to ourselves who are descended from Owen Holland of Newmarket. These are as follows:

John, William and Owen, sons of Hugh ap Owen of Bangor.
Hugh, Owen and John, sons of Richard ap Hugh ap John, of Conwy.
Thomas ap Robert of Llandrillo
John ap Robert ap John, Llandrillo
John ap Hugh ap William, Gyffin

The majority of Llandrillo Yn Rhos PR entries emanate from the Llangellynnin and Gyffin Hollands during the period 1726 to 1803, and it is interesting that a member of each of the family lines of Owen, John and Roger were probably living there during this period. The first entry is that of the birth of Thomas ap Owen in 1726. We believe this to be the birth of Owen ap Owens third child and may be an indication that they lived in Llandrillo for a period. This is underlined by the friendly relationship between the Jarvis family of Llandrillo and Owen and his wife Catherine Davies highlighted in Mary’s will. Also resident were Joseph ap Robert ap John, Margaret ap John who married John Ellis of Llandrillo, who later married Anne Jarvis daughter of Mary Jarvis; and Robert ap Thomas ap Thomas ap Roger of Tan Yr Allt.

All these descendants were first or second cousins. This, and the fact that Owen ap Owen named one of his sons Joseph in 1743, he being the first cousin of Joseph ap Robert ap John, b1730, and this being the first time this name appears in the family tree strengthens the belief that Owen Holland of Newmarket was the son of Owen ap Humphrey of Llangelynnin.  An additional connection between Llandrillo, Denbigh and Newmarket is that Mary Jarvis in her will of 1766 named her nephew Edward Knowles, Inkeeper of Denbigh Town and her niece Sarah Knowles d/o William Knowles of Denbigh as beneficiaries along with Catherine Dsvies wife of Owen Holland of Newmarket.  In the 1750’s Edward Knowles of Denbigh was renting property from the Davies’s of Henfryn estate, Newmarket, i.e the relatives of Catherine who by that time was living in Newmarket. Catherine and Owen had their first two Children in Denbigh.


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